HR Tech Weekly: Episode #266: Stacey Harris and John Sumser

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Hosts Stacey Harris and John Sumser discuss important story and topics in recruiting and HR technology. Listen live every Thursday or catch up on full escapades with transcriptions here.

HR Tech Weekly Episode: 266 Breath Date: May 14, 2020

This Week

Topics: John and Stacey discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is reshaping working standards, Ascentis Announces Touch-Free Time Clocks with Temperature Reading Capability, and Cornerstone OnDemand taps former Saba chief Phil Saunders to serve as brand-new CEO of blended company.

John and Stacey discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is reshaping working norms Ascentis Announces Touch-Free Time Clocks with Temperature Reading Capabilities to Improve Workplace Safety as Employees Return to Work in the New Normal Link >> Cornerstone OnDemand taps former Saba chief Phil Saunders to serve as brand-new CEO Link >>

Other News this Week

Paradox Raises $40 M Series B to Help Company Embrace the Future of Work with Conversational AI Link >> Remote Raises an $11 Million Seed Round to Empower Company to Hire and Onboard Talent Anywhere in the World Within Minutes Link >> Oracle Launches Self-Service Analytics Tool for Cloud HCM Link >> Ceridian Transforms the Traditional Payday With Launch of Dayforce Wallet Link >> Businessolver Launches Industry-First Benefits Pulse Revealing Current State Of Workplace Benefits Link >>

About HR Tech Weekly

Hosts Stacey Harris and John Sumser discuss important story and topics in recruiting and HR technology. Listen live every Thursday at 7AM Pacific- 10 AM Eastern, or catch up on full episodes with transcriptions here.

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


John Sumser 0:14 Good morning and welcome to HR Tech Weekly One Step Closer with Stacey Harris and John Sumser. And I’m not Stacey Harris, “youre gonna”. How are you this morning?

Stacey Harris 0:23 I am. I’m doing well done. I’m sitting at home as we have been for the last several months. Sunshine here in North Carolina, gaping out my beautiful green opening today. So experiencing a little of bright condition that’s a little bit warmer than it has been this week. And I’m not John Sumser you’re John Sumser. So how have you been doing John?

John Sumser 0:42 Well, you know, I’ve going a little provoke crazy. I’ve kind of used to running to airports and using the rhythm of pas as the force function in my work and so it’s taking some get used to deal with this new thing. But that said, there’s all sorts of Interesting stuff going on. Right? The actuality that we’re on lockdown hasn’t stopped forward progress. And we’ll see that in the news today. And while people are earnestly trying to figure out how to get things done, there’s real forward progress of some pretty interesting things.

Stacey Harris 1:17 I think it’s quite interesting. We talked about this idea of a new regular, or what it will look like in the next stages of exertion. And what I have found by watching outside of the political bulletin and the state report, and the very sad drastic material coming out of the areas that are dealing with the high points of the crisis and their healthcare workers that under all this is this current of how do I still do business? And what’s happening is that people are sort of rethinking the idea of what business is as a good way of putting it. So even in the stuff that we’ll be talking about today, we’re picture some new ways of rethinking age-old things that beings had been doing for years and years and years, and just different ways to get stuff done. So that’s my take on what’s happening right now is that works a little wonky simply because we’re trying to rethink how you make love?

John Sumser 2:03 Yeah, I see I would without being overly vigorous now. The hypothesi that there is such a thing as a brand-new ordinary is, it hurts, hurts the analysis. What’s really happening is that people are discovering what work is one gradation at a time. And, and in this new structure, I signify, so much is moving around so many articles are in play that the idea that it’s somehow going to settle, and that there’ll be a normalization of this is wishful, it’s wishful. Instead, what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna examine parties driving down the road in aged disintegrate cars, and the cars are gonna crash and fall off to the side of the road and the stuff that’s driving 18 months from now, is not going to look like these age-old separation vehicles, but everywhere I turn, I visualize people trying to breathe life into aged hypothesis. And that is the healthy method that we solve this problem is by trying the stuff that we used to know how to do and discovering that it doesn’t work and having to flounder and be humiliated because it doesn’t work while we either figure out what does or have person should be followed behind us who can figure out what the issue is. And that process, when you call it, the new ordinary, it doesn’t get the real feel, which is more like you know, we’ve been spending a lot of time in the plot. And so I did some the studies and detected some caterpillars and ladybugs that we need to put in the garden to control the other ones. And so you get a little container and it’s got these squirmy things in it. And the squirmy things wander and do their thing and bump into stuff and devour and drink and then ultimately they stop being little squirmy things and they turn into butterflies and bugs and we’re coming through that kind of a process, right?

Stacey Harris 4:02 Yeah.

John Sumser 4:02 And the changeover and I’m gonna require a different term, but the moment that the larval thoughts become functioning insects, we’re not anywhere near that. And you know what happens to a caterpillar when it becomes a chrysalis and when it becomes a butterfly, the caterpillar goes into a cocoon and liquefies. Then it becomes a butterfly, right?

Stacey Harris 4:26 Yeah.

John Sumser 4:27 Just the liquification process that we’re headed towards. And to describe that as the new normal is like saying, oh, yeah, you’re about to get run over by a auto, but that’s okay. You’ll come used to it.

Stacey Harris 4:39 Okay. I think it was metamorphosis is what you’re looking for. And we’re gonna get a little Kafka esque on this here soon.

John Sumser 4:48 Sometimes it’s what this may seem like I woke up and I was bug.

Stacey Harris 4:52 Yeah, I signify, the normal I thoughts I feel the thing that people are longing for is the idea that you know what tomorrow looks like. That’s one of the driving moments I sounds most people struggling with is and you know, even our mentions about not traveling and how we’re be applicable to that driving us to get employ done. And we’re used to different levels of time management and different types of focus areas. But all of that actually gives to the idea that you sort of wake up and know what’s in front of you. And I know for me, I have had to get used to the last several months, waking up knowing I have a lot of tasks to get done, but not knowing what the week was going to look like exactly. And that’s been creepy. And people go through the different stages throughout their life, but to have a whole world feel that way. I think that’s why there’s been a grasp for this idea of a regular somewhere. And I don’t know that we will get there, at least not in the coming six to 12 months. Maybe in two years we’ll get to a quality where we definitely sounds like we know what tomorrow holds.

John Sumser 5:46 Yeah, but this is more like a 10 time activity. And that’s, you know, it was able to from 1929 to the start of the second world war to really manufacture the change from beginning to intermediate industrial economy. And along the way there were these massive job losses and government curricula that relocated parties all parts of the country. What I experienced a statistic yesterday that said that 40% of people with incomes under $40,000 a year lost their jobs in the last six weeks. 40% of parties concluding $20 an hour or less lost their jobs in the last six weeks. That’s just, that’s, that’s wiping out a class of people. And the project that it takes to restore the economy from that stage, having regard to the pandemic involves the ability of new jobs. It involves doing things that we’ve never done before. And right now, beings are in a panic about how to get enough plexiglass into the office so that you can framed walls between cubicles for the people to go back to work. That’s putting band aids on the slashes, and you most certainly need to threw band aids on the pieces. But that isn’t even beginning to address the question of what are we going to do? That’s just, how do we keep going as best we can while we figure out what the problem actually is, right? And that’s the thing that I abhor most about the new normal communication is it expects we know what the problem is. And we don’t.

Stacey Harris 7:27 Yeah. We don’t know what the problem is. I would push back a little on the fact that we have never done this. I do belief, at least globally, after the 1930 s we did do a lot of work camps. And you are aware, that’s how the Hoover Dam was improved. That’s how many of the state ballparks were constructed, you know, was the idea of creating jobs from a federal grade and the establishment of environments where people could get back into work. We have done this I think what it is we haven’t done this in the modern day, which is a very different dialogue. With modern promises around what impunity is and what a negligible degree of living is, and all of those things and technology, and so there is a lot of conversation to be had about, have we created an environment in our current world where we are not able to move to the next step? And that’s another section of what beings are scared about.

John Sumser 8: 22 Yeah, and I’ll just say that the dimensions of this problem dwarf their own problems that we solved in the 30 s. And that’s the thing that people haven’t really comprehended hitherto is that six weeks into it, six weeks into it, we have higher levels of employment than “were having” in the 30 s. And the layoffs have just begun. Saying that we know what we’re doing right now and that we have some thought of what’s going to happen is like, remember when we were going to hit the heyday of the pandemic in the first week of April?

Stacey Harris 8: 52 Yeah, sorry.

John Sumser 8: 53 Remember that?

Stacey Harris 8: 55 Yes, I remember that.

John Sumser 8: 57 It’s a sad thing to jest at, well, same thing with unemplyment. These are the good old days. And it doesn’t work until “were starting” certainly, certainly adjusting to that fact. I’m hearing narrations about wealthy Ceos harbouring an all hands fits to cause the people know that they don’t have to worry about them. You know, we’re doing fine here in our penthouse. You needn’t worry about us. We’ll let you know about that other stuff like whether you have a job or not. And so the class differences between workers and executives are starting to show. And that’s a problem. So we got some interesting report here today.

Stacey Harris 9:39 Yeah, I necessitate all the stuff we were just talking about all that filters down in different ways in our industry. We’ve had a lot of layoff advertisements, but we’ve also had some changes in CEO’s. We’ve had some the modifications and new concoctions being launched because of all this and some more investments being met in the industry. So as much as it feels a bit gloom and doom and modify is always difficult and I think your point is very well taken that we are going to see the gap between those who have and those who have not probably is indeed very, very clearly defined through all this. We’re likewise go to some astonishing brand-new things happen both in our industry and around the globe as people come up with new ideas about how to address all this.

So yeah, we have lots of news this week. We have Cornerstone on Demand. So many of you be complied with on the study as well as recruiting and achievement administration seat. But Cornerstone announced a transition that was gonna be taking place in June of their longtime CEO Adam Miller, big name in service industries, being replaced by Phil Sounders who came over from their Saba acquisition. And we’ll talk a little bit about that since they are likewise did a briefing at same time yesterday about that.

But we’re also identifying investments in the market. Paradox fostered $40 million in the last week and a half, in their Series B to help companies cuddle the future of work with their conversational AI. We’ve seen a lot of these conversational AI’s is getting asset right now. This one’s a bit different.

Remote is another organization that promoted fund this last week $11 million in a grain round fund concentrates on helping business hire and onboard expertise anywhere in the world within minutes. So this is a bit of a remote gig hiring example but more of a global perspective that was why for me it caught my see. There was some other speculations the coming week, their general hassle timbers and some talent acquisition stuff, but this one I thought was really interesting because of the idea of a global onboarding kind of model very quickly.

We likewise interpreted some product announcements the coming week, in lieu of not given the opportunity to do big occurrences. We’re starting to see some of these merchants actually thrust out some of the products they’ve been working on Oracle launch their self busines analytics implement for gloom HCM. They’ve been working on that for some time.

Business Solver propelled a benefit pulse tool, as well as a tool for assessing the best way to situate it is options for healthcare for all the people who are currently out of work. That was sort of an interesting one, I reckon because business overgeneralize as a b2b business business conversation, but it looks like they’re trying to provide some help to forge an open market for the 22 million people they’re expecting to be out of healthcare just because of the unemployment lists.

And then last-place, but by no means least, Ascentis, who we don’t hear a lot about they’re generally small business HR technology, but they’re starting to establish some interference. They’re foretell their signature free time clock. So they’re launching their own time clocks right now, which is new for them with temperature interpret capabilities together with biometric analysis. So I’ve been talking to a lot of the workforce management organizations and a lot of them are using their biometric technology. The temperature is a new one for me. So I thought it was worth having a conversation about so as much as we talked about the fact that things are changing. There’s a lot going on right now, John. So where do you want to start in the conversation?

John Sumser 12:44 So what do you think about time clocks that take your temperature and do an iris scan, or a facial approval? What do you think about that?

Stacey Harris 12:53 Well, personally, it’s a little macabre, but on the other hand, I think we’re going to see work environments where people are starting to do things like taking temperature and taking down evidences. I imply, this is the contact draw, everyone’s going to be hearing the expression contact tracing over the next couple of months, technology is being looked at across the board. The question is what you do with that information materials and how it’s used, right? Because formerly you find out that someone has a fever, then how much do you have to get in their personal life to understand what that fever necessitates, right? And then,

John Sumser 13:26 Well, yeah this is a very clever tool for discriminating against women working in menopause.

Stacey Harris 13:32 Yes, that’s right. Precisely. Yes. There is a lot of things that this could this could backfire on bands if they don’t implement it well. The tool itself is not bad by any means. I actually think there we have to start thinking about how we imparting our craftsmen back safely and we have to put in place the things that “theyre expecting” before they walk through the door to make sure they feel cozy go through a entrance. But there is a requirement to too put in place the processes and the policies and procedures to make sure that we do that in a way that is respectful of not only the regulations, but of the symbol and the values we say that we’re possession ourselves to.

John Sumser 14:11 We probably need to involve an employment lawyer in this conversation, but it’s my sense that you cannot discriminate against parties based on a physical characteristic. And so in order for gating of the organization to be done, based on some sort of real physical characteristic, the regulations will have to be changed. And I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination that people are going to stop doing this just because the law says you can’t, but it’s a super major consideration. Yes, it is very important to spawn safe workplaces. But no, it’s not okay to categorize and are discriminatory against people , no matter what your apologize is.

Stacey Harris 14:54 Yeah, but that’s actually not what’s in it right now. OSHA requirements for safety are overriding discrimination requirements when it comes to anything that has to do with healthcare at this stage. Now, whether that will hold up in a court of law and whether or not that

John Sumser 15:09 Says who?

Stacey Harris 15:10 Yeah.

John Sumser 15:11 Says who? Just because you say that that’s not true. God knows with the authorities concerned that we have the idea that somebody would prioritize one thing over another outside of which chum to give the money to you are aware, that’s not happening. So, business owners may wish that that were true. But it isn’t true. And there is a super need to get back to work, I wouldn’t dispute that for a second, but exactly because there’s a super need to get back to work doesn’t mean you could drive 100 miles an hour down the freeway?

Stacey Harris 15:42 Yeah, no. Believe me this one is one of the slithers folded up and I want to make sure we talked about it today because I conclude fellowships are accepting the technology is out there because they’re allowed to use it. That’s really what’s happening. If someone has obliged it available and someone has stimulated it accessible. Well of course all the dealers have done all the research. We talked timeclock plus last week, and they’re tracking, contact marking tracking exercising existing tools they’ve already had in place, which are a good tools, but they’re responding to requests from the employers about what they want and need. And the issues to becomes have they had the conversations at both a law and unethical tier. You can’t just stop at a law stage. It also has to stop you have to think about it at the symbol level and employee consolation stage. There’s a whole slew of things that have to happen here. And then engineering can be put into place because I think there is a place for most of this technology if you think about how to appropriately use it.

John Sumser 16:35 I don’t think because we’re having a crisis that you got to get only willy nilly suspend the legal environment and the anti discrimination constitutions are in place because it’s easier to discriminate than it is to solve the problem. And so I’m sure that you’re right that these companies are responding to requests from their clients but that It doesn’t make it smart or good. It exactly constitutes it a request of a quiet.

Stacey Harris 17:04 Is it a different than getting on a plane being required to give your temperature to get on a plane at this place?

John Sumser 17:09 Is it any different than being required to give your temperature on the plane?

Stacey Harris 17:14 Yeah, so before I go on a plane…

John Sumser 17:15 I don’t, I don’t, you are aware I don’t. No , no , no, United State is what we’re talking about. Not most international.

Stacey Harris 17:24 Alright.

John Sumser 17:26 OSHA. You can’t do that, OSHA and the Americans with Disorder Act don’t apply in other countries.

Stacey Harris 17:32 Okay, alright good point.

John Sumser 17:35 Right, and Ascentis is an Iowa company. We’re not talking about launching this internationally, this is a domestic, and we’ve got the biggest mess. And so whether or not there are get your temperature taken requirements in other countries. I don’t know how to think about that more. But can you or can’t you go to work because of your temperature is an area that is much more protected and settled than are you able or can’t you get on a business belonging? Right? If the government doesn’t settle that cavity, then companies can. The cavity that the government adjusts starts at the security place and if they want to add temperature nonsense there then that’s a government decision. The question of whether or not I can discriminate against my works based on their health status, that’s a separate, awfully sticky legal thing, and that people are just wandering right by because they’re in a hurry to get the doors open. And it’d be really, really good to review this material with really republican employment advocates. Because that…

Stacey Harris 18:42 I think we will agree on that one and wholly John. I would recommend that for everybody.

John Sumser 18:47 Yeah, in the absence of a clear statement from the regulators, that you’re not going to be held liable, you’re going to be held liable. So did you look there’s a I believe it’s a Texas Mexican food joint announced Nacho Daddy that is command workers who return to sign a exhaust that says the company isn’t accountable if they get sick from coming to work.

Stacey Harris 19:15 Wow. But I’m not surprised at all.

Yeah there’s going to be all sorts of creepy shit.

And we’ve got Amazon testing to allow peope to come to work right. So yeah, this is gonna be across the board, big companies, little corporations, you know, do you make sure people are safe? Does that shaping sure parties are safe stepping on their right? Do you even if you keep it separate from HIPAA data, like the HIPAA requirements, like right now they’re saying, well, at least if I preserve my employment data separate from my data that I’m capturing about the person’s current state of health, that part of what’s going to make it safer. All of this is up in the air and you surely need steering on all of this in my testimony, so don’t do it alone.

John Sumser 19:57 Yes, yes. Make sure your vendor has a big insurance policy.

Stacey Harris 20:02 Yeah, exactly. Let’s talk a little about cornerstone.

John Sumser 20:04 Yeah, Phil Saunders who is the current CEO of Saba was just worded the CEO of cornerstone. And this is an extraordinary thing. Adam Miller, who started the company and has run for your lives to $600 million a year in revenue, is becoming the Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors while Phil takes over the CEO’s undertaking. And Phil did an extraordinary thing with Saba. He is a business motorist who knows how to find effectiveness and the marketing edge in things and so it’s gonna be very interesting to see what he does. What do you think about it?

Stacey Harris 20:44 Yeah, the proclamation came out. And I actually heard it from the financial analysts before I heard it from anybody else. They were calling me asking me about it. And then, you know, we got on a briefing that was supposed to be about where Saba and Cornerstone were going to go towards the future, where they sort of announced Adams plans to move and then abruptly dumped into various kinds of a hi from Phil to a hour presentation of Adam telling us about the future of the organization and where it was heading. So it was a little bit disconcerting, felt a little bit like this decision and this alteration may not have been planned. But ordinarily you would expect an announcment like that. And then to have someone like Phil do the big-hearted show. But Adam pranced in. And as ever, I’m always on board with the seeing Adam has of sort of educating the world. I think it’s one of the reasons I’ve always gravitated towards the conversations that happen around what’s going on with Cornerstone. And the government has some real long term strategies around what they’re planning to do with their artificial intelligence, their learning and development and how they’re going to package everything in the teach draw. But I likewise sounded quite clearly that Cornerstone is a cash machine, which was actually terms immediately out of Adam’s mouth. And my panic is that under Phil, as good as he is, but that they might end up operationalizing themselves out of innovation. So that would be my biggest fear about this.

John Sumser 21:56 Yeah, I think that’s a tolerable question to ask. I will tell you that I had a deep exchange with Cornerstone yesterday about their AI ends. And you know that conventional fib right now about AI has changed away from machine learning because all of that historic data is broken right now. And onto the skills work that companies like Burning Glass have been doing for 20 times and workday has been doing for three or four and they’re probably 15 or 20 initiatives that are about trying to understand what all of the skills in the world are and what all the jobs of the world are and what all of the people in the worlds are and impel them blend together. And they have some interesting new people on the team with Cornerstone who having regard to the right money and sustain the big fund could do some very interesting things. So I was optimistic coming off of the phone call, but you are aware, the heart of the Cornerstone cash machine is the user base. And nobody’s ever seen a grade of layoffs like we’ve just had. And nobody’s ever seen the level of business failure that we’re about to see. And so we’ll see if they can sustain it. I give them high labels for a good running start.

Stacey Harris 23:18 Yeah. I’m hoping so because I contemplate Cornerstone toys a really important part of the HR technology ecosystem. They have driven invention in a manner that is oftentimes that other learning makings couldn’t because of their magnitude on their scope and because Adam just really, I remember, understood his customers. And I know Phil’s done a nice job with what they’ve done with Saba. So I’m hoping to see that that will come to fruition. But I also know that when you start focusing on a lot of different employments coming together and enterprises is your primary focus, you could easily end up with what we watched happen with SumTotal which was some real interesting substance, but they spent so much time trying to support all the myriad of various types of produces that had been aggregated underneath that label, well times, that the innovation got lost really quickly, I belief for them, and I think they’re still trying to come back and some of that under the Skillsoft brand. So yeah. So just something to watch.

John Sumser 24:08 Yep. So, another enormous conference. Thanks for taking the time to do this. And thanks, everybody, for checking in with us today. You’ve been listening to HR Tech Weekly with Stacey Harris and John Sumser and we will see you back here next week. Bye Bye now.

Stacey Harris 24:37 Bye.

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