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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: 226
Air Date: July 18, 2019




Important: Our transcripts at HRExaminer are AI-powered (and fairly accurate) but there are still instances where the robots get confused and make errors. Please expect some inaccuracies as you read through the text of this conversation. Thank you for your understanding.

John Sumser
Stacey Harris


00:00:14:06 – 00:00:22:28
Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly, One Step Closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. Good morning Stacey. How are you?

00:00:22:28 – 00:00:41:28
I’m doing well John. It’s a good morning here in North Carolina. We are enjoying a beautiful sort of mixed rain Sunny on the same day with the kind of a thing for North Carolina but it is hot and muggy and that is what it usually is this time of year. So I can’t complain because it’s nice and warm in the winter too. How about you?

00:00:42:00 – 00:00:45:16
Well you look at that and tell it Lake sounds like the recipe for rainbows.

00:00:46:00 – 00:00:47:22
Yes it does. Exactly.

00:00:48:09 – 00:00:49:27
You know that would be great.

00:00:50:09 – 00:01:25:22
I am in Park City Utah and I’ve had a weak of conference hopping I started at something called Mind the Product which is a bunch of product managers told in San Francisco that the company that does it has product management conferences in London San Francisco and shoot for good. So they are sort of the hub of a large community. Product managers. And that was pretty interesting largely because I took that discipline, product management, is probably coming to H.R.

00:01:25:29 – 00:01:50:01
Fairly quickly. And then the last couple days I’ve been in Park City at the PlanSource Users’ Conference. PlanSource is a benefits platform that allows brokers and companies and the people that they support to interact with eachother in order to give people better choice and utilization benefits. So, it’s been an interesting week.

00:01:50:07 – 00:02:02:14
Definitely. Park City Utah is not a you know a lot of time out there so there’s a good chance to be in a new area and to learn about benefits. We talk a lot about benefits. Last thing it is a hot topic it seems in the market.

00:02:02:14 – 00:02:06:03
So hopefully I don’t like bring us some interesting insight from the conference that they

00:02:07:29 – 00:02:26:16
mentioned it’s been very virgins and you know I was born in Utah but I was born a little protein below 30 days before and was only here for six weeks. Never saw the food should go until I was 40 and I’ve never been in the mountains which is it’s a a route.

00:02:27:14 – 00:02:58:26
Beautiful scenery and I think I’ve only been to Salt Lake. I guess that’s probably it. Now that I’m thinking about it though you will have been more than probably most. We also have a couple of interesting news announcements this week some fun ones as well as some that I think are kind of interesting as the market is shifting around what’s happening in recruiting. We had actually happened last week. We didn’t catch it in the news run but mainly appointed a friend of I think a lot of people in the industry and our friend Larry Donovan as the new CEO namely he’s been struggling a bit. They’ve

00:02:58:26 – 00:03:31:10
They’ve they’ve started out with some great Wow marketing and then I think they sort of we’re trying to figure out where they were going from their meandering a little bit and picking up Larry Donovan as a new CEO is probably going to be really interesting. We also have this week PMP worldwide acquiring Korengal I’m not sure I’m saying that correctly a programmatic recruitment application. And then just the merely almost a similar kind of acquisition decision indeed announced acquisition of automated recruitment technology platform click IQ. So a lot of stuff going on in the recruiting base there.

00:03:31:11 – 00:04:09:09
There’s I’m sure a couple other things going on. But but I thought the more interesting conversation than some of the inputs the acquisitions and these fundings that are going on right now is Microsoft you know basically putting out a press release saying that they are team application now has 13 million daily active users. And so I think there’s a great conversation when you get out there about daily active users how do you attract that. Who is that. Does that really mean anything. I just had a financial analyst put out a recent article to all of his research audience about daily user that they were carrying off the web and whether or not that showed real use of the technology and they had a couple of the H.R.

00:04:09:09 – 00:04:34:03
technologies in that article as well. And why do you need to put out a press release to show how many more million you have daily users versus someone like slack which seems to be the big focus of this article that you know they have bypassed and much more quickly than the black user audience. So. It’s kind of a fun way to have some conversations. You went to some neat conferences and in the middle of any conference and we’ve got some good things to talk about. Where do you start.

00:04:34:03 – 00:04:39:11
Dunn go and change. Change is good. You bonded. Duly users.

00:04:39:12 – 00:05:10:05
So what do you do. Well but is the step conversation I think is just there is an ongoing conversation in the market I think that’s happening. How do I track the actual adoption or use of my H.R. technology I’ve been asked or asking a question about last year we asked again this year speak that two years now of data. On whether or not they even track it in organizations in the 30 year survey and then sort of how they make decisions in their organization what their age or technology to get a sense of how big.

00:05:10:21 – 00:05:53:23
Put a lot of people I think are going the way they do track it is how many people log in every day and what type of activities happen. So the question is if you’re logging in and doing something every day does that mean you’re actually using the technology every day. And I think that’s what a daily user of that means. I’ve gone in and done something in it if that’s the same as going in and doing something important a quantity over quality question oftentimes right. And if you’re tracking these kind of staff from outside of a company that you’re just using cloud that like this one reports that I had shared with you this week was was basically tracking all the cloud that’s all the club features that were tied to various things like ultimate work day and day force they had on that list as well.

00:05:53:24 – 00:06:04:08
Peck how does that equate to a real number of actual usage. What do you think. John I mean you and I have had a conversation about this before but do you think this is an important metric we should be paying attention to.

00:06:04:11 – 00:06:34:29
The problem is it’s the only met you can get and it doesn’t really tell you anything. So sure you might know you’ve probably slept well at all but you might imagine but too much detail use these two companies in theory. Yeah right. And so you’ve to wonder about this statistic like a lot of things that you can measure about Internet behavior there’s no indication there’s no way to get an education.

00:06:35:18 – 00:07:08:12
You were always eager to get to work you can’t get a single one. And so you need to really target so older didn’t even invention productivity or revenue related to those pieces and Bill used to have something that you’d want to see. But this is a press release from the financial world which to the financial markets don’t take care of yourself produces no benefit. They care about how the cruise ship works.

00:07:08:13 – 00:07:11:11
And this was to show with some.

00:07:11:20 – 00:07:44:27
And I think it does. And they also care about how many life and some of that may mean even if you don’t use it if you buy a life then you’re paying something right for the most part and definitely with the Microsoft announcement here. I think their focus was to show their transition from what was Skype to Microsoft teams and I don’t know enough about how all of that is happening I know personally in my own life it’s causing a bit of chaos because my company is doing the same thing as everyone else does you’re being forced into the team application area. But that has been you know a little bumpy because most people just moved over to Skype but they were on you know I think Microsoft thing in the last two years.

00:07:44:27 – 00:08:16:08
So I think they’re also trying to sort of change the perception that you know that teams is just another of the many but that you know millions and millions of people are going to be using it and it’s valuable and you should invest in obviously what Microsoft’s doing versus what little flag is doing with their IPO that they had a few weeks ago so yeah I would definitely say is that financial focused conversation but I think it is a good conversation for companies to have inside their own environments about. To your point how do we track these usage but then how do we connect that exist in much of the recruiting conversation right.

00:08:16:09 – 00:08:19:06
Just because I recruit a number of people doesn’t mean they’re quality people.

00:08:19:07 – 00:08:50:24
Right. And what’s happened in recruitment advertising is it’s migrated towards people. So this is actually a direct tie in to the deed and PMP announcements about buying programmatic every time the name of the game is on how many clicks You get on the name would be gamers are many people apply for the job. And so Avery many years 25 years in recruiting industry has migrated towards performance based advertising.

00:08:50:24 – 00:09:23:23
And that means that you could do things like a good programmer check your recruiting for a nurse in Raleigh North Carolina and you need to get 200 applications to effectively search for somebody with a smart programmatic advertising managers. The flow of clinicians turns the system long when you know and so it puts you in the right place to get the data and then make sure the limits which you always get as much news as you need.

00:09:23:24 – 00:09:32:06
And that’s the kind of performance measure that each of these teams people don’t love you.

00:09:32:10 – 00:10:06:13
Interesting. Well that’s definitely going to. I think we’re probably going to hear a lot more about that and other areas they are. I mean recruiting tends to be ahead when it comes to some of these conversations because they’ve been dealing with them almost as long as the Internet’s been around. So it will be interesting to see you know this idea you know I could see that conversation definitely happening in the learning space right. Without a doubt you know how many times I like an open learning does that really matter right. Compared to whether or not to actually take action and performance. Just because I’ve gone in and looked at my performance reviews or even done a performance review doesn’t mean I’m actually improving performance.

00:10:06:15 – 00:10:19:02
That’s the conversation we’ve been having for a little while. There’s there’s a lot of this activity doesn’t equate to outcome conversation but yet there’s got to be something we talked attractive to get to the next level I think is the real I think insight hearing.

00:10:19:04 – 00:10:49:25
That’s right. That’s how you do measurement. You don’t. This has been the problem with quality of higher metrics and recruiting everybody is waiting so there is a perfect measure of what quality of Iowa is. And so nobody measures anything in the way that you solve the problem is by looking at hiring managers or satisfaction. And then when hurried to managers instruction starts to do you start to ask questions about why did you start measuring that stuff when ultimately you involve the measurement regime.

00:10:49:29 – 00:11:18:18
That actually tells you whether or not these a worker. But it doesn’t just fall out of the sky you learn that you learn to measure. You have to test and experiment and watch and learn. So the data and analytics thing is much more rigorous discipline change. At first you say you want to continuously improve the ability of the measures by looking at what actually can be summarized.

00:11:19:16 – 00:11:51:13
And I think the thing that’s important to point out there because what you’re talking about is the process the process of getting from the bigger metrics and bigger numbers and the. I would say almost more shallow but there’s still important down to sort of the really important information that at a more granular level. But I don’t think you can leapfrog in this area like you’re saying. People are looking for the quick way there. Just because someone else got to a certain metric that means something to them they only knew that metric how important it was oftentimes and what it actually means because they had done all the other work.

00:11:51:13 – 00:12:26:12
Right. And I think that’s a hard thing for a lot of organizations especially sometimes if they hire an analyst person comes from someone else as well. We did it this way. I think every company based on their culture their operations their industry the mix of all that right has different things. They’re important to them and you have to start out knowing I think you find a fireball. Large things like how often people click before you start to cool down because it’s not it’s an investigative process and that’s good analytic because there’s no like you said instant silver bullet that tells you that if I if I track this that way it will mean something in my company.

00:12:27:00 – 00:12:57:25
What’s really interesting and this gives me the Segway to talk about the first conflicts over which we what’s really interesting about what you just said is that how you build products to exactly the recognition that you use to build other tests of experiment and see what happens and some things experiment some folks they don’t. But you start with these things and you get increasingly granular and you use research as a critical component of that process. So the exciting thing for me of the profits that I work through it.

00:12:57:27 – 00:13:33:21
It’s an amazing thing. The conference itself is one day long and this one track to their terms speakers and two thousand people with a simple I’m doing t of the coverage was research we integrate research into product development and what works and what doesn’t. While you do it. What child. What does it do. And there were lots of different kinds of opinions but the importance of research which is kind of what we’re talking about when you do you have to do research and you have to keep improving the quality of the research over time.

00:13:33:23 – 00:14:13:06
It’s just like product whether or not I came away thinking that between the use of 80 hours the increased level of predictive analytics and the use of intelligent tools and the need for a reduction in the number of interfaces you start to have this skew in the data world. A job that requires somebody who sees it as a product who retires is all of the INS you know to reach out as a single father because employees work with silos employers want to deal with a suitable interface.

00:14:13:08 – 00:14:33:27
The silos of your the way of recharging those like nobody’s business. It will become necessary because the data is so important to have a more singular deliverable to the employee desktop. So I started to think that product management is going to have a home and a tour.

00:14:33:29 – 00:14:55:05
And the interesting thing about Product Management is they never actually charge anything. We have tons of responsibility and very limited authority. The Diving Board people who are responsible for envisioning and executing but don’t have budget necessarily. They’re just you know deal to really take it.

00:14:55:25 – 00:15:27:18
Yeah well and I think you’re in conversation there about H.R. in and of itself being a product right. This is a services product with a mix of an ecosystem with a mixture of various technologies that are being used to create that environment right. It’s not far off. No. I think any of the ecosystem environments that you’re staying I think organizations probably have people who are doing this to some extent but that’s not their title right. Right. And they’re called program managers and they’re called it out there that the director of shared services in some cases.

00:15:28:02 – 00:15:34:23
But their roles I think they would describe as very much what you’re talking about there and yet it’s really interesting.

00:15:34:23 – 00:16:16:00
And what surprised me about the second piece of the work with the firm sort of spoke to Utah is that a whole bunch of people I know from Ultimate Software are here and they’re here because Because Ultimate Software knows how to build one of those ecosystems and really know how to build this ecosystem to make best to do this company and they made it important that this company succeed. And so the partnership with Ultimate Software is a big part of the success of the company and the people from both the software who are their ecosystem folks are here doing what great ecosystem to do which is getting to know the insides of the company that they’re really

00:16:17:16 – 00:16:19:03
maybe tell me this Jonathan.

00:16:19:07 – 00:16:42:20
You know we tied for the Panthers sort of connect with the brokers and the the benefit elements all together for the various organizations that they serve as are they just the technology companies that are they just after the platforms that they offer also offer the services. And how often do the users who use them know that it’s plans sourced versus the other organizations. Someone maybe like an ultimate partner.

00:16:42:21 – 00:17:15:10
Well I’ll tell you what. There are maybe 400 customers here and they are as engaged in rabbit about where insurance those eligible customers are receiving anywhere. And we are there I talked to somebody who who runs benefit to the small hospital. These are all to people and the benefits people who are operating out the student nurse and Bradshaw says things. You remember Joey vision with Joey vision benefits animated analyst.

00:17:15:11 – 00:17:42:15
It was good to be tightly coupled with ingratiating Joey vision. So they offer all the way to benefits enrollment and all the benefits of administration platform. But to be the benefit to do this mission great to have to move all the data around all patients. I didn’t have an appreciation of what we do. How it actually works is yeah it is.

00:17:42:17 – 00:18:18:28
You know I think people oftentimes talk about payroll as one of the most complex and regulated environments that you know we currently work with in the entire tech based in some cases workforce planning probably right behind that from a time and labor perspective. I think benefits. Which is why it’s outdoor so much riding and where we’re going to have that this year. What percentage of the market you know is fully outsourced as or partially outbursts but there’s so many things that fall under what we quote unquote called benefits right. You know most of it in healthcare but there is a lot of other things that are attached to that and then are also left healthcare focused benefits right.

00:18:18:29 – 00:18:40:14
And it’s amazing how important all the different pieces are together and how often it’s not in a single area. But all has to be sort of brought together. Plus you have to understand the regulations and law and if the state by state regulated environment in most cases which makes this very difficult to manage and definitely country by country depending on a few international towns.

00:18:40:15 – 00:18:57:18
So yes I would say in a nutshell watch out because they see you see your role in speeches it seem to me it in your role now it’s interesting because one of the things that there was also going on this week ultimate did a demo for money it most the analyst on their product.

00:18:57:26 – 00:19:37:00
And one of the things they showed was their benefit platform which included a really I think savvy decision making tool that walk someone through the questions and elements of gathering data in a questionnaire sort of format or a or a survey kind of format that would help them make decisions about the type of benefits that were best for that right. Did they sort of talk about how those two things are working together at all of you were talking about the ultimate team their they didn’t they didn’t know they are doing because they were the best this this presentation because I was on the road and they think well maybe maybe next time or we’ll have an answer for the audience on that one.

00:19:37:02 – 00:19:42:26
Yeah yeah yeah I will make sure we’re still loose with this and tells us the truth.

00:19:43:16 – 00:19:44:07

00:19:45:27 – 00:20:17:00
Well you know as I wrap up here we come through a lot of conversations about what’s happening with the tracking and recruiting but what do you think about the namely announcement with Larry Donovan you know Larry probably longer than I have I knew from my days and his days at 380 and that’s where I first met Larry at. But you probably met him even before that. Is this a good move for namely are we going to get a chance to see Larry Donovan shine and he finds where we go. I think he’s he’s he’s got one of the big personalities that everybody knows but in the CEO role I think this is his first year relevant.

00:20:17:24 – 00:20:43:19
I believe he was you moved to San Francisco about a year ago to Rosie. I do remember the need to run a company. That was like a question of which company it was. It was some sort of liberal. The question in this chart was kind of a surprise decision to move into this job namely has a long and a lot of

00:20:45:12 – 00:21:03:15
potential. The day it was which would include situations where the company sort of moved to the in a very grim way no B or super. I’m a little older. Lewis exactly right. They do that job well.

00:21:04:20 – 00:21:35:10
Yeah I would have to agree. I mean if that you know I if I recall that the original person who the founders of namely were marketing guys or at least connected to the marketing industry on some level because I remember having conversations at H.R. tech probably two or three years ago when they were sort of everywhere they had put their name on everything they everyone knew them and their marketing was fabulous. But there was a conversation about the depth of what the product could offer and whether or not it could live up to the hype. I think that’s where you’re going with that but that tends to be a challenge.

00:21:35:12 – 00:22:11:02
There’s that there’s a fine balance between sort of marketing your product it’s all product managers know and actually coming out with a solid product that’s going to meet the needs of the audience and so Larry I think has a long standing experience in this industry of working with organizations that have done that sort of slow progressive move up right. I mean trading was definitely an organization that purchased before and then turned themselves around to almost rebrand and rebuild who they were but it wasn’t something that happened overnight. They took time to do that and I’m assuming they moved have to do the same thing probably loses up with the right guys.

00:22:12:00 – 00:22:14:26
So it’s been a busy week.

00:22:15:19 – 00:22:31:12
Yeah it was really good to talk to you. Thanks for doing this as usual and thanks everybody for listening in. This has been HR Tech Weekly, One Step Closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser and we will see you here next week. Bye bye now.

00:22:31:20 – 00:22:31:27
Thanks everyone. Bye.


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