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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: 222
Air Date: June 20, 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


00:00:14:07 – 00:00:22:14
Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly One Step Closer with Stacy Harris and John Sumser, Stacey! Welcome back to the continental United States.

00:00:25:06 – 00:01:03:01
Thank you John I appreciate it. I am. I’d like to say I was home in North Carolina but I’m not. I’m actually still traveling a little bit, I’m in Ohio. I’m actually to my hometown of Ohio looking out at the swollen banks of Lake Erie right now. I came up came to visit my son who’s traveling in from Hawaii this week and so we wanted to catch up with him before he went back to Hawaii. And the rain. If you’ve been listening to the news and people talking about the rain and how it’s impacting the North East Ohio area they are not kidding it is everywhere you go flooded out roads the banks of Lake Erie are up and above where they have been at in years.

00:01:03:02 – 00:01:20:19
And if you are anyone who depends on the price of corn my recommendation right now is to put some money in the bank because the corn is nowhere near where it needs to be from someone who grew up around it so yeah. But I am but I am back and I’d say it’s nice to be at least on a home soil

00:01:22:09 – 00:01:22:14

00:01:22:18 – 00:01:25:06
Wow, well sure so welcome back. Where did you learn in Europe.

00:01:25:19 – 00:02:06:22
Well Europe was fine I took a national week vacation which was really nice so the one thing that I learned every time I go there when you to the Europeans is that we in America do not take our vacations correctly and we definitely don’t take them long enough because everyone’s like oh you’re on vacation you’ll be here the whole month. I was like this really for two weeks. We can work in a week of vacation and they were all flabbergasted because their opinion of the vacation is a full four week if you can get a vacation. So that definitely reminds me that when you’re dealing with European employees you have to have built in the idea that August July there is vacations and it is a big part of the expectations of every worker even at the service level.

00:02:06:22 – 00:02:13:27
But yeah. No I mean Europe was great there. One of the things I was over I last time of course I was just finishing up the talent

00:02:15:12 – 00:02:51:05
conference and I had up to just speak to a couple of the companies who were out there and that Ariel really saw that there was a lot of focus on European base smaller businesses as a as a big part of the buying cycle right now. So I know there’s a lot of competition coming from the states as well but it seems like there’s there’s an expectation that organizations are going to maybe find one or two really big European based talent management payrolls or for a trauma environments that will will start growing pretty rapidly here in the next several years.

00:02:51:05 – 00:03:01:02
A couple that we could talk about on the news today. Yeah. So it was a good event and a good a couple weeks in Europe. And how about you. You’ve been in your home but you’re doing demos right now. Right.

00:03:01:15 – 00:03:39:00
Oh man I am doing demos. I’m at 97. I’ve talked with 97 employees who have some shared offering in the area that I call intelligent tools to show things that range. I really wish to do pretend to these tweets. And it’s amazing how differently people perceive this stuff.

00:03:39:22 – 00:03:40:11
It’s not

00:03:43:15 – 00:04:22:16
A.I. as I guess sort of like like a spice rack or something. There’s a lot of options and a lot of different ways of thinking about things and so you end up with these very large companies who are installing intelligence in sort of every nook and cranny of their business and little tiny companies who are perfecting a single model or a single algorithm. And so this spectrum is pretty broad and the ways that people think about what’s ethical and what’s safe are very very different.

00:04:22:16 – 00:04:58:00
One of the things that’s become pretty clear is that the liability for the results of these intelligent tools is never going to be graciously. Take him up by the vendor. So when a company installs these tools they need to run it through a legal check and an ethical check before they deploy it and they need to understand how they tell if the tool stays within those legal and ethical bounds after it’s running because the very nature of these things is they change what they do.

00:05:00:04 – 00:05:30:28
And I think the the legal and ethical component is is changing under our feet as well. I mean we just can’t solve the passage. I think I’m going to get all the things wrong but there was a passage of a bill just recently you probably know than I did of the video Illinois. Illinois real nice. Yes exactly. And that does happen. Where you know or in the nation they’re going to have to let people know you know what that video A.I. system is doing and how it’s doing it.

00:05:30:28 – 00:05:43:09
And there’s some regulations around that but I mean I’m hearing about regulations like this being put forward almost on a daily basis. It’s really hard to keep track of it all right. It’s almost as bad as payroll regulations are going to be right.

00:05:43:27 – 00:05:55:09
Well and in this case you know payroll regulations you really knows right away that they replace the payroll. But for instance services to boom facial recognition

00:05:57:24 – 00:06:27:24
I don’t have the slightest idea what that actually means. I don’t know how you do that. I don’t know how you think about a municipality banning a technology that comes in nationally just cell phones. That happened to be in the mess. So was just guy has banned the use of facial recognition technology. So you have to you have to take these into account. If you are Bruce interviewing video it would be like Yeah.

00:06:27:28 – 00:06:59:20
Which is sort of crazy because you know there are so many different things you might have that type of technology like you were saying. If it is illegal if it is coming out of another way is it illegal. If it’s part of a bigger algorithm is it illegal. If it is your company is headquartered somewhere else and you’re using it here right. But so if I’m the interviewee coming out of California or on I am your headquartered in Delaware and you’re here and you know me I know all those questions have been answered yet.

00:06:59:25 – 00:07:41:17
Yes and I’m sure that the you know the the governments and legal structure are all geographically based. So it will it will be the first pass that the enforcement means enforcing it in the jurisdiction. So the reason that American companies have to abide by some elements of GDP are is that there are some citizens of European companies who live in the United States but are covered by GDP or regulations because they’re citizens that were there

00:07:43:18 – 00:07:53:00
would be a good time to be a lawyer but you’d have a bit of a yes that or at least to have a lawyer on speed dial as quickly as possible.

00:07:53:00 – 00:08:18:06
Whenever you’re dealing with the SBA though like you said everything has to go through your company sort of filter of legal ethics. I would think so yeah. And get the money flowing in the face. We’ve got almost seven companies on the list this week who are getting large amounts not this they want to seed funding and stuff going on but these are in the millions of dollars of funding that is happening for these same types of conversations are having right.

00:08:19:00 – 00:08:42:09
Well it’s one of those things that’s fascinating is that millions of dollars is no longer a lot of money. This is a data scientist is 100000 dollars a year and you need one of those to make your company work to two years of that person. There are a thousand dollars in salary Bush benefits takes you through the first million dollars.

00:08:42:26 – 00:08:44:02
Yeah exactly.

00:08:44:08 – 00:08:55:02
Do you need that you need that investment. That simple investment plus a bunch of covers and stuff before you even have something to deliver to the market to see if it works.

00:08:55:28 – 00:09:37:18
Yeah. That’s a very good calculation definitely. I think you know that’s actually a commentary on where the market’s heading within. It used to be a lot of these small companies would start off by software business with minimal investment because you could get a couple of voters that are fairly reasonable rate. You can get on the Internet at a fairly reasonable rate. There was a lot of small cloud based businesses that built themselves bootstrap all the way through but make a good point that in this market not only do you need the funding for the cost of the no data scientist but you also need funding for the data itself.

00:09:37:18 – 00:09:44:01
The data is very expensive to get big enough and solid enough data is training for these things right.

00:09:44:22 – 00:10:00:14
That’s right. That’s right. And the actual quality probably depends on the data. The second thing after you do the legal review in conjunction with the legal review you have to really understand how the predictive tools were trained initially.

00:10:02:15 – 00:10:32:23
This might lead into some of our first couple of conversations there are news items this week. I mean is this why we’re seeing a lot of acquisition of these small companies is that these big companies even though they have the budgets they may not have the skill sets or the data sets they need items that acquired guy provide a player that they candidate and recruiting marketing capabilities. Are these are these functionality play. Is that something what does that drive acquisition or is that also part of both.

00:10:32:24 – 00:10:36:21
I mean to get the right data as well it did all the work right.

00:10:37:06 – 00:11:09:02
It’s a little bit of both. I suppose buying time is a is a stake in the ground. I sometimes think you have this it. To me it looks like there. I’m sure they would say no to this but it looks to me like they are headed down the road towards a public offering and this broadens their functionality and they’ve been doing that broadening the function only collecting the core data and building intelligence based on the broad functional.

00:11:09:08 – 00:11:40:16
So with drive they get a good deal more granular insight into behavior in the employment website. The move in the to the tunnel which is where the competition is really heating up that’s where people dozens were keen on people looked newer and shinier compared very soon. So this is a good way for them to to improve. And

00:11:40:16 – 00:12:16:04
And if you if you look at the text risky acquisition that they did before the social relations are really good as acquisitions. And that’s not common. Most acquisitions move sometimes I get and I assume seems to have a handle on how to do it right. We’ll see how we do with time we’ll share with you. I was pretty impressed with what they’ve done in their evolution of the relationship with their group that is definitely I mean you hear your comment about them broad I their offerings.

00:12:16:06 – 00:12:54:20
This is definitely more on the big talent acquisition marketing side of things. But you know the thing to know. You know I’m all I’ve been working on for a while because they’re one of the few I would say niche players. They’re a niche recruiting player right that’s up there. There’s the hub. What they do. They start sort of branching out and offering onboarding and some elements around onboarding that then turn them in at least for the buyers. Again it just may not be the classical expectation that one would call them a talent management application they don’t have learning or performance but the buyers see them as their primary talent management application at least when they’re talking to some of their CEO survey side.

00:12:54:25 – 00:13:22:18
They’re one of the few niche players that have enough people to comment. This is my primary talent management application that we have to put him in on our sort of mix of talent management players. And so it’s an interesting thing I see him as a nice job I think of sort of doing well with a lot of things to your point bringing in the right players enough that the buyers feel like they add value in a lot of different places though. So they’ll definitely be interesting to see how they deal with the drive acquisition.

00:13:22:20 – 00:13:25:29
Well I’m Jewish. You drive

00:13:29:21 – 00:14:03:06
I was thinking about him this morning that you know that the idea that you build a company with investment for 10 years and do all of the changing and rethinking and juggling that it takes to be successful over the course of a decade while continuing to be innovative. That’s a really hard thing to do. And so I Sims also is really good at attracting a kind of energy into the fold right.

00:14:03:09 – 00:14:50:25
And that’s just because Colin dey who is the CEO at items seems to have a knack for making the tent bigger and making the company itself inclusive as a culture. That’s that’s an interesting and interesting difference. And they’re becoming a major force in the places where we’re becoming would be questioned but they’re becoming a major force in the in the overall power ecosystem just like you said because they’ve been relentless like Joe s and I’ve been real it was building and discovering and learning from their mistakes and expanding with the with the benefit of what they’ve discovered.

00:14:50:26 – 00:15:04:24
And you sir can ask for a better culture in the vendor of the technology and cultural fit is a big Argosy fact with it.

00:15:05:07 – 00:15:44:05
I mean the other big acquisition that’s happened this month that is definitely in our market but with Salesforce buying tableau that’s the concept that I’m not sure will go over well. So you know Salesforce obviously the big CRM that largest cloud sale system in the market. Pablo had a guy who you talk to but probably one of the largest that have the idea with a visualization process in the market as far as adoption. But those organizations are very different cultures Salesforce bought them for fifteen point three billion dollars and the largest sort of all stock deals.

00:15:44:07 – 00:16:16:03
But they the largest acquisition they’ve made to date and what was really interesting for me is that tableau still has a huge amount of there. They just recently went cloud not many years ago with a lot of their buyers are still in an on economic environment and they were heavily and what we would call the hybrid cloud based right Salesforce not so much. Those two seem like they were class so much to me I don’t know. Do you feel at all there’s going to be a big issue for them. Where it’s been a positive for them and their acquisitions.

00:16:17:00 – 00:16:38:22
Well you know this was the salesforce acquisition of Tableau reminds me of the origin story of the OCP acquisition of successful actors. And the story they’re currently the successor after she was becoming a primary asset in the ACP portfolio.

00:16:39:08 – 00:17:12:19
But it wasn’t always so. And I will be floored to discover that there are more than 10 percent of the original team success factors operating a PE ratio. So on many levels the acquisition was a failure. No they kept the brand they kept the functionality and they kept the discipline continuing to grow and terminal remembers which until they arrived at where they are today.

00:17:12:21 – 00:17:30:21
So they made the balance sheet or the work with the cultural morass just where you were. And I don’t know what happened to Tableau if the cultural merge isn’t there because as much as Salesforce wants to be a great enterprise company

00:17:32:28 – 00:17:52:01
it’s a CRM you know and so. And so some of the muscle that’s associated with being an oracle or IBM or ICP or through with software just isn’t really there even though they have that really big tall office scoping Yes

00:17:53:21 – 00:17:54:10

00:17:54:13 – 00:18:25:09
I would have to agree every time they tried to branch out into other areas. It has always started and then stopped because at the end of the day their focus their buyers their whole company is sales oriented failed systems oriented and anything that doesn’t tie back to that doesn’t get the attention right. Yeah I think it’s a big concern for the tabloid market and not only sales oriented I think cloud sales oriented right I think that’s the other piece of their culture that’s really important to note.

00:18:25:21 – 00:18:51:18
So. I would guess. Seems to me that we’re blue get to use the most zoom analysis rather than reporter dimensions with Tableau blue as a tool for doing problem analysis. It seems to me that the that’s where the dividing line between sales and operations.

00:18:52:09 – 00:19:26:08
Yeah I would agree. I mean I mean Salesforce has their own sort of reporting functionality but they don’t have an analysis so they think that has been at least from video and again I don’t work within that. So you know obviously anybody would think and feel free to chime in on this one. But yeah not the analysis side of it I think is the big missing piece that tableau can offer. Right. And that dividing line but also the visualization phase. I mean a big part is they build a sort of take those widgets and those those little dashboards and those tools and embed them into other places.

00:19:26:08 – 00:19:48:10
Again a lot of the other value propositions Salesforce is all of the other things that are built on the platform. Right. So all of the other little businesses that have used their technology and their platforms to build their own elements and there are some analytics folks that have done that. So this will be interesting to see if those things get impacted by this as well.

00:19:48:25 – 00:19:53:13
Debbie Rowe raises a hundred and three million dollars to shoot with those.

00:19:55:01 – 00:20:38:21
Yes. I mean like you said millions not as big as it used to be. Right. But still one hundred and three million for a mobile hosting application focused on leadership development. Now I have not looked at better. It’s not fallen into my foot of purview of things that have come across my table that I was sort of blown away by by the number that was put on this for improvements with this application. I have you run across any hosting and leadership subset of that happens this month and funding for an organization like this not even close not even close.

00:20:39:04 – 00:20:54:07
You know they talked extensively the clients who we are being be used to pay for workday ends at the head of a hundred enterprise customers by

00:20:56:06 – 00:21:06:29
this. This just makes me uncomfortable the idea that that you can scale mobile technology that delivers

00:21:08:16 – 00:21:10:05
coaching by phone

00:21:12:28 – 00:21:29:24
I don’t know. But you know you know I’ve been I’ve been baffled recently as I look out at the with the learning and development universe. I was baffled by the fact that almost everything I see and learning and development is introductory training

00:21:31:16 – 00:22:06:03
I don’t I don’t really see the production sort of graduate level courses in subject X or Y. Because because the company is specializing and it’s all leadership one on one and how to use a spreadsheet and these sort of rudimentary things. And this seems like it falls in that I can’t imagine that you can deliver a coaching tool done at scale that will help me make a decision about whether or not to fire my CMO.

00:22:06:25 – 00:22:32:09
Wow. All right. This this this will help me coach me through the process of talking to Sally when she’s late all the time and that’s really important. But the real the real leadership issues in this organization are not maybe you disagree with but I don’t think real leadership issues in organizations have to do with having hard conversations between supervisors and.

00:22:32:12 – 00:22:37:01
It’s certainly important but it’s not the most important thing.

00:22:38:26 – 00:22:39:12
I. I

00:22:39:18 – 00:23:16:02
I I’ll push back a little bit I think it’s probably the thing that that often get really investment in and in development when you are you’re promoting people. And so I do I do understand why there is a lot of programs built around it. Right. Because organizations usually find out too late they have promoted a whole group of leaders who just don’t know how to have the hard conversations. And we don’t know how to have conversations. Then you end up with a lot of people really unclear of what the boundaries are like you know raising children or anything else.

00:23:16:06 – 00:23:26:20
You have to know what the boundaries are and you have to understand them. So the reasons why those boundaries are there and that’s a simple feel that that part can do right.

00:23:26:20 – 00:23:42:22
On the other hand I think you know the things you’re talking about the Masters level but really hard decisions about you know how you know what’s what’s the balance between an innovative team member versus one who is you know constantly causing chaos in the organization.

00:23:42:22 – 00:24:13:02
And that would be the CMO that do I let them go do I not when there are other things that you’re trying to balance those kind of things are really hard to code and to put into a repeatable training scenario. Right. Because they’re there one on every situation is somewhat of a one off. Right. And so we don’t get detailed that kind of stuff you learn through mistakes in many cases or you learn from having someone sitting next to you with the coaching. So they do have a series of photos that go along with this program like the life coach and it looks like.

00:24:13:09 – 00:24:17:14
But I don’t know. Again they’re not inside the company how relevant that is. Right.

00:24:17:15 – 00:24:25:03
So yeah I agree that that is a challenge to get that level. But I do think that it’s valuable even though it’s not at that level.

00:24:25:04 – 00:24:53:22
So to you you should be coming to terms where she may have seen some things you wish you talked about having hired a bunch of managers who don’t know how to have hard conversations you also have this training problem. Is that fatal. What happens when the organization gets to the point where the managers can have a good relationship. The boundaries get blurry. What happened.

00:24:54:09 – 00:25:28:27
Well I can say from my experience inside of corporations where that ends up happening back on your culture starts to break down less when employees get frustrated. That when you end up with one department being able to something in another department not being able to do something right and then you basically are breeding very frustrated employees who are not focused on getting their job done. But I focus on the internal politics on some level right because it becomes a political conversation versus a set of guidelines that frees up data and power stations right.

00:25:28:29 – 00:25:39:16
And that’s what you’re trying to avoid. Most of these organizations. But it’s really really hard to take that out of an organization that has not happened and in it for years now.

00:25:40:07 – 00:26:29:04
That’s a show that’s that’s very close to something that I’ve been trying to figure out with with the show. And that is if you take job descriptions and you take measurements and you match these things together the things that you don’t know is what’s wrong with the job description. So if you’re in a culture that doesn’t that doesn’t emphasize radical candor I think this is one of the ways they talk. So being clear about whether it’s time for discipline in the 90s to just regimentation through this discipline if that isn’t part of the organization’s way of thinking then and a tool that matches people to the organization will amplify that output.

00:26:29:11 – 00:26:59:00
And there’s there’s very little work going on to assess whether or not a company is headed in the right direction and needs to adjust its hiring process to get on the right direction. But I haven’t seen anything that the press is that what you’re talking about would be a fairly common problem that would be amplified by an A.I. hiring more people who are like the people who are already

00:27:01:00 – 00:27:02:03
I think you’ve hit on something.

00:27:02:03 – 00:27:37:24
I mean it maybe it’s why I always feel so anxious when I’m working with you know conversations about artificial intelligence because I’ve seen organizations do you know everyone is like walking a freight train coming down the road. And no it’s common everybody in the company is friendly. Everybody is frustrated and you can’t get off the track. Well be better off. What does that do to something right. When you’ve got the time to sort of deal with it then you know for that time to bring in new leadership and there and you and you get some warning flags because you know numbers start to drop slowly but you speed that up and everybody.

00:27:37:24 – 00:27:44:24
Yeah. You end up with with much quicker failures probably right than you see in other organizations. Yeah. That’s a very good point.

00:27:46:09 – 00:28:00:26
So that’s what I’m watching, anyhow. I’m glad you’re back on the states and it is I guess it is right in the half hour or so. So we have wandered our way through another great conversation. Thanks for doing this.

00:28:00:27 – 00:28:25:12
Definitely. Yeah well I mean we’ll probably cover some more the areas where we thought that’s planned for next week because I don’t know how how much we’ll get over the summer months. But there’s a lot of places where I think the conversations we’re having are fitting into both investment and new products that are coming out. So it’ll be fun to see where your your demos that you think you’re left. But I think a couple of those conversations John are always fun to do it.

00:28:26:09 – 00:28:58:25
Yeah. Yeah. And I think we’re seeing that on the HRExaminer’s Web site. We always have the entire list of things that we meant to talk about associated with the page that has the radio show or which shows you know. What did they miss this week. So the best answer is to go to and look at the radio shows and read Stacy’s beautiful piece of work about the various announcements that we didn’t get too.

00:28:59:25 – 00:29:08:07
Yeah. That we didn’t get to talk around the water cooler about. But you know that’s a great great reminder for everyone that we at least try and capture it all.

00:29:08:21 – 00:29:18:05
Yeah. So thanks you’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly, One Step Closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser and we will see you back here next week. Bye bye now.

00:29:18:05 – 00:29:18:12
And thanks again Stace


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