Q & A with David Green | The HR Tech Weekly®

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function: Q&A with David Green

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function

Today our guest is David Green, a true globally respected and award winning writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.

David is the Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. He is also the longstanding Chair, of the Tucana People Analytics conference series, the next edition of which – the People Analytics Forum, takes place in London on 29-30 November.

David has spoken at conferences and/or worked with people analytics leaders in over 20 cities in the past year including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Paris, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow and Berlin. This affords David with a unique perspective and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what’s forthcoming in the field of people analytics.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

1. Hi David, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. The year of 2017 is approaching its end. What made a difference this year in the field of people management and HR technologies?

Thanks Alexey, it is a pleasure to speak with you. For me, 2017 has been a pivotal year in the field as the realisation that people analytics is core to the future of the HR function has become far more widespread. In one of his recent articles (see here), Josh Bersin described people analytics “as the lynchpin of success for HR in the next few years”, and I have to say I completely agree – although that probably doesn’t surprise you!

We still have some way to go in terms of widespread adoption and just as importantly in embedding analytics and data-driven decision making within organisational culture, but the acceptance that this is core rather than peripheral is a welcome momentum shift.

Elsewhere, the move from many companies to develop programs and technologies that personalise the candidate/employee experience in areas such as talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and mobility is also positive. It’s about time that we have rich and personalised experiences at work similar to those we already enjoy as consumers. Data and analytics plays a foundational role in this.

2. People analytics is an area of profound interest to business leaders. What do you see as the main trends in the people analytics space?

You are right to highlight the heightened interest levels in people analytics Alexey. I’d summarise the main trends as follows:

  • More and more organisations getting started with people analytics – 2017 seems to have been the year that the talking about when to start analytics stopped and the actual hard work in creating capability began for many organisations. So, the number of organisations in the early stages of their people analytics journeys is on the increase and many will face similar challenges in terms of data quality, skills and capabilities, stakeholder management/education and project prioritisation. Our recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research on HR Analytics Readiness in Europe demonstrated though that most organisations still have a long way to go.
  • Developing an analytical culture: this is key for organisations that want to develop sustainable capability in people analytics. This means exciting, equipping and enabling HR Business Partners, and clearly demonstrating and communicating the impact of people analytics initiatives within the organisation. This is the focus of many companies that have built initial capability and success in people analytics.
  • Ethics and privacy concerns: this continues to be the most important and challenging aspect for practitioners. Research from Insight222 reveals that 81% of people analytics projects are jeopardised by ethical and privacy concerns. With the EU GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018 and the emergence of new employee data sources, focus on this area will continue to be high.
  • The consumerisation of HR – as per my earlier point, many organisations that have developed people analytics capability are looking at ways to understand and improve the employee experience. In addition to the personalised machine-learning based technologies referenced earlier, this includes efforts to understand and analyse employee sentiment. You can’t do either of these things without analytics so those organisations that have already developed people analytics capability are in pole position to take advantage here.
  • Organisational network analysis (ONA) – interest in ONA has exploded in 2017 as organisations seek to better understand team effectiveness and productivity. Practitioners interested in this burgeoning area of people analytics should check out the work of Rob Cross, recent articles by Josh Bersin and vendors like TrustSphere, Humanyze and Worklytics. Expect interest in this area to continue to soar in 2018.

3. On the eve of People Analytics Forum 2017 could you slightly open the curtain on what makes an ideal agenda in modern HR analytics, workforce planning and employees insights then?

I always enjoy chairing the Tucana People Analytics World and People Analytics Forum events as the agenda is always cognisant of the fact that the diversity of delegates in terms of where they are with analytics varies widely. As such, the three tracks: Start (for those getting started), Grow (for those building capability and looking for deeper insight) and Advance (for advanced practitioners and those exploring new data sources) means there is something for everyone. This is hugely important as in my experience the people analytics community is highly collaborative and there is a mutual desire amongst practitioners for shared learning. The Tucana events provide this in spades.

4. It was heard that some attendees of conferences recently formed a viewpoint that the slow adoption of analytics has been because of a lack of practical cases delivered by speakers. Your point of view on the problem will be of great influence.

I haven’t really heard this viewpoint from many. I would argue the contrary in fact that most of the conferences I attend feature numerous and diverse case studies from practitioners. I think you need a balance of speakers from the practitioner, consultant, vendor and analyst communities as each provides a slightly different perspective – indeed much of the innovation in the space is coming from the vendor community. As such, at the conferences I chair, speak and attaned there is normally much to inspire delegates whatever their maturity level when it comes to people analytics. Of course, there is a distinction between being inspired and immitation as each organisation faces different business challenges and has unique cultures. If I could offer one piece of advice to practitioners, whatever their maturity level, it is to channel their efforts on the key business challenges that have the biggest impact within their organisations.

5. What new data-driven HR solutions are on your watchlist and why?

As I mentioned before much of the innovation in the people analytics space is coming from the vendor community and I always recommend to practitioners to keep abreast of the latest developments here. Data-driven companies to look at include: TrustSphere, Alderbrooke Group, Aspirant, Glint, Visier, Crunchr, Workometry, Peakon, OrgVue, Headstart, Worklytics, Humanyze, Qlearsite, One Model, hiQ Labs, Cultivate and StarLinks; and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!

If you’ll forvive the self-promotion, I would like to add that IBM is also doing some groundbreaking work in this space through bringing Watson to HR, particularly in the talent acquisition and the employee experience areas – see more here.

6. What advice would you give to HR professionals looking to boost their careers within the people analytics space?

Well, firstly you should get yourself along to the People Analytics Forum and read my articles on LinkedIn!

Seriously, analytics is a core capability for the future HR practitioner and it won’t be long before the likes of CIPD and SHRM build this into their educational programs. Until then, find some courses (like the Wharton School course on Coursera), attend some conferences, read some books (like The Power of People and the Basic Principles of People Analytics), and seek to learn from analytics professionals both in and outside of HR.

For me, HR is one of the most exciting places in business to work in at the moment and the increased use of analytics and data-driven decision making is one of the reasons why I believe this to be the case.

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How are companies maximizing 2018’s hiring budget? I asked the expert, Elaine Orler

To celebrate our recent announcement that Talent Sonar and Talent Function have joined forces, I picked Elaine Orler’s brain on ways she’s advising clients to get ahead of this tight talent market in 2018.

Laura Mather [LM]: I was struck by this new report that contradicts the old wisdom “slow to hire, fast to fire.” How does Talent Sonar help hiring managers move quickly but focus on the right criteria for the new hire?

Elaine Orler [EO]: The “slow to hire” mantra is meant to convey to hiring teams how important hiring is for the success of their business. We don’t want people filling the ranks with bad hires just to keep time-to-fill down. But no one should be advocating slow hiring for its own sake! In a competitive job market, that’s simply horrible advice.

Instead, hire better. Use evidence-based best practices—and here I mean best practices confirmed by research, not just the “fact” that your competitor is doing it. Talent Sonar is pretty exceptional because it makes it easy for hiring teams to truly focus on what is needed for each role and then act quickly to fill it. First, hiring teams select the right skills and values; then, they prioritize those. Next, Talent Sonar makes it possible to focus on what matters in the resume instead of being distracted by someone’s gender or alma mater. Finally, your hiring teams can set up and conduct professional, structured interviews in record time. The bottom line is that when you focus on best practices, you will hire faster and better.

LM: Skilled women and minorities are available. The key is to attract them to your company, but how?

EO: They are available! Anyone concerned about the so-called “skills gap” at their company needs to know this fact. Next, develop a plan to attract skilled women and minorities. There are several approaches that have been shown to work: for example, starting a hiring task force with a cross-section of people from your company and targeted college recruitment programs.

One very scalable approach that has shown excellent results is improving your job descriptions. Research finds that really subtle language can turn women and minorities off from applying to a job because they don’t think they’ll fit into the culture. That’s an easy fix thanks to technology. Talent Sonar will highlight those problematic words in real-time and suggest alternatives. A five minute effort results in a 25% increase in female applicants, on average. That seems like a no-brainer to me.

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LM: What are some examples you’ve seen of companies addressing the skills shortage today in the right way/wrong way?

EO: The wrong way to address the skills shortage is just to throw more money at traditional candidate sourcing efforts or try to lure people in with higher salaries.  With those tactics, you’re just overpaying to reach the same exact type of candidates.

Instead, companies that have broadened their outreach to untapped talent pools are seeing the best results. Does the position you want to fill really require a Bachelor’s degree, for example? Or will several years of experience in the industry work just as well? Hiring teams need to be clear about the skills and values that are really required for a role.

You also need to ask: Are you reaching all possible talent pools? Tech is one of those industries where people complain about a skills gap all the time. But Tech companies are only attracting 16% of Black computer science graduates, compared to 40% of Asian graduates, for example. Are your job descriptions inadvertently turning qualified applicants away? If they are, you can fix that.

LM: Hiring teams that use inclusive job descriptions report an average decrease in time to hire of 16 days. To what do you attribute that incredible return on efficiency?

EO: At first it sounds almost unbelievable, right? But when you think about it, if you improve job descriptions to be more appealing to a wide range of candidates, you’re 1) going to get more candidates applying and 2) you’re going to get the right candidates applying. Job descriptions that are inclusive tend to be free of silly jargon and corporate cliches. They are better at explaining both what the role requires and what the company’s values are. In fact, the Talent Board’s 2017 Candidate Experience Survey found that the #1 type of marketing content candidate’s find useful before applying is learning about a company’s values. So when you have the right ingredients in a job description, you’re going to decrease time-to-hire.

LM: After a job posting is made using an inclusive job description, what should happen when the resumes begin to come in?

EO: I think resume review is where so many hiring teams fall down. It’s understandable: technology makes it easy to apply to a job these days, so hiring teams are under enormous pressure to whittle down the candidate pool quickly. That often leads to “pattern-matching”–looking for the exact same candidates that were successful before, or thinking that everyone from Stanford is going to be great.

What works much better in the long-run is developing a structure to your resume review process. First, decide what is actually important for the role: is it a certain kind of experience or skill set? Then actually rate each resume on the categories you selected. Compare the scores and select the best candidates to move forward. You could do this in Excel. Or you could use Talent Sonar, which makes it really quick to do and has the added bonus of removing unnecessary information from resumes, like a candidate’s name. The important thing is to be able to really compare resumes quickly but systematically. Otherwise, your team is just guessing.

LM: How is Talent Sonar different from other systems out there that do something similar? Better? Why would our potential customer welcome process change and invest in using the software?

EO: Talent Sonar is the only system I’ve ever seen that improves every part of the hiring process. And I’ve seen a lot of systems over the years! There are tools that do one thing well: maybe just job descriptions or just candidate assessments. But to truly improve hiring in a longterm way, you can’t just keep trying one-off solutions. That’s time consuming and expensive. You have to commit to a real strategic change in the way that you hire. Better hiring will impact your recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers so, yes, it will require process change investment. But can you afford to be missing out on major talent pools? Can you afford to keep having un-trained interviewers going into important interviews with no preparation? Can you afford to keep making bad hires? I know companies that are serious about hiring as a competitive advantage will see that the upfront investment is well worth it.

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LM: Can a company afford not to address the skills shortage in 2018 and make hiring best practices part of their hiring process?

EO: No! The job market is getting tighter and tighter. Competition for talent will continue to get intense. What company is going to succeed in this environment? The company that keeps doing the same old thing or the company that wows candidates with job descriptions that speak to them and provides a relevant, seamless interview experience? The answer is clear. It’s just a matter of leadership and will to change.

Chatbots Are the New Phone Interview

Chatbots Are the New Phone Interview

What is the purpose of a phone screen?

What is the purpose of a phone screen?

We asked Jim Stroud, Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy for the Randstad Sourceright Talent Innovation Center. Here’s what he said:

“A phone screen is generally perceived as an effort to gauge the qualifications and interest of a candidate. However, I see it as more than that, especially when representing a client. A phone screen is an opportunity to make an indelible mark on someone we might hire, someone who might refer a candidate, someone who might consume the products or services of our client and someone who may rave about the recruitment experience so much that their testimonial on social media serves as a recruiting vehicle in and of itself.”

Additionally, in a recent blog post titled The Best Phone Screen Interview QuestionsRobert Half similarly highlights the importance of phone screens saying, “a candidate’s answers to key phone screening interview questions can allow you to speedily identify the most promising candidates.” The post goes on to share a list of questions aimed at uncovering a candidate’s work style, soft skills, technical skills and expectations for the position.

When it comes down to it, recruiters use phone screens to achieve three things:

  1. Present information about the job to the candidate
  2. Capture information about the candidate
  3. Be empathetic and engaging for the candidate

These three outputs are vital, allowing recruiters to make informed decisions on whether to move candidates forward or not. Monster and G2V Careers reports that recruiters spend 78,352 minutes on the phone per year or roughly 63% of a 40-hour work week.

By the Numbers
Source: Monster

This got us thinking…

What if we could achieve the outcome of a phone screen without actually having a phone screen?

When we began testing our AI chatbot for recruiters, Wendy, we asked ourselves:

  • Would this save recruiters hours of time each week?
  • Would this be an engaging and empathetic experience for candidates?
  • Would this capture the necessary information to further decision-making capabilities?

Our hypothesis was “yes,” we can replicate the outcome of a phone screen without actually conducting a phone screen. In our early beta stage, Wendy has begun validating this hypothesis. She pre-screens applicants via chat (think: text, Facebook messenger or web) and then delivers the transcript (as well as her recommendations) to recruiters. Here’s what we’re seeing so far:

1. Better Candidate Experience

Recruiters have a lot on their plate, especially when over half their week is spent on phone calls. As a result, many phone screens are rushed and distracted, leaving candidates feeling unheard. Wendy, on the other hand, is patient. She doesn’t have the same time restraints as humans and can chat with candidates whenever and for as long as they wish. For corporate positions, candidates are spending around 31 minutes chatting with Wendy, while candidates for more blue collar positions are engaging for 7 to 11 minutes.

2. Better Notes & More Complete Candidate Profiles

Following a chat with an applicant, Wendy shares the transcript directly with recruiters. As a result, recruiters are learning information about applicants outside their cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile — without having to take notes or conduct any research.

With the Wendy chat transcript, recruiters have a robust profile on every applicant before they ever reach out. The information is detailed and presented uniformly, so if hiring for a position is put on hold and resumed months later, there’s no knowledge gap or need to re-assess the applicant for fit. With Wendy, candidate fit is no longer determined by the note-taking skills of the recruiter. Regardless of how detailed their notes are, at some point, a recruiter will be under the weather and forget to capture an important point or their computer will crash, capturing nothing at all. Wendy removes the subjectivity of recruiters’ notes and the effect they have on a candidate’s standing.

3. More Intelligent & Knowledgeable Conversations

Wendy allows recruiters to pre-qualify ahead of scheduling a phone interview. This means two things: (1) recruiters are taking less phone calls and (2) the phone calls they do take are more informed. With more information about an applicant available to them, the initial conversation flows better and is more relevant.

In some cases, recruiters have moved candidates straight to the in-person interview after reviewing the Wendy chat transcript. We expect this to happen more and more as Wendy’s knowledge base and understanding of various roles and domains grows.

Looking Forward

When you think back to the best interviews you’ve had (whether as an interviewee or interviewer), it usually has something to do with the quality of conversation. People remember really great conversations. Our goal with Wendy is to allow better flowing and informed conversations to occur. By automating the outcome of the pre-screen process, recruiters can focus on listening and candidates can focus on sharing their story.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy is a conversational engagement platform for recruitment automation. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedInTwitter or Medium.

P.S. If you went down on SourceCon, give Bailey a shout at bailey@wadeandwendy.ai

 

CEO’s Corner: Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

Charlene Li

In the end of June 2017 CEO’s Corner post put a spotlight on Charlene Li, Principal Analyst at Altimeter (a Prophet Company) and keynote at this year’s HR TechXpo. Li supports leaders to thrive with disruption, primarily focusing on creating business strategies and developing leadership around digital, social, and emerging technologies. An analyst since 1999, and having seen business, society, and the world undergo seismic changes over the last 18 years, she’s driven to create research and thought leadership that helps to bring greater clarity and inspire audacious actions.

The interview is hosted by Greg Mortona corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

Q: You talk about the seismic changes that have recently occurred in the workplace. Besides the obvious impacts of technology, virtual work, and social media, what’s a change you are observing that most people are underestimating? 

A: One of the biggest overlooked opportunities is thinking about the employee experience, as opposed to employee engagement. Employee experience is when you look at a situation through the eyes of the employee, and focus on how the day-to-day experience creates a deeper relationship between the organization and employees. This is a significant shift for HR who must shift from managing transactions (recruiting, hiring, evaluations) and risk mitigation (training and compliance) to nurturing relationships. Technologies makes this easier but it’s only when technology fades into the background, and the relationship work comes forward, that the experience becomes a differentiator to the employee.

Q: What is the biggest takeaway you hope readers get from The Engaged Leader?[i]

A: Relationships form the foundation for leadership and I hope that by reading the book, people understand that digital channels must be part of the repertoire of skills leaders use to develop relationships. My hope is that readers are inspired to hit the pause button on their busy day and take a few minutes to reflect on how they need to be better engaged — even if it means simply listening to the people crucial to the achievement of their goals.

Q: We’re getting ready for our 2nd Annual HR TechXpo which last year was quite an exciting event showcasing the intersection of HR and Technology. You have talked to hundreds of providers, so are probably not easily wowed. What are one or two technological features you have seen in HR solutions that have knocked your socks off?

A: I’m excited to see SaaS-based strategy planning and execution tools getting traction in the market from companies like StrategyBlocks and Cascade. The software makes explicit and transparent the strategic plan of the organization, so that everyone across the organization is connected to the strategy. This means it’s clear how what you do every day impacts the long term strategy. It takes the idea of “connected workforce” and gives it a direction and objective, where the purpose of the connection is a strategic objective. This is exciting for HR because it ties together HR functions (workforce management, performance evaluation) and ties it directly to strategy and business outcomes.

You can find Charlene Li on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

You can find Greg Morton on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

[i] Charlene Li. The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation – Wharton Digital Press, 2015

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2nd Annual HR TechXpo will take place on August 25, 2017 in Hilton Union Square, San Francisco.

The HR Tech Weekly® readers get a free registration! Enter promo code hrtechweekly at time of checkout when you register here: http://hrtechxpo.com/register.

Please use #HRTechXpo to share the news about this exciting event showcasing the intersection of HR and Technology.

If you’d like to comment or have further questions for Charlene Li or Greg Morton, you are welcome to leave your reply here or post on social media adding #CEOCorner.


Source: CEO’s Corner: Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

5 successful leaders' advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

5 successful leaders’ advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

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Good leadership is an essential for any successful company, but it’s not always easy for junior or first-time managers to adapt to their role. Many times, leaders look back on their career and have a whole host of new insights and knowledge they wish they’d known all along.

When we started Impraise 3 years ago, the focus was on the product. As the company grew and we brought more people on board, we faced the challenges of also becoming first time leaders. Managing people for the first time, whilst challenging, was also rewarding, but it was always helpful hearing from people with more experience, and understanding what helped them progress and become the best leaders possible.

With recent failures at Uber showing many young leaders were neither trained or equipped for their roles, we wanted to find out just what people wish they’d known when they began on their leadership path. We talked to five top leaders to find out what they wish they’d known when they started their management careers, and collected their most valuable insights…

Harry WestFrog Design

“In an organization that’s fast moving, with lots of young people… we need to be proactive. We shouldn’t expect people to know how to manage without any training.”

CEO Harry West shares with us the things he’s learnt whilst managing the rapidly growing design company.

Historically, he shares, during the company’s earlier days, when potential future leaders were trained, there was a lack of knowledge and structure in place concerning the skills required and how they should be developed. The company now have in place a management training program to ensure these things are addressed before young leaders are put in charge of teams. Reflecting on earlier practices, he muses that this less than thought out approach to systematic training was not good enough for such a fast moving, young tech company. West soon learnt that this wasn’t working, and began reshaping their training process to be more systematic, now ensuring young leaders go into their positions equipped and confident.

Martin Jellema, Werkspot

“One of the most important elements is the people themselves.”

Martin Jellema, Werkspot & Instapro’s Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for a 70+ team, shares the top three lessons he’s learnt since he began managing.

Jellema maintains that, after all his years of managing people, one of the most important elements is the people themselves. Finding and recruiting candidates that fit the company and can handle every aspect of the role remains one of the most important aspects of managing.

Besides this, he maintains, asking for help where needed remains the second most important thing. He now values collaboration over feeling the pressure to perform flawlessly and prove yourself as manager, saying it’s more useful to discuss issues, allowing people to help you come up with solutions you wouldn’t necessarily think of. In Jellema’s experience, both your boss and your team will see you reaching out for help as a strength not a weakness: understanding that something needs to be done or changed and using the resources you have to make that positive change won’t be frowned upon. You have a great team around you for a reason: use their knowledge and skills! He also outlines the importance of keeping focus on ‘high leverage’ activities: rather than taking time on minor activities, delegate, and dedicate the time to things like team training which ups productivity.

Bob Kastner, Meeting Tomorrow

“If you have great team members, and you get them energized by a great scoreboard, then you’ll be unstoppable.”

Bob Kastner, Director of Marketing at Meeting Tomorrow shares the one thing he wishes he knew as a junior manager: how useful scoreboards are when it comes to keeping the team engaged, energized and on track.

Kaster says things should be easy to read at a glance. People should be able to tell what’s going on by looking at a few, important metrics: only use the ones that are essential to productivity. Kaster’s next must-do for these metrics is keep things constant: update the board as often as possible; keep information relevant and updated in real-time, and have it on display, keeping things in the forefronts of people’s minds, and discussing them regularly in team meetings or daily stand ups.

You can decide whether to create a competitive friendly vibe, seeing who tops the scoreboard, or create a collective vibe: how close is the team to hitting goals? Kaster has learnt to put this focus on striving for more motivating ‘best’ results rather than encouraging people to beat averages, always ensuring most importantly, to celebrate these successes as a team when they occur!

Brett Remington, Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence

“Trust holds everything together. It takes huge amounts of time to accumulate… As a manager, your success depends on the preservation and enhancement of trust.”

We spoke to Brett Remington, of the Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence,  and he outlined the things he’s learnt: his experience based ‘truths of management’.

Remington’s first learning was the importance of trust and fostering good relationships with those around you. He shares he’s also learnt to see managers as administrative functions, believing that “if you’re going into management because you want to change the face of what’s possible in your organization, you are applying for the wrong job.” The second, he says, is it’s essential to have a curiosity about the processes your team use: you could have a great team, but, if the processes being followed are ineffective, they’re going to be disengaged and unsuccessful.

He also sets a lot of store by keeping metrics simple and useful, and learnt to focus on 3-5 key performance metrics. He says attempting to stay on top of more than 5 performance measures at once makes for accomplishing less, whilst having focus on fewer than 3 at any time means you’ll likely miss opportunities for continuous improvement and innovation.

His next learning? Humility and the need to embrace change.

“You are only about 2/3rds as good at your job as you think. The 1/3rd you don’t know about, don’t believe, or don’t pay attention to is going to determine how long you’ve got left in this job. Find ways of eliminating blind spots and practice humility. Eventually, you may find that your role as manager is vastly different than when you started. People, processes, policies, and potential change. Know when the accumulated changes no longer fit with your skills, aspirations, or interests. When that time comes, be ready to change out of your manager role and reflect on what you have accomplished as you pursue a better future for yourself.” 

Barry Curry, Systeme

“Most importantly learning how to react and behave when you are out of your comfort zone will better prepare you for being out of it.”

Barry Curry, Technical Director at Systeme, also brings back the key point of positive feedback, recognition, and acknowledging your team for their accomplishments: it’s always key to ensure people know they’re valued.

He shared his biggest learnings with us, beginning with the importance of keeping sight of the big picture. It can be easy to get drawn into the small details: stay focused on key details, and don’t take things personally. If things become heated during stressful projects or periods, it’s okay to let people vent. Acknowledge people’s perspectives, never make responses personal and keep things respectful, with co-workers and clients alike.

He also suggests using goals to ensure what you’re doing has direction. This ensures that problem solving for others doesn’t totally overtake your other responsibilities. Another learning is resist the temptation to always check your emails first thing: first complete one of the daily tasks you’ve set yourself, without distraction or prioritising other’s needs.

He also says that although sometimes sharing problems is difficult, having thought about solutions before sharing the problem will show you’ve thought things through and instill confidence in you. Similarly, having a process in place for when unplanned or unexpected things arise is key: have a consistent process in place to help you deal with things more efficiently.

For more information and expert advice on becoming a great leader, check out our free eBook and white paper.


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Employee Experience – The XXI Century Corporate Super Power

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

Interviewing Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book is The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate (Wiley, March 2017) which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations. Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Tap My Back, a tool that provides the simplest way to provide work recognition recently had the opportunity to talk with Jacob Morgan about the concept relying beyond his latest book, employee recognition. Jacob advocates this concept should be the major focus of companies aiming to attract and retain talent. This article provides a summary of the main ideas explored on the interview. Alternatively,  you can read or listen the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.

Nowadays, we’re living in such a rapidly and demanding world that the skills gap issue is turning into a big thing. Therefore, more than ever before the need to attract and retain talent is a huge issue for corporations around the world. In the end, “every organization in the world can exist without technology but no organization in the world can exist without people”. Bearing this in mind, the concept Jacob Morgan approached in his last book, employee experience, comes in the perfect timing. Companies need to seek out to provide the best possible interactions with their workforce, that is the only way to guarantee they have people delivering their best and sticking for the long run.

On the interview Jacob explained that employee experience is sort of the next step in what regards the way company’s manage workforce. It appears as an answer to the fact that “employee engagement has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations” –  Jacob Morgan.

He goes through a few best practices that major companies with the likes of Facebook, Google or Microsoft are adopting to improve their staff experience, highlighting three major aspects culture, technology and physical space. Jacob also confessed to Tap My Back that this concept of employee experience is something that the whole company should be aware and responsible for, even though he sees mainly HR related roles pushing it into company’s’ culture.

In the end of the interview, Jacob Morgan was questioned about the best advice he would provide to SMB companies looking to start from scratch implementing and improving the employee experience they provide. You can check his tips and the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.


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Current and future state of HR and employee appreciation – Interview with William Tincup

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

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William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a Writer, Speaker, Advisor, Consultant, Investor, Storyteller & Teacher. He’s been writing about HR related issues for over a decade. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 18 HR technology startups. Many say his words dictates and predicts the future of managing people and teams.

Tap My Back, an employee appraisal software, recently managed to have an interview with Tincup about the current and future state of HR focusing topics such as performance reviews and the use of AI. This article is sort of a compilation of the main ideas he went through on this interview.

One of the most interesting topics Tincup spoke was about the way he feels HR managers currently should have more responsibilities than ever before. Following his thoughts we’re moving from era where employee engagement was the main worry of HR managers onto one where there’s the need to manage the full experience staff go through on the workplace.

He even says that engagement is the same as recycling, everyone already recognizes the value it provides but still many prefer to ignore it.

According to William, the reason why performance reviews stopped producing the outcome they used to is related with the fact that many times managers who conduct those are not honest with the employees about whose interest this process serves. As society currently values highly aspects such as transparency, HR staff conducting performance reviews should be clear to people and say something “hey, this actually for us, so that we do better, so that we make sure that we’re on the right track and we get the most out of you because we want the best version of you while you’re with us. We’re going to train you, we’re going to help you, we’re going to throw some stuff in but at the end of the day we want the best version of you while you’re with us”.

Regarding AI and Machine Learning, William provides an interesting opinion, stating that these tools will make insights that used to be remarkable to become commonplace, a commodity. Following his reasoning these tools will turn dump databases into something capable of providing insightful conclusions, sparing human brain of analyzing raw data.

William, with his typical charismatic way of being, finishes the interview with an advice for every entrepreneur, “Grow, comma grow the right way” referring to the fact that the ambition to grow should never overlap the way managers treat people

End note: You can hear and read the full interview here.


If you want to share this article the reference to João DuarteTap My Back and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

HR and Business Are Looking for Data Analytics and Insights

Stacey Browning, President of Paycor

Today our guest is Stacey Browning, President of Paycor.

Since 2001, Stacey has played an integral role in every aspect of Paycor’s operations. As president, she fosters collaboration across the business and ensures executional excellence in product development and service delivery.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses.Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’​ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

Recently Paycor announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Stacey, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Straight away, why you have developed Workforce Insights and how it will complement other Paycor products?

Our innovation is driven by uncovering ways to better serve our clients, and Workforce Insights is no exception. Last August we surveyed our clients about the features they wanted to see in future product releases. After reviewing more than 1,000 client responses, we found that the overwhelming majority were looking for data analytics and insights.

In addition to evaluating our client’s feedback, we also looked at industry trends that show HR professionals are striving to prove their strategic value to executives. One way we can help them is by organizing their key people data in a manner that helps with business execution.

For example, through the Workforce Insights overtime dashboard, information from our time platform is correlated to OSHA incidents reported on in our HR platform. Leaders can uncover safety thresholds exceeded by location, department or manager to home in on where a performance issue may be occurring.

  1. What key benefits and advantages does Workforce Insights have when compared with other tools on the market?

Most other tools on the market force standard charts and data visualization. Workforce Insights allows customers to view their data in the way that is most impactful for their unique business needs.

Another key differentiator is the one-click sharing functionality. Users can take their insights and share that information with the appropriate parties without having to import or export data. The custom reporting and one-click sharing allows users to not only have access to the data, but to make it meaningful and actionable.

  1. Why do you think small and medium-sized businesses need their own HR technology solutions?

Employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often forced to wear multiple hats, and sometimes that even means taking on responsibilities like payroll. HR technology solutions help relieve the administrative burden of payroll and benefits while ensuring reliability and security, while also protecting against the risk of compliance infractions.

What Paycor offers seems to be what’s desired most by SMBs – a platform or suite of functionality at the right per-employee-per-transaction and per-month price point that doesn’t require a customization. A solution that can be implemented and have value derived in three days to three months, and that can adapt with them as their organization grows.

  1. Paycor has run its operations since 1990. How have your clients needs during this period changed, and what is the secret sauce for long-term success?

Since 1990, the technological needs of our clients have changed dramatically. In 1990 computers were large and expensive, “the cloud” didn’t exist, and phones were connected to a landline or, for a select few, in a bag in your car. Since then, clients have had to react to the demands of their workforce; faster access from any device, and our products have had to evolve accordingly.

Our secret sauce for long-term success may be the only thing that has remained the same since 1990 – putting our clients first. We were founded because our CEO believed there was a better way to serve the needs of our clients, and it’s that passion that still drives us today.

  1. Achievements in big-time sports are based on grassroots sports. What can you recommend to HR Tech startups on how to get into the highest league?

The energy around new HR tech offerings through start-ups informs the entire industry. For some of these startups, success looks like being acquired into a larger company and human capital offering. For those wanting to progress into a higher league more independently, I recommend having an openness to partnerships and distribution options, and feedback to the offering itself. The best emerging technologies in HR are built and market-tested quickly.

  1. Since its founding, Paycor has grown to 1,460 people onboard. What do newbies need to know about the company in order to have a successful career with you?

First, excel at the job you are given, and then look for ways to take on more responsibility. It can be dangerous to be too eager to move to the next level without first nailing the task you are given. At the same time, becoming complacent doesn’t allow you to be a change agent in the organization.

To take on that next challenge and excel to the next level it is critically important that associates know and own their personal brand. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Think about the impression you want to leave, and make it.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Stacey BrowningPaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Millennials Take on Sourcing

Millennials Take on Sourcing

Hotel Near Seattle Space Needle

Millennial Sourcers Ready to Take Off

Sourcer SeanKelly Anderson

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with SeanKelly Anderson, an up and coming sourcer, in Bellevue, WA. SeanKelly and I met on a rainy Sunday morning in late January for breakfast at the very popular Chace’s Pancake Corral.  As everyone is Seattle is painfully aware, the traffic during the week is horrendous pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Sunday is a much lighter travel day thankfully.

On this Sunday SeanKelly had a small window of down time to chat about her professional ambitions and life as a sourcer. The conversation was enlightening and fun. As recruiting continues to grow vital tips and tricks for new sourcers will prove invaluable.

The business of recruiting and sourcing is incredibly hard work and after talking with SeanKelly it became clear that she isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to help connect great candidates with amazing opportunities. SeanKelly grew up in Bellevue, WA and then went east to New York for college. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication from Manhattanville College in beautiful Purchase, NY.

In SeanKelly’s brief time in the field she has interned with Velocity Search Partners (Bellevue, WA) and Recruiting Bandwidth (Seattle, WA). She’s also worked as a sourcing specialist for ProHealth Staffing (Queen Anne, Seattle). In her spare time she is a singer/songwriter who dabbles in ‘Magic the Gathering’. What’s more, SeanKelly also loves to cook weird combinations of foods.

Over the course of our two plus hours together we covered a variety of topics from why she is passionate about sourcing/recruiting to her thoughts on what millennials need to do to be successful in the work world. I’ve included a few of the highlights from our conversation.

Background and Preparation for a Career in Recruiting

It was great getting to know SeanKelly and learn about her passion for recruiting and sourcing. After we chatted about what she had been up to ‘work-wise’ we jumped right into her educational background and family.

When I asked SeanKelly to reflect on how her educational experiences and upbringing had influenced her career so far she shared the following:

My parents worked extremely hard to enroll me into a fantastic all-girls Catholic private school, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, from 5th grade to 12th grade. Forest Ridge had incredible teachers that wanted nothing else but to set us all up for success. This school was incredibly difficult to succeed at if you weren’t a natural at physics, mathematics, or history. Being a young woman with ADHD, I struggled a lot to keep up with the workload–but that struggle was what truly helped me as I grew into adulthood. I learned how to manage time at such a young age, that now, I find myself being able to double down and focus easier than those around me. 

The teachers who had my back are also contributors to what I view as a good quality I have now. Some teachers stayed late to meet, some came in early. It was really amazing. Having that support system and that experience of learning time-management so young really helped me succeed going into college, and has followed me into young adulthood.

I then asked her how she got into Sourcing and Recruiting:

My mom, Shannon Anderson. I have seen her thrive in her career for as long as I can remember! Throughout my life I have seen the good and bad side of being a recruiter, but mostly the good. She is one of the main reasons why I wake up every morning and go to work an hour and a half early every day- because I saw her take the extra steps and walk the extra mile my entire life, and she is the most successful woman I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. 

What Fires You Up About Recruiting?

I asked SeanKelly what she was most passionate about regarding HR, Recruiting and Sourcing? Why? Also, what is the best part of her job?

There are two sides of being a Sourcing Recruiter that I’m passionate about. I am incredibly passionate about helping people and gaining relationships with talented individuals in the Health Care industry! The other side that I’m passionate about is, of course, hitting my numbers and hitting beyond my numbers. It’s a great feeling waking up every morning and telling myself that I’m going to do whatever it takes to submit 25 candidates that week. I’ve noticed that the more positive your approach to a situation is, the easier it is to attain that goal. 

What is the best part of your job? 

My team. I have never been so happy in my entire life. I work with two amazing young ladies, who were both involved in the beginning stages of our sourcing team without any prior experience. My manager, Erica Diane, was in credentialing before she asked for a leadership role. She led our team, and she has been the most amazing, accepting, and hard-working young professional I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She won the PHS Rockstar of the Year award, which made our team look pretty great as well!

We all support each other, which is the other great thing about this job. There is a gong that we ring whenever one of us submits a candidate- whenever we ring that bell we are always cheering each other on. Also, there is a healthy competitive dynamic as well. I know that I feed off of my co-workers drive. If someone has 5 submittals before 12pm, you better believe I’m pushing myself until I get 8 submittals before 2pm!

Why is Recruiting so Difficult?

What part of sourcing & recruiting is challenging? Why?

Definitely the struggle of consistently hitting our numbers. In reality, every week is going to be different. One week you could be finding 8 candidates every day, and the other week your grand total of the entire week could be 10 submittals.

The thing about working with people is that people are unpredictable. Sometimes they want to talk, and sometimes they don’t. You just have to keep calling, emailing, or texting until they give you a solid answer. Luckily, I use this struggle as more motivation. It just depends on how you view the situation. 

What do Millennials Want?

It’s so great to understand what millennials are thinking. In your conversations with millennials what are you finding are they most anxious about (in reference to their professional careers)?

The honest answer I can give you is: money. Another one is: internships. When I ask friends who are seniors in college what they are planning on doing after they graduate, the first response is, “Anything that will make me money!” and then after that, the next response is, “I don’t have any internships, is this going to make it hard for me to get a job?”

In order to help Millennials be better prepared for the work world, what do they need to do? 

Internships. Job fairs. Networking. I am a strong believer in making personal connections–whether you have a friend who knows other professionals, or if you network at a job fair and connect on LinkedIn–I think it is incredibly important to invest time in yourself and your professional network! 

Why do You Want to Blog About Recruiting?

Have you ever written for a blog before? What intrigues you about writing for a blog like Crelate’s?

Yes! Back in college, I was very inspired by the online body positivity movement. It lead me to create a 1-month experimental blog that featured interviews with individuals I knew who were involved in the BoPo movement. It also featured plus-sized fashion tips and tricks that I have picked up throughout the years! While writing for Crelate isn’t exactly in the same realm as fashion, I’m so excited to join Crelate in bringing a Millennial voice to important conversations. I love how my topics connect with young professionals and I know that some of the topics I’m going to be bringing to light are things I would want to read about as well. 

In your experience, how do Millennials engage with blogs? Mostly reading on phones or tablets? Other ways?

Phones and computers are key. There are so many platforms and devices that we can use to experiment and engage with news and blogs–but I find that our phones are accessible enough for us to engage whenever we want. 

What do you think Millennials (working in HR/Recruiting) can gain from subscribing to (or following) blogs that address issues pertinent to Recruiting, Sourcing, and HR?

Now that we are bringing Millennials to the table, young professionals will be able to connect and relate with articles written by people going through the same situations as them. Also, by seeing content from more experienced professionals millennials can learn a lot. It’s great that we are covering topics Millennials can relate to because it gives more exposure to topics on the blog that may help us younger folk! 

Finally, what are a few broad topics you will pursue as you write articles for the Crelate Blog?

The first article I’m going to write is going to be called something like “Millennials, Get Used to Job Transitions! Here are Some Tips and Tricks!” or “The Stages of Losing the Job you loved, and How to Get Back on Track!”. Other ones are going to be advice-based like “How to Indicate if a Company is Being Truthful During an Interview or How to Decipher Whether your First Company is a Hit or Miss”. Additionally, some are going to be more self-reflective like ” What are Your Values? What do You Need to Feel in Order to Feel Like you’re Succeeding at your Company?”

The Career Path Doesn’t Always Go in a Straight Line

We are delighted that SeanKelly Anderson is going to be contributing articles to the Crelate Blog.

For those starting their careers as HR professionals SeanKelly will provide fascinating stories, musings, and advice.

Her contributions will also be beneficial for people looking to learn tips and tricks for landing great gigs. It’s incredibly beneficial to hear from a millennial perspective on jobs, work, and the economy.

Want to be an amazing at sourcing? Check out SeanKelly Anderson‘s articles on the Crelate Blog for the latest tips & tricks for successful sourcing.


Source: Millennials Take on Sourcing – Crelate

HR Technologies Are Following the Social Landscape

Karen Crone - Chief Human Resources Officer @ Paycor, Inc. | The HR Tech Weekly®

Today our guest is Karen Crone, Chief HR Officer at Paycor – a leading provider of intuitive, cloud-based HR, payroll and timekeeping software.

Karen spent over 15 years in senior and C-suite positions in HR in leading companies such as Convergys Corporation, Kendle Corporation now INC Research, American Modern Insurance Group, and currently Paycor.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Karen, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Recently you told us about HR predictions in terms of employee benefits in 2017. What do you think this year will bring to us in respect of HR technologies?

HR technologies are following the social landscape in many ways. For example, smartphones have become the human body’s external central nervous system. They relay information from every facet of our lives – news, entertainment, calendars, email, text messages, phone calls and so on. We have come to expect fingertip access to real-time information that integrates our personal and professional lives. From my perspective, mobility will continue to be the top trend. This is especially critical as the work itself becomes more fluid in terms of when, how, and where it’s completed. Mobility also supports the dynamic of collaborative and virtual teams that group, disband, and regroup as the work requires. HR technology must be mobile-friendly to be relevant.

Another trend is analytics and guided insights through dashboards and reports. For example, a young professional with a 401(k) does not just want to know her account balance, but also her performance relative to their peers. Is she saving more or less than peers? Is she using similar investment strategies? Lastly, she wants to know what to do to maximize her savings. The same concept applies to organizations. For example, employee retention data in the aggregate does not provide insights into critical talent segments like first year employees, top talent, or Millennials. You can take this further and look at industries, geographies, peer groups, and so on. HR technology must not just present data, but also interpret it, benchmark it and guide an outcome.

Lastly, as consumers, we appreciate curated products and services that match our interests. Amazon and Netflix are great examples. This same concept is shaping learning. We want to be served the highest impact content, in any format, which helps us close a learning gap. We also want that content to have our peer groups’ stamp of approval. For example, a sales person wants to be shown the best example of a product demo or the best script for overcoming objections. It must also be accessible on the smartphone or tablet, bringing HR technology full circle.

  1. You have extensive experience in managing Human Resources for over twenty years. How has HR management evolved since you started, and what are the tips for 21st century from your perspective?

HR management today is about keeping business leaders and managers tuned into the voice of employees and removing obstacles to their performance and development. Engagement at the grassroots level is critical to a healthy organization. You must cultivate candid, two-way communication – and really listen. Today’s business moves too swiftly and has too many complexities to rely on just the executive team for all the answers. That’s probably the biggest change – the power of the people, and the need to embed HR at the front-lines of the business. Your best ideas, your biggest innovations, and your efficiency ideas all reside at the grassroots, and HR can help surface them.

  1. It is a kind of standard to consider that Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions are designed mostly for the corporate business. How it’s important for small and medium businesses and why?

HCM solutions are even more important for SMBs. SMBs often run fairly lean, yet they face the same business challenges and to-do lists as larger companies, with fewer people to handle the load. HCM solutions create capacity by automating data collection, data analysis, work flows, reports and so on. For every task you automate or put at people’s desktop through employee or manager self-service, there’s more time to spend on the customer experience, new product ideas, recruiting top talent, or a host of similar business issues. HCM solutions create capacity for SMB leaders and their teams to work on the stuff they love – making a great business.

  1. What is the role of a Chief HR Officer (CHRO) and why it’s important for them to have a voice at the leadership table?

The primary role of the Chief HR Officer is to be the coach, counselor, sounding board, and voice of reason for the CEO and senior executive team when it comes to leadership team dynamics, the leadership of the executive’s team or function, and his or her personal development. Another role is to be the physician to the company’s organizational health and culture. It’s better and easier to practice preventative care than to address neglect. One example that illustrates this is an empty succession pipeline. It’s important for CHROs to have a voice at the table to keep people matters front and center in the context of business strategy. Businesses without a solid “people plan” are missing a leg of the stool. CHROs facilitate and guide that important, most often strategic, dialogue.

  1. Employee engagement is a hot point in HR discussions. Very often it seems that it’s mostly addressed to new hires (and new generations) while it’s important from “hire to retire”. Could you share some tips from your practice please?

At Paycor, we are more sophisticated in segmenting the workforce and in personalizing services. As an example, we learned that our 4-6 year tenured sales professionals were sliding in their connection to the company. No surprise there, as you noted in your question. In a high-growth company like Paycor, we focus significant energy on onboarding new associates. We started action planning at the segment level, which in this case resulted in a Chief Sales Officer roundtable, more career consulting, a HQ visit, product training, and so on. Segmenting by life events is another way to personalize engagement. For example, how can you make recognition of a baby or a wedding, or your response to a serious illness memorable? When you get personal, you strengthen the connection and ultimately engagement.

  1. What companies of all sizes should consider when evaluating HR technologies?

When evaluating HR technologies, it’s critical to start with the end in mind, what problems you are trying to solve, and how you want the business to run in the future. That helps prioritize the features, functions, and types of technology needed. Next, consider the relationship you have with the providers. There will be hiccups along the way. Think about who it is you want and trust to be by your side. If your partner listens to and responds during the sales process, it’s a signal that the customer experience matters. Lastly, consider the voice you have in shaping the future of the technology. What role does the customer play in identifying and influencing new releases? The technology must grow with you.

  1. What are the upcoming challenges for you as CHRO of an HR Tech company and Paycor as an HR Tech vendor?

As the CHRO of Paycor, it’s about scaling our people practices in support of rapid growth and reinforcing our strong culture across an evolving geographic footprint. Growth creates first-class challenges! The HR tech space is intensely competitive when it comes to hiring the best and brightest engineering and product management talent. As CHRO, I stay vigilant on the state of hiring and on internal mobility. A healthy talent pipeline is one signal of a healthy company. Finally, for Paycor as an HR tech vendor, we are monitoring the ripple effect of the new Presidential administration. Our customers expect and want Paycor to help them navigate compliance complexities and business opportunities. Finally, our hallmark is service. We want to keep improving the customer experience and make employee management even easier.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Karen CronePaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.