Category Archives: General

Building a Career in HRIS and HRIT – Insights from the Trenches

“Like a lot of people, it’s something I fell into. I don’t think there’s anybody out there that woke up and said, “When I grow up, I want to be an HR tech/HRIS person. So I had a background in social work, counseling, and nonprofit, then got into it and then ended up working in an HRIS role implementing a learning management system.

That was my first kind of true HRIS and I’d never worked with learning management before. I’d never worked in HR before. So it was a learning experience for me. But since then, I’ve grown in responsibility and different systems that I’ve worked with, and I’ve gotten a lot of experience doing data analytics, people analytics and system support.

I just love that blending of technology and people.”

Tim Whitley, Director of HR Technology, Oklahoma State


We’re Only Human — Episode 168

Everyone knows the core elements of human resources: hiring, training, compliance, payroll… But what about HRIS?

What does it take to excel in that type of role, and how do you get into that specific discipline of HR? In this interview with Tim Whitley, the HR Tech Wizard, Ben dives into that background, the transition, and advice Tim might have for others that want to explore the same career path. 

Show Notes

The #1 Pay Transparency Priority for Employers

“Pay transparency is here (or coming) depending on where you’re located and where you’re hiring people. It’s kind of like a snowball rolling down the hill getting bigger and bigger. It’s something to really stop and think about and prepare for now, because it’s not easy. I think the biggest thing around transparency is thinking about what your education plan is for your people.”

Megan Nail, Vice President, Total Rewards Practice at NFP

We’re Only Human — Episode 167

In our research with employers, we find many of them believe that salary transparency puts more power into the hands of candidates and employees, but there’s also a lot of value for employers, too. If your organization wants to stand out from the crowd, it’s not as simple as bumping up pay and walking away. 

In today’s interview with Megan Nail, she tells some of the best strategies for evaluating your compensation competitiveness against internal and external measurements. Plus she gives her best advice on how to manage pay transparency in a healthy, employee-focused manner. 

Show Notes


Turning Labor Market Insights into Talent Intelligence with Brian Jackson of Southwest Airlines

So we’re looking at how the words are actually formed. When you’re hiring for a technology manager, what does that mean? Are you looking for a technical technology manager? Are you looking for someone who grew up in the chops of software development, knows all of the full delivery life cycle, or are you looking for someone who’s more project focused? If your job description isn’t conveying those skills or that type of clarification in the job description, you’re not gonna get the right person. You might get lucky.  But when you’re hiring at scale, you know you can’t do that time and time again. 

Brian Jackson, Talent Acquisition Consultant, Southwest Airlines

We’re Only Human — Episode 166

How can employers use the data from the larger labor market to make decisions on key skills, strategic workforce planning, and other human capital activities? 

In this episode, Ben talks with Brian Jackson of Southwest Airlines on that exact topic, diving into data sources, how to translate insights, and more. Talent leaders that have considered exploring the new era of talent intelligence will learn Brian’s thinking on the topic and how he supports his team with external labor data from beyond the four walls of the organization. 

Show Notes

Skills, Potential, and Work Insights from Heidi Perloff of The Estée Lauder Companies

“ I do think that there is so much hidden talent inside our organizations, and we don’t even realize it.  How do you find that? How do you leverage that? How do you build and develop that? This is what I find so interesting about the skills conversation. Everything that we’ve just been talking, about the potential and impact for any one of us is huge.”

Heidi Perloff, SVP, Global HR Strategic Initiatives and Delivery Solutions at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

We’re Only Human – Episode 165

Think about yourself and your work for a moment. Does your job title capture everything you are capable of doing, or does it just highlight a small subset of your skills that make you who you are? 

In this episode of We’re Only Human, Ben talks with Heidi Perloff from The Estee Lauder Companies about the importance of knowing our people, understanding our own talents and passions, and how to bring those together in the workplace. 

Show Notes

Show Notes

4 Signs a Company Doesn’t Value HR [Reader Question]

Hi all!

It’s been a minute. Working on a lot of fun stuff between the latest book, HR Summer School, regular livestream events, a ton of speaking at HR conferences and industry events, and so on. But I still get questions pretty regularly and love addressing them when I can (here’s the archive you can skim). Here’s one that came in recently:

I’m looking for my next HR job. At my last company I realized too late that they didn’t really care about what HR had to say. They had only hired me to check a box, and my opinions and ideas didn’t really matter. How do I find a company that really values HR input and practices?


Ouch. I think a lot of us in HR have had an experience where we got surprised by something like this, even though we’re often the ones who have our radar up for leadership weirdness and other things that might make a workplace toxic or unsustainable.

That said, if you’re one of those leaders looking to make a change, here’s what I would recommend looking for or asking about in the evaluation process.

  1. What’s the HR to employee ratio? 1 to 50? 1 to 100 (which is often kicked around as an industry average)? 1 to 1,000? While it’s not an exact science, the more extreme the ratio, the more you can tell what the company expects from HR. 1:50 = high-touch HR. 1:1,000 = paper-pusher HR.
  2. If you can see the location, where does HR sit? Are you in the middle of the people, far removed from the people? This isn’t a deal breaker but it’s good to know if it jives with your expectations and preferences. HR CAN work remotely, but it can be challenging.
  3. What would be your first 5-10 priorities in the role? If everything they want you to focus on is compliance-oriented, then that’s telling. Handbook. Policies. Absenteeism. Related: they avoid or dodge discussions of more modern HR practices like stay interviews or technology. You are looking for relationship-building, establishing trust, etc. as priorities, not just getting a handbook hammered out ASAP.
  4. Ask about past investments, focus, and behavior. Past behavior is a predictor of future behavior overall from a trend perspective. If they haven’t invested in employee-centric things in the past, why now? What’s changed? Why do you have any reason to believe they will do differently next year than they did last year?

It’s hard to calculate this, but I’ve seen this to be true at many, many companies: if the HR department is consistently left out of important discussions, planning, or decision-making processes, this is a likely sign that the company does not value their contributions.

Best of luck to you, Jaded!

How to Skip 1,500 Interviews and Increase Quality of Hire

And so that doesn’t happen overnight. But over time, as people bought into it and we started to see over the course of one year, we gave the business back 1500 interviews. Imagine the extra time that was available for our product managers. They could do their job, and then when the quality of hire goes up with that, you start to get this [positive] cycle. You’ve now made a better hire, and because you started with listening, there’s a high probability that [they’re] gonna be successful and stay longer.

Lance Sapera, Former VP Talent Acquisition, Talend

We’re Only Human — Episode 164

How do you structure talent acquisition teams to support business growth?

Did you know that the best approach isn’t to use a very lean team and overwork them? That’s the perspective of today’s guest, Lance Sapera, who has supported multiple organizations through rapid growth as a talent acquisition executive. The insights he offers are a roadmap to smarter, more effective hiring practices.

As the title indicates, Lance shares one change to TA processes that led to 1,500 fewer interviews AND a stronger quality of hire at the same time, which is virtually unheard of. 

Grab your notepad. This is a great episode and you should have some excellent takeaways. 

Show Notes

Can HR Really Work Remotely? How Eco’s Head of People Does It

I’m really excited we are a fully remote organization. It’s why I get to do the work I do from Hawaii. It does mean I have really early mornings, so be aware of what you’re signing up for, but I get to work fully remote. In supporting fully remote organizations, we have to be incredibly intentional about the culture and the way we work.

Diana Brown, Head of People, Eco

We’re Only Human — Episode 163

Working remote. It’s a polarizing topic overall, but perhaps even more so when it comes to HR positions. Should HR be in the office, or is it okay if People professionals work remotely?

In this episode, Ben talks with Diana Brown of Eco about how she and her team manage the remote/distributed aspects of creating a connected, employee-focused culture through intentional design, communications, and more. 

Show Notes