HR Tech Conference Preview: Innovation in HR Tech

Hosted by

Steve Boese

Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors

About this episode

HR Tech Conference Preview: Innovation in HR Tech

Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish Steed

Guest: George LaRocque, Founder of WorkTech and Innovation Summit Chair at the HR Technology Conference

This episode of At Work in America is sponsored by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. After years of being in survival mode amidst a global pandemic, HR leaders have been challenged to get back to business — ushering in the era of the dynamic workplace. In our 7th Annual Pulse of HR Report, find out how these leaders are optimizing the work experience regardless of where it’s done, addressing widening generational gaps, and increasing productivity not just for their employees, but also themselves. Visit to check it out today.

Today, we spoke with George LaRocque about the upcoming Innovation Summit at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas. He is leading the pre-conference event for attendees to meet new partners, extend existing relationships, and explore new and innovative business models. Make sure to attend on Monday, October 9th. We also took some time to delve into life as a parent of college age children and the recent active shooter lockdown and critical incident response at UNC.


More information on the Innovation Summit here

Register for HROI here and use discount code HRHappyHour

Thank you for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!

Transcript follows:

Sarah Morgan 0:28
Hey there HR Happy Hour listeners. This is Sarah Morgan, host of the Inclusion Crusade here on the HR Happy Hour Network coming to you with fantastic announcements and a great offer. With the help of Humareso I am hosting the 2023 HROI summit from Wednesday, October 25 through Friday, October 27. This event is virtual and 100% online. And because I love my HR Happy Hour Network family so much. I’ve created a special discount code just for you. Use the code HRHappyHour when you check out and save $50 on any individual session and $200 on all three workshops. So go to now to get signed up. I can’t wait to see you there. Now back to the show.

Steve 1:32
Welcome back to the HR Happy Hour Show. We have a great show today. We are talking all things HR Tech and gearing up for the big event coming up in just a few short weeks. Trish Steed what is happening? How are you today?

Trish 1:44
I’m good Steve, how are you?

Steve 1:47
I am well. I’m lamenting the end of summer, but excited about what’s happening this fall. Trish, I can’t believe summer’s over though.

Trish 1:59
I know you’re definitely a summer person. I know you. You constantly love to be outside. Anytime we hop on a meeting, you’re usually taking it outside. So yeah. What are you going to do in winter though? I mean, are you? Are you ready for this? Are you ready for the big change?

Steve 2:13
No, not I’m going to try to figure out how to get as far as as far south as possible. I did that last winter for a good chunk of the early part of the winter. I think I spent five or six weeks in Florida. I’m gonna try and do something like that again, if I can work that out. But just you know, I thought it’d be fun. We’re talking about like, HR tech coming up kind of getting back into the swing of things. Let’s also get back to something we used to do here on the show a lot. Just just Question of the day you ready? And I’d surprise you I’d try to stump you get so much stuff. I love it.

Trish 2:45
So yes, stump me that’d be even better. But yeah,

Steve 2:48
Here it is. I was thinking about this I’m dialed into Big Brother right now, I’m a Big Brother Fan. That’s a summer staple in my repertoire. It’s a good kind of mindless kind of viewing experience, which I like. Trish, what’s your go to reality TV show?

Trish 3:03
That’s an easy one. It’s always Survivor. I have been I’ve watched every episode multiple times. I actually it’s funny on TikTok not too long ago, there was someone who said like what’s your go to show like, especially if you think you have like ADHD or something. There’s something that’s like comforting to you that you always put I literally will have Survivor, the Survivor channel on 24/7 if I could.

Steve 3:27
Oh, I didn’t know that was a whole channel devoted.

Trish 3:31
I know it’s on Pluto TV, which is where I watch it but I think like you know anytime there’s that sort of free TV that comes with the TV that channel there’s always the survivor channel so yeah, I kind of have that on as they’re like my co workers because I don’t have to like watch the show because I’ve seen them all obviously at some point, but it’s just sort of like that background noise so yes, if you’re ever working with me whether it’s remote or you’re here in person, you’re gonna have your Survivor colleagues in the background.

Steve 4:00
All right, I don’t know if I even dread continuing the Survivor conversation. I’ll try I’ll risk it Trish. What’s your favorite season of Survivor have you go back through the years of it? What’s this? You know, is there one that stands out? Oh, and it’s my favorite.

Trish 4:16
Okay, so I don’t I don’t think I have like an actual favorite season but once I enjoy rewatching are usually the blood versus water ones, anytime where they take the family members who think they’re going to be playing together and split them apart. And then you know, and honestly it’s funny because you said you’re watching Big Brother Cerie from Survivor as one of the contestants. And her son is in the house with her right so it is that sort of blood and water vibe. It’s the rest of the house guests don’t know it but you know, it’s it becomes a problem like are you loyal to your relative? Are you going to stand by each other no matter what even if they play a stupid game or are you going to just go for the money yourself? So, yeah, I love that element. What’s yours?

Steve 5:03
China survivor season when they did China is absolutely my favorite one.

Trish 5:08
That’s the one that’s playing right now on Pluto. They randomly and they’ll do like a whole season. So I actually just watched part of China yesterday. That one. That’s a really old one, actually. But they were in Shanghai. So I was kind of into now.

Steve 5:22
That’s probably why I like it. All right. We’ll ask our guests this. Maybe he cares about any of this? I don’t know. He’s waiting patiently. Let’s welcome him back to the HR Happy Hour Show, Trish. Our guest is George LaRocque. He’s the founder at WorkTech. And he’s the Innovation Summit Chair at this year’s HR Technology Conference. George speaks frequently on trends impacting work, HR and work tech. He also speaks to the vendor community about taking their technology to market. George, welcome back to the show. How are you?

George LaRocque 5:49
I’m great. It’s so great to be here. Steve. Trish, thanks for having me back.

Steve 5:55
It’s been a while. Yeah. How’s your summer day?

George LaRocque 6:00
It’s been. It’s been a busy summer, we sent one kid off to college and getting another one into their junior year of high school. So we’re very college focused there too. And just, you know, we also found some time to relax and appreciate each other as a family and everything but yeah, it’s been a it’s been a busy hot summer.

Trish 6:26
Yeah, I also saw that your little one just had a birthday. And I am going to say her age, but I just cannot even believe I anytime I picture your youngest. I picture her as like three. So it’s too weird thing where you watch? You know, your friends and colleagues. Children grow up online. Right? And? Yeah, that’s just shocking. So yeah, her birthday picture. I was like, Oh, my goodness, I feel very old or that I’ve been friends with you for a very long time, which is also true. So.

George LaRocque 6:54
Yeah. Both true. And yeah. And they become their own little personalities. And and she’s full of personality. So yeah, it was a it was a fun weekend with her and her friends.

Trish 7:12
Yeah. So you mentioned that you’ve got one that you just sent off to college? Are you feeling any of that sort of, kind of loneliness? I mean, I know you still have, you know, a couple at home still. But that was one thing. Last year, when I went through it, I was just like, shocked at how incredibly quiet the house was without my kids. And I get both of mine one at the same time. But have is there like a noticeable just difference in terms of just the vibes of the house? I have to imagine there would be.

George LaRocque 7:41
Yeah, yeah, it’s everything that everything that you anticipate and read about and talk to everybody about it’s and it’s such a mixed bag, you know, being honest, you know, when they’re teenagers at that age, you know, there’s a lot of struggle around, you know, letting them go and independence, and you know, and then they leave, and you’re, you’re so thrilled for them, and it’s so and it’s sad at the same time, but I don’t know. And it’s everything all at once and at home. Yeah, we, you know, there’s one less person, it’s like setting the table for one less person, it’s, you know, not, you know, we worry about her in different ways, but not worrying about her at night. You know, like what’s, you know, don’t ask her what time she’s coming home. It’s none of our business, you know. So yeah, there’s a there’s a big difference. And she was just home for the long weekend. We didn’t expect her but. And she’s at UNC. So she was getting over some of what happened there in the last couple of weeks, and didn’t want to be alone in her suite. So she came home and then it was like saying goodbye all over again. Back to the airport, because it was just a couple of weeks. So yeah, it’s it’s that’s a really good question. And yeah, but overall, just thrilled to see her spreading her wings and, you know, going on wherever she’s headed.

Trish 9:24
I love that. Hey, before we get into the into the actual HR tech and WorkTech portion, I just had a follow up question. You know, for those who may not have like, followed it closely, I mean, UNC just had a shooting at the school. Just as a parent, I just love to hear your perspective, because I’m sure you obviously got more information than kind of the rest of us just I’d love to know just kind of how did the school handle that for you all did you feel like that you were informed and that she’s being supported as a student? How does that work when something tragic does happen and your child is away from you?

George LaRocque 9:55
Oh my God, it was. It was a nightmare. And for out, the whole thing went for about three, three and a half hours. And it started with a text from her. And it’s the text you don’t want to see. I’m sorry.

Trish 10:16
No, take your time. I think that’s what it’s important for other parents who have, you know, children either in college or getting ready to go away. And it’s, it’s really valuable. Yeah. relate to you.

George LaRocque 10:31
Yeah. And it’s not the first time I’ve talked about it. And I still, you know, she’s still here to talk about and it wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t the shooter who, you know, it was a target, it turned out to be a targeted thing, but you don’t know that when the techs come, she didn’t know it. And and the, so you’re, you’re looking for information, she doesn’t have any, the it fairly quickly was on the cable news channels. I mean, because of the way they responded with great force, it obviously caught a lot of attention. And it was on the scanners. Were watching the local news station in Raleigh, watching their live coverage. And, but the way these things go, you know, the school is not law enforcement. And so they don’t have that information. And law enforcement isn’t going to read, they don’t release information up to the minute. So you’re just basically not knowing what is going on. And just knowing that you continue to get texts and that she’s okay. And she was locked down in her English class. And that she had to be silent. And and then, as it went on, you know, the news started to, you know, we started to understand that this was a, you know, I feel terrible for feeling, you know, okay, that it was, you know, that only one person died. I mean, nobody should be that all of it is bad. But yeah, it was it was a crazy time. And she, she did okay. But it’s a big spectrum. You know, a lot of kids were really upset, and they’re still really upset about this and really scared. She processed it in her way. And she feels good there. The school reacted. I think they did a really good job. They, the, the 911 call went out.

George LaRocque 12:36
And I remember seeing the timeline, and within two minutes of the 911 call, they had instituted the lockdown. Two to three minutes after that, basically, all of the local law enforcement was had flooded onto the campus and was responding. And the FBI was there, they were choppers. I mean, you felt that they were, you know, it was like flicking a switch and they knew what they needed to do. In the I felt good that she was you know, I was really happy. She was, you know, buildings away from where, where this happened, and that they kept her locked down until the end of it. And they knew it was clear, before she came out. And in the aftermath, a lot of mental health resources, a lot of counseling, a lot of reinforcement that these things are available to the students. And it was so it’s the unfortunately the world we live in now. And you know, I’m all things considered. You know, we’re, we felt good with the way it was handled. And, but it was just, you know, you when they go to college, I think the transistor freshman year, so the transition there, you feel like okay, like you go through all these years of dropping them off everywhere. And that’s always in the back of your mind as a parent in America and in that they come home, and then they go to college and I know these things happen at college and none of this is rational, but you feel like okay, we put her at college now and, and then when this happened, it was like, oh, boy, now it’s really more like 24/7 Like, she’s down there. And I’ve been processing that a little bit lately. Like okay, I didn’t put her in a safety bubble. I put her in it you know, she’s out in the world, you know, and yeah, so thanks for asking that.

Steve 14:44
Yeah, thanks for sharing George your experience there and glad she’s okay. And sad. Of course that had happened. And I guess we’re sad to say it’s fortunate it wasn’t a lot worse right with these kinds of incidents, which is another story for maybe another show Trish week. Do because these places these incidents, right? Almost invariably, they’re also workplaces, right? I was just gonna say that. Yeah, that’s that colleges or workplaces, movie theaters, schools, shopping malls, sometimes these things happen in right. These are all places where people are working. And it’s a big, big issue that, yeah, I appreciate that. But we do.

Trish 15:24
I appreciate George, the sharing, especially that timeline, because I think just as a person that’s not as close to that story. Not knowing it sounds like I mean, if they’re locking down within two minutes, from a workplace perspective, that is, that’s phenomenal. I don’t even know. And it was something I had never thought of both for my kids who are in school themselves, or thinking of it as workplace. So yeah, I think it’s just a nice reminder, right? We have a lot of people listening, who are in workplaces of all sizes and in different industries. And it’s something to think about right now. Right? It’s like just make sure that you’re safe. And you’re you know, what is the way you would handle something like this, if this would have happened, where you are or where your children are.

Steve 16:04
Let’s pause for a second, George and Trish because I do want to talk about HR Tech in the Innovation Summit and some of the things that are happening in HR tech market. Before we do that I want let’s thank our friends at Paychex. Of course, this episode of the HR Happy Hour show is sponsored by our friends at Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. After years of being in survival mode in the global pandemic, HR leaders have been challenged to get back to business ushering in the era of the dynamic workplace. In the seventh annual Pulse of HR Report, you can learn how these leaders are optimizing the work experience, regardless of where it’s getting done, addressing widening generational gaps, increasing productivity, not just for employees, but also for the HR leaders themselves. And you can visit to check out that report today. And thanks to our friends at Paychex and more to come with some cool stuff we’re doing with our friends at Paychex.

Steve 17:00
George, the Innovation Summit at HR Tech is coming up. It’s about a month from now, as we record this, I’d love for you to share what this is a new thing. You’re a huge part of this, you’re chairing it, maybe share a little bit about what’s happening.

George LaRocque 17:15
You scared me there when you started to say less. And I thought wait a minute, is it is it sooner than I thought it would we still have a little time. I’m I’m really excited about the Innovation Summit. It’s basically an investor forum. It’s the only forum like this focused on HR technology and work tech. It’s you know, HR tech for decades has been the defacto biggest gathering of investors looking for the next thing in HR tech and work tech. And these are investors from small, independent angel investors, to family offices, private equity firms, VC firms, the largest investment banks in the world. Going over some of the attendee lists in the last couple of years, we’re talking about, you know, hundreds of investors just knowing that they registered that way at the event. And it’s this ecosystem where all of these conversations happen in the hallways and in the bars and the restaurants and the the backs of the session rooms. And there’s there’s been this other thing happening at HR tech. And now what the, the powers that be at, at HR tech and HR executive, are investing in that ecosystem, quite literally. And this pre conference is bringing startups and scale ups and hundreds of investors into the same place to end and facilitating that with meetings and networking and content and presentations from those providers, those vendors so that they can make the most out of their time then at HR tech, as well as coming out of that this forum. So I’m, I’m thrilled to be a part of it. It brings together so much of my world and I’m really grateful that they asked me to chair this and I’m really I’m just really excited for it.

Trish 19:29
I’m really excited that they’re doing this with you, especially George because and I’d love you to elaborate on how long you’ve been sort of studying the market in this way. I mean, you are absolutely the person I’ve been looking to for over a decade for sort of this information on investments in HR technology in these vendors in sort of the emerging markets that you know have been growing over the last few years. I looked back before the call actually the first time I remember like taking notes from from you and that I still look back to today is from 2015. So almost a decade. And I know I was following you even before that. So I’d love to kind of hear like, how you got in interested in sort of this side of HR technology, and how you plan to bring that experience to this summit.

George LaRocque 20:21
Yeah, thanks for that you’re somebody that I follow you both, both of you. But to hear you say that, you know, I really appreciate that. I, so I come from this world, right. So I started as a practitioner and spent a little over a decade there and wall during that time, had a what we call a consulting company, what would have been an RPO, or HR Oh, a little one in the Boston area. And we worked with a lot of startups we worked with a lot of this was the early 90s. We call them, you know, internet startups back then. And, and one of those companies was the company that became brass ring, but they were called hire systems at the time. And they brought me over to run all of their go to market. And that was my first jump onto the tech side. And all of the companies that I worked with, while I was you know, leading tech providers, or their go to market or general management were all startups or scale ups, right. So I lived in that world, and help them become market leaders like brass ring was a market leader way back in the day and others have gone on to become, you know, part of part of UK G or a part of job flight or employee or what have you. So help them grow. Then, as I shifted on to this sort of analyst and advisory side of the desk, I always, you know, had always kept an eye on, you know, what’s emerging, right, and we’re all looking at the trends. And I started as capital was starting to flow more aggressively into the space, and this is probably back like 2010, you know, 2011, I started to, you know, really focus on it. And then as we moved in, through over the next couple of years, I started to see reports, like the New York Times had a big, big article, at one point about how much money was flowing in, I started to see these resources that everybody has access to like CB insights, or crunch base start to talk about how much money was coming in.

George LaRocque 22:32
And every time I saw these reports, I would think I’m aware of so much more than what I think they’re talking about. And, and so I started to track it, and it became really a labor of love at first. But I validated pretty quickly like, yeah, I you know, it’s not having the data that matters, it’s, it’s understanding it. And so I started to track it sort of track all the growth capital coming in. And a lot of my time has been spent helping companies get, you know, from on the advisory side get from, you know, startup to scale up or scale up to market leader or, you know, filling their gaps as a market leader. So, I really, that’s what I’m connecting the dots between, you know, what are the trends? What kind of capital is coming in at all stages? What kind of acquisitions are being made? And how does that impact the market? What, and so the, you know, HR tech, and HR executive would, over the years look to me for that’s that kind of insight. So I, I mean, I was really honored when they came to me with this, but we’ve been talking about it for a couple of years, on and off. And so I was really thrilled when, you know, they decided to do it. But that’s, that’s how I came into it. It’s just been, you know, it’s been a evolution growing out of really where it came from.

Steve 24:01
Whereas you’re following the market so closely, both from, you know, an investment side and m&a side. Is there one or two things that for HR people, HR leaders, or just HR people are listening to the show, who maybe don’t follow the ins and outs of these financial transactions? Write that closely, because they’ve got other jobs to do, right? Is there something that they should be thinking about looking at, right, because, you know, sometimes it could feel like some of the things we’re talking about in some of the those backroom meetings or these meetings over the bar, etc. Don’t you know, they very tangentially impact organization? So, what’s the through line to the normal kind of HR person on some of this stuff?

George LaRocque 24:49
I think there are a couple of one is I would say that there is, let’s say, a renaissance or there needs to be a little more More of looking at your vendors, solvency, more critically, right? Looking at their stability, looking at them, like an investor would look at them, you know, what kind of cash do you have on hand? What kind of revenue? are you generating? What? When was the last time you raised money? You know, what, what, what does the future look like for you? The now not all of these questions, they may or may not be answered, but there was a time I was there. When if you were working for a startup, you got to ask this every day, and you had to, if you were getting close, especially with larger enterprise deals, large for larger enterprises, you had to have, you had to provide that you had to go under NDA, and you had to deliver that. I think right now, it’s the reason it’s more critical than ever, is given where the market is given where the the value of these companies has come back down to earth, many of them raised money with a valuation that was much higher than what they’re actually worth today. So you’re, this has been a long time coming. And I think it’s about to really kick into high gear, you’re about to see a lot of these startups and scale ups, even generating millions per year in recurring revenue. Either get acquired, or turn the lights off, because investors do expect to get their money back. So it’s happening, right, it’s happening more slowly than we expected, because we’ve been in this sort of prolonged, slow, you know, recovery, if that’s what you might call it, but, but you can only stretch dollars, you know, so far. And so, I think you need to be aware of as a buyer, as a user of technology, who you’re investing in. And then the other thing, the other thing I would say is, I look at building your tech stack, like building and think of it like an investment portfolio. So based on both the technology that you’re choosing, but also the profile of the vendors that you’re working with, where am I taking the risk, you probably don’t want to take a lot of risk on payroll, you probably don’t want to take a lot of risk on like your core platforms for maybe learning and talent acquisition. But you might be willing to take a little bit of risk with point solutions or applications that you hang off that, that do some interesting things on the desktop. But if they were to get acquired and then become less relevant, or, you know, God forbid, not be available any longer wouldn’t disrupt my business, as as an HR leader, so I think that’s the through line here, as well as you know, just what’s coming, what, what’s being worked on what’s emerging, what are the trends, I think in HR, we tend to be so focused on the process. And that’s really important. But if you look outside to like, you know, b2b or b2c tech of in any other way there, there’s, there’s more consideration for this kind of ecosystem. And I think, I think it’s time given how fast things are changing that HR is, is looking at this a little more closely.

Trish 28:24
Thank you so much for giving those examples, as you just that lasts like three to four minutes, if I had known that, when I was very junior in my HR career that would have made like the next decade really easy. So I appreciate that. You’re saying that now, because I think that’s something that HR professionals did not always think about when we were buying technologies, we were looking at all of these other things like sort of alluded to more on the process of things versus financial solvency. And I loved how you sort of given that analogy about taking risk and where to take it and maybe where not to take it. Because these decisions that you’re making, as an HR leader, are going to impact your organization for decades to come potentially. So you really do need to take it seriously. And you know, I don’t know that getting trained up, I was in a very large professional services firm, we weren’t being told, like, hey, approach this like an investor. So one thing that you do I know on your your site, which is the number one and Is you do provide sort of these quarterly updates. I’d love if you could maybe talk a little bit about that and kind of a benefit to understanding HR technology because it is something that HR professionals week to Steve’s point, we don’t have time to do this every day. But it is something you could put on your calendar to do once a quarter to stay abreast of things. So could you maybe share a little bit about what they can find if they go out to your site?

George LaRocque 29:51
Yeah, and they’ll and they’ll also find other research as well. That’s about you know, sort of what is worktech and what, how is it categorized? What’s the definition of it? So the what is emerging, and soon they’ll see who is work tech, so the map of the market, so it’s more things that would align with their curiosity around, you know, the what technology fits best into for the future, right for the, where I’m looking to really transform, maybe in talent or core HR. But that that quarterly update does break everything down. There’s there’s the headline, which is how much was raised and, and where it went. But it does go into category and subcategory. And it does highlight some of the more interesting providers that that received capital and it, it also gives, I think it’s a good barometer for, you know, the market in general, if you if you will. And so every quarter, and a quarter does not a trend make. But we’ve been doing this now, putting these reports out for gosh, it’s like six or seven years. And a lot of there’s a lot of that a lot of perspective based on how things have really gone since 2016 2017, and the CIO. So I think if you’re in HR, you get a sense of, you know, you can almost align the trends and the capital with what you’re seeing and what you can expect to see more of.

Steve 31:35
George, thank you. I think that makes great sense. And I do appreciate your really laying it out there like why this matters, right. And it’s not just back office, you know, smoky room deals and things like that the these these deals and where this money flows to and acquisitions that get made they impact. They impact real organizations, right? If one of the big ERP type providers swoops in and acquires semi big provider themselves that has impact on organizations, right, who are the customers of that company, right? They, those products may eventually get sunsetted, or they may look different, or they may get folded into that big platform. And I was talking to we were doing the top products process over the summer, which has been announced, by the way, hopefully, everybody caught the top box radar this year. But we were I was talking to one such scenario. And I asked the provider, okay, is this? Is this product going to go away? You know? And are you going to keep selling this to people who don’t use everything else your company makes? And they were like, they kind of hemmed and hawed a little bit on it, but will fake. So these things do matter. Ultimately, even if it, you know, you might see a headline, oh, XYZ company has raised $30 million. And that may seem irrelevant to you, but longer term and these trends add up, right, and where the markets going. It’s an indicator, and it’s something definitely you want to keep following at least I think you do. And I think George, you made a great case for why people should be interested in this stuff.

George LaRocque 33:06
Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I think so on the acquisitions. I mean, it’s, that’s, that’s a very tangible example. The answer is always Yeah, nothing will change. Usually the day the deal gets announced, because we, you know, everybody, nobody, nobody leave nobody go look at other vendors, or it’s all gonna stay the same. And then, but somebody acquired somebody else. And there’s overlap and features overlap and employees overlap in some things. And it wouldn’t be a good business decision to just leave it alone, you need to assimilate and you need to make the sum of the parts greater than the whole. And that means change. And that change may be good. And that change made may be good, but not work for you. And so it’s being aware of what those are. So when we look at a deal, that’s sort of how we’re looking at it, not just through, if it was just through the investors lens, or just through the raising money lens, then I think that’d be one thing. But this this is this brings the practitioners lens to the table as well, at least I do.

Trish 34:12
Yeah. One of the pools I like that. I’m sorry, I say I like that. Not only are you thinking about this in terms of when you’re in that initial buying process, but yes, if something like an acquisition happens, maybe you’re already with that provider, and you’re not planning on, you know, making a change, but culture can change within, you know, the company that’s acquiring the one you’re working with, there’s all these other elements. And so that’s just yet another reason to sort of follow even if it is quarterly, what’s going on, because it really does impact you even if you’re not planning on making that change. Right. So sort of gives you that heads up. And I think also when you’re thinking about money that these companies are taking in, you know, we always tell HR leaders Oh, ask about the roadmap, right? Well, those sorts of things really impact Akt what, what goes on the roadmap, what comes off the roadmap and how what the pace of change within that vendor is going to be. So it’s a lot of elements that, that you’re sort of providing information about, that are absolutely critical for an HR leader to understand when they’re thinking about, you know, their entire tech stack. So, yeah. I have a question for you, George. I know you’ve been to HR tech many, many times. And in all the iterations over the years, you know, other than obviously, your summit piece of it, what else are you looking forward to? Right? If I’ve not been to HR tech before? What are some things you’re like? These are some must see must do sort of elements?

George LaRocque 35:41
Well, on one hand, I think anybody who hasn’t been to HR tech there before, I think, you know, walking onto the exhibition floor, it really brings it all home, right, everything we just talked about, really. So you’ve got everything from startups, the newest startups, to the biggest brands in tech period that you’ve ever seen, and everything in between. And it’s, it can be a little overwhelming. But it’s also enlightening, right? You get to walk the floor and meet these, these meet more vendors in one place, more providers in one place. If you’re thinking about making a change, there’s no better place in the world to do it than then HR tech, it’s just you can initiate or carry forward so many questions. So there’s that aspect of it. That’s that’s a lot of fun. But and, you know, I have to say that, you know, Steve programs, a great show, as well. So when you look at the agenda, I would challenge anyone to not find a session that aligns with what they’re looking to learn more of what they’re looking to accomplish today, or what they’re looking at in the future. All the trends are considered all all the all that today and all of it tomorrow, right? Like what what’s working today, and where are things going. And personally, I had this moment where I was scrolling through the agenda, and I was like, look at all the like it. It’s like it’s our time, like look at all of these folks, like you scroll through and Trish, you’re there and Stasi and Dani from red thread are there and Mark seltzers there and Madeline llorando. And Tim Sackett. And you know Mervyn Dinnen, and met older, like, it’s, it’s a lot of the names and faces that have been emerging in the last decade, are suddenly driving, you know, major conversations at this event, and not that they haven’t before. But it really hit me like, wow, this is really, you know, the next wave really taking the helm. And so I think there’s a lot of there are a lot of new voices that HR tech brings along, and I think I’d be, make sure you go to those some of those major sessions or all of them, and because those are the things that are really going to provoke you to in your case, like, you know, Trish, I know yours is AI in the car CHRO. I mean, that’s going to challenge a lot of folks to think differently about, about how they consider that technology moving forward. So yeah, I think those are that’s my long answer. Right? Yeah.

Trish 38:40
Yeah, as someone who has attended many times as both a buyer initially and in the early days of when I was going and I’ve definitely love your point about checking out all the vendors if you’re buying because, you know, trying to do demos, when you’re sitting back in your office is really challenging, I’ve gone that route and to just get it all done in one fell swoop at HR Tech was brilliant when I first did that, I think too, thank you for awesome just mentioning all the different speakers that as you’re naming off different people, I’m thinking these are people though, who you know, they’re doing a session at HR tech and they’re bringing, you know, 20 plus years of their expertise in being a practitioner in very different places in different ways. And so that’s what I’m looking forward to as well as hearing you know, these may be names you’ve heard of before, but they’re gonna bring something different to the conversation than you’ve heard in previous iterations of HR tech even so I’m pretty excited about that too.

Steve 39:37
Yeah, it’s going to be a fantastic event George to gray commercial for better than I can even do myself probably will hear me doing some more commercials for the conference. The it’s going to be little bird is whispered in my ear that this could be and it’s quite likely to be the largest HR tech ever, like even going back to pre pandemic it’s likely to be the biggest one ever. So It’s going to be super exciting, the conference event where you can learn more about the conference, as well as the Innovation Summit that George is chairing is HR So you can certainly go there for all the conference information, you can go on my Twitter feed if you still use this Twitter thing I got another whole story x now if you’re still if you’re still on there, I’m I’ve got discount codes you can find etc, etc. And George, I want you to just take a second shout out your your work and how people can find you connect with you.

George LaRocque 40:31
Everything I do, you’ll find that on The number one or the word one, they both go to the same place. And you’re Yeah, and so you can find me there you can find me on LinkedIn. And yeah, I’ll be obviously it’ll be at HR tech, I’d love to connect with people there. And I’ve got a an events list on the site. So any time there’s a webinar or I’ll be at an event there, it’s listed there.

Steve 40:58
All right, George, really appreciate you taking some time with this and also sharing some of your story and the story of what happened at UNC and your daughter and how that how that all went down. I appreciate you for being so open with us on that too.

George LaRocque 41:13
Well, thanks for having me. It’s anytime to talk to you too. On the air or off.

Steve 41:18
We will see you soon George. It’s been a while and looking forward to that we’re back out on the road. Trish you’re going crazy traveling I am as well we’re going to be doing some more videos from the road we have one we’re furiously trying to get uploaded now that we reported out out with our friends at Paycom we’ll try to get that loaded in the next day or so. But anyway, great to see George, Trish good stuff, get that HR tech presentation finished. Everybody’s looking forward to that.

Trish 41:45
Oh goodness. Okay, pressures on.

Steve 41:47
All right, good stuff. Thanks to our friends at Paychex Of course, and you can catch all the show archives at I think that’s it for now. For George, for Trish Steed. My name is Steve Boese. We will see you next time and bye for now.

Transcribed by

Leave a Comment

Subscribe today

Pick your favorite way to listen to the HR Happy Hour Media Network

Talk to us

If you want to know more about any aspect of HR Happy Hour Media Network, or if you want to find out more about a show topic, then get in touch.