Mark Feffer & William Tincup
Ceridian INSIGHTS was back this year and it was and better than ever. Attendees immersed themselves in visionary thought leadership, actionable advice from industry experts and engaging exhibits.
RecruitingDaily’s very own William Tincup and Mark Feffer sat down with leaders from across the globe to discuss changing the world of work. Topics ranged from work/life integration, optimal employee experiences, application implementation success and organizational goals to how Dayforce Wallet is revolutionizing fortnight pay in the UK, breaking down Ceridian’s latest Pulse of Talent report and so much more.
Listening time: 19 minutes
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This is RecruitingDaily’s Recruiting Live podcast where we look at the strategies behind the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We talk recruiting, sourcing and talent acquisition. Each week, we take one over complicated topic and break it down so that your three year old can understand it. Make sense? Are you ready to take your game to the next level? You’re at the right spot. You’re now entering the mind of a hustler. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup (00:32):
Ladies and gentlemen, this William Tincup and you’re listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today we have Mark Feffer on and we’re going to be talking all about our work together at Ceridian INSIGHTS. We were at a user conference in Vegas and it was fantastic and I’ve been to Ceridian INSIGHTS probably 10 times as an analyst and it’s such a different experience as press or as an analyst. You get treated in different ways. But this one, we were in the partner hall, it was you, myself, a couple people from RecruitingDaily and a couple people from Ceridian. We’d had a whole podcast thing set up and we had guests scheduled and it was a lot of energy. I mean, what I liked about it is it was reminiscent of 2018, 2019 from an energy perspective. There’s constant traffic. It was loud. There was a hustle and a bustle to it. It was really nice. In terms of conversations that I think that I had, we had several conversations, again, like Mark said, with both practitioners, Ceridian executives, but also partner executives.
I think my favorite out of all of them was probably Donnebra who really kind of talked about the pulse of talent report that they had just done. She was just really dynamic and we went deep into DEI really quickly and so I think all of them are memorable. I think all the episodes are worth listening to. But that was the one just because she was just a kind of force to be reckoned with and just a really, really strong personality, super smart and the report itself also kind of gleaned some really interesting tidbits as well. How about you?
Mark Feffer (02:35):
It was the whole thing that really excited me. What’d we talked to, 15 people I think and they were all really smart people who knew their portion of the business really well. They were all very engaging. But you really got a sense of how much brain power is at work in the HR technology space.
William Tincup (02:57):
Yeah and I think it was also fun for you and I. We don’t do as much stuff together online. We talk damn near every day and stuff like that. But we don’t do as much stuff like this and it was just fun stylistically because both of us, we see the market, have historically seen the market differently and just to be able to bounce off of each other in real time with guests was I think a lot of fun and I think it would be enjoyable for the audience to kind of go through that and kind of hear your questions, hear my questions, anecdotes and stories and things that the guests were throwing at us as well. I think there was a nice chemistry to what we were doing. But I absolutely agree with you. The intellect that was in front of us that we got to play with, this is the sad but unfortunate truth about podcasting or conversations in general. You can’t do much with folks that don’t give you much. There’s probably a more polite way of saying that.
But when you’re sitting down with really intelligent people, you can go in and out of a lot of discussions and topics and I’ve have learned this a long time ago. When people give you one word answers, you’re trying to get them to talk. You’re trying to pull things out of them, like, “What do you think about this?” And you’re like, “Well, I think it’s okay.” That’s hard. That’s hard. I mean some people still can make that work. But we had really, really good guests and again, we had people from Rev Tech, Dovetail, BDO, obviously Think Best Practice, Ceridian obviously. We had almost the entire executive team from Ceridian at different points, Equifax, Experian, the list goes on. It was just really, really smart people and I think topically you and I could bounce off of news, things that had just dropped. I think with the EMEA, Wendy, they had just dropped Digital Wallet and we were salivating at this idea of, okay, so in the UK they get paid once a month. Okay, that’s cool, whatever.
I guess they’re used to that and all of a sudden now they’ve got access to in real time their funds that they’ve accrued. So what kind of rippling changes is that going to have societally, not just for the people at Ceridian and customers and things like that. But I think you and I both bounce off that topic in different ways.
Mark Feffer (05:58):
Yeah, I think earned wage access has been around for about 10 years and suddenly in the last year it seems to have really started to gather steam. You have a lot of vendors out there with products. You’ve got Ceridian, as you said, moving into EMEA with their product. I think it’s going to be one of the more interesting areas to look at next year, which kind of goes to show you that stuff that other people might consider dull.
William Tincup (06:30):
Mark Feffer (06:31):
William Tincup (06:33):
Yeah, no, there’s innovation everywhere and this pay on demand earned [inaudible 00:06:39], I think for most people they look at it and they say, “Oh well yeah, you’re an Uber driver. You want to tab out at the end of the week or drive or whatever. Yeah. That seems reasonable.” It’s like, well yes and oh by the way, if you’re an accountant with Deloitte and you want to do that, you can also do that and to your point, it’s been around. Ceridian, even their digital wallet’s been in the US and Canada for a while. But bringing it across the pond, that’s interesting and again, to your point, there’s innovation that happens in work tech everywhere.
It’s just you once you got to look for it and you got to find it and you and I talked after HR Tech about the wonderful world of kind background screens and about identity verification and it’s like you talk about something that could be probably the least sexiest thing in HR tech background screening, almost commoditized and all of a sudden they’ve had a new life because now they’re moving more to a SAS model and into continuous identity verification, which is fascinating because you and I grew up in a world where, well of course you did a background check. You went for a job. You got to a certain point in the application process and they ran a check on you to make sure you weren’t a murderer or something. Okay, fair enough. But the risk now is, well, yeah, you do that at the beginning. But the risk is okay, that person gets charged for rape or whatever, two or three weeks into their tenure. They don’t have to disclose to the company that they’re under indictment or any of those types of things. They don’t have to disclose that.
Yet, your brand is now associated with whatever’s going on in their lives. So I think, again, you mentioned it with payroll being not sexy. There’s a bunch of core HR stuff that’s not sex benefits. But when we say they’re not sexy, what we’re really saying is, yeah, there’s some innovation in there that you should pay attention to.
Mark Feffer (08:57):
Right. Actually, one of the most interesting people we talked to, at least to me, was David Lloyd. Dave Lloyd is the chief data officer for Ceridian and we were talking about at one point data and burnout, how data can be used to tease out burnout to help employers get a better handle on the state of their workforce’s mind. Now I’m a guy who almost flunked high school math and for me to sit down and talk for half an hour with a chief data officer, understand it, well it’s first a credit his ability to explain it. But you really can’t help but be fascinated by some of the things that are going on under the hood in payroll, in workforce management, in any of those things.
William Tincup (09:50):
Yeah. They’re sitting on so much data, Ceridian and payroll providers in general. They’re sitting on so much data. They’ve always been sitting on so much data. But they’re sitting on so much data and now they’re applying all these really interesting analytics to it. His discussion with us about burnout was, I think, fascinating from the perspective of there’s predictors. There’s things that are going on that you can see in the data that if you know as a manager or a business owner, etc, if you know those things and know those are triggers, a person hasn’t three weeks in a row. They’ve got overtime and their anniversary is coming up. You can pull all this data together in a way that basically says you should do this for this employee proactively. So it’s almost like looking at data, the data then saying here’s what’s going on and then now be proactive I think is just fascinating and I think we’ll see more of that to come. But his conversation is absolutely one of the episodes. I think you should listen to all the episodes because I think there’s nuggets in all of them.
But I think I agree with you. That was a really fun conversation. I think we could have probably had another hour with him legitimately. Yeah.
Mark Feffer (11:19):
[inaudible 00:11:19] Yeah. You know who else was really interesting was Soman Mandel.
William Tincup (11:25):
Mark Feffer (11:26):
I’m not sure I’m pronouncing that right. But he’s the general manager of talent intelligence for Ceridian and he’s actually the first person I met who’s spending their time thinking about talent intelligence.
William Tincup (11:39):
We hit him pretty hard with that, you and I, because we came away from HR Tech wondering in one way, shape or another was this talent intelligence just a buzzword? Was it kind of a reframing of workforce planning? Was it just nothingness like a lot of things that happened in HR Tech? Was it just marketing shtick and so you and I hit him pretty hard and that’s actually an episode really worth listening if you’re as cynical as I am when it comes to some of these terms. I first met him a hundred years ago when he started Ideal Candidate, which then became Ideal, which was an AI play and again, talent intelligence, but mostly at that point on the candidate side and what can we learn from the candidate’s behavior and how does that help us, etc and so now Ceridian acquired Ideal and with the acquisition now he’s applying that mentality.
But he’s applying that with much bigger data set and across the entire life cycle and to your point, he is the first person that I think legitimately that I’ve met that’s in it, that’s got his hands down in the mud actually doing it and he’ll be interesting to talk to next year and see what’s what’s come of the last year of talent intelligence.
Mark Feffer (13:15):
Yeah, I think you’re right and then there was Carly Meyer of Rev Tech Consulting and she was interesting. One reason is because she gave, I thought, a pretty clear view of what’s going on out on the ground.
William Tincup (13:34):
Yep and they had just completed an acquisition. Essentially three firms came together and on the front end was kind of vendor selection, which is kind of all three of them are consulting firms. But one was more the vendor selection part. The other was more of an implementation SI, system integrator, approach and the other was kind of change management and doing all of the things that happen communication wise around technology change. So those were three different firms that then were now put together into one firm to help people. I think there’s probably four or five conversations where we talked about SI, system integrators, more than I’ve talked about in a number of years. So I think that was fascinating to talk to different people at different vantage points about SIS, like what are you getting out of an SI? How do you pick an SI? How do you know you’re getting into a quality relationship and for the audience, SI is kind of a fancy way of saying consulting firm that helps you with your implementation.
So if you don’t do your implementation and let’s say a Ceridian, in this case, they don’t do the implementation, someone’s got to implement the software. Even if it’s a light standup, somebody’s got to do it. So I think that was a really fun conversation because of where they are with how they approach the market. You can buy the vendor selection part by itself. You can buy the SI part by itself or you can buy the change management by itself or you can buy any other combination of that, which I think her Vista or Vantage point was really amazing because if you wanted to talk about vendor selection, she could talk about that and if you wanted to talk about implementations and where things go sideways, she could easily talk about that and then change management, all the different things that are good, bad and ugly in change management. So those are great conversations too. But I mean in the 15 to 17 conversations we had, we talked about SIs a lot. They came up more often than not.
Mark Feffer (15:55):
Yeah and it makes sense because so many of the vendors in the space are relying more and more on integrations of one sort or another and customers need someone to put the pieces together basically.
William Tincup (16:12):
Someone’s going to navigate that water form and from probably a publicly traded company perspective, but also from the folks that are not, they don’t want to get into consulting. If it’s a pure technology, a software company, they don’t really want to build a services layer, a heavy services layer. A light services layer, yes. I remember Workday initially when they first came to market, they kind of had the idea of we’re going to do 80/20. 80% of our implementations will be done by consulting firms or SIs and we’ll do 20%. I think by the time they got to when they went public it was more like 90/10 and I think that that’s more of a model of a true software company understanding what they’re great at and saying, “We’re great at building software. Let us just build software. Let the Deloittes and KPMGs of the world, let them do what they’re great at,” and so there’s a recognition there. Again, a light services layer I think is good for technology companies. But once it goes deeper than that, they don’t want to go deep.
They don’t want to do a four month, six month implementation, global implementation of something. They want somebody that’s great at that, that’s doing it every day and so I think that was just fun to talk about SIs and to talk about kind of the importance of change management and picking the right partner. I think you and I hit on several different times where it’s chemistry. It’s chemistry. You got to make sure not only do they have the competence, but do you have the chemistry with a firm that will make it work?
Mark Feffer (18:02):
Right. Well I guess we should let these nice listeners go and listen to these podcasts.
William Tincup (18:08):
I think so. I think that would be a wonderful thing. So I’m excited. I know you and I had a lot of fun, but I think the audience is also going to have a lot of fun just listening to these.
Mark Feffer (18:19):
And if you want to listen to them, which we hope you do, you can find them at www.hcmtechnologyreport.com/ceridian-insights-2022. I know it’s a long URL. So I’ll say it again. www.hcmtechnologyreport.com/ceridian-insights-2022. William, always good to see you.
William Tincup (18:56):
Always good to see you and that was a wonderful thing, Mark. We need to do that more often. It’s been wonderful and thanks for everyone that listens to the Recruiting Daily Podcast. Until next time.
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William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, TLNT.com and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.