An Afternoon Discussion About HR Tech and Challenges

We caught one of Mensch dear clients and an HR expert, Orit Federline Doodai, for a quick chat about HR technology, people strategy and challenges.

Please tell us a bit about yourself – I’ve been working in the HR field for over 10 years, where I’ve held a wide variety of different positions, covering aspects like training and organizational development, recruitment/head-hunting and leading HR activities. Today, I’m the HR Manager at Wiser, a data solutions startup located in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Please describe Wiser – what kind of organization is this? what is its DNA? Wiser, an Israeli-American startup, helps retailers and brands turn omnichannel data into action that increases revenue, reduces costs, and improves marketing effectiveness. Our headquarters are in the US and our Israel offices are located in central Tel Aviv. Both locations offer a dynamic work environment with cutting-edge tech development challenges.

Why it was important for you to add an HRM to Wiser? HR management software is a must-have for every growing company. HR is a wide discipline that encompasses various responsibilities. A company’s HR department is the leading and the executor of a people strategy; they set relevant KPIs, define processes, and measure and identify insights to hit KPIs. But of course, it’s impossible to do any of this without the right HRIS platform. It’s important to find a platform that streamlines your HR processes by putting them all in one place, helping you track and meet KPIs.

On top of that, an HRIS will take a company’s HR department to the next level when it comes to efficiency. It makes it easier for everyone to work together, creating a seamlessness between HR and managers, HR and finance, and management to employees. This enables better process measurement and management, and while you might think of it as a managerial tool, it ultimately provides transparency for all employees within the organization.

You mentioned People Strategy – can you elaborate more about what it is? People strategy is actually very similar to marketing or business strategy – you set the northern star and creating the path to reach it.  

For me, creating People Strategy in about building the right programs and processes to improve the human performance in the company, and demonstrating its clear contribution to the company bottom line. Applying people strategy is done by setting KPIs and measurements of HR processes, tracking and improving constantly.

What did you look for in the HRM? what was important for you? what are the important capabilities of an HRM? There are many parameters to consider when choosing an HRIs platform: First, I looked for a user-friendly tool to enable me, as HR Manager, to input all HR info (data, policies, processes).

Next, I looked for a system that integrates all HR and employment issues, so I can easily use the data for various analyses, gathering employees’ personal data, updating personal files, and other ‘behind the scenes’ processes.

Last, it was important to me that my tool-of-choice would allow managerial staff to easily receive reports, data and charts for both of their direct employees and the entire organization.

How do you see the HR tech evolving? What’s your tip to other HRs when trying to understand which technologies worth to adapt:

Right now, there’s a huge number of HR solutions. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming. Many of these are silo solutions that attempt to solve a single, narrow issue in the workspace: from mentoring apps to diversity and inclusion apps and different employee engagement tools.

Many of these solutions are geared toward the recruitment field — a huge industry and constant painpoint for any company. Due to the fierce competition between companies we see in the market today (especially the tech market), job opportunities are abundant for all employees. Thus, employees are constantly job searching and job hopping, making turnover high throughout the tech industry.  This is where recruitment software comes into play. Plus, because HR is such a wide and varied discipline, there are always new and different technologies to explore.

When choosing an HR technology to adapt to your organization, you’ll need to consider your KPIs and how technology can help you reach your goals.

 

I am Y generation! How did I stay 7 years in 1 company?

Everyone seems to have an opinion about millennials and the employment market.

The media calls them narcissistic, their parents call them lazy, the media calls them, and employers characterize them as impatient, disloyal, flighty, self-centered job candidates.

But even millennials grow up. Now, these “self-centered,” “lazy” “narcissists” make up 25 percent of the US workforce. By 2030, that number is projected to rise to 75 percent.

Yet generational gaps have existed for as long as generations have. And the things that Boomers hate about millennials also happen to be the things that give them an edge in the job market. It’s only that a different generation comes with a different mindset, and maintaining these ambitious young adults means adopting a modern way of management.

And I would know.

I’m one of those flighty Generation Y narcissists. But contrary to the stereotype, I’ve spent seven years at one company. So, speaking from personal experience, here are a few ways that you, the employer, can create high engagement and retention amongst your Generation Y employees.

Upon completing my bachelor’s degree in business and East Asian studies, I went straight to work as a junior clients account manager at an online media company. It was a small startup made up of 60 ambitious employees, where I had the opportunity to grow with the team and learn directly from my manager.

In fact, my manager (and ultimately, mentor) was an integral part of my experience here. He never told me how to do my job. Instead, he exposed me to industry trends and business models, guiding me toward my own method of managing my client’s portfolio. I learned a lot, grew professionally, and developed a new skill set.

Luckily, both my manager and the HR team recognized my management skills early on. They actively challenged me by increasing my responsibilities, involving me in solving complex problems, and assigning me to support and mentor new employees. They boosted both my confidence and my abilities during this pivotal, early stage of my career, helping me thrive.

The company appreciated my motivation, and I was promoted to managing a small team of media buyers. While this was an obvious win for me, it was also a big win for the company: by nurturing internal talent, they were home-growing their very own future managers. Plus, I became even more loyal to the company, aligning more closely with its goals and missions. After all, their success directly benefited me — the more the company grew and diversified its business models, the more I could grow professionally.

Though autodidacts and self-learners are commonplace amongst millennials our company’s HR team deliberately worked to foster the talents of today’s young manager, helping them grow into tomorrow’s leaders. For instance, I had the benefit of a monthly mentorship plan, as well as a six-month course in leadership and managerial skills, all of which strongly influenced the type of manager I am today.

This taste of success further motivated me, and I searched for my next challenge. Suddenly, leading five people was no longer enough — I wanted to challenge myself, to learn, to evolve by managing a much larger team, and when the opportunity came along i was well prepared for it. My last job at the company I’ve ended up leading a five-team department, including client success, business development, M&A, sales, and marketing.

My managers and the HR team identified my strengths early on, helping them understand the best way to lead me. The realized that to succeed in developing my career, I needed to be constantly challenged, yet I need to constantly deliver results. Plus, they made me feel important: they asked for my opinion, my ambitions, and how I gauged my own success within the company.

Of course, not all millennials are the same. But we are ambitious, hungry, and driven. We long to be challenged, and we need to be heard.

  1. Understand what matters to us. Generally, millennials are high achievers. But they may define success differently: to us, personal growth and development often outweigh financial rewards.
  2. Let us know how we’re doing. We crave constant feedback, good or bad. Provide recognition for good work, and constructive criticism on points for improvement — we’ll up our efforts in return 🙂
  3. Define goals, but don’t micromanage. Since Generation Y treats all of a company’s roles (from CEO to the most junior employee) as equal, expect to be treated that way. We appreciate leaders who mentor and are inspired by those who lead by example, are professional and experienced.
  4. Involve them in creating their work environment. Feedback is a two-way street, and employees should always have a voice when it comes to company activities, management, or anything else company-related.
  5. Don’t limit them. Millenials are multitaskers who like to get their hands dirty and try out new things. They don’t want to focus on just one area of responsibility — they want to learn. This can be a huge attribute to your company.