Supporting Business Needs Through Strategic HR Technology

Aug 10, 2021 3:00 PM4:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

The product gets the lion's share of the focus in most companies. It stands to reason since sales either make or break a company. But a healthy company is usually a successful company. Keeping a tight rein on analytics and staying organized is more important than we often realize. There is no shortage of software to fix these problems, but each business has specific needs. How do you know which one is the right fit?

HRchitect is a firm dedicated to HRM and the full lifecycle of the technology. They have worked with thousands of brands over the last two decades, lending their hands-on expertise to companies of all sizes. In Particular, Jacqueline Kuhn has become a specialist in human resources, working for notable names like OfficeMax and Sears. She co-founded HRchitect with the goal of helping brands, and now she extends that help to you.

In this virtual event, Greg Irwin has Jacqueline Kuhn, Co-owner and Executive Vice President Strategic Consulting Services at HRchitect, answer pressing questions about HR technology. She talks with representatives from various businesses to discuss recruitment, hybrid workplaces, and centralizing data. They also go over popular HRM platforms and the unique advantages of each one.

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


  • How do businesses operate with a hybrid workforce?
  • Addressing the challenges in recruitment for HR
  • The best ways to get people to apply to open positions
  • Second chance programs for the formerly incarcerated
  • When and where should you bring new technology into your HR department?
  • Jacqueline Kuhn talks about integrating systems and HCM
  • Uniting data across all platforms for more accurate analytics
  • How succession planning can be improved
  • Is there software that can manage the rest of your HR tech?
  • The crucial priorities for every HR department
  • What are the advantages of different HRM software?
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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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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

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Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin 0:18

I really like an interactive form, it's why I actually asked for the camera, because I like a group discussion by trying to avoid the one person just presenting. Because while that's good, and we're gonna get some of that what's probably a little bit better, is just hearing some of the war stories. So I'm gonna go around the group, and I'm going to be asking, you know, what are your priorities in terms of HR tech, and a, we've been doing this with Jacqueline, and now Hey, Jacqueline, great to see you. We've been doing this with Jacqueline and her team and HRchitect. Truthfully, informally going back several years, but now formerly is like a structured program pretty consistently this year. And it's been awesome, because this is like the moment, the moment for for HR, to to really drive business, whether that's on the recruiting front, enabling work for home, but really changing the operations and productivity of the of the employee base. So it's really a critical time. So what are we going to do? Let's, let's have Jacqueline, give a quick intro. And then we'll get the ball rolling. As I said, I want to use the chat window. I want to see people raise hands and share stories. And the more interactive, the better. But enough of my intro here, Jacqueline, grab the mic. And please introduce yourself.

Jacqueline Kuhn 1:51

Thanks, Greg. Hi, everybody, Jacqueline Kuhn, here with HRchitect, I is one of the owners, my part of the business is I help our clients, figure out what they need from an HR technology perspective, and then match them up to the appropriate products in the marketplace. I've been doing this for many, many years and have worked primarily with, you know, clients in the mid upper market to really help them kind of understand who the who's who in the zoo there on wealth, a lot of products out there. There's lots of lot of stuff going on. And we're here to help you navigate through that and make really good business decisions.

Greg Irwin 2:35

So Jacqueline, you and I spoke a couple days ago kind of resetting on this session about what we really wanted to spend our time focusing on. And what I wrote down a couple things, but moonbot read more, you and I are gonna real time. It was the hybrid workforce, hybrid workforce. And how do you get the most productivity out of your hybrid workforce? It was empowering the business and making sure that HR is right there driving the solutions as a change agent and recruiting. Recruiting, oh my gosh, I can tell you from my business. And I'll bet you for all yours. Recruiting is is one of the major pain points that's either addressing impacting productivity or restricting growth. Jacqueline, I'm going to turn to you did you have any other notes that you wanted us to talk about? And let's let everybody play along? use the chat window. So what are the things you want to hear about? And we'll we'll push it through. But let's make sure that we're hitting topics that you really, you know, specifically care about. So drop it in, and Jacqueline, what did you have for your nuts?

Jacqueline Kuhn 3:53

Yeah, I think you know, a couple of things around the hybrid workforce that wanted to really talk about is this whole idea now that we've got people who are entrepreneur working differently, and yeah, recognition, absolutely. But as well as how do we reward people, right? How do we reward them fairly? when some people commute to an office, some people work from home? Do you know, does everybody have the right equipment? And, you know, how do we kind of put our arms around that? Because, you know, now that people can work anywhere, right? I can work anywhere. I can go anywhere. I don't have to, you know, I'm not I'm no longer limited to where I can commute. And I think that's becoming a big challenge for for everybody is just trying to figure out what uh, what, what are these things look like?

Greg Irwin 4:51

Yeah, you know, it's interesting for us. One of my stories is we've implemented a flex program two days ago. least three days in the office. So you could do five days in the office, but at least three. And what we found is a lot of people can get their day jobs done in fewer than five days a week. Okay, it kinda has raised an interesting spotlight on worker productivity. Because if they can just get their job done on in four days a week, does that mean they're not working that fifth day? Or should we be talking about a salary adjustment? Or should we be finding new responsibilities? And how are you tracking that at scale? So we had it in one or two situations, but it organizationally, it raises some really fundamental questions, how are you tracking performance and productivity? How are you arming your managers to get the most out of out of teams? So that's, that's my, if I if I'm sorry, I was talking not not not writing into the chat window. So I, that's my other group. I hate Chris Ynan, let's get you in recruitment, performance management, engagement programs, what's what's top of your organization's mind.

Chris 6:17

So we've actually kind of shifted some of our HR systems recently, as part of some of the changes with our business and and refocusing our strategy. We've gotten out of some of our sectors of business. And as a result, we've changed some systems and headcount. For us, we, we run apartment buildings, so you know, we have our corporate, our corporate team, like myself, and finance, accounting, blah, blah, blah, we're all remote still, because we're based here in California. And we, but however, we have apartment properties that we manage all over the country, and those employees are on property. maintenance is a big, something difficult in recruitment, a lot of hourly employees, so we're just having a lot of recruitment issues. I think that's our number one pain point, our number one issue.

Greg Irwin 7:15

Let's, you know, let's hit that. So there's a little play, let's play with let's play with Zoom. There's a if you move your mouse over the squares, there's something called reactions, you click on reactions, there's a thumbs up. Alright, so that's how we're going to go with that thumbs up. Who here has prioritized recruitment as a top one, two or three item that you're looking trying to actively improve? 1234 is anybody and now, everybody? Okay. So, Jacqueline, I'm going to have you go first, who has done something interesting, one of your clients, who's done something interesting to help address the recruiting challenge.

Jacqueline Kuhn 8:04

Yeah, the the most interesting thing or innovative thing that we're seeing right now is really accelerating the use of chatbots. For interviewing, particularly for those higher volume kind of you, you receive a lot of applications as opposed. So that Paradox AI is that the one bot that a couple of our clients are using really successfully, applications come in the bot goes out and does a screening and automatic screening and ranks them and a recruiter doesn't even have to touch the application unless it comes back ranked. So you can feed you know, 1000s of resumes quickly, and get to the recruiter only those that they really should be focusing on.

Greg Irwin 8:56

Can you tell us a little bit about one of those companies that's using it?

Jacqueline Kuhn 9:01

Yeah, so the the brother of the of the two companies, the one that out, one of them is a gas. What is it like a gas station food Mart chain, I don't want to use the name name, gas station, food Mart chain. And they're using that really successfully because, you know, they get applicate they get applicants but people won't show for an interview or a phone call and the chatbot will take care of all of that. If they don't respond, then they're kind of DQ. The other client is they have car dealerships and or related services around it. And it's really looking for that sales team as a salesperson and that requires a real that requires a different mindset, right because it's commission based and now Now, as we all know, not a whole lot of cars being sold because there's not a whole lot of new cars available because of all the Production shortages. So um, so yeah, so really mining the mining the database, through these the spot recruiter to find the drum in the pile.

Greg Irwin 10:12

Because I gotta tell you, as somebody who does those interviews, there's nothing more annoying than setting up the interview, and then they just don't show. So it's not a, you know, just improving people who come through that lowest hurdle, I think would actually save save quite a bit of time. That's what's the cost or productivity of the system?

Jacqueline Kuhn 10:37

Um, I don't have any of those metrics. All I know is they didn't have to hire more recruiters. Yeah, they they. I think they had lost in both cases, but particularly the car dealership on they had they had lost some resources, just to normal attrition, right. And then they couldn't they were having a difficult time finding a recruiter to replace. Right, they were recruiting a recruiter. And so they started using the bot. And since they have used the bot, they haven't had to add back to staff.

Greg Irwin 11:18

Interesting. Let's Let's stay on this thread and talk recruited either challenges. That's a question or maybe an idea that you'd that you'd be willing to share with our group. I'm opening it up. I could, I could ask somebody but I'm not. But let's first to see if somebody has an anecdote to share either a pain point in the recruiting or an opportunity in the report in recruiting. Who wants to who wants to share a story with Amber, you got it? Thank you.

Amber 11:55

So I'm in the country club industry, we hire a lot of different people. And our biggest pain point right now is getting applications even into our sites, especially for kitchen and back at the house staff. Just there's like no one interested in those positions.

Greg Irwin 12:14

Right. Right. So what what what's your primary source for resumes or for applicants?

Amber 12:21

Um, so we're close to CU Boulder, so we use their job board a lot. Now that students are coming in, we're hoping we'll get some more applicants. We use the free boards, Indeed LinkedIn Glassdoor. We've been using ZipRecruiter as well paid service. But offering bonuses and referral bonuses and indices and bonuses.

Greg Irwin 12:45

Yeah, yeah.

Jacqueline Kuhn 12:48

I have a really interesting anecdote for you. I'm up in the Chicago area. And there's a giant flea market up here that has a lot of folks attending it who are that blue collar worker type and we are seeing organizations like yours and others have booths at the flea market offering people an application and sign on bonuses to try to market to where people go is it you know, physically like literally sitting in a booth at a flea market trying to attract applicants? It was a hotel chain Yeah, a hotel chain here in Chicago. Did that and I know they hired people off of it. Crazy Crazy, right? Like-

Greg Irwin 13:37

I actually I love it because everything is so digital. That the idea of like human contact at a job fair a physical job fair, or a you know a booth at a at a at a carnival or a sound sounds amazing. I love it. Let's keep going. Who here has tried something? Or is you know struggling with with something with regards to talent recruiting? Oh, come on. I know everyone has stories. Alright, Eileen. Oh, John. Oh, let's do it.

John 14:18

Oh, I was just gonna say our manufacturing plant is struggling with translation there. We have a initiative over there to hire 200 headcount right now. But they're running into problems of a people not showing up for the drug test or be the translation breakdown. Luckily, they have two members now that they just hired in their HR staff that can translate help them translate in process those athletes quickly however, like I said, they're they're running into several issues of people just not filling out the paperwork. not showing up for you know the first day and also drug tests. stuff so, you know, running into those obstacles? Yeah.

Greg Irwin 15:06

I got it on one. Let's try one more Eileen I was gonna bring in, please, please jump in what Yeah, we're focused around recruiting.

Eileen 15:14

So clearly in the manufacturing environment, how to make our jobs look more contemporary than they would traditionally. So you know, the class said, have to work in a hot, often dusty mill, facility, etc. I'm clearly struggling similar themes to what we just heard. But something that I've heard two things, one of which we are not doing, but I was actually networking with an individual here in the North Carolina area. And they have actually engaged in a second chance program where they're hiring folks who've been previously incarcerated for lower level crimes, and they're actually rehabilitating and bringing those folks back. I will just share, I personally have struggled with that notion in our environment, because we've got just different context. I'm not quite there yet. But I'd be interested if I'm just being a traditionalist, not thinking open mindedly. But that was something that I'm starting to hear more and more of, and I am intrigued by it. And by the way, my traditional approach is not a reflection on those that have been in that situation. I'm not passing judgment, but it's just given our safety. And we just have so many elements to our hiring process that we're looking to refine, and that may be one that we need to look at more seriously. The one thing we have done, it's a very simple thing. But it's interesting how it's gone over a week, we're trying many different things and seeing what works and doesn't work in our workforce. And the one that seems to be getting traction, believe it or not, as we we have for our medical program, we've got contributions that the company puts into health spending account for those that engage in our in our medical program, and most of our folks do take our medical because it's a relatively good program. So we've now removed the restriction that you have to be in our health program or medical program, and we're giving a lifestyle benefit to everyone, not a lot of money. But we're taking all the boundaries off of our thinking. And we're calling it a lifestyle. And we're allowing people to file for reimbursement on apps, and just all kinds of exercise programs that we traditionally would not have thought of we have people sharing different apps, we have a collaboration room where people are sharing tips and techniques on staying healthy, etc. It's worked so far again, it's not a be all end all. It's simple. Many of you were probably doing it 10 years ago, we were not. So we even had somebody come forward and say Hey, can I use this for my Spotify account? Right? You know, I like to listen to podcast great use it or not, you know, we're trying to break all the rules and the corporate bureaucracy that we're so accustomed to. So just putting it out there.

Greg Irwin 17:59

I mean, that's perfect. Thank you. And Mandy, thank you for your note in the in the chat. You know, I want to clarify, I see somebody at a 214 number. I think that's Dallas, who's who's dialed in from 214. Well put put your name in the tags, you may not have access to the chat if you're able to share with us, please do I just want to make sure I know who's all on the line. Oh, that's Mark. There you go. Mark, thank you, for you appreciate that. Perfect. Jacqueline, let's come back here because we talked about flex. And we talked about recruiting, we can go deeper in these, but maybe we should just take a step back here into in terms of when we say supporting the business. We're also talking about HR tech. So how do you match those two, in terms of where to where and when to bring technology to bear so that of course it drives a you know, a meaningful productivity.

Jacqueline Kuhn 19:14

So our our approach and philosophy is really all about what what is your business? What are your business leaders asking you to do? That you are having difficult to do today or cannot do because you just can't support it? and focus on that first, right. So we're right now working with a client which is relatively large retailer that most people haven't heard of. They're in the US and Canada. And that's a classic example of they went out and bought a bunch of things to solve individual problems. But now they solved these individual problems, none of this stuff collectively talks to each other. And collectively, they have a mess to support and now they just can't get answers that their leaders are asking. So it's really about Okay, you know, take a step back and what, what do you need to do to support the business? Once you figure that out? Now, what do you have in place? what's what's working, what isn't working, and then take a look at the market? Um, well, I know Dave Dietrich, he said, you know, pros and cons of different HCM HRISs this was what he put in the chat. And, and I find that from one client to another, one hrs may work and another might not, because it really, it's less about the product, and more about the organization, and what they need and what they need to do and what their priorities are. So it's just, you know, what do you have to do to support the business, whether it's recruiting or onboarding people, because you are hiring a lot, or you're concerned about, you know, knowledge leaving the organization, so you need to really understand, you know, how to create a succession plan, or, you know, you're still doing comp on spreadsheets, and you can't do that anymore? Because you takes too long to get it done. Whatever it is. It you know, don't think of it in a micro level, like, okay, I just need to do this, God, pick it up broadly. So you're not building a tool set that doesn't talk to each other. And that can't be used ubiquitously across the organization.

Aaron Conant 21:37

Right. All right. So you know, we you and I have talked a lot about some of the leading platforms, whether it's UKG, or Workday, or Ceridian, you deploy these systems a lot. Can you maybe talk through some of the key differences that were, you know, they can the capabilities one of these platforms might bring to bear to solve some of these business problems?

Jacqueline Kuhn 22:05

Yeah, so I find that some some of it is user preference, especially when you look between UKG and Ceridian. They serve about the same market and some of it is a preference, you know, one, you'll like the way in which one works more than the other. The other thing is sort of how built out are the capabilities. So like, if you look at, if you look at Workday, UKG and Ceridian side by side, they have very different evolutions. And so the capabilities in each system are directly related to their evolution. Workday started as an HR system, added other modules, payroll time, etc, later than UKG, which started out as a payroll system and added HR and then benefits and then other things, right. So. So in in just the natural r&d evolution, things that you add in last are not going to be as functionally ratios what you added first. So you know, what, what you're looking for is also going to determine which vendor works best for you. Most people don't realize this, but Ceridian is the most contemporary technology out there. It was started in 2012, basically, right? This their technology platform is from 2012. Workday is from 2007. So you know, even though they're great platforms, but if you want the latest technology, maybe you look at Ceridian. And oh, by the way, Oracle's is just about as new and contemporary as Ceridian, because that's been around since they started in about 2012. So so it's really interesting when you kind of dissect each organization where they started, what they have today, what they have to offer, and then each organization's preference. You know, maybe you like the fact that UKG was the first in the cloud, and they've got it down pat, and they can run hundreds of 1000s of payroll tracks, you may not need it, but you know that that's kind of their strong suit their bread and butter, maybe that's really important to you. Um, so yeah, it's really figuring that out. Because all the technology works. Whether or not it works for you is what we help people figure out and what you really need to figure out.

Aaron Conant 24:29

By the way, it's time for the shameless plug, um, you know, HRrchitect, they, you really have a group that understand the tech landscape and the processes so well. So, you know, obviously, at this high level, we're only going to be able to go so deep. If you have detailed questions about your own requirements, you got to connect with Jacqueline and her team. They're outstanding and and we We know a lot of clients, a lot of firms that have gotten great value out of it. It's why we're doing this series. So I don't want to, you know, not not, not state the obvious, but we're doing this to drive awareness for HRchitect. And, and I'm very confident and in doing so because they do a tremendous job. And we hear about it frequently from the members of our community. So there's, there's the shameless plug. Let's go and talk about integrating systems more. I saw that twice. Mark, thank you for that. And I think Shannon talked about integrating learning into HCM. Jacqueline, how do you tie this information together, assuming you're not just going and starting from a single integrated platform?

Jacqueline Kuhn 25:54

Yeah, I'm not without some pain and perseverance. The most fundamental, the most fundamental thing you have to do when you integrate is the source system is mature HCM or something else. It's if your, your source system has to be the, the foundational data system and everything you're integrating two needs to be able to read it natively. So like if you're integrating from your HCM to alerting system, the job construct the department construct, whatever manager manager manager employee relationship construct, should be driven from the HCM you don't, do not separate them or those integrations become difficult. Your foundational system wherever that core HR system of record is, needs to drive the data everywhere else, without exception, and if there's something structurally in your HCM that is not working for the learning management or the talent or the performance or whatever you need to fix it in HCM as opposed to trying to take your integration, mash it up. They're being reworked the data and then load it. Because today in the cloud world, as long as we're talking, you know, these cloud systems are not talking up premise Oracle, or PeopleSoft or something. API's work really well. But they work as long as you're using them with standard pieces of data, and you don't have to do a lot of rework. So it's Make sure your HCM is your foundation, that it drives data everywhere, and then try to standardize on those standard API's that the vendors deliver. You can create your own, but as soon as you start creating your own, that's your maintenance headache.

Greg Irwin 27:53

Yes. Mark, are you able to share more on this topic? What are the Yeah, what's the data set that you're most concerned about, or the use case you're trying to sell?

Mark 28:06

You know, so historically, most companies are in two camps, right? So they, they hot, you know, they buy into a platform, their Oracle shop, they're an SAP shop, and then you know, sort of their their eirp base, if you know, of course, you know, your larger companies and stuff. And then you know, a lot of your smaller, faster moving companies, they're more like Salesforce, they're more CRM base. And so, you know, it's the main point that was just made, which is, you know, have and make sure that you have a single system of record. And, you know, whatever it is, if that's your HCM, if that's your MRP, you know, make sure that you've built a good nomenclature, a good naming convention, so that, you know, a monarch butterfly in sales is the same everywhere else throughout the department, you know, whether it's marketing, it's it, you know, customer service, whichever, you know, whatever your org structure is, if, if you don't call if it's tomato over here and tomato over there, you're going to have an issue. And the point of my question is, is, if you don't have a good integration platform, or you know, which I'm looking more into, you could have, you know, everyone's dream, you know, if you pick up every magazine, and every marketing, analytics, we all want analytics. Well, you know, if you have 27 systems, I have one applicant tracking system, I have another reward recognition system. I have another, you know, I have $12 million systems. And every one of those has its own, they all call first names something different. Well, how do I get all that data into one report? And you know, and without spending another 100 million dollars to integrate all of those systems and get them all into one You know naming convention and get them all in and out. So that that's kind of the root of my question.

Greg Irwin 30:09

Why don't why not declare one of those systems, the Golden Record? And say it shall be Oracle, or it shall be Workday? And if it needs to augment, alright, you made, maybe you have to do a side to to augment some data, but at least you know, who's who's got the baton? Or do you need an independent? Like, we always think about around around customer data, customer, 360 years of customer database, that's the independent Golden Record, maybe sometimes in your CRM, sometimes outside of your CRM. But no, that's that's my thinking, because I'm relating it to what we've seen and done on the on the client database side.

Jacqueline Kuhn 30:57

Now, um, I, there is, believe it or not, Mark, right. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a gentleman. So he and his two partners are building out a technology that will take some of the data, repackage it all in whatever you want that common nomenclature to be, and that spit it all back out there literally data with it right now, I don't know the name of it. Because it's there, they're still developing it. But there's a tool being developed by some guides in the HCM tech space that have built other things that are literally creating it. And I talked to one of them yesterday. So there's something coming out the market soon, that's going to do pretty much what you asked what you just talked about. Whether it works, who knows, but they're building?

Greg Irwin 31:54

Let's share and grow. Let me bring you in on it. Sharon, learning and HCM and integrating the systems tell us a little bit about the the goal.

Shannon 32:07

Okay, it's Shannon, by the way, Sharon's my evil twin. Oh, sorry. It is okay. I've heard it my whole life. Yeah, I'm currently implemented, we're an Oracle house, I don't get a choice, unfortunately. But something I'm looking at doing is integrating with our ERP. Because a lot of our jobs were manufacturing. And I do have an install division, where on the job is crucially important and part of learning. So what we're looking at doing is, you know, it's an installer, door installer, and on his path to becoming fully ready to be on his own. There would be something like some large some form of learning. And then once he reaches, and then there's in the field learning, but once he has done a certain type of installs, like five different installs, we're not sure what the number is yet, he becomes available to the scheduler. And so that it's autumn, you know, right now, that's a very manual process across all three of my divisions and a whole bunch of locations. So I'd be really interested to hear if anyone has done something like that.

Jacqueline Kuhn 33:24

Yeah, Shannon, we had a client who wasn't the installer, but they were a mining company. That's they that's actually they paid for their HCM. Their entire new age now the initiative by being able to tie certificate so they actually had to issue a certificate for what a person achieved, like what piece of equipment, they could work on what level they were at, they tied that certificate to the scheduling system. And then the scheduling system was able to schedule people based on having that certificate in capability. They were doing that all manually. And when they were doing it manually, this organization found that the same three or four people who the leaders knew are getting scheduled all the time, and they were incurring a ton of overtime. Once they tied this certification kind of program back to the scheduling, they reduced their overtime by almost 60%. Because they were able to tie it all together. But the way that you're saying, Yeah, that's good. Yeah, they they're, they're using up the whole up G Suite. And the way they did that was they had jobs that required a certificate or a schedule. And so they pass that certificate information from the LMS down to the scheduler.

Shannon 34:56

Thank you.

Jacqueline Kuhn 34:58

You're welcome.

Shannon 34:58

Yeah, I'm really hoping network's it'll be a game changer. For us. It's convincing the company to spend the money during integration or during implementation. So wish me luck. Yes.

Mark 35:12

Do you have an element?

Shannon 35:14

Yes. Today I have Oracle's older it used to be

Mark 35:19

Okay, so yeah, I mean, there's there would be a function that you would do. Which, you know. So I've seen this nucular oil and gas, Discount Tire, you know, we're tire installers like retail, you can't have salespeople, and you tie it all the way back to the badging system. You know, I've seen manufacturers for like, you know, Intel chips and stuff like that, where you have to badge in to work on a system. And you know, same with scheduler, right. So the scheduling system gets you scheduled, but then, you know, whether or not you should have access is based in the GRP. So the LMS, would pass back to the RP and saying, yes, you're certified, you're ready to go. So it probably just be, you know, some identifier that you build into ERP, that allows that person to have that, you know, capability. And also, you know, pass it over to your scheduler. So then, you know, your scheduling system automatically says, this person's available, as far as that, but you should be able to get that, you know, I'm sure there are great resources like Jacqueline's company that can help you, you know, find out the best way to do that. But that's, that shouldn't be a pretty easy solve.

Shannon 36:36

Let's hope.

Greg Irwin 36:39

Let's, let's keep going around. I think the stories are powerful. And I want you all to help drive the questions. And I'll just keep stirring it. So I want to invite Katie straw time into the mix, Katie, nice to speak with you. Let's see if you're on with us.

Katie 36:58

Good afternoon.

Greg Irwin 36:59

Hey, good afternoon. Nice to speak with you, Katie. what's what's a priority? For for your team?

Katie 37:05

Yeah, I'm on the IT side. So from the HR perspective, they're driving a new recruitment system, moving into a more modern platform. So there's more mobile capabilities and things of that nature. And then succession planning is another big piece for us in the HR space.

Greg Irwin 37:26

Can you explain I mean, I think this group understands what what it is. But why, why? Why now? Why succession planning?

Katie 37:35

Well, the company went through a separation not too long ago. So we lost, you know, we had to split our talent. And so it's identifying the talent that does remain, and growing that talent. Um, so I would say those are some of the two priorities that I'm hearing from our customers.

Greg Irwin 37:53

You know, it That's great. When we talk about recruiting, it's about finding new people succession is about preserving the people you've got, Jacqueline, I'm going to turn it to you. And and and anyone else on the group in terms of innovation or ideas around improving succession planning. Jacqueline, what, what have you seen recent?

Jacqueline Kuhn 38:22

I seen a lot. A lot of people have the focus on succession because of the knowledge that is blocking out the door lately, people leaving. So it's really the concept of making a distinction. I've seen people have to make a decision, am I doing succession planning for the job that's being performed today? Or for the job as we need it to be performed if the person leaves? And so I'm seeing conversation, they're like, okay, the person did it today, they made the drug what it is because of who they are. But is that the job we needed to be if they leave? And so they're there, it's more about looking at the organization and what jobs there are, and then what you need to replace it. As opposed to the traditional, yeah, that if this person leaves, who can replace them. So I'm seeing a lot more of that happening in succession planning. And then Katie, the other thing that's really interesting, we're seeing more and more people build their succession plan through their recruiting pipeline and talent bolts, because they're finding that the best replacement candidates are not in house. And so they're using their recruitment tools to create talent pools to connect with people and keep people connected for the eventuality of when they may want to hire a bit to replace somebody who's leading. So those two processes really connect well together and can really force a much Stronger talent pool, that we're doing them separately.

Katie 40:04

Yeah, I think we actually have a tool by which we're trying to hold a third party that we work with that actually tracks all the different applications that come, and then resurface the ones that seem to match some of the openings that we potentially have, like, a little bit of a slant from what you said, but I think it's somewhat related.

Greg Irwin 40:25

Interesting. Does anyone else have a story on improving succession planning systems or process? And how Katie out here, maybe it could be as simple as just a process change? Or it could be a net new a net new system of record? Oh, that's a lot. That's all. I know, let me try it. This a lot of fun.

Mark 40:54

So, it might be that tool that Jacqueline was saying is coming down the pipeline, which is, you know, surfacing information from those multiple other systems, right, because internal recruiting is poorly done everywhere. As noted, by all the silence from your question, and so, you know, because it's once once that resume comes in, you know, you really don't look at what upskilling has happened, and what, you know, additional certifications, what additional degrees that someone has gotten, since someone has worked there, you know, side stuff, you know, if they pick up C sharp programming in there, you know, nighttime boredom, you know, whatever it is, do you know, right? And so how do you how do you surface that and the same thing, probably a lot along the lines is properly using exit surveys. And, you know, using people who previously worked at your company and going, Hey, you worked here for 10 years? Are you interested in coming back for this, you know, this rack this role? You have more knowledge of our company than anyone? You know, but but bench strength is a weakness that probably 80% of all companies. So good question,

Greg Irwin 42:05

Mark. That's, that's huge. It's interesting, because you have this resource, you have this this talent base, and getting just visibility, on visibility and understanding of the team that you've got. I agree, Mark. Anyone else? ideas in terms of just cataloguing understanding the strengths of your team? I'll bring Eileen back in. Eileen, how do you think about internal internal recruiting succession planning.

Eileen 42:47

So we have a process now keep in mind, we only have roughly 2500 employees worldwide, most of which are manufacturing employees, we've got about 900, what we call white collar employees. And of that, we've got about 140 that we focus on at the management level, so just decides that it's, it's manageable for us, but we're not talking 1000s and 1000s of people. So we have a process where annually we do succession planning bench review, or we roll it up to the CEO and a handful of us on the senior team. And we focus on nine block nothing new and creative. We focus on the nine block and then we commit to development actions for those that are capable of higher level work. And the one thing that we've introduced in the last year or year and a half is we've, we've actually contracted with Korn ferry for some of their assessments, behavioral assessments. But what we found particularly helpful, not that I'm doing an advertisement for Korn ferry, but what we found particularly helpful is it begins with a very active process where the manager must declare and communicate what they view is the success elements for a person to succeed in the role. And while it's a very simple concept, we were not disciplined in that. So you know, Case in point, a manager would come to us and say hi, you know, I'm frustrated with Eileen, she's not performing whatever the case may be. And many times when you really dig under the cupboards, you realize that the manager is not able to oftentimes articulate what the expectations are. So of course, I lean can't figure it out because they're chasing a moving target. Right. So that process has helped us quite a bit to get that defined. And then once you build that you can do there's an assessment that they do against those attributes, and what kind of the I'll say the what has gone off in our managers minds is where we've had individuals that we believe are talented, but struggling and roll when you can get to the core fundamentals. Many times you can pinpoint one or two attributes, and we've had good success once we've got not zeroed in and really attack the issue, so to speak, we've seen some good improvement, we've had a few that we just couldn't get there. But at least we knew what we were chasing. And it was easier than to have the conversation with the individual. So I share that, again, not a commercial advertisement. But it was a discipline way. Just to give you an idea of the folks that I talked about, we have about 60 of those actively in play right now. We've also had in this crazy world of COVID, we've had some folks come back and literally thank us for taking the time and investing in them knowing that the world's in a very different spot, because they've had some, some realizations that they didn't have prior to that, and many of them are 10/15 years into their career, and they've never had the awareness created, like this process is done for those. So we think that's a more intrinsic value of the process, but showing that we're willing to commit. So-

Greg Irwin 46:04

To me that helps in two ways. It helps you with your understanding, and it helps drive the engagement with your with your key employees. Thanks, Eileen.

Eileen 46:15

You bet.

Greg Irwin 46:17

I'd like to invite in Sharon, Sharon Davis, Shannon's counterpart here, Sharon, are you online with us?

Sharon 46:30

I am.

Greg Irwin 46:31

Hey, Sharon, nice to meet you. Would you give a little intro? And maybe would you be willing to share a story or two, I mean, my first thought is around performance and succession. But maybe there's an another initiative that you want to talk.

Sharon 46:50

Um, we redid our performance and a few years ago, so that really hasn't been a hot topic for us. Um, you know why? I'm sorry, can

Greg Irwin 47:01

you just start with a quick just intro in terms of Oh, gentlemen, is your General Dynamics mission mission system.

Sharon 47:07

Mission systems yet? So we're a defense company, my division, we're up in Canada. And we've got three or four locations here in Canada. We also are responsible for most of our European locations. So Italy, Germany, the UK?

Greg Irwin 47:30

Is this rocket scientists?

Sharon 47:32

No. So we're in mission systems. So we do a lot of command and control type stuff, communications, that sort of thing. So lots of software engineers, hardware engineers, that kind of thing in our, our community. Right now, my focus has really been on, you know, redefining What's our vision for HR technology. And then setting that strategy and a roadmap to get us there.

Greg Irwin 48:07

My goodness, spot on with the topic of our session here. All right.

Sharon 48:13

So one of one of the things that, you know, we've also been working on is more about the employee experience. And so one of the things that just frustrates me even just as a user, we have a lot of disparate HR systems and it drives me nuts that I go here to login to do compensation planning, I go over here to login to LMS you know, I go over here to login to PeopleSoft. So we you know, I just scratched the surface to see if it's anything that's out there I haven't gone to conferences like probably most of us for a while, so not as familiar with what all technologies out there, but looking for like something that could sit on top of all of this stuff, so who cares what's below it, you just go to that one spot to be able to log in so things are seamless to the employee and you don't really know you're off to you know, people who are for this or you know, whatever for that. So

Greg Irwin 49:14

What's your what's your underlying what are the base systems, your base payroll, your h a base HCM?

Sharon 49:21

So we have PeopleSoft is our HCM. We use iCIMS for recruiting and onboarding, we use people who are for compensation and our LMS and performance. What else is out there? We have a few other things that are a little smaller. We're like we use mentor scouting knob scouting stuff. So-

Greg Irwin 49:45

And your ERP?

Sharon 49:49


Greg Irwin 49:52

Well, alright, Jacqueline, I'll ask you, I'm going to turn to you for the tough question. Is there something you know that can overlay For how do you drive a more unified experience for your for employees and for HR?

Jacqueline Kuhn 50:06

Yeah, there there is. It's what we used to traditionally call, like the HR portal, right? You know, or through a corporate intranet, through single sign on. There's a company out there, there's an organization out there called logical design solutions. This is all they do. This is their business, they are in the business of designing what we used to call portal, and making and providing the technology to bring these things together, make it a communication channel, they get a single point of a one stop shop. It's custom, it's custom work that they would be doing for you. But that's all they do. Is this custom? This custom sort of work? The challenge you're gonna have is, depending on are you on PeopleSoft Fluid or you want just plain nine dot something?

Sharon 51:09

Nine dot something.

Jacqueline Kuhn 51:11

Yeah. So you're going to need to get to fluid if you want to take advantage of any of those kinds of capabilities, because that's the true nature of PeopleSoft. And when you go to fluid, and if you go to fluid, there's some capability for fluid to do that. Not a whole lot, but there are some so I would look into fluid first look into whether or not through fluid, you can connect all those points. If not, I would look at something like a logical design solutions. That's literally what they do.

Sharon 51:43

Okay, yeah. The people fluent is used by the whole of GB. So, you know, all the US. divisions are like, it's used by many people. So it's, um, you know, our corporate would make that decision. And they I know, we're not moving to fluid soon.

Jacqueline Kuhn 52:03

Yeah. So you need to build something on top of all that, then the only way it would work for you. Okay, is to find out I think we have I think we've met before, like 1015 years ago.

Sharon 52:15

But yes. I'm surprised you remembered. Yes. I usually know. Clifton.

Jacqueline Kuhn 52:23

I do. Remember, so great to talk to you again. You too.

Greg Irwin 52:28

Jacqueline, I'm picking up a little bit broader, broader, Sharon's initiative here, of really mapping out an HR tech strategy. Because, like, we've been all over the place in this call. We've talked about recruiting, we've talked about performance, we've talked about succession, we talked about integrating these systems. I mean, my goodness, you know, just setting priorities is, is a challenge is a challenge, and particularly the priorities of one team doesn't necessarily match the priorities. So how have you seen this process work, so that it's logical, so that it's systematic, and so that everybody gets on the same page.

Jacqueline Kuhn 53:21

The process will only work if everybody if you can get everybody to come to the table, as it with an open mind. And as an equal player. It's, it's somewhat of challenging in Sharon's particular case, because she has a corporate run system that she has to kind of use, she's not in complete total control of everything that she can have. So for her, it's really you know, she's not going to bring all of corporate in to help solve her problem. She's going to have to figure out what you know, what you can do and where can you enter and exit from the corporate system to make her world a better place? Yeah, limited by that people saw thing that's that's it's kind of difficult when you've got PeopleSoft to kind of do all these digital things unless you're on fluid. But if you're not sharing and you don't have a corporate headquarters to to deal with, you bring in, you bring in folks from you do it like in a couple of ways you bring in people from the business, you ask them later, what are the most important services that HR can provide for you? And what are the priorities to the business of those services? And you start there, and then you from there you begin to work through and how are we supporting you because you first have to understand How the business needs you to perform what the business needs to do or you. And then from there, you can build your strategy as to what applications you might need. But it has to tie to the business, because I hate to say it, folks, HR technology is not for HR. It's for supporting your business. And that's why you've got to start there. Now to find the business problems and the issues and those challenges that you can solve, you know, where's that pain point? Where can you get that ROI? It's typically somewhere in operations, right? Whether it be overtime, or scheduling or safety, or whatever it is, or development, right. Making sure you've got the right people doing the right thing. And so that's where I would start.

Greg Irwin 55:47

How long? Not how long? No, I think I think that's great. All right. We've got just a couple minutes. Let's try and finish strong. Let's do let's do a good strong four minute push. You're ready. And I'm going to wrap up here with Jacqueline. But I'd like to hear one closing question from from the group. John, you've you've been listening closely. Amber, we haven't gotten involved. Somebody who hasn't jumped in Mandy, Lenay. One, one question the group's got, you've got an amazing we have an amazing grid here. Let's take advantage of it. John, any questions you've got from the group?

John 56:40

Not off the top of my head. I mean, it would be interesting to see what platform everybody's using for HR systems right now. That's on the call.

Greg Irwin 56:49

Let's do it. Let's do it. It'll be quick. Everybody unmute. And let's just just read it off. Uh, John, I'm gonna have you go first. What's your HCM?


UKG Amber, what's your HCM?

Amber 57:01


Greg Irwin 57:03

Pardon me?

Amber 57:04


Greg Irwin 57:05

3Core. Shannon Shannon Graham ?

Shannon 57:09


Greg Irwin 57:10

All right. Chris Yanan.

Chris 57:14

We are with a PEO now, but previously we're with Ultimate software.

Greg Irwin 57:20

Eileen Beck.

Eileen 57:22

We are with Dayforce augmented with a bunch of pilgrim systems.

Greg Irwin 57:26

Perfect Mandy Stutler.

Mandy 57:29

Ours is mainly manual but we have paychecks system. They were sent to another company.

Greg Irwin 57:39

Got it? Um, Sharon. We heard us Katie Katie Stross on I don't think we got your HCM,

Katie 57:47

Oracle HCM.

Greg Irwin 57:48

Oracle, super. Lenay Williams

Lenay 57:51


Greg Irwin 57:53

Thank you and Mark Kalani?

Mark 58:00

Kronos are UKG for time we've got SuccessFactors for HCM performance through succession. And then we've got Oracle for ERP for finance been mostly master data.

Greg Irwin 58:12

Hence the integration plan. Man. Jacqueline, you and I talk about this all the time. Well, what is the platform that you see is is there a platform that you see we have a good good mix of size companies here? So the small to mid to large? What are the platforms that are that are building the ecosystem, staying on the cutting edge, great roadmap, great support.

Jacqueline Kuhn 58:43

I would have to put up there been building out on day four, some really great technology. They they have executing on the support, but on the technology and the innovation, I would put Ceridian out there. If you're global and have global HR needs, I put Workday as being the best at solving the whole global challenge. If you're really you know, certain service support, you know, kind of tried and true HR payroll, you've got UKG on the pro side, the time the UKG dimensions on the time side is probably the leader over there right now. A little more downmarket you've got Paylocity and Paycom for those of you that were more downmarket they those two are really singing the day and then keep an eye out for Paycom. They just went public in April and they've had an incredible run of innovation advancements. And so they're kind of those three are kind of winning today when you go a little more downmarket.

Greg Irwin 1:00:10

Alright folks, we're at our our let me sincere thanks to Jacqueline and her team for letting us host you for our session. We'll do an outreach. And I want to encourage you all to connect across this group. It just ask, and of course, with with Jacqueline and her team, for any follow up with that, thank you all. I'll take topics for the next session. We're gonna keep this going. So you want to dig in on one area or have a suggestion for our next forum. We're all yours. Just shoot it over. Jacqueline, thank you so much. And thank you all

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