Jeff Gothelf, author of “Sense and Respond,” shared his favorite stat – Amazon releases new software updates every 11.6 seconds – during this episode of Geeks Geezers and Googlization. Amazon and companies like Netflix set the new consumer standard for service. (UX) Human Resources (HR), however, responds with an industrial age approach, built for a completely different time and pace of operations. To win the race for talent, HR must embrace change and be agile to survive a world of unknown unknowns.

The UX of 2019

It’s a known fact that the expectations of consumers have been molded by the technological movers and shakers of the past 20 years. Companies such as Apple, Netflix, and Amazon are looked up to from competitors who wish to imitate their UX (user experience) when it comes to ease of use and customer satisfaction.

This is where Jeff Gothelf comes in. With a belief that “Today’s leaders must inspire and collaborate, not micromanage, to drive agility and innovation in their orgs.”,  Jeff works with companies to help them do just that, driving organization leaders to develop and implement practices that create a workplace culture which enables their staff to learn, take risks, and embrace mistakes.

If a company wants to be the “Apple of Real Estate” or the “Netflix of Health Care”, they need to start by rethinking the structure and mindset of their business. Jeff states, “Whether you’re an insurance company or a franchised grocery store, you are in the software business.” The only way that you’re going to be able to scale your business and compete in this decade is if your business is able to deliver on the high quality UX that this technological age has given people.

UX and HR: A Disconnect?

Alright, so how does UX relate to HR? Well, think of it this way. If the HR department of a company does everything right in their initial delivery – they have great reviews, they’re quick to respond, and they offer tempting incentives – but then the actual application submittal process is a clunky, drawn out, hard to navigate, and all over awful UX, then they’re set up for failure. In situations like this where applicants were interested in the position but then faced these obstacles, 9 out of 10 cease to follow through on the rest of the application process.

UX doesn’t just end once a candidate is hired either. It goes beyond the initial application process, and it starts with a company’s mindset. Becoming the next gold standard in the industry can only  be gained by thinking about the things that enhance our “user experience”, or in this case, employee experience. The processes and culture of things such as benefits, payroll, and PTO are generally regarded as painful and cumbersome, and their processes need to be changed. When it comes to Jeff’s work, HR is a critical component in the evolution of companies.

It’s HR’s role to create a solid UX for their candidates and employees. The only way to do this is by understanding who their candidates and employees are, what their goals are, and how HR can help them successfully accomplish what they want to do.

So, who’s going to be the next “ Apple of HR?”

It’s time to start thinking about the work HR is doing, time for their departments to move away from initiatives and concepts and instead re-frame their work as a problem to solve. They need to ask themselves the question, “What are we trying to solve and if we solve this problem, what will happen?”