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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: 220
Air Date: May 30, 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


00:00:14:16 – 00:00:15:21
Good morning

00:00:15:21 – 00:00:27:10
We must be calling from some dewey green meadow in Ireland where this is HR Tech Weekly, one step closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser.

00:00:27:11 – 00:00:29:07
Good morning Stacy.

00:00:29:07 – 00:00:41:28
Good morning John. I really wish we were calling from some dewey green place in Ireland. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Ireland. It’s a lovely place. I would love to go back. But no I’m calling from a very beige conference room in Atlanta.

00:00:45:17 – 00:00:48:04
Ah, is beige the color of Atlanta?

00:00:53:03 – 00:01:02:10
Maybe we should talk about that. The heat is rising off the ground right now. Is pretty close to it. Yeah. The room that I’m in is all based on my headquarters.

00:01:02:24 – 00:01:08:24
So that’s good it keeps you neutral if you need there. So what does the mailbag today.

00:01:09:24 – 00:01:29:09
Well it’s not a busy week. I think you know people are starting that you know wrap up there’s been a lot of holidays obviously this week. So I think that news cycle is a little bit slow and then there’s a lot of people sort of. Getting ready for vacations and graduations. So there’s put a couple of things. And we saw some leftovers from last week to talk about too. Well I’m sure we’ll have a full conversation this week

00:01:30:04 – 00:02:00:20
A couple of sort of association or sort of nonprofit announcements some ihram the group that I’ve been on the board for now for the last year the International H.R. Information Management Association. They launched a new HIPAA certification exam platform this this week. I talk a little bit about why certifying the HIPAA professional which is the H.R. information professional might be important these days. The Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation announced to workforce ready

00:02:01:03 – 00:02:10:00
To help prepare underrepresented job seekers for today’s career. That’s in partnership with fixed exchange. I think that. Really fascinating we think about sort of

00:02:10:15 – 00:02:21:12
You know are the vendors that we’re working with sort of putting their money where they’ve been talking. Right. So I’d love to talk a little bit more I know you’re going to be at Cornerstone actually thinking how this conversation about that.

00:02:21:12 – 00:02:52:06
Yes. We also have some interesting news coming out of the chair and M.S. space paper for those Windows Server and SMB going into the mid-market space corps HMS payroll application that’s in sort of expanding their their suite for quite some time now acquiring. I’m not sure my status right symbol or our symbol I am the L E scheduling. So that’s a scheduling tool. I think that will really expand their capabilities so we can talk about that

00:02:52:18 – 00:03:18:23
Absorb software which is a learning application announced the acquisition of torch elements which is continuing the consolidation of the illness. And we’re also seeing in the learning space that open sesame raised twenty eight million in gross equity and then a really big amount for smart recruiters raising 50 million dollars to help companies hire the best talent. So I think there’s some A.I. plans there. And then if we have a little time I think it’s worth talking about a small

00:03:18:28 – 00:03:51:06
Start up a mental well-being benefits platform that announced the nine million dollars shares a funding that they’re focusing on modern mental health not just wellness as we sort of tend to describe it these days. And then from last week we have some great conversations about Google’s new offering framework tools that are coming out for us through their mobile user experience and A.I. Artificial Intelligence work as well as Bock. And the trick is coming out with more some workforce application tools that are probably worth us paying attention to. So not a lot. But I think some interesting stuff going on this week.

00:03:51:07 – 00:03:53:17
Anything new in your neck of the woods that would add to that.

00:03:53:28 – 00:04:02:14
Yes you know I am I am 70 demos into the research for next year’s report the state of. So

00:04:03:05 – 00:04:33:27
I’m leaving the marketing work with both. But I haven’t really seen you. I guess the thing that I’m seeing that’s most interesting right now is the depths to which people are immigrating intelligence in their applications so it’s not true across the board. But one thing that is worth thinking about is the more expansive application is so good.

00:04:33:27 – 00:05:14:21
More like a suite is more numbers of places where there will be a job. I saw a chart yesterday from a company that has about 80 different places inside of their trove of acquisition software where they have machine assisted during the work. And I think it’s risky to get deeper than through adventure. We were trying to really have really idea about this to work with the total number of discrete decisions a nature Department should make use sort of repeat which tunes like promoted promoted or disciplined or coach of this way approach.

00:05:15:08 – 00:05:17:00
I think it might be like 10000

00:05:19:11 – 00:05:34:14
each are decisions might be termed chief Yeah you know I think it depends a bit when you you know what you include in a jar right there you’re talking about talent and recruiting and. Some of the traditional H.R. functions I think you can get in ten to twenty thousand I

00:05:34:24 – 00:06:13:29
Think once you go out to the workforce management which is the operations side there that number could climb pretty high because it has a lot to do with things like scheduling and what people can work and how they can work and whether they’re certified right those kind of things. I think they’re you’re probably looking at much more like 50 or hundred thousand questions that people are making on a regular basis. Right. So it depends on what you include in it. But yeah no it’s an interesting question or conversation and I think you could actually come to a number probably somewhere in that that’s actually the number of places where you will for an intelligent being the software that every one of those decisions

00:06:14:13 – 00:06:17:22
Somebody is going to come up with a scheme for

00:06:18:09 – 00:07:02:20
Making that particular decision more until is making that decision. Most recommendations. Right. Right. And so then the question is how do you manage and how do you know if the recommendation that you’re giving is right. It’s like. This where the regime has all the data the regime delivers the data to you and then you have to beg or good feasible to sixty three. To get raises the interesting thing is I’ve been deeply discussing the question of how you figure out whether or not the intelligence tool is doing what it’s supposed to do and how you tell what it isn’t.

00:07:03:07 – 00:07:12:18
And I think these are things that future leaders are going to need to know pretty quickly. That probably rolls into the work that you’re doing with them for sure refrigeration.

00:07:13:15 – 00:07:18:01
Yeah very much so. Is got to say and you were just handing and I leave off there.

00:07:19:08 – 00:07:49:14
Yeah. This is this is actually about a year and a half ago that to join the I’m on board and I’m been struggling for those. Know the association sort of went through a big serve I think uptick and then in the. Late 90s early 2000s as their applications were sort of taking off at enterprise level. And then it struggled for the last couple years trying to figure out its footing and where it fit into the market as we went to cloud technology. And what we found as I started sort of getting into item is that. The role that I supported the H.R. I.T.

00:07:49:15 – 00:08:22:24
technologists the H.R. right manager the H.R. I know p professional information professional. That role was morphing and while it was morphing I think people were trying to figure out where it fit. But it is exactly the role you’re talking about because I don’t see the V.P. of H.R. or the head of talent or the head of learning. They know they have to understand what kind of algorithms are built inside the system and what kind of insight it’s providing. But I don’t see them understanding. The whys and the how and what they should be checking and what they should not be checking.

00:08:22:24 – 00:08:58:25
I think that’s going to sit squarely in the information management role that it’s focused on H.R. and it can’t be an Ip professional that has to be someone who understands H.R. processes. And so what we’re doing in Ireland right now and the role that I’ve been heading up is. We’re actually working on updating the certification for the information professional certification. And while we’re doing that we’re actually rolling out a new platform that’s the announcement this week is that the platform is coming right now so people can sort of for the better user experience get better updates and emails on their passing grades and everything and the exams and manage some of their continue education credit.

00:08:59:01 – 00:09:30:00
But by August we’ll also have this brand new updated. Certification program that will cover some of the things you’re talking about artificial intelligence algorithm management security data privacy questions that just weren’t a big issue. Now five years ago and the age or technology phase. So. I think it’s more important than ever to make sure we have. An association or a group of people who are. Validating the skill set needed for the professionals working in this technology area. Based on what you’re seeing

00:09:30:13 – 00:09:36:03
These technologies are going to be making decisions. That at this point we have managers and a chair making.

00:09:37:01 – 00:09:55:06
Well so so so I’ve grown up a wonderful presentation for cornerstone next week and there’s this there’s this great slide that says the other three slots. And what that means is when the machine makes a recommendation that’s going to be a percentage bet.

00:09:56:01 – 00:10:37:05
And like all presidents votes that means that it’s wrong some percentage of the time. And so the question for the decision maker is whether or not to accept the machine’s recommendation. And if you if you do if you if you understand that that’s the job. It may actually be harder to start with the question and one of the machines wrong than it is to just go through the normal process of having a gut hunch and making a decision because you have to be decidedly more rational so so.

00:10:37:06 – 00:10:48:09
So it makes me wonder. In you’re in your position. How do you keep it up to date. How do you stay on top of the trends Yeah.

00:10:48:22 – 00:11:19:09
That’s actually one of the things. Yeah that’s one of things that when I first came into this I know because the segregation has been rolled out in 20. 2009. Updated in 2015 but because the market changed so fast. It had to be rolled out. So we’re actually building into this. I think anything that that’s dealing with this kind of conversation right Gill says or the algorithm management is doing for building an annual review now of the certification questions to see how much they have to change each year. And I think there will be a sort of a rolling model of things that will change almost on a yearly basis.

00:11:19:10 – 00:11:41:03
And those who are certified will have to go back eventually and retake the test. That’s actually the newest conversation certification instead of doing just continue education credits at a certain point everyone chefs go back and retake the test. Right. To to to make sure that the. Behaviors and background are understood. That’s kind of a hard thing to think about but it fits with the continuing education model we’re talking about.

00:11:42:08 – 00:12:15:14
So tell me if this fits into your scheme. I just discovered a website called our bloggers and it is a a website the 750 contributors and it’s about tutorials about using R for data analysis and I’m looking right now at an article called Employee flight risk marketing which goes to in extraordinary detail how one might think about building a flight risk model.

00:12:15:20 – 00:12:23:09
Now does that is that what somebody in my room would do or is that an entirely different organization.

00:12:23:09 – 00:12:29:21
Well I think that that’s a I think that’s part of the software space right.

00:12:29:22 – 00:12:53:25
And part of the maybe the data science role inside an organization. I think the irony. Professional. But again this is changing. So I’m saying that with the idea that only two were serving now is a person would have to decide if. They’re purchasing or buying into or. How they have to maintain that tool. Right. I don’t think that the person who’s building that would be my take on it.

00:12:54:13 – 00:13:27:13
OK so. So now there are sort of two three. There are three technical rules in sort of eight or so years the sort of the the I.T. acquisition administration function. Know there is a kind of an ethics question I’m starting to hear stories of companies that don’t ever release the algorithm into the wild in their company until it’s been reviewed by legal and technical people as operational people shooters.

00:13:27:14 – 00:13:27:27

00:13:28:20 – 00:13:38:03
Before we played a function we put it to a legal and ethical framework. Lots of questions are fundamental tactical right.

00:13:38:08 – 00:13:48:21
And then there’s the actual data science function which is sure that we be Love where questions are sorted out before they’re deployed.

00:13:49:21 – 00:14:20:27
And I know that you that we’ve got these org chart gurus. I would agree they are and that. I mean I think you know when we first started moving to the cloud and even as we started doing artificial intelligence I think there was this perspective that. Oh well a vendor or someone would create these and all we would have left would be the functional users of the technology and instead we’ve created a whole country of other roles and skills that are required. To validate and. Manage the ethics and manage the

00:14:21:07 – 00:14:22:16
Multitude of

00:14:22:27 – 00:14:51:08
Sort of algorithms and buying decisions that go along with that right along with building anything that the vendors haven’t quite built yet. Right. Yeah it’s amazing. To think of the amount of work that goes into these type programs to get an answer that a human might have just. Figured out with your gut reaction right. But if it’s a better answer maybe a less biased dancer or an answer that comes with a more assurance that it will lead to an outcome. That’s worth it for a lot of organizations.

00:14:52:05 – 00:14:57:06
So so what do you think it means if what you have to do with machine

00:14:58:21 – 00:15:05:03
output and recommendations is start with the with the assumption that it’s wrong.

00:15:06:26 – 00:15:07:09

00:15:09:01 – 00:15:31:03
I think that starting with the assumption is wrong. This is not my error to the union in a lot of things space. I think that’s a hard thing for anyone to do. Human beings in general want to trust answers they get. I don’t think we’re trained or brought up to assume that something is wrong. So I think the bigger issue is almost a cultural change as much as it is an educational component.

00:15:32:01 – 00:16:15:13
Well it makes for an interesting question. I wonder what you think Rumi rural is you know this because there is no peer reviewed academic validation of the intelligence that’s being installed in software right. No there’s just the vendor’s assertion of the right down and searches I just I have have a have a you know and it’s sort of acquisition and evaluation functions. Does it have a role to play in understanding the legitimacy and validity of an assertion made by the vendor about the utility of its intelligence recommendations I think it’s a great question ask.

00:16:15:14 – 00:16:47:29
I would say that right now the organization sort of just going through its turnaround and I don’t know that we’ve gotten that far down the path. But I think you know the fact is you need a vendor neutral right party that isn’t focused on financials because you know there’s there’s not a lot of financials in that kind of validation right. In many cases you might actually be challenging the market as a whole right. We think we need something that is a bit more sort of altruistic if you want to do to do that kind of work and definitely I could see that that would be a place I could play a role

00:16:48:10 – 00:17:08:13
And be a place of value to both the vendors and the end users. If it’s done appropriately right. With an eye towards improving the market and so the servo tearing down anyone directly. Yeah. No I think it’s a great question. I don’t know what it would take and the kind of skill sets it would take to do that but it would be a very valuable market asset. Yeah definitely.

00:17:09:08 – 00:17:15:24
So congratulations on giving the certification exam platform launch it’s a big deal.

00:17:15:29 – 00:17:48:18
We had a great great team of people working on that now. We also you said you’re going to Cornerstone next week. I think it’s worth mentioning that cornerstone is working with pixel exchange to launch what they’re calling workforce ready which is an online learning program this summer to empower Los Angeles as young diverse and underrepresented job seekers. And I’m hoping that’s something that we’ve expanded. But I think this is really interesting. No. Cornerstone has as definitely been one of those. Vendors who has for a long you know they’ve had a foundation for a long time where they have. Provided their platform and their volunteer program

00:17:48:27 – 00:18:12:27
To organizations around the world you know sort of discounted and you know free. Access to H.R. consulting those type of things with it. But this is focusing on sort of underrepresented workforces and education and training. That’s probably had to mark their learning platform. We’re going there to talk to them a little bit about bias as well. So does this fit with the work that you’re going to be doing with them next week.

00:18:12:28 – 00:18:38:24
Well this this is very interesting. The idea that we’re now at a point where you can have sort of tower of accelerators that shift the shift to the game. That’s that’s pretty interesting. It was pretty interesting in the fact that it is done. But you know this is this is something that would have been a government project 30 years ago.

00:18:39:01 – 00:18:47:27
So you know there are questions about because because it’s a corporate project not a government project. Questions about how long it it’ll last.

00:18:48:03 – 00:19:19:21
How you tell if it’s working. The interesting thing about government programs is once you start of a charter to show up in commercial sectors it’s easy to kill a relatively easy to a project. But I like the idea I like the idea. I think I think I think one of the things that we’ll start to see is is that there are class distinctions that are even more see than the sort of representational biases.

00:19:19:22 – 00:19:54:26
So this is this is underrepresented people. That’s that that tends to be categorized by protective protected class. You know some very distinct categories of bias that are very mixed. There may be that there is a a larger thing that transcends those particular biases which is the difference between oh you know it might be as simple as the right color blue collar Rubio days but there’s some sort of there’s some sort of social class difference.

00:19:55:12 – 00:20:17:19
But I’ll be curious to see if this addresses. Definitely. I think his learning is one thing and providing easy access to learning but the ability to translate that. In a way in which it sort of fits in your environment not knowing the programs or the tools that they’re using it seems like they’re partnering with a. Community organization that knows the community and understands the communities working from

00:20:18:00 – 00:20:53:01
And taking them to the next level. I’m helping that’s the case but you’re right. You know I oftentimes it’s my favorite thing as I was here. Well you know we have this older workforce that’s out of work and they want to work while they just retrain reskill and you know especially you know what I have friends who are in West Virginia and Virginia. In areas where you know there’s high levels of unemployment because of you know manufacturing or coal mining or other things that have gone out of the industry. And it’s just really you know when you have to stop and tell the the like you know. How you might learn in your backyard and variance in industry to the area where you grew up

00:20:53:19 – 00:21:12:23
So completely different from someone who you know spend their days you know open and working in an environment where they weren’t sitting at the desk and didn’t have to you know listen you know to long period of you know classroom environments where they learn to be a hands on. You have to build. Programs and to fit into their environment.

00:21:13:13 – 00:21:17:13
And that’s. I’m not done. Yeah cool.

00:21:17:14 – 00:21:22:24
So so yeah next up take or take her.

00:21:23:05 – 00:22:04:16
Yeah. Do you know Stacey that the CEO over at peck or Browning at all. One of I think the oftentimes overlooked female leaders is really really I think important in the technology space. She runs tech or and out of the Cincinnati Ohio area a little bit closer to my heart. They have a connection but they are continuously growing and improving that expand the application in a way that I just you know oftentimes you hear you know there’s a lot of marketing of flash about a lot of other technologies and organization there when those organization it’s really quiet steady and keeps growing there about 30000 organizations are using their application right now.

00:22:04:16 – 00:22:26:22
They’ve purchased a symbol which is a scheduling offering that will be fully integrated a Packers product safety perspective and its focus on scheduling and and allows allowing employees to easily swap schedules. So a really important component of that user experience is 14000 companies with a similar acquisition. And it looks like they have goals to continue to expand the interstate that uses you know safety.

00:22:26:23 – 00:22:30:24
So do you think that this is now part and parcel of where they’re heading from that perspective.

00:22:31:16 – 00:22:49:02
Well you know one of the things that I think is interesting is a generally overlooked story in nature occurs is that successful payroll companies go on to become successful H.R. suite providers.

00:22:49:06 – 00:23:23:27
That’s what happens right. And we’re watching we’re watching the ultimate software make its moves to become one of the enterprise software players from its roots in payroll and paychecks of Peace Corps or both following suit. Each with their different ways and each with their different expression. So so I think it’s cool to watch this rabbit and do her work here if she is she is assembling a long term company that it would be smart to hold if you of the investment rather than the public.

00:23:24:22 – 00:23:33:18
I don’t blame them. No but it is that they have private investments everything but yet. But I think there. I should say I don’t believe it but I could be wrong on that.

00:23:34:00 – 00:24:09:02
Well we’ll put so this is this is in the in the heart of H.R. tech are these companies whose expertise involves the diligence required to issue payroll without making a mistake. Right. So it’s it’s a level of quality that is significantly higher than you need to hear to get talent management. Right. Or or recruiting which is sort of a lot of a be in the data with with payroll you don’t get that option.

00:24:09:02 – 00:24:22:06
So what you see coming out of the roots of companies with roots and payroll is this this real attention to detail that is that is not necessarily part of the whole ecosystem.

00:24:23:16 – 00:25:02:27
And mental attention to detail oftentimes because I think this is such a smart move by people who are picking up this application. They know where their end users. Are most engaged and you find it when you focus on payroll at the paycheck at the point at which that either at their workforce management at the time in attendance. And those thought they tend to very carefully realize that they need to create an environment that is engaging which it sounds like they’re doing. So I think this is a very smart move I think for. That. You know you mentioned you mentioned recruiting and sort of the flap that’s often in the recruiting process because it’s such a fast moving business.

00:25:03:07 – 00:25:32:22
But one of the larger recruiting applications smart recruiters has raised 50 million dollars and the focus it seems like from the announcement is to invest in their artificial intelligence. As well as their platform here. You know recruiters probably fairly well they they’ve they’ve gotten funding before this is not the first time they’ve had funding and they’re they’re very focused I think on creating a new approach to recruiting. Is this you know are we going to see more from smart recruiters in the end. I do think

00:25:33:11 – 00:26:09:16
That the people are the people in smart recruiters who are doing a I or some of the smartest of the business. And so so we’re going to see really interesting things come out of them if they get free to do what they’re doing to rein in in recruiting for a guy is pretty well covered you know 70 percent of investment dollars in a major go to things in recruiting and really just aren’t that many things you can do and it’s a lot of little teeny nuance a lot of little seen these decisions but

00:26:09:28 – 00:26:40:03
So it’s the fundamental question is this person ready for this job. And how do you handle the communications processes necessary to make sure that that person. Is available within you need them and that the the hiring process itself is as free as possible. These are places where you could make real improvements. One of the things I wonder though is how is the comparison of this functionality actually going to work

00:26:41:19 – 00:27:05:13
. So you can’t get very far with the claim that we’ve got a better over stuff because what matters is how often it’s road or how usually displayed to the probabilistic information is. So that there will be somebody you’ll be a category breaker. I don’t know which recruiters have occurred

00:27:06:05 – 00:27:14:00
But to be a category breaker who figures out how to really visualize the difference between candidates

00:27:15:27 – 00:27:27:27
at a level that I think to your point though the most important thing is that in visualizing but also giving you a sense of how that decision was made and a much easier format than the blackboard picked it.

00:27:28:01 – 00:27:35:12
Right. That’s exactly so. So I’m glad to see they have the money they have the amazing team doing.

00:27:35:15 – 00:27:38:01
I hope the people good all the money

00:27:39:24 – 00:28:10:09
very well on that note we run through our 30 minutes already. John you were thinking that the day was a little too late. The news we wouldn’t have left I felt but we didn’t even get to open sesame raising twenty eight million I think that’s well worth paying attention to. And that’s one of the larger providers of content in the market. That’s sort of not part of a larger suite or someone else. Right. So there there’s someone to probably keep an eye on and there’s some definite stuff going on and learning space with a couple of organizations being acquired there with the absorb and torch elements.

00:28:10:10 – 00:28:22:19
So I think the learning space people probably have more to talk about next week. But yeah big week lots of stuff going on even though a holiday week and next week I’ll be in Barcelona at the talent bus event and you’ll be of that press.

00:28:23:07 – 00:28:27:03
That’s right. That’s right. We’ll all be Joey’s personal loans on my list.

00:28:28:28 – 00:28:43:05
Yes I will let you know my first visit to Barcelona. So I’m I’m excited but more importantly I’m interested in things sort of the European take on sort of talent management which I think has a very different interesting perspective in some cases and so it’ll be interesting to see what they’re doing there. Are

00:28:43:05 – 00:28:44:27
Are you okay.

00:28:45:13 – 00:28:48:12
Yeah yeah. Great question. Cool Okay.

00:28:48:19 – 00:28:57:29
So thanks for doing this Stacey and thanks for listing in everybody. This has been HR Tech Weekly one step closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. Thanks. We’ll

00:28:57:29 – 00:29:01:05
We’ll see you back here next week and here are those Irish guys again.


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