T3 – BrandAmper #HRTech

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

This week I have the pleasure of reviewing one of the hottest companies in HR Technology, and one that was named 2014 HR Technology Conference Awesome New Startup, Brand Amper by Ajax Workforce Marketing. Brand Amper is the genius behind two of the smartest people in HR Tech, Jason Seiden and Lisa Cervenka.  I’ve known Jason for years, and I personally consider him one of the brightest people I know, thus he makes really cool stuff for HR and Talent Pros! Lisa is the marketing genius behind the brand, and really helped to bring Brand Amper to life.

Brand Amper, at its core, is a branding solution specifically designed to meet the demands of managing and building a brand on social platforms like LinkedIn, where the “voice of the employee” trumps the voice of the company.  By helping employees use the company’s employer brand to look their best on social media, Brand Amper helps companies (1) make their brands stronger and more consistent, (2) identify keyword trends to improve social and career site content, (3) engage employee advocates in sharing authentic content about why people should join—and stay at—the company, (4) improve transparency and accuracy on review sites like Glassdoor, and (5) understand how employees represent the brand in real-time.

Employment branding has exploded onto the HR scene in such a huge way that almost no HR or Talent Pro doesn’t have this on their radar as a major issue/project they’re constantly involved in, in today’s work environment.  The one major problem we all face is how do we share ‘our’ brand, when our employees are going out and sharing something completely different. Brand Amper turns this upside down, and solves the issue from the opposite angle!

5 Things I really like about Brand Amper: 

1. Brand Amper solves your dilemma about “what is our employment brand, really”, issue.  It gives you exactly what your true employment brand is, and helps you to shape it on where you want to take it.

2. Brand Amper helps employees draft their employment story by walking them through some simple steps. Not creative? Doesn’t matter, Brand Amper can help the least creative person in the world come up with their story.

3.  The platform makes it really easy for employees to go out and share their story, making these stories some of the most powerful recruitment marketing you can buy. Except you didn’t have to buy it!

4. Connects with both LinkedIn and Glassdoor to make it super easy to help manage your employment brand on these two giant networks of potential candidates.

5. The entire process, while not designed to be an outcome, will raise your employee engagement.  Jason doesn’t sell this aspect, yet, because he wants the data from current clients to prove this, but I’ll say it, because it’s going to happen.  Employees love to share the good things about their job and their companies. I call this the “Grandma Effect”.  Employees want their grandmas to be proud of the job and company they work for.  Pride, raises engagement.  I’m not a genius, I just have worked in HR for 20 years.

I want to call out another T3 review I did on QueSocial (first time I’ve done this), but if I’m using Brand Amper, I’m following it up by using QueSocial. If I’m already using QueSocial, I think I would strengthen that investment by going back and starting to use Brand Amper!  If I own Brand Amper and Que Social, I’m figuring out a way to blend these two products together – because they would work great together!

Check out Brand Amper your employment brand needs this!


T3 – @OrgVue #HRTech

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

Today on T3 I get the pleasure of reviewing OrgVue a London based tech firm and management consultancy, that built one of the most awesome HR specific Business Intelligence tools I’ve ever seen!  OrgVue is an integrated software platform bringing Org Design, HR Analytics and WOrgVue logoorkforce Planning together in a single product. Gartner named them the ‘Cool’ product of 2014, and ‘Cool’ is an understatement!

Think about this way, you have many systems in your organization that have employee data, and even in a suite environment, rarely does everything come together nicely.  It’s messy. OrgVue takes all this messy data and brings back to you clean answers.  One thing every HR shop gets tasked to do is developing Org Charts. OrgVue takes Org Charts into the next millenium.  It does, intuitively, what we always wished Org Charts could do. Click on a person and gives you all their data, performance, roles they’ve been, etc.

From a workforce planning perspective it does real-time workforce modeling.  Lose your head of design? What impact will that have downstream? OrgVue can show you in a few clicks. Want to re-org? OrgVue can show you cost savings of the new org before you even make the move through it’s modeling tool.  OrgVue takes the HR Business Partner model to a whole new level.

5 Things I Really Like About OrgVue: 

1. OrgVue gives an organization one source of true data maintained through seamless integration of multiple systems and locations. Want to compare hiring analytics between Michigan and Texas, just a few clicks. North America and Europe, a few more clicks. It’s crazy powerful!

2. OrgVue constantly is intaking and cleaning data in real-time.  This means the charts and reports you pass along to decision makers are accurate and not dated.

3. So many of our executives are visual learners. OrgVue understands this and brings your HR data to life visually. Also, executives are known for asking for ‘one-more-thing’, “Can I just see this data sliced a bit differently”. It’s the vain of HR pros around the world. Not with OrgVue.

4. The organizational modeling and scenario planning tool is unlike anything I’ve seen from any other vendor, ever. In fact, I’ll say that OrgVue probably could take the jobs of some highly paid consultants that you pay to do this now!

5. Everything you create and see in OrgVue is turned easily with a click into Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs.  Why fight it?! Big orgs want their paper, spreadsheets and slides, so give it to them, when they need it.

I say this too often, but I was completely blown away by this product.  I would invest in this company, that’s how blown away I was!

But, let me be clear, OrgVue is for a sophisticated HR buyer.  This is a big shop, Fortune 1000 type product.  Regardless, I would encourage every HR executive you must demo this product. Even if you aren’t in the market, treat this a personal development, the OrgVue folks will teach you some stuff on this demo.  You will never look at your data the same way again!

T3 – Fuel50

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

This week on T3 I got the thrill to talk to the good folks over at Fuel 50. Fuel 50 is career path software that delivers a clear line of sight to your opportunities and a tool to help your employees create great career paths with you. What the solution delivers, to their enterprise level clients, is higher employee engagement and higher retention.  It’s really the first comprehensive solution I’ve seen that truly allows your employees to drive their own career path within your organization.

I’ll tell you, of all the T3 posts I’ve done to date, Fuel 50 had me taking the most notes!  There is a ton of stuff they provide and can deliver, customized career paths based on employees strengthens and desires, ability to show employees what other roles are truly like within your organization, individual competency gaps, career assessment desires, succession management, leadership enablement (basically helping make your managers better leaders with guided discussions and tips), etc. Fuel 50 is an OD departments wet dream in one easy to use software solution. (I’m sure they’re really happy I just called them that! They’re from Australia, I know they have a better sense of humor than most HR vendors!)

5 Things I really like about Fuel 50:

1. Completely employee focused. We’ve really gotten to a point in employee development where employees want and need to own their development.  Yes, your boss can help you with this, but it’s up to you to drive your development.  The next generations will own their career path, not wait for some manager to show it to them.

2. But, Let’s help you be a great leader to your employee’s path. Yes, your employees need to own this, but great leaders want to be a part and help them along the way. It’s like my friend Kris Dunn says, great leaders are career agents to their employees.  Fuel 50 was designed around this concept.

3. Fuel 50 allows your employees to share their position story. Yeah, I think I want to get into marketing at my company, because I have some crazy notion of what that might be. Fuel 50 allows your organization to share this with each other in a way that gives your employees an aspect of what is that role really like.

 4. The number one driver for employee engagement is career development. Fuel 50 is seeing upwards of 30% increases in employee engagement, in the first six months, when implementing their solution with their clients.  It’s metrics driven, with proven results. That is a given with most career pathing solutions.  As you can imagine, retention, is another driver positively impacted by Fuel 50.

5. Comprehensive succession management with excellent reporting tools. Every executive wants HR to deliver succession, and most fail miserably.  It’s because it’s more than delivering a list of those ‘next-up’. It’s a process that takes time to build, to deliver great succession.  Fuel 50s solution delivers succession the way it should be done.

Fuel 50 isn’t this simple, one step, silver bullet out of the box solution.  It is simple to use, but it’s comprehensive.  This is career pathing, career development and succession for companies that are serious about this stuff.

Check them out, well worth the demo. Plan on a solid hour, and get ready to take notes.  The demo was an education in itself, with a ton of great ideas and conversation that you could put to work right away, even without using Fuel 50. That is another thing I really liked, the folks who are running Fuel 50 love and live this stuff, and they’re willing to share!

ACA Complaince – HR, You’re In Trouble!

I wanted to title this – “The most boring post ever!” But you guys know I couldn’t write a boring post!

Going through my debrief of HR Tech and I had a meeting with ADP regarding health care reform compliance.  Yes. It was as boring as it sounds!  But there’s a catch, this is stuff that the real HR folks are really concerned about, especially small and medium sized HR shops (50 – 999 employees).  Let’s face it, we don’t have the staff or budget to really feel 100% confident we know what we really need to be doing!  It’s something that can make us look like fools to our executives.  So, I wanted to pass along some stuff I think might help.

ADP has data coming out of their ears! They surveyed our executives in the SMB space and here’s what they are saying:

  1. 69% are concerned with the cost of health coverage and other benefits
  2. 54% are concerned with health care reform legislation

I’ll bet you that 54% is really 100%, but the other 46% believe you (HR Pro) have it under control, and most of us probably don’t!

ACA is confusing, and it seems like a moving target.  Most vendors will tell you they can help, but when you really look into the folks who are giving them the information to give you, they’re really no different than you or I.  What I really liked about my meeting with ADP is they have the resources to throw some really, really smart people at this, and they have the size and influence to probably get insight directly from those writing the legislation.  With great size, comes great access!

ADP has launched a new solution called ADP Health Compliance.  ADP Health Compliance combines Software as a Service (SaaS) with rigorous managed services staffed by ACA experts who can help to enable compliance while managing all of the complex regulatory requirements: Eligibility, Affordability and Regulatory Management.  And you don’t even need to be an ADP client to sign up to use this solution!

“The ACA has transformed the practice of workforce management into a fluctuating system of checks and balances, and one missed step can be the difference between compliance and significant financial penalties,” said Saliterman.  “ADP Health Compliance’s managed service feature is truly unique and can provide large employers with the expertise that only a leader in tax and compliance can deliver.”

“In our restaurants, the vast majority of our employees are variable hour workers whose time will change shift to shift, week to week.  We need to constantly monitor employees hours—12 months a year—to determine who is required to be offered  health coverage benefits and whether or not that coverage is affordable, which can be a heavy lift,” said Bruce Clark, Chief Financial Officer of Hooters Management Corporation, an early adopter of ADP Health Compliance.  “Restaurant operators are good at running restaurants, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good at complicated compliance tasks.  Our plan is to keep doing what we do and do that great, and we’ll leave ACA administration to our expert partner…“

Yeah, ACA isn’t sexy.  It’s not employee engagement platforms, and digital interviewing and big data.  ACA compliance is where HR Pros earn their chops, it’s real-life HR, and it’s something we can’t afford to get wrong.  ADP isn’t paying me.  I think they have a product a lot of you could actually use, and it protects your organization.  Check it out. It’s probably worth your time to take a look and see where you might be at risk!

Top HR Products for 2014!

I like new technology, which is why I’m headed out to the HR Technology Conference this week.  HR tech has continues to transform how we deliver HR and Talent solutions to our organizations.  I’m always amazed at the new stuff that comes out each year.  Human Resource Executive named their 2014 award winners for Top HR Products last week, and the awards are given out at the HR Technology Conference.  I’ll be checking all of these out for sure, but here is a preview of the award winners:

Appcast.io – www.appcast.io

A recruiting marketing platform that helps organizations fill their hard-to-fill requisitions by marketing it to 6,000 career and consumer sites on a pay-per-applicant basis.

Entelo Diversity – www.entelo.com

Entelo claims to have a program that will help you hire black people! Or women, veterans, Hispanics, etc. Basically, you can stop trying to search job boards using words like “Black” and “Spanish”.

Halogen 1:1 Exchange – www.halogensoftware.com

Halogen takes performance management to the next level with Halogen 1:1 Exchange.  This is a one-on-one meeting-management tool that works with other Halogen TalentSpace modules and is designed to spur greater communication, collaboration and coaching. The module tracks the frequency of these one-on-one meetings to provide employers with evidence these discussions are occurring. It also correlates the impact they are having on performance ratings, engagement scores and turnover.

Health E(fx) – www.healthefx.us

Health E(fx) is a stand-alone solution designed to help employers avoid penalties while optimizing their benefits strategies, decisions and costs within the Affordable Care Act environment.

HireVue Insights – www.hirevue.com

I’ve seen this one live and it’s awesome, can’t say enough about it! Basically, it analyzes your digital interviews to automatically give you the best candidates based on 15,000+ attributes. All your candidates.  Have 1000 apply, and you know you’ll only really look at the first 25 you applied, even though number 999 might be your best? Insights solves this! Plus, tells you which hiring managers are your best at selection!

IBM Social Learning – www.ibm.com

IBM Social Learning, powered by IBM Kenexa learning solutions and IBM social-collaboration and analytics tools, is designed to help people engage with one another, contribute expertise and learn from others using interactive media in near real-time.

Match-Click – www.match-click.com

Match-Click is a video-driven recruiting platform designed to let employers give job candidates a preview of their new corporate environment and potential supervisor and co-workers, through short, 20-second video clips featuring hiring managers and would-be colleagues describing the position and the organization.

QUEsocial – www.quesocial.com

Another one I’m really interested in seeing live! QUEsocial blends employer branding and social recruiting into a social talent-acquisition Software-as-a-Service technology platform. The idea is to enable recruiters and — by extension, employers — to “amplify and extend” the employer brand through individual recruiter and sourcing networks.

RecruitiFi – www.recruitifi.com

RecruitiFi is intended to offer organizations a new way to source talent by letting them select and post jobs to 250 expert recruiters from its membership pool of approximately 2,000.

Skillrater.com – www.skillrater.com

Skillrater.com is a cloud-based performance-feedback tool that incorporates social networking and collaboration.

There will be hundreds of other companies as well. I’ll make sure to give you a run down on some companies and technology that you haven’t ever heard of, yet, when I return.  The coolest part of HR Tech is finding a company that is nothing today, but will be industry leading in 3 to 5 years.  Last year I saw Blackbook HR and their Sense product and they are blowing up – such a great piece of technology to help us with one of HR’s biggest issues – Turnover!

Who will it be this year? I can’t wait to find out.

1st Timers Guide To Buying HR Technology and High Priced Handbags

STOP! Calibrate and Listen…before you go, “Ugh! Tim’s doing another webinar!”, check this out – it’s different than other stuff we’ve done.  Negotiating job board contracts, annual ATS service agreements, knowing what new technology to buy, etc. It’s all way frustrating and confusing…for me, and I’m guessing you.  I want us all to get better at this stuff, and this webinar is going to put us all back in the power buyers position!

Buying HR Technology (System of Record/HRMS, Applicant Tracking Systems, Performance Management Systems, etc.) should be as easy as buying a high-priced handbag or the latest pair of Jordans!  You see it. You like it. You know it’s going to fit and work for your needs. GO! Make the purchase. But it’s not that simple. Buying HR Technology is hard, confusing and frustrating.  A miss can potentially stall your career and undermine your creditability.

Fistful of Talent is here to help.  In classic FOT style,Steve Boese, the Co-Chair of the HR Technology Conference, and I, will break down the issues surrounding buying HR Tech in our latest webinar on August 28 at 12pm ET (sponsored by BambooHR), entitled Buyer’s Remorse: The  FOT 1st Timer’s Guide to Buying HR Technology.

Join us on August 28 at 12pm ET for Buyer’s Remorse: The FOT 1st Timer’s Guide to Buying HR Technology,” and we’ll hit you with the following:

  • The Difference between a Suite or a Best-of-Breed Product: Why you should care? Which one is right for you to buy? We’ll break it down based on your unique needs.
  • The Decision Tree/Process That Helps You Arrive at the Right Decision Regarding Which Solution to Buy. Yes, we can tell you exactly what to buy! But we won’t, because great HR Pros need to understand how to make these decisions. But don’t worry—we’ll show you how!
  • 6 Tips and Tricks the HR Vendor Community Uses to Get You To Buy Their Product—which might not be the product you actually need. Learn how to make sure you don’t succumb to these tactics when making your next buying decision.  This section alone will ensure you take control of your next buy like a pro!
  • The Secret for Getting Your Organization to Invest in HR tech and How to Build ROI for your Executive Team. Every buying decision comes down to the why and ROI, and your ability to persuasively and concisely get your organization to support your recommendation.  Sometimes the hardest part of an HR Tech buy is your ability to get approval to buy!

    Bonus Feature: CEO
    Ben Peterson, from BambooHR (an HR solution specifically designed for small-to-medium-sized HR departments), will stop by and do a quick Q&A with Tim and Steve to discuss the biggest mistakes he sees HR buyers make when making HR Tech purchases… and how to avoid making those same mistakes yourself!

Things that are hard:  Riding a bike on a freeway. Getting your kids to eat peas. Buying HR Tech. Join us on August 28 at 12pm ET for Buyer’s Remorse: The FOT 1st Timer’s Guide to Buying HR Technology, and we’ll make buying HR Tech easier. You’re on your own with the other two.


I Hate Buying HR Software!

I’m your typical HR buyer.  Each year I negotiate contracts on a number of products, from ATS, HRMS, Recruiting Tools, Selection Tools, etc.   I usually demo and look at 6-10 new products each year.  Okay, I’m not typical that way, I love new stuff and what it can do, so I like to check it out.  Beyond that, I’m very much your typical HR buyer.

Every single time I go through a buying decision I feel like I’m buying an expensive car or a house.  Hell, that’s usually the cost of the contract of whatever product I’m buying!  Therein lies the problem.  I hate buying cars and houses.  It’s stressful and I always have this deep feeling I’m getting taken!  You know the feeling.  The feeling like you paid too much, and someone else buying the same exact product as you paid less!

I hate that feeling!!!

I don’t mind paying what everyone else is paying for a product.  I feel like a failure, as a HR Pro, when I find out I paid more than someone else, and I check!  That’s the one cool thing about writing for talent and HR blogs, I have a Big network (that’s what she said)!  This allows me to connect with other HR and Talent Pros and ask them what they paid.  I have a deep urge to know whether or not I got a good deal and a bad deal.  And, I’ll be honest, if I got a bad deal, it really affects how I think about the company.

Because these decisions are so stressful for me, I decided to do something about it.  I called the one guy that knows more about HR Technology and industry more than anyone else I know, Steve Boese!  Steve is the co-chair of the annual HR Technology Conference (want $500 off? Use the code: SACKETT14 when you register), which is the 2nd largest HR conference to SHRM national, but arguably becoming the must-see HR conference of the year.  HR Tech has all the players in one spot and all the HR decision makers, it’s a very cool place to see the future of HR unfold in front of you!

I asked Steve to help me put on a webinar, that would not only educate me on how I should be buying HR Tech, but also uncover all those tips and tricks to make sure I don’t ever again have that bad feeling I have when I buy!  The webinar title: Buyer’s Remorse: A 1st Timers FOT Guide To Buying HR Technology and High Priced Handbags!  You see, I feel buying HR Tech, should be as easy as buying a handbag without the buyer’s remorse!

This one is personal to me!  I think all HR Pros can learn from all the mistakes I’ve made in buying HR technology and from Steve’s brilliance!

Come join us on August 28th at Noon EST for this FREE webinar:

The Project Product Reviews: Lunch Balancer

I get pimped weekly to review products/services/books/etc., and I actually do a bunch of reviews.  I have a couple of rules to do reviews:

1. Whatever it is you want me to review, I need full access.  You want me to review your recruiting tool, give me access to the system and let me play with it. You would be amazed at how many folks won’t allow this!  “Oh, you want to say great things about something I’ve never used?!”  Yeah, that doesn’t work.

2. Book reviews are tough, I just don’t have that much time to get through your boring book.  That being said, if you send me a copy I might try to get through the first chapter.  If you send me a link to an electronic version (i.e., pdf), I’ll never read one word of it.  I’ve bought one e-Book in my life, it was Laurie Ruettiman’s I Am HR, and she had to walk me through how to download it onto my iPhone.

3. If you want me to review a real product, like the one I’m doing below – Lunch Balancer, you have to actually send me the product!  Seems simple, you send me product, if I like it I’ll write about it.  I don’t like, I also might say something about it.  If you never send me the product, I’ll never say anything about it.

4. If a hundred dollar bill somehow slips into the product as you ship it too me, that never hurts your chances of getting reviewed.

On to the real Product Review –

Lunch Balancer 

Lunch Balancer contacted me about seeing if I would have interest in reviewing their product.  They offer “nutritionally-balanced portion-controlled meals”, high protein, low carb.  The design is that they’ll actually ship to your office a box that has five meals read to go for about $6-6.50 per meal, depending on which way you go.  They are targeting the health conscious desk jockey that is getting fat by sitting around all day, not moving enough and topping that off by having some sort of super-sized fast food meal at lunch. Basically, they were targeting me! 

The box they sent me looked almost identical to their picture on the website:

lunch balancer










My first impression was they sent a box of samples.  The next impression was this was all Hippie/Tree Hugger food, I was not going to like this!  Gluten free, organic, vegan, etc. were just a few of the titles I quickly scanned.  The box looked like a bunch of samples you picked up at a how to survive by eating tree bark convention. But they actually plan out the menu each day, and color code each item so you know which items go for which day.   Here’s what that looks like:

Lunch balancer 1











To be completely honest, I did the first two meals on two different days, let my staff kill the rest of the food after that.  Here’s my take.

Meal #1 – Turkey sticks, veggie chips, natural almonds and organic mango fruit snacks

Turkey sticks were like Slim Jims, but healthy, but tasted like Slim Jims.  I like Slim Jims, so the experiment to healthy eating was going great!  The 100% veggie chips, made mostly of peas, actually tasted like regular salted chips!  Heck, this was going to be easy!  I’m a little sketchy on almonds that are in a cookie, candy bar or have wasabi spices baked into them, but I have to say these were actually crunchy and tasted good.  The mango fruit snacks were also good.

When I first saw the amount I was going to eat, I thought no way is this going to fill me up, but it did!  Meal #1 done, and I was impressed.

Meal #2 – Protein Pretzels, natural almond butter, multi-grain crackers, roasted chickpeas and Chocolate Macaroons

The protein pretzels had a cinnamon sugar spice on them, and they were really good. The biggest hit was the natural almond butter and crackers. Since I never ate almond butter before I had no idea it was just peanut butter, but made with almonds!  I’m becoming a healthy eater!  The roasted chickpeas were crunchy and salty, and reminded me of the corn nuts you get at gas stations.  The chocolate macaroons, which I left until the end, because I knew those would be good, were absolutely awful! Yep, one miss, they tasted like little mud balls in my mouth.  Again, I was full after eating Meal #2.

I would definitely recommend Lunch Balancer to companies looking to give their employees a healthier option.  It’s fairly inexpensive, and better for you.  When you think about your time, gas and normal lunch expense. $6 per meal is pretty cheap.  Make it healthy on top of that, and it’s a win-win!

Check them out at www.lunchbalancer.com 

Lunch Balancer did not pay me for this review, but they did send me a free sample box to test their product.