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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: 228
Air Date: August 1, 2019


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Important: Our transcripts at HRExaminer are AI-powered (and fairly accurate) but there are still instances where the robots get confused (or extremely confused) and make errors. Please expect some inaccuracies as you read through the text of this conversation and let us know if you find something wrong and we’ll get it fixed right away. Thank you for your understanding.

John Sumser
Stacey Harris

00:00:14:05 – 00:00:49:29
Today’s show is brought to you by the Human Resource Executive Magazine’s H.R. Technology Conference and Exposition held October 1st the floors at the Venetian in Las Vegas join me and thousands of your colleagues at the world’s largest exhibition of H.R. technology. Act now using the code H R E X and you could receive a three hundred dollar discount on your ticket banks will see you there and by the way don’t miss the Women and Technology segment.

00:00:50:01 – 00:00:57:22
Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly One Step Closer with Stacy Harris And John Sumser. Hi Stacey how are you?

00:00:57:24 – 00:01:06:09
Morning John. I’m doing well. The temperature has come down a little bit but we’re doing well in North Carolina with some sunshine. How about you. You’re home this week right.

00:01:06:29 – 00:01:21:10
Yeah. This is this is the two grand weeks at home and then I’m headed to the east coast this week we have we have turned the heat down just a little bit for you it probably won’t be quite as hot as it was so it’s been brutal here.

00:01:21:10 – 00:01:24:12
The whole country is in a heatwave Worst Week.

00:01:25:00 – 00:01:59:01
Yeah it was I’m watching the news come out of the UK in London right now and you know the 10 tips to survive the heatwave. I’m thinking yeah we get it. Europe is definitely not used to the weather and they’re not dealing with it. So you know this is this is I suppose we should probably get used to this for a while until I guess we decide do something. But yeah the heat is going to continue the cold will probably continue. We’ll have a lot more. Different types of weather issues that we’ll be talking about. But you know all of it comes back to to what we do with our our climate change discussion I guess so.

00:01:59:20 – 00:02:04:15
Yeah. Maybe it may be too late. You don’t move on with Cruise.

00:02:04:20 – 00:02:07:25
You know now that I’m inland enough.

00:02:07:25 – 00:02:17:23
I mean we’re about three hours up by the coast here but we do have a lot of friends who live out on the coast even though we have some areas to show you might have coastal property you move over 10 years.

00:02:18:07 – 00:02:30:27
But there is the possibility of that. Definitely. You know here we’re just four weeks away from vacation. Yeah exactly. And.

00:02:31:22 – 00:03:11:10
Yeah. Well you know and the thing that you know we’re not talking about Vegas though there is a particular story is that sort of get into this. But I but I have been starting to do some research on this. You know we talk a lot about the human impact and the territorial impacts of all that stuff. But there’s a there’s a real business impact to all of this stuff that’s going on and a business and employee impact you know a lot of the stuff that I’m gathering for an article I’m working on is is about sort of the the things that have happened and how people have used data technology to deal with things like the hurricane crises or the earthquake issues or making sure people are safe and secure making sure people have paychecks even though they’re not working that kind of stuff.

00:03:11:16 – 00:03:17:08
It’s going to impact everything all the way down to the work that we do. So yeah it’s not a not a standalone issue.

00:03:17:08 – 00:03:32:07
When we talk about heat and snow where’s the article on this issue. This is a great story but you know it is it is I’m I’m not exactly sure right now at this point it is something that I am writing for

00:03:33:13 – 00:03:39:20
Some work I’m doing later on. There might be a small piece of it that ends up in nature there because I’m due for an article I think coming up but

00:03:41:15 – 00:03:42:13
I don’t really get it.

00:03:42:19 – 00:04:01:08
Yeah it’s an important thing. The way the technology is used to cope employees adapt to changing circumstances. Such a great topic for the shooting. Definitely yeah. So what’s in the bag.

00:04:02:01 – 00:04:35:20
Well it’s a busy busy week but but not nothing explosive I would say nothing that you know out of the expected norm we’ve got a couple of new launches and product areas. Those two ready on launch day forced in Ireland which is something we’ve sort of been seeing them do they were in Australia. A few months back with our UK last year so this is not surprising. We also have recruited acquiring K our team marketing. We saw a lot of these last week which is to recruiting applications and technologies services picking up marketing solutions that seems to like a marketing function.

00:04:35:20 – 00:05:06:21
So that’ll be worth the conversation. A lot of stuff on the coaching and talent engagement area. And so culture AMP which have their annual event just recently last couple of days they launched a new analytics tool that they’re calling Foresight Engine. And so there’s some members. Interesting conversation there about what they’re saying they can predict now that they are mixing data from Uganda which was their performance management acquisition that they had done and their culture sort of assessment and solution tool.

00:05:06:21 – 00:05:43:03
We also saw that in that same area of talent in coaching and mentoring feel 50 raised 14 million dollars to bolster employee engagement and retention. And then we also saw a little company called H.R. tech startup called Talent guard. They snagged four million to help companies keep employees longer and again same thing engagement and managing and coaching and mentoring. And then we flip over to the recruiting side and we saw Hava raising 15 million dollars to automate high volume hiring in enterprises. We saw true work raising twelve million to verify people’s identity identity automatically a little bit of a competition to see what Equifax those do.

00:05:43:03 – 00:06:17:20
And then on demand marketplace jobs all raises eleven million all in the recruiting space. So. Lots of funding. And then if we get a little bit of time today. You know it’s well worth talking about paychecks which is a payroll and H.R. software much like we’ve seen with some other organizations who have large databases of information on what’s happening in the job market. Is now putting out sort of a and regular update on what’s happening in the. Mid-market and small business employment area. And so they have an update for July saying that small businesses might be struggling a little bit.

00:06:17:25 – 00:06:36:26
And if we want to really get into it we might want to talk about what happened with a w w Amazon Web Services engineer who manage the Capital One data breach. And how does that impact H.R. those conversations. So lots of interesting stuff this week. You know nothing groundbreaking but definitely topics that are on the minds of H.R. professionals all over the place.

00:06:36:29 – 00:06:53:18
Where do you want to know. Well I don’t know. Let’s use it. You said if we have enough time we might. So let’s start there. What do you think about this NWS Capital One security breach. Let’s let’s. That’s a very interesting human resources probe.

00:06:54:10 – 00:07:29:07
It’s a human rights response a bit of a tech challenge. I think you know the BEA there’s two I think issues going on here. You know when when I first heard this story break I was I was listening to NPR in my Alexa. Right. I can cloud technology and I know over and over in the story they kept saying cloud technology in the cloud environment the cloud breach and all I could think of is that anybody who’s struggling with you know it you know any kind of data issues might think this is a technology challenge right. But when you get to the crux of it the technology had the mayors there.

00:07:29:07 – 00:07:41:24
But the breakdown was really a human being in this particular perspective. And can you put enough technology and hardware in place to make every human component of this you know sort of

00:07:43:13 – 00:07:55:10
not a risk. So that was sort of interesting to me was sort of a how it was presented in the news versus what maybe really was happening. What do you think do you think this is where a charge should be spending some time.

00:07:55:13 – 00:08:05:14
So so there’s no there’s no such thing as a security system that people can beat. Has it ever been never will

00:08:07:26 – 00:08:40:09
you get the technology right. This has always been the case. You know you put a lock on the door that somebody is going to have a key and somebody is going to pick the lock. That’s the basic security protocol is it’s a cat and mouse game. And so so the trick in really good security is understanding that the real security issue is people and their attachment to the company and their belief in the importance of the company or whatever the organization is. And

00:08:40:09 – 00:08:54:21
And it hasn’t really had a strong emphasis across the board in nature. But the closer you get to the military industrial complex or finance the more you see H.R. taking on

00:08:56:07 – 00:08:59:24
a security mindset.

00:08:59:29 – 00:09:14:14
And my guess is that as all companies become technical companies and that seems to be something you’re going to see a first step more and more probably a little reluctantly into the security question yeah

00:09:16:04 – 00:09:49:06
we definitely see our data showed last year which one of which was one of my favorite findings from scarcity to survey last year was that as organizations moved to the cloud in particular the ownership of configuration and data security becomes much more prevalent in the role of the various professional whoever that is. Right which is an H.R. role not an I.T. role. Right. And that I think is exactly what you’re saying. This is you know as we move out of I.T. on

00:09:49:06 – 00:10:07:25
on this and around this and into a world where sort of everything becomes more of a continuous process and the tools are sort of all merging and data starts flowing across one system to another it has to be the role of the functional owner because they’re the ones who who were basically own the relationship with the human being. Right.

00:10:08:24 – 00:10:40:17
Yeah. Well was it your survey that found that 40 percent of the big companies already cede control of PR to the security firm. It’s really your primary primary security function. Lots of places because when you don’t have bank records like the one did the most important information to securities off employee data.

00:10:41:05 – 00:10:41:25

00:10:42:01 – 00:11:14:24
Yeah well this will be an interesting one to watch to see sort of who gets held accountable for this both inside Capital One and Amazon Web Services. And you know in the case of this this the thief who who also was a very human thief and that she bragged about it which is part of why she was this way I think you know your comment about how connected people were to the company and their business is a big conversation that she had someone who turned her in a whistleblower as well meaning that they felt that this was inappropriate.

00:11:14:24 – 00:11:19:22
There’s a bit of that that goes on that. How important do you feel these kind of things are on the market right.

00:11:20:19 – 00:11:20:25

00:11:22:26 – 00:11:24:26
yep. So what’s up there.

00:11:26:01 – 00:11:29:05
Well I mean why do you start a little bit with what’s going on with Rhydian.

00:11:29:06 – 00:12:00:15
I mean I don’t get right to have their conference here come up in September we can probably hear a lot more from them. They were kind of first big conference of event after their IPO and sort of through their transition. So I’m interested to seeing where they are where they’re saying they’re going to go but you know them launching de force in Ireland and that’s not actually launched they said coming in the next release. So it’s still yet to come but a year after they launched the U.K. not a huge announcement right.

00:12:00:15 – 00:12:32:19
That’s sort of in the same territory of the places they’ve been staying with all the English speaking short of countries but definitely pushing they’re focused on moving international and then it was interesting in the interview that one of the interviews that was mentioned David asked the CEO said that you know next up is New Zealand if they’ve just launched Australia earlier this year so. So what do you think do you think this is there’s anything sort of more interesting here to the conversation that’s being had by 13 or is this just them saying we’re going to go global and this is our first step it as we’ve been discussing.

00:12:33:01 – 00:12:37:04
It looks like it’s just part of a normal global rollout.

00:12:37:04 – 00:12:43:17
It seems to me that what she really has done is they have scaled back their ambition to be

00:12:45:18 – 00:12:48:27
a broad human capital management solution

00:12:50:20 – 00:13:00:20
up level to their desire to grow their market. Right. And so that’s a that’s that’s a kind of a rearrangement of strategic thinking and

00:13:02:11 – 00:13:04:12
that’s what I think.

00:13:04:23 – 00:13:48:07
Yeah. Now completely the other thing that I took away with this particularly with the speed at which they’re doing all this which is good to say eminent and not surprising with the IPO. But my takeaway is that you know for a while they were sort of stuck between to expand market or do we go upscale which means you have to broaden what you offer. Right. My sense is is this and I would have to agree with them you know when you look out at the European and Asia Pacific market which are really hot right now and changing over their H.R. system is pretty rapidly. There’s enough business in that mid-market space where 30 and plays really nice that they don’t really have to go upstream as much I think to increase overall numbers and that that it makes a lot of sense doing what they’re doing is sticking to your movie use a good strategy.

00:13:48:11 – 00:13:51:07
And it’s a it’s an interesting adjustment because

00:13:53:07 – 00:13:57:08
charity and spent two years most of a decade

00:13:59:02 – 00:14:15:11
redefining itself as a fast road standard technology company. And now they are suddenly into growing the business and that’s that’s a tremendous second step in their maturity.

00:14:15:13 – 00:14:40:28
Exactly. So it’ll be interesting to hear what comes out of their their event. I think it’s in September or October and we’ll get a chance to maybe get some light shed on all of this. But what do you think about some of the other stuff going on right now in the recruiting space. Well you know we have another acquisition here this week of recruiting acquiring care to market again to companies I don’t know much about but they are known in the recruiting space.

00:14:41:00 – 00:15:03:10
Is this just a just a continuation what we talked about last week you know to get more marketing tools and marketing applications or is this something that’s really impressive to be most of what’s happening in recruiting and there’s a lot of money being made it involves areas of volume hiring right. These are all tools that work best when you’re talking about volume.

00:15:03:15 – 00:15:16:16
So it’s like there’s some stewing competition in the arena of high volume hiring which might you know that might be to go to

00:15:18:07 – 00:15:27:13
maybe 50 percent of the jobs in the American economy maybe a larger number of the jobs in Asia right now.

00:15:27:14 – 00:15:39:21
But but it’s it’s it’s a niche rather than the overall hiring and almost all of the analysis that we looked at are about that volume hiring yes definitely. I

00:15:39:21 – 00:15:51:17
I mean Hava which is sort of the next conversation on this list raising 15 million to automate exactly that high volume hiring enterprises. You know that was an interesting one to me. You

00:15:51:17 – 00:16:24:25
You know they did the article off with the robot. They’re coming to steal our job. The one that leaked that that I was looking at and I was like OK. And then it turned into. But really we still have this height high volume hiring and I think it is actually an interesting perspective though if you think about it you know you and I have been talking about artificial intelligence and what it can do for quite some time. There is some perspective that high volume higher high volume areas are probably the first to probably be automated right. I can already tell you you know I go to most of my restaurants and my waitresses barely take my order at this point.

00:16:24:25 – 00:16:58:27
No I put my order into my little online screen. If somebody brings it out I pay my check for my online screen the waitress brings me my drinks and makes sure that I am happy with my meal which is a very different you know sort of higher than what they would have needed even just two years ago before those took place. So what do you think this will come to a head when we’re putting so much investment artificial intelligence for recruiting in high volume hiring. Is that a risk that that could maybe have an issue down the road if we actually automate all those jobs or a good portion of them.

00:16:59:06 – 00:17:31:07
You’re exactly my point of view which is that if it is a highly repeatable task it is exactly the kind of thing that’s going to be OK. So. So I wonder about the length of the market or high volume solutions. Maybe it’s maybe it’s maybe it’s big you maybe it last forever but it seems to me that it’s one of those things where as as you get better and better at

00:17:32:29 – 00:17:47:24
processing the hires in a high volume setting the very act of giving better if that makes it easier to other bait right. And so. So it’s almost like these high volume tools are paving the way

00:17:51:04 – 00:17:54:23
working your way out of a job I often say that when I do research.

00:17:54:26 – 00:17:55:02

00:17:56:28 – 00:18:02:12
it’s an interesting place to be the one. Right. Go ahead.

00:18:02:17 – 00:18:11:29
I was just going to jump to tree work because I think the one thing that’s a little bit different here is true work in this in this picture because it’s about identifying people. But did you have to comment on that on a high volume guy.

00:18:12:00 – 00:18:12:26
Nope nope.

00:18:14:12 – 00:18:50:17
So that is true. Yes true. The one that that caught my eye a little bit more is the true work is 12 million dollars that they are getting invested in them and they’re focused on verifying people’s identity automatically. Now I don’t I haven’t raced with to work. I’m actually I’m kind of interesting I probably will reach out to them after this because I have seen a lot of what you would consider block chain conversations about you know identifying people and certifying who someone is so that you can be assured that whatever they say is in their resume and whatever they say is my background is accurate right.

00:18:50:18 – 00:19:21:02
I have a lot family members who in the service and go through a lot of you know background checks and compliance checks and security checks and I know that’s a real process to go out and do those kind of things still. Is this it. Are there technologies at this point that can do that kind of certification do you think that at the level at which we’re talking about ensuring that people are doing more than just background checking about what school they went to at this point.

00:19:21:16 – 00:19:52:11
You got you know this. This is the kind of notions that just makes me crazy. It’s just it’s just it’s just it’s such nonsense. And here’s the thing right the underlying claim here is that people lie extensively on that resolution. But what you have to do is validate what people say on their reservations some elaborate way because everybody lies on the resume.

00:19:53:18 – 00:20:28:26
Here’s the problem. So. So let’s say let’s say you’ve got a reservation and you’ve been working for 15 years and you’ve solved the average one job you’ve got five jobs to explain on one page before well so that’s that’s three years worth of what the hell did you do. Summarized in a hundred and fifty words maybe. And guess what. Whenever you simplify stuff like that it gets less precise

00:20:30:14 – 00:21:00:15
and sometimes like you if you’re in the military is a particularly great example. You have to translate the title of your job into something that people can understand because nobody can make sense of what they call stuff. So you have to you have to translate this so that people can understand it. And this is the stuff that is like this game is wired or or places where you need to validate them it’s just simply not true.

00:21:00:16 – 00:21:01:10
Right so.

00:21:01:16 – 00:21:14:12
So this is there’s a lot of money to be made telling people that the world is about it and then selling them insurance for it. And that’s the underlying premise here in my mind.

00:21:15:05 – 00:21:48:01
Oh that’s a that’s a sharp point. I’m not sure I completely agree with you on that one but I. But I get where you’re coming from. I mean any time you generalize you and you take away the context of what happened to someone then you then you lose sort of I think some of the value of some of the background checking you know things. But on the other hand I do think there is there is an area or a space that is a real gap right now which is and I don’t know enough about this because I’m interested in getting a little bit more about your work.

00:21:48:02 – 00:22:29:18
But I think there’s a huge gap in the market where background checks are done and the candidate has no visibility into what and how those kind of things are being done right. And so you’re kind of playing a fixed game. Right. So to your point if if I’ve done my résumé in a way that makes sense to me but it you know seems to you like I’m lying. Well then you know again it’s a game that under the rules too. Right. And so there are there are a lot of situations where if I had a situation in my past where there was for one reason or another where I end up with illegal issues again how do I address that in an environment that you know secure and deals with my own context.

00:22:29:18 – 00:22:50:17
That one time we don’t really give anybody that option and so you know the only people who make it to the system are those who have basically been able to sort of walk a very narrow path of sort of not getting into hot water and any one placer no area. So yeah it’s I think it’s the challenge and I think verification could be an answer to some of that if it’s done well.

00:22:50:29 – 00:22:55:09
So is it increasingly against law to verify

00:22:59:13 – 00:23:05:12
claims about compensation it is yes. And we are starting with you.

00:23:05:28 – 00:23:28:28
This because these people are showing up and it’s also getting to be a point where we’re now putting don’t check the box which is the idea of not asking people if they were had criminal background before we you know the hiring process which is happened in a couple of states like Colorado. So yeah we these are these are issues which are regulatory as well as ethical and they’re challenges.

00:23:29:15 – 00:23:34:00
Yeah. OK. Well let’s watch this.

00:23:35:05 – 00:24:17:29
Well I think we we’ve talked a lot about the recruiting but we didn’t talk about the funding that’s going into what say is culture and engagement and that work. So I think first their culture amp as we mentioned have their their conferences week and they launch their foresight engine which is predicting that with the fourth that they can predict employee outcomes related to engagement performance and retention which is them taking huge bold move from what they’ve been in the past partially because they’ve picked up they’ve gotta which is a performance management systems that are able to merge their culture assessments and culture conversations and until that with a performance management systems data and conversations.

00:24:18:04 – 00:24:33:02
What do you take on this. I mean this is a whole conversation about data that is originally meant to be dealing with cultural conversations and now we’re talking about things like keeping people or understanding who’s going to be performing better. Right.

00:24:34:06 – 00:24:48:19
Well it was it was a confusing story. It was a very confusing story both as you go and culture have consistently made the claim that they are peer to peer tools

00:24:51:10 – 00:25:11:01
and so that she got that idea about performance management was that it was something between employees and the culture camp idea was that that you could help employees navigate without having to intrude on them. And this announcement suggests that

00:25:12:23 – 00:25:30:21
managers are now able to dig into the data and make predictions about employee performance. That tells me that the that the core idea is in working. Well that’s that’s one of those from a sales perspective.

00:25:30:25 – 00:26:08:28
You know it it’s definitely a concern when you start I think time culture and engagement and sort of peer to peer relationships to the idea of my managers going to learn something. Again I haven’t seen this. I’m actually quite interested in seeing what this tool is. I’ve seen pieces and parts of it I think that a conversation I had earlier this year with Donald. I know them and their leadership I have have staunchly stood behind the fact that they are trying to give data to employees and to companies about groups of people not individuals up to this point.

00:26:08:28 – 00:26:26:10
So I I’ve met without hearing more from them about whether or not this is going to be an individual component. I think that’s a really important thing to to validate. But I do think that we we keep running into this. You know everybody wants to pinpoint some prediction about me personally.

00:26:26:11 – 00:26:40:10
And can you with any statistically significant pinpoint individually information about me versus about a team or a group of people in an organization that’s you know it’s such a tricky question and culture and I believe

00:26:41:27 – 00:27:09:11
it here’s to the idea that you can aggregate data from all sorts of different companies in order to make predictions and individual companies because really only the largest the largest the 20 percent or so of employees who work in companies that have more than 5000 employees it’s it’s a small number with only only in those environments.

00:27:09:11 – 00:27:14:06
5000 is is horribly low. It’s more like 50000 is the right number.

00:27:14:24 – 00:27:40:13
It’s very very difficult to make predictions because there’s not enough data right. So then you have to go to the idea that all companies are the same. So you can make predictions about any company because you have data from a lot of companies. And I think you know what. But that doesn’t seem that doesn’t seem like it has much in the way of respect for the individual cultures

00:27:44:07 – 00:28:01:22
I’m sure there are some things that you can predict about companies in the aggregate but individual companies individual people inside of companies at some scale under five thousand employees. No no no.

00:28:02:05 – 00:28:33:15
I think I think it’ll be an interesting thing to put to the test. I don’t disagree with the concept of connecting performance and culture data. I think that’s actually a solid but and this goes back to some the conversation we had last week which is to do good data analysis and we know we have to sort of keep trying some of this stuff and seeing what’s working. The question is At what point do we cross any lines that I haven’t we have no idea if that’s. But I do think that you know this you’ve gotta sort of approach to performance management and the culture AMP approach a culture.

00:28:33:17 – 00:28:49:17
If this is sort of managed effectively it could get some interesting results that we wouldn’t see maybe with some of the other bigger tools and so that. And it’s a different approach to talent management so it’s definitely a way to sort of start looking at things. The question is. Will have an impact negatively on employees individually.

00:28:49:28 – 00:28:54:22
So their goes are half hour another relative in conversation Susan.

00:28:55:03 – 00:28:57:08
It’s always interesting.

00:28:57:19 – 00:29:08:07
Thanks for doing this. You’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly One Step Cloers with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. We’ll see you back next week. Thanks for listening. Bye bye now. Thanks Stacey

00:29:09:10 – 00:29:10:03
Thanks everyone. Bye.

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