Getting Real About Getting To Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk deserves kudos for outlining an ambitious plan to get humans to the Martian surface and beyond.  But chutzpah alone will not solve the multitude of research problems that are going to have to be solved before anyone — NASA, ESA, the Chinese, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, or even the Russians — successfully land crews on Mars.

Workday Rising – My First HR Conference

I attended the Workday Rising conference in Chicago, my first major HR conference.WF_WebSite_BlogHeaders-13

Almost 7,000 people attended. HR software company Workday released information about new products, features and partnerships. We’re going to take a break from my normal beat of wellness for a moment and consider two other workplace issues that I encountered at the conference: learning and recruiting.

James Cross, director of product strategy at Workday, spoke of the increasing relevance of video in today’s workplace learning. For example, Workday is incorporating video learning on its platform, and users can create their own content from their own phones. They can post it in seconds onto the platform for learners to watch.

The rising importance of video is as significant as the rise of mobile a few years back, Cross said, paraphrasing Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who saw the increasing importance of video and developed Facebook Live.

Video has always been powerful, Cross said, but it’s only recently that it’s been at the reach of your average person or consumer. And because people consume so much video content in their everyday lives, they want their learning content to look the same.

But this explosion of video in the consumer world – think YouTube – hasn’t been as quick to spread to the enterprise market, which is why Workday is investing so much time in developing a simple, effective video learning system.

The other gem of this conversation: Cross started out his career as a high school music teacher, which is when he realized how video could have such a strong impact on learning. At the time though, video was difficult enough that other teachers didn’t necessarily use it in the same way. Now in 2016, video is so simple anyone with a phone can create video content.

My conversation with Cross was valuable, first of all, because I used to write mostly for our sister magazine Chief Learning Officer about learning and development. Now, on my benefits and wellness beat I wonder: If the rise of video is such a noteworthy development, how might video be incorporated in wellness programs, benefits communications and the like? The rise of telemedicine, for example, is related to the increased availability of video chatting and the convenience of speaking to a doctor or counselor via a phone or computer. Increased access to video and increased simplicity in creating video content is something that could impact other parts of a business outside of learning.

I also spoke with Kelly Swanson, director of HR operations at FICO, the leading data analytics software company. The company is now using Workday’s platform and especially found value in the recruiting capabilities. What was especially interesting about this conversation was how FICO used very focused data to recruit a particular type of person: students.

Whereas before their internship program was not robust, now internships are key to FICO’s growth strategy. The company looks at developing interns for full time positions, Swanson said. They use this recruiting system, which allows them to focus the search and find the right people who are interested in working in the industry.

Also key to this conversation: the unification of HR processes. For example, FICO uses Workday, which unifies everything from recruiting to onboarding to compensation under one platform and which does so across all of FICO’s 38 global offices.

Simplifying HR processes is something I hear a lot about now, and as I head to my next HR conference next week, I’ll be sure to look out for more about it.

Andie Burjek is a Workforce associate editorComment below, or email at Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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