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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: 215
Air Date: April 18, 2019




Important: Our transcripts at HRExaminer are AI-powered (and fairly 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


00:00:14:09 – 00:00:22:06

Note: In the original show a different musical intro played unexpectedly and John and Stacey refer to that in their opening comments. The edited version of the show here has the regular intro music.

Good morning and welcome HR Tech Weekly, one step closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. That was the new Jazz band. I miss the old detective guys, I don’t know where the new Jazz band came from but now we’ve got a new Jazz band. How are you Stacey?

00:00:32:29 – 00:00:44:20
I’m doing well. I’m doing well I’m I’m home in North Carolina this week with some sunshine finally and some nice weather. After all the rain and storms that we’ve been having so. I’m doing well. And how about you John are you home this week as well?

00:00:44:23 – 00:00:54:24
I am. Well you know this time of year I spend a lot of time every week getting into San Fransicso to do this and that. So, I’m home this week but I have been downtown a lot. So for me that’s a geat thing because I get into the care a couple hours each where you have the car to listen to one more chunk of whatever it is I’m trying to read these days.
00:01:13:11 – 00:01:25:28

Yeah, the audio books or all things I you know I don’t travel as much as I used to in the car. And then they’re not quite as good I think on airplanes I think listeners sometimes on airplanes but in a car there’s something about an audio book where you have to keep driving. Just it just feels like you’re spending your time wisely doesn’t it get to somebody more votes that way.

00:01:25:29 – 00:01:58:07
So I was reading right now is called organizational culture and leadership. It’s the fifth edition of The only really good textbook on the subject of organizational culture by showing who was slow mighty and is now at Stanford and it’s really good. And surprisingly we know a lot more scientifically about culture. The guy really recalled that we do put the science there and I would have does not I’m not surprised.

00:01:58:07 – 00:02:13:17
I went to school for sexual violence and then it was some organizational design concepts and others whole master’s programs and MBA programs on the organizational design. So I’m surprised it it’s been around for a while.

00:02:13:17 – 00:02:30:15
Well the first time I ran across the river I went to Hopkins in the early 80s for graduate school and applied behavioral science. Must have been the first edition of this was a textbook so physician over 40 years.

00:02:31:02 – 00:02:44:06
Well that sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon. Are you in the past you’re also getting a chance right now to do interviews and briefings on all of the children be presenting this fall spring into your new paper correct.

00:02:44:15 – 00:03:22:02
COBURN It’s a really busy time. I think it will get baby to talk to maybe 120 openings by the time I start writing the next report. And things are things are changing in very very interesting ways. Every time I look forward to talking about simple things are working. I did spend yesterday as a Peace Innovation Lab in downtown San Francisco and met with the seven companies that are in this this quarter’s class Innovation Lab accelerator and also several of the companies are H.R.

00:03:22:03 – 00:03:24:01
related companies.

00:03:24:01 – 00:03:26:06
Interesting interesting.

00:03:26:06 – 00:03:49:05
I didn’t I didn’t run across any new ideas. I did run across some sophisticated players like the one of the groups is the first ever slacker which is about five years old now and it is a teams oriented app that they’re expanding out to cover things like sentiment analysis engagement stuff and so interesting things.

00:03:49:09 – 00:03:57:25
Cool yeah the one thing that’s nice about where you live I say is that there’s always sort of learning and innovation in the DNA of that area right.

00:03:57:25 – 00:04:15:17
It’s a big article came out this week when I said California was the most innovative state and obviously you’re like really surprising by whatever I don’t know about that the news either by Warner speaking to the top of the pile is from Raleigh North Carolina. This is

00:04:16:24 – 00:04:20:12
This is this this is the best thing ever.

00:04:20:12 – 00:04:35:23
There is a company called Get is vaporware you would think of everything that you could possibly name a software company vaporware would be the last thing that you would leave your software company.

00:04:38:02 – 00:04:54:09
But vaporware partnered with the tower acquisition firm to develop Scout are a web app for writing and preserving best virtual wizards. So there is now officially acknowledged vaporware recruiting software.

00:04:54:24 – 00:04:55:00

00:04:57:12 – 00:05:03:01
most of it you have to you have to wait till you buy it to find out nothing there.

00:05:04:18 – 00:05:39:03
Besides it’s not to laugh. It’s just so hard. This is all so those who probably don’t like sit around a analyst table for dinner on a regular basis probably don’t may not understand this quite as much but there’s an often thrown around term saying so is it vaporware is it is it smoke and mirrors like that. We ask each other around the basis if someone has seen something at a deeper level than another. And so to have an app or a company that calls themselves vaporware it just hits I think any anybody in the analyst space or anybody who does a lot of software systems analysis reviews pretty

00:05:39:19 – 00:05:40:04

00:05:41:28 – 00:05:55:19
this is you know you say that if you wanted to get talked about the suicide you get talked about but I think the ones you’d want people to say about your new recruiting app is that it’s.

00:05:57:05 – 00:06:05:13
But one apology that Raleigh North Carolina that’s right. Innovation happens everywhere.

00:06:06:01 – 00:06:15:24
I was going on to say about that was that you get classes and things where people get to go to them on a regular basis. We probably should have some classes maybe on branding and name management but it should be.

00:06:17:15 – 00:06:52:29
Well I just want to push back a little bit because everybody everybody that I know who is really really good at the far reaching of people people quantification measure mood assessment we all live with your neighborhood Oh my area hey well they all live in your neighborhood. That’s the actual you know once you get the administrative crap out of me that’s the actual future retirees to science and that science is not being developed here.

00:06:53:00 – 00:06:55:15
The science is being developed in your brain here.

00:06:55:24 – 00:07:27:05
Yeah it is. I will say there’s there is a huge technology have on a serious note here in this area on the East Coast but particularly in this area and I think a lot of it from the biotech industry that we have here because of the pharmaceutical market. And when you think about where artificial intelligence and technology are going it’s very much tied to I think what we’re learning from the human biology. Right. And so those two things do I think nicely tie together at least those skill sets if people are leveraging appropriately. I’m not surprised that there’s people here in this area that you know that are doing that.

00:07:27:13 – 00:07:29:12
Yeah. And I don’t know.

00:07:29:18 – 00:08:01:26
I don’t know if you followed this enough but almost all of the really big startups in tech who are looking people are Olympics in one way or another are using models that came out of your neighborhood. So so pharma is where the idea that you could prove something that was only moderately true privately with statistics. That’s where that whole science was perfected. And that is at the heart of a lot of people are really big stuff

00:08:02:27 – 00:08:45:15
Then that makes a lot of sense. I tell you that. I mean there’s SAS is headquartered here and there one of the most well-known analytic software platforms in the market right. And used by almost every university in the market every real statistician who’s out there doing big data statistics analysis and yeah it’s amazing here sometimes you stop off to have coffee or you get caught. Like I did the other day in Minneapolis trying to get back through a snowstorm to the Raleigh Durham area and I end up commuting back with someone who is head of of leadership at Cisco because there’s just so many big companies and big names here and organizations who are doing fascinating things that you end up sort of every time you’d bump into someone finding someone who’s doing something interesting.

00:08:45:15 – 00:08:56:23
So yeah I will have to say I enjoy the area great deal. And I’m sure maybe if I got out a little bit more instead of traveling so much around the world. I’d get out a couple more sessions locally.

00:08:57:07 – 00:09:11:04
Yeah that’s the thing that happens is you don’t do sightseeing in your own town. Yeah yeah it’s it’s is a bad habit I think for all of us. But this has been a busy week for I’m home this week particularly made the point of being home this week

00:09:11:12 – 00:09:29:25
Because we are launching the big annual survey for serious cedar so I that is part of why I’m spending so much time at home right now that’s a lot of energy an investment that goes into that. So. So there was there was reasons why I was home this weekend. Made the effort to enjoy my back porch in the sunshine and some flowers as well. Between all that

00:09:31:19 – 00:09:33:04
Cool. So what to remember.

00:09:33:09 – 00:10:05:18
Well it’s a busy busy week. I mean there’s a lot of stuff going on. We have ADP announcing a new tax compliance and next generation tax engine. So we’ll talk a little bit about that we get time. Learning Technologies Group is acquiring breezy are a lot of little H.R. functions that are being bought here and there learn to DLJ groups one that also about people fluent a few years back. We’ll talk a little bit about that. There’s also O.C. Tanner announcing the acquisition of an employee recognition tool called quench focused on the Asia Pacific Indian market

00:10:06:00 – 00:10:54:29
And then lots of financials going into the market. There was one hundred and thirty one million dollar investment in a oh I’m sorry a hundred thirteen million dollar seriously financing for H.R. pass which is a French based organization I’ll take a little bit about that we also had 41 million dollars in funding. For the learning engagement platform 30 creator 360 learning. In North America and the UK triple bite raised 35 million to test engineers with coding quizzes and to match jobs and hydrology raises 27 million for series funding for decentralized franchise businesses and Lum apps and let’s say that greater loo map space for 24 million for social ladder that’s a lots of money being rolled around and that doesn’t even get to some of the smaller guys like spur and late work which got some funding which will be fun to track but if we get time and set apps.

00:10:55:01 – 00:11:25:23
Yeah. So it’s a busy week in the tech space. Do you know much about tax engine jobs that are the first one that we had on the list today. This was an announcement that came out kind of quiet. I hear a lot of people talking about it but ADP announced that they were combining 40 years of tax expertise with enhanced technology to streamline the next generation of tax engine not the sexiest of conversations but tax engines are a fundamental piece of a payroll processing solution and a big part of whether or not you’re following regulations your people are paid appropriately.

00:11:25:24 – 00:11:29:15
Do you think this is big news for ADP or is this just sort of business as usual.

00:11:29:17 – 00:11:43:02
I was your good friend Molly Lombardi is here. And so what Molly says is that BP is leading the charge of moving parts processing from file based transactions to individual transactions in real time

00:11:44:03 – 00:11:56:27
What that says to me is that the tax agent business is a bulk processing business that you get that you get you pay roll and then you ship it to the tax processing thing and then you give it back.

00:11:57:04 – 00:12:09:16
And this new tax on June handles things on a transaction by transaction basis all at once because that would facilitate demand.

00:12:09:17 – 00:12:14:08
I was just going to say that it cuts right into where we think the market is going to be incorrect.

00:12:15:07 – 00:12:28:25
We might have an entire week’s worth of show about how disgusted I am about the idea of real. That’s that’s a separate thing. So if Molly says this is a step forward this is a step forward.

00:12:28:26 – 00:12:59:21
Now I don’t know yet. Molly knows the space very well. And I think it you know it’s it’s interesting to note that you know ADP marks here that they have 740000 clients which is slightly up from the last time I looked at the numbers for them. In 140 different countries suddenly 40000 different clients that they’re assisting with these kind of tax decisions right. That’s a huge number of organizations across the world. And you know a lot of payroll solutions that are on the market today. They actually outsource this tax.

00:12:59:23 – 00:13:31:01
That’s that’s a big part of the business of some of the organizations like you had tax agents they sold. Isn’t it worth the tool that was used by a lot of the other vendors out in the market. So to me this is this is something people need to be paying attention to because it might mean the difference between. A running batch payroll that takes a week versus maybe payroll that takes less than that I don’t know what it would be I can’t obviously say until I get a chance to talk to anybody but my sense is that this would also make payroll not just. More likely to do on demand but also quicker to get accomplished.

00:13:31:01 – 00:13:53:07
I would assume so and a little bit more so. Yeah all good things when it comes to something as important as someone’s paycheck every day. Then you found this French company. I don’t think either of us have ever heard of them before that received one hundred and thirteen million dollars and seriously that’s a lot of money. That’s what the bigger investments that I’ve seen this year. It’s H.R..

00:13:53:15 – 00:14:12:27
Yeah. It’s a French company you know. So there’s some interesting things going on. The ultimate software bought a French firm. What was the people dock. People go people go. And so I’m sure that this this company has

00:14:13:19 – 00:14:49:18
A payroll expertise areas managers IBM Ovitz as this Corti loser. These are really capable people running this business. Their website is not in French so. It looks like this is another French company who’s coming to the United States. Their businesses are sort of like a bionic H.R. so they’ve got areas which are the gracious in terms of nature and lyrics but they also do consulting and outsourcing.

00:14:49:23 – 00:15:14:13
Rachel it’s it’s perfect. We’re going to see more and more of the soon recruiting. I saw somewhere recently that something like 40 percent of all recruiting is done by our FiOS recruitment process outsourcing increases. My guess is that we’re seeing another wave of outsourcing which are starting to emerge. That’s what these guys are.

00:15:14:17 – 00:15:37:24
I know I have to agree with you on this and I’ve been hearing more and more conversation about outsourcing. The question is should we do it. Is it being done anymore. So I think the traditional outsourcing the kind of outsourcing we’re sort of left in shift outsourcing is not what we’re seeing in these new organizations. This is more of a technology. And I think this is what happened in the European space as well as sort of a technology led outsourcing model. Right.

00:15:37:27 – 00:16:12:12
And that’s that the Europeans all sort of look like a white label technology it’s what you get would you do business with peo is you give a full technology stack with with all of the the optional functions inside it and people working those desks put the work in the desks inside of a well honed technology system. And that’s what you buy is a process that’s completely controlled both from your and that is bionic it’s people plus technology as the product.

00:16:13:03 – 00:16:37:20
And I think we’re talking a lot more about that because I think in an example of that that has probably been one of the most I think prominent one source virtual right. And the work that they’ve done with the workday environment. You know their outsourcing model I think everybody said well this isn’t really going to work but they have now grown rapidly over the last several years. And what they’re doing I think it seems like it’s a very similar kind of concept from our understanding here.

00:16:39:09 – 00:16:41:19
Europe. Exactly.

00:16:42:02 – 00:17:15:01
You know some of the other investments that we saw this week is also coming out of the sort of European European U.K area. So one of them is London area learning technology script. I have the opportunity to speak with the Roberto who’s the analyst relations person for the learning technology group just last week. So timely on this. They’re purchasing another application. So you might know them possibly on the learning side learning technology groups had purchased what was known as WRIST ISSUES software which is sort of a learning records organization and a watershed which is another learning records organization.

00:17:15:01 – 00:17:46:15
They’d also purchased people fluent which many of us know in the technology space and at Goma learning which is a sort of a learning development tool. They also picked up a lot of diversity and inclusion technologies. And they’ve they’ve been sort of the nicest way to say it is sort of pulling together a series of mixture of different applications with a focus on learning and talent management center. Now this new tool out though is breezy H.R. out of Florida here. A small organization a recruiting application

00:17:46:21 – 00:18:18:03
Just 12 million dollars. They invested in this with some plans for targets for growth for that organization to reach about 18 million. But what I think is of interesting with all of these tools they let these these systems seem to run themselves for a while. And they’re just trying to stitch together this sort of mixture of applications where they can consult around and add sort of different perspectives. As you know we can help you centralize sort of your. Marketing and your H.R. those kind things but we’re all going to let you run independently. That seems to be LTTE strategy when it’s talking to Roberta

00:18:18:15 – 00:18:41:14
Sell each of these things individually as organizations need them in a niche market. Reminds me a lot of the older sum total strategy back before they sort of had the big enterprise and then the purchase from skill solved was it it we’re going to pull in all these different technologies and create an ecosystem of them. But this might be a better time to do something like that but it’s interesting to see LTTE. They’re growing rapidly from all of these acquisitions. So

00:18:42:21 – 00:18:47:25
We’ll get over the fact that we’ve got vapor breeze right.

00:18:49:11 – 00:18:56:15
So you are you’re John’s going to go on a whole tour of just how you should name your H.R. technology is that what you’re gonna do

00:18:58:10 – 00:18:59:25
You use

00:19:01:21 – 00:19:04:05
better how do they get

00:19:06:00 – 00:19:08:02

00:19:10:14 – 00:19:11:16
I wouldn’t be surprised

00:19:11:23 – 00:19:49:24
That it comes down to is is there are you are all available out there sometimes right then we get these weird connotations of company names because of it. Well another acquisition this week was O.C. Tanner acquiring quench quench is a basically a recognition solutions provider out of India. Not exactly sure I think this is a technology solution as much as maybe a market acquisition for O.C. Tanner but I know O.C. Tanner has been trying to figure out sort of how they compete in this new world where they’re not just selling products and getting money off of the reward side of it which is which is sort of a consumer based model versus the technology needed to support it.

00:19:49:24 – 00:19:57:29
So this might be part of that as well for them. So as are the other big acquisitions this year or this week Mm hmm.

00:19:58:09 – 00:20:00:09
Okay. What else you got.

00:20:00:09 – 00:20:33:21
We have lots of funding and like I said we also have some additional funding for a learning engagement platform called 360 learning. Forty one million dollars in funding to accelerate growth in North America and the UK. I have not seen this platform previously. 360 learning but this is supposed to be sort of a platform for to collaborate to create a continuous working learning environment. And the learning space is getting I think some confusion. This year we’re starting to see organizations spending a little bit more time on this.

00:20:33:21 – 00:21:06:07
This particular platform I think is much more of sort of a communications slash learning platform and their focus is aggressive market expansion fueled by growing demand from their perspective. But 41 million is a pretty big chunk of funding for it for a platform that is really described as a collaborative learning platform. So there’s not a lot of details. I think this is one where it’s probably worth us maybe funding and a little bit more about him but the focus is on decentralized content and information and managing how it gets out and how it gets developed into learning content.

00:21:06:07 – 00:21:11:28
I think there’s obviously a lot more that organizations are doing in this communications and learning space as what’s happening.

00:21:11:28 – 00:21:21:02
Cool cool. So what of all the rest of the things we got time for one more of wrestle with things. What caught your eye.

00:21:21:04 – 00:21:52:23
Probably the one that caught my eye the most is the fact that we’re seeing more of these systems focusing on this communications conversation I was just going to look because there was another system that I think I think the some social Internet yes that’s at the loom app race 24 million Series B similar to what we just heard with the 360. Again another investment in a technology that’s focused on communications in the H R space. There also. Have offices in London Turkey and San Francisco.

00:21:52:24 – 00:22:23:20
But I think they’re originally out of Paris as well so a lot of France based organizations of this week an incident solution that integrates with G suite Microsoft 365 and Microsoft SharePoint. The whole focus here is there. They feel that they’re going to create a communications platform. For the H R and they have I.T. space as well. This communications conversation I think is bigger than what most organizations realize. We’ve seen organizations like Gates Park and others. We’re spending a lot of time

00:22:23:29 – 00:22:54:16
Trying to figure out whose role it is to manage employee communication. We’ve talked about this before. So this one really caught my eyes as another one that’s adding to this picture that we’re creating here. I think part of what the conversation is is we don’t really know that employee communications is any more reforms now that you can measure whether or not people open the e-mail from the company we’re discovering that people don’t open the e-mail and actually being able to believe we have data to back up

00:22:55:09 – 00:23:29:26
Your communications about what the company is doing or actually connecting with people. It’s hard to believe that we’re early. The open rate is the same as any other piece that I know. And then people are scattered across a variety of social networks since 2000. So things are a bit like slack where there is a backbone of conversation that may or may not be well controlled by the company. And so much of communication is mine but the company doesn’t really control it any longer.

00:23:29:27 – 00:23:34:20
That’s weird. People have figured out what to do about their work.

00:23:34:23 – 00:24:15:08
And I think that the other thing too is that you know this is a conversation actually I just had you know I did a briefing with the guides for people up to two weeks ago and this idea of sort of a communication method that allows for feedback and no following of the actions taken right. So not only did they open the email that they read it but did they take the action you wanted them to take. Right. Is a really big conversation right. And I don’t know that a lot of these platforms are going through that you know that they’re like well we can get all in one place. Well that’s not really I think the issue per say because I think the other answer is that we wanted to cross the board wherever we’re at whether I’m in Slack agreements agreements or we were it’s a lot easier than getting it all in one place.

00:24:15:10 – 00:24:39:01
But the bigger action is can you track what action they took and that takes a little bit of a more sophisticated system that can make a note of when you leave this space and move to another space and do something. And those are much tools that are that look a lot more like something like a walk me or a robotic process automation or screen capturing tools. That isn’t what a lot of these standard tools are. So yeah. So it’s a bigger conversation about it. You know

00:24:40:14 – 00:24:46:02
Well, we have a great conversation today. Thanks for doing this Stacey.

Always enjoy doing this John.

00:24:46:09 – 00:24:51:29
You’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly, one step closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser.

00:24:51:29 – 00:24:56:04
It’s been a treat to have you aboard and we will see you here next week.

00:24:56:13 – 00:24:57:00
Bye everyone.

00:25:04:04 – 00:25:05:09
Bye bye now


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