Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 26: The Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future HR Tech with Marc S. Miller

January 12, 2021 Kyle Roed / Molly Burdess / Marc Miller Season 1 Episode 26
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 26: The Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future HR Tech with Marc S. Miller
Chapters
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 26: The Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future HR Tech with Marc S. Miller
Jan 12, 2021 Season 1 Episode 26
Kyle Roed / Molly Burdess / Marc Miller

Join Kyle Roed and Molly Burdess as they speak with Marc Miller, President and Founder of Marc S. Miller Associates.  

Marc has been an independent HR technology consultant for over 35 years, specializing in HR Technology Strategic Planning, Needs Analysis, Vendor Evaluation, Cost Justification, etc. 

Considered an HRIS, HR Technology Thought Leader, and one of only a few independent sole proprietor consultants in the industry. Well known educator, speaker on HR Technology topics.

Among many speeches: closing Keynote speaker at OHUG 2011 - Las Vegas - over 3000 in audience. Other speaking engagements for Workforce Magazine's "Live" HR conference in NYC, NuView Software Annual Users Conference in New Orleans, presented the closing Keynote at TMA's Strategic Workforce Management Conference - June 2013 - in Las Vegas, SHRM HR NY and NJ State Conferences.

Columnist and contributor to many industry periodicals.

Published first book "HeroicHR" - May 2012 - "A little book with BIG ideas" - presenting my passion and philosophy of the need for HR to align itself with the business of the company in which it works. To present strategic, value added information to all stakeholders and to move from "Data Management to Information Craftsmanship". Published by IHRIMPublications and Futura Publishing NEW ! Second Edition - Available upon request via website.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcsmiller/
https://www.marcsmillerassociates.com/

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.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle Roed and Molly Burdess as they speak with Marc Miller, President and Founder of Marc S. Miller Associates.  

Marc has been an independent HR technology consultant for over 35 years, specializing in HR Technology Strategic Planning, Needs Analysis, Vendor Evaluation, Cost Justification, etc. 

Considered an HRIS, HR Technology Thought Leader, and one of only a few independent sole proprietor consultants in the industry. Well known educator, speaker on HR Technology topics.

Among many speeches: closing Keynote speaker at OHUG 2011 - Las Vegas - over 3000 in audience. Other speaking engagements for Workforce Magazine's "Live" HR conference in NYC, NuView Software Annual Users Conference in New Orleans, presented the closing Keynote at TMA's Strategic Workforce Management Conference - June 2013 - in Las Vegas, SHRM HR NY and NJ State Conferences.

Columnist and contributor to many industry periodicals.

Published first book "HeroicHR" - May 2012 - "A little book with BIG ideas" - presenting my passion and philosophy of the need for HR to align itself with the business of the company in which it works. To present strategic, value added information to all stakeholders and to move from "Data Management to Information Craftsmanship". Published by IHRIMPublications and Futura Publishing NEW ! Second Edition - Available upon request via website.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcsmiller/
https://www.marcsmillerassociates.com/

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.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Marc Miller:

Everything is ready. Their software is there, their email is set up, they have access to the systems they need to do their particular job. Their boss or direct report manager is there, giving them a welcome and maybe taking them to lunch in the cafeteria or whatever. But that whole onboarding begins to sense of engagement that should be pushed forward for the life of that employee at that organization, assuming that person becomes a good productive worker.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're professional looking for innovative, thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. All right, welcome rebel HR listeners. I am extremely excited for our guest today. He has such a long intro, I will do my best but he is an Oji HR rebel. So Mark s. Miller is the president and founder of Mark s. Miller associates, and is known throughout the HR technology industry. He his newest keynote speech is the death of HR who killed h Harriet our rows job. And in he's delivered that message in front of 1000s of HR professionals. Additionally, he has been a consultant for over 33 years. He has a few books out heroic HR, and the death of HR. He's an adjunct professor at NYU. So welcome to the show. Mark.

Marc Miller:

Thank you very much, Kyle, it's a pleasure to be with you this morning. It's a beautiful day. And it's always very exciting to talk about HR and HR as role of leveraging technology in, in their, in their efforts to to capture what they need about their employee population. And this pandemic pandemic is certainly in my view, strengthen the the importance and the critical need for HR to to do an effective job in in keeping track of and maintaining and caring about their their employee population.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely love it. Now, we're also joined today by Molly, our wonderful co host.

Molly Burdess:

Hi guys.

Marc Miller:

I'm Ali.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, let's get started. So Mark, I did my best to to do an intro for you. But there's so much there that I couldn't get through it all. So why don't we start off what you just tell me a little bit about yourself?

Marc Miller:

Okay, I am here in White Plains, New York. It's a suburb of New York City. Born and raised in New Yorker, I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and I lived in the suburbs of New York City. I my first career was a chemist, I was actually a degreed, organic chemist and I was working at a company called geigy chemicals that became Ciba geigy. That then became Novartis. And I felt that I was a pair of hands for a PhD and I got a master's in chemistry, but I just said, I'm not going to get a PhD. And I went for an MBA and industrial psychology, which is the topic I chose because it sounds interesting, it was people oriented. And the MBA was from a university in my backyard in New Rochelle, New York, I own a college IO Ma. So I enjoyed industrial psychology. So I started looking around and there was an ad for something called personnel analyst and I said, Oh, personnel. That sounds interesting. That's part of industrial psychology. And it turned out that that was a job within a company called Information Science. Turns out information science was the first company that actually put a database together of, of data fields related to skills, inventory, and job titles and job location by a group of four renegades. I might call them rebels as well, Kyle, and we left IBM, when they went to IBM when they were working there. They said we want to maintain a database of our employees here at IBM. And they said, No, we know our employees is in the late 60s, early 70s. I'm an aging Boomer. So they said no. And they left and founded information science. And they started putting together master files of data related to skills and competencies. And then their first few clients as well for maintaining skills and competencies. Let's add job titles. Let's add location, let's add education and training. So they ended up creating a master file with key punch cards and a mainframe in the basement. And I got I joined onto them back in the 70s. And my boss was a former chemist, so he hired me because he said if I could do the job, you could do the job. So from there, I never looked back and I was involved with HR technology from the early stages watching it progressed through the use of mainframes and mini computers and micro computers and then eventually networks and then eventually What we see today, which is amazing in terms of what's available for anybody who's looking at any number of 1000s of software vendors that provide HR related software solutions, and from working in Information Science, I worked at Boeing Computer Services. I worked at Price Waterhouse, Coopers towers Perrin now towers Watson. And then back in 1983, I started my own consulting firm, Marcus Miller associates and, and haven't looked back since. So it's been over 30 years that I've been doing my own thing, as a sole proprietor focusing on my clients need for an HR technology strategy, making sure I'm totally independent of software vendors. Most of my work in the early days, has been doing the needs analysis and the vendor evaluations and helping my clients select from a pool of vendors, vendors that offered an effective HR technology solution. And those are the key vendors. And they've, they've obviously changed over the years. But I've always stayed independent, so that I was never involved with the actual implementation of a solution. But always helping my clients identify the best fit, and do the needs analysis, vendor evaluation, evaluation in terms of product demonstrations, due diligence, contract negotiations, etc. And as a result, I taught for the American Management Association, and they would put me in the, in the 1890s, in the 2000s, around the country teaching a three day class on HR technology. And in those days, nobody had HR system. So I would be in front of lots of people in various cities and eat as a result of that I was able to get clients and kept going. I've transitioned more recently more to adjunct teaching at NYU, and Manhattan college and Long Island University. And it's been great as a as a late career move between book writing and teaching my students. And these are students that now with the pandemic are that are dialing in on zoom and therefore around the globe. So it's pretty interesting. And we're talking about the impact of HR and, and why it needs to be viewed as a strategic partner in any size organization. So that that's enough background for me.

Molly Burdess:

You have an impressive resume.

Marc Miller:

Thank you, Molly.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, so you have seen so you have seen from the very beginning. And I gotta believe that, that that was fascinating to watch over the years. When you were starting in this field. Did you imagine that we would be where we are today back then?

Marc Miller:

Absolutely not. I don't think anyone did. I, you know, up until some really forward thinking, people that came into the industry like David Duffield, who created PeopleSoft, and now is the creator of workday. And then Oracle, and then some of the other vendors that are still around. It was pretty much scattershot in terms of what was being offered out there. Of course, there was always Cronos, and ADP, but they were known for payroll and time and timekeeping. But eventually, they started to add Human Resources functionality to their products. And that's when the industry began to boom, when people understood the importance of tracking employees and doing succession planning, performance appraisals, performance evaluation, identifying key key workers, and showing that the employee population and the culture of an organization is the one thing that cannot be copied by a competitor. And that's what makes companies differentiated from each other. And those that were at those that had more engaged employees seem to be the ones and it's proven Kyle and Mike Molly, that the the engagement factor of the workforce is going to increase revenue and sales on a one to one relationship almost. So yes, and then there's always been software vendors beginning with those early ones like ADP and Ceridian and, and ultimate software, and then they added to their functionality. And then along came the smartphones and the tablets and their ability to use that that landscape to bring the system's functionality into the hands of the end users with portals and Employee Self Service and manager self service and and then the generations in the workforce expect this now the kids that have grown up with smartphones that they're not Going to join a company when they're going to see a green screen that doesn't exist anymore. They have expectations of being able to manage themselves and their direct reports in their smartphones and tablets at a minimum. And so it's really progressed. And now with artificial intelligence and, and metrics and workforce analytics, it's really a boon to HR and the pandemic, on top of that has shown the need for HR to be a strategic partner.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. You know, it's, it's fascinating to hear that I, you know, I come from the generation where I didn't, I didn't have internet, when I was really young, but I, but I got it by the time I was getting into college. And, you know, that was, that was a game changer. And then, you know, my, my first job out of, or when during college was as an IT project manager. And then, and then I went into HR. And so you know, it technology has always been something that I've been able to leverage. And then I've had, I've also had the perspective of I started with, with a really large retailer, right out of school, and they had huge system capabilities, I mean, to the point of like, I didn't have to think, to find an applicant or to, to do a background check. It was just all automated. And then I went to a company that had an after that had a coronal system that was still on dos. You know, it's like, oh, my gosh, this is, technology is important. We need this and in this career.

Molly Burdess:

Kyle, I'm obviously a little bit younger than you. But I do remember those manual time cards, you'd write the time then the payroll, you have to collect them all. Those were the worst.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I yeah, so this is something that I am very passionate about, I truly believe that the future of HR is going to look very different than it does today. But there's still a lot of people who are nervous about some of that innovation or, you know, I think fearful that some of these jobs that are heavily administrative in nature will be taken away. Right, right. So So what do you see the future of HR will look like here in the next 20 3040 years?

Marc Miller:

I have no idea to go that far. But I can only tell you that right now. HR has to be focused on the pandemics, outcomes, and, and, and what's what the pandemic and what we've all been going through around the globe for the last year and maybe another half a year until the vaccinations come in. In fact, just this morning, I asked one of my colleagues to give me a list of data elements that I think an H a company needs to track with the vaccinations on the horizon. And, and there's all kinds of interesting articles that are pressing in my inbox, from sources like LinkedIn and other chat groups about what is hrs role regarding tracking the employees? And whether HR management or an employer can dictate and maybe even not, and maybe even force employees to be vaccinated, or mandate that they are and what are the legalities about? vaccination? So in the immediate future, we have lots of legal issues and, and ethical issues about can an employer mandate as an employee to be vaccinated? And if an employee chooses not to what are the repercussions? And those are open questions right now and there are some legalities about it that you could read about, but it is possible and one of the articles that I just printed out that I am passing along to my students, can you a boss fire you if you refuse to be mandated, if you refuse to be vaccinated, rather? And the answer is yes, in certain circuit circumstances. And so I can't even think about 10 years down the road, I could only think about maybe the next two years but before the pandemic hit, I think the use of natural unstructured language and sentiment analysis is where HR really drives important decisions in an organization and by sentiment analysis. And there are some vendors now the bigger vendors like Ceridian and ultimate and Kronos and workday, where they're able to actually identify such things as flight risk for the employee population, and thus they could use the famous nine box model, the one which has an axis of potential versus performance. You always want to be in the upper right high potential high performance. And you never want to be in the lowest corner, which is low potential low performance, because then you're called that dead wood. And you'll probably be let go or moved around. The sentiment analysis is now letting software vendors who've chosen to go in that route, use algorithms to look at what people type into their emails in an unstructured way to determine their mental attitude, whether they're angry with a disgruntled, whether they were disappointed, just by the choices of the English language that they use. And as a result, they're able to identify flight risk when they look at scorings based on somebody who's considered a high potential, or key employee, they can then see that there's some markers that say this person is not a happy camper right now. And if we don't act soon, this high potential high worker, high performance worker might jump to another company because they're feeling unappreciated and untrusted, unrewarded. And I think HR technologies is moving in that direction more and more to help organizations identify the thought and mentality of their workforce. Yes, people are talking about robotics as well. But I agree administrivia is still there. And we'll have to be there because we live in the least here in the United States, in an environment where regulations are required, and companies have to always fill out EEO one forms and OSHA forms and, and Americans with Disability Act compliance and all these other legislations that they're never going to go away. So somebody has to fill those things out and make sure they have the data. And now with vaccinations, I think there's going to be a new a new bunch of data added to any master file that HR vendors have to allow their clients to adapt, and, and use that to track the wellness and the safety, which should be top of mind, of any organization right now. So it wasn't a couple of years out. And you know, and I and we multi generations working together in the workforce. That's another issue. I think career management, and dealing with mentors and mentor Reis and passive, passive analysis of people who are sitting in, in their remote work and figuring out what their career path should be, and how to move people, not just vertically up a color career ladder, but also laterally to anything they express interest in doing to keep good people working for you.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So I wanna I want to touch on something maybe a little bit more, more granular, that you talked about. So when you talk about, you know, the email example, where if if, you know, if I'm typing in all caps, and, and my emails are always two sentence long with a lot of exclamation points, maybe, maybe I'm upset about something that makes sense. But how, you know, how do how does that work? Is that like, is that like an AI? algorithm bot that they install on your, on your email system? And then it's like Big Brother watching to see if, if Susie is mad at Bob, how does that work? It could very well

Marc Miller:

be that it is a bit of data science in the background. And there is a privacy issue, but more likely, it starts out as pulse surveys that management can use with the software from a vendor and and do trial balloons and ask for feedback on a potential policy. And then watch the wording that people say, Oh, I love it. I hate it. I think it's a stupid idea or things like that. In terms of organizational correspondence, in email, a chair chat boxes, that is not breaking any privacy laws, because employees are using companies company time and company supplied equipment. So I don't think there's privacy about that in any I believe any anybody who's working in a company and working on a company's system has to recognize that there is no privacy.

Kyle Roed:

Right.

Molly Burdess:

And typically, those policies are very clearly outlined and any employee handbook.

Marc Miller:

That is correct, yeah. Oh, but the fact that they're able to look at your tone of voice so to speak and the words a employee chooses is something thing that I think is relatively new and more and more algorithms are embedded in ad hoc report writers and, and, and various other feature functions of a system provided by any of the key vendors. So it's all, it's all built in. And you could choose to use it or not, when you purchase a product set from a big player and in the top tier of our industry.

Kyle Roed:

Fascinating,

Molly Burdess:

very fascinating. Lots of dive in into. But before we do that, I just want to back up because I hear this a lot like HR tech, all that data, all that strategic thinking based on data, great, but only for the big companies, the big organizations, I am a smaller organization, maybe 100 to 300 people. Can I find value out of HR tech and all this data?

Marc Miller:

Oh, yes. First of all, the legislation in America at least requires certain reports and data tracking for any company over 50 employees. And if you're a company that has any federal contract, it goes even deeper than that. But it doesn't cost that much money to have an organization run your company's payroll for 100 employees. I mean, ADP created its entire business model based on that back in the 1940s. When they were they were running payroll for mom and pop candy stores in the corners of cities around the world, or at least in America, they went around the world. And the costs were pennies per paycheck. So I think there's definitely HR technology of some kind, I'm not talking about a small First of all, a small company will not afford to buy a software product from any of the big tier vendors that sell an integrated HR payroll benefits. But I've always been a proponent of the fact that HR data is critical and payroll data is a subset of HR.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, well,

Marc Miller:

why should why shouldn't you, as a company manager, want an expert to do the calculation of gross gross to net and let those people do it within seconds, whether you instead of you having to do it on an Excel spreadsheet. And this value in that. So on the use and Benefits Administration as well, Molly, they're all they're all time eaters, and to let a software vendor do it automatically with their years of experience. And, and support makes a lot of sense, even if you're an employee of 25 to 50 employees. 50, please. And now, by the way, with all kinds of different employee, to employer relationships, and gig workers, you probably have a little bit more complexity and tracking who works for a particular company? Are they employees? Are they gig workers? Do they get covered with benefits? What kind of plans do we give some of these people? Do they all working from home? How do we keep them engaged as a lot on the minds of HR people now? And why not have a software vendor that's experienced and doing that?

Molly Burdess:

Absolutely. I don't disagree. And in fact, I think it's probably almost more important for some of these smaller organizations because it frees the HR individual up so they're able to be more strategic.

Marc Miller:

That is correct. And early on there was concerned Oh, I don't want to give the data to a software vendor, what if they give it out, or it's leaked, or, you know, these vendors have done a very good job with their security and backups, and, and in the cloud. So that has not been I mean, everybody still gets hacked a lot. That's a different issue. But as far as I know, organization have 1000s of employees using the cloud to deliver via the internet software for HR functionality, and they have hundreds of clients us your data from your company is kept separate and is backed up and is is very safe in terms of any other company see another company's data. And the software itself within a company's organization is also kept pretty safe because the the security and the access in terms of who could see what in a particular master file is controlled very deeply by rules that are set up by the implementation team. So only a manager can see his or her direct reports. And if you're on a team, you can only see yourself and maybe the people that report to you on a team. But if you don't have direct reports, you can only see yourself and you can request things on of your manager for employees. Self Service and then the manager using manager self service, which is through the portal, which these are feature functions of every good HR technology system today, the manager will be able to do all the approvals and the inter communications with employees requesting time off, the manager could do merit increases can do what iffing for salary distribution, could do, what if aim for merit bonus in distribution, can do performance appraisals, succession planning, career planning, that's what a manager does for only the employees that report to that manager. So the higher up you get in the chain, the software that's out there will control who could see what and who could do what, and it's at a click of a mouse. But that's as simple as that.

Molly Burdess:

I'm curious, from your perspective, when looking for HR technology, what what should we be looking for? And what do you think is the most important thing that HR and business leaders should be looking for in an HR technology?

Marc Miller:

There's a lot of factors that go into the selection of a software vendor. But most importantly, in the front end of any project, you should be identifying your as his situation and what I call the points of pain, the things that are inefficient and not productive that your company deals with because of your current environment that has to be done away with. So you want to find a vendor that provides a solution to mitigate your points of pain. And those points of pain can be problems with types of payroll, requiring multiple manipulations of multiple Excel spreadsheets that take up hours and hours for each pay period. For example, it could be other issues or scenarios that I call them that cause grief in the organization. And those things should be well documented and put into a detailed request for proposal and, and you look for vendors that will give you a sense that their solution makes that go away, because they have the answers built into their functionality. I think the bottom line and the key word that I look for is value, you want to choose a vendor that gives you the best bang for the buck that gives you the best value that saves your people the administrivia time that eats up their day. That that is supports employee engagement, that is a pleasing and graphical thing to look for. That is something that the newer generations expect and want to see on their tablet and on their smartphone. And it gives you all the functionality you're looking to, to derive in one single sign on integrated system. And that's what I think is important. And you want a vendor that has a proven track record, you have to do the due diligence, you have to check references. And then you negotiate the best contract you can and and make sure you have an executive sponsor that's behind your project effort that says yes, we need a new software solution. We want this functionality ABCD all the way down. And we want it integrated, and we want it to be integrated into our existing homepage and portal. And we want to have it secure. And we want to be able to do all these things. And in a managed, thoughtful, thoughtful, rolled out way. And we want a vendor that's not going to just sell a software and leave. We want a vendor that gives us an implementation plan and is there for us to to query and talk to on a daily basis if needed.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it makes perfect sense. And I think, you know, maybe to add to that one of the one of the other big challenges that I faced in any implementation is, is the actual change management within the HR team. Because a lot of a lot of individuals that are supporting the process, you know, may be working themselves out of a job, so to speak in certain aspects of what they do. So it's a lot of it's about making sure that you as an HR leader are working people through that change and in comforting them that this change is not to make them redundant, this changes to free up time so that they can be more effective. Dealing with the people which my argument is, I guess, here's my vision, take the HR tech to get rid of the minutiae, right doesn't help you help people. Right, and help people. That's my perspective.

Marc Miller:

And that's and that's been the underlying premise of all of my talks and all of my presentations and teaching is we're not making a choice. are obsolete when making HR strategic business partner and the people that are afraid of it? Well, obviously, you know, they may have to be dealt with. But they should understand that we want HR to be the owner of predictive analytics and workforce analytics, interchangeable words in my mind that create scenarios that lead to, in my definition, a new way of talking about AI, instead of artificial intelligence, actionable insights. So basically, HR could go to senior management and say, Look, we've got turnover for the last five years. In this geography, let's say it's in the northeast, and we're a car dealership. And we sell cars, right out of the showrooms, let's say pre pre pandemic, and we have X number of salesmen in their entire 50 showrooms here from Maine down to Maryland. And we've got five years worth of turnover and statistics for people in the sales function, customer facing selling cars of a certain kind. We've looked at this turnover. And if we do nothing to 500 salespeople we have today in December of 2020, they're going to be within six months down to 385. Because we have a turnover percentage of X number. And we've done the math, and it looks like if we do nothing these people will will leave based on our turnover of the last five years, which has been proven accurate. So what that means is HR can go to senior management and say, guess what we're aligned with the organization, we have a CH, ro, are we or is to chro, we know that we're planning to new models to come rolling off this assembly lines in wherever we produce these cars, whether it's American made or European. And if we do nothing, you're not going to have enough salespeople in 2021 2022, to sell these cars, because it takes time for the salespeople to learn the new feature functions or any new model. So senior management say, Oh, yeah, that's a good idea. We better start thinking about recruiting, training and hiring today in December of 2020. So that we are ready in in January of 2022, for this new model, which we all know is in the strategic plan of the company to generate and fill the showcases with the showrooms. So it's an actionable insight where they could get moving tomorrow, and start talking to the recruiters and start talking to everybody they need in order to start attracting new salespeople. Because if they did nothing, they're going to have a shortfall. So what I'm saying is using old data, predicting it forward, using a regression analysis as a simple thing, gives HR a piece of power to go to senior management saying guess what we need to take action today, in order to be in the right place at the right time with the right people at the right salary. Who have the right competencies in 2022, for example, simple, crazy example. But

Kyle Roed:

it works, you know, absolutely. And you're touching on something that's near and dear to my heart, which is, you know, predictive analytics is that's, that's really where the secret sauces in my mind, it's, it's let's take this data, but then let's actually do something with it. And let's put together a plan and a strategy. You know, a story, I'll use a previous employer, we have turnover issue, I mean, significant, you know, in the 30% range. And when you multiply that by 1000 people working at your facility, that's pretty simple math, that's 300 people that you have to hire, and train every single year. And it's just this, it was just this cycle, this repetitive cycle. And by looking at that one of the underlying causes of that turnover was actually staffing. Because there was so much turnover, there wasn't enough, there were not enough people working. So the workload went up for everybody. So that caused more people to quit. So the solution was actually over hire, so that we can actually stop the bleeding. And then circle back in with some retention initiatives to stop people from leaving on the other side. But it was like we couldn't stop people from leaving, unless we hired enough people to stop people from leaving. But, but when you looked at the data, it became very clear and it became a much easier strategy to execute and to get support for so so give me An example of a scenario where, you know, predictive analytics have have helped an HR department figure out one of the solutions to a problem they're facing.

Marc Miller:

Okay, well, I think I go back to the old, my standard that I love, and that's the nine box model. And it's part of the performance appraisal, succession planning combination, where you're able to identify a top key employee, and, and analyze, of that group of key employees, which ones are underpaid, and disgruntled, whether it's using those analytics we talked about, and that sentiment analysis, which then allows HR management to intervene and and do more for either groups of employees, or actually specific employees in terms of having conversations that keep these people engaged. And listen, it costs a lot of money for a good worker to leave a company hurts the company dearly, and significant amounts of money are lost. And it takes a lot of money to replace a key worker. So I think one of the hot topics, especially now with the pandemic, and working from home, is how to keep your good workers engaged. And, and, and in general, and how to prevent flight risk. And if HR has a hand in identifying who might in the future jump ship. I think that's that's a winner right there.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely,

Marc Miller:

it's all related to engagement. And it's all related to employees feeling that the yoke, the organization has their well being in mind, and inaction. And I think due to the pandemic, which will never ever go beyond in terms of thinking about its impact as we go 10 years into the future. One of the trends that you see from organizations like Sherm who were talking to senior leaders, 1000s of them, number one, Top of Mind is employee safety and well being. And whatever it takes to make employees feel that they can continue in their working environment, under under a sense of safety and and reducing the disquiet and an anxiety that's making them less productive nowadays, due to the pandemic. So, HR in terms of tracking who's working were providing EAP capabilities and player assistance programs, anonymous ways for employees to call and talk to people, ways to engage employees, we're coming into the holiday season, and there's been articles crossing my inbox about how to have holiday parties remotely. And do they make sense and can they be good weather whatever an employer can do to support a sense of community and well being reduced the anxiety that's gone on now for almost a year will hold them in good stead for keeping their top employees going. And, and not losing these workers and the sentiment analysis and analytics and, and modeling and projecting and looking at key competencies are all HR data elements. And and now I expect the HR vendors that provide the master files by the way, Kyle and Molly, they have to allow their their end users their clients to go into the master file and add new data elements into the system for record keeping related to vaccinations down to the individual employee level. So there's going to be a series of new data elements that need to be tracked in terms of who's accepting the ability to take a vaccination, and then tracking the dates of vaccination, the location of vaccination, the provider of the vaccination, and then maybe using that in the future in terms of looking at their mindset and performance a year from now, and comparing those that were vaccinated versus not. It is also known that there are religious reasons and other health reasons that employees will refuse to be vaccinated. And if you receive the news channels, they're talking about 42% of Americans Want to take the vaccine? So how many of them work for a company? And what's the company going to do about it? If employees don't want to be vaccinated? Which they have reasons to say no. And what do they What does an organization do? When you're asking employer employees to come back to the workplace and sit next to somebody who's not been vaccinated for whatever reasonable reason? And that's an interesting policy question that's going to face everybody in the year ahead.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I've that's a question we have not answered at my organization yet. But we've had many discussions and at this point, undetermined is the the honest, I stay away from it's great

Marc Miller:

that your organization's even having that discussion, because I don't think many are yet although it's meant to get some some publicity, but not a heck of a lot. But in in the thought leadership chat channels on LinkedIn, and some articles from human resources executive, and Sherm, you're seeing, again, these articles about one of the questions related to vaccinations that HR has to tread the line on legally and, and in common sense wise, I guess.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I think, you know, the pandemic, has, has certainly stretched HR. But I also think it's given us a great opportunity to leverage technology more fully and become much more efficient and effective in how we administer our work. So, you know, my organization, for example, we're international 26 locations, 11 different countries, I before the pandemic spent a large amount of my time traveling, to go see these locations. But you know, I couldn't get everywhere in a year. And so, you know, we've been able to leverage some of this video technology. Molly, have you done that at your organization?

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, absolutely. Definitely limited travel. And it's crazy how much time it gives you back into your day and your year, which is, which is great. Do a lot of video meetings? Of course. Yeah. We're trying to utilize it as much as possible. And then also from a customer perspective, as well, like front facing, okay, how can we serve our customers differently and utilize technology to also help us serve? Help us serve those customers? And then take it another step? interviewing hiring, we have a I mean, that doesn't stop that didn't stop for us. And I think for a lot of people, it didn't stop, or it might have stopped for a short period of time, and then it picked back up. So I'm curious, Mark, I want to get your opinion or your perspective on video interviewing and the automation behind that? Because I think that's a hot topic in some of our organizations right now is will this be beneficial for us? Will it save time? Is it the right thing to do? Are we going to lose that on applicants? I mean, there's a lot that goes into it. So I just want to get your perspective on that technology specifically?

Marc Miller:

That's a great question, Molly. And there's so many pieces to that. I mean, there's video interviewing, and then there's just phone interviewing without the video, which is another issue. But video interview, interviewing and the automation of onboarding is, is part of the functionality of many of the vendors to begin with. Then when you add the complexity of having the recruiters do video interviewing, and having the applicants get all anxious about how did they go? What do I do? How do I prepare? How do I look? It's a concern. And there are there are talks about, well, maybe video is not the best solution, because there's bias in terms of how these people view each other, on the part of the recruiter and part of the candidate or the applicant, looking at a recruiter face to face on a screen. You know, there can be some, some issues there with regard to how people interact and communicate when they're sitting in front of a screen. Now I've seen some new technology where companies are using the ability of giving the ability of candidates to video themselves. review it, edit, do it again, do it again, do it again and then submit it and not have an interactive discussion, but are good they are given a series of topics to address in their video package so to speak. They can then use the camera on their smartphone or their desktop or tablet. And they're given constraints of it has to be less than 15 minutes and you have to answer these three major questions. And then when you're ready, submit And even that aspect can be automated. And there is software now that I've read about where the recruiting function generates that series of questions, and provides the ability for a candidate to record themselves, and and change it until they're ready. And then they submit it within a given timeframe. And within a given length of time, and I think that's where it's going to go. I don't think it's going to be like a zoom call between a recruiter and a candidate. I think these seem to be the best what solution so that you avoid a recruiter, seeing this person, and it could be a video, maybe that's an option as well. They, they submitted without a video,

Molly Burdess:

there's technology that's even automating the pre screen process. So maybe not even a person, but the technology goes in and says, Okay, I'm going to pass this person on, but not this person. Do you know, like, there will be bias in that as well? Or is there a way to remove that bias as automated? Like?

Marc Miller:

I'm not a data scientist. But yes, there's, there's bias and everything in terms of an interview, whether it's audio or video or combination, and artificial intelligence, because human beings created the algorithms that drive artificial intelligence, there might be unconscious bias. I don't think that'll ever go away. And I think we have to live with it. Kyle, I'm

Molly Burdess:

curious your perspective on that? Because I would agree the the bias is, is my number one thing when it when we think about these video interviews, and this is kind of your expertise? I'm curious on your perspective.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. I mean, if I just think about this week, I think I've done five video interviews, and every single one of them, we had some sort of a tech issue at the beginning. You know, it just it just, it just sucks. It just throws off the the the relationship building aspect of the interview, it's really hard to get to know somebody. So I mean, I think video interviews have a place I think they're, they're a hell of a lot better than a phone screen. Because you can you get to see somebody's nonverbal communication, which I appreciate. But I still I am not comfortable hiring somebody until I meet him face to face. That's just, that's just where I'm at. If there is a technology that can eliminate some of that bias, and I think Mark, I'm really fascinated to hear about this program, because it I worry about bias. For people who aren't as tech savvy recording a video, you know, the video might be screwed up versus like my nine year old who could whip up a YouTube video in 20 minutes, and it looks like edited in like stop motion. And like, I don't even know how he does it. Right. It's like, I think we could be, you know, causing some bias if we adopt that type of screening as well. So it's there's just a lot of questions there.

Molly Burdess:

With that being said, I mean, tech savviness is really important and one of my organization, so it's also very eye opening on if these candidates can problem solve, and how well they can do with that, with those challenges. So it's been eye opening there. And then I would also agree, Kyle, that I struggle to to hire somebody that I've never met, but I'm going to take a step further. I really struggle to hire somebody that's never been in the organization that they're potentially going to work, never met the peers never seen the environment and the culture. Like that's my biggest hesitation with that.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I mean, it's the you know, if you don't give somebody a realistic job preview, right, I'm sure there's logistics to back this up. If they don't know what they're walking into when they walk into and their expectations are not met, they're probably going to leave.

Molly Burdess:

Absolutely.

Marc Miller:

One of the things related to that is when I talk about onboarding to my students, as a major critical component of it's the first point of engagement for a new hire, and that you want the technology to allow onboarding to occur. And you're looking for a vendor and it could be a separate vendor that's on top of a gem of an integrated hrms solution. And by the way, when I when I talk about HR is or HR, MS, or H CMS human capital management systems, HR is human resource information systems and it's hrs with the third with HR is h hrms. Never mind guys, but it's all the same. It's an integrated large scale, top tier, integrated HR payroll benefits solution, but also there are niche vendors that do onboarding, or onboarding as part of the applicant tracking. And what I'm talking about here is the ability for a person who signed a letter of offer. They're given a pin number. They're given a an access code to a component of the company's homes home landing page, built only for For a new hire, and it's prior to that first day of work, then viewing videos by the President or the senior level person in the company, they get videos of their colleagues, their future colleagues, they get a tour of where they're going to work in normal times, they get an understanding of what their first project might be. And they get a great big happy welcome from the people that they're going to see. Even before they get to the first day of work. In addition to that, they're given all that policy documents, they're given all the things they have to read and acknowledge. And they put in all the data they need as a new hire, before their first day of work. Thus, on their first day of work, assuming they going into the office before, once the pandemic is resolved, to some extent, everything is ready, their software is there, their email is set up, they have access to the systems they need to do their particular job. Their boss or direct report manager is there, giving them a welcome and maybe taking them to lunch in the cafeteria or whatever. But that whole onboarding begins to sense of engagement, that should be pushed forward for the life of that employee at that organization, assuming that person becomes a good productive worker.

Kyle Roed:

Fascinating. Yeah, that's, that's great. Well, Mark, we are unfortunately getting to the end of our time together. So I want to make sure that we get through the HR flash round here. So we're going to jump right into it. So flash round question one. What are you reading right now?

Marc Miller:

A two things are my night table of one is the new Obama book. whatever the heck it is, I don't remember the name.

Kyle Roed:

I think the promised land Promised Land today.

Marc Miller:

Yeah. A Promised Land. Yes. And also a new thriller by Michael Connelly, who I like a lot. The Lincoln Lawyer, author.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, question number two, Who should we be listening to?

Marc Miller:

In terms of work life? Dave, oh rich, Josh Burson are two people that I pay attention to stay away from politicians even in the new administration, so far, because they have yet to prove. That's an interesting question. On the personal note, you your family members.

Kyle Roed:

My wife would agree with you.

Marc Miller:

Yeah, I was gonna say the wives.

Kyle Roed:

That's a great point. All right. Last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Marc Miller:

Oh, that's an easy one. Um, my website is Mark s. Miller associates.com. Any of your listeners could mention that they heard me on your wonderful podcast and request to connect on LinkedIn. They could look up my name, it's mark with a C ma RC, as they probably know by now. And and that's that's probably the best way.

Kyle Roed:

Perfect. Yeah. And if you want to check out more of what Mark has to say, some great books, heroic HR, and the death of HR who killed Harriet rose job. So

Marc Miller:

let me just say, that's a cautionary tale. It's I'm not saying that HR has to die. It is a detective story that I created. always wanting to be a writer, I think. And I created this character of Harriet rose, who's a do nothing old line HR manager who's worked for a company for many years, doesn't trust technology doesn't share, you know, has a bunch of traits that people feel that she's not helpful and she was targeted and there are many suspects to her just to her death. She's found with a mouse cord wrapped around her neck and I play the role as a detective. But in the book, there's discussions as to why benefits and Ms payroll and Ms shareholder and you resources and Ted Doug vendor and many other many other suspects. I have Arturo intelligent day artificial intelligence, and many are human eyes suspects that had reason to do away with a roadblock obstacle, who was represented in human form by Harriet rose job. So it's the death of a job but it's a detective cautionary cautionary tale, where it's basically giving my readers a chance to understand what they need to do. Not to be talking about how to be somebody that everybody values and wants to work with which she was not.

Kyle Roed:

Love it. Love it. That sounds fascinating. So check that out. We'll also have all of that information and contact information in the show notes if you want to check it out there. So Mark, thank you so much for the time of day I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Molly, as always, thanks for joining us. Have a great rest your day.

Marc Miller:

And Molly, it was a pleasure, my pleasure and an honor to be asked to participate. Thank you. Thanks, Mark.

Kyle Roed:

All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. They come to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel Human Resources calm. Using opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast is the author's not necessarily

Jude Roed:

maybe