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Hosts Stacey Harris and John Sumser discuss important news and topics in recruiting and HR technology. Listen live every Thursday or catch up on full episodes with transcriptions here.

HR Tech Weekly

Episode: 211
Air Date: March 21, 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.

John Sumser
Stacey Harris


00:00:14:12 – 00:00:24:21
Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly, one step closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. Good morning Stacey, I hear you’re gambling your fortune away in Las Vegas.

00:00:27:06 – 00:00:58:14
But I am in Las Vegas. Yeah I’m here with beautiful weather, can’t complain after having been a light cold weather that we’ve been having on the East Coast recently. Las Vegas is gorgeous. I am here for the Oracle Modern Business Experience event having had the opportunity of sitting and having some great conversations with the Oracle team but also there was a lot of the analysts were here this week covering the event. But I was also this week as a work human event in Nashville so I have been hopping from place to place to place this week. And how about you? You’re home this week right?

00:00:59:15 – 00:01:11:02
I’m home doing research and not able to be the modern experience event. I keep thinking that maybe there should be flappers. Modern experience event. Don’t you?

00:01:12:24 – 00:01:14:16
There should be something. There was definitely.

00:01:14:25 – 00:01:38:07
I walked in there. You know all these events are getting really big on what kind of music they’re playing and is in Nashville or two and like guitar music playing almost everywhere. This event had deejay almost every hundred and fifty plus yards. It was literally a deejay playing music standing up at a bar. I’m like wow they’re really cool. So it was kind of interesting.

00:01:38:10 – 00:01:41:10
Yes. So that’s there thing, music.

00:01:42:14 – 00:01:53:10
Yes bring your own day and not just one like it a deejay for every couple hundred yards like this there’s a different mood I guess being set in every event area. But it was it was kind of fun.

00:01:53:21 – 00:02:13:15
Yeah I get I get it. This is the new employee experience demo the way the way that right because I try to figure out what the world what HR has to do with the modern experience anyhow. But now I get it, after the picnics you put Deejays in every department.

00:02:13:20 – 00:02:14:18
That is correct.

00:02:14:18 – 00:02:44:16
That is correct. We should also mention that there are a lot of other events going on this week. There’s the Unleash Event London, a lot of our colleagues are over there which is sort of the Spring European HR technology HR business event conversation going on it should be interesting to get some feedback when they return from London this week. But. Yeah it’s a busy week. Everybody’s on the road again. It’s definitely full swing. HR technology H. world event dates and at this point yeah.

00:02:44:17 – 00:02:57:27
Here we go. It’s nice to have this last little bit of time before. Stepping into this swirl myself. So. Yeah. What’s going on in the world? What have you got in the mailbag? Well

00:02:57:27 – 00:04:33:09
Well you know some interesting stuff from the work human event out a little bit about that and the Oracle Modern business event there are some announcements that were made in both of those events but we also have some really cool stuff happening with most of my family. Also from a branding perspective. Two companies One is being global force which is now we’re human well ADP. Are doing rebranding exercises now ADP said they’re rebranding and foreshadowing new products. And that want. To talk a little bit about what that means. We also have a work by the largest sort of investment in line because from work Frank which is not really each arm but is more of a project management activity tracking strategy tracking tool but they receive two hundred eighty million in the strategic secondary investments for their applications. So I think it’s worth noting because of the cross that would be in our span better worked with the money I think 65 million. They’ve got some interesting conversations. They’re. On which is a sentiment analysis over a thirty five million this week said the funding is swelling. No. That is another sort of data driven talent management application for the position that receive 27 million. They’re out of China. And then another Singapore based application received 25 million in funding as well for their health wellness and wellness is twisted into all I could go on but we know I can say that correct. My after the rescue of 20 million for their H.R. and ask H.R. technology solution.

00:04:33:15 – 00:04:41:07
London telling me yeah it’s a busy week with Justin. Definitely looks like it looks like Santa was running around with a bag of money.

00:04:42:02 – 00:05:01:20
Yeah. My favorite though to be the ferry. GONZALES raises a million for a female matching male job candidates with employers tools that we will definitely have some conversation about. You know there’s nothing to say that will add to

00:05:02:17 – 00:05:12:12
That particular generalisation so you won’t have to target. So. Yeah yeah totally. I really would look human right.

00:05:13:10 – 00:06:49:24
I did. Yes. I got to go in it for one day. Which is it. It’s a big announcement. And they did their analysts conversation lines but the first thing is that working human which have been in a sense run by global force for five years has done a lot. It’s been a while. The event has grown dramatically. You know last year they were two thousand the number I think people are throwing around now is something around thirty five hundred organizations participated. People paid in the work human events. That’s a big conference that deals with H.R. H.R. sort of engagement. Each year diversity inclusion H.R.. The big question is right now what’s happened is that global forces put on that event for the last five years and now in the last few months global force came out saying that they were changing their name and for a global force that rewards. And recognition platform that has gotten collaboration and team support areas as well as they’re now doing a little bit of performance management global force has changed their complete name to work human to match the big event they put out. And what really is interesting to me is when you look at global forces total companies that are using the actual tool the worst human tool now just very large global Fortune 500 Fortune 100 companies. They only have like two hundred eighty two hundred ninety customers or so around that range. But they’re then so much bigger. There was thousands of companies that were represented at that event. That’s a very interesting approach to how you think about managing events versus 30 year your company user experience.

00:06:49:24 – 00:06:59:24
These are member station you don’t ever see this. This is a case where the marketing is better than the product right. Yeah I mean. Now

00:07:00:07 – 00:07:07:00
This is the only thing which are marketing traditionally to work working with the word we use never better than the product.

00:07:07:02 – 00:08:46:19
Exactly. This is this is they really understood the audience they were trying to reach and they wanted to get their final day possible. But I think they also wanted to create something for the market that wasn’t there. And yeah. And that’s what they’re doing. I mean I mean I want to say there is a lot of their CEO who is from Ireland was on the stage and you know his conversations are very much about how and the responsibility of the H.R. and H.R. functions the business world to work together to create a better world. And we hear that a lot. But I you feel like now they’ve invested a lot in this idea you know giving back and gratitude and both this event and what they’re trying to do with the product. So I think you know they definitely want. The talk and a lot of ways. Now one of the things about the name brand change going to work human as an organization is that they’re also really them that they could become a tool but much bigger in the market. So they did launch a sort of a freemium and a light version of their gene collaboration tool. That was something that was launched at this event. So I think they are trying to reach a larger audience so that they feel that if I did this on the 10000 plus consulting company and in the last year they have increased their pretty open with their numbers in another private company. Then there are Ireland. I mean Ireland requires quite a bit of openness. They did report their 40 percent increase in overall numbers. There are upwards of I heard 90 million dollars something that was a large company you know and they’re progressing quite rapidly and I think building out their their business model for being an H.R. application that is based off of the experience of the employee.

00:08:46:21 – 00:09:01:18
Let me just see what you just said. They have 200 customers and there are five hundred eighty million dollar company so we have two million an average of current size of two million dollars per customer remembers rewards and recognition.

00:09:01:22 – 00:09:11:16
So for every 50 percent on their rewards they get a percentage of that but they also charge a fee for those you know loser retail.

00:09:11:16 – 00:09:14:19
So this is not software that’s for those in charge.

00:09:15:18 – 00:09:34:03
Exactly. They are charging for their software for the elements that aren’t part of the rewards recognition which is a decreasing perspective. And so I think they didn’t give us the breakdown of the difference between those numbers but my sense is the best desperately for that. And so they are trying to find their way somewhere between that area. But yes that is right. Yeah.

00:09:34:09 – 00:09:39:02
OK. That’s a very different story than I really really know.

00:09:39:16 – 00:09:42:22
OK that’s a good point. Yes.

00:09:43:10 – 00:09:54:05
You know that’s that’s one of the things that I think they’re doing very well with the messaging you should have the distinction between software and retail. All right Mark. Retail sales

00:09:55:09 – 00:11:52:23
Yeah exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Then they do it together. But I’m also sending this. We came over to like we said Las Vegas and spent time with Oracle modern business experience world the. That’s a long name. But basically what you create your world and the finance world they have now combined into a single event so that you have here. Plus there’s the customer experience. That’s the kind of back office and front office. At the event at Oracle Open well here they get there on the ITAR side. I think that there’s not a ton of I would say a brand new sort of announcement but you have definitely seen improvements in all areas to the same ones that they were really focusing on where their brand new digital systems so their digital system is basically a prepackaged version of what was a chat that they released about a year and a half years ago that repackaged version is focused on the top 20 or twenty five plus H.R. specific type of things that a a sort of chat but digital assistant would do with an organization based off of. Their research their clients. I’m one of those top 25 their data from their helpdesk and then they chat were previously being trained and so now they have what they say is an artificial intelligence digital system that can navigate with you answering a few questions as a company the most frequently asked questions and a lot of it is voice recognition they’re spending a lot of investment on voice recognition with this tool as well that you can just use your phone digital system and voice recognition to get the answers that way. It was quite impressive. I think there’s been a lot of work here on the natural language processing a lot of work on understanding the language that might come around in the user space and that seems to me the biggest announcements on the other side. I don’t know I mean if feel like that Don is that is that near these days or we’ve passed that point.

00:11:52:28 – 00:13:18:14
There’s two answers. Twenty five questions. So I’m an employee and I want to find out the answer to somebody from a store is the first thing that I’m going to go do look at it go look at the list of 45 questions so I can give an answer but then call the chairman or does this imply that you call the. But. If you could answer if you could be get your question answered in one of these twenty five areas are very interested and then it turns you over to a call center. You have to repulsion through to support this thing. What do you do right. Because you can market it to employees and say hey look if you’ve got these 25 questions called here and for anything else call there must be the arrogant idiots like me will always call the place that has the most yeah. So what I don’t understand is how do I actually get this utilized. So what I’m guessing is that they don’t really have a lot of employee utilization or the. Concept would be a good deal. Chris goodness and that’s always going to be the problem with bar is that they can’t solve all problems. And so the real cost associated with having a chat bar is all of the support infrastructure you have to put him around it and all of the attentive maintenance that to. Do to make sure that the information that it’s delivering is timely and accurate.

00:13:19:19 – 00:14:14:09
And that’s you know I mean they didn’t address a lot of that. Although you know there was a question that I posed to Jim I think you heard that the president and the group and that circle here and his perspective on who is responsible for ensuring that businesses were able to leverage and use this new technology. And effectively adopt it was that it is up to the actual portable themselves. That is their job. They need to make sure these tools are leverage able adaptable and are something that you know is easy to use as an organization. So I do think that that is part of their focus. I would say is making sure that they don’t have to have down the road a lot of training on these told that it is usable and possible. But I think you know you’re right there is there’s a lot of back end stuff here that doesn’t get addressed. My share in the process is actually it’s really it’s really important to understand that in

00:14:15:04 – 00:15:10:21
The real cost of the trip but it’s not the license and it’s not the data that goes into it. It’s the maintenance upkeep and the kinds of people that you have to have on staff who are able to answer the questions to share. But the answer yes. So you know this is a parade to analysis you get the top 25 questions of the top four questions give you the answers to the 80 percent of the. And that’s the bulk of the stuff that gets asked. But remaining the remaining long tail of questions are all things that are really important and requires thoughtful responses. Then when you set up the tab but you set the expectation that you’re going to get responses to those things quickly which means you have to start with people who can do that kind of fast paced quick mind change work at Hartley with no rest. That can be provided by the easy. What’s that

00:15:11:25 – 00:15:26:01
And I think you’re you’re right on target with that. Plus you have have people who understand the rules regulations and policies because the tough questions are the issues that require deep knowledge of the brain to install a.

00:15:26:02 – 00:15:36:04
But you have to level the quality of the people in your age or the to try to be supportive. That’s sort of counterintuitive you know.

00:15:36:14 – 00:16:01:28
And I think the vendors really understand that because when they take on the ownership of the challenges of dealing with this right from an education perspective they’re taking on how to use the system and how to use the tool and how to be more effective at instead of navigating it maybe. But I don’t think they’re taking on the education of how to better work in the world of our intelligence right. No no.

00:16:02:14 – 00:16:34:18
This is typical big company thinking. Right. But the implementation is something that you outsource to somebody else. So when they say. Oracle is responsible for this they mean Oracle is responsible for this right up to the point they have been able to assist and move a group. They don’t mean that Oracle is going to be the two actually more implementable. And so this will just add to the frustration that people have with implementations most of which fail in two ways.

00:16:34:20 – 00:18:10:17
Well that was definitely conversation because at the end that was the difference between sort of the software and the get off implementers. There were all those type of conversations and then the maintenance of the work. Right. Because at the end of software maintenance is the big conversation that they had. The other thing now that they mentioned that was launched this week they do think it’s worth mentioning as you know they may have announced it earlier in the year IMing and they didn’t get all the awful events but they did at this event say that they feel that their recruiting application now is solid enough to be sort of on par with what was a late recruiting application from a very small area by phone hiring. Now that’s a pretty big statement because we know to label as a recruiting application who they’ve purchased over seven eight nine ten years ago now at this point while that application you know has been deeply integrated into the sort of Oracle Cloud platform but with the idea that it didn’t it wasn’t really going to be to go forward saying that they were building out a native within their Oracle platform recruiting application itself. And so at this point those two things have been somewhat competing but very lightly but now they said that they’ve got a full recruiting application with the marketing and the experience and the applicant tracking system and all the tools now that they feel is functioning well enough at least for corporate hiring inside of their cloud applications. They no longer need to lay this integration so that to me was pretty big news because that took about a year and a half for them to get there fully.

00:18:10:22 – 00:18:22:01
So they built the recruiting system. 18 months. Is as comprehensive as to Lou. That’s that’s quite an accomplishment. I was having some trouble believing

00:18:22:28 – 00:19:15:20
I did not do an in-depth feature for future track so I will say it is not my statement. That is what I’m hearing from that. Yeah but yeah yeah I think that this is this is you know we do find that there’s a lot of issues with the applications people purchase and their integration their ability to make these things meld together very effectively. Right. And one of the challenges that they face and whenever there’s a challenge in their integration capability is definitely a challenge for an on layout because you still didn’t have the same databases you still don’t have the same original thinking and functioning as tools. And so yeah. The one area they say that they don’t handle effectively right now is all hiring big and not hiring issues. And I I don’t know if they are doing any kind of gig economy type of hiring. But from a hiring perspective it seemed like it at least most of the functions they would do in some of the traditional corporate hiring. Yeah well we’ll see. You know

00:19:16:27 – 00:19:26:21
Oh no. Onto the how to sever. And his bag of cash. Exactly. Well there’s a lot of um.

00:19:26:24 – 00:19:42:10
Real quickly before we jump into this. If they say anything rebranding or. 95 percent of percent. No. What do you think of that. Is that good marketing to sort of rebrand without the new product.

00:19:42:11 – 00:20:40:25
You know I love ADP. I totally love ADP and they do. They have such amazing technology at the heart of their operation. I can’t begin to tell you how. Undersold the brand is in the marketplace right. It’s really it’s really ordinary technology powerhouse. But they seem to. It’s like it’s like you know headquarters is New Jersey and it’s like living in northern New Jersey means we need to rebrand and keep those advertising agencies in New York City employed and so they do they do the branding periodically and I’ve seen little bits and pieces of this. This is a great job. I’ve I’ve never seen anybody say well we rebranded and that tells you that we’re going to have new product that’s proceeding way through a process. So I don’t know. I think that what’s interesting about this is it focused on the amazing products that they currently have. Yeah.

00:20:41:07 – 00:21:39:01
Yeah. And if they did have a lot of good luck but you know just let me mention the line for the rebranding now. Always designing for people they want ADP to stand for it. I mean we know it has a couple other damper but always inviting people. And again this is the same thing with the work human and the global force. This idea that you need to have your name date something about people even as part of your generation greater technology conversation and yet the high dollar amount for investments this week with two hundred and eighty million dollars. I think a work front that is focused on the work itself not so much the people. So I was a bit of a skeptic on this. We need to be focused on the human side. I get it. I love it and be a great idea. But money is going pretty heavily towards things like cash management project management team you know efficiency tools like work Frank which is out there at the market.

00:21:39:01 – 00:22:11:21
So I wondered Are we about to see the polarization in nature. I’m I’m from the school which shows what what’s happening with each other. Instead it’s becoming more scientific more data so that the future is about and you have this other push complementary tours. It’s about people. And I’m sure that the reality is that it’s about both of those things. But this seems to be another place where things are going to get polarized. You agree.

00:22:11:21 – 00:23:00:06
I do and I think it was very clear to me here at the article that when you looked out at the bank where you had all the you know that their partners would add a lot of investment and made that partner landscape great on the floor here at the expo hall. Most of the H.R. partners that we would have seen in the past like the Learning partners and the performance management for all those other groups rate had gone away and it was mostly consultancies system integrators that were their first partners except for one category which was workforce management. There were two workforce management vendors who were there as partners for the Oracle platform on the cloud. H.R.. And my thought is that that means that Serco hasn’t invested it up in that workforce management base. Right. But they still need partners to fill up the gap in that. That’s me. Exactly.

00:23:00:06 – 00:23:34:04
What’s shocking about this people time is important work to work the work is important and the remit should be between the people side profitability and revenue. Right. So getting the work done is powerfully important. That’s another sort of process thing in nature. You’re attracted to that. But the more important question is what’s the dramatic impact the greater the sustainability of the organization. Yes. And you can only do that with.

00:23:34:21 – 00:24:04:15
It. So I think we’re going to see more investments in these sort of tools that figure out a better way to work in whatever format whether that’s on the manufacturing environment in a way in our business desk environment whatever it might be right. But those pool have to get connected and they’re not just conversation here in terms of front office and back office. But I think this is much more of a holistic business model and that you you really can’t separate those two worlds anymore.

00:24:04:18 – 00:24:22:12
I think people are going to try though. I mean that’s the emphasis of work Shubin and that’s the emphasis social businesses are having for people is that there is a prioritization there. Remember that’s That’s Google. So we didn’t get to the presence in by.

00:24:22:21 – 00:24:55:27
He didn’t what would make people see how much more but some of them are you know what we’ll post them on on the list that they want on the HR Examiner site. What we usually do, some of them, but there’s some good stuff here I mean better works is an interesting enterprise continuous performance management solution That’s the one thing that probably they get 65 million people on. I think in the that now people that I’ve had not changed I think is a great interesting survey tool. That’s 35 million. Yeah there’s lots of money flowing right now. Maybe we’ll talk a little bit more about it next week I guess.

00:24:55:29 – 00:25:09:19
Perfect, well enjoy losing the family fortune first first you had san country music or and now you’ve gone to waste your life away in Las Vegas. I hope there will be something left of you next week.

00:25:10:18 – 00:25:19:29
Sounds good. I will be coming to you from North Carolina. Hopefully that will be already underway. We’ll talk more next week. And thanks for having me as always John as always, this is fun.

00:25:20:04 – 00:25:32:26
All right. Thanks everybody you’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly, one step closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser, and thanks for listening and thanks for doing this Stacey, we will see you here the same time next week.

00:25:32:27 – 00:25:33:15
Bye bye now.

00:25:45:06 – 00:25:48:01
There’s a couple of months to go with


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