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.

Employee Relations: The Last Bastion of Manual HR Processes?

Employee Relations: The Last Bastion of Manual HR Processes?

Today our guest is Deborah J. Muller, CEO and Founder at HR Acuity®: a leading provider of employee relations and workplace investigation solutions.

Deborah founded HR Acuity, LLC in March 2006, after she spent more than 20 years in key HR leadership positions at numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Citicorp, Honeywell, Marsh & McLennan and Dun & Bradstreet.

HR Acuity designed and developed HR Acuity On-Demand, an essential web-based application that minimizes an organization’s legal and financial risks.

HR Acuity On-Demand, winner of the 2009 Top Product of the Year award from Human Resource Executive® Magazine, enables consistent documentation of employee issues, a structured process for workplace investigation, and immediate search and reporting.

The recently released 2016 HR Acuity Employee Relations Benchmark Study analyzed employee relations practices related to organizational models, case management processes, metrics and issue types, volumes and trends. The entire study had 74 organizations participate representing over 870,000 employees with the goal to establish a foundation for the development of a unique set of best practice employee relations benchmarks.

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

  1. Hi Deborah, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. You started HR Acuity® operations ten year ago. What has changed during this time in the employee relations management landscape?

Over the last ten years we have seen a real shift in the intersection of HR and technology. Organizations are looking beyond the traditional HRIS data to get insights that can be used to understand, diagnose and even predict how employees – their human resources – will behave and perform. And the relationships between employees, employer, co-workers, and customers – must be part of that story. What can we learn from those interactions (the good, the bad and the ugly) to become smarter in hiring, developing, managing and motivating our employees to drive business success? As a result, we have seen our conversations with clients make a real shift from educating about the power of employee relations to strategic dialogues about capturing and deliberately using this information.

  1. Why did you decide to perform the Employee Relations Benchmark Study, and how long did it take to get the results?  

For the past eight years we have been conducting an annual survey take get a pulse on employee relations issues and practices. But over the last few years, our network has been asking for more. When it comes to employee relations issues, organizations want to know what is “normal?” How many harassment issues should we expect? What should we expect our caseloads to be like given our size or industry? How do similarly situated organizations model their employee relations resources? The data had not previously been available and we were in a position to capture it. That being said, we were very fortunate to form an incredible advisory board from organization such as ADP, TIAA, MetLife, LinkedIn to help develop our Study questions.

The result was an in-depth questionnaire that required participants to take the time to gather the data requested sometimes from multiple constituents within their organization. In the end, their willingness to do so with such granularity speaks volumes about their desire to get their hands on this valuable information.

  1. Did you have any assumptions before performing the Study, and how different were they from the outputs?

Since I live employee relations day in and day out, I had some hypothesis going in but clarity of what we heard was most surprising. First of all, we knew from our clients that organizations were making a switch to centralized employee relations teams – this is something the Study confirms. What surprised me was uniformity of rationale for this change. Organizations are looking to drive consistency of process, ensure neutrality how issues are handles and safeguard that those handling the situations have the right expertise.

Secondly we knew there was steady increase in the reliance of organization to track employee relations metrics. When we started surveying organizations in 2009, less than 15% used an employee relations management system and over 50% didn’t track at all. What was surprising to us with the Study was how far this has shifted in the last seven years — basically flipping around. Now over 45% of organizations use some form of an employee relations management solution or case management system while only 12% reported not tracking at all.

And finally, in one of our open ended questions we asked about how caseloads have changed recently. Almost everyone who commented used the exact same word to describe what they were seeing…”complexity.” Cases are just more complex than they were a few years ago. Not a big surprise given the growing number of regulations that need to be considered but very powerful reading through comments from strangers who all use the same terminology.

  1. What are the core statistics and findings of the Study? Could you just lift the veil for our readership please?

So to give you a peek at some of the results I’ll share three areas of information the Study explored:

Organizational change. Not only are organizations moving to centralized models but our data shows that that type of organizational model uses 25% fewer HR resources than those with Mixed and Decentralized Models.

Analytics. Most respondents described employee relations analytics as “early stage.” However those that are ahead of the curve are actively monitoring key metrics and provided insightful examples of how the information measured has been used to impact key business drivers – all which we included in in the Study results.

And finally case and staffing benchmarks. The Study provides some “normal” on numbers and types of cases that employers are dealing with. In most instances we were able to break those numbers down by size of organization and organization model so that as a reader you can consume what is most similar to your needs. For example, for every 1,000 employees, our Study found that organizations will receive approximately 4.44 allegations of discrimination or harassment.

  1. On one hand, there are plenty of HR Tech solutions for recruitment, employee engagement and other things often called disruptive. On the other hand, some employee relations statistics may surprise you. What about solutions for managing risks, preventing and resolving conflicts at workplace?

I love that you bring up this point. Employee relations seems to be the last bastion of manual HR processes. And when you speak to HR practitioners they totally get it. The reality is that most HR professionals already capture employee relations information on a daily basis but in spiral notebooks or at best on excel sheets. By “digitizing” this last piece of the puzzle organizations can create tremendous impact and ROI without disruption. Instead of spending millions of dollars to figure out something intangible like employee engagement, having an employee relations management solution can uncover why employees are disengaged, what are the trends that drive inappropriate behaviors or subpar performance, what can you do to reduce incidents and drive growth: very tangible and very straightforward.

  1. Your Benchmark Study covered the corporate world. Do you have any observations regarding SMB companies and recommendations for them to mitigate risks of employee relations?

At HR Acuity we always say that employee bad behavior doesn’t discriminate…whatever size or industry, you need to be ready to face issues or allegations that will pose risk for your organization. Process missteps can be costly and particularly detrimental to the health of a smaller organization. So our recommendation is to be prepared. Have a process. Know who will be involved and ensure they have the proper training to handle the incident in a compliant manner. HR Acuity has some great free resources and tools on our website that we encourage folks to download.

  1. The last but not least question I love to ask my guests is what are upcoming challenges for you?

For us it is about Managers… How can we leverage technology to provide managers the tools to do their jobs more effectively? Those tools will not only help drive consistency but can be used to validate that good management and leadership practices drive business results. Once that happens, the relationship between managers and HR will change to become less traditional and more strategic.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Deborah J. Muller and  The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Learn to Love Not Loath the Technical Interview

Job Interview

The Potential Stress of Technical Interviews

Technical recruiters should take heed, it’s really important to help ease the nerves of developers as they prepare for their technical interviews for programming positions. Going in with the right mindset and game-plan is critical for landing the job. Crelate offers some ‘inside’ information from John Franti of Epicodus – a vocational school for aspiring programmers.

The technical interview is the most nerve-wracking part of the hiring process for most new or junior developers. Probably for most developers, full-stop. Programmers with years of accumulated experience and confidence report the same doubts, nerves, and anxieties every time the interviewer points to the whiteboard.

Jerry Maguire

And why wouldn’t we? A search for the term “technical interview” in the Computers & Technology section on Amazon returned 710 responses. Among the books that are “must-haves” for junior developers are Cracking the Coding Interview and Elements of Programming Interviews. Both are great resources and immensely helpful, but if you don’t have time to read the books here are a few things to ponder.

Seemingly Everyone has an Opinion for how to Prepare

Everyone should prepare for any interview, but there can be a hidden message communicated by this flood of guidance, advice, and “insider” information: The technical part of your interview is a terrifying experience that will haunt you and ruin your future.

Additionally, there is no widely acknowledged difference in the literature between the skills needed to successfully interview for a job, or work as a systems architect at Google or Facebook and a junior front-end or back-end developer at an agency, or start-up. To believe the conventional wisdom, everyone needs to be a “10x haxxor”, a “ninja”. This is whatJacob Kaplan-Moss called the Programming Talent Myth. There are few great programmers, and everyone else is untalented and unfit to work as a programmer. Wrong. Instead, Kaplan-Moss tries to enforce the idea that programming skills follow the same bell curve as any other set of skills. By this theory there are a few extremely talented people, a very few uniquely unskilled individuals, and the majority of programmers fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.

It’s no wonder that so many developers suffer from imposter syndrome or even fail to apply for relevant jobs for fear of being unqualified given the high bar of success that is often set. This doesn’t have to be the case. I’ve helped hundreds of students in my role at Epicodus prepare for their very first programming interviews. There are direct carryovers from the skills a person has at the keyboard to the skills needed at the whiteboard.

Think of the Technical Interview as a Conversation

Silicon Valley, Part-1

A good technical interview should be a conversation. It should not be a test of knowledge. A technical interview is best used when it evaluates how a candidate thinks and works, not evaluating what they know. The candidate’s resume, and the non-whiteboard part of the interview should be sufficient to determine if they have experience with the required languages, frameworks, and concepts. As an interviewee, if you’re asked to whiteboard, that’s great news – the interviewer knows you have the skills to work through a difficult question, and wants to see how you do so.

Tips & Tricks for the Technical Interview

So, what are some good practices?

I love the idea of treating each technical question like a mini-project. First, have the interviewer repeat the question. Second, listen carefully, and write down a list of specs. Where? On the whiteboard, of course.

Again, you’re showing how you work. You work from a list of specs, like the good, professional developer you are. Therefore, once the specs are listed, read them back and start looking for keywords and easy requirements that will help you answer the question.

* Are you writing a function? Get the word function and some curly braces up on the board.

* Does the function accept any kind of argument? Get it in the parens.

* Does the function return a value? Let’s put a return statement at the end of the function.

Easy, right?

A Couple More Words of Wisdom

Silicon Valley, Part-2

The purpose of all this boilerplate, or any similar setup is to give ourselves a familiar work space. Further, it’s how we write functions when we’re in our text editor – why would it be any different just because it’s ink and not pixels? It also gets some information on the board, and can get you thinking.

Are you stuck, or do you need to test your algorithm? Draw a box on the whiteboard and list your variables and their initial values inside. This box represents machine memory during the process. Next, pass some test data into your function and talk through the behavior with the interviewer while changing the values within the box. By doing live, manual testing this often can help the interviewee get unstuck.

And of course, it’s alright to say “I don’t know” as long as you finish with the word “…yet.” Then, go forward with the interviewer. How would you go about finding out? What terms would you search for? Where have you seen similar behavior? Keep communicating and showing how you think.

A Note for Interviewers

Finally, for interviewers who may be reading this, because the goal of the technical interview is how we think and not what we know, the question itself doesn’t need to be that hard. A new programmer can show just as much knowledge writing a factorial algorithm as they can solving an advanced sorting problem. The way the thought process is communicated is often what stands out.

You can check out a few more simple tips within my lesson at Learn How to Program.


Source: Learn to Love Not Loath the Technical Interview – Crelate

People you hire will be pivotal in shaping business culture and maintaining success!

epicor-software-executive-shares-his-vision-with-hr-from-c-level-perspective

Today our guest is Mr. Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President (EVP) International at Epicor Software.

Sabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In his role, Gill is responsible for operations including sales and professional services with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was Senior Vice President of International Sales for IGT. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.

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

  1. In your recent article you have told us about how as companies grow and expand, there is a tendency for employees to be disengaged in the workplace due to heavier workloads, pressures, and deadlines. You explained how investing in the right technology can help companies manage this growth. What other drivers can you point to for ensuring employee satisfaction, engagement and wellbeing?

As your business grows you need your team to be strong, so the people you hire will be pivotal in shaping its culture and maintaining its success. Ensuring that your employees are happy and fully engaged is also vital. Take for example a traditional business that acquires smaller, nimble entrepreneurial entities to gain a competitive advantage but find the newly acquired talent assets that the company paid highly for start leaving the company. This is a common mistake made by many companies that are growing through acquisition but failing to consider the wellbeing of, and engage effectively with the organisation’s new employees.

Another important aspect for companies to consider is the influx of Millennials in the workplace. I would argue that it’s even more paramount for organisations of all types and sizes to create workplace environments that nurture the free-thinker and their entrepreneurial spirit. But where do organisations start? To begin, they need to understand the characteristics of entrepreneurial teams and what motivates them. You can almost forget about traditional incentive plans; when dealing with entrepreneurial types, “challenge” trumps traditional notions of compensation/rewards, because if the work environment isn’t challenging enough, they are likely to leave. They need to understand what the entrepreneur works for (and what they live for): The vision, the dream, the challenge – it’s their oxygen. To fully engage, entrepreneurs must buy into the vision.

As companies grow and with it create entrepreneurial teams, larger organisations may need to rethink placing talent in the constraints of the traditional hierarchical structure. These teams may be more effective when they are free to look at projects holistically: to craft a vision and define how problems will be solved. Remove as much process, structure, and bureaucracy as is feasible; as they prefer working without walls, and that includes traditional “job description” boundaries. 

  1. What do you expect from HR Managers delivering to the change management initiatives?

Employee ‘buy-in’ is the cornerstone of any change initiative and the onus often falls on HR to manage this process. Changing business processes can have an impact on employees’ familiar work routines whether or not they are directly involved in the project, so this process must be managed for the entire workforce. Employees need to be gradually introduced to new processes and job roles over a period of time so that they can accept and familiarize themselves with these developments. Neglecting this aspect or putting it off until later on in the project may result in organisational resistance to the new system, even to the point of operational risk. 

  1. Do you observe any distinctions when people from different industries, functions, and maybe regions, implement new software? For instance, what scares HR professionals more comparing with other business roles?

Change is never easy and most people are averse to change – this is true regardless of culture, industry and job function! HR’s challenge, given where it sits in an organisation, as opposed to other business roles, is helping employees, navigate and embrace any changes made in the organisation. 

  1. What are the core advantages Epicor®Human Capital Management delivers to HR and business when their demands and expectations grow toward self-service, engagement, micro-learning, and people analytics solutions? 

Today’s economy needs HR to adopt a more proactive and strategic role. To add to this, managers and employees are demanding direct access to human resource (HR) systems and information. Epicor Human Capital Management (HCM), delivers this and more, helping HR departments better manage a dispersed workforce, improve human resource processes, and make HR an integral part of an organisation’s strategic planning.

Epicor HCM is an intuitive, functional, and adaptable HCM solution that helps HR departments to spend more time managing talent than data. With Epicor HCM, HR teams have the ideal tool to manage their organisation’s most valuable resource—the workforce, who are pivotal maintaining a company’s success.

Epicor HCM automates everything related to HR in a single software system, enabling the organisation to track, manage, and analyse all data for the employees, from application to retirement. Through automated workflow, Epicor HCM allows organisations to improve efficiency. With powerful reporting and analytical tools, HR teams can gain a complete picture of the company’s workforce to enable better strategic planning.

  1. What technological trends will influence ERP and particularly HCM vendors in the nearest future, in your opinion?

The Cloud has without a shadow of a doubt been one of the biggest drivers of change in our industry. Organisations across the globe are beginning to realise the benefits of moving to the cloud, specifically:

  • Compelling connectivity — the ability to collaborate in real-time across remote sites, mobile employees, and trading partners
  • Enhanced operational efficiency — seamless operations, unparalleled scalability and flexibility, upgrade management, and business continuity
  • Improved security — higher level of security, network monitoring, and disaster prevention
  • Smart economics — the opportunity to achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and positively affect the bottom line
  • Better resource allocation – improved ability to focus resources on core business activities and applications

These benefits are magnified when it comes to HCM because HCM has always been viewed as a non-critical, labour intensive function. By moving HCM applications to the cloud, organisations can make sure their HR teams focus on more business critical activities, reduce operational costs, and, most importantly, stay connected with an increasingly mobile workforce. 

  1. You have proven C-level experience in business development and managing people within global technological companies in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. What do you recommend to managers who strive to build their careers at the international markets?

My number one recommendation for managers is to be understanding and respectful of the various cultural differences. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to dealing with people across markets. What works in the US might not be the right tactic for China, but sadly too many C-level executives take this for granted.

Secondly, “Be as good as your word – do what you say you’re going to do.” The idea of following through on commitments and being held accountable for your plans and actions is vital. It helps build trust and comfort with the people you deal with knowing that you bring credibility and will ensure that things get done. You want to be that person who others can rely on. People buy from people and your future is in the hands of what they say and what they do. When you enter a relationship, which is what we do when we implement ERP solutions, you need to care about the job you, and everyone else, does for that customer. Everything reflects on the promise you make to your customers, partners, investors and employees. Whichever way you look at it, their emotions, personal ambitions, etc., all play a part in the business at hand.

Thirdly, be an advocate of change and look for excellence in everything you do. Do not dither. C-level positions demand, as well as offer, respect. People expect answers and directions from those in these positions in a timely and articulate manner. Think about a driver of a high-performance car; with a professional driver behind the wheel you can obtain strong performance and look to break lap records. However if you put a novice behind the wheel, you will struggle to get the same results. You need to grow into the expert that people want to rely on to drive the business forwards.

Finally, I would say, continue “to reflect”. What I mean by this is always take a step back when you find yourself in a difficult or complex situation and reassess what it is that you are trying to achieve. Too many times we get fixated on finer details and can’t see the forest for the trees. Taking a step back can help us see the wider picture and realign our focus.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Sabby Gill and The HR Tech Weekly® blog is is obligatory.

The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears

Written by  | Originally published at CMSWire 

The era of digital HR is arriving fast, bringing together social, mobile, analytic and cloud technologies.

Digital HR will bring with it new ways to improve employee productivity and the effectiveness of business processes but the power of HR tech transformation is only beginning to emerge. Too many HR departments have yet to embrace the possibilities of this transformation.

Eugenia Bereziuk spoke with several HR professionals to ask them about the current state of their HR tech use and gather their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges that digital HR brings with it.

The Question

— How is your company incorporating digital HR technologies?

The Answers

Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR, LaRosa’s

Steve BrowneAs executive director of human resources at LaRosa’s Inc., Steve Browne has strategic responsibilities for more than 1,400 team members as a generalist.

Our approach to HR has been more “old-school” to date, but I like many of the apps/systems that are out there now for HR folks to use. We have on-line tools but they aren’t tied to apps yet.

I have a feeling that most, if not all, HR resources will be app-based in the near future. We have been looking at scheduling apps most recently to help ensure that our team members have current information in their hands.

There are so many solutions I would consider. The key to me isn’t a brand name, but making sure that the tech truly meets our needs. I find that many HR practitioners get overwhelmed when they have so many options to choose from.

The tech needs to fit a company’s culture as well as the needs of HR and the workforce. It takes strategy and developing a partnership relationship with a vendor to make the best choices.

I think that digital HR is our reality. I don’t think it will replace people, but I do think it will improve how HR is practiced. It is the natural evolution of business … but the gap needs to shrink more rapidly.

Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly

Alexey MitkinAlexey Mitkin has 15 years of C-level corporate experience in Human Capital Management in leading multinational and local companies.

Not all HR specialists are ready to use HR tech and there are few things to consider behind the scenes: The first is human nature because people are usually inclined to resist change.

Second is the rapid development of new HR technologies because HR professionals simply couldn’t research and adopt all the new apps even if they wanted to.

A related third issue is the level of user experience versus the complexity of new solutions. In general, adopting any new solution will result in a learning curve and that’s especially true when technology solutions are evolving faster than we can adapt to them.

Finally, I’d highlight the gap between what business expects from HR and what HR actually delivers. It’s not uncommon for CEOs to invest in FinTech or MarTech more easily than in HR because they are more confident in their understanding of those technologies compared with HR.

I belong to the HR tech world and am deeply addicted to digital technologies. Yet I think it’s simultaneously true and false that the future of HR is digital: On the one hand, everything is becoming digitalized and we must adjust to become, if not digital natives, at least digital immigrants in order to survive. On the other hand, since human nature remains the same, we’ll need more profound scientific knowledge about people and behavior to make digital technologies more effective.

In today’s era of new competencies and approaches, there is no doubt that in order to come out on top, HR departments will need to craft effective combinations of traditional and digital approaches.

And one must always keep in mind that no technology itself will change a culture. As Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres said at the Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA, “Instead of trying to make a better robot, try to make a better man.”

Kristi Weierbach, Manager, HR/Payroll Advisory Services, Stambaugh Ness

Kristi WeierbachKristi Weierbach is a senior HR professional focused on helping clients create a unique HR architecture, applying practical solutions that complement strategic goals and company culture.

I have been exposed to various forms of digital HR during my career, including recruiting/onboarding solutions, training and performance management solutions and compensation/benefit management systems.

HR systems can help HR departments reach optimal performance but significant time and energy is needed to set up and implement any type of new HR technology. For example, if unclean data enters the system, then reporting and dashboard functionality will be hindered.

HR technology is here to stay and as an HR professional, I have an obligation to embrace it. That being said, it is important for companies to perform needs analyses prior to selecting HR technology solutions because those solutions can range from basic to robust.

For all members of an organization to benefit from an HR solution, it must be a system of engagement rather than just a system of record. Technology has changed the way we communicate with our employees, supervisors, and executives1 and I look forward to the continued transformation of the HR profession.

Jackye Clayton, Editor, RecruitingTools.com

Jackye ClaytonJackye Clayton said she uses her sense of humor, understanding of recruiting and HR to knock out informative, smart, addictively clickable blog posts about tools you do use, will use or should use as a recruiter or a person who just wants to hire top talent.

I think the fear of HR tech among many HR professionals has to do with adapting to change, especially if they believe that their current solutions are doing an adequate job. It is hard to convince someone who is experiencing success that a different way can work even better.

Another reason is that they have no existing processes for onboarding, coaching, engagement and so on, so implementing new technologies means adding more work rather than streamlining current practices.

The other thing that we have to consider is that certain apps control the data that we have worked so hard to gain. However, I believe that embracing HR tech is imperative in order to move forward and stay ahead of the competition.

But you have to reserve a place for old-school tools. I believe that face-to-face communication is the number one old-school tool that gets overlooked. Sometimes,  good communication is the only thing that works.

Ward Christman, Chief Advisor, HR Tech Advisor  

Ward ChristmanWard Christman has more than 20 years experience creating and selling e-recruiting technology and services, with special expertise in ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), employee referral, and job marketing (via job boards and social media).

In my experience, HR professionals are generally people people, not technology people. HR people may be using technology like computers and smartphones, but they are trained for compliance and risk mitigation.

That makes them, by nature, averse to taking risks and trying new technologies and often leads to concern about upending the status quo. That’s why many of the leading HR technology vendors get around that mindset by selling directly to the C-suite

The newer flavors of HR technology can put the consumerist experience that we’ve come to expect when using platforms like Facebook and Twitter into the hands of employees and potential employees. We need to ensure there’s a solid business case for a given technology in order to make an investment in the first place and employ the change management needed to ensure success for that investment once the business case has been approved.

I see the future of HR being 100 percent digital, from initial sourcing of candidates all the way through to retirement provisioning. Many of the old-school tools we use might work today, but they won’t be well-received in the future without serious upgrades to their user interface and usability.

Adriano Corso, Sourcing Science/Digital Recruiting Consultant, IBM Smarter Workforce

Adriano CorsoAdriano Corso leads, develops and manages all digital recruitment activities within IBM Kenexa in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the US.

With all the tools available today, there isn’t a single tool that works for everything. That’s why a mix of tools, platforms, and SaaS — in combination with a great sourcing and recruitment team — is necessary to succeed.

As a digital consultant, I’m not very keen on using old-school tools and I am always looking for new digital solutions we can implement for our business. In my experience, marketing automation tools are starting to play a key role in recruitment. Once integrated with an ATS or CRM, they let us not only track the history of a specific lead but create a tailored strategy with specific triggers based on a candidate’s behavior.

I would definitely suggest that any company think outside the box to listen to and understand their audience better, the same way that company would assess any market needs and trends.

Digital technology is part of our lives and it has brought us new ways of imagining and managing businesses. But if we get too excited about the potential of artificial intelligence, we are going to lose human relations at some point.

I personally believe that recruitment and HR need to rely on human relationships and connections, even though we currently use digital tools, platforms and channels. For instance, I am against having robots handle job interviews. In the end, go digital, but make sure you are able to build true relationships through it and with it.

Title image by Lena Bell

About the Author

Eugenia BereziukFormer journalist Eugenia Bereziuk is a business analyst at CactusSoft, a full-cycle software development company, and editor-in-chief at HR-blog WISP.

Twitter | LinkedIn | CMSWire | WISP Blog


Source: The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears | CMSWire


Reprint: The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears | WISP Blog

HR Tech Is So Dynamic and Still Has Very Much a Work in Progress

Interview with Bill Kutik

Today our interview is with Bill Kutik, one of the top four HR Technology influencers in the US, and the industry’s leading producer of shows – live and online.

For 19 months, his independent broadcast-quality video series called Firing Line with Bill Kutik® has featured monthly interviews with leading HR tech thought-leaders on YouTube.

Since 1990, he has been monthly Technology Columnist for the US trade magazine Human Resource Executive (you can read his columns at Human Resource Executive Online®).

But he’s probably best known as founding co-chairman (sometimes called “The Father” or even “The Godfather”) of the magazine’s famous annual event, the HR Technology® Conference & Exhibition, the world’s largest held every October in the US. He began it in 1998 and stepped aside for new leadership in 2013.

The Bill Kutik Radio Show®, his previous online talk show with industry leaders, has suspended new shows but many people are still listening to its 183 podcasts in the archive at HRE Online.

In 2012, the magazine named him one of the “10 Most Powerful HR Technology Experts.” He previously wrote for The New York Times and has a BA degree from Harvard University.

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

  1. Hi Bill, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. You run the TV show well known among the business audience as Firing Line with Bill Kutik®. What are you trying to accomplish with it and how do you make decisions on inviting your guests? And curiously, what do you feel today to be at the opposite side of the table?

Hi Alexey, thank you for inviting me.

When I started planning the TV show in late 2014, I realized that all the various shows I had produced since 1998 (HR Tech, the Radio Show) were all based on the same bedrock principle: Guests talk about what they’re thinking and doing, not what software they’re selling or which software they might be using.

The analyst relations executive at Workday, Geoff McDonald, asked me to repeat that after I said it because he thought it was the best description of “thought leadership” he had ever heard. I was flattered.

Because I came to HR technology from years in commercial journalism (doing work for The New York Times and The Boston Globe), I have brought with me some values that are now sadly considered old-fashioned. Namely that articles (or blogs), conference presentations and interviews (audio or video) should be in the best interests solely of the reader, listener or viewer – the audience – and definitely not necessarily in the interests of any vendor involved.

I was ruthless about that at HR Tech, where happily the owner Ken Kahn completely supported the idea that we never sold speaking slots to vendors. Imagine, attendees are already paying to see the content. Should anyone sell it a second time so it’s no longer in their best interests?

So I started Firing Line with Bill Kutik® to continue providing HR practitioners with objective information about the latest technology trends without marketing or favoritism. It was the same with the Radio Show, which I did for seven years.

Decisions on the guests for both are made simply based on who can best deliver value to the audience.

As for being on the other side of the table… being a good interviewer means taking second chair to the person being interviewed. Teasing out and highlighting what they know. Since much of what I do are interviews and panels (except for my columns), I don’t get to do much of the talking. So I love whenever the roles are reversed! Look how much more I get to say here than you do, Alexey!

  1. You provide the HR Technology Column at Human Resource Executive Online®. How do you choose your topics to be covered there and what other projects do you undertake?

Being a columnist is the most difficult job in journalism. Others only write when something happens; columnists have to fill the space (in my case) every four weeks, even if nothing has happened.

Of course, HR technology is so dynamic that I can’t think of a month when nothing happened. Because I like my columns to be in-depth, I often write them after attending full-day analyst meetings or multi-day user conferences. That gives me the kind of perspective a good column needs.

Thirty years ago, I learned from the world’s leading computer industry commentator (an old college friend, Esther Dyson) that vendors do most of the innovation in the industry. Certainly there were terrifically innovative end-users like Cisco and Walmart, but they were the exception.

So my columns tend to focus on what the vendors are doing. In addition, I try to use them to explain to the practitioners how the software industry works. Think about it. Practitioners may buy new solutions every three years or so from someone who sells them every day! The match-up is so unfair. I try to level the playing field. In that regard, one of my favorite revelations was that salesmen for large, on-premise enterprise software regularly asked for four-times the price they were willing to settle for!

Now that’s exactly what the street urchins in Cairo trying to sell you cheap souvenirs do. It was never universally true, but I was shocked to discover it and thought it important to tell HR practitioners about it.

  1. You started the HR Technology® Conference & Exhibition (also known as ‘HR Tech’ which probably gave the name to the whole industry). What was the mission behind the idea to establish such an event in 1998, how it was changing during the time and what other events should HR managers keep their eyes on?

The mission from Day One was to help make HR practitioners more tech savvy. Not to understand the bits and bytes of it, but to understand the business benefits that technology could bring them. And offer that to them from their colleagues, senior HR executives, and not from vendors who too often do the educating at other events, sometimes to their own benefit.

Our mission enlarged, when I realized there was a vast audience of HR generalists who somehow thought technology did not apply to them. We started a major campaign – with the help of the most popular U.S. bloggers at the time such as Laurie Ruettimann, “HR Ringleader” Trish McFarlane, “HR Capitalist” Kris Dunn, “HR Bartender” Sharlyn Lauby and Dwane Lay – to convince them their career advancement required it. I’m often guilty of exaggeration, and I remember once writing that if they didn’t get tech savvy, “They should start looking for a large cardboard box and nice place under a highway to live in it.” Over the top.

HR Tech was almost alone at the beginning. Now there are similar events around the world: Australia, China, India, Dubai, Bahrain, Norway, Amsterdam, Paris and London. I was once invited to an event in Moscow, but organizers never got beyond a brochure (which I still have) describing me in Russian. I love that because all four of my grandparents came from Russia, where I’ve been told my family name translates into “little cat,” not kitten. “Kooteek”: a term of endearment.

And don’t forget the show that started it all organized by IHRIM (International Association of Human Resources Information Management), begun decades earlier than HR Tech. Its next annual conference is scheduled for March 2017 in Toronto.

  1. SAP, Oracle and Workday, sometimes called as SOW, deliver most integrated and complex HR Tech solutions on today’s market. What are the core advantages they have, in terms of daily HR needs?

What I like to call the “Big Three” specialize in meeting the most complex needs of global corporations with more than 5,000 employees. Among the advantages they bring is being able to deal with specific HR needs in dozens of countries, especially in payroll.

Our largest analyst firm, Gartner, often publishes a “Magic Quadrant,” which graphically compares the “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision” of all HCM vendors. The leaders are in the upper right corner of the four-box labeled “leaders.”

The Big Three are always there. But practitioners too often make the mistake of tearing out the leaders box and making it their short list. Without considering that their company, for example, may have just one location in the US with just 600 employees. So that’s not necessarily the way to go.

  1. What are the market expectations from HR technologies to appear in the nearest future? Briefly.

Everyone is touting predictive analytics, most especially “proscriptive” analytics that suggest what you should do to fix a situation revealed by the data. HR departments need to move very slowly on this and insist that vendors go beyond their canned demo. And instead, load the company’s own data – say from 18 to six months ago – and then test to see if the predictions turned out right in the last six months, which HR already knows! Still very much a work in progress.

  1. Do we really need all that ‘bells-and-whistles’ HR Tech vendors deliver as stand alone, OEM or integrated solutions?

It’s often said that most people use only 10 percent of the functional capabilities in Microsoft Word. In my case, I know that’s true because it is marvelous software for writing a book, keeping track of footnotes, re-numbering as they are added or removed, automatically putting them at the bottom of the correct pages, or even aggregating them for a section at the end.

The same is true of HR software. But with SaaS, customers are generally not paying for the capabilities they’re not using and someday may use them. Many are terrifically useful, and I’m glad they are there.

  1. You follow the evolution of the recruiting systems since 1988 when it was ever evolved to the present digital times. In this new era, which are the powerful approaches to be used as effective recruiting solutions? What recruiters should never sweep aside and take to the future? Only applicants…

I was present at the birth of the first Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in 1988, as you mention. What has happened in that last 10 years is the ATS has come to be seen as the essential, but largely administrative, system involved in the Talent Acquisition process. Much like an HRIS, HRMS or what’s now called Core HR is essential but not very strategic.

And just as with Core HR, where people realized the real strategic advantage was in the programs that were attached to it (later called the Talent Management suite), the center of value in recruiting has moved away from the ATS to what were once called “edge applications” but now more often are called “Recruitment Marketing.”

I love to point out that the reason an ATS is called an Applicant Tracking System is it cannot deal with candidates who have not yet applied. Yet the very best recruiters are spending time dealing with them, not just sorting through applications and resumes.

I admit that focus on candidates can seem a little like the famous Groucho Marx joke: “I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member!” But the War for Talent is all about identifying and attracting candidates, not just throwing out a baited fishing hook (job board postings) and hauling into the boat everything that bites on it.

Obviously, I could go on and one about this topic. But I’ll spare your readers and hope they have stuck with us this far.


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

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