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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: 217
Air Date: May 2, 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


00:00:14:18 – 00:00:19:29
Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly, One Step Closer with Stacy Harris and John Sumser.

00:00:20:28 – 00:00:25:05
Hey Stace, this is show number two hundred and seventeen.

00:00:26:03 – 00:00:36:11
Oh, I like 17, 17 has always been a lucky number for me and that was my wedding anniversary and 17th I like 17. So this will be a lucky show for us John.

00:00:37:03 – 00:00:41:07
Yeah I wonder if 217 is a prime number. We should we should, tell us that.

00:00:41:19 – 00:00:44:18
I know.

00:00:46:08 – 00:00:54:01
So it’s not obvious to me what you would divide by 217 to get something else. Anyhow, how are you, where are you?

00:00:54:01 – 00:01:11:09
I’m doing well. I’m home this week. Thank heaven. I would say it’s been I’ve been a busy travel season and where I wouldn’t have are getting ready wrap it up but it at least were going to be in a couple different areas for the next couple of weeks set for at least a couple of days more than just a day or two.

00:01:11:10 – 00:01:30:11
So yeah this week I am home in North Carolina with the trees and the flowers blooming but next week both you and I will be in Singapore. So and then the week after that I’ll be in Shanghai. So it’s we’re heading off into a very exciting travel season in the next couple of weeks. How about you. You’re home this week right. Yeah yeah and.

00:01:30:18 – 00:01:48:27
Because I don’t know what to do. Most of time thank goodness I have some taxing to do. So are you nervous here. Oh yes. I’m looking forward to some time in Singapore and one of the things I’m going to get to do before you get there is have breakfast with a regular sandwich.

00:01:49:15 – 00:02:00:16
Wow. You will have to tell me how exciting that is. I bet that sounds like a very neat experience. Is that a zoo experience or is that something in your head.

00:02:00:18 – 00:02:17:23
The Singapore Zoo is is legendary for its it’s kind of an open zoo. So. So you don’t really notice a lot of the cages and bars and they have the world’s most successful orangutan really program.

00:02:18:11 – 00:02:22:05
So there are a lot of very you

00:02:24:22 – 00:02:31:04
and so you’re gonna get to have breakfast and then and hope that you’re that you’re Bacon’s not all basically right.

00:02:33:05 – 00:02:38:08
Yeah. That’s simply simply equal isn’t getting my way.

00:02:40:23 – 00:02:52:28
Well we’ll get to hear all about it next week because we are next week there once you tune in at our regular time that we will we’ll be we’ll be taping it a little bit ahead of schedule because of our time zones but we will be doing it. One should be there. Correct.

00:02:52:29 – 00:03:07:17
Right. We will be available at this time next week with the news you shouldn’t for sharing all this so exciting things. So what should the male birds.

00:03:08:02 – 00:03:46:21
Well it’s a busy busy couple of weeks right. We will probably have some things that will probably move over the next week as well from a conversation because there is a lot of investments being made financially but that’s not the most exciting news this week. We also have some announcements about who’s sort of moving and changing positions in the space and world that we all live in. So a little bit of update on what’s happening to some long term SJP team members like Robyn Flynn we also have to be Marie adding to their executive leadership team which is I think worth noting because there’s been a lot of I think sir about what’s going on at be Marie.

00:03:47:15 – 00:04:24:06
There’s also pay scale as basically announced a growth investment firm. Francisco Partners is in as basically the bottom major share of them at three point twenty five million which sort of changes their ownership structure a little bit. But also I think is worth talking about what’s happening in the space of sort of compensation survey compensation consulting world line maid is announcing a brand new platform launch so they’re now pulling together a lot of different things that previously were sort of in separate area.

00:04:24:06 – 00:05:01:26
So we can talk a little bit about their new platform that they’re launching. Textile announced this last week but we didn’t get a chance to talk about it as the beginning of the end of writer’s block. And so for me who writes quite a bit this I thought well this would be quite an interesting tool as it will actually end writer’s block so we can talk a little bit about that. And then if there’s some time we have some great news this week about what’s going on with remote job seekers and people trying to find work from home opportunities that go beyond some of the scams and so there’s a lot of news there as well as SJP and success factors starting a better partnership with Facebook.

00:05:01:27 – 00:05:16:11
So lots of stuff going on Feenan has got a new platform as well. That’s before we even get to the six or seven investment things that have come across the news wire this week. So where do you want to start. Lots of conversation areas.

00:05:16:21 – 00:05:20:27
Well let’s just go from the top. Let’s just go the talk show.

00:05:21:14 – 00:05:22:04
So Ms.

00:05:24:00 – 00:05:30:27
27 years of SVP join Google is the presence of global customer operations.

00:05:31:01 – 00:05:41:03
Get this. You know there’s been a lot of restructuring going on it at SJP and many people you know many of the long term people that I knew are moving around or no longer will be there.

00:05:41:03 – 00:06:09:14
I think there was they had some series of quite a bit of layoffs. The whole point you know this reminds me of of the the you know probably about eight years ago 10 years ago or so when we saw a similar sort of IBM restructuring when they were shifting out of hardware moving into other areas in the organization. A huge shift taking place in the organization restructuring of everything. And Rob and Flynn was one of them. He headed up the entire cloud operations at HP. He’s been with us HP for 27 years.

00:06:09:14 – 00:06:45:25
If you’ve been at the most recent success factors events he was the man either on the you know on the stage sort of an opening up the a session or sort of having some of the conversations about cloud and where it was heading but now he’s over at Google. This is this is a pretty big jump to say at least 27 years and IP and then moving into Google. What do you think about this John I think this is this is this Google embracing more enterprise technology thoughts or is this just going to be a holy grail for Robbins.

00:06:48:03 – 00:06:49:15
Well yes it is

00:06:51:09 – 00:07:02:00
so so so Google doesn’t have a natural bone in its body for the enterprise market

00:07:03:15 – 00:07:17:24
where everything that it knows how to do is not enterprise. It’s a small it’s just it’s a it’s a company that’s made its money selling advertising to small businesses. Right. And they they

00:07:20:24 – 00:07:40:23
help small businesses discover who their customers are. That’s what they do. And they’ve got all the rest of this stuff wrapped around it in different kinds of markets you’ve got car projects and they’ve got you’ve got a million other projects in the enterprise space where they really want to make a difference whether a cloud provider

00:07:42:09 – 00:07:59:11
. They don’t have super duper high end cloud enterprise talent. And so this will be an interesting experiment. I have the hardest time imagining that one can overcome 27 years of us experience

00:08:01:19 – 00:08:20:20
because it’s such a very specific culture. And Google is such a very specific culture that that you know now I’ll tell you one of the greatest learnings in my life came from taking a job that was a good cultural fit getting fired from it. So

00:08:22:11 – 00:08:39:26
it was a good learning from both sides. It was not pleasant but it was just me and that made me watch watch about about to happen because the you know the things that make a great enterprise company we’re treating this

00:08:43:19 – 00:08:44:09

00:08:46:27 – 00:08:59:19
each year software providers in general as they become enterprise companies they have to give up the intimacy that comes with being a small business provider.

00:09:00:08 – 00:09:06:17
So that’s that’s a growth challenge for all sorts of players. And so Google’s going to go through that.

00:09:06:29 – 00:09:40:20
Facebook is also coming in and Facebook is going to go through Amazon is going through that Amazon is doing a better job than most. And and Microsoft has been at the challenge of how do you become an enterprise software company for 20 years now and make incremental progress as they want to do. So it’s a it’s a question of whether or not you can take a consumer business and aim at the enterprise operation and maintain the culture of the consumer.

00:09:41:18 – 00:09:56:20
Yeah and I think you know that the company that can can crack not right they’ll be the one that that really makes a difference because I think you’re right you know we take a look at those who have been able to do this versus those who have not.

00:09:57:12 – 00:10:25:08
It has it has really shown I mean like having a great example you write 20 years of sort of trying to sort of be the enterprise application and I definitely you know we’re able to do that with some of their office products but still their office products you know anything they do that sort of is enterprise versus sort of consumer you tend to lose out on usability when they try and make it enterprise wide like know Sharepoint is a great example of this.

00:10:25:12 – 00:11:02:27
Skype’s been struggling with some of this right. Once you try and make it enterprise the consumer ability ever it sort of tends to falter. It’ll be interesting to see if Robinson can can figure out that balance for Google because I don’t think Google wants to lose its consumer friendly components but that just may not be feasible. There was actually quite an interesting article about Facebook and it’s new I didn’t put it in our our stuff talked about today but they’re rolling out their new user experience and UI and part of what they sort of noted is that they did not put in then the workspace for Facebook environment.

00:11:02:27 – 00:11:26:17
Some of the things like short term stories and group sort of management that information that sort of is there and then it goes away within 24 hours because they didn’t feel that worked in the enterprise environment obviously. And so they’re struggling with that conversation too. So yeah l it’s it’s it’s an ongoing battle I think in the market. Is it winnable. I think a point.

00:11:27:09 – 00:11:48:02
Well Will here John apparently the idea that you know I think this is kind of silly but that what users in business need is a two word level interface with their software. I think I think that’s a pretty nonsense idea. And

00:11:50:02 – 00:12:01:24
that’s that’s what these companies have to offer is is intelligence about how to build a consumer interface. The question this question is really does that work. It

00:12:01:24 – 00:12:02:19
It is in the process of

00:12:04:16 – 00:12:11:09
whether it works or not I think everybody’s trying to get there. I think every application I at least I see they’re there.

00:12:11:13 – 00:12:21:24
They feel like they need to have a more consumer like and so this reminds me of my favorite machine learning joke.

00:12:21:27 – 00:12:47:13
The dad is talking to his son and the machine and he says to them listen if all of your friends were about to run and jump off would you go with them. And the son looks up at his father and says I would never do that. I don’t want to follow the crowd and machine where he says Oh yeah I’m all in.

00:12:47:26 – 00:12:55:28
Exactly. They go right so. That. That’s that’s kind of the key to what I think about the fact that everybody’s trying.

00:12:58:28 – 00:13:03:25
Well now everybody has their jerk for the week. You can take that to whatever event you’re going to help John.

00:13:05:12 – 00:13:07:12
Well let’s it’s about remarry.

00:13:07:12 – 00:13:39:00
I mean this is one of the scrappy young companies. I mean I can remember meeting them three years ago maybe four years ago or maybe three years ago at least. And when I was at a tech Europe the unleash event now in Amsterdam they were excited about what they were doing felt they were changing the recruiting space but they’re really taking off right now aren’t they already. You’ve had more interaction with them John. I mean they’re changing out their leadership here and adding new people to their executive team.

00:13:39:00 – 00:13:39:29
Is this a big deal for them.

00:13:41:12 – 00:14:19:16
Yeah yeah well they’re so so. The people that they’re that they are hiring are pretty astonishing. Joel Poulsen is an ATF veteran Newton software built hard work in the industry for years and sold Newton. And I think it’s I see it’s coming. It’s Carol Julius is joining them. And and so they’re building a muscular American oriented strategy and sales machine that is different than anybody else has got

00:14:21:22 – 00:14:23:03
Yeah it’s.

00:14:24:18 – 00:14:28:11
And I mean their growth has been pretty

00:14:29:26 – 00:14:32:03
rapid compared to what else first.

00:14:32:04 – 00:14:59:05
I mean we’re seeing lots of recruiting applications sort of in the market. Everybody says that their growth is really huge here. But I want to say that I have seen them in more organizations and most recently right. They have stayed they’re basically from 200 clients to more than a thousand worldwide. That’s that’s a pretty huge jump and just the last two or three years from what we’re seeing with most organizations a lot of them are like oh look at two hundred we got 300 and they’re quite excited to get there. Right.

00:15:00:16 – 00:15:37:02
Yep. So. So they’re doing well I have been spending more time with them recently than I have in the past and they are you know this thievery that I like is that they they use content marketing in a way that is unusual. Their view is that come to pass to be of value before you do anything about harnessing the sales benefit of a car. So they understand GDP are the be Marie reports GDP are is the best of the business

00:15:38:27 – 00:15:53:01
and they aim for that. Well of course aim for analyst quality level of content. So so they they’re earning their stripes here and they are growing quickly and it is a it is a

00:15:55:07 – 00:15:57:13
wonderfully robust solution.

00:15:57:14 – 00:16:01:08
So so so it’s worth the time

00:16:03:02 – 00:16:05:25
but it will be interesting to see if we can

00:16:07:22 – 00:16:47:03
follow where they’re going and get some sense of how big they’re going to get. And we’ll follow them a little more. Don’t pay scale. This is another area where I’ve you know follow the compensation market for quite a while pay scales one of those organizations where you would buy your surveys and get your data from them. They’re being picked up by an investment organization. It looks like they’re changing hands a little bit more than just being picked up so there’s a one organization is dropping out well and others is picking them up. So but there is a comment that that that the prince Francisco Partners are excited about the investment in PayScale they’re

00:16:48:28 – 00:16:59:12
figuring out what they can do with this sort of new and emerging world of compensation sort of management survey and analysis in this space that everybody’s looking for data on

00:17:01:11 – 00:17:06:06
basically on compensation lists.

00:17:06:15 – 00:17:23:13
Is this still going to consider it continue to be a niche player though for ever for a long time there’s only a few companies who do this kind of work at this point. No. We’ve got consulting firms like mergers we’ve got organizations like salary Dot. Is there a big room for this

00:17:25:07 – 00:17:26:09

00:17:26:19 – 00:17:30:04
Well sure it’s interesting work changing

00:17:32:03 – 00:17:44:00
the compensation function is going to get more import and the flexibility of compensation solutions is going to get more important no show. So we’re starting to learn

00:17:46:01 – 00:18:11:14
what the new elements of jobs are as we bed machine partnerships and everything that we do and pricing and understanding those skills so that you can attract the right people company who can do the work that needs to be done. That’s going to fall to the compensation right. How do you understand what those skills are. How do you

00:18:13:07 – 00:18:17:19
price newly minted jobs with newly minted skills.

00:18:17:21 – 00:18:50:26
And so the the importance and central of the compensation management software goes she’ll ignore it since it becomes the nexus of the data in talent attraction and talent acquisition. I don’t know that many people are ready for that. It’s not a generational thing it’s a it’s where we’re going into this technology shift where the rules of what the job is.

00:18:52:09 – 00:18:58:07
And if you don’t have a grip on how that happens from from a

00:18:59:29 – 00:19:04:00
competition in the largest sense to sort of total rewards

00:19:05:25 – 00:19:08:22
you’re not going to be able to compete.

00:19:10:15 – 00:19:20:03
So I think we should be comfortable with the market. We get it. Yeah yeah it’s it’s a growth market but but I don’t think that’s widely recognized.

00:19:20:13 – 00:19:39:19
I would agree I think this is often overlooked and the compensation role in the compensation analysts is oftentimes sort of delegated to well just figure that out. However you can figure it out right. I think it’s organizations get into more workforce planning and the compensation conversation becomes a part of that. A real part of it not just you know

00:19:41:08 – 00:20:14:02
a piece of information that you enter into it you know and just assume that it’s static then we’re gonna start to see a lot more more interest here. But yeah it’s all about transparency and it’s all about giving some. To be honest respect for the person who’s managing this compensation chaos. I was at a company not too long ago where they had you know over 100 different compensation sort of schemas and for a very minor or small company right. Not that large and just the amount of effort it takes to manage something like that I don’t think people really realize that.

00:20:14:03 – 00:20:15:18
This will be interesting to watch.

00:20:16:09 – 00:20:41:29
So I bet I bet that five years ago when you go and look at the Fortune Five Hundred that you will see 50 percent of the H.R. departments and move Fortune 500 with the science departments and the compensation management will be one of the primary components of data science. The H.R. department movies.

00:20:42:25 – 00:20:53:12
Yeah yeah I would I want to say I agree with you on that one the most cynical people I’ve ever met but it’s that the compensation department they are generally my favorite people in an H.R. function.

00:20:53:17 – 00:20:58:21
So what do you want to show strange.

00:20:58:26 – 00:21:34:03
I know I’m odd I love those people. Well on the other side of spreadsheets is the user experience and the sort of communication side of H.R. and this is also growing pretty rapidly so a lie made which has been sort of a depending on sort of where you would categorize them a wellness or well-being sort of application provider mostly through sort of mobile environments they’re coming out with sort of an updated platform that includes wellbeing engagement surveying sort of reviews that kind of thing.

00:21:34:08 – 00:22:02:25
Inclusion which is some level of education development and communication around that community dashboards coaching things and a communications tool which we’ve been talking about for quite some time that that sort of thing to fit into the H.R. world a little bit more on one all on their single platform. They’re sort of launching this as an updated new version of their application with their new but their conference going on in the next couple of months. I mean we’re seeing more of this John but is this

00:22:04:13 – 00:22:07:02
new and improved or is this just creating a new

00:22:09:03 – 00:22:11:18
employee self-service tool basically. What do you think.

00:22:11:25 – 00:22:20:00
Well well so. So you believe be. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this the could be a little cynical here.

00:22:21:17 – 00:22:23:18
Well yeah sometimes yeah.

00:22:23:24 – 00:22:51:09
So this is this is this just looks like Hey we’re alive and we can’t figure out what we are. Started with helping and and we went to engagement and and then we tried to do inclusion. And now we’re slapped. You know that’s sweet. And I’m sure it’s more interesting than that. But but

00:22:54:02 – 00:23:07:06
some focus is is a useful thing and a package that has important communications and well-being integrated to each other. I’m not sure I get it now.

00:23:07:15 – 00:23:39:23
I I. I’m gonna disagree with you a little bit on this. I mean I get what you’re saying that in this particular area there might be some of that this might be helpful but I you know we’ve been following this sort of service delivery area for a while and I do think there is a growing need to connect my personal world and needs with the business world that needs and we tried to do it and tell talent management applications didn’t really work. We tried to do it in the core H.R. mess but you know I really don’t want my personal stuff tied at that level to the information.

00:23:39:27 – 00:24:18:07
I think the place where we’re employees are going to feel most comfortable is in something that they control a little bit more which is generally some sort of an application that’s on their phone that is a little more consumer mine and then they add in the other information right. I’m not sure if it’s that that’ll be a case long term but definitely that seems to be that the direction disbursing like the virgin pulses and those kind of organizations also go which is I want to see my benefits and information will see my wellness information by often and see my paycheck somewhere. Right. And you know is it the same application that I can do that and maybe maybe not now do I want to see here some information about inclusion and diversity in my coaching and mentoring.

00:24:18:07 – 00:24:24:08
It feels like putting those things together might be more of a benefit for the next generation of workforce.

00:24:25:03 – 00:25:01:13
Well it was so so so pushed back that it’s just a little bit the next generation the workforce from everything I read isn’t going to hang onto a job for very long. Right. And so so this is the kind of this is the communications idea that requires a sustained investment over time. This is something that would that would be very interesting if you had a relationship with employees over a lifetime with if you could a relationship with employees over 18 months or a couple of years.

00:25:01:17 – 00:25:06:19
Do you really think they’re going to want to integrate their personal stuff with it work stuff. Well

00:25:08:12 – 00:25:12:08
only just because it was portable to the merged company.

00:25:12:28 – 00:25:30:27
That’s that’s the next conversation right. That is definitely where we’re seeing the conversation about things like block chain and you know shared environments going right. Irony you know that you know in some cases if you’re with some of these platforms if you go from one organization to another where they have the same platform you can put some stuff over.

00:25:30:28 – 00:25:31:08
So yeah

00:25:33:15 – 00:25:45:00
so. So that’s a that’s that’s interesting. If technology can enable liquidity in the. Employment market that’s a very clear signal.

00:25:45:21 – 00:25:47:24
You know my name.

00:25:48:03 – 00:25:55:14
You think I’m particular on that topic but I know with some other platforms they are starting to investigate or starting to do it at a light level.

00:25:55:15 – 00:25:58:12
Yeah well who’s doing them.

00:25:58:21 – 00:26:23:21
I have had conversations I would have to go back and check my notes I don’t want to mention anybody in particular but I know I’ve had conversations of two or three of the organizations that are doing this kind of communication and flash sort of wellness and they are sort of with the idea that if someone is in one area and if they go to another company and they also have that same platform. But I don’t I honestly can’t remember who it is. They know that the conversation.

00:26:23:24 – 00:26:32:04
OK. That’s good. So this this is great. Let’s see where you get the last word in yo yo.

00:26:32:05 – 00:26:32:18

00:26:34:04 – 00:26:34:16

00:26:34:20 – 00:26:39:04
So. So these they’re claiming just saw writer’s block.

00:26:40:00 – 00:26:57:07
I was just going to say can they do this John. I would love this. This would be a test because they claim that they can start your whatever you’re writing for you based off of whatever you’ve written in the past is what I’m understanding. Is that correct.

00:26:57:08 – 00:27:28:12
That’s what that’s what it sounds like. Well I can’t tell you. Do I use e-mail in G.M. every time I go to respond to somebody it offers me suggestions about I could say. To get it’s just sort of get me started and it’s this it’s the same idea. And the ways that I treat that is if I really don’t care about somebody and I really don’t want to put any investment into a response to them

00:27:29:16 – 00:27:30:00
Then they

00:27:30:12 – 00:27:31:11
Go for

00:27:33:13 – 00:27:38:10
it. But you know

00:27:40:19 – 00:27:46:23
I. Have. To leave it to you. Oh

00:27:48:13 – 00:27:51:09
God. Here is a

00:27:53:02 – 00:27:53:10

00:27:58:09 – 00:28:02:18
Let. It. Be. Sir

00:28:04:13 – 00:28:04:18

00:28:09:04 – 00:28:17:21
John. I missed that last bit you had mentioned. So I I may have just because I think we were having some technical difficulty. Dad could you repeat that.

00:28:17:21 – 00:28:18:22
If you’re if you’re listening

00:28:20:09 – 00:28:23:11
right now. Oh

00:28:25:21 – 00:28:31:09
I it to work. They are

00:28:33:21 – 00:28:35:13
the food. Was. So

00:28:37:02 – 00:28:38:26
bad. That

00:28:41:16 – 00:28:41:24

00:28:44:10 – 00:28:50:05
were yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep.

00:28:50:05 – 00:28:50:11

00:28:53:17 – 00:29:39:21
I think we’re having some technical difficulties but I hopefully they’re counting what you’re hearing. I’m not catching it. I’m hearing in bits and pieces of it but I will say that the textual application this this seems like it also sort of fits along with the lines of some of the things that I’ve seen in Microsoft that I use more often than something like Gmail more often than not it’s not so much that they give you opportunities to sort of just reply back to someone and they will tell you what my back to him. But they do filter your emails pretty heavily with the focused and other group categories now and energy Mills been doing that for a while and so every time I think that someone sort of analysing what someone has wrote and making decision about where it goes or what you should say that’s what I think about and I know that a lot of important stuff oftentimes gets dropped into my other category and I have to go in and look at it.

00:29:40:00 – 00:29:50:28
But most times I don’t. A lot of times. I’ll delete that whole category of material. And so I wonder will you know if they’re trying to sort of get a sense of what you’ve written in the past.

00:29:50:28 – 00:29:57:23
What do they decide to keep what do they not keep rain as the big conversation. Well we have another great conversation today

00:29:59:09 – 00:30:11:02
Okay so you’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly One Step Closer with Stacy Harris and John Sumser. It’s been a treat to have you aboard and we will see you here next week.

Bye everyone.

00:30:11:02 – 00:30:11:13
Bye bye now.


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