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Outfit your HR Department with Advice from a Chemist Turned HR Leader

Bennett: 

Great so we’ll go ahead and get started and again thank you so much for everyone taking time out of their busy schedule this Wednesday and to come together to talk about you know a really celebrate the journey the 43 year career of Jeff Seidman who who started off as a chemist and became an HR leader and leading a global organization in CORT today and so looking forward to hearing his life experiences his aha moments you know talking a lot about you know the multi-generation workforce as well as you know the role of Technology in the HR space but before we get started I wanted to just cover a number of housekeeping items first and foremost the session will be recorded but there is an opportunity for all of you to actively participate so if you look at your GoToWebinar panel there are two ways for you to communicate with the panelists and myself one is through a structured Q&A; area so you’ll be able to input your question and we will certainly begin to answer those throughout these throughout the webinar and or you can also use the chat area you can chat us a question and I’ll Be Actively Monitoring it as such just two for everyone for purposes of the quality of the webinar we are going to put everybody on mute but again we’ll be able to actively engage through Questions and chat and lastly there is a handout section also on your go-to webinar panel that you can download an ebook on what is recruitment AYE it’s a great extensive piece that has a lot of influencers commentary about the end-to-end recruiting AI space and kind of their thoughts around it so hopefully you’ll be able to take advantage and download that as we speak it’s free nono having to fill out any additional forms so but before we get started and Introduced the Jean and Jeff I wanted to kind of just quickly kind of talk a little bit about AllyO and and for those that are not familiar with the organization you know we were started in 2015 you know with a very specific purpose childhood friends came together they realize that recruiting was broken and it really went on a mission to really look at how they can really create a new generation of recruiting experience and so Sahil and on kit of a Leo ourco-founders will really build a purpose-driven organization that’s focused really on making recruiting delightful and efficient for everyone and what does that really what does that what does thesolutiontrulyaccomplishso first and foremost we are an intelligent interactive digital assistant platform it’s really built for full cycle recruiting in addition to retention that has a number of models has a number of features and modules that are comprised and uses a technology called conversational AI or for many of those may be from more familiar with the chauchat bot experience as well as text to apply so it’s really transforming the experience for every stakeholder in the hiring process for candidates it’s really giving them a much more personalized experience and it’s an experience that’s very form-fitting to them for many of theJen’s ears coming into the workforce they have this really propensity to youto really like to text and so there’s a big component of our application that is text-based for the hiring teams really true automation you know I’ve been inthe recruiting technology space myself for almost 15 years working out various applicant tracking systems CRM systems you know assessments this is the first application I’ve really seen make real strides and moving the needle to help drive much more acceleration in the time to hire metric and also give an opportunity for candidates to receive feet provide and receive feedback and in fact would be able to say thank you about the application process and how much is welcoming that they are able to text to apply for a job instead of filling out a form and for HR leaders we deliver actionable insights really giving you a full detailed view into you ‘re hiring funnel you can see where all the blockage and barriers are and what’s not a lot of what’s preventing you from being able to hire and staff at the optimal level that you need to when we look at the reasons why a Leo employer incumbent clients like us you know first and foremost we recognize that every client is a snowflake everybody has unique workflows complex organizational needs and so how do we effectively deliver and deliver that personalized workflow requirement for each and every organization for each and every requisition and for every location we also recognize that data integration is not just a nice to have its mission-critical and it must have being that place of source and having the capability to integrated into your multitude right now we have an inventory of 15 active ATS integrations plus integrations into your calendaring systems because we all know that scheduling interviews is still one of the biggest headaches facing HR hiring teams and such and I think our learning experience tells us that change management sometimes becomes a challenge for organizations implementing new technology I’ll be very candid about the fact that we really do support your application is natively built around your existing workflows so the impact on change management is very low and today you know we’re very proud of the investors that are backing us again we recently just finalized our Series B Funding adding some great additional investors to to the advisory team certainly we have awesome customers today we love to see many of your yourclient look your logos up on this logoslide so again be you know we obviously are interviewing Jeff from port but we’re working with the likes of FedExand Ron Stott the Coffee Bean and TeaLeafCheesecake Factory and such some very globally recognized brands across the multitude of different industries that are hiring for very various child families so that’s a little bit about AllyO that’s this the quick little commercial before we jump into you to why you came here today and that’s really for us to you for you to hear more about Jeff Simon’s career journey chemist to HR leader and we I’m very proud to be co-presenting today withJean from the Devon group she will be serving as our moderator so let’s take some time right now to go ahead and introduce ourselves Jean would you like to start off 

Jeanne:

Absolutely Bennett thank you so much for having me as a guest and guest moderator in this case on your webinar today I have the pleasure of having been in the HR technology spaceform the bulk of my career so I’m very excited to be talking with you and withJeff Jeff would you like to do a quick introduction I know everything it’s gonna be about you today so maybe you guys just we don’t need a totally deepdive but you can just announce it I’m Kind of announce yourself 

Jeff:

Yeah hi I’mJeff Seidman and I work with the CORT business services as the head of HR for CORT been here about 18 years with CORT and in the current role 

Bennett:

Thank you right awesomeI’m very excited to hear about your journey and your life experiences so Before we get started today I wanted to just quickly let’s see we wanted to kind of kick start we have a poll to keep you engaged and so we wanted to touch base and see what your current what your current what are what area of recruiting would you like to see the most improvement in this year so if everyone can go ahead and mark their response and well then flash up the results great so we got the mature we got the bulk of all of those who have participated so let’s go ahead and share the results so so very interesting you know I think this is from my experience because we run this poll quite consistently in our webinars you know retention at least from previous polls has always been one of the top areas of improvement any reaction from yourself Jeanne and Jeff 

Jeanne:

Jeff, I don’t know what’s jumping out at me right away of course is retention and I think internal mobility is a huge topic I’d love to hear your opinion on the poll results 

Jeff:

Yeah I mean retention is an area that we as a company have been focusing on and at least as long as I’ve been here and it predates me I mean the company CORT as a company we enjoy really good tenure I think our average tenure right now is closer to nine years for our entire workforce and you know most of it you look at our senior leadership teams and then you look at your hourly employees in the warehouse it’s not unusual to find employees that have 20 25 30 and 35 years of service with the company so we pay attention to retention from you know there’s been recent research articles I think you know and and one of the more recentHarvard Business Review talking about recruiting and and I took away from that article that the focus that we need to take as organizations is really to is to pay attention to the people that we have and work hard retaining them and understanding what the individual journeys are for the people in in our organizations that’s not just paying attention to the developmental needs of high potentials but it’s how to enrich the work of the people that are really satisfied with the word that they’re doing now but but are looking to always grow within their career so I’m not surprised to see retention I think most of us just and know that retention of our employees is critical it’s just it’s too painful to try to find new people 

Jeanne:

Yes great so excellent so we’ll go ahead and start this ok well you know and Jeff I’m just I’m just thinking about your own organization Imean I read that you have more than a hundred offices and employ more than 2,500 people plus make on average 550new hires per year so that’s that’s pretty high volume that you’re pumping through there it is high volume but Imean it’s still we’re still around 80 80to 83 percent retention which is I think fairly high for an organization that’s got blue collar employees 

Jeff:

we have warehouses around the company country we have people that drive trucks and deliver furniture and pick up furniture we have people working in our warehouses so we’re pretty proud of the retention percentage that we have but it is uh it’s a struggle and what we found and I’m sure everyone on the call will probably attest to this is that you know we have a maybe of the 2,500 2,600 employees we have now we probably retained I know where we retain a high percentage of them and we it’s the it’s the one warehouse where we’re turning over one or two positions you know every three or four months that creates the internal pain from a hiring and recruiting standpoint 

Jeanne:

you know that’s interesting and and some of those job categories that you’ve just mentioned link drivers those are really hard to fill so kudos to you and team CORT for your high retention levels that that’s that’s great you know I BennettI’m always excited to talk to a Jerseyboy and Ino no Jeff’s had a very interesting career and and and he and I share theNew Jersey connection the much-malignedNew Jersey Jeff Jeff I want to ask you a question about your own career journey though in terms of starting out as a chemist and then eventually switching toto being an HR business leaders tell us a little bit about that 

Jeff:

sure and let me just start by saying that I’m from SouthJersey and peoples that live in NewJersey will identify themselves asJersey or South Jersey South Jerseypeople are really not enamored with being painted by the same picture of what people see about New Jersey so that’s because you’re really fromPhiladelphia is what you’re saying right so um you know III don’t think that myjourney is all that unique because IT you know it’s an interesting it’s interesting in that when all of us we interview people all the time and in the interviews that we do especially whenI’m interviewing HR candidates you knowI always like to ask you know how did you get into HR what your what’s your story what what created the the how did the opportunity come up and Im I don’t think that my journey is all that uniqueI think there are many people at end upin the HR career field that have come from other areas I think it’s a career that you kind of find and find out that you like it they’re good at it but butto answer the question you know I

started as a chemist I went to college Igot a degree in chemistry I initially was going to go to medical school decided against that and then decided I Had a degree in chemistry I needed to find work so I did get a job working asa chemist for a period of time and that that introduction into working in a chemical lab and then working in a manufacturing facility where I had the opportunity to kind of help a chemical batch operation up work it allowed me to move my career long into areas related more towards safety and the safety of chemicals I ended up working for a very large chemical company where I was responsible for the transportation aspects safety transportation aspects for transporting chemicals uh over the road and then I moved into a regulatory legislative role where I got involved with issues related to the chemical industry in terms of public safety and things of that nature and this is allpost Bhopal which was a major accident that occurred in Bhopal India at chemical plant and it raised the consciousness of people around the country and in the United States about in all of these refineries and chemical plants that are in our backyards from there I had the opportunity to move into the paper industry and I actually located myself and my family up toMaine and worked in the paper industry up there more in a role managing safety but it was during that time when many companies were many companies that had labor unions working for them were attempting to build cooperative measures between unions and the company and the company that I work for at the time was trying to lever safety as a way to gain cooperation between five operating unions that were on the located papermill operation and the company and I was asked to participate in labor-management negotiations and labor-management cooperation efforts and it was during that experience that I discovered that For some reason I really enjoyed the process of negotiations and I really enjoyed the labor aspect of working with labor unions and trying to drive cooperation what I also found was that the labor unions that I was working tended to exhibit trust towards what I Was starting to them and that came recognized by my direct supervisor along with the manager of the plant and they both came to me and asked me if I would be interested in moving more into an HRrole which is really how I got my entrance into the human resources field so I really started in the field ofLabor Relations and it was from that point that I discovered that I had there were attributes and in my interactions that I thought allowed me to easily get into the HR world and I think that it’s probably common with everybody on the call that you enter the world of HR and you find out that you can read people pretty well that you can see the solutions to people problems that may not be evident for others that you’re working with so that’s that’s my story and I’m gonna stick 

Jeanne:

you know as you’re talkingI’m thinking of today’s workforce and we now have four generations actively employed in our workforce and you know we no longer see people exiting the workforce to retire and we certainly see the newer entrance into the workforce having different expectations in terms of the employer employee relationship what challenges do you think that’s created for HR and and you know drawing on your skills in terms of labor relations what tips would you share with our listeners in terms of managing the diverse workforce 

Jeff:

well let me let me start by saying that you know I think that you know we do have multi generations in our workforce today andI’m I’m kind of at the I’m in the baby boomer generation and and all of us baby boomers aren’t retiring so much as I Think we’re giving way to the younger generations and moving on to maybe our next careers I’m I’m about two to three years away for transitioning out of this business so that I can give way to two people that work in the or under me in the organization to give them a chance to lead at the top level and I planned it to probably move into another career I Don’t know what that is right now is something that weighs on me but you know the one I can tell you at CORT and I’m Sure everyone on the call today can attest to the fact that you know we’ve got four or five generations that we are working with all the time and regardless of what you read in the news I don’t think Millennials are all that different from baby boomers or Gen X’s or any of that I think we we see the difference

is only from how the environment has changed them and how maybe parenting has changed them but you know what I’ve whatI foundworks for me is I’ve got to get over myself I think anyone in a leadership position has got it put aside the notion that what how we expect to communicate with people is the right way to communicate with people we I’ve had to learn over time that when I speak to some of its in a Millennial Generationthat I can’t expect them to react to metoo the same way that I would with peers of the same age group that I’m that I’m so a good example is I have amillennial manager working for me and it took me a year to figure out that if I Send him an email and asked him to do something I’d be sitting in my office one or waiting for response to tell me that I saw your email I acknowledge thatI saw it or I’ve done what you asked me to do and it would drive me crazy that Iwould never get a kind of I’ve never closed the loop in terms of did he actually get it and did he actually do it until I actually I went talk to him and I said I sent an email did you get the email what have you done with it and his response was well of course I saw it and of course I’ve been I did what you asked and it was almost that became sort of the aha moment for me where I Discovered that you know the generation coming up almost expected that if we ask them to do something they’re going to do it here they’re not into the same feedback loops for communication that I think that we’re used to from an older generation 

Jeanne:

well now I’m just curious I’m gonna ask you a bit more about HRtechnology for a moment but I have a personal question for you you know do you prefer to communicate with your peers and your constituents and your team by phone or by email or do you prefer to text are you finding that you’re texting 

Jeff:

I’ve you know I’m come late-bloomer when it comes to technology and the use of it but I I my preference has always been to to jump on the phone so I’ll first I’ll lead with the phone and unfortunately I’m a baby boomer likeI said before so I’ll go a phone and Igo with emails and then texting but I’vefound that texting is becoming more and more a part of my daily communication rituals especially with my staff whether it’s texting through our cell phones orif it’s a you know we have that kind of a chat feature in our computer system so that you know I can send a quick question and get it back and do it back and forth that way but I ‘m I’m Old-fashioned I I prefer to talk on the phone well well so so given that what’s your take on AI in HR you know I mean this has been one of the most exciting technologies to enter the HR space in years and it’s revolutionizing things and transforming things and automating you know things that that we never thought possible what’s your take on An HR do you think companies will expand their usage of it beyond where we see it today in the recruiting category i am i believe that AI we’re just at the beginning points of what AI is going to do in the HR space you know recruiting is like a natural way to enterI have an I enter the HRF world ofTechnology I you know when I think about and reflect on on just the thought of when I when it I’ll be honest when Ifirst heard about AI entering the HRspace I just thought it was a new gimmick I didn’t understand I didn’t really understand what it could do andand really and I’ll give kudos to the AllyO folks for helping me understand how you can take a basic idea and whereas I Ever looked at what they developed as AI I came to realize that yeah it is kind of building ways to have people or systems interact with each other and learn from the interaction so you know I think that Ithink they will continue to see A growth within the recruiting and space but I really is started thinking about you know the application in terms of development of employees of helping managers I really think that you know helping managers keep track of their daily the job of managing people and andI think there’s a huge opportunity in development of AI in in terms of helping managers do that whether it’s I mean simple things like making sure that reviews are being done properly or changing the review process and automating it to the point where you know questions can be sent out to employees on a random or or periodic basis and then have all of those all of those answers kind of analyzed and andit can provide guidance to the manager over how they’re doing or how they’re performing I think there’s tremendous application I just I just think it’s going to continue to grow and become more pervasive in our work and I think the challenge that we have in the HR field is to not forget that working with human beings still requires us to do things that we’ve always done which is to have those face-to-face interactions as honest open discussions it’s being able to read people when you’re when you’re with them it’s being able to solve problems between people and and well I think AI is going to have an impact on helping us be more efficient I’m not sure if it it will ever replace that I just don’t see you know employees going to someplace and asking for advice on how do I manage my boss better I just don’t know if that’s going to happen yet 

Jeanne:

yeah yeah that’s that’s interesting you know one of the questions that came in from our attendees was what what do you think the most promising improvement will be that the relationship between AI and revolutionising HR and I think you’ve just touched on some of that but but it sounds like that human touch isn’t going away as what I’m hearing you say that that there still will be a critical component played by by the people element 

Jeff:

well unless unless you know chips get implanted into our brains that are I think there’s it’s we’re always going to you know it because our profession is all about paying and paying attention to the human element of of work and I just don’t know if there’s ever going to be a substitute for that Think there’ll be a you know I will augment our ability to do so and I’m Sure that you know most of the I think we’ll get to a point where you know if you think about the world of HR you’ve got the transactional world and then you’ve got the consultative world and I Think the transactional world can absolutely be revolutionized by AI and take that that piece off of all of ourplays but I think it’s still you know dealing with people and people are messy and and and it requires people to to you know pay attention how what are you findingJeff in terms of you know going back to your work with AllyO how what kind of feedback are you getting from hiring managers why what do you what do they like you know that’s that’s changing in their world you know we Bennett Reflected on change earlier in our discussion today what are the positive gains that they feel they’re getting and it’s a great question and and let me kind of start from that you know the journey of implementing a Leo and in CORT was was not the easiest journey for us it’s like any change effort you know we we an HR spend an awful lot of time training or hiring managers on the process and procedures that we want them to take so you think about we spent in order to the amount of times making sure that managers don’t come you know raise issues related to violating the law around salaries and you know we don’t ask questions about you know what do you want to make and we’re careful about the kind of questions that we prove our candidates with so we spend in you know we make sure you get the application filled out and use the application as a way to uncover you know red flags over potential candidates background and and let’s make sure we won’t step over the line in terms of some you know legal requirements so you know we spent a lot of awful lot of time in a chart you know building process and teaching our managers how not to kind of you know change lanes when it comes to recruiting now all of a sudden we introduced a new technology and and so the journey has been a little bit rough getting our hiring managers to understand that you’ve got to we’ve got to find the candidates quickly and we got to get the candidates in for interviews very quickly we can’t rely on them filling out applications andand filling out assessment forms in advance and setting up screening calls and then trying to get past the screening calls and get people into into our operations face to face so that we can do the interviews so it’s taken some time for us to get our hiring managers comfortable with the idea that we’re going to screen people with screening questions using the alio technology and that they’ve got to rely on that as a go/no-go for an interview or in our case we’ve actually started with wanting togo directly to setting up an interview date and time with a manager and then we got pushed back from our managers who really preferred to have phone screenings first as opposed to

face-to-face interviews and what we uncovered from was that they were so embedded in what we had taught them over the years that they just didn’t like the idea of having candidates come in sort of naked not knowing who they are really and so they wanted to rely on the screening calls and AllyO was good enough to help us transition from setting up interviews face-to-face setting upscreening calls using the technology and that’s that’s had a positive impact on us it’s still a work in progress with with CORT you know I I’m probably the leading proponent in the company right now over what I think the technology cando for us because I do think that candidates today are not finding jobs the same way candidates used to I think everything is done on everybody’s phone and that’s no surprise so we have to take advantage of technologies that allow us to communicate the way our candidates communicate and especially when you’re trying to hire a blue collar workforce you know they’re going toGoogle search on our phone for a job and if they can see our ad we’ve got to figure out how to really quickly capture them and then capture them to the point that we set up time for them to get interviewed quickly and if we don’t achieve that you know then the technology’s not worth it anymore but but we’re having we’re having some success now finally

Jeanne:

Yeah well AllyO certainly helps bridge that need for immediacy which you know today’s candidate is especially because of the technologies you’ve mentioned you know finding a job on your phone I mean the technologies lend themselves to quicker decisions so so certainly from a competitive standpoint also it’s so important to be able to get to those candidates before the competition doesor before you lose them to another organization you know one of the questions that come in from our attendees speaks to that in terms of the initial screening of candidates and if you were to offer someone tips in terms of truncating that front end process where you’re screening candidates and deciding who to advance in the in the recruiting pipeline do you have any tips for our listeners in terms of screaming

Jeff:

yeah well the only tip that I would give is just spend some time really thinking through what your screening questions need to be and and it’s because we’ve we’ve kind of found up you know the hard way we get the screening questions we had was too general and too basic and as such you know almost every candidate was kind of getting through the screenings but then when we actually interviewed we were finding out that we were missing the boat you weren’t asking some critical questions so we had to go back and really think through what are the what are the critical questions that we need to have a candidate provide us answers on so that we could ensure that we’re not wasting their time and they’re not wasting our time in that process so that would be that would be what I would suggest is really pay attention to the screening questions and and and quite frankly experiment you know add a question see what happens with the quality of the candidate take a question away if you’re not getting anything change the description a little bit so we’ve been we’ve been actively working not only in terms of the screening questions but just trying to market positions and I’m sure everybody on the call is doing that I

mean it’s all about employment branding in today’s world and it’s trying to figure out how to market the candidates did the gap that that I see right now though and I’m kind of answering different question right now is that itI’m very confident that once I get them to the ally of technology that we can capture people the gap that I’m seeing right now is is how do I get people to the AllyO how do I get them to text usand that’s been a bigger challenge forus so you know we’re going going through the process of putting signs on our trucks posting handbills in different areas we’re doing heat maps around you know we’re looking at where do our employees live and then we build heat maps around that and we identify local community newspapers we put flyers and different businesses throughout the area we even doing radio ads and you can find in radio you can find demographics for for your workforce that you’re trying to attract and and hopefully it’s all about trying to get people to at least text you know CORT and then once they text CORT we’ll let the technology take care of it from there 

Jeanne:

You know that’s such a good point that you’ve just raised in terms of Attraction and I think that many of us have have come to think job board immediately you know when we’re posting an open requisition and you’ve just crossed things like flyers and radio there are so many different tools that we need to use as part of our employment branding and and recruitment marketing programs to attract the right candidate for the specific job opening we’re almost out of time Jeff I have to tell you that when I was doing my research on CORT I was absolutely delighted to learn the CORT is a Berkshire Hathaway company and so my final question to you it’s actually it’s actually a question about you andI want you to tell me if you could have lunch with three people and they can be deceased or living and I’m Hoping that you’re you know the head honcho at Berkshire Hathaway might be on your list but if you could have lunch with three people deceased or living who would who would the three people be

Jeff:

You know I hate answering let me answer it I’m gonna answer it on a roundabout way but I’m gonna kind of give it some context you know that I can answer that question many different ways I can think about you know kind raise three people and try to impress the audience and make myself look good on this or should Ireally go down the path of answering who would I truly would like to justshare lunch with so I’m actually going to go down the path I’m rethinking this and I’ve been rethinking this I’m going down the path of you know if I could pick three people to have lunch with who would they be so you know the first one’s gonna be kind of it might be it be it’s somebody nobody knows including myself and it would be my great-grandfather I’ve never met my great-grandfather I only have heard stories about him through my grandfather and my dad and you know he’s got a very interesting history it was an immigrant he came to the United States from Eastern Europe he landed in the Port ofBaltimore but that’s about it that’s about all I know about him in his history and so I’d love to have the opportunity to just spend some time and find out from him what his history is so that I can better understand my history so to speak the second person I’d love to have lunch with wouldbe Frank ZappaFrank Zappa’s a an iconic music legends yeah he’s an oddball not everybody likesFrank or his music but he’s one of the most iconic musicians and really was aRenaissance person you know anybody that reads anything about Frank Zappa will learn that you know among other things he was a trade representative to Polandhe was a pointed buy and I can’t remember which president it was at this time but he’s appointed a trade representative to a country he was one of the very first musicians who decided as a business that he should hire his musicians in the band as opposed to you know have a deal or everybody gets a cutoff you know the royalties and all so he paid all of his music all of his members of his band a salary and whether they were working or not they got paid the salary and that ensured that as an employer you know he could have their services when he needed them and beyond that he was a classic I mean he wrote classical music he will jazz he will rock and roll he was a very irrelevant figure in Americana and he was also most people didn’t know this but he didn’t do drugs he didn’t like them the only drug he did it was nicotine he smoked like a chimney the last person and you kind of mentioned done you know mr. Buffett and I’ve kind of taken off the list because the potential still exists Icould have lunch with him there you go rather than waste the slide that the third person I got to thinking about and it took me awhile to kind of come to this as John Adams, read the biography of John Adams you know I’ve seen the HBO series on him and I’ve kind of become enamored with this guy from Massachusetts who really was behind the scenes the architect of the American Revolution literally both literally and figuratively and just an amazing person that had the influence over so many people that you know created this country so I’d love to have a chance to talk with him now if I could put all three of them together it would be very interesting that would be quite a nice question 

Jeanne:

thank you well and on that note I’d like to turn the floor back to Bennet to see if we have any additional questions additional comments you might have absolutely won’t it was a fascinating conversation I appreciate Jeff hearing all about your life experiences and the challenges facing HR today as a result of new technology we actually have a couple additional questions that came in through our attendees a lot of attendees right now and and one of the questions was you mentioned adjusting your tactics to better converse with Millennials or other generations can you discuss more of your diversity and inclusion recruiting initiatives 

Jeff:

Well that’s a good question and it’s hard to answer because although we do have we we do have ongoing conversations at the executive level about diversity hiring and and and and as such we’ve really gotten you know we we have a very diverse workforce and in full transparency and honesty we’re never satisfied that we are where we need to be you know we are actively looking at and working on ensuring that we have more females and senior executive levels and over the last 10 years we’ve done a pretty nice job of elevating very capable people into senior executive roles that are female so that the look of our senior team is much different than it was 15 years ago you know I when I joined CORT the senior executive team was essentially a team of white older men and we’ve we’ve changed over the years so we pay attention to that you know in our warehouses and operations we have a lot of diversity and and and so we’ve been actively working on doing several things one issue we’re paying attention to the talent that we have in our warehouses and identifying people that have the capability of moving up into management roles so that they can take on the mantle of leadership in CORT you know we were actually in the process now of implementing an English as a second language training program in our New York warehouse and it really emanated from the fact that we that in a meeting with the warehouse employees our CEO and I where were talking to a group of employees and there were three young employees that were from Guatemala and really smart guys you could tell they were very smart they loved the company they had great Drive they didn’t speakEnglish very well and they all recognized and through an interpreter told us that they needed they needed help learning the language that they thought they could do more so we’ve actually gone out and we’ve started the process of implementing English as a second language training on-site we’ll pay them to take the training while they’re on our you know that they’re getting paid while they’re taking it and we’re putting in place some incentives for them to achieve it because we know we’ve got we’ve got three guys there in that warehouse that that want to be want to be promoted to manage that way and they’re willing and willing to make sacrifices to get there so 

Bennett:

great well that’s about all the questions that we have for today I appreciate again Jeff so much for your participation and for Jean for moderating our inaugural HRleadership series we will be seeking out another great HR leader for our August Episode But before we adjourn wanted to kind of just inform folks who have who are still on the line as well as those that may have dropped off but we do have a great opportunity as part of your attendance here for three folks to be able to get abe enrolled and registered at no cost into the AI for HR certification class it is an intensive five-week course reflecting over 12 video use cases fromHR leaders and it’s fully proctored by alive faculty staff it’s been adopted by many organizations today and it’s in a partnership that we have with future workplace so again the next course starts later this fall so it gives you time to plan board if you’re interested and and once you participate just email me and the first three folks that do so will get the will get the password for the code for enrolling so and again for those that want to meet AllyO in person will be at many many shows this coming fall from ta Tech in Austin Through HR technology conference inVegas I won’t even be doing and sponsoring the Rica College recruiter bootcamp in NYC so come visit us and say hi and learn to teach live and learn more about automation and making me creating delightful and efficient for everyone so again I want to appreciate and say a great thank you to you Jeff as well as Jean again for those we have their LinkedIn addresses please do connect with them and let’s continue the conversations going and sharing them and learning from our peers so again thank you so much for participating and we look forward to you see how many join in August

cription (English)

Bennett: 

Great so we’ll go ahead and get started and again thank you so much for everyone taking time out of their busy schedule this Wednesday and to come together to talk about you know a really celebrate the journey the 43 year career of Jeff Seidman who who started off as a chemist and became an HR leader and leading a global organization in CORT today and so looking forward to hearing his life experiences his aha moments you know talking a lot about you know the multi-generation workforce as well as you know the role of Technology in the HR space but before we get started I wanted to just cover a number of housekeeping items first and foremost the session will be recorded but there is an opportunity for all of you to actively participate so if you look at your GoToWebinar panel there are two ways for you to communicate with the panelists and myself one is through a structured Q&A; area so you’ll be able to input your question and we will certainly begin to answer those throughout these throughout the webinar and or you can also use the chat area you can chat us a question and I’ll Be Actively Monitoring it as such just two for everyone for purposes of the quality of the webinar we are going to put everybody on mute but again we’ll be able to actively engage through Questions and chat and lastly there is a handout section also on your go-to webinar panel that you can download an ebook on what is recruitment AYE it’s a great extensive piece that has a lot of influencers commentary about the end-to-end recruiting AI space and kind of their thoughts around it so hopefully you’ll be able to take advantage and download that as we speak it’s free nono having to fill out any additional forms so but before we get started and Introduced the Jean and Jeff I wanted to kind of just quickly kind of talk a little bit about AllyO and and for those that are not familiar with the organization you know we were started in 2015 you know with a very specific purpose childhood friends came together they realize that recruiting was broken and it really went on a mission to really look at how they can really create a new generation of recruiting experience and so Sahil and on kit of a Leo ourco-founders will really build a purpose-driven organization that’s focused really on making recruiting delightful and efficient for everyone and what does that really what does that what does thesolutiontrulyaccomplishso first and foremost we are an intelligent interactive digital assistant platform it’s really built for full cycle recruiting in addition to retention that has a number of models has a number of features and modules that are comprised and uses a technology called conversational AI or for many of those may be from more familiar with the chauchat bot experience as well as text to apply so it’s really transforming the experience for every stakeholder in the hiring process for candidates it’s really giving them a much more personalized experience and it’s an experience that’s very form-fitting to them for many of theJen’s ears coming into the workforce they have this really propensity to youto really like to text and so there’s a big component of our application that is text-based for the hiring teams really true automation you know I’ve been inthe recruiting technology space myself for almost 15 years working out various applicant tracking systems CRM systems you know assessments this is the first application I’ve really seen make real strides and moving the needle to help drive much more acceleration in the time to hire metric and also give an opportunity for candidates to receive feet provide and receive feedback and in fact would be able to say thank you about the application process and how much is welcoming that they are able to text to apply for a job instead of filling out a form and for HR leaders we deliver actionable insights really giving you a full detailed view into you ‘re hiring funnel you can see where all the blockage and barriers are and what’s not a lot of what’s preventing you from being able to hire and staff at the optimal level that you need to when we look at the reasons why a Leo employer incumbent clients like us you know first and foremost we recognize that every client is a snowflake everybody has unique workflows complex organizational needs and so how do we effectively deliver and deliver that personalized workflow requirement for each and every organization for each and every requisition and for every location we also recognize that data integration is not just a nice to have its mission-critical and it must have being that place of source and having the capability to integrated into your multitude right now we have an inventory of 15 active ATS integrations plus integrations into your calendaring systems because we all know that scheduling interviews is still one of the biggest headaches facing HR hiring teams and such and I think our learning experience tells us that change management sometimes becomes a challenge for organizations implementing new technology I’ll be very candid about the fact that we really do support your application is natively built around your existing workflows so the impact on change management is very low and today you know we’re very proud of the investors that are backing us again we recently just finalized our Series B Funding adding some great additional investors to to the advisory team certainly we have awesome customers today we love to see many of your yourclient look your logos up on this logoslide so again be you know we obviously are interviewing Jeff from port but we’re working with the likes of FedExand Ron Stott the Coffee Bean and TeaLeafCheesecake Factory and such some very globally recognized brands across the multitude of different industries that are hiring for very various child families so that’s a little bit about AllyO that’s this the quick little commercial before we jump into you to why you came here today and that’s really for us to you for you to hear more about Jeff Simon’s career journey chemist to HR leader and we I’m very proud to be co-presenting today withJean from the Devon group she will be serving as our moderator so let’s take some time right now to go ahead and introduce ourselves Jean would you like to start off 

Jeanne:

Absolutely Bennett thank you so much for having me as a guest and guest moderator in this case on your webinar today I have the pleasure of having been in the HR technology spaceform the bulk of my career so I’m very excited to be talking with you and withJeff Jeff would you like to do a quick introduction I know everything it’s gonna be about you today so maybe you guys just we don’t need a totally deepdive but you can just announce it I’m Kind of announce yourself 

Jeff:

Yeah hi I’mJeff Seidman and I work with the CORT business services as the head of HR for CORT been here about 18 years with CORT and in the current role 

Bennett:

Thank you right awesomeI’m very excited to hear about your journey and your life experiences so Before we get started today I wanted to just quickly let’s see we wanted to kind of kick start we have a poll to keep you engaged and so we wanted to touch base and see what your current what your current what are what area of recruiting would you like to see the most improvement in this year so if everyone can go ahead and mark their response and well then flash up the results great so we got the mature we got the bulk of all of those who have participated so let’s go ahead and share the results so so very interesting you know I think this is from my experience because we run this poll quite consistently in our webinars you know retention at least from previous polls has always been one of the top areas of improvement any reaction from yourself Jeanne and Jeff 

Jeanne:

Jeff, I don’t know what’s jumping out at me right away of course is retention and I think internal mobility is a huge topic I’d love to hear your opinion on the poll results 

Jeff:

Yeah I mean retention is an area that we as a company have been focusing on and at least as long as I’ve been here and it predates me I mean the company CORT as a company we enjoy really good tenure I think our average tenure right now is closer to nine years for our entire workforce and you know most of it you look at our senior leadership teams and then you look at your hourly employees in the warehouse it’s not unusual to find employees that have 20 25 30 and 35 years of service with the company so we pay attention to retention from you know there’s been recent research articles I think you know and and one of the more recentHarvard Business Review talking about recruiting and and I took away from that article that the focus that we need to take as organizations is really to is to pay attention to the people that we have and work hard retaining them and understanding what the individual journeys are for the people in in our organizations that’s not just paying attention to the developmental needs of high potentials but it’s how to enrich the work of the people that are really satisfied with the word that they’re doing now but but are looking to always grow within their career so I’m not surprised to see retention I think most of us just and know that retention of our employees is critical it’s just it’s too painful to try to find new people 

Jeanne:

Yes great so excellent so we’ll go ahead and start this ok well you know and Jeff I’m just I’m just thinking about your own organization Imean I read that you have more than a hundred offices and employ more than 2,500 people plus make on average 550new hires per year so that’s that’s pretty high volume that you’re pumping through there it is high volume but Imean it’s still we’re still around 80 80to 83 percent retention which is I think fairly high for an organization that’s got blue collar employees 

Jeff:

we have warehouses around the company country we have people that drive trucks and deliver furniture and pick up furniture we have people working in our warehouses so we’re pretty proud of the retention percentage that we have but it is uh it’s a struggle and what we found and I’m sure everyone on the call will probably attest to this is that you know we have a maybe of the 2,500 2,600 employees we have now we probably retained I know where we retain a high percentage of them and we it’s the it’s the one warehouse where we’re turning over one or two positions you know every three or four months that creates the internal pain from a hiring and recruiting standpoint 

Jeanne:

you know that’s interesting and and some of those job categories that you’ve just mentioned link drivers those are really hard to fill so kudos to you and team CORT for your high retention levels that that’s that’s great you know I BennettI’m always excited to talk to a Jerseyboy and Ino no Jeff’s had a very interesting career and and and he and I share theNew Jersey connection the much-malignedNew Jersey Jeff Jeff I want to ask you a question about your own career journey though in terms of starting out as a chemist and then eventually switching toto being an HR business leaders tell us a little bit about that 

Jeff:

sure and let me just start by saying that I’m from SouthJersey and peoples that live in NewJersey will identify themselves asJersey or South Jersey South Jerseypeople are really not enamored with being painted by the same picture of what people see about New Jersey so that’s because you’re really fromPhiladelphia is what you’re saying right so um you know III don’t think that myjourney is all that unique because IT you know it’s an interesting it’s interesting in that when all of us we interview people all the time and in the interviews that we do especially whenI’m interviewing HR candidates you knowI always like to ask you know how did you get into HR what your what’s your story what what created the the how did the opportunity come up and Im I don’t think that my journey is all that uniqueI think there are many people at end upin the HR career field that have come from other areas I think it’s a career that you kind of find and find out that you like it they’re good at it but butto answer the question you know I

started as a chemist I went to college Igot a degree in chemistry I initially was going to go to medical school decided against that and then decided I Had a degree in chemistry I needed to find work so I did get a job working asa chemist for a period of time and that that introduction into working in a chemical lab and then working in a manufacturing facility where I had the opportunity to kind of help a chemical batch operation up work it allowed me to move my career long into areas related more towards safety and the safety of chemicals I ended up working for a very large chemical company where I was responsible for the transportation aspects safety transportation aspects for transporting chemicals uh over the road and then I moved into a regulatory legislative role where I got involved with issues related to the chemical industry in terms of public safety and things of that nature and this is allpost Bhopal which was a major accident that occurred in Bhopal India at chemical plant and it raised the consciousness of people around the country and in the United States about in all of these refineries and chemical plants that are in our backyards from there I had the opportunity to move into the paper industry and I actually located myself and my family up toMaine and worked in the paper industry up there more in a role managing safety but it was during that time when many companies were many companies that had labor unions working for them were attempting to build cooperative measures between unions and the company and the company that I work for at the time was trying to lever safety as a way to gain cooperation between five operating unions that were on the located papermill operation and the company and I was asked to participate in labor-management negotiations and labor-management cooperation efforts and it was during that experience that I discovered that For some reason I really enjoyed the process of negotiations and I really enjoyed the labor aspect of working with labor unions and trying to drive cooperation what I also found was that the labor unions that I was working tended to exhibit trust towards what I Was starting to them and that came recognized by my direct supervisor along with the manager of the plant and they both came to me and asked me if I would be interested in moving more into an HRrole which is really how I got my entrance into the human resources field so I really started in the field ofLabor Relations and it was from that point that I discovered that I had there were attributes and in my interactions that I thought allowed me to easily get into the HR world and I think that it’s probably common with everybody on the call that you enter the world of HR and you find out that you can read people pretty well that you can see the solutions to people problems that may not be evident for others that you’re working with so that’s that’s my story and I’m gonna stick 

Jeanne:

you know as you’re talkingI’m thinking of today’s workforce and we now have four generations actively employed in our workforce and you know we no longer see people exiting the workforce to retire and we certainly see the newer entrance into the workforce having different expectations in terms of the employer employee relationship what challenges do you think that’s created for HR and and you know drawing on your skills in terms of labor relations what tips would you share with our listeners in terms of managing the diverse workforce 

Jeff:

well let me let me start by saying that you know I think that you know we do have multi generations in our workforce today andI’m I’m kind of at the I’m in the baby boomer generation and and all of us baby boomers aren’t retiring so much as I Think we’re giving way to the younger generations and moving on to maybe our next careers I’m I’m about two to three years away for transitioning out of this business so that I can give way to two people that work in the or under me in the organization to give them a chance to lead at the top level and I planned it to probably move into another career I Don’t know what that is right now is something that weighs on me but you know the one I can tell you at CORT and I’m Sure everyone on the call today can attest to the fact that you know we’ve got four or five generations that we are working with all the time and regardless of what you read in the news I don’t think Millennials are all that different from baby boomers or Gen X’s or any of that I think we we see the difference

is only from how the environment has changed them and how maybe parenting has changed them but you know what I’ve whatI foundworks for me is I’ve got to get over myself I think anyone in a leadership position has got it put aside the notion that what how we expect to communicate with people is the right way to communicate with people we I’ve had to learn over time that when I speak to some of its in a Millennial Generationthat I can’t expect them to react to metoo the same way that I would with peers of the same age group that I’m that I’m so a good example is I have amillennial manager working for me and it took me a year to figure out that if I Send him an email and asked him to do something I’d be sitting in my office one or waiting for response to tell me that I saw your email I acknowledge thatI saw it or I’ve done what you asked me to do and it would drive me crazy that Iwould never get a kind of I’ve never closed the loop in terms of did he actually get it and did he actually do it until I actually I went talk to him and I said I sent an email did you get the email what have you done with it and his response was well of course I saw it and of course I’ve been I did what you asked and it was almost that became sort of the aha moment for me where I Discovered that you know the generation coming up almost expected that if we ask them to do something they’re going to do it here they’re not into the same feedback loops for communication that I think that we’re used to from an older generation 

Jeanne:

well now I’m just curious I’m gonna ask you a bit more about HRtechnology for a moment but I have a personal question for you you know do you prefer to communicate with your peers and your constituents and your team by phone or by email or do you prefer to text are you finding that you’re texting 

Jeff:

I’ve you know I’m come late-bloomer when it comes to technology and the use of it but I I my preference has always been to to jump on the phone so I’ll first I’ll lead with the phone and unfortunately I’m a baby boomer likeI said before so I’ll go a phone and Igo with emails and then texting but I’vefound that texting is becoming more and more a part of my daily communication rituals especially with my staff whether it’s texting through our cell phones orif it’s a you know we have that kind of a chat feature in our computer system so that you know I can send a quick question and get it back and do it back and forth that way but I ‘m I’m Old-fashioned I I prefer to talk on the phone well well so so given that what’s your take on AI in HR you know I mean this has been one of the most exciting technologies to enter the HR space in years and it’s revolutionizing things and transforming things and automating you know things that that we never thought possible what’s your take on An HR do you think companies will expand their usage of it beyond where we see it today in the recruiting category i am i believe that AI we’re just at the beginning points of what AI is going to do in the HR space you know recruiting is like a natural way to enterI have an I enter the HRF world ofTechnology I you know when I think about and reflect on on just the thought of when I when it I’ll be honest when Ifirst heard about AI entering the HRspace I just thought it was a new gimmick I didn’t understand I didn’t really understand what it could do andand really and I’ll give kudos to the AllyO folks for helping me understand how you can take a basic idea and whereas I Ever looked at what they developed as AI I came to realize that yeah it is kind of building ways to have people or systems interact with each other and learn from the interaction so you know I think that Ithink they will continue to see A growth within the recruiting and space but I really is started thinking about you know the application in terms of development of employees of helping managers I really think that you know helping managers keep track of their daily the job of managing people and andI think there’s a huge opportunity in development of AI in in terms of helping managers do that whether it’s I mean simple things like making sure that reviews are being done properly or changing the review process and automating it to the point where you know questions can be sent out to employees on a random or or periodic basis and then have all of those all of those answers kind of analyzed and andit can provide guidance to the manager over how they’re doing or how they’re performing I think there’s tremendous application I just I just think it’s going to continue to grow and become more pervasive in our work and I think the challenge that we have in the HR field is to not forget that working with human beings still requires us to do things that we’ve always done which is to have those face-to-face interactions as honest open discussions it’s being able to read people when you’re when you’re with them it’s being able to solve problems between people and and well I think AI is going to have an impact on helping us be more efficient I’m not sure if it it will ever replace that I just don’t see you know employees going to someplace and asking for advice on how do I manage my boss better I just don’t know if that’s going to happen yet 

Jeanne:

yeah yeah that’s that’s interesting you know one of the questions that came in from our attendees was what what do you think the most promising improvement will be that the relationship between AI and revolutionising HR and I think you’ve just touched on some of that but but it sounds like that human touch isn’t going away as what I’m hearing you say that that there still will be a critical component played by by the people element 

Jeff:

well unless unless you know chips get implanted into our brains that are I think there’s it’s we’re always going to you know it because our profession is all about paying and paying attention to the human element of of work and I just don’t know if there’s ever going to be a substitute for that Think there’ll be a you know I will augment our ability to do so and I’m Sure that you know most of the I think we’ll get to a point where you know if you think about the world of HR you’ve got the transactional world and then you’ve got the consultative world and I Think the transactional world can absolutely be revolutionized by AI and take that that piece off of all of ourplays but I think it’s still you know dealing with people and people are messy and and and it requires people to to you know pay attention how what are you findingJeff in terms of you know going back to your work with AllyO how what kind of feedback are you getting from hiring managers why what do you what do they like you know that’s that’s changing in their world you know we Bennett Reflected on change earlier in our discussion today what are the positive gains that they feel they’re getting and it’s a great question and and let me kind of start from that you know the journey of implementing a Leo and in CORT was was not the easiest journey for us it’s like any change effort you know we we an HR spend an awful lot of time training or hiring managers on the process and procedures that we want them to take so you think about we spent in order to the amount of times making sure that managers don’t come you know raise issues related to violating the law around salaries and you know we don’t ask questions about you know what do you want to make and we’re careful about the kind of questions that we prove our candidates with so we spend in you know we make sure you get the application filled out and use the application as a way to uncover you know red flags over potential candidates background and and let’s make sure we won’t step over the line in terms of some you know legal requirements so you know we spent a lot of awful lot of time in a chart you know building process and teaching our managers how not to kind of you know change lanes when it comes to recruiting now all of a sudden we introduced a new technology and and so the journey has been a little bit rough getting our hiring managers to understand that you’ve got to we’ve got to find the candidates quickly and we got to get the candidates in for interviews very quickly we can’t rely on them filling out applications andand filling out assessment forms in advance and setting up screening calls and then trying to get past the screening calls and get people into into our operations face to face so that we can do the interviews so it’s taken some time for us to get our hiring managers comfortable with the idea that we’re going to screen people with screening questions using the alio technology and that they’ve got to rely on that as a go/no-go for an interview or in our case we’ve actually started with wanting togo directly to setting up an interview date and time with a manager and then we got pushed back from our managers who really preferred to have phone screenings first as opposed to

face-to-face interviews and what we uncovered from was that they were so embedded in what we had taught them over the years that they just didn’t like the idea of having candidates come in sort of naked not knowing who they are really and so they wanted to rely on the screening calls and AllyO was good enough to help us transition from setting up interviews face-to-face setting upscreening calls using the technology and that’s that’s had a positive impact on us it’s still a work in progress with with CORT you know I I’m probably the leading proponent in the company right now over what I think the technology cando for us because I do think that candidates today are not finding jobs the same way candidates used to I think everything is done on everybody’s phone and that’s no surprise so we have to take advantage of technologies that allow us to communicate the way our candidates communicate and especially when you’re trying to hire a blue collar workforce you know they’re going toGoogle search on our phone for a job and if they can see our ad we’ve got to figure out how to really quickly capture them and then capture them to the point that we set up time for them to get interviewed quickly and if we don’t achieve that you know then the technology’s not worth it anymore but but we’re having we’re having some success now finally

Jeanne:

Yeah well AllyO certainly helps bridge that need for immediacy which you know today’s candidate is especially because of the technologies you’ve mentioned you know finding a job on your phone I mean the technologies lend themselves to quicker decisions so so certainly from a competitive standpoint also it’s so important to be able to get to those candidates before the competition doesor before you lose them to another organization you know one of the questions that come in from our attendees speaks to that in terms of the initial screening of candidates and if you were to offer someone tips in terms of truncating that front end process where you’re screening candidates and deciding who to advance in the in the recruiting pipeline do you have any tips for our listeners in terms of screaming

Jeff:

yeah well the only tip that I would give is just spend some time really thinking through what your screening questions need to be and and it’s because we’ve we’ve kind of found up you know the hard way we get the screening questions we had was too general and too basic and as such you know almost every candidate was kind of getting through the screenings but then when we actually interviewed we were finding out that we were missing the boat you weren’t asking some critical questions so we had to go back and really think through what are the what are the critical questions that we need to have a candidate provide us answers on so that we could ensure that we’re not wasting their time and they’re not wasting our time in that process so that would be that would be what I would suggest is really pay attention to the screening questions and and and quite frankly experiment you know add a question see what happens with the quality of the candidate take a question away if you’re not getting anything change the description a little bit so we’ve been we’ve been actively working not only in terms of the screening questions but just trying to market positions and I’m sure everybody on the call is doing that I

mean it’s all about employment branding in today’s world and it’s trying to figure out how to market the candidates did the gap that that I see right now though and I’m kind of answering different question right now is that itI’m very confident that once I get them to the ally of technology that we can capture people the gap that I’m seeing right now is is how do I get people to the AllyO how do I get them to text usand that’s been a bigger challenge forus so you know we’re going going through the process of putting signs on our trucks posting handbills in different areas we’re doing heat maps around you know we’re looking at where do our employees live and then we build heat maps around that and we identify local community newspapers we put flyers and different businesses throughout the area we even doing radio ads and you can find in radio you can find demographics for for your workforce that you’re trying to attract and and hopefully it’s all about trying to get people to at least text you know CORT and then once they text CORT we’ll let the technology take care of it from there 

Jeanne:

You know that’s such a good point that you’ve just raised in terms of Attraction and I think that many of us have have come to think job board immediately you know when we’re posting an open requisition and you’ve just crossed things like flyers and radio there are so many different tools that we need to use as part of our employment branding and and recruitment marketing programs to attract the right candidate for the specific job opening we’re almost out of time Jeff I have to tell you that when I was doing my research on CORT I was absolutely delighted to learn the CORT is a Berkshire Hathaway company and so my final question to you it’s actually it’s actually a question about you andI want you to tell me if you could have lunch with three people and they can be deceased or living and I’m Hoping that you’re you know the head honcho at Berkshire Hathaway might be on your list but if you could have lunch with three people deceased or living who would who would the three people be

Jeff:

You know I hate answering let me answer it I’m gonna answer it on a roundabout way but I’m gonna kind of give it some context you know that I can answer that question many different ways I can think about you know kind raise three people and try to impress the audience and make myself look good on this or should Ireally go down the path of answering who would I truly would like to justshare lunch with so I’m actually going to go down the path I’m rethinking this and I’ve been rethinking this I’m going down the path of you know if I could pick three people to have lunch with who would they be so you know the first one’s gonna be kind of it might be it be it’s somebody nobody knows including myself and it would be my great-grandfather I’ve never met my great-grandfather I only have heard stories about him through my grandfather and my dad and you know he’s got a very interesting history it was an immigrant he came to the United States from Eastern Europe he landed in the Port ofBaltimore but that’s about it that’s about all I know about him in his history and so I’d love to have the opportunity to just spend some time and find out from him what his history is so that I can better understand my history so to speak the second person I’d love to have lunch with wouldbe Frank ZappaFrank Zappa’s a an iconic music legends yeah he’s an oddball not everybody likesFrank or his music but he’s one of the most iconic musicians and really was aRenaissance person you know anybody that reads anything about Frank Zappa will learn that you know among other things he was a trade representative to Polandhe was a pointed buy and I can’t remember which president it was at this time but he’s appointed a trade representative to a country he was one of the very first musicians who decided as a business that he should hire his musicians in the band as opposed to you know have a deal or everybody gets a cutoff you know the royalties and all so he paid all of his music all of his members of his band a salary and whether they were working or not they got paid the salary and that ensured that as an employer you know he could have their services when he needed them and beyond that he was a classic I mean he wrote classical music he will jazz he will rock and roll he was a very irrelevant figure in Americana and he was also most people didn’t know this but he didn’t do drugs he didn’t like them the only drug he did it was nicotine he smoked like a chimney the last person and you kind of mentioned done you know mr. Buffett and I’ve kind of taken off the list because the potential still exists Icould have lunch with him there you go rather than waste the slide that the third person I got to thinking about and it took me awhile to kind of come to this as John Adams, read the biography of John Adams you know I’ve seen the HBO series on him and I’ve kind of become enamored with this guy from Massachusetts who really was behind the scenes the architect of the American Revolution literally both literally and figuratively and just an amazing person that had the influence over so many people that you know created this country so I’d love to have a chance to talk with him now if I could put all three of them together it would be very interesting that would be quite a nice question 

Jeanne:

thank you well and on that note I’d like to turn the floor back to Bennet to see if we have any additional questions additional comments you might have absolutely won’t it was a fascinating conversation I appreciate Jeff hearing all about your life experiences and the challenges facing HR today as a result of new technology we actually have a couple additional questions that came in through our attendees a lot of attendees right now and and one of the questions was you mentioned adjusting your tactics to better converse with Millennials or other generations can you discuss more of your diversity and inclusion recruiting initiatives 

Jeff:

Well that’s a good question and it’s hard to answer because although we do have we we do have ongoing conversations at the executive level about diversity hiring and and and and as such we’ve really gotten you know we we have a very diverse workforce and in full transparency and honesty we’re never satisfied that we are where we need to be you know we are actively looking at and working on ensuring that we have more females and senior executive levels and over the last 10 years we’ve done a pretty nice job of elevating very capable people into senior executive roles that are female so that the look of our senior team is much different than it was 15 years ago you know I when I joined CORT the senior executive team was essentially a team of white older men and we’ve we’ve changed over the years so we pay attention to that you know in our warehouses and operations we have a lot of diversity and and and so we’ve been actively working on doing several things one issue we’re paying attention to the talent that we have in our warehouses and identifying people that have the capability of moving up into management roles so that they can take on the mantle of leadership in CORT you know we were actually in the process now of implementing an English as a second language training program in our New York warehouse and it really emanated from the fact that we that in a meeting with the warehouse employees our CEO and I where were talking to a group of employees and there were three young employees that were from Guatemala and really smart guys you could tell they were very smart they loved the company they had great Drive they didn’t speakEnglish very well and they all recognized and through an interpreter told us that they needed they needed help learning the language that they thought they could do more so we’ve actually gone out and we’ve started the process of implementing English as a second language training on-site we’ll pay them to take the training while they’re on our you know that they’re getting paid while they’re taking it and we’re putting in place some incentives for them to achieve it because we know we’ve got we’ve got three guys there in that warehouse that that want to be want to be promoted to manage that way and they’re willing and willing to make sacrifices to get there so 

Bennett:

great well that’s about all the questions that we have for today I appreciate again Jeff so much for your participation and for Jean for moderating our inaugural HRleadership series we will be seeking out another great HR leader for our August Episode But before we adjourn wanted to kind of just inform folks who have who are still on the line as well as those that may have dropped off but we do have a great opportunity as part of your attendance here for three folks to be able to get abe enrolled and registered at no cost into the AI for HR certification class it is an intensive five-week course reflecting over 12 video use cases fromHR leaders and it’s fully proctored by alive faculty staff it’s been adopted by many organizations today and it’s in a partnership that we have with future workplace so again the next course starts later this fall so it gives you time to plan board if you’re interested and and once you participate just email me and the first three folks that do so will get the will get the password for the code for enrolling so and again for those that want to meet AllyO in person will be at many many shows this coming fall from ta Tech in Austin Through HR technology conference inVegas I won’t even be doing and sponsoring the Rica College recruiter bootcamp in NYC so come visit us and say hi and learn to teach live and learn more about automation and making me creating delightful and efficient for everyone so again I want to appreciate and say a great thank you to you Jeff as well as Jean again for those we have their LinkedIn addresses please do connect with them and let’s continue the conversations going and sharing them and learning from our peers so again thank you so much for participating and we look forward to you see how many join in August

 

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