A shift In Candidate Experience - Ben Eubanks [Interview]

Bushra Siddiqui
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30
min read
A shift In Candidate Experience - Ben Eubanks [Interview]
A shift In Candidate Experience - Ben Eubanks [Interview] | peopleHum

About Ben Eubanks

Ben Eubanks is the founder of UpstartHR and works as a principal analyst. He is well known for his blog  which has over 1,000,000 readers. A passionate HR enthusiast, author of the book AI and HR, he has made a mark with keynote addresses, blogs, podcasts, etc. He is the co-founder of the HR revolution movement. Ben Eubanks is here to share with our viewers insights from his very own experiences as someone who has tried his hands on all aspects of HR. 

Aishwarya Jain

The Need For A Shift In Candidate Experience - Ben Eubanks [Interview]

We have the pleasure of welcoming Ben today to our interview series. I’m Aishwarya Jain from the peopleHum team. Before we begin, just a quick intro of peopleHum. peopleHum is an end-to-end, one-view, integrated human capital management automation platform, the winner of the 2019 global Codie Award for HCM that is specifically built for crafted employee experiences and the future of work with AI and automation technologies.

We run the peopleHum blog and video channel which receives upwards of 200,000 visitors and publishes around 2 interviews with well-known names globally, every month.

Ben

Awesome, Thank you. Glad to be here. 

Aishwarya

Awesome. So, Ben, let me start with the first question. Could you quickly tell us a little about UpstartHR? We'd like to know more about the journey that actually brought you into it.

Ben

Absolutely. So, UpstartHR is a community that I've been running for over 10 years now. It seems like it was just yesterday that I started writing the first piece there. It was started because when I was getting into HR all those years ago, I just got my degree and I thought, I know what I need to know to be successful in this job. And the more I started to read and learn, the more I realized that I had no clue.

So in my first HR job, I actually started writing about the things I was learning. Sharing those with the modern world, trying to help everyone coming after me to understand some of those things and a lot of things that were kind of career-oriented things about how to get certified, things like that, and it's evolved over time because as my career has evolved, all the kind of things I'm interested in, the things that I focus on have changed.

And so it's been fun to see that evolution over time. But the website itself has helped more than a million people, which is astounding to think. Answer their questions, figure out their career directions, things like that they're trying to get in HR. And so it is one of the things I'm most thankful for and proud of the time that I spent working in around the space.

Aishwarya

Wow, that is amazing. And now that you're kind of working into such a people-centric field.

Do you believe in the trend of organizations moving from business centricity to employee centricity and people centricity and does your research point to confirmation in this trend?

Ben

Absolutely. So it's always fun because Upstart is just kind of a side thing that I do! It's been like the little side gig that I've always maintained for all the careers I have had, different roles, different jobs and today I actually run a research firm called 'The Lighthouse research' and we do research in different areas of Human capital management, understand what employers are thinking.

We also focus on the technologies to really figure out what capabilities the system has, what employers can get from them? Which ones they're doing? What they're doing? Things like that.

So it's fun to see those two perspectives. Of the tech side, of people's side, because there are times when I start to overlap a little bit and one of the areas is just focus on employee's experience and candidate experience and trying to blend those things together and make that a priority. 

I definitely agree with you. That is a big trend we seen in the last few years. For example, the Business Roundtable, which is a round table made of CEOs from these large corporations, last year changed their mission statement from 'we are about profit' to 'we care about our community, our people, and supporting our stakeholders' and our stakeholder can be wherever they operate, that community, the people around that, it could be the employees, that could be someone else.

But it's not just about profit shareholder value they're looking at ways to impact other stakeholders, support them in some way and so again, we see that in the technologies that we look at Lighthouse, talk to between 300 and 400 providers a year and understand what they're doing, how they're supporting people and the focus on creating experiences around employees that make them excited, that engage them, that make them want to bring their best at work.

That is a big, big shift that we've seen in thinking over the last few years, and it really mirrors the bigger focus on the marketing and sales side to focus on the customer experience. There are some companies we think of, natural to think of they treat their customers really well.

And those companies have realized, wait a minute, we treat our customers well, we should be treating our people just as well, because it leads to those same positive benefits, the positive outcomes. And so that's that. It's been fun to watch that evolution over time and to continue seeing new companies kind of realize the value of focusing on that experience and diving into both.

"We treat our customers well, we should be treating our people just as well because it leads to those same positive benefits, the positive outcomes."

Aishwarya

Right. But what do you think has prompted this change? Because this wasn't there decades back. What has suddenly become so important for people and why is there such a sudden shift into people centricity? 

Ben

I think part of it again, it's tied back to this idea that over the last maybe 10-15 years, we've seen a shift from, it's about 'marketing and selling and pushing a product to someone' to 'How can we create a customer journey or customer experience that really shows them we value them' whether they work, whether they buy our product or service or not. Let's treat them as well as we can through the process and help them feel better about themselves, better about their decisions, better about their life.

"It's gone from marketing and selling and pushing a product to someone to how can we create a customer journey or customer experience that really shows them we value them whether they work, whether they buy our product or not."

I think that the same sort of thinking bleeds over into how we treat our people, how should our candidates? Let’s focus on the candidate experience - it was kind of the first part of this, and then the employees' experience came after that. But the candidate experience is about, let's treat those candidates as well as we can because wait a minute, they might also want to apply for another future job with us. If they don't get a role right now, they might be the second-best candidate. But if we don't treat them well, they're never gonna come back.

"If candidates don't get a role right now, they might be the second-best candidate. But if we don't treat them well, they're never gonna come back."

There's actually a really amazing case study from Virgin Media, they’re a retail, they sell cell phones, mobile phones and things like that. And they realized that they were treating their candidates so poorly, they weren't communicating well.

It was costing them millions of dollars every year because those candidates said this was such a bad experience in the hiring process that I will never shop at this organization again. And so the companies say we've gotta fix this, we're gonna solve this problem and they revamp their process.

They improve their communications. They treated those silver medalists, the ones that were not the number one candidate, but the person who just had one thing that disqualified them from being the best person on the hiring slight. You won’t be able to hire those people in the future.

So they started treating them really well, really carefully. Communicating, over-communicating with them to make sure they felt in the loop about decisions so that even after that, even after those people said, I did not get a job there, I went to this extensive hiring process. I didn’t get a job. But I still feel good enough about that company. I've shopped there and I’ll recommend friends and family to go and shop there.

And now they credit that change in their hiring process with a $7 million revenue increase for the company, that's an example of why this isn't just a nice to have I think that if you treat people nicely, that's a good thing. But you don't have to. Now there's really tangible value, especially for companies that have a lot of customer-facing type positions that create more opportunities for them to do that well.

Aishwarya

Absolutely.

And you know, like especially now with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, How do you think the scenario is going to change? And you know it's gonna change the way we recruit, the way the workplace is, will there be some kind of emotional outbreak as well in workplaces? How do you think it's all going to change? 

Ben

So one of the things that have come to mind in the last few weeks, watching the evolution happen initially. It was, Oh no, everybody's remote. What do we do? How would we survive this? You know, just getting people remote. Making sure they have the tools. The technology is supported to be able to do that.

And then now that it's starting to settle into some semblance of normalcy here in the States, people are thinking differently like okay, now I'm working but I'm also quarantined. So you see the emotional piece, but I think it's a very good part of the conversation. 

So the idea that I have had over the last few days - I'm thinking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, where we look at the different needs people have as humans, not just as workers but as humans and whether those levels are being satisfied at the most basic levels, it's am I safe? Do I have food? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I healthy? Those were basic things.

"I'm thinking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, where we look at the different needs people have as humans, not just as workers and whether those levels are being satisfied at the most basic levels."

What's interesting is, before all this happened, if someone walked into the office at work, we assumed that they were healthy, that they were fit, that their children were safe and healthy. We made assumptions about them when they showed up in the office. We can't make assumptions anymore because we don't know, this is gonna kind of shakeup that way we think.

So for the companies now, that are thinking about goodness like, here's a crisis, How do I get through this? We will get through this. Absolutely. But my hope is on the backside. After all, this is done, on the other end of this, when things have kind of settled back into some semblance of normalcy that we don't lose that flexibility, that grace that we're extending to each other right now when we're having to deal with children running around because they're not in school like those things that right now seems like chaos and craziness, hoping that we continue to extend grace to people even beyond when things go back to normal. 

Because we realized that at the end of the day, we're all human beings. We all have a family, and we can't assume that someone showing up at work cuts all those ties and leaves those behind and forgets about all that and just focuses on their job. 

Aishwarya

Absolutely. I think right now when you're in the situation and we're working promoting and having home into our workplaces, so you're in a very personal space. But then you are also working so yeah, it's just like it's a very different experience with leaders, especially for employees as well, because we've never been in such a unique situation before, and that changes a lot of equations.

And, typically even with Tech, right, the way we're using tech, the way we used it in the workplace is very different from the way we use it while working from home. So what is that tech aspect that needs to change? How has that changed? 

Ben

So that it's been interesting to watch technology decide this conversation because we try to cover the vendor landscape to a degree we can't.

There's so many out there, but one of the things that we've seen is that a lot of them are saying, 'Hey, right now, we're willing to, we're going to provide information to support. Try to help people as we're going through this' because they realize that this is not something that's happening here, that you can't just sit back and watch passively and hope that it's eventually going to recover and think we'll come back.

What's been fun for me is to watch all of these people, all these companies come in whether they’re a technology company or just a consumer private company or public company that wants to just help. 

I was reading this morning about these different firms that are not majorly in the technology space, something like Nestle. They're offering logistics support to the Red Cross to help them get supplies they need to get.

GM has cut worker pay, has got some of their executive salaries aboard their board compensation and things like that so that people are able to survive, they’re able to sustain themselves on whatever income they continue to pay them while they're not working, if they're not able to go to jobs, other kinds of paying include hazard pay that still has to do front line work and really retail sort of organizations, things like that.

They're paying them hazard pay right now because it is more dangerous for them. So all of these companies whether they're in the HR technology world, they're supporting employers in their respective ways. Or outside of that, they're focusing on the human aspect. How can we help? We all have something to pitch in.

We all have something we could do. Last week, my own company, UpstartHR said - you know what? There are a lot of people seeing HR, friends, and contacts that were saying, Hey, I just got laid off. I got fired from my job. It's gone. What do I do now? And so I kept seeing those and thought what can we do to help?

So we put out a note saying - We're gonna give away $1000 worth of study materials, people that want to prepare for the HR professional exam, and then a few hours it was gone. Okay, $2000, a few hours later that was gone. Said, okay, $3000 kept trying to do this. And there was even more demand than we could meet in that sort of circumstance.

So it's everybody I would challenge to think about right now how they can help others, how they could support others. What things do you have? Is it the skill that you can offer? Whatever it is, to try to make the world a better place.

"So it's everybody I would challenge to think about right now how they can support others. What things do you have? Is it the skill that you can offer? Whatever it is, to try to make the world a better place."

Because we've seen all the negative things, being rude and aggressive. Right now, there's no need for that. We are all in this together. And if we can bring out those better qualities, we'll look back on this with a different kind of perspective, I think. 

Aishwarya

Right. I think a lot of people are also talking about being in this together and actually fighting this and coming out of this as, strong people, and this will only make us stronger. The next time that we face this, hopefully not. But if we do, then I think we will be better ready for whatever it is.

And you're right, it's Maslow's Hierarchy. If you see the stages of it, we've conquered the first few stages already. Now it's about self-esteem and self-actualization. And this is the kind of time that you can actually do that and look at everything in perspective and actually come up with solutions and help people and really, really connect with each other on a very different personal level.

And that makes a lot of sense and talking about laying off right? There are a lot of layoffs happening. So how do you think this makes a wave in an HR person's life? I know you told me a lot about, measuring results rather than anything else in going by measurable results, so how do we kind of cope with this? You know, the laying off part of it, the human experience part of it plus the results that we get out of this.

Ben

The hardest part, I think for all people is not knowing how long this is gonna last and the extent to how it's going to impact things, like the ripple effect, right? Right now we're seeing the early sort of impact of this. But who knows how long that's gonna continue and what that's gonna look like when it's all said and done?

There are some industries that are really hurting and other ones are actually doing really well. They're expanding, they’re hiring more people. They're trying to meet demand. So it's been really intriguing to watch that shift in evolution.

I honestly, I have no idea what's coming long term. If the world's economy slows down in general then that won't be the first time that's happened, and we're in it together. We'll come back from it together. We'll make it. We'll make this work.

If things rebound quickly and we're able to get back to work and there aren't any long-lasting effects, most of the industries and people will look back on that, like that was almost a weird kind of nightmare, surreal moment. But you were able to get back to this and again, not just get back to how we were always doing things.

But I think there will be some lasting, lasting changes. I heard some people say, Hey, now that I work from home, I'm more productive than I ever was before, I feel connected to my team, I’m actually intentional about connecting with the right people, just having the occasional chance of the person sitting in the next cube over. And I'm gonna ask my boss if I could stay home.

Even if we go back to work, I want to stay home and continue this. This has been weird because over the years there have been leaders who said - no one’s working from home because I can't see you, I can't prove you're working, and now they don't have that option.

Now they are forced into this situation where they have to be more trusting of their people. They need to create more transparency to help them understand what's going on when they're not around. So it has forced some things in a positive way as well. There are positive aspects. I'm hoping that those continue again long after this is over.

"Now employers are forced into this situation where they have to be more trusting of their people. They need to create more transparency to help them understand what's going on when they're not around."

Aishwarya

Absolutely. And I think, working remotely has put out a lot of challenges for team managers and employees and how to bridge that gap. There are technological issues.

So what are you hearing from people around you? What are the challenges that people are facing and how are they're trying to actually cope with that? I think that would be very helpful to our viewers as well.

Ben

There are a couple of kinds of coping. One side of it is kind of the work side of things and right now, because we're mostly, most of us are working from home, those are kind of intertwined, but the work side of it, if it's an HR leader, talent leader, it's how can I make sure I’m communicating what's happening on people, can we pay our people? Make sure their benefits continue.

If we can't keep our people because we have no option, you do that. How can we be as gracious, kind, supportive of them as we possibly can as we're helping them to find another role, helping them find other opportunities?

I saw an HR leader last week, post online. She said I have 10 people on my team. They're all gonna be let go next week and I've already found a job for five of them, I’m trying to find jobs for five more. Who wants to hire these phenomenal people? Right? So we'll see those kinds of things happening.

On the human side though, you mentioned it as well, like moving up those levels of the hierarchy of needs on a human level. Once someone is safe, once someone has enough to run their house, once they have the food they need to survive, they're gonna start moving up those levels steadily.

Am I safe and secure? Do I have job security? Do I have a company communicating enough to me? So I understand what's gonna happen long term. Do I feel like I'm connected to what's happening? Do I feel belonging, inclusions, diversity, equity-like that sort of conversations?

But I think those sorts of things we're going to think about, casting that net broader like does everyone in our company feel like they are included? What's happening? They feel like they're connected, what's happening? Like they have a role to play, a part to play and that we value that specific part that they're gonna play.

I believe that in this isolation, everyone being disconnected is going to be a challenge because there will be long-lasting effects of that. Some people are very social and they need that personal interaction and they're going to have challenges on a personal level, emotional level because they're not able to connect with people. So that's one of the other pieces of advice I've been giving a lot lately.

You know those friends that are like, We should catch up sometime. Then you never quite get around to it. In the last two weeks, I've had 2 calls a day with those kinds of people that I'm like we haven’t talked in over a year or even longer than that and just kind of catching back up on each other. What's happening? Anything to support you and even it's just a 30-minute chat with someone that you haven't seen in a long time. It helps you feel more stable as a human, and that has been very valuable for me.

It's often recommended to others because it's one of those things right now. You might not have time to do other things. You can’t obviously go out and do anything. But that is a great way to spend some of that time you have and make the world a better place, that other person too, make them smile, give them something good to think about.

Aishwarya

Right, Ultimately, it's about the human experience, and if we can just spread some kindness, which is free of cost, I think that would go a long, long way and then once we come out of the crisis, it will just be about gratitude and you will be thankful and count your blessings and it really, really helps when you talk to others and especially people who are introverts, right, who cannot express too much.

It's a great way to kind of just talk to them over Tech or just communicate on social media, right? And yeah, that makes a lot of sense. 

What do you also think? So the workforce, the future of the workforce is gonna be a lot about millennials right, 75%, and more. So do you believe in millennials, Do you believe in the whole gig economy? All that jargon around? Do you believe in all that? 

Ben

So, in general, yes, there will be certain groups, certain demographics that come through the right way here. We want millennials to run a little deep right? But the truth is, there's a big chunk of the workforce that is relatively young, relatively inexperienced compared to the other end.

The Xs are a smaller batch, and the boomers are a bigger one that are retiring in big waves every single day. I don't know right now how that's gonna affect that if they're gonna be leaving or if they're gonna be holding onto their jobs for longer if they can, to try to maintain stability there if their retirement savings hit a snag with everything going on the economy right now, because that's been one of the biggest reasons people stay in the workplace is because they're trying to save up and make sure they're financially stable so that they can retire.

And so this is probably going to prolong for longer some of those people the time until they can retire, impact a financial piece of it. But I do believe that there's a couple of facts to the conversation, but I definitely am interested to watch what happens with this gig worker kind of economy.

What's been interesting is, for a long time that group has been ignored from a legislative standpoint, from a government standpoint, and here in the States again, we saw this announcement. Some of the recent laws are passed, actually provides protection and support for those individuals that have been a contractor or someone who's doing freelance work, things like that.

They're actually getting support from some of these things, so I'm curious to see if that will sort of legitimatize, the idea that this is real people with real jobs, even if they're not working for some other company, and we'll give them more rights long term. It'll be interesting to watch that piece of it, see what happens.

Aishwarya

Right. And, talking about the future. Also talking about Tech. You are an author of the book, which is AI and HR. So how important of a role technology and digital, make in the inclusive workplace of the future? Or if you could tell us more about your concept of AI making the workplace more human as such. 

Ben

Okay, yeah, that sounds like a paradox, right? How can we use technology to make work, to make the experience at work more human? But it absolutely can.

So a couple of things I will talk about, you mentioned inclusive there, and that's one of the important pieces.

Technology can make work more inclusive because it doesn't care who you are. It doesn't care if you're a man or a woman, or if your LGBTQ or if you are a different color, does not care. It has no way to process that.

"Technology can make work more inclusive because it doesn't care who you are. It doesn't care if you're a man or a woman, or if your LGBTQ or if you are a different color. It has no way to process that."

It's also a downside in some ways because they can't support it, can't help. But it also just doesn't care. So let me give you a couple of examples of how that actually applies, how AI applies in the real world. 

So when I think back to my time working in HR, the things that added value, the things that I really appreciate were very high touch, being able to coach leaders because coaching that leader doesn't just make work better for that one person, but for their entire team if I can help them to be better at their job.

Maybe it's engaging with candidates in the hiring process and really helping them in understanding the culture so they feel like if the company is a fit for them or not and really working with them, not reviewing resumes not scheduling interviews like those things don't excite anybody, I don't think.

Those high touch kinds of HR are valuable, but they're also not scalable because they're high touch. You can't have unlimited time to just talk to candidates all day long.

We don’t have a lot of time just to work with your leaders to help them be better leaders and so AI can help us to scale some of those things that are not as valuable in the day today, whether it's scheduling interviews, doing those kinds of things or if it's capturing employee feedback and you wanna analyze that for sentiment and how they feel, what their mood is, report that back so you could take action on it. 

The tools allow us to see people at a very nuanced level, at a personal level or human level that we can't when we're looking at the data, we're looking at a sea of resumes, things that we can't see. But AI can help us to see through that because it has better analytical capabilities that humans do!

And I'll tell you a quick, funny story that kind of reinforces this thing, that this concept that there is an impact here. So I was researching a book. I started reading and learning more chatbots and how chatbots are using the employee hiring process so they can interact with the candidate like take a resume, they can schedule interviews doing those basic things via chatbot.

And I'm a little bit of a skeptic. Sometimes I wonder if that really is something that candidates actually appreciate. Right there, they're doing this chat thing versus just submitting on the website, Do they like that? And one of the things I talked to said at the end of the process, you know, this is the bot, you know, it's not a person. At the end of that application process, 75% of the candidate said thank you to the chat box after you do that transaction.

I realized at that moment that this feels finally different. It's hard to put a price tag or value on how it feels. You know how it makes someone feel, but there's a real impact there. A lot of candidates I talked to, the last time I had to submit a job online, I wanted to throw my computer out the window. I don't want to thank you, and so that creates a different layer of experience.

There are examples like that all over HR, talent, learning and recruiting that show AI can create those better experiences and creates a more human interaction of those people. That's what really excites you about the future of that technology as it must be embedded more heavily into HR function overall. 

Aishwarya

Well, that's actually quite insightful, How AI can, you know, is helping people. All of us are having, some of the other elements of tech and AI that we're interacting with on a daily basis, and being inclusive of Tech in our workplaces will also be really important going forward. And I completely agree with you.

Also, what is your opinion about the latest trends with respect to you know, human capital management platforms that will redefine the HR spaces? Is there a refresh cycle upon us since the current major ones are now being looked at as legacy? 

Ben

So, I love to see this pendulum swing back and forth over time and there are you called legacy providers. They've been around for a long time, they're big, and they're often kind of slow to move and they are very complex and, for complex use cases. For companies that don't need that level of complexity, there are a lot of amazing tools as well in the marketplace that are able to be agile and to meet the demands of a fast-moving company and help companies as they're scaling up growing.

And it's fun to watch that pendulum kind of shift because those companies that are legacy, I do see some really intriguing and amazing innovations come out of them because they have a lot of data on hand, ongoing AI conversation.

AI, machine learning is powered by data. So the bigger companies have more of that information. It can build tools to support that. At the same time, I see these small, nimble firms that are focusing on one area of talent or that are able to support customers in a very agile way. And it's so much fun for me because just when I think I've seen the coolest thing there is out there or the most amazing technology, I have a call with someone else, a new company, and I learned about what they're doing.

And I'm like, Okay, I gotta reset that clock in my head on what is modern, what is available in the marketplace because someone else is pushing the boundaries every single day. And that's one of the most parts of my job is staying on top of that.

So when employees reach out to me and they're saying we're looking for the technology, who does what, where the capabilities, are we able to give them that full view, a full perspective of who's doing innovative things in the marketplace and help them really understand that so they could make the right choice themselves. It's so much fun. 

Aishwarya

Absolutely. That's kind of our ambition to peopleHum. You know, we kind of saw the legacy Systems, and all people are really struggling with complexities in it. You know, the UI is just so cumbersome.

So how did you kind of just simplify it for the end-user? Because the end-user is just technical, right? I mean, that's a person who unnecessarily is just in an HR, you know, and HRs don't really have that much technical knowledge. So how do you sort of dump it down and just make it? You know, It's like, keep it simple, stupid. You know that kind of philosophy. 

Ben

So I agree with that. In general, the tools we are using are personalized. The mobile devices we have, those things,  our children can operate those but if I put someone in front of an Enterprise HR system and asked them to hire an employee, update one's benefits, sign us up on a training class they might not be able to do those things.

And so again, I agree with you that they need to be more intuitive. The UI needs to be more focused needs to be more tailored so that it is as simple as the apps, the tools that we're using in our personal lives to call the car to come to pick us up or to navigate this new place or to find a restaurant we would like to eat at any of those kinds of things. It should be that easy when we're using our HR software

Aishwarya

Absolutely. And you don't know that the workforce is kind of moving to what millennials? Millennials are not tolerant of something that takes so much time, right? they are just like everything on the fingertips. And they want it quick.

So well, we've got to kind of craft AI platforms in that manner where we do not waste a lot of time, you know, just this kind of drifting away and making things more complex right. 

Ben

So I got to say I talked to a friend yesterday. He heads talent and learning for a large university here in the U. S. And they're about to implement a system. And he said, 'It's amazing that as I was talking to them, there are things that the system should be able to do that are very simple and basic, that you can't do!

They didn't even think about that when they were developing it and that's the thing, you've got to be developing this with the user in mind, you've got to be focusing on the person that is going to be using this day to day, not someone that's far removed from the actual work and it's gonna be just the administrator there. People every day need to use this to get their work done logistically and it's got to support those individuals or it's not gonna be sticky.

"You've got to be developing technology with the user in mind, you've got to be focusing on the person that is going to be using this day to day, not someone that's far removed from the actual work."

It's not gonna add value. And people are not going to use the software, even though you might have spent money on it. And so you gotta definitely be designing and focusing on supporting those people that are gonna be using it every single day. 

Aishwarya

Absolutely. It's not about the buyer anymore. It's about the end-user, you know, people would actually use the tools. So what is there inside, right?

So, you know, lastly, any other important sound bites that you would like to leave for our viewers? 

Ben

Okay. Can I give a really quick story? 

Aishwarya

Yes, of course, I love stories. 

Ben

So one of the things that I believe, that I always communicate with HR leaders is we have to be data-driven, but people focus.

"We have to be data-driven, but people focus."

They're pulling at each other sometimes because to be data-driven, to be focused is to be building the business case and supporting man and to be a partner with the business.

The other side is, it's about, what we have talked about today. Care with the human and focusing on the things they need and supporting the people that make up our workforce and the story that I love to illustrate this. 

A couple of years ago, five years ago, my wife and I were headed to the hospital. She was about to give birth for the first time. And she was freaked out. I was freaked out. It was everything you could imagine. It was seen in all the movies. Someone driving 100 miles an hour trying to get the hospital.

We get there and they get her all settled and everything else and they're putting these monitors on her. And I see one device strapped onto her stomach and I said, What is that? That's a tocometer? It actually measures the strength of the contractions that she's going through. That's really nice. I'm a science nut. I love data.

I'm over there watching this little readout on the line on the screen and behind me, I hear my wife say that was rough. Like I can hear the screen and it actually didn't look it was that bad.

I guess that behind every number, every metric, every chart that we're looking at, their people, their lives or humans, their dreams, their families.

And so we've got to focus not just on being data-driven, being so focused on the evidence, everything off, that does matter. That's important. We also have to focus on the people. At the end of the day that we're not doing the full part of our job we should be doing.

Aishwarya

Well, That is a very powerful message, so you can be data-driven, but you should never forget, you know who's behind the data? It's really the humans that you are interacting with. Amazing. Thank you so much for that explanation. And I've had a complete pleasure talking to Ben. I hope you had a good time too. 

Ben

Again like you, I love a good story. Love telling stories and making this stuff practical for employers, helping them understand what to do next and especially right now with everything you said. We're all in this together, even though we're not physically together, we're all in this together, and right now I have been trying to share any message, any positivity, anything and that sort of line to really help people feel like the way we're in control of the uncontrollable and we can support our people even if they're not sitting next to us day to day. So this has been a great opportunity, and I really appreciate it. 

Aishwarya

Absolutely. And I think our viewers are really going to benefit from what you've said. Thank you so much for taking out your time today, Ben. I've had a complete pleasure. It's been a very enriching experience for me and you safe, stay well and I will stay in touch with you. 

Ben

Thank you. Should you as well.

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