The Human Resource Executive 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers! Do Lists Matter?

A big list got released yesterday and I wouldn’t be writing about it unless I’m on it, right?! Well, I might write about it if I wasn’t on it. I mean, it feels great to be recognized for something you have passion for and enjoy. Recognition at any level tends to feel good, which is why it’s so powerful.

There are so many people on the 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers that I admire and call friends including my two HR Famous podcast partners – Jessica Lee and Madeline Laurano! They both made the list. Also friends like: Steve Boese, Sarah White, Laurie Ruettimann, Jeanne Achille, Stacy Zapar, Jackye Clayton, Torin Ellis, Kyle Lagunas, George LaRocque, Trish McFarlane, Erin Spencer, Joey Price, Jason Averbook, and so many others.

What the heck is an HR Tech Influencer?

I know, personally, probably 65% of the Top 100 list. So, I can only speak about those individuals, but I’m guessing the rest of the list is fairly similar. First, they are super passionate about HR technology. We are all super nerds for this stuff and when we get together the talk gets deep into nerdy. Second, they all care about making technology and the function of HR, and all the sub-functions of HR, better.

Some do this through working as an actual practitioner in the weeds of day-to-day HR. Some do it by working on the vendor side to improve and create the next generation of technology we will come to rely on. And others work in the analyst space building a bridge between the vendor and practitioner improving the knowledge base about what we buy and why.

Every single one of these folks is a 1%er when it comes to HR Tech knowledge. Meaning, on average, they would know more about HR Tech than 99% of the other folks working in HR. They are the definition of Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. They made themselves into experts and that by itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not many folks in the world could call themselves an expert at anything!

Who has the “real” juice?

Damn! That’s the million-dollar question! And I literally mean, a million dollars! Because vendors and conferences are trying to figure out who has the juice! What’s the juice? It’s that something special that a person has, through a combination of a lot of factors, where they command a large audience of potential buyers. It’s a combination of expertise, personality, access, charisma, honesty, giving back, etc. No two folks have the same factors or create the same juice.

In the HR Tech World, there is one person who has more juice than anyone at the moment. That guy is Josh Bersin. Josh is like the gallon-size bottle of juice and most of the rest of us are like the 6 oz glass of juice in comparison! That’s just a fact. I’m lucky that Josh invited me to be a faculty member in his academy, but I’m not saying this because of that. The reality is he moves the market like no one else in our space.

Vendors are always trying to figure out who has the juice. Who is going to bring buyers into the tent? Honestly, if you can’t afford Josh, it’s probably a combination of a lot of folks on that list, as well as a bunch of folks who aren’t on the list but still have juice (William Tincup, Matt Charney, Kris Dunn, Deb McGrath, Rob Kelly, Hung Lee, Guillermo Gorea, Chris Hoyt, Gerry Crispin, Erica Young, Chris Harvilla, etc.).

Juice has little to do with the social footprint, but you can’t ignore a large audience. Some folks might have a ton of juice on Twitter, but nothing on LinkedIn, or IG. No presence on Twitter, but a great following on Facebook. The key is interaction on whatever platform they are on. Like, are you really on Twitter if you tweet and no one engages?

TL;DR – There’s Josh Bersin, then there is a cliff, and then there are the rest of us at the bottom of that cliff. Also, no one wants to see their real “juice” number, it’s humbling.

Do these lists matter?

So many people will say, No. I get that. But, for the millions of HR pros out in the world, this is a great start if you are trying to educate yourself about technology within HR. So, in that vein, these lists do matter. I got into HR Tech because of a conversation I had with William Tincup seven years ago! I met him through my interactions with other influencers on the list. I became an expert in this space because of that interaction.

Because of lists, like the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers, I have people reach out to me daily with questions they have about the technology in our space. A list like this gives people an avenue to pursue and access expert opinions.

Are these lists inclusive of every voice that should be heard? Of course not, that would be impossible. It’s also super hard to get minority and young voices on these lists, based on the demographic of HR Tech nerds in general. But this list does an exceptional job at adding these voices, especially around female voices (which make up the majority of HR pros!). It’s a snapshot of a moment, and the list is ever-evolving. Also, vendors rarely make it on because of conflict of interest with selling, but some of the best minds in HR Tech are working at vendors. But they do matter to a great number of people who are trying to better their HR Tech knowledge.

Shout out to the HR Exec team, including, Elizabeth Clarke and Rebecca McKenna for putting in the work to create and edit this list. It’s a thankless task usually that only comes with criticism.

You can check out the full list right here.

Is it the end of HR Famous? #HRFamous

On episode 98 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss coffee rules of the office, KD’s new job, and changes to the podcast!

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

98 – Coffee Rules and KD's New Job HR Famous

On episode 98 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee and Kris Dunn come together to discussl coffee rules of the office, KD’s new job, and changes to the podcast! Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)! SHOW HIGHLIGHTS: 1:30 – KD still isn’t playing Wordle. Quite late to the party still… 3:30 – Dawn Burke sent the crew her husband’s coffee routine. This made Tim wonder when free coffee at work became a thing. He wants free Diet Mountain Dew at work! 6:30 – Tim has some observations as a non-coffee drinker. He observes the dynamics of bad coffee makers vs. good coffee makers.  8:50 – KD recently visited Tim’s home base in Lansing, MI. He thought it was a lot smaller than Tim makes it sound.  11:20 – Big announcement! KD accepted a new job at Marriott, joining JLee! He’s staying in Alabama but visiting Bethesda, MD every couple of weeks.  14:15 – KD says that he didn’t do the LinkedIn post that talks about leaving a company but without giving an update. JLee and Tim hate those posts.  17:30 – In the very first episode of this podcast, KD got hate from JLee for saying Marriott wrong. It’s Marriott, like a chariot.  22:45 – KD has noticed that some partners at Marriott have been eager to come to Birmingham instead of having him go into the DC area. He says he’s fine to travel to them instead of hosting others.  29:00 – Next big announcement of the pod, KD is going to be leaving. JLee and Tim are going to continue on with the mission! He’s leaving but not gone forever.  
  1. 98 – Coffee Rules and KD's New Job
  2. 97 – Standing Desk Etiquette, When to Get a Coach
  3. 96 – Inflation Pressure on Pay, Calendly Power Plays
  4. 95 – Future of Sourcing/Outbound Recruiting with Shannon Pritchett of HireEZ (formerly Hiretual)
  5. 94 – Wordle and Letting People Choose WFH Days

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

1:30 – KD still isn’t playing Wordle. Quite late to the party still…

3:30 – Dawn Burke sent the crew her husband’s coffee routine. This made Tim wonder when free coffee at work became a thing. He wants free Diet Mountain Dew at work!

6:30 – Tim has some observations as a non-coffee drinker. He observes the dynamics of bad coffee makers vs. good coffee makers. 

8:50 – KD recently visited Tim’s home base in Lansing, MI. He thought it was a lot smaller than Tim makes it sound. 

11:20 – Big announcement! KD accepted a new job at Marriott, joining JLee! He’s staying in Alabama but visiting Bethesda, MD every couple of weeks. 

14:15 – KD says that he didn’t do the LinkedIn post that talks about leaving a company but without giving an update. JLee and Tim hate those posts. 

17:30 – In the very first episode of this podcast, KD got hate from JLee for saying Marriott wrong. It’s Marriott, like a chariot. 

22:45 – KD has noticed that some partners at Marriott have been eager to come to Birmingham instead of having him go into the DC area. He says he’s fine to travel to them instead of hosting others. 

29:00 – Next big announcement of the pod, KD is going to be leaving. JLee and Tim are going to continue on with the mission! He’s leaving but not gone forever.

Virtual Standing Desk Etiquette & When Is It Time to Get a Coach? #HRFamous

On episode 97 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Kris Dunn, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss Station Eleven, standing desk etiquette, and the phenomenon of life coaching.

Be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:45 – Any Station Eleven fans? Tim feels some kinship because it takes place around his home, the Great Lakes. 

5:30 – JLee remembers KD’s commitment to do 100 pull-ups a day. He says he doesn’t do them every day but he can do 120-150 reps.

7:30 – JLee asks a question about work from home etiquette. She was on a call with someone that was at a standing desk. She felt like the person standing was being imposing.

12:30 – Anyone else eat spaghetti on Zoom? JLee does. And tomato soup…

13:00 – Coaching is all the rage. JLee asks why it’s so popular and who the type of person is that becomes a coach. Tim thinks it’s all the boomers that early-retired during the pandemic. 

17:00 JLee wonders when a coach is even necessary and if an AI bot would just be a better option to chat. 

19:00 – Tim went to a coach once and he just felt like all the coach was doing was agreeing with what he was already thinking and doing. 

21:45 – KD wonders what percentage of coaches can actually deliver what someone needs. He thinks only 10-20%. 

24:45 – JLee wonders why people want to separate the pay conversation from a performance review. Tim agrees and doesn’t understand it either. 

28:00 – Tim’s first pay increase in a corporate environment was 3% and he was furious. He couldn’t wrap his head around it. 

32:00 – KD starts doing a mock performance review/pay conversation with JLee. The pay will never be what you want. 

34:00 – KD says people don’t contrast good vs. great enough. 

Is it a power play to send someone your Calendly link? #HRFamous

On episode 96 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee and Kris Dunn come together to discuss a reported uptick in Glassdoor reviews mentioning inflation and the power dynamics (or lack thereof) of making someone use your Calendly scheduler.

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

3:00 – JLee’s dry January quickly devolved into drinking wine on a Wednesday. She just finished Station Eleven and is watching And Just Like That. 

5:20 – Tim has been loving season 2 of Righteous Gemstones. He says it’s his guilty pleasure. 

9:00 – KD recommends Southside on HBO Max. He calls it “lighter fare” in comparison to the post-apocalyptic Station Eleven. 

11:45 – KD found a Twitter thread from an economist about the rising concern from employees about inflation and how it affects their pay. KD asks JLee how much concern there actually is about inflation. 

18:00 – Tim doesn’t think the average Glassdoor reviewer is mentioning raises due to inflation but the average employe e may be discussing inflation while asking for a raise. 

21:20 – KD poses a situation to Tim where an employee comes in and tells him that his company’s pay isn’t keeping up with inflation. 

23:20 – Next topic: the power dynamics of using automated calendars. KD mentions this tweet about the etiquette behind Calendly. 

26:00 – Tim doesn’t get how it’s a power play for someone to send a meeting link to someone else for a pre-arranged meeting. JLee offers a different power play scenario that fits the bill. 

28:30 – If you click a Calendly link, does that make you somebody’s b****? JLee and Tim don’t see what the big deal is. They also both do not use an automated calendar system. 

33:00 – KD says that the person that sends their Calendly link after someone has already sent one is the true power graber. 

40:00 – We’re pulling for an early summer!!!

Future of Sourcing/Outbound Recruiting with Shannon Pritchett of hireEZ (formerly Hiretual)

On episode 95 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leader Tim Sackett is joined by HireEZ’s (formerly Hiretual) CMO, Shannon Pritchett, to discuss Outbound Recruiting strategies and the real struggles of modern TA.

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

1:15 – It’s a Tim solo pod today! He is joined by special guest Shannon Pritchard. She is the Head of Marketing from HireEZ (formerly Hiretual). 

6:30 – Tim notes that in marketing, we often don’t devote enough resources to building communities when that could be a great strategy for the longevity of a business. Shannon notes that this is something that HireEZ (formerly Hiretual) has learned from being at a start-up. 

9:15 – Tim asks Shannon to explain what HireEZ is to those who might not know. Shannon notes it’s an outbound recruiting process. They want to bring in automation and AI to speed up the recruiting process. 

10:00 – Tim discusses how the modern recruiter will say the most difficult part of their job is finding talent. He says that it’s not really the hardest thing but it’s getting talent to respond to you and talk about your position. 

12:00  – You heard it here first! Hiretual will now be known as HireEZ

15:00 – Shannon notes that they’re giving referral bonuses for interviews.

17:30 – Tim tells a story about how a TA leader took several months to get back to him from a LinkedIn message. What are they doing??

20:00 – Tim says that some TA leaders will ask him if they should hire another recruiter or add more tech. He says they will probably need both. 

23:30 – Shannon says that it’s important to not stop advertising but to reinvest in outbound tactics. 

25:00 – Tim asks Shannon to discuss the mini-conference HireEZ is hosting in Mountain View this week. They’re calling it Outbound RecruitCon. It’s only an hour long!

26:50 – Tim thinks the future of TA may be having an inbound team and an outbound team. 

30:00 – Tim says that he doesn’t see himself in a corporate TA role in the future but he would set up an inbound and outbound team if he were in that role. 

36:30 – You can find Shannon on Twitter @sourcingshannon and check out HireEZ.com!

Work Bathroom Etiquette and Should Employees Pick Their Own WFH Days? #HRFamous

FYI – I just listened to this episode and it made me laugh out loud for real, several times!

On episode 94 of the HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett and Jessica Lee come together to discuss bathrooms in the workplace, Wordle, and why you shouldn’t let your employees choose their WFH days.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights

1:30 – KD is out sick this week! Just Tim and JLee.

3:00 – Tim mentions that he had a conversation with a co-worker in the bathroom before they hopped on their call. JLee asked if they made eye contact while they talked.

5:00 – JLee talks about how genderless bathrooms can bring about new bathroom dynamics. Tim says he’s only seen genderless bathrooms where it’s single-use only.

7:30 – Tim asks JLee if she’s the type of mom who lets her kid in the bathroom or locks the door. She says she tries to lock the door so she can play Wordle.

9:45 – JLee is a Wordle strategy queen. Tim has failed, but JLee is still undefeated.

13:30 – The draft of KD’s second book is done! Look out for Best Boss Ever coming soon.

15:45 – Tim and JLee are big fans of footnotes in books. More footnotes in books!

17:45 – Harvard Business Review released their top articles of 2021 and the top one of the year was “Don’t Let Your Employees Pick Their WFH Days.” This article discusses the realities of making WFH successful long-term.

19:30 – One main reason not to let your employees choose their WFH days is the idea of “mixed modes.” This refers to the reality where some people are in the office and some are at home.

22:00 – JLee thinks it’s important to designate and create criteria for in-office work so you can reduce your office footprint and optimize in-person work.

24:00 – The vast majority of people want to WFH on Mondays and Fridays.

27:20 – Tim thinks it’s naive to “treat people like adults” when it’s very prevalent that there are WFH/hybrid work issues.

29:00 – Tim talks about a discussion he had with an employee about a “blacklist.” He jokes that there isn’t an industry “blacklist,” but he has his own personal one.

31:00 – Tim is a fan of an employment blockchain. JLee is less of a fan.

Eating Hotdogs on Video Calls and other Bad Life Choices! #HRFamous

On episode 93 of the HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss eating on video calls, hiring during the holidays and choosing your own salary and benefits.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights

3:30 – JLee ponders the etiquette of eating on camera during WFH meetings. She’s had co-workers eat hot dogs and many other things. Tim asks why someone is eating hot dogs at home during the day.

5:45 – KD thinks it’s fine to eat during normal eating hours but not with any external clients.

8:00 – JLee is a regular on-camera eater. She says that she often goes to the pantry in the middle of calls and comes back in with a snack.

13:20 – JLee has a job opening and she’s ready to post the job but is worried about posting it during the holidays. KD says she should post the job right away with no hesitation. Tim talks about how post-new years, many people will have newfound motivation.

16:30 – Here is the link to the Marriott job JLee is hiring for! Go work with her!

18:30 – KD mentions a consulting job where the company he worked with had a strategy that consisted of solely on reposting jobs and money on monster.com.

21:00 – JLee is the best hiring manager. She’s responsive, does some of her own sourcing, and writes stellar job descriptions.

23:00 – JLee mentions an article about a company in France that lets their employees choose their own salary and hours to help prevent burnout. JLee asks the crew what they think their employees’ response was.

26:00 – KD mentions how salespeople at a company carry a huge burden to bring in the revenue for a business. Tim says that his sales employees have to bring in five to six times their salary to provide for the entire company.

28:30 – JLee mentions that Tim’s answer was pretty spot on. Some asked for more money, some asked for more benefits, and some didn’t ask for anything more.

30:00 – KD thinks the baller move is to ask for a 3-day work week rather than a pay increase.

32:00 – JLee mentions that some Audi employees get free cars, comped car insurance, and some money for gas!

What if your Candidate Experience was more like hailing a ride on Uber? #HRFamous

On episode 92 of the HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss how HR and recruiting could be more like Uber, then shift to the promise of legal immigration in the U.S. to help fight worker-shortage issues.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights

1:30 – Tim recently went and sat on the floor at an MSU game. He said he doesn’t know how to go to a basketball game ever again.

9:45 – Bruce Springsteen recently sold his music catalog for $500 million. Tim asks the group what artist/group they would buy a catalog from. JLee chose Mariah Carey. KD chose Nirvana.

13:00 – Tim mentions that Taylor Swift’s catalog got sold, but she is now re-recording all of her catalog to get back at the owners. Tim chose Michael Jackson over Prince.

15:15 – JLee saw Yao Ming in her office once and was blown away by how big he was and how it impacts every part of his life.

16:30 – Tim mentions an article about how Uber made its users OK with waiting. He relates to a candidate experience perspective and asks how HR pros and recruiters could put something in place to make waiting better.

18:00 – KD thinks that hiring managers need to commit to a day that they will make their decision and communicate that date. It’s the equivalent of arrival time for Uber!

20:00 – Tim says that ATS status updates are too high-level and unspecific.

24:00 – JLee has the idea to do “hiring manager ratings” just like “driver ratings” that are on rideshare apps. Tim iterates off that and comes up with “number of interviews/hires” just like “number of rides.”

25:15 – In 2021, the U.S. population grew by 0.1%. This is the lowest amount since 1918 when the influenza pandemic and World War I were happening. Tim thinks this is a major demographic issue where we aren’t replacing as fast as we are losing people.

27:30 – Tim asks the crew how revamping immigration could help fight against this problem. JLee and Tim discuss making it easier for people to immigrate by focusing on the process.

31:00 – KD mentions how 300,000 visas sound minuscule for what is actually needed to help with the lack of workers in this country.

Can work culture be defined by everyone wearing a baseball cap? #HRFamous

On episode 90 of the HR Famous podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettJessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss characters on HBO’s Succession, wearing company-branded apparel on Zoom calls to attempt to build culture, and increases in health-insurance costs.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights

2:45 – JLee had a call with her chief legal counsel and she forgot she had a hoodie on and felt underdressed.

4:15 – JLee is late to the Succession game but now she is obsessed. Tim and KD are longtime fans. JLee asks, “Who is the least worst of the Succession siblings?”

9:40 – Tim didn’t realize while watching Schitt’s Creek that Catherine O’Hara (Moira Rose) was the mom in Home Alone.

11:30 – A recent Business Insider article reported that a CEO of an established company expects all employees to wear baseball caps/hats on Zoom calls to represent being a part of the company.

16:45 – Tim mentioned that when he worked at Applebee’s, they loved when their employees wore their logo on the clothes they wore to work and often gave out clothing with the logo.

19:30 – JLee just realized she’s a perpetrator of this because she bought every member of her team the same hat on a team outing.

26:00 – JLee has noticed that benefits rates are going up and she’s curious about how companies are communicating to their employees why the rates are increasing. Tim said his rates were going to go up by 34%.

28:00 – Tim says that during the pandemic, health-insurance companies had really low utilization and so it looks like this is a cash grab.

32:00 – Tim has often run into a problem with Blue Cross where they always try to make you pay more than you actually need to and then employees need to fight back against the insurance company.

35:00 – JLee is a brand loyalist, even when it comes to medicine!

Letting Every Employee Hire & Helping Your Kids Negotiate Job Offers!

On episode 89 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss gifted book recommendations, letting employees hire for new roles, and helping your children negotiate job offers. 

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

2:30 – Shoutout to JLee’s brother-in-law, Eugene!

5:00 – Tim is on yet another vacation with his wife and family to Hawaii! He bought a few books for this trip and he asked the crew if they were going to give a book to someone for the holidays, what book would they give?

6:30 – KD’s recommendations include Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday and American Kingpin by Nick Bilton. 

8:00 – JLee recommends Plant Therapy for the Plant Lovers and Act Like a Leader, Think like a leader by Herminia Ibarra for the business folk. Tim recommends Living, Loving, and Learning by Leo Buscaglia. 

13:00 – Lots of great book recs this episode! KD recommends fiction writer Douglas Copeland

14:20 – Tim recently wrote a blog post asking “what if we let our normal employees make a hire?”. This would involve almost none of the normal application process; no interview, no resumes, no filler. 

17:00 – KD says that to an extent, companies already do this with the adage “everyone’s a recruiter”. 

19:45 – Tim thinks that small orgs can test this hiring practice and do it on a much smaller scale rather than a huge scale at a major corporation. 

23:45 – JLee tells a story about her first interview at Marriott. JLee wasn’t a typical hire since she didn’t come from a huge brand and a prestigious university. 

26:00 – Tim says you have to be careful on who you hand this hiring responsibility to but notes that some companies that are struggling to find employees have nothing to lose.

27:00 – Tim’s son and podcast producer, Cam, just recently accepted a new job offer. He asked Tim if he should negotiate his job offer and Tim said of course. Tim was super nervous that as soon as he negotiated, that his offer would get pulled. 

31:30 – KD asks JLee about how many managers would step away from an offer if someone tried to negotiate with them. JLee thinks less than 10%. 

—————Jessica Lee, Kris Dunn, and Tim Sackett

Kinetix

HRU Tech

Jessica Lee on LinkedIn

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

The Tim Sackett Project

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series