Posted on 28 Oct 2015

Karen Cariss, Co-Founder and CEO of PageUp, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

In this episode, we discuss what it’s like to be a multinational talent software company, VUCA, and how millennials are transforming the workplace.

Below are Karen Cariss’ five biggest insights from the conversation.

1. The speed at which millennials are coming into the workforce is transforming the talent industry.

I think it’s a pretty commonly-known fact that 50 percent of the accessible workforce by 2020 will be made up of millennials. Millennials are accustomed to transparency and convenience of information. They know that they can get access to what they need to get access to when they need to get access to it, and that’s what they expect in their social life. There’s an app for everything out there, including finding new jobs.

2. Younger talent brings the expectation of transparency with them to the workplace.

We’re working with a lot of organizations in terms of helping them adopt that thinking into their business. Because if you don’t supply those sorts of tools, and you don’t supply that type of environment to millennials, they just won’t have the patience. They will move on to someone that will.

There’ll always be competitors out there that are prepared to provide the type of environment that a millennial will find engaging, and that’s who they’ll migrate to. We all know that millennials are very much driven by the excitement of having a role that’s really relevant. Someplace where they’re making a difference, where they’re growing their skills and experience. They want to work where they’re being challenged, and that’s more important than making loads of money.

3. The competitive tensions to being able to both attract and retain the millennial workforce are really starting to drive the organizational designs that companies need to put in place.

In order to support your business’s growth, you need to access 100+ percent of the available talent to support that growth. In some of the developed markets that are not growing at such a pace, you can get away with not necessarily accessing the whole spectrum of possible workers available. That means you can lag a little bit in terms of your thinking around the environment that you create.

4. If you’re not creating a great and exciting environment for millennials, then you’re missing out on a large pool of talent. That makes it difficult to support growth at the rate in which is expected in these markets.

It becomes critically important to understand what an engaging and flexible work environment looks like for a millennial and to put that in place in order to win the war on talent. There are a lot of people out there that are really excited about having an opportunity to apply their skills. If we get the engagement equation right, then we really solve a lot of that attraction and attention problem, because people want to come and work with you. And they want to stay working with you because they’re in roles that challenge them, where they’re making a difference, they’ve got access to information that they need, they can socially share things with their friends and with their work colleagues, and celebrate their successes.

5. PageUp is highly configurable because the needs of a retail organization are vastly different than the needs of another type of company.

One of our core strengths as a system provider is just that degree of configuration and flexibility in the solution. We can accommodate such diverse needs, yet not have any customization. So, we have it on our pure-play multi-tenanted SaaS solution. It does mean the platform can be configured to accommodate many different needs. Because we’ve got such breadth of configuration capabilities in the system, we can accommodate that in the one HR solution, which is quite unique.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.