Amir Nehemia and Yuval MagidFollow
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 214. Today we have Amir and Yuval from Connecteam about the use case or business case for why their customers use Connecteam.
Connecteam’s all-in-one company app allows you to communicate, manage and train your non-desk employees.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 31 minutes
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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better. As we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech, that’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today, we have Amir and Yuval from Connecteam. We’ll be talking about the business case, the use case that their prospects and customers make for Connecteam. Can’t wait to learn about what they’ve built. Why don’t we start with introductions? Amir, why don’t you introduce yourself? Yuval, then you. Then one of you introduce Connecteam to us.
Amir: Yeah, sure. No problem. First of all, thank you for having us. Really enjoying spending the time together. I am Amir. I am the CEO and the co-founder of Connecteam.
Yuval: I’m Yuval. I’m the COO, I’ve been here with Amir for a while now.
Amir: A while, yeah. More than a while. I think regarding Connecteam, Connecteam is an all-in-one solution for the deskless workforce. Basically everything that the employers and the employee need in one app. It can be onboarding, recognition, knowledge sharing, communication feature, like chat, surveys, and so on. But operational feature as well, like day-to-day operation, time clock, job scheduling, task management, everything that the employee need in one app.
Yuval: If I may add to that. I think one of the more unique things about Connecteam is that our target audience is not the classic audience for a tech solution. We are basically looking at what we call the deskless industries. Think about all those employees that are out there that have no access to computers or emails. Many times they’re on the go. Could be anything from transportation to security, cleaning, healthcare. The list is very, very, very long. But at the end of the day…
William Tincup: No, go ahead. Go ahead.
Yuval: I was just about to say, but at the end of the day, their world is a little bit different than ours. Because we are used to having all those tools, we have emails and we have Slack and we have Asana and we have all those wonderful tools that make our life much easier. But when you’re looking at those, let’s call it more traditional industries, there are very little things that help us as managers interact and manage our teams. That’s pretty much where we come into the picture.
William Tincup: I love that. Make sure I’m on right track here, I want to assume that this is mobile-friendly or mobile-first and potentially an app as opposed to regular traditional SaaS software.
Amir: Yes, of course. First of all, yes, we support all of the platform from tablet we see but we are literally mobile first. We understand in those industries, the managers as well are on the field, they need to do everything from the app. Of course, we are dealing with specific industries that are doing everything from the mobile. The human experience supposed to be superior. Mobile is everything for us. We are starting with the mobile and only then we are doing the other platform.
William Tincup: I love that. First of all, [inaudible 00:03:11]. I think Yuval, I think you also said this, both of you all said it actually. This is an underserved market. Most of the HR work tech recruiting related technologies, they’re built for corporate or they’re built for third party like staffing firms and things like that. But very few target the high volume as you all actually phrased it, deskless work place, which I like. Because it really does get to the heart of, where does work happen? Work happens not sitting traditionally at a desk. Work happens elsewhere.
Let’s start with a few things first. I normally do this towards the end of the show, but I want to start with this because I think it’s really important. When you all show Connectteam to prospects and people that’ve never seen it before, what’s your favorite part of the demo? What’s your favorite part of showing them what you’ve built? Amir, we’ll start with you first. Again, I know I’m asking you like, “What’s your favorite child?” What’s your favorite child? There’s a point in which you do a demo, you show software and you’re like, “I love this part. I know they’re going to love this part.” What is that for you?
Amir: I will start with the general stuff. When you present your child, first of all it’s the interface, it’s the simplicity, the richness of it and of course the pricing. But in the end, you need to think about this manager that until now it was difficult for him to interact with every one of employees. Now in two minutes, he understand that everything is a click away. He can interact with every one of them and then for the first time, understand who did what, when and where. It’s like moving from dark to light. From the headquarters to the employee, there are no middlemen. You can get information, you can send information, everything is measured. Of course everything is beautiful and simpler along the eye.
William Tincup: Yuval?
Yuval: From my standpoint, I think Amir actually touched on it at the beginning. But I think the most common reaction that I’m seeing, the jaw dropping thing, is it really is that simple? Or is it that you try to make it so? That’s amazing to see how intuitive the platform is, bearing in mind the audience is not always coming from such a technological background or is not very used to tools. It’s amazing to see how they’re excited about something that gives them, I would even call it a private life experience in a work environment. That’s one. The second one is definitely the response to the pricing. Always like, “Okay, I thought that would…”
William Tincup: That helps, once they know that it’s available to them. I can imagine that they’ve been slogging through and getting this done however they’ve been getting it done. We’ll get to that. All of a sudden, now they can see a world where, “Wait a minute. This is actually possible.” The next wave of emotions that hits them is like, “Oh my God, this is going to be expensive. This is going to be crazy. How are we going to do this?” I can imagine that pricing… After you’ve shown what’s available, what they can do with work and how work can be fundamentally changed. What are you displacing? Is it Excel? Is it other disparate technologies? Yuval, we’ll start with you first. What do you feel when you talk to folks? What’s what are they doing? How are they getting this work done currently?
Yuval: Actually William, I think that’s a very interesting question for two reasons. One is that I would say over 60 or 70% of our customers are actually not coming from a technological solution. It’s like you said, they may use pen and paper, they may use Excel files, they may use bulletin boards, they may use face to face encounters. Very, very, very traditional methods, I would say. A lot of the time we’re replacing those classical stuff. In some other occasions, if the company is a little bit more technological, I would say, you’ll see that they’re replacing different types of tools that they realize won’t work for them. Could be anything from the attempt to use emails or they basically have only a part of their group and anywhere to there are those TV screens or those different things that they’re trying to utilize but are very, very, I would call it old fashioned.
William Tincup: Amir, anything to add?
William Tincup: It’s interesting because I’ve told people this from the stage before. It’s like Microsoft Office, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, et cetera. It’s like the largest HR tech application in the world. People always laugh at me. They say that, I’m like, “Nope. Seriously, go check it.” Like, “There’s many people using Excel for things that they’re using Excel for.” The next question is obviously this is a new way of work for them. I know that you’ve got analytics because you’ve talked a little bit about it. But let’s talk a little bit about the admin side. We’ll talk about the user side, the employee side, if you will. But let’s talk about the admin side. Because I think a lot of the audience will wonder, “All that sounds great. But what am I going to be able to do on my phone? Am I giving anything up in terms of functionality and inside?” or any of those types of things? Amir, why don’t you take us into the world for the admin or super admin or however you position that person?
Amir: I will start, I think, with the story that we had three years ago. I was naive before and I felt that if you are an admin or if you are a manager, for sure you will have access to PC. I remember myself three years ago doing shopping with my wife. I see one of the retail chain that working with Connectteam. I went there and asked, I visit the store and asked them, “What is your experience so far?” et cetera, et cetera. Then the manager asked me, “I want to add new employee but why I need to go to the PC in order to do it?” Then I asked him, “What is the problem with going to the PC?” Told me, “Not every store have a store manager room. It’s only the big store in the chain. Most of the time even if it’s on the POS, I’m not going to stop our day to day work in order to do it.”
Then we realize that the real person that managing those kind of employees, adding new employees and need to collect the hours from the employees, want to see their checklist and so on and so on are middle managers that most of the time without any access to PC as well or maybe only on the evening or one hour a day and on. Three years ago, I remember myself stop everything and making sure that everything that you can do from the PC you can do from the mobile. You can do almost end to end payroll for the mobile. I know that it’s crazy. It took us a while but it was important for us that you do you not need to visit your PC in order to do even the most sophisticated things there. Of course on the PC, you have more analytics capabilities. We can use the wide screen in order to present you more data, more tips regarding how to optimize your business, analytics regarding your employees. Where is your weak or who is your shiny stars?
William Tincup: I love that. Anything to add, Yuval?
Amir: No, actually I think Amir covered it really.
William Tincup: Nailed it? Good. You hear each other talk all the time so I’m sure… Which is good and bad, I know. I’m in partnerships, I understand it. Where are we currently? Where are we operating? We talked a little bit about the industries, but we can go back through that. But where in the world are we?
Yuval: That’s a great question. Basically the short answer is everywhere. Connectteam has over two 20,000 customers using the platform today. 70% of that comes from north America, the other 30% from all around the world. We have customers from Taiwan to Hawaii, we like to say. It’s pretty much on every continent, would it be Africa, Europe, Asia, the Gulf. Really all around. Sorry, I lost my line of thought there. In terms of the customers, we talked about it, in terms of the geographical and distribution.
Amir: I think the size of the companies, we can work with companies that have 10 employees to companies that have 22,000 employees.
William Tincup: You all are playing it down, which I absolutely appreciate. But just global payroll in and of itself is not easy. Just to be able to do things from Taiwan to Hawaii and back and forth, none of that’s easy. For the audience, when you hear something like that, they’re making it sound simple. Not simple. Very, very, very difficult to keep up with all those payroll libraries. That’s just one part of what you all do. Tell us a little bit about the buyer. I think everyone understands how corporate HR works or at least most people understand how corporate HR works. With your particular buyer, again from 10 to 22,000, you probably have different buyers. But tell us a little bit about the persona of buyers that you have. Amir, start… Go ahead.
Amir: Yes. I think if I were trying to think what is the common ground for all of our buyers, first of all of course, they can be from team manager to C level. But most of the time you can see the new generation of managers. The managers that want to change the way these industries work, they want to see everything’s supposed to be fast, everything’s supposed to be measured, everything’s supposed to good in the eye as well. We literally know, we are in this business for the past seven years. We literally, every year, can see the impact of the new generation in a very interesting position in the company. It’s depend of what is your need. HR wise, it can be the HR manager, the recruiter, the knowledge manager. Of course everything that related to engagement as well.
Yuval: Employee experience, internal communication managers, marketing managers, which are a lot of the times HR functions. There are variety of…
Amir: I think it’s important to understand that on those vertical, the retention of the employees super important. Because they hire a lot of employees. There are a lot of seasonality in those industries. Everything supposed to be super fast and need to hire fast, on board employees super fast. Of course, make sure that they’re ready on to go and do operational after one day. If you have those kind of needs, for sure technology and app can solve all of those things. That area is recognition benefits. I think what you need to say to give, I will say, that the new generation of employees that are now asking for those solution. They want to be engaged, they want to get the information, they want to be part of something. We can see that if you have temporary employees, if you have a seasonality, if you have a young employees, you will see that the needs for those solution is rising.
William Tincup: One of the things, because you all been doing this for a while and you show somebody a world in which they was struggling with or trying to get things done and working with very clunky technologies, if working with technology at all. Some of the things that you’re probably were displacing at least early on were probably paper, post-it notes and stuff like that. You’ve digitalized them and you’ve done it in a way to put them on one platform and one app. The richness of the data and also the analytics is just amazing. Now that being said, I can’t help but think that now that you’ve gotten to them to a place, they want more. First of all, do I have that right? Be if so, what do they now want from you that maybe wasn’t on your roadmap or you weren’t getting around to right away that now that you’ve got them hooked on this new way of work? What are they excited to about doing next with you?
Yuval: I think William, you got it very, very right. I have a colleague here that likes to say, “It’s like climbing a mountain. Every time you get to the top, you see the next peak.” Much the same thing here. I think the last peak that we climbed on was a lot around… Like Amir said, we were thinking a lot on the full journey of the employees. One of the recent releases that we had was a lot around, we call it timeline. Basically something that shows you everything that is related to that employee. You can make better decisions and you can understand the full picture of what that employee’s all about. Performance reviews, different things that happen over the course of time, et cetera, et cetera.
But one of the things that we’ve been hearing more and more lately is recruiting. Especially we’ve seen a big, big rise in recruiting in the last few months. We are trying to get to a place where the full journey all the way from recruiting and all the way to the end cycle of employees life or termination can all be done with Connectteam. Today we actually start with pre onboarding and onboarding. We’re thinking on tackling also that more initial phase of actually recruiting and screening and all those beautiful steps that are happening beforehand.
William Tincup: I love that. Is some of what you’re rebuilding will be APIs to other technologies? With what you built far, is it all going to be native to what you do?
Yuval: For us, it’s always a dual approach. It’s always how you make everything play within the platform while at the same time bearing in mind how you can build it to scale. Building to scale always means playing with other players. Absolutely the APIs on the roadmap in general. Also APIs for existing things to allow the system to be much more embedded into the day to day workflows of existing organizations.
William Tincup: Perfect. Amira, I’m going to ask you this question, a favorite buying questions. You’ve been doing this for a while and you interacted obviously with the personas that you were talking about earlier a bunch. You can read, you can tell when people get it and maybe when they don’t quite get it. You can tell. We don’t have to too much about the don’t get it part. But the folks that get it, you can tell almost immediately in the questions that they ask or the probative things that they want to know from you. Why don’t you take us through what you love to hear from prospects?
Amir: I think one of the questions that for me I love to give the answer is, how long it would take me until I will implement in the organization? How long it’ll take until we will do the setup? The question is less than one hour.
Yuval: The answer, the answer.
Amir: Yeah, the answer. The answer is less than one hour.
William Tincup: That’s fantastic.
Amir: I think that when we started the business, we understand that those companies, then we never have the time and the effort to do a proper implementation. Why? Because the structure of the business is that the employees is in the field as well. You can hire your employees only for three days and so and so forth. Everything’s supposed to be super fast. We created a lot of templates, we created a lot of automation in order to make the computation you need in order to launch it super fast. How long it’ll take you? One hour, that’s it.
William Tincup: Wow. First of all, that’s fantastic. Because the standup time is going to be on everyone’s mind. Especially once they see something they fall in love with and the pricing is not prohibitive. Then their next question is going to be, “Fantastic. How fast can we start?”
Amir: I think William during the COVID, I think that companies arrived to Connectteam and ask us, “You need to save us. We need to interact with every one of our employees super fast. We need to tell them when to arrive to the factory. Or we need them to sign a lot of documents,” and so on and so on. “I need it for.”
Yuval: Before yesterday. I specifically remember one of those customers. It was just when COVID started and there were about 10,000 people, a very, very big manufacturing company. Every day, one of the facilities would be open, would be closed, depending on how COVID advanced. They’re coming to us and they’re like, “We need this yesterday. We have to communicate with our team.” It was amazing. Because sometimes you’ll go through it and all those different things. This really accelerated the process, got everyone hooked in 48 hours, everyone were on their feet. In 72 hours, 9,500 people out of 10,000 were already connected, were already communicating, were already in the loop. We were all very, very proud at the time. But when Amir says it’s super quick, that’s what we mean.
William Tincup: Getting quicker. I would imagine that an hour is again, you’re trying to figure out how to make that 59 minutes. I get that. While you mentioned COVID I was going to ask you that anyhow, about what you saw with the desk workplace. What did you see transpire with them that was different? How did you all need to change some of the things that you were doing to serve at your customer base while COVID… We’re still technically in COVID. I hate saying, “When COVID was.” Because it’s still here. Not sure it’ll ever go way but anyhow I put that off to the side. Amir, let’s start with you. What did you see just changes in your customer base, how you had to shift and do things to a little bit differently to serve them?
Amir: First of all, because we serve more than one with verticals, we saw that some verticals was a little bit more slow. Food and beverage, retail and those kind of companies. But healthcare, transportation, and so on, we saw a huge peak on demand for our kind of solution. It’s important to understand that those employees every day are not coming to the office. They are used to work…
Yuval: On the field.
Amir: On the field, yeah. On the go and everything. It’s not always something new for them. The only thing that was, I will say dramatic for them, that is everything becomes sensitive. The old communication way will not work for them because you are coming to work, you will not come to work, I needed you to sign this document is something that become, I don’t have four days or seven days until this things will happen. I did it right away. You will not have the ability to enter the facility if you will not sign this documentation. Of course it will not be pen and paper. I need to tell those seven other employees that they been encounter with one of employee that was COVID positive and so on and so on.
Yuval: Definitely I would say that the day to day functions and urgency were all significant, like in the examples Amir just gave. Another interesting thing that we thought, and that really comes and goes with the ways is like hiring and layoffs. A retail company would lay off 60% of its team members in three weeks and then they would need to rehire everyone altogether. You would see that a lot of the practices from onboarding to training, to recruiting, to keeping the team spirit be became a real, real, real big challenge. If I’m looking at the three main changes, it’s like Amir said, some industries is becoming stronger. Some industries becoming a little bit more threatened from COVID. Then again, the urgency factor and the volume of things that you should do.
William Tincup: What I love about that… Your investors have obviously probably said and see the same things is that with your portfolio of customers you’ve mitigated some risk. If you’re all in with the restaurant industry, that’s great when the restaurant industry is doing well. But because you’ve diversified that, you’ve mitigated some risk. Which is important for the audience to understand, because it means that you can always be innovating but your business isn’t going to have some of the traditional ups and downs that are tethered to one industry or another.
Yuval: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I completely agree.
William Tincup: This is one of the things that we do every show and it’s innovation stories. Because you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ve seen a lot of different ways that people have used your technology probably in ways that you thought of and in sometimes in cases ways that you didn’t think of. But I always like to ask founders about some of the innovative ways that… Without naming names, we don’t need their company names or any of that type of stuff. But just ways that people have used your technology Connectteam that maybe that you just think are just awesome. We thought this, they did it this. All of a sudden, boom, this happened. Take us into a couple of those stories. Amir, why don’t you start? Then Yuval, why don’t you pile on with anything that you have?
Yuval: William, do you allow me to jump in on this one?
William Tincup: Sure. Sure. Sure.
Yuval: I think it’s a super interesting question. It’s actually one of my favorites to pick up from success stories to unique stories. One that I specifically remember is lifeguards in Australia. There is this organization that really… Australian beach is huge and they have all those frontline stations and just getting people synced and reporting what needs to be reporting. They built an entire reporting system of how things flow with inside Connectteam. They obviously used a lot of the things that were built inside. But they managed to manipulate, without going into too many technicalities, they managed to manipulate the system in such a way that they had the most sophisticated distribution mechanism for different types of alerts and notifications. Because there’s many different stakeholders involved and each of them needs to know about what’s relevant for them. Now by itself, it’s not that interesting. But I think one of the coolest things that happened is that, if you go on our website and you log into the system, you’ll see that there’s like this support chat. I remember this day about a year and a half ago when one of our folks got a chat message from that lady in New Zealand, in Australia. Sorry. Where she said, “I just wanted to tell you that Connectteam just helped us save a life.” That was so awesome. I don’t really remember all the nitty gritty. But long story short, something happened, there was an incident with someone in the waters and due to that reporting system and alerting system that they were able to respond much quicker to understand exactly where the location was. It basically helped them save the life of that person.
William Tincup: It’s hard to get much better than that. When you were talking about how they’re communicating before, how did they do alerts before? Was it text messaging or was it emails? Do you have any idea how they did it before?
Yuval: A lot of phone calls. A lot, a lot of, a lot of phone calls. In some of the location also text mechanisms, but only on the central ones.
William Tincup: Phone doesn’t work up in Australia a bunch. The phone doesn’t work, it doesn’t work a lot on the beach. If you’re depending on the phone as your main beacon of connectivity, that might not work out. First of all, I love the story. It’s such a great story. Amir, do you have a favorite story?
Amir: I think that Yuval took all the thunder with this story.
William Tincup: That’s why you wanted to go first, by the way.
Amir: Yeah, I know. Now I know. In the corner trying to find something. I think that on my end, the day to day is something that surprised me. When the COVID just occur, every business needs to do a lot of stuff differently. It was amazing for us to see how they change the way they work with Connectteam. For example, if they have a dining room that the employee needed to come, let’s say, every day. Now through our app, every employee can order his food and then it’ll wait for him, it’ll be take away. If they have transportation to the factory, they can reserve seats and so on and so on. We didn’t thought about it, we didn’t think that they would use it. But in the end, every one of them understand that they can collect the information, they can manage it. Due to the COVID, everyone was super creative.
Yuval: Yeah, for sure.
William Tincup: That’s awesome, guys. This has been amazing. What you’ve built is truly spectacular. For our audience that’s truly underserved worldwide. Congratulations on building something special and unique. Thank you much. I know you’re busy. I also know the time differences is not super easy as well. But thank you much of being on the podcast.
Yuval: William, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you much for your time and take care.
Amir: Thank you. Bye bye.
William Tincup: Absolutely. Take care. Thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.
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.