Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 126: Pick the right HR Tech with Phil Strazzulla

November 15, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 126
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 126: Pick the right HR Tech with Phil Strazzulla
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Phil is an entrepreneur, and the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams to find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. Phil started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School.

From Phil: 
I started SSR because it’s getting harder to find and implement the right software. Plus, most of the advice online is very biased or too theoretical.

My hope is that our content will help you buy the right tools, build your organization, and help you progress in your career.

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https://www.selectsoftwarereviews.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/philstrazzulla/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

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Phil Strazzulla:

Then machines are very far away from doing like high level human tasks. And that's why I like to think about this interview scheduling use case where you've got people in your organization, HR coordinators that are doing stuff that like they don't really want to do. It's like grunt, it's not intellectually stimulating, it's very repetitive. And you probably need people to do higher level of stuff, like sell candidates and have conversations with hiring managers and blah, blah, blah. And so the machines are kind of doing the stuff that humans don't want to do, and they can do it better. And that just frees us up to do the more interesting work.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe from your favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. Hello, rebel HR listeners. Thank you so much for joining us this week, we've got a great guest with us we have Phil strim. Sir Zula. Phil is an entrepreneur and founder of select software reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software through in depth expert advice. Phil started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School. Welcome to the show, Phil,

Phil Strazzulla:

thanks for having me.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Well, I know your time is valuable. And I really appreciate it. I think, you know, today's topic is one of those that is really going to resonate well with our our listeners, you know, purely because technology has become a part of our world and it's not going away. And and so I want to start off by really digging into what got you interested in the HR tech space?

Phil Strazzulla:

Sure, yeah. And I couldn't agree with word you actually just read this report in The Wall Street Journal this morning, that companies are going to scale back on humans in the sort of coming probably recession that we're going into, but it spending is actually still going to grow, which is kind of insane, like to keep growing at like high single digit percentage from four and a half trillion dollars is what folks spend on it, or companies spend on it. And in the US, b2b it. I got interested in HR technology, I always been interested in people's career paths. And while I was at business school, I taught myself how to program really want to start a business start hacking on a bunch of different projects, one of which turned into an employer branding SAS that about three years ago, I hired somebody to run as a general manager. And my favorite part about that business was talking to really smart HR and talent acquisition folks, and then sharing those learnings in this video series of whiteboard Wednesdays, which I do on LinkedIn. And I was like, Oh, this is cool. And the topics that resonate the most with people around HR technology, because there's so much going on with AI and chatbots. In addition to just like ETs and sort of the basic stuff. I had a friend that started a website called Best reviews.com, which was basically like, you know, what chainsaw should I buy? What golf clubs should I buy, like anything b2c, and I was like, I wonder if I could do something like that, immediately our tax base, especially because most HR professionals that I talked to, were pretty overwhelmed with the amount of tooling out there, there's just so many different categories, there's so many different options within each category, it's tough to make a decision. And sometimes when you make a decision, you're locked in and you're paying 10s or hundreds of 1000s of dollars. And your career could sort of be on the line a little bit, you know, you're standing in the organization. And so I thought, hey, this is an important thing for individuals, for companies, there's a need here, and it aligns with what I like to do, which is learn about stuff and then share that learning.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think, you know, it has been really interesting, I've been in the HR space for about 15 years as a practitioner, it's been really interesting to see how pervasive technology has become. But then it's also for me, it's also been kind of interesting, like, we could be going so much faster as well, if we got better at incorporating technology in the right way. And so I actually think like the, I actually think that the the HR professionals that are successful in the future and really are able to move their organizations forward effectively, are going to be the ones that are the most open minded to some of these things that are out there. And, and probably some of the new things that we don't even, you know, we don't even really know about so I know that you know, your your your company is really focused on on making the right choice as, as an HR professional myself, who actually started my career in it, but like, you know, many many years ago, so anything that I learned in it, like 20 years Go is like it doesn't, it doesn't matter anymore, right? It's, it's like, it's like Windows 95. Right? So, you know, if, if it's somebody like me, and I've got this, I've got this business problem, and I'm trying to figure out as technology a solution, you know, how do you really kind of start that decision making process? What what is that? What does a good process look like for an HR professional, it's trying to figure out a tech solution.

Phil Strazzulla:

So I think there's a couple different places to start. One is look at your business, and understand the drivers of your business and what pain points the different leaders in the organization are having, and how does HR technology fit in, in solve those issues. So you might go to the Head of Customer Success, and it's like, Hey, we've gotten we've got a massive churn problem with our call center employees, not a very uncommon problem, actually, with call centers. And so as an HR professional, you might say, okay, how can we change the onboarding process here? How can we change the hiring process and our employer branding to better give the expectations for this role? Technology can help with all of these things. So I think that a really, really good place to start is understanding the business, what's going on? And how can you make an impact? And how can you leverage technology to make an impact? The second way that I usually talk about how to framework where to focus is to look at your employee lifecycle. So literally map from first Employer Branding, interaction through alumni, what are all the different steps that a candidate and then an employee takes as your future colleague? And try to figure out where are the breakdowns? Where do we know that there is pain that we can solve with technology. So part of this might be automation, maybe you've got a huge crew of HR coordinators who are constantly scheduling interviews. And that's all they do. And you could actually use those people to do lots of different kind of more higher level strategic things. If you just bought an interview scheduling solution, that would take all that work off their plate and actually do a much better job than a human can do. Because it's faster, it's real time. And it can do stuff like make sure that a female interviewer is going to meet with a female candidate. The last framework that I usually use is your gut. So you're taking in data all day long, you're talking to people in your organization, you're looking at quarterly reports, you know, your inner X with the board. And you kind of know, like, where the pain is, and where your systems are breaking down. So you might look at your ATS every day, just know that it's a piece of garbage. And it's slowing down your recruiters. And you know, everybody hates it, the hiring managers don't want to log into it, maybe it's hard for people to even apply for jobs, maybe it's not mobile, optimized access, etc. And you just know, you don't have to go through this whole, you know, mapping, sort of exercise, you just know that that's something that's got to go on. So those are the three places that I typically start when trying to understand where to focus.

Molly Burdess:

It's great advice. You know, I've been through this. And I would say I learned the hard way, when you know, when I first started at one of my organizations, I implemented something too fast, before I really took the time to understand the business. And that hurt me a little bit. And I, I would have saved a lot of time and a lot of pain. Should I have just taken my time really, you know, tried to dive in and understand the business before I made a big decision like that.

Phil Strazzulla:

Yeah, I think in general, like one of the things I talk a lot about it, and I'm very passionate about is just like, how do we show this like stereotype of a cold hearted CFO that cares about nothing but money that, like everything we're doing has an impact, you know, like somebody who like doesn't care if people are happy? Or if it's like a pleasant application experience, like how do we show that person? Like, what we're doing? translates into dollars and cents for the business?

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, that's a really hard thing to do. And, I mean, what advice would you have for us and HR that are going, you know, okay, we've narrowed down a couple options, or we've narrowed down the option, and then we have to sell it to our CEO, CFO, what advice do you have for us?

Phil Strazzulla:

So I hope he's making ROI calculation in this spreadsheet. And I know that that's something that a lot of people are, you know, maybe like not used to doing. And it might be a bit intimidating. We actually have like a whole page on our website that has like 10 or 15, ROI calculators with like videos and how to use them. And we have a course on ROI calculations. But there's also probably somebody in your organization who you're friendly with that, like, maybe they have an MBA and maybe they're in a strategy or accounting role, and they could help you put this together, but essentially Do you want to just say like, Hey, we're buying the new ETS, because our application or website visitor application ratio is 20%. And it should be 35%. And so if we, you know, replace our ETS, we increased by 15%, which translates into 3000 candidates a month and 40 hires and our cost priors 5k. So that's 200,000 bucks a month that we're going to save. And the system is going to cost $50,000. So that's like a super no brainer. You go to the CFO, and you pitch them on that. And even if you're off by an order of magnitude, you still look pretty good. And the really cool thing about doing an exercise like that, is that six months after implementation, you go back to it and you say, Where was I right? Where was I wrong, maybe that conversion rate increases to 50%. Maybe it only increases by 25%. But a new ETS allows your recruiters to be much more efficient, you actually got ROI that way. Those are just ways of getting better at allocating resources, and also building your credibility internal, so that the next time you do it, you're gonna say, hey, remember, we spent 50 grand, we got 200k A month? Well, this time, I don't want to spend 150 grand, but I think we're gonna get x as ROI and you get a lot more credibility. We'll be back after a quick break. If you are employed, or recently found yourself at the exit interview, I have a podcast for you. I'm Mark Carey, the host of the voice of Allah guide, a podcast all about work and working. As a seasoned employment attorney, I will share with you information your employer definitely does not want you to know about and more, stop getting screwed over by your employer, get the tools illegal trade, fight and win against your employer. Listen to the employee survival guide by clicking the link in the show notes enjoy and be well.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think the other way to think about it too, is you know, if especially if you're in a, you know, maybe a smaller organization, or you're in a senior HR role. Now, if you're not advocating for it, who will, right if it's a pain point, or if it's a horse, it's a nightmare to onboard a new hire. Because you're, you know, you don't have you know, interconnectivity between your ATS and your and your HR is or, you know, they can't do paperless onboarding, things like that, you know, that? I mean, you have to advocate a little bit and, and, you know, be be thoughtful. And in that, I think the other thing here, Phil, that, you know, you alluded to, is the fact that you also need to be able to show that you've made a thoughtful decision when you've made this recommendation, right. So the fact that you've considered multiple options and avenues and, you know, here's, here's, you know, uh, you know, I've done a cost benefit analysis on this system versus that system. And this one's a little bit more, but the value is greater this systems, you know, a little bit cheaper. And I think, you know, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it can perform for us, you know, those types of questions. Those are the questions that your, your senior leaders are just going to expect you to understand. Right? And you kind of have to own it. All right.

Phil Strazzulla:

1,000%. Yeah. And it, it's sort of like if you're going to tag somebody in your team to go do this, like, what would you expect sort of looking at yourself with third party perspective. The other thing, when you do that sort of level of diligence is you're going to ask the right questions and get to the right vendor. It's not all about just impressing your boss, it's actually about at the end of the day, and you make the right selection, you get to value. You evangelize the value internally say, Hey, we got a new ATS. Here's the results. People are like, Oh, that's cool. Now you get more juice. So you can go do your HR as you can do your onboarding, new interview scheduling solution, and you sort of rinse and repeat. That's something that I call the virtuous cycle of HR tech, which is like, you know, you do something, you get results, evangelize. It allows you to do more stuff, and it just kind of goes and goes and goes. And I think that's what it's, it's not really an HR tech thing, right? It's just like, what are the most effective leaders in your organization do like, how did the CFO become the CFO? They were just really good advocates. And they really focused on value too.

Molly Burdess:

Absolutely. So flip to the other side, because I think a big part of this is the employee engagement as well, or the applicant candidate engagement as well. So say we, you know, we've gone through the whole process, we found a system that works, what advice do you have for us when implementing and how to increase engagements with these systems?

Phil Strazzulla:

So HR tech is weird like this, right? Because like, it's not just like if you, you know, you buy a CRM and it's like, Alright, we gotta get our salesperson to use it. HR attack, it's like, well, we have to get every person to use this thing and people that don't even work here. So it's really challenging. The CIO. I think there's two big buckets. One is you buy the right solution. That's super easy. So if you look at like rewards and recognition, I think this is a great sort of microcosm for this point, the old school rewards recognition programs were basically like giving you something on your birthday or working anniversary. Nobody ever logged into them. Nobody cared about the new school ones, the peer to peer recognition platforms that integrate with Slack and teams and Gmail and Outlook and all this stuff. On average, 90% of employees log in on a monthly basis. And why did they do that? Because it's super simple. It's intuitive, it mirrors a b2c experience. And there's an incentive to do that. If somebody recognizes Molly for doing a great job on call, Molly logs in and is like, hey, wow, I feel really good. I'm going to recognize Kyle, because he was also in that meeting. And he made a great thing. And then Kyle logs in and all of a sudden, it's like viral effect. So that's a big part of it. The second is how many times I've suggested people, especially when you're doing a bigger implementation, get a cross functional team together. So if you're focused on employee onboarding, we'll just kind of stick with that. Just put it out there, hey, we're going to do a project on employee onboarding over the next 90 told months probably gonna implement a new system, anybody want to kind of pitch in based on like, basically an advisory board, people will raise their hand cross functionally. And the people who do are are sort of the gunners in the organization, they're like taking on extra work. So they have great ideas, diversity of thought leads to a better outcome. They also have juice internally. So that helps with getting the budget. And to your question, Molly, sorry, for the long answer. It actually helps with implementation as well. Because when you implement a new feature as ETS, whatever it is employee onboarding, all of a sudden, on that committee that's been with you throughout this whole process, you've got somebody from marketing somebody from product, somebody from operations, and they can evangelize it, say, Hey, I was along for the ride with this thing on, here's why we're doing it, you should actually do it, which just sort of bolsters hrs message and comes from maybe a more familiar face? Yeah, it's

Molly Burdess:

perfect answer, I think, by in other key leaders is so different. Without a doubt,

Kyle Roed:

you know, I think it's, I think this is just a really interesting topic. And I think, you know, one of the things that's probably most interesting to me about this is, there's a lot of HR software out there that we don't even know, you know, could help solve our problems. And I go back to what you said earlier, you know, it's like, you know, kind of know, your pain points. And some of that's like using, you're just using your gut, right. And I had this conversation with with one of my team members, you know, a couple of weeks ago, and we were talking about a challenge. And, you know, she was indicating, well, the data doesn't indicate that there's a problem. And my comment was, yeah, but we suck at it, right. And there's a lot of those, there's a lot of those things in the world of HR, because our world is very dynamic, there's a lot of different things going on. And And potentially, there could be a solution there. And my perspective is like, for me, technology's definitely an enabler. So you should find the things that technology can can help you with, so that you can really focus your time and energy on the stuff that technology can't help you with. Right. And so I don't think it's a solution for everything. But it can be a solution for a lot of different things. So I know that, that you, you have a kind of a great repository of some of these different types of HR, HR systems. But I'm just curious to kind of get your perspective, as you look at kind of the world of HR tech, what are some of the cool new things that you are seeing out there that we should we should be paying attention to right now?

Phil Strazzulla:

Yeah, and thanks for sharing that perspective. Because it honestly makes me like think like, oh, and our newsletter, like, we should have more like, you know, here's how this person like, I don't know, did XYZ with technology, because I think a lot of people there. So there are over 100 different categories of HR tech that we have on our website. And, you know, it's 5% of your job, right? Like, you're not going to be spending tons of time, like doing demos, and like staying on top of what's latest and greatest. And, frankly, that's why we have a business. But we we probably you know, in a different way should be sort of evangelizing those success stories. In terms of the latest and greatest stuff, I think that there are a lot of AI applications now that are like actually real. I remember going to HR tech back in like 2016, maybe it was the year that every vendor was like we're an artificial intelligence, blah, blah, blah. And it was kind of a BS marketing line that didn't, you know, really, actually do anything in in the reality or there was a bunch of humans behind it. But now all of a sudden, you can actually leverage like neural networks and machine learning to do some cool stuff. So here's an example. There's this website out there called hire Why. And basically, as a recruiter, I upload the wreck that I'm trying to recruit for, and hire flies like, okay, cool, we understand that you're looking for geographies, experience, etc, we're gonna go search the internet, which includes, you know, LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter, you name it. And we're going to reach out to you 20 or 30 people. And we're going to put the people who respond positively on your calendar, and you're going to give us feedback on whether or not this was a good candidate and why and then we're going to do a better job the next time. And when I say us, it's a machine. There's no, there's no, there's no human that's doing this, and basically doing the exact same thing as a third party recruiter. Except because it's software, it costs 1/5 or 1/10 of the amount of money and it is actually much faster. That's pretty cool. You know, you don't have to go out and like contract a third party recruiting firm. And what's a, you know, you want to use this for two months, and then you want to shut it down? Like, that's, that's cool to have, you know what I mean? Like, it's not like somebody that hired on your team, and you have this X cost. So things that leverage is sort of like smart software, AI is really exciting. I think there's also a class of companies that are almost exclusively selling into these, like unicorn companies. So like fast growing technology businesses that have really amazing people, operations teams, that are fast to adopt technology. And call it something you said earlier, actually, it was interesting, I forget exactly what you said. But essentially, you know, HR teams that adopt this technology sort of allow it to exist. If you think about the ecosystem, generally speaking, we've seen this explosion of HR tech. And why is that because more companies are adopting the technology. And because companies are adopting them, the startups are doing well. And therefore VCs are investing more money, which breeds more innovation, which breeds more adoption. And it goes on and on and on, what are these, you know, virtuous cycles that I referenced earlier. And I think that there's a class of tech right now. And that probably only really like the unicorns and maybe like the Goldman McKinsey's are adopting on and my hope is that they crossed the chasm, and they, they get across on to lots of others. But it's like very deep, really smart point solutions on things like interview scheduling, hiring, assessments, applicant tracking systems, just really best in class technologies across all of those different sub segments. We'll be back after a quick break.

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Kyle Roed:

I think it's Yeah, I think it's really, really interesting. And I think those, you know, those organizations that will be open minded enough to try out something like, you know, like, yeah, like, like a machine learning AI that goes out and just grabs candidates off the internet for you, you know, like, that sounds? That sounds a lot like what I pay somebody a lot of money to go do on a third party basis when I can't find the exact profile of Canada. I want, right. So. And the way I think about it is like, what am I out? You know, I mean? Yeah.

Phil Strazzulla:

But I do think there's, here's the thing about a lot of people were like, you know, when's this gonna, like, take my job or something like that. And the reality is, like, never, like, it's just not like, especially the work you guys do. Like, it's going to be 50 plus years before a machine can do this stuff. I it's not, you know, if we're gonna, if that ever happens, we live in a completely different world where like, we don't have to worry about jobs, that then machines are very far away from doing like high level human tasks. And that's why I like to think about this interview scheduling. Use case where you got people in your organization, HR coordinators that are doing stuff that like they don't really want to do. It's like grunt it's not intellectually stimulating, it's very repetitive. And you probably need people to do higher level stuff, like sell candidates and have, you know, conversations with hiring managers and blah, blah, blah. And so the the machines are kind of doing this stuff that humans don't want to do. And they can do it better. And that just frees us up to do the more interesting work. Absolutely wish. You only appear Kyle.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, Tag you're it You know, I've

Molly Burdess:

talked about this before, and, you know, we completely agree with you, it's really going to be a great opportunity for HR to elevate their skills and to really help the business, right make make more of that impact instead of just paper plush. So I think it's gonna be really good for HR, and it ends, it's adding a lot of value already.

Kyle Roed:

I think about it in this way, you know, and you listen to the HR podcast, you go to a bunch of speakers, you know, inevitably, the whole topic of how does HR elevate themselves and how to, you know, how do we, how do we get a seat at the table, and, you know, you hear these kinds of conversations. And I actually, my argument is, you know, technology is one of those enablers that allows that to happen, because instead of you or somebody on your team being stuck in a back office somewhere, running these like, menial, you know, repetitive tasks that really could be automated through some sort of a, some sort of investment, but probably a smaller investment than a full time person. You know, if you take that that time, automate it, you know, come up with that plan, come up with a strategy to make sure you don't miss anything, then you free up your time to go do more value added work. And if you do that the right way, and you organize, your organization sees you do that, like you've said a couple of times, Phil, then you start the, the, the wheel rolling, right. And if you can demonstrate you can do it, then the organization is going to take notice of that. And you know, you are adding value at that point. And that's, you know, that's how you elevate HR. That's how you get a seat at the table. And at the end of the day, that's how you free up your time. So you can focus on the stuff you actually want to focus on.

Phil Strazzulla:

Yeah, I honestly, I'm extremely biased about this. But I think that technology is maybe the number one way that HR is going to elevate itself. Absolutely.

Kyle Roed:

So you know, I think, I think it's really, you know, it's an important conversation. It's an interesting topic. There's a lot of really, kind of, kind of cool things out there with tech, I want to talk a little bit about technology, and maybe the maybe the dark side of tech a little bit, you know, and I think we've seen this over the last number of yours, especially as now we've got virtual meetings, you can take them from anywhere, you know, you can work from people in different geographic regions, meaning answer optional. Yeah, pants, or OPT I am wearing I'm in the office today. So I'm wearing pants just for all the listeners out there. But I think what we've seen is a wonderful adoption of technology. But we've also started to see, you know, a little bit of a blurring between the lines of, of work and home. And, you know, I think, you know, work life balance at this point. It really, it's more like work life integration than the balance because, you know, I don't, I don't know that anybody feels like there's a great balance. Right now, when you're, you know, phone has all of your emails in it when you're sitting there at dinner, or watching TV at, you know, whatever time. So, so as you look at that, I know, Phil, you've you've you've got some some strong beliefs here. What, what do you recommend? For those that are incorporating technology? How do we kind of focus on making sure that this work life integration is is appropriate for you know, for all of our sakes for all of our mental health?

Phil Strazzulla:

It's a really important topic. So there's a wonderful book written by Bob leisure, who runs a company called acceleration partners, which is a remote first company newest has been for, I think, over a decade at this point. And he talks about their SOPs for how do we kind of let people live their lives? And it's a lot of non tech stuff, right? It's it's rituals for how do you wind down at the end of the day, it's carving out specific spaces and times for work versus non work. It's norms. So what is the expectation for responding to email, respond to Slack, respond to an SMS, etc. And I think it's really comes down to culture and managers and setting the right expectations, because especially in the US, like we just sort of have this like very strong work culture, which is great for productivity, GDP growth, but maybe isn't great for mental health. So it comes it comes down to leadership. There's honestly the sort of next generation EPS like modern lira, ginger, talkspace, etc, that allow companies to have a very robust Mental Health Program. for their employees, but I think that's kind of what it comes down to. And then the the other sort of funny note that I'll say is there's this chrome extension I ran into yesterday, that is an unproven productivity app. And so you know, these productivity apps, they like block out, they basically just like, allow you to work, right. And this is an unproductivity app. So it blocks your email, it blocks slack, it blocks, it doesn't let you go to LinkedIn, it doesn't let you go to like chase.com, or like Yahoo Finance, or any it just like, it's supposed to allow you and it was made as a joke originally, by these guys like six months ago, and it's kind of caught on. And it's just allow us to, like spend time with your family or read a book or, you know, do whatever you want. And we intuitively, I think it makes sense that that's really important, and morally as well. But there's also a bunch of research. Now, there's a really phenomenal book, by this guy, Cal Newport called deep work. And a lot of it is about how you need to unplug in order to be productive. And if anybody's sort of gotten in one of these, you know, flow states have deep work to do your your 5x more productive. That's what McKenzie found. And that's what I found personally, on in order to do that you can't be always on you're just you're parked out.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, I was actually talking to another employer the other day, and they're telling me about how they, they're actually requiring all of their employees to take one week off during the year. And then they shut down their access to everything. So they truly have one week just step away. That's a fantastic idea. And then, you know, you said something early on, like leaders have to really lead by example, this has been something that's been super eye opening to me within the last year, like, you know, I preach work life balance, all day long. But at the end of the day, I'm still emailing my team at seven o'clock at night, or, you know, we're offering partially work from home, but I'm here every day. So I'm not setting that great example for my team that, you know, hey, this is really what we believe, and this is how

Kyle Roed:

I'm acting. So I want you to be free to act that way as well. Yeah. So I think this is a great example of like, this is the stuff that HR should be focused on. Right. And so if you're, if you're like, still worried about like, which, you know, you know, like processing, you know, month end, you know, insurance enrollments, you know, you, you're not focused on this, and you're not out there helping your leaders kind of think about it, you know, here's a great example, I just, you know, we we've, I think we have like three different ways, probably four different ways that a manager can connect with one of their employees, anytime of the day, and send a notification to their phone or their computer or whatever it like. And so if you don't have a really good structure and culture around your leaders, like having appropriate boundaries with their teams, you know, you're gonna have issues, right. I mean, that's just, that's the way it is. And so, you know, and I think different, workplace cultures are different, and there's different levels of expectations, you know, but ultimately, what you you set your expectations are for your leaders at is the culture you're gonna get, and people will make that decision. You know, there's, as much as we're worried about a recession, there's still a labor shortage, there's a lot of options, if somebody is frustrated with your current with your current situation, or your current culture. And quite frankly, I think, you know, it's also going to be a business imperative to make sure you're drawing, you know, drawing good boundaries there. So I think, you know, great, really important topic, something that that we should be focused on. And, you know, the only question, Phil is, is there, is there like a, an HR tech that can help me be better at balancing the HR tech thing?

Phil Strazzulla:

Is that? Yeah, it's, it's tough. I mean, you know, to large extent, like our RSA is trying to help people sort of keep this all straight and not let it ruin your life and make the right decisions so that you get the value and all that jazz, but like, it's tough. And I think that my my advice to most leaders is, like, unless you're going to retire in the next five years, like you just got to start carving out a couple of hours a month, at least, to just like getting better at HR tech. And that could be, you know, going to a conference, it could be taking a demo with a technology that you think is new and innovative. It could be sitting down with a friend who works at another company and talking Hey, what's the last thing you guys implemented? What went right what went wrong? And it could be talking to another business leader. or, and you know, have a coffee with the head of marketing and be like, let me let me ask you about your tech stack and like who manages it? How do you think about budget? How do you think about ROI? And like, if you do that for a couple hours a month, in a year or two, you're going to be way ahead of the game. And you're going to be in a really good position, personally, and you're gonna put your company in a good position as well.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. You know, one of the things that we did at my company was I actually hired a full time HR system specialist. And her full time job is to do nothing other than find solutions and ways to automate processes, so that we're more effective and efficient. That's her full time job. And we've already unlocked value and time and like reduced frustration, in the short time that she's been with the company, and, you know, in the back of my mind, it's also like, Well, what a great way for a new professional to enter the organization, and understand the ins and outs of all of these different processes, and how they work to place her for growth down the road, right. So it's like, it's, it's, it's been a really value add position, I'm fortunate my company, you know, lets me hire those types of roles and like, simple, you know, supports me in that type of endeavor. But I would encourage, you know, if you've got, you know, if you're thinking about adding or focusing on this, you know, think about actually investing time energy resources into this, to get something out of it. I mean, I, I'm a strong believer, it's worth it.

Phil Strazzulla:

Totally agree. Yeah, if you've got the resources, and you're, you've got to extra sort of FTE and you're thinking about, should we get a people analytics person? Should we get an HR business partner like somebody that's like more strategic, I would 1,000% recommend somebody that focuses on basically people operations, or recruiting or whatever you want to call them just focus on what are the tech? What are the processes? And how do we make it better? Absolutely.

Kyle Roed:

Well, this has just been a wonderful conversation, we are just about at time. So we're gonna shift gears, we're gonna go into the, the rebel HR flash round. So question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Phil Strazzulla:

I think HR needs to rebel against an attitude of I don't get a seat at the table, and focus more on how do I earn a seat at the table? I, I, unfortunately, and this isn't everybody, right. But there are a decent swath of folks out there who are like, I'm not given the, you know, time of day, and I'm not given this, and I'm not given this, you got to earn it. And one of the ways that you are now in my opinion, is you think in terms of the business value, and you make these ROI models and you pitch them and you do a good job of internal stakeholder management, and you do a good job on the project, you evangelize that you did a good job, and all of a sudden, you've got your seat at the table. I

Kyle Roed:

couldn't agree more. You know, I think it's really easy to get caught in that kind of victim mentality of you know, my organization doesn't value me or doesn't respect me. And in some cases, unfortunately, that may be true. But more often than not, you can earn it, you know, it's just, it's just about turning out, you know, turn it out with that company values. And then, you know, you don't have to ask for it to last for you. Right. Yeah.

Molly Burdess:

And I think no matter where you're at in your career, like that's something that we always need to remind ourselves, I think sometimes it's pretty easy to slip back into that. So for me anyway, you know, I just have to remind myself that often.

Kyle Roed:

You're pretty good at that. Molly. Try to stay humble. Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Phil Strazzulla:

It's a great question. Um, there's a guy named Ryan dole, who runs a consulting firm called SAGE mark. And I found him to be a very thoughtful, HR, professional focus, actually, mostly on talent acquisition at larger companies. And every time I talk to him, I learned something new. And so he's putting content out there, I suggest people take a listen.

Kyle Roed:

Very cool. Have to check that out. All right. Last question. How can our listeners connect with you and learn more?

Phil Strazzulla:

Sure. So if you're looking at HR tech, go to slug software reviews.com. If you want to connect with me, you can look me up on LinkedIn, Phil, stretch Zulu, with two Z's and two L's. I'm the only one out there. And we'd love to, you know, fill any questions and put you in the right direction.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. We will have all that information in the show notes. So open up your podcast player. Check it out, you know, just a little bit of a plug here. I mean, if you go out to the website, you can go you can see what's out there. You know, there's popular categories out there. There's some descriptions on what these Things are, you know, even if you're just kind of new to this world, and you just want to learn and start to figure out where to, you know where to start, you know, a great website out there. I just sent it to my my system specialist. So she'll have all sorts of ideas by the end of this week.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, give us the feedback if you have any.

Kyle Roed:

Sounds good. Well, Molly. Phil, thank you so much for joining us today. It's just been an absolutely wonderful conversation, appreciate you helping us make better decisions, and challenging us to think a little bit differently about HR Tech. Thanks.

Phil Strazzulla:

Thank you guys.

Kyle Roed:

All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe

(Cont.) RHR 126: Pick the right HR Tech with Phil Strazzulla