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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: 225
Air Date: July 11, 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


00:00:14:08 – 00:00:23:02
Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly, One Step Closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. Good morning Stacey. How are you?

00:00:23:02 – 00:00:36:05
I’m well John I am enjoying a nice very warm day in North Carolina though home still for my my little break from the travel Road here in July. And how about you. Are you home this week. I think you’re traveling next week though aren’t you?

00:00:36:05 – 00:01:08:19
I am headed to two great things this week. I’m going to a conference that I go to every year that I think is the best conference of the year. For me it’s called Mind the product and it is about product management it done differently than than most of the things that I see one day. And one agenda six speakers on the topic of the relationship between product management and company success.

00:01:09:04 – 00:01:38:23
And it’s great. It’s great. It’s focused. There’s not a choice there’s not milling around. It’s not really a lot of networking. It is a pure educational sit in your chair and take the day long conference at the State of the art. So in product management you get the issues like interface design and usability integration. It’s a very sort of met view for a terrific go to

00:01:39:03 – 00:02:01:29
Mary. And I’ll be interested when you when you go to this next week to see if they’ll be talking more about no interface versus interface right. Because the conversation that I’m hearing a lot more is that. The idea of the computer basically and all of your technology being hidden behind the life you want to live in that will be interesting to see how much that comes up and something like that.

00:02:01:29 – 00:02:16:13
Well that’s the interesting turn of a phrase technology’s hidden behind the life you want to live. Give me a couple of bullets to do that. Well that’s that’s that’s almost a perfect subtitle for the New York Times best seller isn’t it.

00:02:16:17 – 00:02:26:27
Yeah. Well there you go. My next book tour and I mean when I when I when I hear you know eggs I mean partially because I think I was reading a lot of articles this week.

00:02:26:28 – 00:03:08:07
I’ve had a lot of time my house has got fans and humidifier. So I’ve been relegated to one room in my house which left me to do a lot of reading and I have been reading a lot of the backlash against technology. But when I really dig into a lot of those to do especially in where you’re at there in San Francisco that area the Bay Area this pushback My technology is not getting rid of technology completely when you dig into a lot of those conversations. It’s just making it less in your face and something that you have to have available and making it more something where as I’m sort of going out and doing my outside living and enjoying my kayaking and and cooking for my family the technology is there to support those things you want to do right.

00:03:08:07 – 00:03:22:08
It automatically gives you the information your refrigerators talking your stove talking or dishwashers talking it know allowing you to do the things you enjoy to do in an easier way it seems at least that’s the conversation that’s what I’m getting out of all these articles I’m reading right now. But the backlash technology right.

00:03:22:21 – 00:03:57:24
So do you think that this is this is one of the questions I I keep rubbing up against. Do you think that business technology needs to can operate in that same way. I get I get that my refrigerator could tell me I need it here. But the kinds of jobs where you have that level of understanding of what the job actually is exactly the kinds of jobs that are going to be arbitrary. So when you think about what’s going on in business software.

00:03:58:06 – 00:04:25:16
All right I get that you can have all of your sort of user and interfaces in sort of a slack so you don’t have to have a lot of energy put in to data entry and perhaps a little bit of insight. But if you’re actually going to do something like analytics against the H.R. yes those things I don’t know how you get that embedded in the refrigerator you’re you know I’m not.

00:04:25:16 – 00:05:05:24
Yeah. It’s not going to be easy. But I do think that it’s much much like driverless cars are sort of think that the point of being pushed a bit not just because it’s more efficient and there’s all kinds of reasons why valuable for chipping in some things but because there’s a new generation of of kids who aren’t and aren’t interested in getting their drivers like that sort of. I think there’s a push there because you have a generation of people who are in need of something that you know hasn’t quite yet been built yet. Right. And my sense will be that when the workers you know the next door Asia workers get into were they’re not used to using the computer to get things done.

00:05:05:25 – 00:05:43:08
They’re used to asking their phone how to get things done they’re used to talking as a group about things and collaborating and having no stuff being picked up you know in their household when they need to buy something right. Well why would my work environment work the same way I need to order something I want to tell that board in my room or I want to order you know I want to collaborate as a team why should something be listening to all of my conversations and taking my notes or me and automatically putting it up there why should I have to touch the system as much right I get what you’re saying that you know it’s definitely far off it’s not going to be tomorrow but I think that’s the direction that this chapter I shall miss him.

00:05:43:08 – 00:06:31:00
Well let’s you know this is a chart technology we’re talking about too which let’s take that a little further. There is a chart technology you have every employee in the company has to touch it in some way. Right. There’s there’s there’s data entry and queries about refer to all of the things that individual employees do in their interactions with a store. Then there’s the work that the people in H.R. do. Right. And so if if I say yeah it makes all the sense in the world that the the user interface at the employee level needs to be embedded in the flow of work that’s great but of the primary interface that is not the primary architecture of our technology.

00:06:31:00 – 00:07:00:29
All right. The the employee level user interface is not how you design this stuff. And so. So in the heart of the software the people who actually to use the software it’s not going to be designed in the way that it is designed for employees. Right. And that’s the that’s the thing. So you can be right about that about the interface being less of a hassle for the working person who interfaces with the H.R. department.

00:07:02:14 – 00:07:17:17
But I don’t see you you know the the admin level of the game which is what most people who buy our technology are actually thinking about. I don’t see how that does what you’re talking about.

00:07:18:28 – 00:07:52:01
Oh I get it. Well I think you’re correct in that. You know we if you take a look at any of the old applications or any existing applications the administrative views the administrative areas where the last and sometimes never updated to the new you X user experience. Right. That we keep hearing about that that was that’s been the big mantra for the last five years. But we need to have a better user experience or people will use the system and what they found out was anything that didn’t really happen either with a better user experience the data wasn’t getting into the system right.

00:07:52:13 – 00:08:25:06
There’s two things that administrators struggle with getting the data into the system and then analyzing it and using it in some way right. And so the first thing is to figure out how to get the data into the system better. That’s the piece I think we’re talking about the end user perspective. The second thing is how do I make do a better job of taking that data and doing something with it that is meaningful to my company. Well that’s not as much about the user experience per say as it is about the analytic or the behind the scenes capabilities of that tool to connect data.

00:08:25:07 – 00:08:25:16

00:08:26:09 – 00:08:44:11
So. So I don’t need to be too hard over this. But what you just said is it doesn’t matter user experience doesn’t have really people who actually use the system all day. It only has to do with people who use the system. It’s definitely in their favor.

00:08:44:16 – 00:08:56:03
That would be my take. Yeah you can you can you can disagree with me on that one but I. But I think that’s definitely part of the part of the at least what we’re seeing in the daytime thing and the data in many cases right.

00:08:56:10 – 00:09:29:12
OK. Well well so. So that’s I think that that opens the door to some really interesting ideas. If if if you know to refer to the development of the interfaces so that that the power user just one kind of interface and the occasional user to. Not really part of the core. Each are a function user just to go there probably a face.

00:09:29:27 – 00:09:30:22
That’s interesting.

00:09:31:15 – 00:09:58:11
And my bet if you talked to them it would be interesting. Next time you do use some of your demos ask especially of the older platforms is the ones who had screens and then moved you know how to change their multiple user interfaces a couple times newer guys don’t get this until they start sort of doing version after version right. But ask them if their administrative user experience is the same or has always been the same as their end user user experience.

00:09:58:12 – 00:10:01:28
That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer. Thanks. Looks good. Yeah.

00:10:02:13 – 00:10:35:16
So this is actually I think it’s having to get brain into some of the stuff we’ve got going on this week. There is a lot of news but it’s all very disparate. There’s a lot of stuff going on with investment. We’ve got a lot of new products being launched and lots of conversation about artificial intelligence particularly in the space of how is it going to be used inside of these H.R. applications. There’s a couple of interesting stories there and then lots of updates on GDP which is at the heart of this which is data privacy standards.

00:10:35:16 – 00:10:46:24
How is that going to have an impact on the ability for all of us to connect. Though it’s been a busy week in the nature of tech space even though it’s middle of July and look at where on vacation so that’s great.

00:10:46:24 – 00:11:04:06
So where do you want to start. You. Maybe we should just run through the headlines real quick because it is a lot of disparate stuff and includes news. There is a study from IDC that we could talk about the entire rest of the show that shows half of all we are a project trail. Yeah

00:11:04:06 – 00:11:40:29
Yeah I picked that up for you Dad. I thought that would definitely pad your introduction at the same time we’ve got to Rhydian launching their payroll in Australia which means they’re continuing to expand their global reach right. We’ve got H.R. benefits tacked a light acquiring Hodges Mace which benefit has become a really hot topic here in the state but also internationally when I was doing my sort of work in Singapore and Shanghai this year I did get a lot of questions about where does benefit in the international market right when it’s not a health care conversation but there’s a lot of other type of things that it goes into.

00:11:41:01 – 00:12:12:15
So there’s that going on right now with a lot of acquisitions going on there. We also have one trust. I don’t know if anybody follows the sort of data privacy space but one trust is a technology that is supposed to help you evaluate and comply with your data privacy laws. It raised two hundred million dollars at a one point three billion valuation to help companies comply with data privacy laws. The huge amount of investment and belief in this data privacy software that many of the H.R. professionals are using along with their I.T. professionals

00:12:12:15 – 00:12:43:28
professionals. We’re also seeing that there was a serious funding for twenty three million dollars with Insight Partners or information sharing staff based sorry staff based organisation that receive 23 million dollars in theory funding and we can talk a little bit about that. I think they’re located elsewhere. I hope to that I mentioned earlier secure seven point five million in Series B funding from their partners and they’re a software that listens to your meetings John and provides information on whether or not they’re being productive and how to improve that.

00:12:44:09 – 00:13:12:24
And then we’ve got GDP are the British Airways is slapped with a hefty one hundred and eighty three million euros fine for their GDP are issues with data privacy theft. Now that’s on the marketing side their customer data was loosely managed and so they’re getting slapped with fines for that but again the question becomes how quickly is that going to turn into your H.R. data and along with your idc. One in four companies half of all projects fail so it’s been a busy week right.

00:13:13:19 – 00:13:44:16
Yeah so. So I’m not sure where to start with all of this stuff except to to it’s worth saying that on the GDP or from the looses control of marketing data happens in the recruitment process right. So it’s it’s hard to tell if somebody says please don’t read this. This firm has to do with somebody asking not to be cut to the degree we right.

00:13:45:06 – 00:13:57:08
That’s part of it. And the other part is that they actually had a data hack on there. They had their site open enough to get them data hacking and because they didn’t basically secure their data well enough. It’s also part of that too.

00:13:57:18 – 00:14:28:09
Well so nobody has control over the data inside the organisation. And the biggest single risk area is the receiving zero. Right so there’s there’s nothing that I know that when a person contacts the marketing and says please forget me that that information is passed on to a store and there’s some sort of a tag ability process. I’ve never seen a piece of software that knows that there’s a good point.

00:14:28:09 – 00:14:28:11

00:14:28:11 – 00:14:51:09
I know that I can tell you in our company I think there is some belief that if someone put their resumé. And so when again this meant that again we wouldn’t have to talk to your legal friends who are there closely you know if you put a résumé and does that mean that you have asked to be connected or just is that part of the forget me process if I ask marketing forget me does that mean I have stuff that greeting to forget me right.

00:14:51:17 – 00:15:22:14
Well just think about what you just said. The idea that I’m supposed to figure out how IBM works when I want it to forget me that’s silly. It’s not my job to figure out how IBM works its IBM job if they work or any other company I just want to be about how I would put the question of whether or not marketing emails are talking to each other shouldn’t be my question if I want you to forget that it should be your question. If I were you.

00:15:22:28 – 00:15:36:29
Yeah you could. So that will be the disconnect between the various organisational silos at the sea level will start to pop up into these data. It’s the Wild West of the department.

00:15:37:02 – 00:16:09:00
It will be. But I think this is why someone like the one trusts which has been around for quite some time but now all of a sudden is getting a new wave of interest just for of two hundred million dollars in funding right from inside partners. If you take a look at what their tools are. You wouldn’t consider them traditional H.R. tools but I think they really are these days they have assessments for assessing where your gaps are. They have maturity planning and program benchmarking all that tick tick but they also have targeted data discovery. What where’s that data at. And data mapping automation consent management tools.

00:16:09:02 – 00:16:24:02
So who has consent and who is not right cookie compliance. Mobile app compliance preference management tool. These are all things that we were just talking about. The question is does it reach into as far as the H.R. systems. I think the answer is yes. If they’re looking at the entire company.

00:16:24:15 – 00:17:00:22
Well so that was the technology. This ends up being so. So I think it’s your data that says that 30 percent of enterprise scale companies use a chart to manage privacy for people data that they charge the security place they’re just raised to have for dinner. Yeah. Raises the question of whether or not there is instead of there being a sort of a nature I.T. department that there shouldn’t be just one eye to the court but that handles all of the data everywhere inside of it.

00:17:01:28 – 00:17:42:07
Well that’s a conversation I think they have a lot of organizations are having. I didn’t put it in the conversation talking about today but there was a couple of of recent big sort of news short of businesses around the growing role of the Chief Data Officer Right. Which is part of one of the requirements of GDP is that you have someone in your organization is held accountable to data management. So yeah. Now I think this is a conversation where does that get held and who is ultimately held accountable to it. Right. I don’t think that alleviates they charge role even if they do have a chief data after or able to a central location in some cases it might elevate a charge expectations for being aware of what they’re doing.

00:17:42:23 – 00:17:51:17
You know my robe recruiting software is known where individual learning applications right. All of that has to be aware of tracked and managed.

00:17:52:01 – 00:17:54:21
Interesting. Interesting. So what else is in the pile.

00:17:55:00 – 00:18:22:10
Well I mean we did get this update from Meridian launching their Australia payroll. This was actually pretty big because really to me they’ve been Canadian and US pretty heavily as far as their application goes I don’t know they’ve gone outside of that from an international perspective launching into Australia is a pretty big announcement for them. Do you think that you know is this just you know we’re going to go to the other English speaking region basically is this then the next life or somebody in office or is there something else behind this.

00:18:22:13 – 00:18:36:04
No I think it’s I think it’s that simple QA review is doing the logical expansions and you know now that the public they’re all probably very consistent growth isn’t very obvious market so they’re going to make that decision.

00:18:37:09 – 00:18:43:23
So we can expect them to follow the path that we’ve seen with many of the other vendors who have done this throughout from expanding internationally. Basically Jacquie

00:18:45:12 – 00:19:23:02
which will actually be interesting to see because that’s definitely the growth at least from our data that is showing more growth in Europe and Asia Pacific right now than the US. Particularly for payroll and for a term as those not a not an incorrect direction to head the other one I thought that was sort of interesting was this this acquisition by a light for those who maybe don’t know a light a light was what used to be Aon Hewitt and Hewitt did services and consulting and benefit administration as well as they have some theories that benefit technology they had purchased several sort of small new what you would consider wellness and engagement platforms right.

00:19:23:03 – 00:19:55:16
They’ve had a. A mid big mix. Sort of like the arpeggios on some level of sort of outsourcing and managing benefits and benefit services and technology. Right. So a lot of that similar sort of model a lot of acquisition going on in this base and this is sort of a really good example showing of the number of agency mergers and acquisitions that have gone up in the last sort of 15 years and they say there’s been this particular article talked about six hundred and twenty six different agency mergers and acquisitions and you know 2018.

00:19:55:18 – 00:20:56:23
Now a lot of these are small benefits providers as follow but software. Hodges maze is much more focused on I would say mid-market or SMB benefits where a light and a Don Hewitt will focused on much larger benefit acquisition technologies and larger benefit conversations with larger companies. So this might just be a mixture of going mid-market and getting mid-market into a organization that that does primarily on the largest companies. But to me this is I think the benefit software wellness space is definitely an area where we’re gonna see a lot of conversation right now I get I get questions randomly from people on a pretty regular basis and I would say about a quarter to maybe even a half this year have been about benefit technology and what people are doing with their benefits technology it’s not a well understood based right now that’s sort of looking at the chart inside of this side of the cervical it shows to me over 2000 mergers in the last five years.

00:20:56:27 – 00:21:26:18
Yeah almost twenty five hundred now what the hell are they talking about. What is what are the 25 things that merged though brokers all those people in that benefit base to do both consulting and brokerages and technology so why not a little insurance company with two employees reasonable benefits for 10 or 15 companies in the neighborhood. Are you bought by somebody that’s coming in these numbers.

00:21:27:08 – 00:21:59:26
Yes that I think that’s part of it. I believe like I can’t say for sure I would have to go and dig into the numbers by play that some of that yes that’s why there’s so many I see I see the mom and pop shops being replaced by large national brands Yeah exactly is what’s happening here and they know that you know a light has in the last few years purchase but they’ve got like sticks mentioned here so Hodges Michael future knowledge Compass Professional Health Services health and management consulting and the work to increase that on demand business with Whipper right.

00:21:59:27 – 00:22:15:02
So they’ve acquired different levels of technology along with all of those. So it’s not just brokerages. So I think that’s something to be aware of this this is much more of a I think a technology and services play than it is just a conversation about merging different service offerings.

00:22:15:12 – 00:22:25:17
Well there’s a whole wonderful neighbors covering issues a whole zero really twenty five hundred mergers and acquisitions. There’s a there’s a business for animals.

00:22:26:18 – 00:23:05:03
I would say though I know a few who are trying to cover this base. I don’t know that anybody is doing it really really well. But yes but this is from a technology perspective. I know there’s one benefit conference that gets done. I think LRP put that on every year there’s a couple of outsourcing conferences that cover this. There is I know Gartner covers this a little bit in some sense but usually it’s only covered at the highest level and then a lot of people are using local sort of H.R. advisors in this space right. So yes this is a space that I think we’ll see more because as this grows and these organizations consolidate that mean the bigger vendors bigger sort of marketing budgets.

00:23:05:04 – 00:23:18:24
Right which is what happened in all of the tech the other technology areas. And I would assume probably more focused on technology because we saw that happen with a lot of the other consulting firms that merged into technology businesses right.

00:23:19:08 – 00:23:31:20
I’m puzzled this will rub a little bit more you guys been paying close attention to the intelligence tools industry but they haven’t really spent time thinking about this area or world.

00:23:31:27 – 00:24:04:29
Well we’ll be having some more data and if we actually asked a few more questions this year in the survey about it we’re gonna get some data on what percentage of organizations are outsourcing fully versus partially outsourcing and when they do outsource what services are they getting with it. Both voluntary services and not. And so this is an area in your chapter who was my new analyst. And she does know because she did you do research in this space and so I have a little bit of update but that’s not exactly why I’m bringing it up here. The main reason I think is because we’ve seen this as an area where people don’t have data which is why we add it to the survey more than anything I share.

00:24:05:00 – 00:24:12:15
But it is definitely a space where I think something’s changing and I don’t know it well enough to really say what’s changing it.

00:24:13:06 – 00:25:01:21
Yeah there’s a lot there’s a lot of things going on because the benefits area is becoming technology providers with a different business model than the rest of the technology business. So yeah I’m getting it right. And so it’s in the interest of benefits providers to give their clients as much H.R. technology as with town because the benefits business is so profitable. Yeah. And so you get you get locked in. If you if I provide you with your Atria so you’re recruiting software your performance management software in exchange for your benefits business in order to you have a new benefits provider you have to get rid of all of your embedded technology where it’s much harder much harder to get out of the contract.

00:25:01:26 – 00:25:42:27
And that’s interesting. I got one more for you. That is pretty interesting. There’s a company called tentative I.D. that is doing its next round of fundraising online. And they’re trying to raise the money from people who work in the business. Who cares about the derivative I.D. We have customers like IBM and thermo Fisher. They are if you look up the idea on Google what you’ll find is that is that this company is offering recruiters and recruiting managers the opportunity to invest in them.

00:25:42:27 – 00:25:50:00
I have no idea whether that was true but I know everything about this but I’ve never seen it before.

00:25:50:01 – 00:26:02:27
Yeah. If they would feel like there would be some legal ramifications with that sort of. So then do I buy the company that I have investment isn’t there’s some ethical things I would think be there but that’s interesting right.

00:26:03:17 – 00:26:24:22
It’s interesting. Yeah I have to process the ethical ramifications of this but it’s crowdsourcing with a target market. And now I’m seeing more and more of the alternative fundraising model for companies that are trying to grow. So this is just an interesting thing. Let’s take care of that idea.

00:26:25:03 – 00:26:59:13
Yeah. No that’s definitely right and I don’t know. I mean I think your conversation about alternative funding model that’s actually probably worth a whole other conversation at some point down the road for us because how organizations are getting funding is changing as well. There’s a lot of you know the angel funding the the sort of investment firm the venture capital even the private equity firms are acting differently it seems on some level. That would be an interesting show for us to really talk about what’s happening in that space a little bit and what it what it means when you buy into a company that’s being funded in one way versus another.

00:26:59:14 – 00:27:01:20
Right. For your application software.

00:27:01:29 – 00:27:18:18
Yeah. So we are through another half hour.

Yeah. Great. Great conversation. Again thanks for doing this Stacey

You’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly, One Step Closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. We’ll see you here next week.

Bye bye now.

00:27:18:20 – 00:27:34:02
Thanks everyone, bye.


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