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Hosts Stacey Harris and John Sumser discuss important news and topics in recruiting and HR technology. Listen live every Thursday at 7AM Pacific – 10AM Eastern, or catch up on full episodes with transcriptions here.

HR Tech Weekly

Episode: 209
Air Date: February 28, 2019




Important: Our transcripts at HRExaminer are AI-powered (and quite accurate) but there are still instances where the robots get confused and make errors. Please expect some inaccuracies as you read through the text of this conversation. Thank you for your understanding.

File Length: 00:25:12

John Sumser
Stacey Harris

FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)

00:00:14:11 – 00:00:15:04
Good morning.

00:00:15:04 – 00:00:21:07
Love those Irish guys. Welcome to HR tech weekly, one step closer with Stacy Harris and John Sumser. Hi Stacey, how are you?

00:00:21:09 – 00:00:29:25
Good morning. I’m doing well John. I am enjoying a nice warm, well somewhat warm, but nice sunny day here in North Carolina

00:00:30:06 – 00:00:33:12
Watching the daffodils out my window. I’m doing quite well.

00:00:33:12 – 00:00:36:19
Spring is around the corner so I hear. How about you.

00:00:36:20 – 00:00:44:19
Well so we are pioneering the word flood out in my neck of the woods. Have you ever heard of the atmospheric river?

00:00:44:20 – 00:00:59:22
I have not but it doesn’t sound good especially not near my house.

Yeah, so atmospheric rivers are rivers in the atmosphere and the waterfall appears to be within a ten mile radius of my house.

00:00:59:26 – 00:01:45:09
The house. And so. It’s just it has rained like nobody’s business. There’s a place of about 10 miles from the house called Navarro California that had 20 inches of rain in 48 hours. Which is you know unbelievable. And so my little town sits in the bend in the river. And the River and the river is surging maybe 20 miles down the river is a town called Guernsville which is an island in the middle of the of you can’t get in or out if you’re not in a boat. It’s just crazy. It’s just crazy. And it’s the rainy season here. We get this every once in a while.

00:01:45:09 – 00:01:59:26
How are you going to show this. I mean California’s supposed to have the best weather in the world are somewhat close to it right or the most normal I would say. Is that you can get pretty much at this point it’s not going to be the case because it going to have constant ups and downs these days is it just normal cycle stuff.

00:02:00:06 – 00:02:40:25
Oh yeah. You know it never really gets below 40 and it rarely gets above 80. So. On. That level would. You know we saw snow months or so back. And it was really unusual first time in 20. Years or something like that. So we don’t get cold the way that the East Coast or the mid. North gets but it rains from November to the 1st of April every year it’s just a question though does it every day from November to April it’s just a questions of if it rains a little bit treat the river. So there’s variations there but it’s still the best of both worlds.

00:02:41:02 – 00:02:43:13
There you go, true Californian.
00:02:45:01 – 00:03:01:16
We don’t think it will take their ascertation on that one and that if it’s the best weather in the world if it doesn’t snow very often say well how are you. But your home is late though. You just got back from the recruiting conference correct.

00:03:01:16 – 00:05:29:17
That was last week that recruiting and trends conference and I went to Tru San Francisco which is a Local Recruiting unconference that they’ve had 650 attendees over the last 10 years. This was a gathering and sandwiches for them probably a hundred and ten or 20 people in the building. It was the offices of Goodin too which is another sort of culture measurement operation. There was a lot of fun. The true conferences. Tend to bring out active in. Being voices who have big opinions about recruiting in nature. And so that was particularly interesting. The recruiting trends conference was I actually got inspired to think about something that really drives covers that have been bubbling over a very long time which is what does it mean that recruiting has a 50 percent success rate. The statistic that’s always quoted. By the 18 month. Hiring managers feel the. 50 percent. Of their new hires were mistakes. But that’s Harvard Business Review and all that data is everywhere. And that’s how hiring managers feel that. But does it take for. The ones that the hiring managers like who think they got get the job to get attention. So this is a this is a process that doesn’t work very well. Rusty Roof who is sort of a long term investor you see H.R. guy who ran a chart. Let’s try first well give the opening talk at last week’s conference and this question was. What about all the misery the recruiting causes. And. It’s a very interesting question because if you’ve got half of the people half of the new hires. In jobs that the hiring manager doesn’t think they’re really good ever veto like or what. Is you’ve got to stress ball. That turns into people getting fired. These are the people who get laid off with no layoff comes. And so recruiting is directly responsible for a level of misery. Culture is horrifying. And there is no new measure of accountability that I can find for this stuff. So I’ve been thinking about that.

00:05:30:14 – 00:05:38:22
Wow. Well those are some deep thoughts on what is recruiting responsible for and not responsible for how and how much of that is a management conversation.

00:05:38:25 – 00:05:47:18
But it’s actually pretty closely we know I was at the Kahuna workforce software it’s a competency management system. They’re cab event which is their sort of

00:05:47:29 – 00:05:52:05
Customer Advisory Board event that they have every year. They had down in Houston

00:05:52:18 – 00:06:47:12
And that was a similar conversation but just in a different completely different space. Right. They were talking. You were having conversations about. What percentage of the workforce than in the U.S. it some around 25 percent that are. In positions where they are either over skilled or under scale. So much so that it makes them unhappy at their job environment that in those environments people are more unhappy in those job with their their work effort. They were the work they have to do then they then they would be with their managers and that people leave jobs for that reason Marceau. And for competency software that track skill sets obviously that’s an interesting conversation if people are just not matched up with the appropriate skill. I don’t know how much of that plays into what you were talking about. Are we hiring them what their skills are they just getting into jobs where they’re eventually over skilled or under skill. But those two worlds seem to be colliding a little bit in the conversations that sounds like a question of who’s responsible for it.

00:06:47:24 – 00:06:51:06
Can it be fixed. And you know is the system is going to do anything about it right.

00:06:52:04 – 00:07:28:22
Yeah well Well I think it starts with identifying the problem. I’ll tell you when I ran unconference session on this topic I’m so charmed with the. Question of a room and then conference session on Tuesday. Cisco if the. True thing. And not one of the recruiters there thought it was a good idea of who should be responsible for the results of their work. Well I’m not surprised but I want to say I don’t think there’s anybody any of the. Guild managers in the company management conference I was that. Would have said it was

00:07:29:03 – 00:07:38:19
Their responsibility if people weren’t appropriately hired into something even though they had tracked maybe it was their job to track the skills and requirements for that particular position. So I.

00:07:39:04 – 00:07:44:27
Think there’s a lot of blame to go around in this base but I doubt anyone will want to raise their hands for it right.

00:07:45:28 – 00:08:40:06
Yeah well it’s interesting that it so quickly gets to whose fault is. Yeah when the real question is you know if. The recruiting process causes. Divorces maybe recruiters should be required to go to people’s houses with the divorce yet firm and see the consequence. You don’t have to say it’s your fault. Just understand this is the principle approach. Bankruptcy loss a loss of confidence in parenting relationships. Depression. These are the consequences of mistakes in recruiting. And. Regardless of whose fault it is these should be what do we need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen so much that we go around blaming that.

00:08:40:08 – 00:08:51:02
That’s an important conversation to be had. Now I think they’re. Probably going to find that a lot of softwares probably are feeling them. They can address them this is this not the whole conversation about. Better matches

00:08:51:08 – 00:09:02:15
You know taking that responsibility off of recruiting. I mean much of the talk this week is about software and what is going to be doing for recruiting. It is that the role of the new recruiting software

00:09:03:14 – 00:09:53:16
Oh it’s pretty clear that it’s Google makes it worse. Because what artificial intelligence does is it looks for rules. Right. The whole point of the machine learning natural language. Is to discover rules and principles should show them some data set and so good will look to me more rigid decisions about who sits in those two. The problem. Is largely the job description and the resume we are. But. Are two rooms that are for marketing purposes not for. Job assignment purposes. And so. So as long as that’s the foundation of selection is good. Well I think that my my audience of. Competency management would have probably cheered your comment there because I think they’re oftentimes feeling the same way that they do a lot of job analysis

00:09:54:01 – 00:12:47:21
And that data and information never quite reaches a job matching or the job hiring point of it. Right. But you know there’s a lot of stuff going on in the news this week that I think back with what we’re talking about to maybe maybe we could really get a little bit detailed. We had some real interesting stuff going on this week. We got job Kate raises a hundred million dollars for blue collar workers with to connect to blue collar workers with employers. I had not heard a job case previously but we could talk a little bit about that to how it fits into what we talk about. Land it is a personalized career passing application particularly for. Diverse candidates. It received 13 million dollars in funding for their career passing platform. Loom. And this is a little bit off track from what we were talking about with recruiting and their sensibility of how people fit into jobs but. Maybe more so about the idea of communications loom is a California based work communication tool. They raised 11 million and so Series A funding. At the same time we still read which is another work enabling conversation communication platform come out of their stealth beta testing and received ten point five million dollars. And then we also see some more I think interesting stuff. And there’s been occasions and tracking and where everybody that. 3 million dollars she found running for make you safe. Which one of my favorite conversations we may not get to it today. But to talk about. What should we be tracking and what should we be doing with that data on employees and this is a particular company that does it focused on safety requirements. And then we definitely take some time today to talk about the name change or global force. They have changed their name to their annual event conference name as well. To work human. So they went from global force to work human there’s some. Insight in that honestly. And I think we may want to start with this one because it I think it really directly the conversation I was just having. IBM apologizing for using ethnic labels like yellow and mulatto on job applications. Particularly here in the U.S.. That is probably one of the biggest topics this week in maybe we’ll start there. What do you think about that just this is the news that came out of the Wall Street Journal. It was a basically start off by a tweet that was put out by a job applicant here in the red states who basically said they were highly offended by. And these were online job applicant tools. And if you look at the tweet and the picture in the tweet. It specifically shows that you are all of that application and that application happens to be one of the biggest names. That doesn’t quite exist but falls underneath that are good friends connects the purchase which is brass ring application. So that’s obviously the tool that they are using to take this online application process. This was I think big news and yet I mean you both said this We know where this came from it wasn’t anything that was. You know someone didn’t make a mistake per say but a configuration was set up incorrectly. That’s correct

00:12:48:28 – 00:14:07:10
Yeah well so it’s you know the idea that you can have global information systems is problematic partly because the land people use to describe things in one culture is different of the language that people use to describe things in another culture for historical reasons right of reasons. And what’s offensive. In the United States may says are somewhere else and what’s not offensive really. United States may well be offensive somewhere else. So Americans are constantly denigrated for being overly blunt and ill mannered. And that’s what it feels like to experience in America and in a European Asian culture or Middle Eastern culture. And here we are giving a chance to experience the labelling. In un-American cultures and it’s tricky to understand what’s right or wrong. And it’s trickier still to ensure that there are walls between those so that you don’t have a blunder like this one. Having the actual comments from the vice president and patient that IBM was a recruiting Web site temporarily and appropriately soliciting information. And selling job applicant ethnicity. If the local government requirement in Brazil and South Africa. Which basically means to me that

00:14:07:23 – 00:14:31:00
Somebody click the button in a configuration setting that they shouldn’t have. And we know that now this kind of configuration setting especially in a cloud environment is very much. Usually sitting on the shoulders of a. Chair I.T. professional or a H.R. functional leader who is in charge of the technology for their recruiting environment. Somebody hit the wrong configuration button here and this is what happened to him.

00:14:31:16 – 00:15:05:09
Yeah. Somebody hit the wrong integration button with me. Is that. The theory. The you can leave the configuration of that system to somebody who isn’t paying attention is no suspect. Right. And one has to wonder this is it. This is a blatant example. But the idea of. The vendor is no longer responsible for the configuration of the system. That’s a company job. This is where the runs into trouble. Exactly.

00:15:05:10 – 00:15:47:01
And this is where we we also I think need to understand the requirements of the skill sets of the people who are being held accountable to this system. And you know the idea that. You know we I’ve been doing a lot of research and sort of whether or not this is an I.T. professional and H.R. I.T. professional or some other mixture of those skills that’s right within an organization. But whoever does this has to have a good understanding of the business outcomes the regulation and the I.T. issues right. Of all these settings that they’re creating. Obviously whoever made this mistake didn’t understand one or the other or wasn’t aware of it enough to appropriately configure it for this small short amount and it gets them to the Wall Street Journal. Right. That’s a huge thing to have something get into Wall Street Journal like that right.

00:15:47:12 – 00:16:11:28
Yeah yeah. It’s bad for business or the company whose configuration was so bad for well. And then we also have I guess branding conversation around what’s going on over at global force global force is a wall that they were basically rewards recognition company for many many years but they have transformed their branding and their platform and their perspective to a

00:16:12:08 – 00:16:40:21
Growing social recognition and continuous performance management platform. And they are changing their name from global forced to work human. And becoming. A with their perspective as an organization focused on the work human environment. What do you think about that Don. Any commentary there. You know oftentimes you are not the best man everywhere I think this is that guy. Yeah dogs aren’t rewards and recognition. Stuff. Works great insert

00:16:41:01 – 00:17:30:00
Things for a certain amount of time but it’s you know it’s not as all clear that it’s a sustainable way of doing so. So I’m not I’m not sure how to make sense of the change in naming from global force to work human. But I’ll tell you that their were human conference which I have studiously avoided. Is a transformative thing that’s way bigger the rewards and recognition. This is no longer. A utopia. It’s entirely possible that they are able to sort of break out of that orbit. And I’d love to see how they manage together very smart people perhaps they can be the first to be to have a conference that transforms the company.

00:17:30:08 – 00:18:17:29
That was exactly what I was saying I was like this is an interesting sort of shift. You know do we see a lot of marketing and hype and you know these things around sort of what’s not really happening in organizations and then they put a slap a new name on it. This feels a little bit different. And then I think you know the actual comment here from the CEO is that a mission with a company if they’re taking that work human concept and taking their technology and trying to figure out how they can make those two sort of basically work together. And so I know it’ll be interesting I will not be able to attend this event either this year I have tried for the last several years to attend it. But unfortunately because of. Other conference conflicts it’s never seem to be able to make it to the list. But I will be looking forward to hearing what coming out of it this year to see what they’re going to be doing differently as the new work human cloud platform that they’re talking about.

00:18:17:29 – 00:19:07:00
Yeah I’d love to. The basic idea is that a continuous level of feedback. Is a good thing. That’s where there had continuous feedback as a good thing and continuous feedback. With a guitar. Or two ears. Right. Generally speaking. Continuous feedback drive signals off mission. So I will be very interested to hear how they do with this notion that they’re going to provide performance management because I certainly wouldn’t want to have a voice on my shoulders. Correct. Correct. It’s a lot of people prize independence over continuous feedback loops. So

00:19:07:11 – 00:20:08:00
Interesting to see what they do there and that might be very much a generational thing to want to see it out there. I mean there is a reality that me the generation No I know my son and my both my sons and different generation are eager for feedback from the right sources. That’s always the commentary right. They’re not sure they always want feedback from me. But there is always something they are sort of working on and on a feedback level. So this may be another form of that as well. So we have definitely. Another year of hype of looking at feedback is sort of where funding is going in the technology market. The biggest funding round this week was job case. Do you know much about job case. There are self-described open access platform for job seekers and employers. But they should create one hundred million dollars an equity round by strategic growth and their Boston startup. They’ve already raised it. So it looks like a raises a hundred eighteen point nine million. Yeah. If if this is another what seems like job matching I might take from it. Am I missing something here.

00:20:08:00 – 00:20:41:12
If it’s about matching size you know it’s astonishing. Twenty five years into the job evolution people are starting and go oh oh. Not just white people with degrees have jobs. You know. The 30 percent of the market in the United States that has a resumé and as a salaried division that has been heavily served by applicant tracking systems. Job boards. The rest of the market has not. And the rest of the market is actually where most people work. So there’s the whole thing

00:20:42:20 – 00:21:46:13
Yeah. It says 70 percent of yourself with a four year without a four year college degree is who they’re targeting. And they are you know they have basically focusing on fees. For pages with information about job openings though. Two hundred and twenty dollars for one job to earn more. They’re giving like actual like small amounts that you can sort of put on to get various job posted. And be job. And they and they’re sort of kind of touting themselves maybe a little bit like a LinkedIn linked in job creation and upload work histories and background. This is an interesting. This is a lot of money. You know in this market for what we’ve seen this year and so and the fact that I hadn’t seen them previously. Now that might be a bit of my own challenge. Maybe to your point. Sometimes we have blinders on we’re not looking at the products that are that are working across various industries and organizations and this might be one of those cases. But it’ll be interesting to see you know. Can we create a similar. Culture of sort of job searching. In the sort of blue collar work environment as what we find here in this sort of linked in environment is what you would call it.

00:21:46:19 – 00:22:02:13
It puts a great long conversation. It’s worth mentioning the move was a recent report that estimated Craigslist revenues from job ads as a billion dollars a year. Wow.

00:22:03:03 – 00:22:03:13

00:22:03:13 – 00:22:37:18
OK. So that’s no value just jobs are the distribution mechanism. So you can imagine the there’s a flurry of activity as people try to figure out how to rationalize the labor market. Yeah particularly. Well I will be watching this I want to see where this goes because there’s a lot to do is sort of I think this. Gil’s conversation that I had last week with the company management group. And this idea of sort of. A different level of work within organizations and skills matching.

00:22:37:29 – 00:23:57:09
And this might get just some of our earlier conversation about it. Are you hiring the right people for the right job as well though. Very true. We have a few more minutes and a couple other funding I think projects that that came out this week. Landed is a career path thing platform I think probably the most notable thing about them is. They’re making 30 million dollars in funding and funding red brown led by we were. Backed by investors from Barlow ventures and work day ventures so this is another sort of work day venture backed organization. And they’re focusing on diverse workforce path career path thing. And employee engagement retention is a big focus for them. But my understanding of this is that you know it’s another small company that sort of sitting in the space of helping originally I think it was focused on women. I think it’s advantage to the success of women in diverse groups in the workplace. That it’s market and if personalized career path thing I haven’t had an opportunity to look at this organization either but there is I think money here in this space. But career path thing is not something we hear a lot about. And I haven’t seen a lot of it in any of the big ERP applications either being done very well. To repair things or the last things people think about generally. Yeah and it’s hard to get away particularly in this environment. Where jobs change really rapidly. And the idea that there is such a thing as a career path is

00:23:58:01 – 00:24:00:12
At least somewhat hypothetical.

00:24:00:28 – 00:24:07:04
So I’ll be tested to see what they’re doing. It’ll be you know I think career path thing as a place where

00:24:07:12 – 00:24:41:15
We have not seen in the big systems pick up this gauntlet. Maybe this is always and will always be a niche play. But I’ve always thought it was something that was missing in the big enterprise applications in a way that talked about it from the employees perspective not from the businesses me and right. And so it would be great to see of land that maybe could make a name for itself in this space and build something. So we have a lot more to talk about that we’re probably going to get today mostly on the communications side. Maybe we can leave that for next week. Talk about communication applications and how that. Working in the H.R. technology market these days. Let’s do that

00:24:42:09 – 00:24:44:13
Great conversation. I sure appreciate it.

00:24:44:27 – 00:24:46:26
Definitely. I always have a good time doing it.

00:24:47:13 – 00:24:55:29
And thanks everybody for tuning in to H.R. weekly once to closure with you here as a. I’m sure. We’ll see you back next week.

00:24:55:29 – 00:25:00:11
Bye bye now. Thanks everyone.


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