Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 250. Today we’ll be talking to Nellie from Tigerhall about the use case or business case for why her customers choose Tigerhall.

Tigerhall imagines a world where employers recruit, promote and develop talent based on meritocratic data on mindsets and skills, not on university brand names.

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

Show length: 26 minutes


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Nellie Wartoft
CEO Tigerhall Follow

Announcer: 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 and HR tech. That’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William Tincup: 00:25 Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you are listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today, we have Nellie on from Tigerhall, and we’ll be learning about the business case or the use case, cost-benefit analysis, however you want to put it, on why her prospects and customers have picked Tigerhall. Why don’t we jump right into introductions? Nellie, would you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and Tigerhall?

Nellie: 00:50 Absolutely, happy to, and I’m glad to be here, William. My name is Nellie. I’m originally from Sweden, grew up in a small village in the south of Sweden, moved across to Singapore when I was 18, and have been here since. I’m currently splitting my time between Singapore, where our headquarters are, and also San Francisco in the U.S., where most of our current growth is happening in the U.S. market.

01:12 What Tigerhall does is it’s solving the need that I had myself when I was finishing university. I thought I had no skills at all the employer wanted to hire me for, and then discovered that actually, a lot of people are in the same situation. We’re still living in a world where people are studying the 4 Ps of marketing and Porter’s 5 Forces and the periodical table, and all of those things that you never once again bring up into your life.

01:37 On the other hand, every day you’re having to deal with office politics, how do you handle your boss, how do you communicate, how do you host a presentation, launch a new market. All of those skills were areas where I didn’t see being taught anywhere. So, that’s when I thought, “Hang on. All the people that have the knowledge about these areas and have these skills, I actually get to speak with them, thankfully, in my role as a recruiter,” when I was in recruitment, because they were my clients. So, when I sat down with them, had a coffee, just chatted with a senior leader, I realized that, “Hang on. I actually learned a lot more from the senior leader in just a coffee chat than I did in my entire university education.”

02:15 So, that’s when I started thinking, “How can we create something that is mentorship at scale, where people can learn directly from these senior leaders, both inside and outside their companies, and then, most of all, doing that in a way that people actually enjoy doing it?” So, that’s how I started looking into learning platforms and realized that most of them are just really, really bad. It’s traveling back to the 90s. That’s when I thought, “Hang on. Why isn’t enterprise learning more like TikTok, Spotify, Instagram, Clubhouse, all of these tools that we love spending time on?” So, it was the combination of those two ideas that eventually led to Tigerhall.

William Tincup: 02:50 I love it. One of the things let’s unpack, skills in terms of as you’re thinking about mentoring and coaching and learning at scale. How do we focus skill development on the nexus between what the company wants skills-wise from the person … You already know where I’m going with this … and what the individual wants to learn in terms of skills, et cetera? How do we navigate skill development, or, let’s say, how should we make it better instead of how we’re currently doing it?

Nellie: 03:31 That’s a very good question and one that most organizations still solve for incredibly poorly. You look at those companies, what they’re doing, it’s like, “Oh, goodness. We need to roll out some learning.” And it comes up in employee surveys. All the time employees say, “We want learning. We want development opportunities,” And then what do HR leaders do? They go, “Oh, let’s buy a video library of 200,000 videos. Let’s roll those out.”

William Tincup: 04:01 You have all the learning at your fingertips.

Nellie: 04:01 Exactly.

William Tincup: 04:01 It’s like, “Not really.”

Nellie: 04:01 It’s just there. You can log in. You can watch these 200,000 videos. And the employees go, “What? This is not what we asked for. We asked for real development on what we want to learn, not watching these 200,000 videos.” And then all of these videos are 27 hours to complete something. I usually say that the only time someone is going to do that is if it’s Game of Thrones or Squid Games or something. People are not going to watch learning content for that amount of time.

04:26 So, no, I think most organizations have gotten this incredibly wrong, and the way that they do it is very much a one-size-fits-none approach, and they roll out the same videos, the same platform to everyone.

William Tincup: 04:38 Oh, I got to use that. That’s a t-shirt right there, one size fits none.

Nellie: 04:44 One size fits none. And then, everyone stands there, and they go, “We still don’t have any development.” And they still see it coming up again and again in employee surveys, and the HR leaders go, “Oh, but hang on. We had those 200,000 videos,” and they just like don’t [inaudible 00:04:57].

William Tincup: 04:57 Yeah, aren’t we paying a small fortune for access to those 200,000 videos?

Nellie: 04:59 Yeah, exactly, millions of dollars, yeah.

William Tincup: 05:04 Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Nellie: 05:05 Exactly.

William Tincup: 05:06 Well, it used to be with LMSs in particular, I remember the complaint from CLOs is that the spend was there, but the content wasn’t. So then, you got into a lot of content syndication plays where you could build it yourself. You could build your own content for your LMS, or you could syndicate content, but it still wasn’t dealing with the issue at hand that you’re dealing with yourself is that it wasn’t still content that the individual wanted, that the employee, or, in days of old, that the candidates want.

05:45 So, one of the things I wanted to ask you about is something I’ve noticed in candidates for a couple years now, is that they ask about these things. They’re far more educated than I was. They’re going into recruiting and interviews with recruiters where they’re saying, “Hey, how are you going to skill me up? How are you going to make me better? What kind of tools? What kind of access to mentors and coaches?” They’re just far more sophisticated buyers than I was, and I’m envious of that. But also, it’s a part of just seeing how things have morphed over time. It’s like they care deeply about their own career development, and so they’re going to ask tough questions as they should, as they should. As we should.

Nellie: 06:34 Yeah, and they’re not going to be happy with a video-based LMS that they can log into if they want to. They’re not going to do that. Now, you have to do it from two sides, and that’s what we’re doing. We look at it both from the employer’s point of view and from the employee’s point of view. It’s very, very data-based, so we integrate with your Microsoft Graph, with your HRM system, with your CRM system. We get all of that data in place, plus what is the business strategy that the company has? And if the company’s focused on we want to educate people in ESG, or we have a problem with first-time managers, or we want to meet more CIOs in our sales meetings, for example, any problem it might be, that’s also feeding into the curation process. So, that’s all going together to personalize from the company’s point of view.

07:21 But then what is also happening when the employee’s using the mobile app or the web app … We have both … when they use that, we pick up all of that user behavior plus that data from the Microsoft Graph about who are they interacting with, what other role, was it seniority, which geography are they in. It’s so many different data points that we personalize, too. For example, if you’re a marketing manager in Mexico, you’re going to get a very different experience from someone who’s a finance manager in Japan, and that’s just the very base level of it.

07:51 And then, the individual employee also inputs, “These are my aspirations. These are my goals,” and we also integrate with assessments like Hogan Assessments, Fundamento, Skillr, or all of these skills enablement tools. So, it’s a lot of data is the short answer that goes into it, but it can’t be that if I’m that marketing manager in Mexico or the finance manager in Japan, those two opening the LMS, they can’t see the same thing. And that’s the fundamental problem that too many organizations are still having.

William Tincup: 08:21 The argument for training used to be, or used to be against training was, what if we train them and they leave? And then, that quickly moved, thank God, to what if we don’t train them, and they stay?

Nellie: 08:38 Exactly. I love that one too.

William Tincup: 08:42 What are you seeing now with the everyone’s got to justify their budget? I look at learning. I look at development. I look at everything that you’ve built as a way to both engage, which I kind of care about, but I care deeply about retention and especially the retention of the right talent. So, I would do all of these things if for no other reason than to have a shot of retaining the talent that I’ve brought in.

09:15 But you’re on the front lines, so you get to see this from really cool perspectives. What are you seeing clients in a way that they justify the spend for what they … I think we all can agree it’s a good thing. Yes. Good. Done, so we all shake our heads. Now, of course, it gets to budget time. Somebody’s got to pay for it, so how are we justifying that these days?

Nellie: 09:42 Yeah, I love that topic. And that’s also why I actually love this podcast, William, because we talk about the use case, the business case for things. I think that is one of the biggest issues in the LMS space today, is that there is no use case for it. All of these video learning platforms, the LMSs, they’re rolled out with no use case, no measurement, and so on. And this is what a CEO actually told me, one of our customers. He said, “There’s only so much I can spend without seeing the ROI. There’s only so much I can spend on a learning platform that is just to learn and develop and so on. But why I spend so much with you guys talking to me about Tigerhall is that you’re actually moving the needle on the things that I care about, and you actually measure it.”

10:23 So, that’s one of the things that we’ve been using a lot to drive, I wouldn’t say higher spend, but deal sizes and so on as well. And the reason that we charge quite a lot more than our competitors in many cases is that we actually move the needle on key metrics. One example is that we’ve been moving the needle for a global bank on internal fill rates. So, in their internal mobility, we increased internal fill rates by over 500%. It was 567% that we had more people being employed internally than hiring from the outside. That, obviously, massively cut their recruitment costs, for example, so that was a huge win for that team.

11:01 And another one that we did was a 37% increase in CXO meetings within a company’s customers. So, that led to a lot of account expansion, millions of dollars in revenue for this company. That’s all this change. For another very well-known financial services giant, we’ve been moving their customer NPS. So, their customer NPS was at around 55, 60, still very, very high. We brought it up to 83 by training their customer service teams and so on. So, we tie ourselves really, really closely to business impact and really measure that, and I think that’s something that, at least I see, very few people doing in the industry. And that’s something that we’ve seen really, really resonates with our customers and why our buyer is actually usually the CEO or the COO, especially the COO because they tend to have the capability-building agenda on their plates, and they are all about measuring business impact, moving the needle.

11:55 So, I see huge success for being more specific around certain business problems and statements that you want to drive as opposed to just investing in talent, investing in learning because that tends to be, as the CEO said, there’s only so much you can spend on that.

William Tincup: 12:11 Well, and the CLOs, what I love about them is they also care deeply about stability, business stability, and in order to do workforce planning and understand the ebbs and flows of a business, they’ve got to create something stable. So, historically, you’ve heard from HR and learning and talent and development professionals learning for learning’s sake. Again, it’s a good idea. It’s a great idea. We should learn. We should learn at work. Okay, check. But where the C-suite sees that differently is, yes, we should do those things, but towards an end.

12:48 And I think the way that you’ve bookended that is really quite nicely for your clients is learning for performance sake. And that could be the individual’s performance, which is, I think, something that the audience is … You’re thinking about this. This isn’t just about how the business gets more yield and gets better out of the employee. It’s also a sense of pride for the employee. They get to learn something that makes them fulfilled at work, better at work and morale, et cetera. It’s not just about the performance of the business. Yes, I think we should tether more of our things that we do to the business, but it’s also that it’s better for the individual as well.

Nellie: 13:37 Absolutely, and they’re not at opposing ends. It’s not like if the employee succeeds, the business doesn’t and vice versa, too. The examples I gave, for example, so many people got their new dream jobs internally, they got a new challenge, so many people sold more and made more commissions and bonuses, and it’s always the individual benefiting as well. So, I think it’s also important to note that they’re not at opposing ends. They actually go hand-in-hand.

William Tincup: 14:02 I was going to ask you about the internal mobility side. Was that most of what you’ve seen so far? Is that individual driven? Is the employee, “I’ve learned this. I’m about to see a new job,” and they’re taking a more active role in terms of their own career development and career exploration? Or are you seeing it more on the company is starting to see that, either through machine learning or AI et cetera? Somebody picks up a new skill. There’s a job in London that needs that skill combined with the other things that they know, and the company is serving up those things kind of like Netflix. You like So and so. You might also this other thing.

14:45 Where do you see where it is currently? Is it more the employees driving that, learning those things, and then seeking out those opportunities, or is the business leveraging what the employee’s doing and then serving up those opportunities?

Nellie: 15:03 In this case, it was actually a combination of both. The challenge that this bank had was that they were digitally transforming as everyone else in the world is [inaudible 00:15:13]. They were no exception. But one of the challenges they had was that all of their, especially analysts, associates, and the younger part of the workforce, they had been hired not because of their digital skills, because they didn’t have any, but more because of other types of education backgrounds and career backgrounds and so on, so it was a very big gap.

15:34 They had some people who had been educated in, for example, hospitality. Then now, they were going to be data scientists, and that’s obviously a huge gap. But a big part of it was also matching these gaps, and that’s where all the data integration connections that we provide, all of that was of massive help because they could now see that this part of the bank, they can actually upscale in design thinking, data science, and so on, and then apply to these roles that require that part for the job description.

16:02 So, it was mainly around digital skills, but just the connection around who needs what. That was what they didn’t have before, and that’s what we provided. Because as mentioned with the LMSs, it’s one size fits none and everyone gets the same. Whereas in our case, it’s like, “No, what does William need? What does Nellie need? What does this person need?” And that’s what led to that stark increase because suddenly it was actually related to what they needed and not just a mass program kind of approach.

William Tincup: 16:31 I love that.

16:31 So, I hate software categorization with a passion just because I think that the very moment that you’re in a category is the very moment you just start to defy that category. That being said, I also know that HR and recruiting budgets are built in Excel, so I have to reconcile these two things, two hatreds. One is, the question is, what category do people throw you into, and what category do you think you would like to see yourself in if those are different?

Nellie: 17:13 This has been actually quite an interesting journey for us and for me personally as well navigating this because, given the learning ecosystem, the HR ecosystem is so vast. Yeah, not a fan of categorization, as you said, either. But the category that we are in is social learning. We define ourselves as a social learning platform. We operate in social learning, and we’re favoring the social learning approach, which is learning from other people together with other people and based on human experience.

17:42 But then, what’s been interesting in the last 12 months is that we’ve done a lot of LMS replacements. We’ve replaced, especially, Cornerstone. Saba is the biggest one that we’ve been replacing. In a lot of cases, we’re replacing LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, these kind of platforms too, so that has brought us a little bit closer to, at least the Cornerstone side, to replace LMSs. I spoke with an analyst at one of the big research firms, and she said, “You’re an LMS.” Looking at our product and technology, she’s like, “Yeah, you could just be a whole LMS, and I would put you in the LMS category.” I personally don’t like the LMS category because I think they’re so boring.

William Tincup: 18:18 You wanted to vomit at that moment. There was the moment you wanted to … How do I hold it back? Yeah, of course.

Nellie: 18:24 But then, if you look at it, are we a learning management system? Yes, plus [inaudible 00:18:28] things.

William Tincup: 18:28 Yeah, technically.

Nellie: 18:28 But we could replace LMSs, and that’s what we’ve been doing in the last 12 months. So, I would say we’re social learning, but also in the LMS category for enterprise-wide rollouts.

William Tincup: 18:39 So, questions to some of the buy side stuff, questions that a prospect should be asking Tigerhall as it relates to social learning. What are those questions?

Nellie: 18:53 If you’re a buyer talking to us, we tend to give a lot of information, obviously, but some questions that you should ask is about the audience segmentation. And we would ask you questions around this as well. One of the challenges that we see from our perspective is where are you in that maturity curve? If you’re coming in with a one-size-fits-none approach right now, then you might still be able to make that shift based on how does your HRMS work. How is your Workday set up? How is your Microsoft Graph set up? Are you using Active Directory sync? Those are some questions to think about, and then to ask us how would we audience segment. At what level of personalization would we be able to get to based on the tech setup that you have at the moment?

19:39 If you tell us, “I don’t use Active Directory sync. I don’t use Microsoft Graph. I have a very messy Workday HRMS,” for example, then we can tell you, “Okay, this is the level at which we’re able to audience segment.” But if you have all of those in place, then that’s a different level. So, ask us about audience segmentation, Ask us about how we curate different topics, different programs. We do many enterprise-wide engagements, where we do everything from board training to new hire onboarding is a big use case, first-time manager training. So, ask us about those. That’s another thing. And then, ask us about the technology stack, depending on which tech you’re using, and how that would fit in, and how we integrate with that.

William Tincup: 20:22 Love that. Good gosh, with that right there, you just unpack that, audience. That’s some good stuff. Favorite part of the Tigerhall demo for you. You just get to a certain place, and you’re like, “I can’t wait to show them this.” What is that?

Nellie: 20:38 The biggest wow moment that we usually get from every single one we demo to is the live stream. This is what I personally love as the CEO of Tigerhall as well when I use it for my own team, is that I can literally go into the app and say, “I want to go live to this audience right now.” And all of them, in one second, gets a push notification that says, “Hey, Nellie’s live, and she’s talking about A and B.” And they can just press that push notification and join in the live stream, and right away, we’re chatting. I love that because it allows me to be very targeted.

21:12 I know many CEOs have this challenge where you do a wide town hall. It’s very hard to address everyone in the whole company at the same time about one topic, but if you have them split in different audiences, then going live to them just like 10, 50 minutes each, you can answer their questions, you can have a narrative that fits the engineering team, that fits the marketing team, the sales team, and speak to them based on what’s important for them. That’s a massive thing that I love myself, that feature, and I use it a lot myself, but also that I know is always a wow moment when we demo to customers.

William Tincup: 21:46 Most recent customer success story that you love, and no brands, no names, nothing like that, just the project went really well, implementation, the people, et cetera, just something you just really, really love, the success story.

Nellie: 22:06 Something I really, really love personally because I know the big impact we made in this, and I can actually share the name as well because it’s a public case study, is with AWS. With AWS-

William Tincup: 22:17 A small firm.

Nellie: 22:18 … we’ve been working with … Small firm. With AWS, we’ve been working with their Underrepresented Founders.

William Tincup: 22:24 Oh, cool.

Nellie: 22:26 So, AWS have this segment worldwide, which is called URF, Underrepresented Founders. It’s founders from minorities, from Black communities, women, Hispanic, disabled, any kind of minority you can think of, and who are running startups. And they bought Tigerhall for those startups. So, 99% of our customers use it for internal employees or partners, customers, if they have customer education, but AWS got it for specifically to upscale and uplift these underrepresented founders.

22:58 It’s just amazing when you look at the results. People are able to build partnerships. They got articles in Forbes. They were able to raise funding. They got so much out of this social learning experience that they had on Tigerhall, so that’s definitely my favorite project given the very special touch it had. And we had people in that program from Latin America, from Southeast Asia, from all around the world. I just love the impact that it had, so quite a different use case to most of what we’re used to, but amazing impact.

William Tincup: 23:29 Love it. Nellie, this has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so much. I know it’s early, late for you in Singapore, but I absolutely appreciate your time.

Nellie: 23:40 Likewise. Thanks a lot for having me, William.

William Tincup: 23:42 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.

Announcer: 23:47 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

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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