43 episodes

The buying cycle for enterprise software and technology shouldn't be a power struggle between departments. 3Sixty Insights is a research firm providing deep understanding of how to bridge the gap in perception and priorities between stakeholders. Through our research, we unearth strategic approaches for streamlining the decision-making process, successfully managing solutions, and maximizing value from business software and technology investments.

3Sixty Insights 3Sixty Insights

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The buying cycle for enterprise software and technology shouldn't be a power struggle between departments. 3Sixty Insights is a research firm providing deep understanding of how to bridge the gap in perception and priorities between stakeholders. Through our research, we unearth strategic approaches for streamlining the decision-making process, successfully managing solutions, and maximizing value from business software and technology investments.

    3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Rachel Jordan, Vice President of HCM Product Management at Unit4

    3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Rachel Jordan, Vice President of HCM Product Management at Unit4

    Joining me for the #HRTechChat video podcast is Rachel Jordan. At Unit4, provider of business software for human capital management and enterprise resource planning, as well as financial planning and analysis, Rachel is vice president of HCM product management. Just like several of her fellow relatively new additions to leadership at Unit4, Rachel has a strong a pedigree in the industry.

    Unit4 is a vendor keen on finding the best ways to align and combine HCM, ERP and FP&A. The possibilities are intriguing, and you'll be hearing more about these from 3Sixty Insights as we stroll through the second half of 2022. Think of this episode of the podcast as an appetizer. HCM technology (including the ethos behind it) has evolved drastically over the past five years, from a focus on talent management to one of supporting the success of people. (Those are two different things, yes.) HR continues to mature in its role, from a largely reactionary position mired in transactional work to one aspiring to proactively support organizational growth and strategy -- and capable of doing so.

    It makes sense. Organizations have had to adapt their HCM systems broadly and deeply, especially since the pandemic took hold and ushered in work from home, hybrid work and other dynamics once considered novelties or exceptions to the rule. HR's charter now is to facilitate and advocate for the employee experience, and the HCM system is no longer just a database of people, but an ecosystem to support a total employee lifecycle that has, on average, become unconventional and nonlinear -- e.g., career progressions no longer track straight, effective internal mobility hinges on accurate insight into soft skills, etc. Better-delivered information from payroll and compensation strategy and regarding employees' skills influences the employee experience by optimizing internal mobility, facilitating tenure, and rendering current and future personnel costs more predictable.

    All this change changes the fundamental calculus that HR and other organizational stakeholders must follow to justify their proposals to invest in HCM systems. One way for them to make this argument is to show the value of HCM data as HCM systems become better connected to other domains of the enterprise and the related data becomes more easily combinable in real time. The idea is to shorten the time it takes to figure out how or whether this or that decision regarding people success would deliver value to the organization.

    As my conversation with Rachel ultimately implies, HR leaders and other HCM-immersed internal organizational stakeholders in positions of influence should emphasize that one major benefit of all this is not only greater organizational agility, but stability, too. Data that an HCM system produces can give employers invaluable insight into which actions are best to take. The ready availability of this data, especially when it's the result of data exchange between systems supporting areas of the business that need alignment anyway, means leaders can take these actions early.

    • 39 min
    #HRTechChat with retrain.ai and Seyfarth Shaw LLP

    #HRTechChat with retrain.ai and Seyfarth Shaw LLP

    Isabelle Bichler is co-founder and chief operating officer of retrain.ai. An employment litigation attorney, Robert T. Szyba is a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Both are well-qualified to discuss the at once inescapable and intriguing trends at the intersection of AI and human capital management, and they joined us as my guests for this episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast.

    retrain.ai is the creator of AI-based self-evolving ontologies that unearth the relationships at the intersection of an organization's existing and future roles, its people, and their hard, soft and transferable skills. During the chat, Bichler provided an impassioned, detailed explanation on why this is so important -- and why the development of responsible AI in this area is essential to helping leaders act equitably as they plan more efficient, more targeted external and internal hiring with implications, as well, for learning and performance management.

    That we're even having this conversation is evidence that we are finally here: AI has finally evolved to the point that it is now a bona fide benefit to HCM. And, right on cue, AI for the workforce has become the focus of an inchoate, nevertheless quickly gathering regulatory framework.

    That the latter has promptly followed the former is unsurprising. Fraught with the potential for misuse both intentional and unintentional, AI is an emerging technology also holding much, much promise for the world of work. Regulators are still wrestling to approach AI effectively. There is always the chance that an early, reflexive, inaccurately or only partially informed flurry of laws governing its use in the workplace could stifle innovation in the field and have the opposite of the intended effect on AI's impact on people, Szyba cautioned during the podcast.

    Take this new AI Audit Law that will affect employers in New York City starting in January 2023, for example, regulating their use of AI in screening job candidates or employees up for promotion. Reading it, Those needing to comply might find themselves legitimately unclear on just how to do so. Bichler, Szyba and I will be co-presenting a webinar exploring the subject of this law on June 8 at 10am EST. You can register here.

    You could say AI and the future of work are inextricable. There's no stopping where we're going with AI in HCM, and we humans must, therefore, embrace and learn as much about AI as we humanly can. With this episode, we do our best, the three of us, to help us all scale the learning curve just a little bit more, and I highly recommend that readers listen in....

    • 40 min
    #HRTechChat with James Norwood, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of isolved

    #HRTechChat with James Norwood, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of isolved

    Consider: It's not necessarily that an employer has a performance management problem or, say, a learning management system problem. We must strive to marshal the discrete domains of human capital management, the silos, as one multidisciplinary instrument to solve employers' people-related needs and challenges. This is the high-level strategic value in industry-specific and industry-tailored suites for HCM, in my opinion. They help us think about HCM more holistically. They help vendors and users alike of technology for HCM break free from silo-think.

    There's plenty additional value, as well, for the industries these tailored HCM suites address. Software-as-a-service provider isolved recently launched People Cloud for Healthcare Services, a version of its HCM software suite exclusively for employers in health and medical services. To discuss the new product (and accompanying professional services) James Norwood, chief marketing and strategy officer at isolved, joined us for this episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast.

    "Once you're in a battle for talent, and it becomes a seller's market, then you do have to invest in these things," James says. He's speaking of the perennial need for registered nurses in healthcare and the need to combat and address this with people-focused solutions.

    RNs are always in short supply, it seems. It's a top-of-mind challenge in the health and medical services space. The pandemic has only exacerbated this shortage to become even more acute (if that was even possible). The vendor's own research shows 100 percent of HR leaders in assisted living facilities saying its hard to retain RNs.

    You read that right, by the way. In a large isolved-initiated survey of many subsets of the healthcare space, yes, all the HR leaders working in assisted living reported difficulty in retaining talent. It's indicative of the urgent and deep challenges related to employing people in the healthcare space.

    "What is isolved doing? We're helping on some of those things," James says. For healthcare-related employers, through the new healthcare-focused version of the suite, "we're helping with people getting onboarded. We're helping them get compliant. Our learning management system has very industry-specific certification training courses, which will automatically notify people in advance when a particular certification might be coming up to expire. So there's lots of things that can be done to work with employees, to make them feel like they have more control in their own destiny."

    The new version of the suite does a number of things to address the idiosyncrasies of healthcare employers' people-related needs, and we recently published our analysis of the People Cloud for Healthcare Services launch. I encourage you all to watch this episode. James and I delved deeply into the rationale behind isolved's decision to launch this new version of its product, how it helps, where the vendor looks to tackle industry specialization next, and much more.

    • 31 min
    #HRTechChat with hireEZ's CEO Steven Jiang and Head of Marketing Shannon Pritchett

    #HRTechChat with hireEZ's CEO Steven Jiang and Head of Marketing Shannon Pritchett

    Early this month, at an event for analysts, news media, customers and others, the artificial intelligence-powered global talent platform formerly known as Hiretual announced that it had renamed itself hireEZ. I enjoyed attending virtually and learning the rationale for the name change. We also heard details around the $26 million in venture capital that hireEZ noted it had just raised to help drive the objective of the rebrand: becoming the first vendor to define outbound recruiting as a market segment. Following the event, it seemed natural to invite hireEZ CEO Steven Jiang and Head of Marketing Shannon Pritchett to the #HRTechChat video podcast.
    “We chose to rebrand to align with our company’s mission to create a new category,” Jiang said, during the podcast. “Our mission is to make outbound recruiting easy. We want to make it easy for recruiters to bring jobs to people. Our vision, three words, is ‘jobs find people.'”
    Outbound recruiting itself is a collection of practices that have surfaced over the past several years. This market alert we published on the development delves into things. Suffice it to say, outbound recruiting is the yin to inbound recruiting’s yang….
    Once a novel idea made possible by the then-novelty of the Internet, inbound recruiting is the idea that you can use the web as a fast way to attract large numbers of candidates to apply to your open jobs. This has its benefits. In contrast, think of outbound recruiting as a return to classic headhunting, but now aided by marked evolution in technologies such as AI and the cloud — and the Internet, of course. Within the external online environment, recruiters are better able to find and choose their targets. It is now possible for organizations to identify and approach right-fit candidates online for open requisitions and, thus, spare themselves the tedious task of sifting through a slew of information on candidates that found their way into the applicant tracking system. A thorough search may be impossible in the ATS. And it’s hit-or-miss on who, among these candidates in the database, may or may not be good matches anyway.
    Outbound recruiting is far more efficient, and recruiters with the means to do so have increasingly been deploying it, in bits and pieces, as essential arrows for their quiver. “We’ve evolved into a more candidate-centric, candidate experience model,” Shannon said.
    This is where the pinpointed, 1:1 nature of outbound recruiting comes into play, and that means to do so is where hireEZ enters the equation. The vendor’s technology already supports all five pillars of outbound recruiting: AI sourcing; robust, searchable data; email automation; diversity, equity and inclusion; and system integration. During the podcast, Steven, Shannon and I dove deeply into the details of these five pillars, which the aforementioned market alert also describes.
    Against the backdrop of The Great Resignation and a job market that looks like it’s going to be topsy-turvy for the long term, what hireEZ is doing in the recruiting space is remarkable, really. What struck me most, possibly, is around something Steven said. He noted that, for recruiters to embrace outbound recruiting, they must internalize a fundamental shift in mentality. Inbound recruiting remains a piece of the puzzle, yes. But the passivity associated with waiting for candidates to pour in is incompatible with outbound recruiting, whose ethos is proactive, can-do, recruiting with intentionality. The talent acquisition departments that deploy outbound recruiting the most successfully will commence all their recruiting activities with an outbound mindset first, with inbound activities playing a supporting role in their pursuit of the objective.

    • 40 min
    #HRTechChat with Maurik Dippel, Co-Founder and CEO of CircleLytics

    #HRTechChat with Maurik Dippel, Co-Founder and CEO of CircleLytics

    Technology has advanced to the point where we don't really have to subject ourselves to the inflexibility of a number of traditional, conventional practices anymore, in human capital management. One of these is our approach to measuring employee engagement and collecting employee feedback. Technology has evolved. We can dive much deeper now and achieve several objectives at once. We have much more at our disposal now than just one-to-many surveys set to quarterly, twice-annual or yearly cadences.

    "We're finding that a lot of the old ways, the conventional or traditional ways of doing things, just don't cut it," says Maurik Dippel, our guest for this episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast. Annual employee engagement surveys and the like just aren't "up to the to the task. The employee survey is an inflexible instrument."

    Innovations in driving employee engagement and gathering employee feedback outside the confines and limitations of the conventional employee engagement survey -- these are areas of expertise squarely in the wheelhouse of Netherlands-based CircleLytics, where Maurik is CEO and co-founder. The CircleLytics solution comprises artificial intelligence; natural language processing; well-thought-out, tailored, guided open questioning; facilitated follow-up interaction between parties, who see and react to each other's responses; and additional activity to make the gathering of employee feedback highly interactive, dynamic, meaningful and... engaging. It's an approach that in fact promotes employee engagement as a part of the process. This is far more insightful and helpful than the administering of a survey to measure employee engagement, in my opinion.

    Maurik agrees, of course, and notes that the model has a way of optimizing management-employee relations and helping these and related stakeholders reach consensus and accord internally on challenging issues. With its AI and NLP, CircleLytics' solution analyzes their answers and interactions to capture as broad of a spectrum of organizational sentiment as possible, to help employers reach consensus more readily and in ever better ways, over time. As a microcosm, it's not unlike the idea in the macro that we must inform algorithms right now with as broad of a spectrum of human sentiment as possible, to help ensure that AI evolves as humanly as we want over time -- the focus of another episode of #HRTechChat, from November 2021 with leaders from Cornerstone and AbilityMap.

    But before you view that episode from last year, be sure to watch this one. Maurik does an excellent job of explaining how CircleLytics works. Plus, he and I covered lots of intriguing ground. Candidly, Maurik really made me think, and we think our chat will make you think deeply too on new possibilities in employee feedback and engagement.

    • 40 min
    #HRTechChat with Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks

    #HRTechChat with Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks

    "The annual performance review process is pretty broken," says Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks and our latest guest on the 3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat video podcast. "It was created seventy years ago for hierarchical organizations," which means it's mismatched to manager-employee dynamics at most organizations today, according to Doug. His credentials and past experience leading well-known vendors in our space are formidable and lent gravitas to our discussion. And I happen to agree with him wholeheartedly.

    Years ago, in a previous professional life, I wrote about "a coming mass extinction in human capital management." A result of advances in technology spurring an evolution in attitudes around how best to get the most out of employees, chief among the coming casualties would be the conventional, traditional annual performance review, in my opinion.

    It was nothing particularly revelatory on my part. For a long time, plenty others had been saying similar things. The idea to say it was a "coming mass extinction" gave the idea some bite and sounded cool, I rationalized. Fast forward to today. The bite of the past two years accelerated the aforementioned evolution in those attitudes to the point where, here we are, fixated on how to create the conditions for an optimal employee experience at all times. Clunky, yearly performance reviews don't fit into this equation. We may still need them for compliance, sure. Factor machine learning and social media-grade functionality into continuous performance enablement, however, and a clear, auditable trail of information further supporting any action with an employee is possible and defensible from a regulatory standpoint.

    Enablement is the new word, by the way. Doug doesn't like the word "management" in performance management, and neither do I -- not one bit. It's just as bad as the "management" in human capital management or talent management. The idea that we're enabling performance is a better, more accurate reflection of the purpose of evaluating employees, and we end up doing much more than merely evaluating them. This is a good thing.

    Think of all the advantages modern technology for the employee experience affords us when compared to the old approaches. All you have to do is read Betterworks' tagline: "Betterworks closes the loop between people, strategy and results, enabling organizations to align even the most sprawling teams." There's no practical way to form a virtuous loop of people, strategy and results with only a conventional performance management system. Add work from home to the mix, and a renaissance, an expansion in our thinking in our approach to figuring out how employees are performing, is in order.

    The frustrating and stilted thing about the way old-style performance management has developed, is that it occurs in a vacuum. It doesn't really drive strategy. It purports to help drive results, but barely does so. Mostly, staff loathe the tedious annual review process and anything to do with performance management. So do their managers. Underperforming or struggling employees fear the process. There's little room for positive engagement wherein they might feel good about the opportunity to get better at their jobs. It's all top-down evaluation, all the time, and, often, the process isn't even very efficient or effective in producing accurate, usable evaluations.

    • 34 min

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