Elevate and Monetize HR,

Human Experience

In this week’s conversation on Geeks Geezers and Googlization Podcast, Ira Wolfe talks with Human Experience Evangelist, Elisa Garn on the topic “Elevate and Monetize HR”.

Segment One – It’s time to evaluate the role of HR.

For a long time, HR has been a department of the least importance. While the job titles might indicate a strategic role, the functions are largely focused on administrative tasks. Human Experience Evangelist Elisa  Garn assessed the current scenario and decided to do something about it. She created a recruitment strategy that not only enabled companies to hire candidates efficiently, build a talent pool of talent, but turn HR into a profit center! 

With a dearth of talent and skilled labor shortages projected to last into the next decade, organizations need to leverage the power talent pools. One way to do this is to team up with other businesses, even competitors,  both regionally and beyond. Elisa shared how collaboration on talent pools can help maintain a flow of candidates, scale-up recruitment, improve the candidate experience, and shorten the time to hire.  In her recruitment cooperative,  a “fee” was paid to the HR department that placed a new hire in one of the member companies. After all, almost 99% of people who apply for a job aren’t hired.  So why not place these applicants and get paid for it, just like a staffing agency. What happened at Elisa’s company was these placement fees and paid the salaries of the hiring team. This got the attention of the CEO and the senior executive team.

Garn also identified three primary personas of HR. They are Traffic Cops, City Planners, and Mayors. Traffic Cops are reactive in nature, whereas city planners are up in the hierarchy, making strategic decisions while Mayors focus on human experience and not just business.

Segment Two – HR Challenges Ahead

Male labor participation in the U.S. is falling. It recently reached its lowest rate since WWII. The situation is even worse for women who pulled out of the workforce during the pandemic in what many are calling a “Shecession.”  Quit rates have reached record highs created “The Great Resignation.” The race for talent is accelerating to the point where about 70% of candidates accept a job offer letter within a week, from the time they apply. That means that organizations need to speed up the hiring process and eliminate the friction. This requires a combination of leveraging HR Tech and paying prevailing wages. 


Geeks Geezers Googlization in Amazon Music
Geeks Geezers Googlization on Spotify
Geeks Geezers Googlization on IHeart

Quotes Segment One:

1. “If there’s one good thing that came out of the pandemic, its proving to companies that business can be done in hybrid and remote environment.” 7:16

The pandemic has been catastrophic. But there may be a silver lining, in helping companies re-examine how work can get done. The technology that allowed thousands of businesses and millions of workers to keep going during the pandemic proved to many people that remote work can work. What was once thought impractical if not impossible, virtual meetings, virtual conferences, and working from home were found to be effective, efficient, and productive. The preconceived assumption that work can be delivered efficiently only from corporate office spaces was deconstructed by the pandemic. While some businesses will return to 100% on-site and others will transition to 100% remote., the future of work is most likely going to be a hybrid between remote and on-site work.

2. “Normal is not a thing, it is a verb.” 9:10

The world has been waiting to get “back to normal” for nearly 18 months now. But the mutation of the virus has also mutated our reality –  there is no going back to what we described as normal.  The norms of normalcy have changed and the workforce must adapt to it. It’s not only physical adaptation but mental. Normalcy is just a mindset and it is executed by each individual in their own way. This makes normal a verb, a subjective approach toward evolving the work environment not a thing that can be achieved and sustained.

3. "Executives ... are not used to HR talking [their] language”. 12:10

The HR department doesn’t contribute to the C-suite conversation in an effective way – at least that is often the perception. Communication between HR and C suite executives should be a 2-way process. In order to get heard and not just seen. HR folks need to speak in words that resonate with executives. They need to articulate facts and communicate value in a way that gets executives to stop and listen. 

4. “Be a forgiveness person rather than a permission person”. 17:44

Certain business decisions demand quick actions. Sometimes you have to be willing to act and then ask forgiveness instead of waiting for permission.  In an exponentially changing world, asking for permission may be too later. Of course, every action we take involves some risk. We’re not talking about disruptive and transformative types of innovation but incremental improvements. HR can take small and efficient steps, introduce new ideas and strategies as long as they pay attention compliance issues.

5. “Let’s plan it out before we launch it never happens”.

Rolling out an idea practically is more effective than planning it to execute it perfectly. Perfection happens gradually in the process of execution rather than in the planning stage. You need to give everyone permission to err and learn. 

Quotes Segment Two:

1. 37:40- “ More people looking for jobs, more employees looking for candidates than there are actual number of hires.

The number of candidates looking for jobs is high, the number of employers looking for people is high but hiring is low.

2. 40:48- “ Employee referrals is the best way of choosing candidates.”
  • When employees bring in new candidates, the team is assumed to be aligned effectively because people tend to bring in someone they like and someone who is like them, which would ultimately create a strong work bond between them.


  1. hiresmart

    Thanks for sharing this blog. HR practices can be elevated through thought leadership and strategic insights.

  2. Jim SMith

    I’m guessing that when people talk about HR having a seat at the table, they themselves have never been at that table. A seat at the table means one and only one voice and that voice will almost always be in sync with the other voices. I have to believe that few if any of the HR thought leaders have attended many of those meetings as well. I have attended hundreds of CEO staff meetings and the thought leaders don’t have a clue about the future of HR. HR is whatever it was designed to do. It is staffed accordingly. When you take away the administrative staffing there are few left qualified to deliver on what they are being told by the HR thought leaders. Has anyone read any examples where an HR group was transformed. It isn’t going to happen without a change in objectives and the supporting budget.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.