Category: Business

A human resources podcast focused on blending research and practical advice to help today’s HR, talent, and learning leaders improve business outcomes.

April 6, 2020

WOH 79: How Employers Are Responding to Shutdowns, Quarantines, and Coronavirus

"As the head of HR, I'm now suddenly expected to be a doctor, virologist, and epidemiologist." 

That quote came from a discussion with an HR leader in the last few days, and it clearly outlines what many companies are going through right now. In today's conversation, Ben talks with Brett Meager of Paycor to learn how employers are responding to the dynamic situations happening across the country as well as how the company is supporting its small and mid-size clients in the middle of the chaos. Brett talks about how the firm is helping to keep people informed on legislation and other details as they arise (see the links in the show notes below for more on that).

The best thing we can all do right now is share positive, helpful resources and information with each other, so if you would be willing to share this episode with a friend or colleague as a way of making work better and safer, I would greatly appreciate it. 


For pandemic preparedness plans, advice, resources, webinar and communication templates check out the Paycor Coronavirus Support Center for SMB Leaders. Paycor posts on Twitter and LinkedIn daily with our latest COVID19 resources, we encourage you to follow along!

Brett also shared a few tips on Working From Home with Kids:

March 30, 2020

WOH 78: Families First Coronavirus Response Act - What Employers Need to Know

"Here's my general advice for businesses--don't be afraid to get help."

In recent weeks a flurry of legislative activity has led to numerous laws to help employers and businesses dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a big part of the activity. What does this law mean for employers, and how does it benefit them? What other considerations should employers think through as they support their workforces during this pandemic? 

In this episode, Ben talks with Eric Meyer, Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, about how employers should be responding to the current environment and what the law means for them. 

Connect with Eric:

Follow Eric's blog:


List of HR Tech companies offering free software and/or support: 


Ben's personal piece on how to respond to the crisis:

March 12, 2020

WOH 77: Implementing the Agile Talent Acquisition Methodology at BBVA

Agile talent acquisition? What's that? 

Many of the talent leaders we encounter have heard of agile as it pertains to the software development industry, but what lessons does this methodology have for today's talent leaders? 

Agile, at its core, is about prioritizing (ruthlessly) on the things that need to get done. In agile talent acquisition, managers hold more power to set priorities. At the same time, recruiters and talent advisors get the benefit of clearer communication, a framework that sets them up for success, and a true partnership with their customers (the hiring managers in the organization). 

In today's discussion, Ben talks with Trent Cotton, a key figure in the implementation of agile talent acquisition methods at BBVA, a global financial firm with more than 10,000 North American employees and a global workforce of over 100,000. Cotton explains how the process works, what benefits BBVA has seen from the approach, and offers specific advice for how to make it a reality in any organization. 

If you'd like to connect with Trent, you can find him on LinkedIn:

If you found this episode valuable, you might also enjoy episode 58, which was an intriguing conversation with Paul Shane about how Northwestern Mutual created its hiring playbook:

This is somewhat like our conversation with the H&R Block head of TA on episode 25:

March 4, 2020

WOH 76: What a Study of 1,000 SMB Companies Tells Us about HR

"HR is representing the people at your organization that deliver the results of whatever mission you have... There is no greater voice for the people than HR."

We hear so much about large employers and enterprise firms in the news. These organizations are a key part of the global economy, but did you know that over 99% of employers in the US have fewer than 1,000 employees? Yes, really! This market of smaller organizations employs more than half of the US workforce and creates incredible value not just globally but in millions of communities where these firms create jobs and opportunities in their respective areas. 

In this episode, Ben interviews Tom Hammond from Paychex to talk about this critical SMB (small and mid-sized business) market and how these firms operate. Last year Lighthouse Research ran an analysis of 1,000 employers to understand how they buy technology, hire HR staff, and outsource HR activities. This study offers critical insights as Ben and Tom talk about how many of these firms have HR technology, what drives decisions about hiring HR staff, and more.

To see the research Ben and Tom discuss, check out
To learn more about Paychex, visit
To connect with Tom, reach out on Twitter: @thammondhr

February 26, 2020

WOH 75: What if Your Employees Could Use PTO For Anything They Want

Employee paid leave is often overlooked because it has been around for what seems like forever. It's fairly standard, and the biggest advancement in recent history has been moving from a split vacation/sick model to a paid time off or "PTO" model, where employees can use the leave flexibly for illness, vacation, or other personal needs as they see fit. 

The problem, though, is that people still don't use that time as they should. They carry heavy leave balances, which creates liability for their employers. They don't take the time off because they feel like they can't be away from the office. Whatever the case, it's not serving the purpose that it should. Research shows that people return from time away from work with better mental health and reduced anxiety (even when they have an overflowing inbox), so how can we solve this? 

In today's discussion, Ben talks with Rob Whalen of PTO Exchange. Rob shares some sobering statistics on PTO usage by employees and how much is forfeited annually, failing to serve the employee population it was designed to help. Rob also explains how PTO Exchange is helping employers to help employees by converting PTO into retirement savings, emergency funds, charitable donations, and more. It's time to start thinking strategically about paid leave benefits to help employees with a diverse set of needs. 


Contact Rob or PTO Exchange: 

Resource: 4 ways to get employees to use more vacation time 

February 12, 2020

WOH 74: Using Internal Podcasts to Communicate with Deskless Workers

Today, more workers than ever are in roles that do not provide them with an office, a desk, or even a computer or email address. Forbes says that more than 2 billion workers work in a deskless environment. So how can employers communicate with those staff, engage them with learning content, and keep them informed? 

In today's episode, Ben interviews Jon Thurmond, an HR leader with Team Fishel, to explore this challenging issue. Thurmond has led the charge at Team Fishel to create an internal podcast to share content both for communications and training purposes, and it is already receiving positive support from the rest of the organization. 

In the conversation, Jon explains how to get started, what it takes to build a business case, and a few ideas for the kinds of content he is targeting with the new communication channel. 


Connect with Jon on Twitter:

Check out Jon's podcast:


Take the one-question Talent Acquisition Priorities survey:

HR and Talent Trends webinar:

January 23, 2020

WOH 73: What it Takes to Mentor Women (and Men)

In our study on Disruption and Reskilling, we found that one of the top ways employees want to learn new and different skill sets is through coaching and mentoring. However, mentoring is one of those concepts that is often oversimplified in the workplace. It's more than a casual conversation or one-way relationship. As today's guest on We're Only Human puts it, there's a level of "needed nervousness" to create positive tension and a supportive relationship. In other words, if you're always comfortable, you are overlooking growth opportunities and you're not developing at the rate you could be.

In an intriguing conversation with Major Chaveso "Chevy" Cook, an active duty officer and expert on mentoring and human interaction, Ben works with Chevy to dig into what it takes to create powerful, positive mentoring relationships that drive impact and value for the participants.

Learn more about Military Mentors:

Connect with Chevy: or visit him on LinkedIn at 


January 13, 2020

WOH 72: How Intel Designs Intentional Candidate Experiences

Employers have been talking about candidate experience for years, but many of them still struggle to make it better in practical ways. Should they focus on technology? The interview? How the culture is communicated?

Intel has taken a holistic approach to the challenge, intentionally designing specific experiences that attract and engage candidates throughout the hiring funnel and beyond. In this interview, Ben talks with Allyn Bailey about Intel's strategy for improving candidate experience and the philosophy behind it, as evidenced by one of Allyn's comments in the conversation:
"Hiring is about taking people with dreams and aligning them to organizations that have hopes and dreams so they can accomplish something together."

See how Intel treats candidates on their careers page:

Connect with Allyn: &

December 16, 2019

WOH 71: How to Scale HR with a Growing Business

As a business grows we hire more people, but how do you manage the growth of the HR team? What roles do you hire for? How do you align with the business?

In this conversation, Ben interviews Kellee Webb about the firm's growth from 80 to 500+ in the last 10 years, including key details about what HR Roles they hired, when they hired them, and how the HR team aligns closely with business strategy.

To learn more about Kellee Webb or Cenikor please visit the following:


Twitter: @PurposefulHR




December 9, 2019

WOH 70: Hint: There’s No Perfect HR Tech System for Everyone

Did you realize that there's no perfect system for every HR technology buyer? Also, did you know that applying HR technology to a broken process is a surefire way to make the wrong steps even more efficiently?

These are some of the key insights gathered during a conversation with Wade Larson, Director of HR for Wagstaff, a manufacturing firm specializing in aluminum casting. Among other topics discussed during the interview, Ben asks Wade about what it's like working in a family-run business, what it takes to build a business case for HR software investments, and more.

Check out to learn more about Wagstaff.