Karl Wierzbicki
VP Marketing Skuid Follow

Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 232. Today we’ll be talking to Karl from Skuid about the use case or business case for why his customers choose Skuid.

Skuid rapidly delivers business agility with apps that people love to use.

Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think. Thanks, William

Show length: 23 minutes

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Music: 00:02 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, in HR tech, that’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William Tincup: 00:26 Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today, we have Karl on from Skuid. And we are learning about the business case, the use case for wise prospects and customers who choose Skuid and pick Skuid over other things or the status quo or whatever. So why don’t we do introductions, Karl, would you both introduce yourself and introduce Skuid?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 00:50 Yeah, for sure. Hi, William. Thanks for having me. So my name’s Karl Wierzbicki and I’m the VP of marketing at Skuid. And before Skuid acquired InFlight, I guess, early February now, I led the marketing team there. So I guess for the better part of the last decade, I’ve been helping enterprises deliver business impact by improving the user experience that their existing HR applications provide. So Skuid is a low code application platform, and basically the premise is we help operational leaders create business applications that people love to use. And we do that across three main solution areas: people, operations, customer operations, and revenue operations. So regardless of what the use case is, or the solution area, the applications that we deliver, utilize a human centered design approach to modernize that organization’s existing backend systems so they can deliver on employee and candidate expectations for consumer grade experience.

William Tincup: 01:53 So for the audience, when we say low code, I want to make sure that they can kind of visualize that or think about that in a way. So take us in… Well, all of these things are important because they’re probably all interlocked and you can learn something in sales, operations from people, or customer operations, et cetera. And so there’s probably a lot of overlays to this that are really, really compelling. We’ll focus on the people operations part of it. Let’s kind of take people into the world of low code. What does that look like?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 02:27 Yeah, for sure. So it’s really interesting because not a lot of people in HR are thinking about low code right now, but it’s going to be a topic that comes up more. So when we say low code, what we’re really talking about is the ability to build a new business application or transform the digital experience of an existing application without the need for any heavy lift integration work or custom code development because what’s happening right now is there’s this huge and growing gap between the number of developers who can code and the number of available jobs there are for developers. And HR is going to be faced with this shortage of the talent that they need to build coded applications and what the actual supply of developers is.

So as you see this gap widening between the resources that HR would typically need to build a new application, and what’s there, the need for applications is exploding. I mean, we talked to analysts and they say in the next five years, there’s going to be as many new applications developed as there were in the previous three decades. So for HR, they’re going to need to find ways to still deliver the applications and the experience that their people are expecting, but do it in a way that’s quicker, more agile, cheaper, and doesn’t require those highly specialized developer resources.

William Tincup: 03:53 I love this. I love this so many levels. So for the audience, are we thinking some of the connective tissue like, okay, your onboarding process to your learning process, we can build a way to kind of the bridge, if you will, from one to the other? And/or is it re-looking at something that we don’t have software in currently? Like an onboarding process, remote hire, remote onboarding. Let’s just say we don’t have that. We don’t have that process. We don’t want to go buy an application. We want to build something ourselves. Is it both of those things and even some more? What are the… What do you see so far?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 04:36 Yeah, it’s really all of those things. So what we know is the HR stack is pretty diverse. It’s pretty heterogeneous. There’s like an ATS, an HCM, an onboarding, handful of other point solutions, et cetera. And what ends up happening is, those systems don’t always necessarily talk to one another. And those systems have handoffs from one to the next and-

William Tincup: 05:04 And Karl, you’re being very generous when you say “often,” my mind automatically went to almost never.

Karl Wierzbicki…: 05:16 Yeah. So with-

William Tincup: 05:16 Because they’re siloed.

Karl Wierzbicki…: 05:16 Yeah. They’re siloed. So really with Skuid and the need to build applications, what you need to do is create meaningful connections between those systems. Number one, to mitigate the lack of cohesion in the experience from being handed off from one system to another. I mean, that’s really jarring and it puts candidates off. And if the systems aren’t talking to each other, it’s a half a dozen account creation steps and a half a dozen logins and all of the stuff to do the things that they need to. But it’s also a matter of impacting the quality of those applications and those tasks and transactions that sit within the applications, because the quality of the experience that you provide to your people affects the way they use the system. And the way they use the system determines what kind of business outcome you’re going to get from the system.

So if the experience sucks, frankly, people aren’t going to want to use it. And when people don’t use the system, you are not going to get all the job applications that you need. You are not going to have accurate and timely data in your systems to make decisions on or run the business with. You’re going to have higher than usual support costs. You’re going to have cost associated with help desk. You’re going to have like shadow process that employees are doing outside of the system, anything to avoid dealing with the gruesome experience. So what Skuid is doing is giving organizations the ability to bring that up to consumer grade so that the people who are using the system for them, it’s just as easy as when they’re trying to find a movie to watch or hail a ride, share, or buy something online.

I mean, they do all that every day and it’s great and intuitive self-service. But somehow when they go to their big company that’s spent millions of dollars on systems for them to use, the experience falls really short. So we close the gap in that front end experience and the power and the versatility of the back ends that are already there.

William Tincup: 07:35 So the answer to this question will be, “It depends.” But I’ll ask it anyhow. Who purchases Skuid, who uses Skuid and who manages Skuid?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 07:49 Yeah. It’s a great question. Every organization is different. We’ve got somebody who’s buying in HR in one place. We’ve got somebody who’s buying in IT in another, but generally the trend that we’re seeing now is that it’s the line of business executive who’s interested in Skuid. They are the ones for whom the user experience, the employee experience, the candidate experience challenge is impairing their ability to get a business result. So they now have a problem that’s impacting their line of business that they need to solve. So they’re out there, they’re the ones looking for solutions and they do it in collaboration with the IT team. Obviously, when you’re bringing in a new piece of technology like Skuid, you want to make sure that there’s buy in across the board.

And in a lot of cases, what ends up happening is we have an engagement that gives customers the opportunity if they want to have the solution delivered for their requirement by us. And in other cases the customers want to learn how to do it themselves and roll up their sleeves and get down and dirty with the tools. And we do the training in the education for that, but ultimately the ownership is usually with IT. But with the low code platform, it’s ownable by HR to do the updates and maintain it and make the easy changes without having to get it involved.

William Tincup: 09:26 So you mentioned experience, I love that because you just… Especially as much emphasis that we put on employee experience, customer experience, candidate experience, et cetera. I’m also kind of thinking about reporting an insight that maybe they don’t, they can’t some of these things because systems, they’re not talking to one another. Are you seeing some movement there where people are just like, “I can’t get reports. I can’t get these two things that are in two different systems. And I want to be able to pull out data out of both of them and be able to have some insight”?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 10:00 Yeah, for sure. It’s a great point. Great question. What we see is with the organizations who are taking more of an operational mindset with their HR, they love data. They’re asking the questions like how is this going to impact my conversion rate? How is this going to impact my speed of hiring? How is this going to impact my engagement scores or my NPS scores? And one of the beautiful things about Skuid is we do have the ability to add behavioral analytics into any of the applications, workflows, transactions, portals that we touch and provide granular visibility into what content is most popular. What’s the completion rate on these transactions? Which steps do users spend the most time on? Which steps do the users drop out on?

So it’s really powerful because when you shine the light of data on the problem, you get to pinpoint where it exists and come up with design solutions to mitigate it. So we have customers that have really leaned into this and they AB test different process flows. They AB test different designs and they’re continually iterating and improving. And I mean, these are what could be perceived of as small improvements, but they accrue and they accumulate. And at the end, if you’re improving flow through at different steps, by a little bit each way, at the end, it measures up to substantial impact.

William Tincup: 11:45 So the audience fully understands kind of the model. It’s obviously technology, we get that. But the rollout of which is this something that they can kind of self start and get it off and do it themselves in DIY? Or is this kind of a part services, understanding the problem, understanding the systems, and then building it or working with them to build it, and then they maintain it going forward in a SaaS model kind of going forward? Give us some insight into how that works.

Karl Wierzbicki…: 12:18 Yeah. Customers can have it both ways. What we tend to find is for the first engagement customers prefer more of a white glove service. They want our professional services team to come in and consult with them and guide them through the process of design workshops and assessing systems and standing up the initial solution and they learn. There’s an education component to this where they can become empowered to do their next application. But a lot of organizations use our professional services and customer success to get stood up that first time. Some customers continue on that path because they find it works for them. It’s low risk and it puts some guardrails on it. But other customers, obviously, they want to own it. And that’s the beauty of the platform is they can. They’ve got the training, the support, and all the tooling they need to understand how to use the system within their stack.

William Tincup: 13:21 I love this for so many different reasons. And you mentioned the talent gap and being able to… You’re enabling people to fix problems that historically exists and will continue to exist and they can do it… Again, they can do it themselves. There’s training wheels. Especially, maybe on the first engagement, if they want to take it over, they can. If they don’t, that’s great too. Whatever works for them. So that the audience has some kind of examples in their mind without brand names, of course, or company names, what are some people operations examples of Skuid?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 14:04 Yeah, for sure. I’m going to tell you a story about one of our customers and they are like a healthcare system, and it’s hard to hire nurses. It was hard to hire nurses before. It’s really hard to hire nurses now through the pandemic and after the pandemic. And this customer, they came to us with a problem. “We need to hire more nurses and we need to do it faster.” And they didn’t have any really preconceived notion of how they were going to tackle that. And what we did was work with their talent acquisition team and come up with a solution that was going to work with them. So what we ended up doing is coming up with a way for them to get their job ads in front of the right candidates ahead of their hiring competitors. We worked with them to streamline their application process for their most challenging roles and were able to reduce the time it took to fill out a job application from 25 minutes to two and a half minutes.

We know that [MERT 00:15:09] nurses are like a mobile segments they want to apply for a job on their break while they’re having a bad day on their phone. So we identified that mobile was huge and mobile optimized their apply flow and got them like 700% more applications from mobile devices. They had a challenge with candidates kind of losing interest halfway through the process and ghosting either the interview or the onboarding. So we worked with them to implement candidate self-service, self-scheduling time with recruiters. So that they never have this feeling, that their application went off into a black hole. They’ve got a conversation set up immediately. And we’ve also worked with them to do their eOffers and their onboarding.

So the whole thing from the time the organization gets onto the candidate’s radar, to the time they’re in the organization is seamless. It’s high touch. It’s high engagement. It’s a great experience. And at the end of it, they’re able to deliver real results to the organization. So, it took us a few weeks to get them up and running. And then a few months later they were hiring cardiovascular operating room nurses four times faster than they ever had before. And so that’s an example of people operations taking the systems that you have and optimizing them for a business outcome.

William Tincup: 16:47 Oh, I love it. Let’s-

Karl Wierzbicki…: 16:49 Yeah. It’s mind blowing.

William Tincup: 16:50 It is. It’s wild.

Karl Wierzbicki…: 16:51 It’s mind blowing that you can take what you have, add a little something else to it and just unlock all of this value that had been lurking there underutilized.

William Tincup: 17:03 Yeah. Yeah. And it’s just all the way across the entire HR tech [inaudible 00:17:08] tech and HR tech landscape is systems that have more features, or they’re not trained on the features or there’s data trapped somewhere. So three questions left. One is about data what’s… How do you… Because I know folks in recruiting and in HR are nervous about their data not being great, not being perfect or whatever. So what’s your kind of take and what’s Skuid’s take on just how they deal with data and how y’all kind of approach data?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 17:45 Yeah. I mean, great question. I mean, you, anecdotally, I mean the InfoSec meeting used to be one of the last meetings that we would take working with a customer. The InfoSec meeting is now the first or the second meeting when we first start working with a customer. So obviously this is a topic that’s near and dear to us as an organization and should be to anybody out there who’s considering adding technology.

So our point of view at Skuid is that the system of record should continue to be the system of record. It’s been vetted. It’s built to be secure, it’s built to be… Have all of the business logic and access controls built into it. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense to take the data outside of that, copy it, and manipulate it, have it in a parallel system and put it back.

So what Skuid does, is it interacts with your systems of record in real time. We’re not creating any standalone or separate system. We’re literally just that experience layer that floats on top of your system of record and reads and writes data into your system of record in real time. And I think buyers today need to be mindful of the solutions that they consider because a lot of them set up these… create data outside and it’s just a nightmare from a compliance and a risk and a liability perspective. Especially, when you’re handling personally identifiable information. You want to just keep the controls that you’ve already built.

William Tincup: 19:30 I love it. Second question around data. And it’s more about the systems not playing well in the sandbox with each other. How do you get them to play well? You’re pulling data to one system and another, how do you get them to play well with one another?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 19:48 It’s a great question. So I mean, it comes down to discipline in design. Obviously, the goal here is not to make any system to counterman any of the controls that are built into those systems. So the access to the data is always governed by the data models that are built into the underlying system and the Skuid platform. And data’s data. I mean, there are rules that we have in place that ensure that the formatting of data in one place matches the data that where you want to put it in the next place and so on. And if we had one of our solution engineers on the call, he’d be able to get into the nitty gritty of it, but it’s not typically a problem. I’ll say this, it’s not typically a problem that our customers struggle with to interact with data from multiple systems and kind of write data from one to another. It’s a known function and it’s never been a challenge.

William Tincup: 20:55 I love it. Thank God. Last question is your favorite part of the… When you and the sales team, when you get to show Skuid for the first time to somebody that’s never seen it, what’s your favorite part to show?

Karl Wierzbicki…: 21:12 For me, it’s the reveal. That first, “Okay, well now we’re going to show what the demo environment looks like.” That’s my favorite part of a demo because when we demo, we apply the branding, the customer branding to our demo environment. We have so much power and flexibility in the design systems that we use, that it’s really easy for us to update it and make it have their look and feel. And I love it because it closes the imagination gap immediately. The people on the phone can instantly see what the final outcome looks like. They can see what their applications and systems would look like with Skuid, with the content and the transactions fully transformed and pulled into an employee portal or wherever the employees are spending their time at that organization.

And the level of change is so great that we have to explicitly call out to them that, “Hey, this isn’t new. This is all of your existing applications power this experience behind the scenes. And we’re just providing that better experience on top.” And it’s really compelling because it lets them see immediately that they could get the best of both worlds. The experience that their people are expecting and demanding, and still respecting all of the integrity of their existing stack. So we really find that’s kind of knocks their socks off when they see that.

William Tincup: 22:51 I love it. Yeah. Listen, Karl, this has been absolutely fantastic. Thanks for carving out time for our audience.

Karl Wierzbicki…: 22:59 Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having me, William. This is great.

William Tincup: 23:01 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.

Music: 23:07 You’ve been listening to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case Podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and hit us up at recruitingdaily.com.

The Use Case Podcast

Authors
William Tincup

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.


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