TalentX - The Talent Experience Podcast

Ep. 09 - Chris Havrilla

August 13, 2020 Fuel50 / Chris Havrilla Season 1 Episode 9
TalentX - The Talent Experience Podcast
Ep. 09 - Chris Havrilla
TalentX - The Talent Experience Podcast
Ep. 09 - Chris Havrilla
Aug 13, 2020 Season 1 Episode 9
Fuel50 / Chris Havrilla

With a unique blend of technical, HR practitioner, business and vendor experience, Chris Havrilla thrives off seeing how tech and data can come together to make a difference for companies. Chris has a proven career in doing transformation work and our conversation uncovered many gems of wisdom that will help listeners to navigate this current disruption and chaos. She shares the approach of applying ‘what do you need, when do you need it and why do you need it?’ to talent marketplaces and how this simplified thinking is playing out in existing companies.

Chris leads the HR technology and solution provider strategy and research practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP—helping to demystify the ever-changing HR Tech landscape for their corporate and solution provider members. Connect with her on Twitter @havrilla or LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrishavrilla/.

For more insightful conversations, visit www.talentxpodcast.com. We hope you enjoy this episode of the TalentX podcast!

Show Notes Transcript

With a unique blend of technical, HR practitioner, business and vendor experience, Chris Havrilla thrives off seeing how tech and data can come together to make a difference for companies. Chris has a proven career in doing transformation work and our conversation uncovered many gems of wisdom that will help listeners to navigate this current disruption and chaos. She shares the approach of applying ‘what do you need, when do you need it and why do you need it?’ to talent marketplaces and how this simplified thinking is playing out in existing companies.

Chris leads the HR technology and solution provider strategy and research practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP—helping to demystify the ever-changing HR Tech landscape for their corporate and solution provider members. Connect with her on Twitter @havrilla or LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrishavrilla/.

For more insightful conversations, visit www.talentxpodcast.com. We hope you enjoy this episode of the TalentX podcast!

[00:00:25] Rhonda Taylor:
Good afternoon. Rhonda Taylor here and today we're on another episode of TalentX we have our guest Chris Havrilla. Chris is the VP of HR Technology and Solution Provider Strategy at Deloitte Consulting. Chris is just a hardcore, HR Technology Solution Provider strategy person. She is no stranger to the space. She's a well-respected analyst, before she ever joined Deloitte and Chris and I have worked on several projects in the past. So Chris, I probably didn't do you justice. Tell us a bit more about yourself and welcome to TalentX. 

[00:01:15] Chris Havrilla: 
Oh, thank you so much. It's really good to be here. You know, most people would like look at my LinkedIn profile or something and probably call me schizophrenia. But I think in a nutshell, I solve problems for a living and it's taken a number of different forms through, whether it came from, an IT direction from a functional HR direction. You know, I had a full functional career in HR. From a product and a business perspective.

There's probably not a way I haven't covered it. So I really built what I would call a little niche for myself. And how do I pull all those things together? Like when you start thinking about the outcomes we're trying to get with tech you really do have to sit in the middle of the business and all the products and all of the tech and all of the functional things that we're trying to do.

And so I sit there and I kind of liken myself to a conductor, or maybe it's a translator from all those different languages, but anyway, that's kinda what I do. But I've always been a geek at heart. I love seeing how tech and data can come together and make a difference for companies.

[00:02:25] Rhonda Taylor: 
I am always amazed at you because you are a software engineer, correct? 

[00:02:31] Chris Havrilla:
I, yes, that's exactly how I started. As a matter of fact, I studied AI in college. That was my concentration at which, luckily nobody can see me on video, then it would date myself automatically, but that was back in the eighties. And I was fascinated with the concept of AI had this big surge of popularity back in the eighties. And it was all based on decision support systems and rule-based systems and things like that. But we learned all the stuff that you could do with AI someday, if we had capacity and processing speeds. And now we have all that, you can buy it at the grocery store, what were big capital expenditures back when I was in college and, and so, yeah, I've always been a geek at heart and a lover of the power behind data and what it could do for us once we had it.

And now we have a ton of it. I think last I saw we've got nine times more data in the last two years than has been generated in all the time before that. So it's a cool way that 30 years later now to finally do what I learned in college, but yes, I came out as a software engineer and I'm a reformed one.

[00:03:40] Rhonda Taylor: 
So hats off to you.

[00:03:42] Chris Havrilla: 
An evolved one.

[00:03:44] Rhonda Taylor: 
Yes, yes. Now we're going to go to data in a whole new way, because you know, in the past we've always thought of talent as being a soft topic.

[00:03:55] Chris Havrilla: 

[00:03:55] Rhonda Taylor: 
But now talent, and especially now I'm going to pivot down to a talent marketplace has become very data-driven.

[00:04:03] Chris Havrilla:

[00:04:04] Rhonda Taylor: 
There's so much going on in this area of HR that a lot of people are confusing the definition of the talent marketplace. And I think, you know, first of all, I would love to get your definition of what it is and how it's, what the role it's playing in today's HR ecosystem.

[00:04:29] Chris Havrilla:
 You know, it's funny that you say that cause you know, I think it, it may not be the role data is playing, but it's the role data should be playing. Right. But I think our whole definitions of what, it's like, we're just talking about talent acquisition all the time and you know, we're really kind of flipping it and it's about accessing talent, right.

And so where is talent? And we keep hearing people talking about talent as an asset and all of these things. And so like any quote, 'asset', I think we need to start thinking about a marketplace, right? It's because accessing talent has become very, very hard and that's because we've been doing it wrong in a lot of respects, right.

We've been, you know, we need skills, we need skills, we need skills, go hire them. And we've looked at people as more of a commodity and they're, and they're just not. And so now as you start to see the market changing and, firstly, we've been talking about the war for talent for, well, I don't know, 25, 30 years now.

Right. And then now on top of that, you've got population shortages, right? The demographics are changing and this concept of skill shortages, right? The average lifespan of a skill is two and a half to four years right now. And so it's changing the way we have to look at things, all over the place. And so I think the concept of talent management is changing to really be about workforce transformation.

 So I think right now, what you're seeing is so many shifts in we can't just keep acquiring talent. We have to move talent around, right. We have to access talent differently. Whether it's through technology, whether it's through an alternative workforce, whether it's through our own workforce, whether it's outside, we have to look at this holistically.

And so we're in this massive transformation right now. And so data is probably a great way for people to kind of start to help to sort through this. We can use technology to look through this data and find patterns and trends and all kinds of other things. But yeah, I do think things are changing and we're in such a flux, but a marketplace is essentially an exchange.

You know, here's the work that we have. Here's the talent we have. Like how can we, how can we come at this from different angles? Right. And so putting it in a marketplace is perfect. But I do think there's one missing part that we haven't talked about and that's the work itself. And once we know the work, now we can start to figure out who can do it.

Is it tech? Is it a person? And where do we find that person, is it in our organization, is it outside of our organization? Is it do we just pass out this piece of work and we don't maybe have to hire that person full time. We can gig it out. So I just think that's where this marketplace comes into play, because this is where you can start to bring all those pieces together and have an exchange. However way you want to try to approach it. 

[00:07:40] Rhonda Taylor: 
Yeah. And you mentioned one, one area that's really relevant in today's marketplace. And that is with COVID we've seen a lot of cutbacks. We've seen people going on furloughs with the promise of being called back again. And chaos has erupted because all of a sudden jobs that were there, there's no longer the people to fill them.

[00:08:06] Chris Havrilla: 

[00:08:06] Rhonda Taylor: 
So companies are having to go into a state of flux and it's created an incredible infusion of talent mobility activities. 

[00:08:19] Chris Havrilla: 

[00:08:20] Rhonda Taylor: 
And I would love to hear what your view is on how a company at this stage of the game grabs a hold of themselves because everybody has to look inward now. Nobody's going to walk the high wire and start hiring somebody externally. 

[00:08:44] Chris Havrilla: 
Yeah. It's you start to think about what this really is and it's risk. Right. You know, you're trying to navigate the unknown. And everybody, we talk a lot this year about this paradox between humans and technology. It's kind of like everybody wants a sense of belonging but yet, you really want individuality, right? You want security, but you want reinvention. Well there's a safety in chaos and reinvention, so we're all looking at a way to mitigate the risk and sometimes it's just creating inertia and bad decisions. And a lot of it is because we're not using data to try to inform us. 

And it's not just about what's happened in the past because nobody, we haven't been through this kind of chaos before. We've been through a lot of chaos, but not this kind of chaos. But what is the process of navigating chaos? Because that's really what it's going to take to continue to move forward with all these disruptions that we have. Ones that we knew that were coming, ones that we didn't know were coming and there's obviously stuff that remains to be seen.

So what's the muscle set to navigate that and still have security. And still, feel like you're mitigating risk. And I think that's where people are right now. So internal talent mobility is getting a lot of attention and love that should have been happening all along. Because as we wrote about even last year in our trends, the war for talent is going to get won at home. Not outside, not through talent acquisition, but we have such bad structure and process for that, that we just continued to let people go. Let the attrition happen and we'll get new people; so it still goes back to what is the work, right? 

 What is the work and how do we access talent or technology or whatever to get that work done? And most people don't, that's why alternative or even remote work was frowned on, in a lot of places because it was like, I don't even know how to manage performance unless I see them, because I really don't understand what the work and the outcomes are.

So that's a lot of what we've been writing about is kind of how to start to structure this. And I think what's been interesting, the body of work that I had done around technology strategy and that we've done around experience and workforce transformation recently, all were kind of leading up to all this disruption. But now we just have to fastlane it. Right.

Because companies are having to do this in what probably could have been a three year transformation process in like three weeks. 

[00:11:29] Rhonda Taylor: 

[00:11:29] Chris Havrilla: 
And so what's the fast lane? And it really comes down to a couple of things: it's what do you need, when do you need it and why do you need it?

And you know, we're going to have to kind of pull together with our people and technology to try to figure out the how. We're going to have to empower our people and it's a little bit of a loss of control, but they're the ones closest to the what, when and why of that work. And if we can let people know that, what it is, when we need it, why we need it, which is really simple to stick in a marketplace once you do that. Then you can start to figure out how to utilize all of these assets that we have to start attacking those problems. 

So that's a lot of what we've been trying to build is just tools to get people, to put their, you know, wrap their head around things like that. And start to figure out in the midst of all this chaos, kind of that light in the fog, so to speak. 

[00:12:25] Rhonda Taylor: 
Right. And it's like, okay, how do you help your people? Like, how do you help your staff?  

[00:12:33] Chris Havrilla: 
What. When. Why? And that why is important so they can connect to it. Right. So they can have that feeling of belonging and connection. And I now know what my impact is, because look, this is what's needed to be done and here's why I need to do it. And I can take, not just my skills, but what are my capabilities that I can bring to the table and do my learning in the flow, or whatever else, to say but I'm connected to that outcome and I can tackle it that way.

And I know exactly what I need. I know what I know already, and I know what I need to get to get that outcome. And it starts to pull this stuff together in a much easier way, but we've got to realize we can't have control over all of that. 

[00:13:19] Rhonda Taylor:
 Yes. But a company has to be able to provide the opportunity for the employee to gather that information and to grow into their roles. Whether it be gigs or working with a mentor or maybe just with an LMS system, an in-house LMS system.

[00:13:40] Chris Havrilla: 

[00:13:41] Rhonda Taylor: 
Are you seeing any of those assets being offered. And what degree, what level? Because I have some great stories, but I would love to hear yours. 

[00:13:53] Chris Havrilla: 
You mean in terms of how companies are trying to kind of do this and pull these different levers? Yeah. I mean, I've really seen some really interesting stories. Case studies we're in the midst of putting together now and it really did kind of come down to people, focusing on, okay, if experience means these three things, or, you know, whatever it is. If I can start to carve out what that work is and look at this, once we do that, we can go to a lot of different directions. Right. And this is, what's been interesting seeing some of the stuff that I've been watching. For instance, one company, it was the same way, they knew they had to reskill their workforce and we've seen that just come out in our data alone.

People have this huge awareness that they need to reskill and absolutely no readiness to do it. There's this big delta and the people, and where I'm studying, and the people that have jumped into that delta and they've done it by really trying to figure out what that work is, tying it to outcomes, not activities. Like what is the work? What are the outcomes? And once they started to parse that out, then, they put that stuff literally into a talent marketplace, and then how they were, you know, how they let people access that was kind of that again, the what, the when and the why.

I've seen some really creative things being done, even with like blockchain technology, letting people bid on things. 

[00:15:34] Rhonda Taylor: 
Yes, yes I'd heard about that.

[00:15:37] Chris Havrilla: 
Using like coins, to bid on work that they wanted to do that maybe was not exactly in their reach, but again, once that was structured out, what and why they actually were able to go in and get what they needed. They knew what they had. They could pitch with their coins, why they were doing it, what they felt, they could use to get it. They had all of this stuff. And so they could like, again, it's connecting the people and the work, you know, the recruiters and the HR people didn't know that.

Right. They didn't know what motivated this person. And they didn't know really what they had, but when they put the work out there, people could connect to it. And then they laid AI on top of that, on top of all of this, data and exchanges and the activity and the searching and then from there, they could actually now be proactive also, and look within their own organization for those things and using the technology to help point to who they needed to that had not just the skills, but the capabilities as well. Fascinating story. 

[00:16:44] Rhonda Taylor: 
Awesome. It's fascinating. And you brought up something that I would like you to expand upon and you mentioned capabilities. Share with us. How do you differentiate capabilities and skills? 

[00:16:58] Chris Havrilla:
 I think skills really come down to, what is it you need to do a job, right? So what is it you execute, to execute a role, routine tasks, you know, whether it's physical labor or knowledge work. And a lot of those things can be automated and things like that. But capabilities take things to a little bit of a higher level, when it's like, what will enable a worker to adapt quickly and continually disrupt. So it's really more around, again, skills, kind of more training experience, exposure activities, and then there's human capabilities that are the things that enable somebody to learn maybe in the flow of work.

Or, taking this experience over here and applying it over here. It's the capabilities behind that. I think when you start thinking about re-skilling a workforce and I used that data point earlier, you know, the average life span of a skill is two and a half to four years.

Right. If you start thinking about reskilling all the time at scale, that's pretty impossible to do and hard to stay on top of. So some of the research that we've been showing and writing about has taken that to another level, because if you can focus on capabilities, you can pivot a lot easier.

Then you can skill again in the flow of work. And it makes it a whole lot more easy to scale than just doing this blanket re-skilling all the time. It's learning how capabilities translate into skills and what people need to get that as things evolve. Does that make sense? 

[00:18:34] Rhonda Taylor: 
Sure. I remember was it you that offered the nursing analogy in understanding skills versus capabilities. 

[00:18:45] Chris Havrilla: 
In a nutshell and I know we're getting close on time, but if you think about what a nurse does on a day to day basis, right? The skill of, you know, maybe it's a blood pressure cuff, right. You know, dah, dah, dah, let me listen, let me do this. But as technology changes they're not having to do that. There's automated cuffs. There's, you know, it reads this, it's doing all of that. So what is it about the nurse and what they're doing that allows them to adjust to what they need to deliver patient care when a lot of their tasks go away, even simply with technology. What can we focus on those enduring human capabilities that will allow them to adjust to what it is they need to do.

Like what do I do with the data once I've got it? It's: my time doesn't have to be spent doing that, my time is, okay here's what's coming up on these reads and then what do I do with it? What do I access? What tests, what do I start to line up for the doctor, you know, and whatever, right?

So what are those capabilities that allow that nurse to adjust to the patient care when it stopped being spent on doing the activities that have already, like that we don't need that anymore. Now we need this.

[00:20:05] Rhonda Taylor: 
Chris, we could go on all day. We really could. As we're getting ready to wind down, we always ask our guests our favorite question and we're all about enjoying what you do and enjoying your passion. And you're an analyst, you work at Deloitte. Tell us what you enjoy and what drives Chris Havrilla to go to work every day? 

[00:20:30] Chris Havrilla: 
You know, I really am in my dream job right now. I know you already knew this, but I already said that experience of product and tech and the function itself and the business side and I love that I can bring that all together here. I had a whole career of doing this work, the transformation work. But with all this disruption teaching people, how to do the same things that I've been doing, in the midst of all this chaos is what really drives me. 

And I got to a point where I didn't want to do the execution anymore. I wanted to study it. I wanted to help people learn from it, take them through this stuff. I love being at Deloitte doing it cause we have this amazing execution arm of people who can do the work and because I'm not doing the work itself, I can learn from them and the stuff that they're doing with all the clients. You know, it's like being informed and helping inform.

And that's what I do. And I love it. I'm learning from all of our members that are corporate consumers of technology and in using this function, but also working with people like you guys that are creating all this innovation to help these companies get their outcomes and how to put all those things together.

Oh my God, it's a crime that I get paid, but don't tell my company that. But I love, love what I do. Hopefully they're not listening. 

[00:21:58] Rhonda Taylor: 
Yeah. Well, Chris Havrilla from Detroi...Deloitte. I would really, I almost said from Detroit. 

[00:22:05] Chris Havrilla: 
I know, I'm a Georgia Peach, Atlanta all the way.

[00:22:09] Rhonda Taylor: 
Atlanta all the way. Exactly. Chris, I want to thank you so much for joining us today. It's been such a pleasure. 

[00:22:17] Chris Havrilla: 
It has, the pleasure was all mine. My dear, thank you so much.

[00:22:20] Rhonda Taylor: 
And this is Rhonda Taylor from Fuel50 and the TalentX podcast saying, you know, stay safe and we're all in this together. Bye all!