HR Systems & HCM Industry Outlook FireSide Chat

Nov 8, 2021 3:00 PM4:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Implementing some automation in your HR system would take a huge load off your back. But how do you know which human resources information system (HRIS) will best fit your company?

In this virtual event, Greg Irwin is joined by Jacqueline Kuhn, Executive Vice President of Strategic Consulting Services at HRchitect, to talk about the pros and cons of various HR systems. Jacqueline compares the performance of companies like Workday, Paylocity, and Ceridian Dayforce, explains why training is essential for employee retention, and shares which services her clients love best.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • Jacqueline Kuhn discusses the latest trends in human resources information systems (HRIS)
  • How HRIS can improve processes like payroll, recruiting, succession planning, and more
  • Jacqueline compares the pricing, functionality, and performance of different HR software
  • How are organizations investing in workforce planning?
  • Jacqueline shares some examples of her clients’ favorite systems for hiring and retention
  • Why training is key to employee retention and which programs Jacqueline recommends
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Event Partners


HRchitect is a consulting firm that specializes solely in Human Capital Management and delivers expertise around the full lifecycle of HCM technology. They've helped thousands of organizations across the globe create strategies, select, implement and support Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, HRIS, Workforce Management and Benefits systems.

Connect with HRchitect

Guest Speaker

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Co-CEO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

Jacqueline Kuhn

Jacqueline Kuhn, HRIP LinkedIn

Executive Vice President Strategic Services at HRchitect

Jacqueline Kuhn is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Consulting Services at HRchitect, the only consulting firm that specializes solely in human capital management (HCM) and delivers expertise around the full lifecycle of HCM technology. In her role, she oversees HRchitect’s HCM strategic consulting group, which encompasses the company’s HCM systems strategic planning and evaluation and selection process.

Jacqueline has over 25 years of experience in HR, strategic planning, systems and project management, and services delivery. She is a Certified Professional of Human Resource Information (HRIP), a sought-after speaker at industry events, and has been published in professional magazines and journals.

Event Moderator

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Co-CEO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

Jacqueline Kuhn

Jacqueline Kuhn, HRIP LinkedIn

Executive Vice President Strategic Services at HRchitect

Jacqueline Kuhn is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Consulting Services at HRchitect, the only consulting firm that specializes solely in human capital management (HCM) and delivers expertise around the full lifecycle of HCM technology. In her role, she oversees HRchitect’s HCM strategic consulting group, which encompasses the company’s HCM systems strategic planning and evaluation and selection process.

Jacqueline has over 25 years of experience in HR, strategic planning, systems and project management, and services delivery. She is a Certified Professional of Human Resource Information (HRIP), a sought-after speaker at industry events, and has been published in professional magazines and journals.

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Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin  0:18

Good afternoon, everybody. And thank you all for joining us for our q&a discussion with Jacqueline Kuhn, EVP of Strategic Services over at HRchitect, and we're talking about the HRIS landscape, and the drivers and real chip big changes here in terms of systems and processes around HR. Reminder, Jacqueline, please remember not to share any nonpublic info or anything covered by confidentiality also just confirming that you're not bound any obligations to maintain the confidentiality of any of the information being shared. Jacqueline is principal at her firm and has all necessary approvals to be participating and no issues with her being a recent former employee of a publicly traded company. Folks, I'm going to be spending the majority of the time here speaking with Jacqueline, please email questions into us as we go. RSVP at Jacqueline, we're at that point where it's time for us to introduce HRchitect. So let's do that. Do us a favor, I'm gonna ask you to take the mic and introduce yourself and then introduce your team at HRchitect.

Jacqueline Kuhn  1:28

Great. Thanks Greg, Jacqueline Kuhn here, I am one of the partners of the firm. And we are an HCM technology consulting firm my side of the business, we help our clients figure out what technology they need, and then match them up to products in the marketplace. We track roughly around 300 Plus products, what they can do, what they can't do, how successful they are. And based on that we help our clients find what they do. We also in full disclosure, have one arm of our company that has an implementation practice, we are certified to implement all of the UKG products, as well as work for software. And we are a certified partner of itens and newly a new partner of Ceridian Dayforce. Although we haven't finished our certification yet, we've got 50 plus employees located US Canada soon to be Mexico. We are 100% virtual and have been since 2018.

Greg Irwin  2:35

All right. Wonderful. Oh, my goodness. Jacqueline, you and I have been talking for a long time about the HRIS marketplace. How would you describe the environment here over the past six months, as we're starting to come out of COVID, hopefully, hopefully more it with with greater emphasis here. But what's the market been like over the last six months?

Jacqueline Kuhn  3:00

The market has been flooded with purchasing activity. It has been and you will find when you know formal reports come out. All vendors are doing very, very well with new sales. So much so that a week or two ago, we were informed by Ceridian UKG and workday, that at this point, April go lives are completely booked, that the earliest go live, if you've signed now would realistically be July, they're just no resources available. So the big players are have been selling selling well. And we now are back in a position where we kind of were in 2018, where implementations are being held back because of resource constraints.

Greg Irwin  3:55

Well, while what what is happening, I mean, you and I have been talking for years, Jacqueline about the momentum and the the need around HRIS refresh. But it was the old PeopleSoft refresh. Right? It was a really old HR system. And I want to go to the cloud and hey, you know, Dayforce looks pretty good or, or ultimate looks pretty good. And that was the driver. What is the driver right now? That's bringing an HR lead to you saying we need to kick off an RFP?

Jacqueline Kuhn  4:36

Yes, the driver right now tends to be in a couple of buckets. The largest bucket is We purchased our cloud solution seven eight years ago and are not sure that is the right one for us moving forward, usually citing, unhappy with reporting something or something around service or talent modules, that's the largest falls. The next group really are people who are on ADP. And moving off of that they're the gift that keeps on giving in those that are on Vantage and our workforce now. And then the third category really are the people who hadn't made the move off of on prem, which at this point, a lot of it is the Lawson customer base, looking to finally move on, they can't hold back any longer. And most of that has to do with all the security issues, and the breach threats when you're on prem and being more secure in a cloud environment. So those are the three buckets I would put our current activity in.

Greg Irwin  5:53

And what's the score? If you're typically doing? I don't know, I don't know whether you track based on number of RFPs, or you do it on bookings or whatever however you use to track your your activity. Can you tell us a little bit about how how that's going?

Jacqueline Kuhn  6:11

Yes. So we we would typically issue about 15 RFPs a year, this year, by the end of the year, we will have issued 30 RFPs. So we doubled what we typically do 15 was the most we've ever done in a year, we will have done 30 This year, our revenue projections are 69% over our best year we've had prior to this. So yeah, so we're just really tired. It's just it's just hard. It's a great place to be to be honest,

Greg Irwin  6:54

good for you. And now, HR is a big stack, right? It's the core, there's the core, HR, there's payroll, there's HR is and then talent and then recruiting performance learning you. I'm not going to try and name anymore, because I'm going to run out of steam. But But I'm curious from a functional perspective. You talked about why they're moving in terms of at a macro level, what about in terms of in terms of the functionality that they that they really want to refresh or improve? Or the processes?

Jacqueline Kuhn  7:35

Yeah, so for the most part, it's really being driven based on talent planning, succession planning, workforce planning. And then, you know, performance comp, etc. It's typically not because payrolls not working, it's all of those other things around, you know, payroll around managing talent that's driving the decisions. And because we, we, you know, work with the Midmark, at a lot of these organizations, while they're open to multiple solutions, would rather not have to deal with integrations if they don't have to so much of our work is okay, do you, you know, helping the clients think through both payroll snap broken, do we just keep it where it is, and buy something for HR talent, right. So in in those 30, RFPs, some of them will replace everything. Some will keep payroll, but move all the other HR stuff somewhere else? And it really depends on like, cost value, kind of kind of thing. Yeah.

Greg Irwin  8:47

I want to dig in on Ceridian, I think, yeah, you and I have spent quite a bit of time talking about workday. In the past, I'd like to talk about Ceridian how Ceridian doing,

Jacqueline Kuhn  9:00

I think they're doing very well. They are absolutely selling a lot of product. They're definitely hitting it out of the park. In the mid market. They're stalling a lot of payroll time, that whole you know, the whole workhorse case. What they're not selling a lot of is that add on that HR talent add on and they're not as strong there. But in the you know, core payroll prime that that's really their sweet spot and they're doing very very well there. Why are they

Greg Irwin  9:38

not so they look that's that's the base of Ceridian is like I always thought of them as payroll service bureau. But then they bought de force. And they kind of repositioned the whole business there. My ears kind of caught that where you said they're not selling much of the add on? Why not?

Jacqueline Kuhn  9:56

It's just not quite built. out yet, if you look at, you know, they started comp performance succession in like 2018 2019. So they've only been added a couple of years. So it doesn't have everything organizations are looking for learning is a little further along recruiting a little further along. But those other talent pieces could be, you know, missing elements of what an organization is looking for. And that's on their roadmap in 2022. They announced at their Ceridian World Tour event that there will be significant upgrades and enhancements to talent. They're calling it talent 2.0. So they've obviously reacted to the market that hasn't bought those those products. And we should be seeing, you know, some really cool stuff in 2022, which I think will really help them not only expand their current user base beyond what they're doing, but in new sales situations, really be able to compete better with the likes of Workday, and UKG.

Greg Irwin  11:15

Got it. Alright, so you've got 30 RFPs, we always do we always do the same question. I've asked you this now for a couple years. So I'm looking forward to the answer this time. You have 10 RFPs? mid market RFPs for an HRIS stack? How many of them go UKG? How many of them go Ceridian? How many of them go workday? And I'm sure we're missing a couple others in there. But let's start with the big three. And we'll we'll cover the others as well. What's the mix of what people find?

Jacqueline Kuhn  11:46

So out of a typical pen, six are UKG. Three are welcome to our work day. One is de force and one is other one of the pays or somebody else got it.

Greg Irwin  12:02

What I'm hearing is UKG. I don't think they were as strong. As I was asking again, a year ago, what would you have said? In other words, who's gained who's lost in that?

Jacqueline Kuhn  12:15

Yeah, a year ago, it was more like for UKG. For workday, they were splitting it even. But since the acquisition of since the merger between Kronos and ultimate software, the message to the buyer is a better message is a consistent message. And a lot of that mid market buyer has was already on an older Kronos product and updating upgrading that product to be compliant. And then just tacking on you know, Pro is a very compelling solution. And so because of that the merger of those two, their win rate is now going up for and particularly when when Kronos is already an incumbent for time and attendance in the past, you know Kronos was an incumbent for time and attendance before the merger. workday is as was as likely if not more likely to be selected than UKG. Because there was no benefit. It was going to be an integration either way. But now that UKG has built out of the box, that integration, it's not custom, it just comes with the product, the products are connected, the reporting is more connected the apps, the apps are more connected. It's you know, it's a completely different environment now that that the pro former ulti Pro is now tied at the hip with Kronos. It has it has absolutely increased their win rates,

Greg Irwin  13:55

hopefully Pro I remember hearing it getting a little long in the tooth a couple years ago. Have they refreshed in terms of reporting in terms of the UI and just usability?

Jacqueline Kuhn  14:06

Not much. Um, it's very much the same. And yeah, some people do find it a little a little dated their apps, the mobile app has gotten better. And I think with people putting more emphasis on the mobile capability versus desktop. That has helped because just about anything you can do on the desktop, an employee or manager can do with the app. And most people are really evaluating that a little more closely. But yeah, the the desktop is a little little data. They did a minor refresh a few less clicks here and there. But But yeah, it does show as slightly older than then some The others, although I will say I will say even even though it's a little dated, de force, de force isn't cool enough yet or sexy enough looking yet that users that evaluators, I should say, still, often rate UKG is easier to use. And in the last last month, I should say last month across three of our clients in demos, last month of Workday, all three of our clients felt that workday was getting long in the tooth and looked dated. They, they were expecting more from workday. They felt that it and some of those people have used workday now in the past, right. And so some people were like, Oh, I used it five years ago. And it doesn't look any different. Because it really hasn't, it hasn't changed that much. So So yeah, we're in we're, I mean, we're in the position now, where we've got second buyers, and they're more educated and they're looking for other stuff. So yeah, really, it makes my job fun. But it's really fascinating that the second round of buyers is looking at very different things than they may have in the first round.

Greg Irwin  16:22

Let's let's go over to workday. If you Yeah. Tell us a little bit about how workday is doing in the mid market. That's that's your focus, just to clarify. Yeah, what what are you seeing for their moment?

Jacqueline Kuhn  16:37

I think they're doing okay. And I think they are, you know, what, when they do well, and they're doing well, through the sale of ERP, they're doing very well in organizations that are retiring an ERP, and want to move to an ERP and finding the value of Workday through that they're also doing well. They have a workforce planning app that's technically on the finance side. And they can sell that a standalone. And they have done that very successfully in many mid market companies as just a standalone workforce planning app. And when they do that, and then HR now wants to buy workday, because their current workday customer, the pricing is a little more favorable, the implementations aren't as difficult because the platform is there. And it's a very different than a much more compelling purpose than it was before when you know, the mid market didn't have any workday. So they don't, they may not have the entire financial suite. But this workforce planning app that really came on hot and heavy when COVID hit as organizations were really wrestling with, who do we need, what do we have? What can they do? How much do they cost us? Right? And so work they went out and sold this a lot of this stuff. And now we're coming back and selling HR into it, which is a logical connector. And so yeah, they're they're doing very well with that better than they were before selling into the mid market.

Greg Irwin  18:21

What about cost? You and I in the past would talk about how it was too expensive to implement, and, and basically pricing itself out of the mid market.

Jacqueline Kuhn  18:33

Yeah, so they, if an organization has a significant number of hourly and or part time workforce, workday is actually less expensive than a UK GE. And so because of the way they price so and, and with with the bolting on of Kronos to the UK, GE vMix they're actually now pretty close in price head to head overall. It's not like Workday looks completely unreasonable anymore. They're pretty much in the ballpark, particularly if time is involved. And it's the the former Cronos the dimensions product, which is very sophisticated and has a has an equally sophisticated price tabs. Yeah, they're not too far apart. The implementation of Workday continues to be costly. And so that tends to be where the stretch in funding a workday project comes is in the implementation. Because even with launch a workday implementation could be 2x A UKG, or at least two and a half to 3x a day

Greg Irwin  19:57

pours really interesting Now what about if it's a typical, a more typical employee mix, meaning not our labor, but full time? Is it still? Would you still say that it's competitive? Or is that? Is that a different scenario?

Jacqueline Kuhn  20:16

Yeah, they would be slightly higher than everybody else in that case. Yeah, they would. I mean, they'd be, they'd be very much, but let's just put this way they would be a lot higher than a de force slightly higher than a UKG.

Greg Irwin  20:31

are still terms like out of 10 RFPs. you're placing? Two he said two out of 10 per workday and one out of 10 per Ceridian. Does that want to make sure that that's what you mean to, to, to say that, you know, two to one, two to one, roughly, of your mix is going workday? overspreading? Correct. Yeah. But not UKG. What's, what's interesting is UKG pricing is up. So if UK G's pricing is out, even still head to head, they're winning against workday.

Jacqueline Kuhn  21:02

Yeah, the the operations and finance organization from a labor costing find the value in the, you know, the, the K part of IU kg in that, in that dimensions? Yeah, they're finding that the value in that is worth the price tags. But that's really not an HR decision. That's typically like a finance operations, because it's all about labor costing and scheduling and making sure you got the right people. And so that piece is typically not an HR decision, right? I mean, it's a part of what we do. But usually the stakeholders we're talking with are not the HR team.

Greg Irwin  21:48

Let's go, let's go ADP. We always cover the vendors, it's always fun to do to run through, how's ADP holding up?

Jacqueline Kuhn  21:58

I mean, I believe they're there, they're holding up, okay. I mean, I know that they don't, they constantly are, they're selling that new thing, they always will have a turn on that trust is a part of what it is. But there's always a marketplace for for people who just want ATP is their payroll provider, they're trusted, they're reliable. And they're they hold on to their payroll business. When they begin to lose business, it's because of those all those other HR pieces. And organizations who don't, who don't want to system. They don't want to integrate back to ADP, they want one system for everything. But you know, they're still pulling payroll into the FMB, that's their largest constituent, right, over half of their, their constituency is in that FMB that 100 in Buffalo. They, they've done some really great things in that area to help smaller employers, you know, manage manage the payroll with run and some mobile tools. But in the mid market, which is workforce now market, if they they continue to not deliver in the HR realm with the talent products with workflow with all of that, yeah.

Greg Irwin  23:24

Got it. Alright. And then we also want to touch the pays, and the lower end of the market. Paylocity pay comm boy paychecks and then missing the fourth pay for pay core. Thank you very much. Okay. Which Which of these do you see doing well? handling them individually as opposed to just as a group?

Jacqueline Kuhn  23:50

Yeah, Paylocity I would pay vlocity is doing very well. They had some wins this year, with larger than normal customers, right? They've had some, you know, eight 9000 employee organizations choose to use them. They formally merge with blue marble show now they actually have full Global Payroll capability and all the compliance because they are now one organization which is really, really a benefit to the mid market because they're there it's very rare today that you would find a mid market organizations that if you wish only right, they've got something going on outside of the US. Show. Yeah, they're doing very well. We they're actually in two of our evaluations right now. One we're there and incumbent and one where there it would be net new and very favorable. I think there are still some gaps you know, minor gaps in stuff Have their functionality on the talent side, that might keep them from a very mature company of selecting them. But overall, they're doing very well. And I think they're going to be doing even better next year. The blue marble acquisition kind of puts them in my mind, it kind of moves them from the pay category, almost up to the de force kind of world. Because they can offer now what the other pays just can't offer. They have no global capabilities, so that they kind of with that acquisition move themselves up to the next year. Now they just need to build out more next year HR functionality to really hit it out of the park. Hey, college, what's Yeah, yeah, oh, go ahead. No, no, no, no. Yeah, pay calm, and I would say is also doing very well. Their Betty app that they that they launched, is, is really a target for their niche customer, which is, you know, franchisees, they're, they're really big in the whole franchise, and whole franchise world. And that has had a really good that has been embraced, because it takes the onus of getting time, correct and employee entries correct away from like a store manager or restaurant manager or whatever, and just put it on the employee directly to payroll, it has really helped. I also think pay comm has for it for us only organizations, right, because they don't do payroll outside of the US. They have a full HR offering as well. few, a few less gaps on Paylocity. But they definitely have that. And then they have become easier to integrate with. They have built up more API's. They've got more standard integrations to things. They're becoming more partner friendly in that regard. So they're doing very, very well. They, I think the the couple of reasons they've been they've been in our evaluations this past year, they haven't won one. But it had a lot more to do with the HR side of the house than anything else. And I think that that kind of like if it were a payroll only or they probably would have won that engagement because it was right in their sweet spot of a restaurant train. But the HR part side of the house just couldn't couldn't live with what they had to offer. But they came close, but it was down to UKG in them and it was really close. Yeah,

Greg Irwin  27:58

let's do let's cover paint let's cover paycheck as our as the last one here.

Jacqueline Kuhn  28:03

I don't see much of paychecks, to be honest. They're They're typically not in my world. So because they just don't have the breadth of capabilities in a single solution. A lot of their stuff is third is a white label or is multiple products. They don't have like a single payroll HR product that is, you know, robust across everything. So I really don't see them in my world. So I can't tell you how they're performing other than whenever I talk to customers of paychecks, they always seem to be very happy.

Greg Irwin  28:43

Right? Right. You know, I'm sorry, let's do also let's also touch on the POS. You're trying to Insperity just works and how you see them play.

Jacqueline Kuhn  28:58

Yeah, I think there was an awful lot of PEO activity this year. There there were an awful lot of organizations that coming out of COVID had downsized significantly and moved to a PEO I also know that there have been organizations who were with a PEO and didn't make it through COVID so they also lost business. I think the the appetite for a PEO has definitely been increasing and there's been much more momentum of laid particularly because you know it's hard to find HR people. There the you can't find the people you need to run your HR shop let alone run your payroll shop and outsourcing it to a PEO along with you know the benefit buying power and all those other things. I think it will be strong going in the next hear as well, the the only, the only thing that I could see as kind of being a threat to the PEOs is if there's some kind of taxation that occurs, or tax changes that occur, that it really impact PEO revenue, and then they have to really increase because a PEO as a co employer really gets treated as a very large employer organization. And if some of the, you know, the tax increases on businesses that make X, you know, X billions of dollars come to play. Right now, there, there are things that a PEO can do to to kind of have some loopholes out of some of those higher tax bases, there may be changes in legislation coming that may not allow them to do that. So, uh, more More to come on that coming into next year. But I'm kind of hearing that the PEOs are that, that Congress is looking at that whole PEO model to see if there's a way they can get more taxes out of that kind of model than they are right now. Because they're kind of targeted as like a tax cheat almost for organizations like us who, you know, who have a PEO, right? We don't our employee payroll taxes are technically paid through the PEO not through our organization,

Greg Irwin  31:38

are you? I'm really that's a huge point. And I'm curious if there's those tax changes you're talking about? Have they already been? Are they proposed? Are they already been implemented?

Jacqueline Kuhn  31:53

And they're they they are being proposed? They're being discussed? Yeah, there's nothing implemented, but they are being discussed for next year.

Greg Irwin  32:02

It'd be interesting. I'd love to get some additional follow up just in terms of what those tax changes are for people here, particularly who are interested in PDO. That's, that's a that's a big deal. Jacqueline, I want to shift the conversation a little bit and remind everybody, email us questions at RSVP at it's great to kind of go through the vendors, I want to shift a little bit in terms of the changing workforce, and recruiting, retention. And, and really what you're seeing from companies in terms of how they're investing to, again, become a an organization that's, that has a better, better, better success, attracting and retaining talent, and really working as a truly hybrid workforce. That was one of the key headlines you and I talked about in prepping for the call. So we took it from a systems perspective earlier. Now I'd love to take it in terms of strategic and strategic long term imperatives that you're seeing, but maybe best to think about a single engagement you're working on, or any way you want to get at it. But we're where or how are some of your clients investing for the long term for that to basically re establish themselves as distributed workforces?

Jacqueline Kuhn  33:25

Yeah, so I think there's there definitely three areas. The first area that all kinds of organizations are investing in is, is doing true workforce planning. In the past, real workforce planning was only done in like retail and manufacturing. What kind of people do I need? When do I need them to be working? What do they need to know, to work, right? That kind of stuff was only being done by really, you know, manufacturing and retail, with a hybrid workforce with talents can be anywhere, really understanding who you need when you need them to work, and what people are working on. And understanding your labor costs around that are now not just for those industries. It's really for everyone, and we are seeing people, we're seeing organizations in professional services, we're seeing organizations and education and we're seeing organizations and you know, financial banking, wanting workforce planning and workforce planning discipline in their organizations. And I think that's that's like the first way they are trying to get their arms around making sure we, we have what we need, and they're working on the right things at the right time doing the right stuff. Then the next investment that they're making, because they realize that oh crap, We may have good people, but they don't know what they need to know. That's when the realization that they need to learn investment, that what they have is just not working. And really investing in content, as well as learning, you know, management systems, and creating development programs, creating curriculum, really making sure that they can offer their people the right training, to not only keep them, but to make sure they can do their jobs well, and provide them opportunities in the future for kind of that retention piece. And then I think the last investment that we're seeing, which is a huge trend, around recruiting is really investing in these AI products that do the screening and assessments for you. So in the past, or recruiter would like you know, send a task to a candidate, the candidate would compile the path, you know, when it would, would fill out this, you know, assessment form, and they would get a score back. Well, now there's AI out there that actually talks to the candidate and interviews the candidate and pre screened them without that nonsense. And then brings back in evaluations, so it's actually not only more reliable, it's faster, and you get a better result of what this person is like in in a real conversation a real interviewing kind of situation. And, and investing in those AI's so the recruiters are only focusing on people that will make a difference in you know, that will really make a difference in the position, as opposed to having to look at every single candidate, big investments there. And then big investments in sourcing tools, tools that don't wait for an applicant to apply tools that go out and using machine learning and other technologies. Comb the databases, comb LinkedIn comb, indeed, look where people are posting their resumes, and bringing to the recruiter, resumes of people that are qualified for their job for them to reach out to. And because you know, hiring is is still a challenge. So it's starting with everyone's workforce planning. They're realizing they have got to do a better job at learning and training. And then how do we become more efficient at recruiting? Because that's a problem here to stay. That's really the three things I'm saying.

Greg Irwin  37:39

Interesting. There's so much here, my goodness, well, let's start with one workforce planning. What's what's one example of a system that you that you're deploying or one of your clients is deploying around workforce planning?

Jacqueline Kuhn  37:59

Yeah, so I guess we'll be workday. There. They are complementing workdays, financial workforce planning with Workday, HCM. They're a professional services firm. And they, they traditionally have people, you know, working to projects, right, they have a contract come in, they find people to progress. And they work on the project. Well, historically, that is all been done in a project costing and over only on finance. So what they're doing now is creating a structure within HR that marries the planning structure over on the finance side, so that they know in HR who's doing what, what does that contract expire, like, you know, plan for when do we need to redeploy this resource, because in the past, there was a disconnect between when the resource is coming on or off the contract, HR would hear about it too late, and so they couldn't replan for the next opportunity, or HR wouldn't hear that a person couldn't be put on this contract if they didn't have these skills. And so they're really using the power of what they're doing in finance and now layering HR on top of it to truly plan for Okay, Sally and John are coming off assignments, what do they have? Where can they be placed? Do we have an assignment coming off for them? And then hey, sales, are you working on any pending contracts because these guys are going to need a need a place to go. And so that's a very non traditional because HR was typically never in that mess. They were always kind of like afterthought. And then in in another organization a is a retail organization, but they also have a non retail more of a manual manufacturing process like a recycling business. And so, this retail organization hires at the manager level and above, strictly from within, they will not recruit externally for a manager or above position in their, in their retail and recycling operations. And so what what they are doing now is they are while they've always had a, an A Time and Attendance capability, they've never had a scheduling functionality, everything was always kind of done ad hoc by the manager. So now they're actually taking it up a level and, and having a scheduling capability. And as well as a tracking of who can do what, who has done what, so that they know, and then assessing those people on their ability to become a manager level. And so they're planning Okay, who are our managers? who's performing? Who's not? What do we need to replace this manager? Who do we have at that next level that has been successful that has been working the areas we need them to work? Are they available, if we pull them out of their schedule? What happened to that retail organization, they're really being able to do their internal planning to fill those jobs with qualified people without like, pulling someone out of a store that would have like nobody qualified or good in the store.

Greg Irwin  41:46

Right. Right. It's interesting. I do. I guess, when when the companies have put these programs in place, have they had success? Basically better either with retention or, you know, I guess, what's been the net result to the workforce for those companies that have invested in?

Jacqueline Kuhn  42:06

Absolutely retention has has increased. But in the, in the first example, they have actually seen an increase to their margins or their margins, because they have fewer people sitting on the bench non billable than they have before.

Greg Irwin  42:30

I got it. And if you look across your clients who have this need, I'm wondering how much of an untapped opportunity is there for companies to actually, you know, put in place more systematic programs around workforce planning, versus those that are doing it on spreadsheets or, you know, manager by manager?

Jacqueline Kuhn  42:52

I would say looking at our client mix, about 70% of them do not have something in place, and are looking to buy first purchases? Yeah.

Greg Irwin  43:04

Well, it's a great opportunity.

Jacqueline Kuhn  43:08

It really is. To me, that's like the Greenfield because not a whole lot of vendors do it really well right now. And to me, that's, that's like a beacon, very easily build a business case, for your entire HR system, refresh, just on some of this workforce planning measures.

Greg Irwin  43:31

makes so much sense. You've already got the resources you've got, you've got for people, they want to be better utilize. It, it makes a lot of sense. Let's go to the next one training. And I'll start there. Let's start with let's start with the final answer, which is how much of an opportunity is there really, to permit centralized spaces, put in an online training program or a mix of classroom training, and really drive? better retention, upscaling and better value out of the out of the workforce?

Jacqueline Kuhn  44:16

Uh, yeah, so I think, I think if I were a, a vendor, a learning management vendor, the new Greenfield opportunities are few and far between the opportunities that are out there are to be better than what is happening today. Everybody has something but it's being doing better than what I have today. AND, and OR we have three, we have three things going on, because people bought their own stuff and now we need to consolidate into one right. So you It's really all about having the right technology to service, all the parts of the organization be able to meet the compliance needs, the development needs, the, you know, the certification needs, and if some organizations actually train their customers, especially if they produce products, right, maybe having customer training too. And, and, and that really talks to a few players in the market, right, there's like four or five, six players that can do all of that well, and the opportunity is theirs. And that's like the de to learn to Shea bow, SAP litmus, to some extent, Cornerstone lessonly. It's those people that are where the opportunity is really great. Because organization organizations need something like that, to really rationalize what's going on.

Greg Irwin  46:03

Same question out of your 100% of your base of customers, how many would realize a tangible improvement by investing in they're not just the LMS? Investing in the systems around their employee learning? Probably half. Now, they're all of Coursera just went public. And they're all of these platforms have libraries of learning? And I'm curious if that's been a good, successful live, and are you seeing an uptick, around, you know, the online, the Online Learning Library,

Jacqueline Kuhn  46:44

we have, no one wants to create training as much anymore. Creating your own content is very expensive, and very difficult to maintain. So buying off the shelf, courseware is very attractive. Buying off the shelf, courseware that I can track with my internal learning management system is even more attractive. And so that's why LinkedIn learning Coursera and a couple others, are very, very attractive, because I don't have to play it on their LMS, I can, I can track the content through what I have. And that's really what we're seeing a lot of right now, earlier, content platforms were proprietary, and you literally had to log into that platform, take the training, and then manually capture that training activities somewhere in your organization. Whereas now these content providers are saying no, we've talked to these, you know, big player LMS is we can send data back and forth. And and that's really where the win is. So I got the advantage of having up to date relevant, lots of content, right, a big content library, but a single place to understand who got trained in one. Who's

Greg Irwin  48:17

we used to talk Pluralsight, we still talk Pluralsight is at least in tech, but Coursera is out there. And I think there are a couple others. Who's Who's the leading player in those online libraries.

Jacqueline Kuhn  48:32

I honestly don't think that there's a single leading player, because it all depends on there are leaders for verticals for various verticals, right? Because it really all depends on what you're looking for. So like, in, in the case of like compliance, manufacturing, OSHA is convergence, right? Nobody has better content than they do. Soft skills, basic learning, common business knowledge stuff, LinkedIn. You know, Coursera is great for being able to pick and you know, being able to create a curriculum, or buy a bundle of learning across multiple platforms. Really good for that skill soft, is also good for being able to buy a bunch of different content from a single source. So a lot of it just has to do with what you're looking for. And so there isn't any one that has everything. So it really depends on what you're looking for. Yeah.

Greg Irwin  49:53

Is it getting commoditized I feel like there's so much so much content out there. That You know that whether these companies can really maintain their quality, so that you're paying, but you're, you know, that you what you're getting is actually training that's going to make a difference, and not just something that you can go get off a Google search.

Jacqueline Kuhn  50:15

Yeah. So I think the what, what these content library, you know, providers have is, how do I validate it? Right, the courses they have, that you're buying are validated. And so as an organization, I can feel comfortable that they're being created professionally, they're validated. They're, you know, they're not just something, you know, someone created off YouTube, you know, as Yuck, you know, there's just a, there's a quality, there's a validation, there's the, the whole, you know, Kirkpatrick method of learn, show, do whatever. You know, there's a whole methodology of proper training and learning data, there's always going to be stuff you can find on your own. But if you really want to target developing somebody specifically for a role or develop them in specific areas, properly built content is what you need to make sure you're not missing anything. And that's why properly built content will always be a market. Because it's really hard to do it. Well. It's very hard to do it well. Now, you know, I don't want to mention the sender's name. By by name, but there there is a vendor right now, who's whose courseware is getting a bit dated, probably hasn't been updated in about 15 years. And so some of you know, a lot of folks are kind of looking at them going, Okay, you got to update your content, because it isn't relevant anymore. And that, I think, is the biggest challenge. So to the extent that in 510 years, as the world changes of Coursera, Skillsoft, etc, can keep their content fresh, that will be the the litmus test for for their success. Because if you just think about, like, what happened with COVID? And then what's happening now with Dei, how you would train a person, sexual harassment today is very different than how you would train them. Three, five years ago, yeah,

Greg Irwin  52:35

who's Coursera a winner in your mind? They are.

Jacqueline Kuhn  52:41

The only so my only thing with Coursera is I think of them more as, like university, like you're, you're training for a discipline, as opposed to overall business training. Right? To me, they're kind of like, you know, I'm looking to get a degree in something, and I'm going to use Coursera content, you know, through a Johns Hopkins or something like that, to do that. i That That, to me is Coursera isn't as much business learning as it is university learning.

Greg Irwin  53:17

Got it? Who is if I wanted to be I need to be a better project manager, product manager, you know, inside sales, rap, radiation, whatever. But no, no, you know, picked pick a discipline, more, more, more world focused,

Jacqueline Kuhn  53:36

I would look at a blend of LinkedIn learning and skill thought, the skill stock library, they've got, you know, hundreds of 1000s of courses. Yeah. All right. Great stuff.

Greg Irwin  53:50

Jacqueline, we've gone as we always do, we covered so much. And thank you all for the questions. Let me remind you, Jacqueline and her team, they're really in the mix of so many projects around the HR stack. They know what, what vendors are good, what vendors are bad, and which vendors are right for all the different use cases and projects. So take him up on the opportunity. And we'll reach out to people here for any follow up. Jacqueline, it's always fun. Thank you so much for taking the time you must be exhausted because that was a that was a good sprint for the last hour. And then an incredible update of what's happening in the market. That thank you so much. You're welcome. Thank

Jacqueline Kuhn  54:30

you for having me.

Greg Irwin  54:32

Jacqueline. Thank you and thank you all for taking time and joining in everybody. Have a great day.

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