Transcript | The Good, the Bad, and the Algorithm: When HR should leverage AI for smarter decisions

[Vaish]:

Hi everyone, this is Vaishnavi. Welcome to the first ever podcast, Skills HQ, presented to you by Zapilio. And we’re launching this podcast with a webinar with one of the most talented women I’ve ever met. She’s a visionary. She can spot talent everywhere she sees. She has multiple years of experience working at GE and Cisco as the CHRO and she’s one of the amazing women I’ve met in HR. How are you, Kate?

 

[Kate DCamp]:

I’m great, how are you doing?

 

[Vaish]:

I’m doing good. So tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

[Kate DCamp]:

So I basically went started a career with Aetna and actuarial math, went from there into compensation, which I had a background in psych. So I figured money and motivation relate to that. And then I ended up at GE, great time at GE. And I was drafted from GE to Cisco as head of top rewards. And then I was kind of promoted to the head of HR. So I did that job for about seven years. and got a lot of opportunity to innovate. So I’m excited about the potential of AI because I know how I would have used it at Cisco.

 

Vaish:

I am really excited about the conversation that we’re going to have about integrating AI into HR since I think this is a topic that is on everyone’s mind right now and one of the fears being that AI is going to take away our jobs.
So let’s get started. My first question for you is what would you say were your key experiences or learnings at Cisco NGE?

 

Kate DCamp:

So GE, very simply, I learned that simple, clear goals are important. Jack Welch was the master of that. He came up with a statement saying 50% of revenue by non-US sources by the year 2000 go. And then

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

everyone in the company would get a line behind that and run because they knew he was going to be measuring that. And every year we were reporting on it. And we started that in

about 97. And we actually, we actually, got to 50%. of our revenue from non-US sources in three years, which is incredible for us.

 

Vaish:

Oh, that is incredible.

 

Kate DCamp:

the company, yes. So the other thing is he sent out surveys to people’s homes. So the way that he had alignment, you got a survey at your house and he’d say things like, are you seeing the effect of Six Sigma in your business? Do you understand the goals that we’re really focused on right now? And I pity the business leader whose employee said, no, what are you talking about? Nothing’s changing here, you know. Because then he would do follow-up on it. So I thought that simple focus and the fact that he reached down into the actual people doing the work to see if their work was changing was a way that he created good alignment

 

Kate DCamp:

Cisco it’s totally different Cisco all of a sudden I discovered that I could have any technology at all to help me with the HR work So at GE who works a month doing bonuses all around the world We had to get all these spreadsheets etc when I got to Cisco everybody’s like it’s alright boss you go ahead and go home, we’ve got this presentation, we’ll send it to you. You could call us if you wanna change it and then you will meet with the CEO. And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

so I was completely blown away that it was not a patchwork of spreadsheets. There was actual system that everybody put their stuff in and it went for approval. And I’ve never seen anything like that. That level of technology investment in HR was quite rare. It’s becoming less so, but it was quite rare. And the second thing at Cisco is I discovered the power of of learning and using technology to learn, and especially using gaming to learn.

 

Vaish:

Mmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

And I had the opportunity to see a really great game that someone had put together outside, in an outside meeting that I attended. And I said, wow, we have better technology than almost anybody. We have a better technology investment. Why aren’t we doing that? So I put out a challenge to all the learning groups that I had, and I said, the first one that gets me a game that I like and is good and really teaches something, they’re going to get a bunch of stock options. And someone did do that. They did something for the Department of Defense that taught people how to use the network and defend the network and secure it and all of that, using Cisco products, of course. But they did that and they got an award from the Department of Defense. But I had already seen, I saw the product and I went, wow. So then I created a creative learning studio and I put a group of people together. Not everybody who’d done training before. It’s some fresh

 

Kate DCamp:

perspective, some diverse perspectives, people that… came from all parts of the business, different age ranges even, and let them play around. And they came up with five or six really astonishingly good games, just astonishingly good. And the point was, it’s the same thing as the potential of AI. Once you take care of the basic stuff that takes all the time, you can focus on the content, and you can repeat it, update it, et cetera. So that’s why I really have gotten involved with all of this in Zapilio. I feel like it’s the right time to be using AI to make HR better.

 

Vaish:

So I have a question, what were these games like?

 

Kate DCamp:

So the first game we had was called Peter Packet, and it was actually

 

Vaish:

Uh huh.

 

Kate DCamp:

a cartoon, and it taught people, it had a network, and it had these little viruses trying to get into the network, and here’s your

 

Vaish:

Oh!

 

Kate DCamp:

server, and you’re protecting it, so you’re looking at this screen, and you’ve got four or five channels, and they’re all trying to come in, and you have to put the right Cisco product there to block them, and make sure one channel’s open so you don’t get the packet setting up, and you could get points, and you could be on the leaderboard, and you could beat the game and win it. And what happens, we introduced it at Children’s Day at Cisco, and the children played with that thing forever. But the parents all started writing me notes saying, my kid finally understands what I do. And my wife

 

Vaish:

Hahaha

 

Kate DCamp:

played it. Now she knows what a network is, and what, when I’m doing security, what am I securing against, right? So we did that.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

We had to do a change management process for the company to teach leaders how to do change management and understand how people adapt to change. That it’s a process.

You can just say, here, we’re doing this, everybody march. So we created a cartoon that was a video game golf game. And

 

Vaish:

Oh!

 

Kate DCamp:

you couldn’t get to the green and get the putt until you had gone through those steps. So you actually had to apply what it was to do change in a hypothetical situation. And really, the point is, when something’s entertaining, so on. And the last one, we did an online quiz that had a lot of variety to it. that people didn’t realize that they weren’t all getting the same questions on ethics. We gave them very hard,

 

Vaish:

Uh-huh.

 

Kate DCamp:

very gray, difficult, really have to think about it kinds of questions. And I got some people saying, well, the questions are impossible. Ethical questions aren’t that complicated. We went, no, they are.



Kate DCamp:

When you do something you shouldn’t do, you think it’s right usually.

 

Vaish:

Oh yes, of course.

 

Kate DCamp:

And only on reflection you go, yeah, I probably shouldn’t have done that. So we did things like that. There’s probably another 10 games. And

 

Vaish:

Oh.

 

Kate DCamp:

honestly, we did one for the people that sell and install our equipment. And it was on security products. And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

I went to John Chambers, my boss, and said, we have people that are playing this for five hours a day. He goes, what about the productivity? I said, John, the people that are playing it, they’re on the leaderboard. They’re pulling through more Cisco security equipment than all the rest of the other people that we sell through. He goes, oh, good. Let’s get everybody playing. Because you learned it.

 

Vaish:

That’s brilliant.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah,

 

Vaish:

You’re

 

Kate DCamp:

you learned it.

 

Vaish:

learning it faster and you’re actually more interested in the process of learning.

 

Kate DCamp:

Right, right,

 

Vaish:

Get it?

 

Kate DCamp:

exactly.

 

Vaish:

Another question I have for you is, everyone has this idea of HR in their head. Do you feel like there has been a vast change in it pre-COVID and post-COVID? And do you think that it has been fast enough?

 

Kate DCamp:

So, I think there has been a lot of change in HR over the years from personnel to HR. And you started HR doing not just more strategic work, but doing more to help management be better at management. Right? So, to me, that’s what HR is, that fundamentally it’s there to make management better, run the company better.

 

Kate DCamp:

COVID, I think, was a little bit of a sidestep. I do think that people learned they could work from home, they learned how to use the technology. They did a lot more on video. I know people said that, you know, one more Zoom call and my head’s going to blow up, but people did find that they worked a little bit harder. They almost couldn’t draw the barriers they used to when they would have the time to commute. So, but I don’t think that it’s been great because it hasn’t, there hasn’t been time or money to invest in doing new things. So that’s starting to come back now. You know, you’re just holding on. COVID’s happening. You don’t know what’s going to happen with your business. HR is doing whatever they have to to calm the waters, to take care of little things that have to be taken care of right now. Now HR is going back and a lot of people that I know, whether they’re working from home or they’re in the office is not the point, It’s the point is now that we’re thinking about, oh, we’ve got to invest again. And what do we invest in, right? And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

we’re going to hire again. So now there’s not enough people. In the US, there’s not enough people for the jobs we have open. We have 11 million less people of working age and working

 

Vaish:

Yes.

 

Kate DCamp:

disability than we do jobs. So. There are a lot of ways we could address that, one being immigration. So that’s a separate topic. But people are getting a chance to say, oh my God, now I have that big, huge amount of applicants coming in again. And we dealt with it in the past as we added staff. And the problem,

 

Vaish:

Big staff.

 

Kate DCamp:

yeah, you add a big staff, and then you’re not hiring as much. You get rid of a bunch of people. And that’s not a good way to run a business anyway. You want to get good people. keep them employed and keep them deployed to what is important now. So we’re gonna see less specialization in things like recruiting, things like even compensation, even learning. And the HR person of the future is gonna understand all of those things and is gonna use technology. So I envision a world in which there are a bunch of miniature CHROs in companies and they understand all of it. 

 

Vaish:

So you feel like it’s going to become a better process as the technology is getting more involved in it. Like for example, how do you envision AI helping everyone in HR while also maintaining that human touch?

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, people are afraid that that’s going to be the machine it takes over and I don’t view it that way at all. There’s a lot of things that employees need from HR that would be better coming from an online presence that gets to understand them and what benefits they have and what their family situation is and so on and can answer their questions for them. HR can never do that. Every time you come in with a question, it’s a brand new question. They have to look you up. They have to sort of piece together what they need to know about you. And I also find that people are a little bit more comfortable almost not dealing with someone that they know that sits in headquarters or, they don’t know you, if they can get their needs met very quickly, right? And it has a human feel to it. And if they want a human, they say, I need a human. And a human joins.

 

Kate DCamp:

Right? So, but I think there is going to be breaking some of our customers, mostly management, honestly, not the employees. Employees are very savvy with technology. They want their question answered. They don’t care who they talk to. So and now they have to open a ticket and somebody gets the ticket and that has to be routed to the person for that question. You don’t have to do that with good AI. You can say, I have a question. What’s it on? It’s on my medical. They know medical is a benefit. It doesn’t hurt. The ticket, somebody goes, medical, what’s medical? What do they mean? They know it and they know that this person’s enrolled in it and they have three children and that they, they know their utilization potentially, right? So we’ve got to be careful about the firewall, but I just think it can be a lot better for them. For HR people, we spend a lot of our time dealing with situations, one-off, transactions, one-off, even at a high level, right? We need to fire this guy. We need to hire somebody. We need to pay this person more. We need to move these people around. We need to rearrange the chairs. And that’s, you don’t, it’s not necessarily creating a sustainable, a sustainable  process and or intellect in the company. People aren’t learning from it. Our job should be more to facilitate employees being serviced well and the human touch being there when needed, but not all the time.

 

and teaching managers how to be better at dealing with their employees to prevent problems. Right? You have a great manager, you can ask them anything, and you can say, what’s going on with my career? And they can say, you know, I don’t have a lot of change going on here, but, you know, there’s this thing we have where you go in and you fill out your profile, and you indicate your interests, and it will… assessments you can take. You take the assessments, you see, gee, you have 60% of what you need to do that other job you’re kind of interested in, and there’s a way to fill the 40%. and I had this at Cisco as my vision, then we’ll say, you fill out what you’re interested in, you prepare yourself, and then the jobs find you. You don’t have to apply, you get a notice that says, hey, there are three jobs that you’ve said you’re interested when these kind of jobs open, and you’re at 90% matched to one and an 80 to another, and a 70 to another, and the hiring manager is interested in talking to you. Are you?

 

Kate DCamp:

You say yes, no, and then you get in a live interview with the manager pretty quick,

 

and we could. move people around seamlessly, and we’d use our own talent pool more and not always pull people in from outside. So I was hesitant to bring in people that might not be a culture fit. At Cisco, if you weren’t on the computer all the time, on the web all the time, if you wanted a secretary, if you wanted to type memos or even print memos out, you were going to, the place would just run over you. You know, you couldn’t survive there. So we don’t really find those things out, but we know you’re there, you’ve been there five years. People like working with you, you have the values, you get where the company’s been and you want to be part of where it’s going. That’s a win-win. AI lets us do that. Right now



Kate DCamp:

we undermine our own talent pool. We don’t do assessments on employees other than senior leaders or someone’s in trouble. We should be doing assessments on everybody, but we should also be letting people learn and then be assessed as to what skills they require.

 

Vaish:

I agree. And I feel like you are someone who is, everything that you mentioned actually reminds me of what Zappilio is doing right now, where someone could just go and type in the skills that they have or take an skill assessment test and the job recruiters would ideally go on the website and be like, oh, this person is skilled at this. And I know you’re someone who does not follow the traditional elitist form of hiring where you would look at the degree. You would prefer looking at the skills and what the experience is like. And I know that you have experimented with that as well. And I am so excited for you to tell that story.

 

Kate DCamp:

Oh well! So, yes, so I find, the problem is we say that we’re gonna do a structured interviewing. We all look at a group of resumes and see which ones we like the best, even before we meet the candidate, right?

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

And somebody may have paid money to somebody to write their resume, and it’s gonna look a lot better than someone who wrote their own, right? So I don’t wanna bias towards, also someone went to a big name school. Well, they had very wealthy parents who could afford to send them to private school and get them prepared, and they had coaches, and they took test prep and all this. So I want to make sure we’re looking at the people who will be a good fit for us. And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm

 

Kate DCamp:

that’s less about where they went to school and where else they’ve worked. So how do you get to that? So I actually took all the resumes away. We were doing a team exercise to hire a training class, if you will, in HR. And I took

 

Vaish:

Uh-huh.

 

Kate DCamp:

the, I took the resumes away from the HR team, my team. And that was hard for HR, right? We’ve been working with resumes.

 

Vaish:

Yes,

 

Kate DCamp:

Most of us

 

Vaish:

forever!

 

Kate DCamp:

since we’re. Yeah. So I said, I just want you to meet the people. I don’t want you to ask them where they went to school or where they worked. I want you to ask them, what’s an interesting experience you’ve had? What do you think HR is about? Why would you be interested in Cisco? Do you have other people you’re interested in and why? And we just got to, we divided up a group of questions and then we came back and we all kind of stack ranked who we liked the best.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

Then I handed out the resumes. And I said, take the resumes and see who you would pick for us to interview. And it wasn’t the same people. It was shocking.

 

Vaish:

That is fascinating.

 

Kate DCamp:

Even I was a little surprised because I told the person I was working with, don’t let me see them either, because I’m not trying to make a game with my staff. I want to learn this.

 

Vaish:

You wanna learn too.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah. And, and so we ended up hiring somebody for this class and he had been an auto mechanic and then he went back and got an MBA and it was a

 

Vaish:

Wow.

 

Kate DCamp:

great hire. Now would I, would I have looked at that resume and said auto mechanic, MBA? Yeah, let’s, let’s get them for HR. Probably not, but the people skills you acquire being an auto mechanic are actually pretty significant. It’s not

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

just fixing cars, it’s dealing with people who are frustrated and angry and they need their car now, and don’t have the money for what it needs to be fixed on. So he has

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

to acquire those skills. And then he got business skills with the MBA. And I thought business skills coming into HR are way more important than has been emphasized. If you can’t understand what your client’s business is doing, you can’t help them prepare in advance for the right kind of talent to make it happen, you’re just reacting, right?

 

Vaish:

Yes, yes, I feel like that is exactly what is changing right now, that HR has been given that platform where they’re not treated as just someone who’s been told to hire and fire based on resumes. They’re actually allowed to have these opinions about how to grow the business, which is something that even you helped a lot with right at Cisco and at GE.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, it’s funny, when I went to Cisco, people would say, we’d be in a meeting on an acquisition we’re making, and they’d say,

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

oh, HR, what’s your opinion? And I go, I’m stunned, right? So gee, nobody identified where you were from. They just say, what do you think? And somebody would say, I’d say, I think it’s a terrible acquisition. They’ve got all kinds of lawsuits by employees. Their margin is only 4%. That could be eradicated by five lawsuits, et cetera. And nobody said, thanks, HR, for your contribution. So

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

it was. It was much more siloed and functionally at Cisco. A lot of that

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

start to ease up. But tech’s the last bastion of doing innovative in the technology but not in the management technique necessarily,

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

because it’s engineers. And engineers

 

Vaish:

That’s true.

 

Kate DCamp:

think here. But when you hand them somebody really good to work with, who asks the different questions one on one with a leader, they get it. They get it. This is the best advice I’ve ever gotten and I didn’t even ask you for that advice. And how did you know? I’m watching you with everyone. I’m watching that you’re struggling. I’m watching

 

Vaish: You’re observing.

 

Kate DCamp:

have one person on your team is creating a lot of distress for everyone. And before you come to me and say fire them, there’s things we could do to

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

help correct them. And you really want their brain. You just don’t want their behavior. So let me help you fix that. Let me teach you how, right?

 

Vaish:

Yes. And do you think AI could help with this with like, calculating employee happiness or tracking employee progress?

 

Kate DCamp:

Yes, I think that there’s much more capability of measurement and data. By data,

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

I don’t mean numbers. I mean, do employees know what we want from them? Are they happy

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

working? Are they going to be here five years? What’s their manager like? Do they feel supported and encouraged and nurtured? Do they think that people are treated equivalently across the team? Are there favorites and not favorites? So that kind of data can, and that, and we did 360s, and we did 360s without hiring a bunch of consultants to come in and do them, we had an online system that we set up, and we could do 360s on all the managers in the company all at once.

 

Kate DCamp:

Okay, and we could do it every year if we wanted to. And we also had a Pulse survey that we did on employees, and we could do that every year in the whole company on some high questions. We could do a deep dive into different parts of the company on whatever cycle we wanted. So if you take all that data, you can make that into actionable stuff. And when HR is doing that, you’re bringing data to the table that the managers and the leaders did not have. And that’s what the conversation’s about, is what is that data telling me? The best reaction we got, we had 360s and we told them what the average manager in the company got from their employees on communication and things like that. Immediately, the ones that scored low, and only they knew they scored low. Their managers knew, their direct managers knew.

But their personal report. And then they said, here’s what all the other managers did. And here’s in engineering’s a little different than in sales. Sales people talk, engineering people don’t as much. So then they say, well, how, what’s that guy doing? Who’re the people that are getting that high a score? What are they doing? We said, ah, OK, great. They’re doing skip levels. They’re doing all hands meetings. They’re doing one on ones, two levels down. They’re doing regular updates. They’re doing quick multimedia. They’re doing quick little questions to the entire staff over email, or a little voicemail to the group, or they’re standing up and walking around the floor and they’re handing out pizza, and you know, things that they were doing and that weren’t just creating better morale, but we’re creating a better understanding of what we’re trying to do as a team. And I think the CEO was a natural. He handed out ice cream from a cart, pizzas. He made us carry buckets, wagons full of candy bars around to every building every year for holidays. So. He got that stuff intuitively, but for a whole bunch of people, they never learned that. It’s not their personality. So when you start saying, well, you want to be great at communication, let me explain that to you. We also said, look, we can prove that communication is the number one management skill that is valued by your staff. How well you communicate, whether it’s clear, whether it’s regularly. There’s not rumors abounding about, oh, what’s going on? I’m not sure if we’re going to be in that product line. You’re telling us everything you can tell us as soon as you can tell us. Right? You can make any manager into a leader if you give them the tools, and HR can bring the tools.

 

Vaish:

That was going to be my next question for you. What do you think managers today lack into becoming a true leader and do you feel like there is a slight or there is a gender disparity between leaders?

 

Kate DCamp:

Oh, interesting.

 

Vaish:

I know.

 

Kate DCamp:

Webinar. But I was going to say, I think that we haven’t necessarily in a lot of companies really tried to train people to be leaders.

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

Um, what we had is with Cisco, we had, it was a young company, grew really fast. It was only 10 years old when I got there. 10 years old in

 

Vaish:

Mmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

  1. Try telling a 10

 

Vaish:

That’s

 

Kate DCamp:

year

 

Vaish:

young.

 

Kate DCamp:

old, try telling a 10 year old anything. Right. So,

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

uh, so what we weren’t doing is we weren’t training people how to be managers even. You became a manager because your function’s growing, they said, go hire some people. Boom, you’re a manager. You might not have ever wanted to be a manager, but you might also be great at it, isn’t that wonderful? You might also be terrible at it. And we didn’t train you, we didn’t take time, we were running too fast, right? It’s all about getting more people in the door, we’re spending all our time on resumes. So, that started to clear up and we actually said, we wanna have some real leadership development in the company, and we actually said, we created a process of the 360s and regular EPMs, but we also said we’re gonna have the management team of each major function to discuss our talent. So it won’t just be

 

Vaish:

It

 

Kate DCamp:

you

 

Vaish:

is.

 

Kate DCamp:

have a manager who rates you highly and it rolls up and they say, well, they must be good. They’re highly rated. We actually talked about it and it was fun because the first time this, we did this, people said, well, my person is the top rating and he’s the best in the whole world. And someone else said, well, you know, I got to tell you, John, nobody in my department wants to deal with that guy because he may look like he’s great to you, but he comes over with an axe and starts swinging.

 

Vaish:

MHHHH

 

Kate DCamp:

I got to know him right now. He name drops your name all the time. He says it’s for, you know, God asked for it, et cetera. And that’s not, he’s not good at teaming and people run. And the leader’s like, what? I never knew, why didn’t you tell me that? So, well, I didn’t know you thought he was great. I assumed you thought he was terrible too. So we got into

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

those group discussions. We started ferreting out the people that everyone knew on the management team or enough people knew that person has great potential to be a leader. They’re doing some

 

Vaish:

Ahem.

 

Kate DCamp:

great stuff. Then we created a nomination only education series.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

And we use world-class faculty. Now think about if you can do that with AI, you can start replicating great teachers and they can

 

Vaish:

great brains.

 

Kate DCamp:

live beyond their years, right?

 

Vaish:

Yes.

 

Kate DCamp:

So we brought in this world-class faculty, we got people off site, we deliberately picked a hotel with terrible wifi so they couldn’t be on the computer, the phone, their beepers, or any toy they had. And they were like, there’s no Wi-Fi here. We went, yep, that’s right.

 

Vaish:

Yeah

 

Kate DCamp:

You’re in a little town in Ireland and there’s no Wi-Fi. Get over it, right? There’s a phone in your room, use the phone. So we put them through nomination only. They all said, well, I went to Stanford. I already have an MBA. I don’t know if I need this. And to a person, when they got into the course, like the second week, my boss kept getting these calls. John, we have this thing. It’s incredible. I mean, I have an MBA from Stanford. But I never understood the full range of what Cisco does. And we have a lot of really great people working here in other departments.

 

Vaish:

Hahaha

 

Kate DCamp:

I had no idea how good the customer service people are. I met some people from manufacturing. Thank God they work here. So it started to create a perspective and a difference and them trying to say, well, what am I going to go back and do different? Here’s my commitment. They could sign up for 360s if they needed some coaching. We

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

actually created a panel of coaches. We got a good deal with a coaching firm where they could… you know, do online coaching. So we didn’t have to have a coach come in. They have a badge. They meet you in your office. Cause we

 

Vaish:

yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

some dumb, they used to hire coaches, a lot of companies for the person who was having a problem. They were not good. So rather than fire them, you hired a coach to tell them they weren’t that good. The

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

problem is the coach is being paid to coach them. They start seeing things their way.

 

Vaish:

What?

 

Kate DCamp:

We actually had a coach testify against the company. that we shouldn’t fire the person because they had good reasons for their behavior. It’s like, so we fixed that. But

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

just to me, it’s so pervasive that technology and how AI could make that even faster. This

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

stuff is so heavy lifting. Once you have it, it has to constantly be updated. You want to have a benefits portal for the whole world? It’s got to be in local language.

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

It’s got to be the benefits in that country. They’re going to change with legislation. How

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

could anybody in HR or anywhere else? possibly keep that stuff up to date. But

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

if you connected it, right?

 

Vaish:

That’s true. And I am especially going to be grateful for it because I’ve had, I think all of us have had our fair share of shitty bosses.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah.

 

Vaish:

And I think, like I am so grateful for the fact that you could use platforms like for example, Zapilio itself to re-skill someone to be a good leader. Like you could teach them, like leadership is a teachable quality. Like you don’t have to be born as a great leader.

 

Kate DCamp:

Right. I mean, there are people who are born as great leaders, but

 

Vaish:

Who are, of course, yes.

 

Kate DCamp:

they’re really not born as great leaders. They just have great training from their parents. Nobody

 

Vaish:

from

 

Kate DCamp:

comes.

 

Vaish:

their condition to be

 

Kate DCamp:

Right.

 

Vaish:

great leaders. Yes. Do you also feel like there is something more to do with diversity? Like if we have in your experience of hiring and firing and everything, do you feel like adding more diversity to the group changes the game?

 

Kate DCamp:

Absolutely. It’s not operating with the same assumptions right away.

 

Vaish:
mhmm

 

Kate DCamp:

It’s teaching. I had an opportunity where it was, in fact, it was India. The people in HR in India were telling me, we need this, we need that, we need the other thing. And I just, it felt like they were very much aligned to it, just a couple of the leaders there. And they weren’t

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

really thinking about why is this a good investment for Cisco? We’re putting jobs there. The fundamental issue was we’re putting jobs there, but they weren’t connected to who was, who they were working for. It’s like they’re

 

Vaish:

Uh huh.

 

Kate DCamp:

all there was no presence. They didn’t feel connected to Cisco. And so, but, but we also found out that it was a big deal to do some things for them that would be unique in the market. And I sent a guy who was US based and born, uh, Pakistani by, um, heredity and

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

Sent him to India and, and I trusted him and he was able to bridge the communication gap between me and the leaders within the company and.

 

Vaish:

So GE was relatively new in India back then,

 

Kate DCamp:

Yes, this was at Cisco when

 

Vaish:

Oh, this was at Cisco, okay.

 

Kate DCamp:

were still at GE in like 96, GE

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

was getting a lot of people and setting up in Delhi.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

This was in Bangalore and it was

 

Vaish:

Okay.

 

Kate DCamp:

early year 2000. Okay.

 

Vaish:

Ah, okay.

 

Kate DCamp:

So I sent this guy Atar, a Siddiqui, sent him to India and he was there a little while. And he actually went and learned the people and the places and what their issues were. So he wasn’t coming out with anything. I’m HR and I’m telling you this. He’d say, so Kate, you know, the way it is difficult to land candidates is we don’t have something that really differentiates us. Everybody’s paying more and more. That’s not what differentiates us. People will accept and get two more offers and just not show up. So, and he said, but the thing is here, the parents are very important to people. And

 

Vaish:

Of course, it’s India.

 

Kate DCamp:

I’ve gotten some quotes and I found out that we can offer parental health care. And I went, wow, what? Well, that’s strange. Really? And how much would that cost? He told me, I went, God, that’s a great investment. Why wouldn’t we do that? Right? So we did it. Now I understand it’s a lot more widely done now, but

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

it was unheard of then, unheard of.

 

Vaish:

Really?

 

Kate DCamp:

Absolutely unheard of. We couldn’t find anyone else who was doing it in 2000. No, this is 23 years later. A lot of people are doing it.

 

Vaish:

I think

 

Kate DCamp:

But.

 

Vaish:

everyone is doing it in India at this point.

 

Kate DCamp:

That’s great. Well, it was all started with that guy who was not from India, who was a completely different background to flew in, who had my trust and earned the trust there and bridge that divide. And to me, that’s the most purest form of seeing just introducing a different person to any team. It goes beyond

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

that. You start introducing women into the mix in management, you get a different outcome because women, not all women think like all other women. I’m not saying that. Not all men think like all other men. with

 

Vaish:

Of course not.

 

Kate DCamp:

The perspective of five people around a table from different backgrounds, different experiences growing up, different way that they’ve been treated in their career and their life. So you’d have people at a table and one of them will say, well, I think if we do that, it’s gonna anger employees. And somebody say, well, that’s ridiculous. Why would I be very happy to get that? And it’s like, yeah, but you’re 50.

 

Vaish:

Hahaha!

 

Kate DCamp:

You grow up and then get in there and do some work or you’re fired. You didn’t grow up and the, hey, you’re bright, you’re smart. We want, we competed for 10 companies to get you here. And we have to treat that person with respect. And they say, well, these kids. And I say, they’re your kids. They’re that’s your kids. Did you tell your kid, Oh, go to work and be abused right no.

 

Vaish:

Oh no.

 

Kate DCamp:

Right. So the perspective of youth, the perspective of female, the perspective of diverse male, the perspective

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

of people from, you know, what’s any dimension that you can say is different that helps. And, but AI is a great place to take those differences and make it more valuable. So if you think about, if the system can learn, it can learn,

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm. It can learn.

 

Kate DCamp:

it can learn many perspectives.

 

Vaish:

It can, yeah. And it can also, it will inherently, I think, remove biases.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, because it’s not been conditioned to be in a certain way.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, it doesn’t have the assumptions we grow up with.

 

Vaish:

No, we all grew up with exactly. So that

 

Kate DCamp:

And

 

Vaish:

would be beautiful too.

 

Kate DCamp:

we, and I also think the whole bias in hiring that when you, I worked early at a company, I’m not going to name it now, but where people said, well, what was our hiring philosophy? And people said, well, it’s this, for sales, we say, I’m six foot two, my eyes are blue and I went to Dartmouth. How about you? Because most of course was over six feet tall, blue eyed people. who went to Dartmouth College, which is a very expensive Ivy League college. And that did not serve the market well because what they were selling, they were not selling to people of the upper class and the aristocracy. They were selling it to benefits managers in companies.

 

Vaish:

Oh.

 

Kate DCamp:

And you didn’t need to show up in a fancy suit, right?

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

They won’t buy from the guy who shows up and rolls his sleeves up or will buy from the company that actually has a few women employee. And we started putting women into the mix there. And that was really interesting for some of the folks that were in leadership, because they say something like, well, she’s great. We want her to move to Waco.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

And say, well, unfortunately, she can’t move. Her parents and her husband, they’re all there. And they say, she can’t move? Well, the men always moved. No, the men and their family moved.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

Now there’s an equal stake in this relationship in multiple jobs. She will walk across the street to another company if you say she has to go move to Waco, Texas from Louisiana or wherever she’s living, right?

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

I said, boy, it’s going to be a tough future for us. And I thought this was said in front of me. I thought, yeah, it’s gonna. I was part of a two people working couple, right? So, but that

generation before that was unheard of. And I think that’s what we, we have to in HR help drive what AI becomes in HR and how it’s used and use good products and give feedback if they’re not working for us and so on, and we have to be willing to create some. And the thing is AI is going to make all of us potentially programmers.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm. I agree

 

Kate DCamp:

We’re going to say, I want to do this. How do I do it? And AI is going to help us design a system that does that. Right. So

 

Vaish:

Yes.

 

Kate DCamp:

we need somebody to make the interface beautiful and artful and so on, but the guts HR can do and HR’s jobs will be better. It’ll be higher level jobs. You spend more time hands on working with leaders and managers and employees and less time answering questions, looking things up, finding out somebody messed up and no one’s gotten back to this employee for two weeks and so on.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

The employee who’s definitely upset, who has a family crisis, that person we wanna help. At Cisco, there’s an incredible high touch. If something happens and you need to get your kid into a specialty hospital, if a parent has died, if a spouse is very ill, Cisco, we wanted to know about it at the leadership level. That was easier when the company was 10,000 people than when it was 50,000.

 

Vaish:

Mhmm 

 

Kate DCamp:

And the only way to scale that was for us to put out some process that managers knew to press a button and get us engaged when they had a situation like that. It would be even better if I could interface and say and talk to the computer and it connected me to the employee assistance program and it connected me to the places we could get you into and it gave assigned me an HR counselor that was

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

going to work with me on it. with all the basic questions I could get. And my spouse could sit down and ask the questions too. It didn’t have to be, I was at work, I called you, you talked to me, it could be the

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

whole time you’re using it. So I just think that process would be so much better scaled and more

 

Vaish:

yeah

 

Kate DCamp:

consistent and every employee gets it. Not just the employees whose managers were there a long time and know about it. You know, and I said,

 

Vaish:

That’s true.

 

Kate DCamp:

Johnson,

 

Kate DCamp:

yeah, so.

 

Vaish:

I feel like this system is not in place even right now for a lot of companies.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, I know

 

Vaish:

Like

 

Kate DCamp:

it’s not.

 

Vaish:

yeah, a hundred percent. Like this is new information to me.

 

Kate DCamp:

Well, what I’ll say is that the best companies and they start with a startup culture that do high touch and do sort of understanding what’s going on in people’s lives without being intrusive. But I need to know that I cannot layer a huge project on you when you’re dealing with a crisis situation. And I need to understand that I need to give you room to have that and anything we can do to help. And I mean, we went to hospital rooms and visited. We, you know, we… We had a bunch of guys that were deployed in some of the efforts to stop terrorism because they were experts at tracking cell traffic. And their team members mowed the lawn for their house, changed the screens out, took the kid to daddy-daughter dance, took their son to softball. So what they did is they filled in team members on their own because the culture said go. They heard about it. They know the person’s deployed. They thought if I had to leave, what would happen at my house? And they called the spouse. just, you know, so when the guys would come back, they’d say, it’s unbelievable. You know, we say we’re a family and I’ve never liked that terminology because you never fire your uncle generally. But

 

Vaish:

Yeah

 

Kate DCamp:

the fact is they were treated in a way that was exactly what we wanted in the culture. And

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

their peers stepped up to say, hey, if I’m gone, I don’t want my daughter to not be able to go to the daddy daughter dance. I don’t want my wife to have to learn to mow the lawn when she also works a job. I don’t You know, God help me, it took me two years to figure out how to just storm windows versus screens. These are all engineers I work with, you know, so they, we had very good success with that kind of thing. AI would make that more consistent, more available, more reach,

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

more, we could expand it more around the world, put it in all the languages,

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

cultural things that say, well, you know, I don’t, we can’t mingle with employees. If that’s a culture issue in a country, we can blow through that. Right.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, of course.

 

Kate DCamp:

So.

 

Vaish:

Companies have done it.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yes, yeah, GE did it with Japan. It was pretty amazing. Well said, go hire every woman in Japan that has a great degree and nobody will give her a real job. We’ll take all of them.

 

Vaish:

Hahaha

 

Kate DCamp:

Because we said the acquisitions we made, we found some brilliant women and they’re pouring tea and they’re serving people, they’re working as secretaries when they’re just as smart as the boss. And he said, well, We’re not doing that. Let’s go get all the best women. So you can get some big change when you think about it differently like that. And AI, if I can sort through the candidates and have you look at just their abilities and skills and not look at their sex and not look at their age and not look at where they went to

 

Kate DCamp:

school,

 

Vaish:

Their school, yeah,

 

Kate DCamp:

not look at where else they’ve worked and not

 

Vaish:

Or their, yeah,

 

Kate DCamp:

Right,

 

Vaish:

ethnicity.

 

Kate DCamp:

right. Ethnicity too, that’s a big one.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, it’s a big one. Okay. That’s



Vaish:

all right. I just wanna I feel like this has been my experience too. Like I feel like leaders today hire more on the basis of someone who they feel like will get along with them

 

Kate DCamp:

Right.

 

Vaish:

over what would serve the client better.

 

Kate DCamp:

And a lot of times managers hire people like them to

 

Vaish:

Yes,

 

Kate DCamp:

work

 

Vaish:

exactly.

 

Kate DCamp:

for them. The problem is the candidate, even if they love that manager, nobody goes in and says, well, I like my manager. I want to work for him or her forever. I never

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

want to work for anyone else. I never want their job until they retire. And the career path I should take is exactly the one they took.

 

Vaish:

They took, yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

I had this discussion with some managers and they said, well, my people are very happy. I said, that’s great. But what kind of ego do you have to think that the only experience your people ever want is working for you? So I didn’t know you

 

Vaish:

Exactly.

 

Kate DCamp:

were a genius. You’re not a billionaire. You can’t pay them more, right? And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

they can’t talk about it. So I think we have to get past this idea that I hire and they’re my people.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, exactly.

 

Kate DCamp:

We have to say this is our talent. We are allowing you to invest in talent. We’ve given you a budget and you can invest this much money in talent. And here’s

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

our process and here’s the candidates we’re sending you. We don’t want a handpicked list of your neighbors, friends, family, and people you used to work with. I

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

don’t want roving bands of displanted Nortel people. And now your culture, I mean, there was a point at Cisco where I walked around with the engineering labs and there was a Russia section and there was a China section and there was a Stanford section and there was a MIT section and people were grouped by the acquisition they came in on or the

 

Vaish:

Mmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

hired. And that blew me away. I said to John, we’ve got a little United Nations over here, but they don’t work together, right? It’s, and we need to say, let’s not, yeah, when you’re acquired, you want to stay with your leader for a while. But the point of us acquiring a business is for it to become part of Cisco, not to remain a

 

Vaish:

Ahem.

 

Kate DCamp:

Cisco. And the point for the top leader should be, they get a bigger career. So

 

Vaish:

Yeah,

 

Kate DCamp:

we bought their

 

Vaish:

exactly.

 

Kate DCamp:

company, made money, they’re great talent, they should have opportunities to move up and they should.

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

carefully leave the small job they came in on and not be director of engineering of the acquisition but be a vice president of a whole bunch of stuff, right?

 

Vaish:

Exactly, yeah. And

 

Kate DCamp:

So

 

Vaish:

I think it takes a great leader to do that.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, I think it does, but I also think we can, like, they started a company and built into a point where we want to buy it. They have some pretty good natural skills,

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

right?

 

Vaish:

True.

 

Kate DCamp:

Because they didn’t have a mutiny of

 

Vaish:

No.

 

Kate DCamp:

their staff. So it doesn’t mean they’re the best at it, but we can say, well, look at how great you could be and we’ll help you get there. And everybody’s,

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

everybody’s motivated by that. Everybody wants to be better, to learn. You just have to get them past me, mine, my team, I pick, et cetera. And that’s… It’s

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

hard,

 

Vaish:

Could be

 

Kate DCamp:

but

 

Vaish:

great together.

 

Kate DCamp:

yeah.

 

Vaish:

It’s really hard. It’s very, I think because the society is becoming more individualistic, but that’s a whole different conversation.

 

Kate DCamp:

Well, I think HR can actually really help by saying, our talent, let’s have a group discussion about them. Here’s the specs on everybody. We’ve got a

 

Vaish:

Mmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

common level of data we want on every

 

Vaish:

Uh-huh.

 

Kate DCamp:

way. So it’s not what you know about three people. It’s what we know about 40 people. And now

 

Vaish:

Mmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

let’s get the whole management team in and discuss it. Well, they don’t know my people. Well, they should know their people. You’re a management team. You should be talking about your people. You should be letting them interface directly. your employees can only deal with you and they’re not allowed to deal with any of your peers?

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

What’s up with that?

 

Vaish:

That’s messed up.

 

Kate DCamp:

I want to showcase people and we did that. John, we had a lunch outside the executive offices every Friday and we checked turns paying for it so it was never company money being frugal

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

but we would bring some of our top talent to that lunch and they sat there with the CEO, the CFO, the head of sales, the head of HR, etc. and we didn’t lecture them. We said, hey, how’s it going? Here’s lunch, glad you could make it. Any of you guys have anything you wanna talk about? And

 

Vaish:

That is so unheard of right now.

 

Kate DCamp:

yeah, I mean, but that’s

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

been going on for 30 years there.

 

Vaish:

That’s amazing.

 

Kate DCamp:

You say it only takes one leader, but a great HR person can teach a leader to do that.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, can inculcate those practices.

 

Kate DCamp:

Right. You can say,

 

Vaish:

I agree.

 

Kate DCamp:

hey, here’s the best practices. Here’s the kinds of things great leaders do. Let me tell

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

you, you know, everybody wants to be like the winners, right? Here’s what the winning company

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

did. It was so innovative. You know, we could do that here with a twist that’s personal to you. They say,

 

Vaish:

I

 

Kate DCamp:

well,

 

Vaish:

agree.

 

Kate DCamp:

you know, so.

 

Vaish:

What would you have as parting advice for women especially growing in this industry right now?

 

Kate DCamp:

So I’d say to women, I’d say it to men too, but I’d say to women, get the skills, find the training, try, and listen, if you’re in a company that won’t let you do the innovative things that are in your head, write up a paper and put it in your desk drawer. You still do the work, whether you get to install it where you are or not, you’re gonna be able to install it somewhere. And when you go to an interview,

 

Vaish:

Mhmm 

 

Kate DCamp:

you’re gonna talk about the ideas you have and what you think about the direction of it. Also find a woman who will mentor you. You can find

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

a man who will mentor you too, but find a woman. especially one who’s been through the kind of industry that you’re in, who’s

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

dealt with, who’s dealt with being spoken to differently, say, et cetera. What I have to say to you is in HR, I found being a woman a tremendous advantage because

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

I could say things that were very challenging without provoking a, a fisticuffs reaction. You know, they meant they don’t get as angry with us. There’s a certain amount of, well, I’m not going to talk to a lady that way. And

 

Vaish:

Hahaha

 

Kate DCamp:

And so I could get away with more. What I’d say is take risk. If you want to advance, and if you want to be great at a job, take some risk. It’s worth being fired to be great. Being fired

 

Vaish:

to be great.

 

Kate DCamp:

is not a bad thing. And also challenge management and say, what we’re doing is wrong. It’s got, we’ve got a problem. It could become a legal issue. And put your foot down. And yes, you may get fired. So always, and also never take your resume down from LinkedIn, never. I don’t care if you have a job, you’re always open. to something, right? You’re not saying you’re looking, just never take it down. And if your boss

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

says, why is your resume still up on LinkedIn? Say, oh God, no, we all got career advice. You never take your resume now. Because somebody may find you and offer you something that you couldn’t even believe they would offer you. And so that’s one point is be open to possibilities and have the courage to be willing to,

 

Vaish:

to conquer them.

 

Kate DCamp:

right? And also to push hard on someone and have them get mad at you about it, right? You can always make up. Our…

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

Our parents didn’t worry about hurting our feelings when they told us not to do something, right? Okay, sometimes, Jack Welch used to say this, sometimes the job of HR is mother, father, and priest, all in one.

 

Vaish:

Haha 

 

Kate DCamp:

And so you have to take that duty seriously. You’ve got to say, don’t do that. Here’s what you should do. And tell me how you feel about it, right? So, and what I’ll say is when you have AI doing a lot of the basic stuff, or it’s more directly delivering it to employees and managers, you have time and you have the ability to get time, the skill to do that.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

Courage on the skill. So I think learning in HR is going to be completely transformed by that. And I think it will change more than any other discipline because it’s a discipline that relies on people skills. Um, but, but it also is a discipline that has a lot of stuff that’s never really been automated enough, you know.

 

Vaish:

Yes, yes, I agree. Okay, well, I think we can open the chat to our audience and see if anyone has a question.

 

Kate DCamp:

Okay, great,

 

Vaish:

Let’s

 

Kate DCamp:

thanks. I’m trying to figure out who’s here. You don’t tell us who’s here.

 

Vaish:

They can try calling in or they can try writing it in the chat. Anything works.

 

Kate DCamp:

Okay. I mean, the other thing I’m going to say is people are very afraid that AI is going to decide to kill all humans and stuff like that.

 

Vaish:

Mmmm 

 

Kate DCamp:

And I don’t think that that’s a real possibility, but I think within the context of HR, it could make us more impactful, powerful, consistent, and so on. And I think we should embrace it and drive it. Because if you don’t drive, you can’t run over. And somebody’s going to put this stuff together and your CEO is going to be at a conference and say, have somebody say, you could replace the whole HR department with this box. So you have to start adding value at a level that’s not replaceable and

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

using what technology exists to do the work that is in the way of that.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

So and also,

 

Vaish:

I agree

 

Kate DCamp:

also getting the skills you’re going to need for that because not everybody who answers questions can go council management, but most of them can be taught.

 

Vaish:

A lot of it can be taught.

 

Kate DCamp:

Well, having to tag along with someone who’s really good at it.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, I agree.

 

Kate DCamp:

Oh,

 

Vaish:

Okay,

 

Kate DCamp:

OK.

 

Vaish:

I think we have a question. Can AI make hiring more skill based? It’s Darshayita asking that question.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think hiring should be more skill-based and less based on experience as described in a resume or CV.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

So if you do assessments on people, so coming in the door, and I know, Tarun, the CEO of Zapilio has done this for hiring there. You come in the door, they say, we have a job. If you’re interested, here’s some skill assessments we want you to do. So right off the bat, you have people who say, nope, I’m not doing that. That’s fine. They screen themselves out. They, you know, because the company does skill assessment kind of work. So the fact that you don’t believe you should do it is, is a tell. Um, then you go through it and you see who does well at it and who doesn’t do as well. And the people who don’t do as well, do they follow up and say, well, where did I get those skills? Right.

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

It just creates a whole dialogue about learning and preparing that doesn’t happen normally with candidates. Um, and at this point, if they set your resume, you probably haven’t even looked at it.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

You look into how they did on the skills based stuff. So. I think for almost most jobs, even being good with people is a skill, right?

 

Vaish:

Of course, yes.

 

Kate DCamp:

So

 

Vaish:

People’s skills.

 

Kate DCamp:

I could give you a person who’s a computer generated person and give you, they come in and they chat with you about something and I can have you counsel them and I can have that analyzed and you can get feedback. Well, that’s great, but you were not as empathetic as you could be. Make more eye contact. Pause. Lean in. The things that make people feel that they’ve been treated well, right? So,

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

I just don’t think there’s anything we can’t teach people if we use the right technology. And not everybody will want to learn everything, and that’s okay. But for the people that want to learn, give them a chance to assess their skills and improve them.

 

Vaish:

She has a follow-up question. How will the algorithm play a part in it and who gets to decide what factor is given more weightage? Won’t humans be needed for that? Then how does unconscious bias get handled there?

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, so that’s a great question. I’m really glad you asked that. That’s a really important detailed question. And there’s a risk. I’m not gonna ever sit here and say there isn’t a risk. That yes, people could program in bias or unconsciously have bias. But it’s much easier to have bias when you get the paper with the name and where all those things, where they went to school. So we can make it so that what you see is how they did in the skill assessments. And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

the skill assessments are, do you know how to do this? That’s, yes, what’s important to the job. We have to have the leaders agree that this is what’s important. This is what we’re looking for in people.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

We have to, HR has to check that and say, well, you say you want people to be able to lift a thousand pounds, but really in this job, that’s not really required. And that’s kind of something you’d only get weightlifting men that could do it, right? So

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

we have to be to some degree, the arbiter of making sure that the skills they’re asking for are relevant to the job and that they really need them. that they’re not just looking for extra skill that they don’t, you know, if I give somebody who knows how to do everything a job where they only do three things, I’m not going to keep

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

them anyway. So yes, HR has a role. HR has a role in advising them on what, how to construct the jobs, how many, you know, how to divide the work up, how to, who to put in management, and how to feed the stuff into the system. HR has got more work with AI than without. But what they don’t have is they don’t have make work, reports, questions, sending things out over and over again to people. They

 

Vaish:

service.

 

Kate DCamp:

don’t have, yeah, and they don’t have, well, you know, you can change the survey and have the computer send it out for you, right?

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

AI gives you that. We were automated. We didn’t have that. Somebody still had to look at it and push the button and send it to everybody through email and so on. It could be much faster. Yes, though, we have to watch for bias. And one of the things that HR does, and I did when I was in compensation, is every time we did merit or which is raises stock options, bonuses, we do an assessment of male, female, by age, etc. And we say, is there any situation where statistically it doesn’t, we wouldn’t, we’d have some explaining to do. If we went to the court,

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

we three people, two guys, one woman

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

one similar experience in terms of all their whole career, and she’s got a higher rating, she’s lower while she was hired lower. Okay now we have that opportunity to start correcting that. She shouldn’t be paid lower just because she accepted a lower offer to begin with. And a

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

lot of states in the United States are making it illegal to ask a candidate what they presently make. They said, well, the jobs worth what the jobs worth, make an offer to the candidate. And if they don’t take it, you know you’re too low, right?

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

But don’t say, oh, well, we’ll hire her and then we’ll make her 20,000 or some number less than the guy’s doing it because she was making less before. That’s just perpetuating a discriminatory thing, right?

 

Vaish:

It is, yes

 

Kate DCamp:

so, and that doesn’t take away from other people. If we pay people fairly, it doesn’t hurt anybody.

 

Vaish:

And it is not practiced enough.

 

Kate DCamp:

Right. It’s changing more than people realize though. You start

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

doing these updates. It used to be women were making 50 cents on the dollar. When I started

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

my career, then they were up to 60, 65. It’s creeping up pretty fast now. And the pandemic, because a lot of people were let go and had to get new jobs, it was sort of a reset button, at least in the U.S.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

Businesses were closed for a long time. People worked from home. You could see productivity that was much bigger in some people than others. And when jobs opened up, people that weren’t happy with how their company dealt with the pandemic or them, they’re jumping and when they’re jumping, they’re getting more money because there aren’t enough

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

people from the jobs. It’s the first, it’s the first seller’s market that I’ve

 

Vaish:

Mm-mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

ever worked in. It was always been the employers are in control. This is like, you want me, here’s what it’s going to cost. And you go back to management and we can’t pay that. Well, then we can’t get anybody. They go,



Kate DCamp:

really?

 

Vaish:

it was a…

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah. So.

 

Vaish:

It did, I feel like it did mess up the economy a little bit, but…

 

Kate DCamp:

Oh, no, it’s terrible for the economy. I’m not saying

 

Vaish:

Yeah, of course. Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

that. Yeah, it was devastating. But you shut things down. What choice do we have though, right? I

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

actually wrote to the governor of Michigan and said no one can take their pontoon boats out or their fishing boats out at all. And I said, you gotta understand, this is a big outlet for, there’s millions of lakes in Michigan.

 

Vaish:

Uh-uh.

 

Kate DCamp:

The fact that they can’t go out on a boat, why don’t we just say they can’t mingle with their neighbors on a boat? because we don’t want to spread it. But, you know, so she said, and I said, don’t also let the guys that mow lawns, let them do that. As long as they don’t go in a truck with other guys. The lawns are getting long. We’re going to have mosquitoes, et cetera. So she came out and said, you know what? Landscapers can work. They just can’t ride 10 people in a truck and you can take your boats out. And I never told anybody at my lake that I was the one who wrote the governor. So I don’t know if she listened to me, but maybe she did. And then we could ride boats. And then everybody was like so much more cheerful about it, you know. Well, yeah, I can’t work and I’m stuck at home. Okay, but

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

I can go out on my boat and watch the sunset. So life is good.

 

Vaish:

So that’s why when I said you are a visionary, I meant it. You bring so much change to society, I think even unknowingly,

 

Kate DCamp:

Yes.

 

Vaish:

and that’s brilliant.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, it’s um, yeah, my mother was annoying too.

 

Vaish:

Yeah, I don’t think it’s annoying. I think it’s a very admirable quality to have. Well,

 

Kate DCamp:

I think.

 

Vaish:

thank you for joining us. Oh, sorry, go on.

 

Kate DCamp:

I think a lot, most people have a lot more courage than they’ve ever displayed. And almost everybody has a dare to be great moment in their life. A chance where they can see there’s something different that should be said. And

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

the question is just, find get people around you that give you, that build your confidence, not drag it down.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

Build your confidence and take the dare to be great moment at least a few times in your life. You won’t regret that you got fired from a job at three when you’re old and gray. You will regret that you got stuck in a job and you turn around and everybody that you worked with that was good is gone and you’re the old timer. You’ll regret that. So, you know, have some adventure while you’re young. I’ve got a daughter who’s younger and I tell her that, you know, she wants to change jobs. Well, why do you want to do it? Have you thought it through? Not, oh no, don’t, you know. I left the company, the first company I worked for, my mother worked for, my two sisters worked for, my youngest brother worked for, I had cousins thereW was a very big company, but they believed in family referrals. And when I left there, my mother’s like, well, I don’t know if you should leave this very fine company for which we all work. And my dad said, you know, it’s getting a little ridiculous. Why don’t we let somebody get experience elsewhere?

 

Vaish:

Hahaha!

 

Kate DCamp:

So that was helpful. But yes, so.

 

Vaish:

you’ve always been the courageous one.

 

Kate DCamp:

Well, I had parents who took turns inserting that into me, right? Let’s put it that way. I’m sure I wasn’t born courageous. No one is, but I wasn’t, they didn’t punish you for having a different opinion or trying something, you know, and that’s, speak to that with our own children, you’re building a whole human being, they’re going to be who they are. You’re only just making them better at that or worse,

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

right?

 

Vaish:

I don’t think worse.

 

Kate DCamp:

No, I’m saying if you can…

 

Vaish:

Yeah. Oh yeah, if you don’t give them that option, yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

You over-supervise

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

them. If you say, well, not like that, honey. Instead of saying, wow, that’s interesting that you’re building it, that’s gonna fall down. You’ve got it imbalanced. That’s really interesting. Oh, you put that one peg and you put, oh, it fell down, that’s okay. Try again, right? And I’ve seen parents who take over and that’s your instinct. Oh, poor kid, he’s crying now because it didn’t work. It’s okay, do it again.

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

And they actually did experiments on that, which they teach you when you go into psych school.

 

Vaish:

Mm-hmm.

 

Kate DCamp:

studying psychology, not being in a psych ward. So…

 

Vaish:

I think if you celebrate your child as an individual, since, since they’re like in kindergarten, I think it inculcates a lot of self-confidence in them to be able to have that belief in themselves that I have the courage to take this step regardless of if other people think it’s the right thing for me.

 

Kate DCamp:

Yeah, you have

 

Vaish:

So.

 

Kate DCamp:

to give a child the courage of their convictions or

 

Vaish:

Yes.

 

Kate DCamp:

the world will beat them down a little bit. That’s just the way it is. So

 

Vaish:

or they’re gonna be a part of the herd.

 

Kate DCamp:

yeah, well, I mean, I believe you would love to be a fly on the wall at some of our parent teacher conferences with our, for our daughter because

 

Vaish:

Oh!

 

Kate DCamp:

if we did not like the way that a teacher was messaging to her and the way she, what she was being given to learn if she had already learned that and it was boring her.

 

Vaish:

Mm.

 

Kate DCamp:

girls as gentle and as HRE as we could be with the teachers, but

 

Vaish:

Hahaha

 

Kate DCamp:

we got stuff changed. And she knew that we would help her if she was having a dilemma, not by taking it over for her, unless like we had to say to the teacher, no more three hours of math homework doing addition. She’s known that for three years. She’s bored, all right? We’re gonna

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

give her something more harder, right? Well, the kids need the homework. I said, fine, give her something harder. Give her something two grades ahead.

 

Vaish:

Challenging, yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

well, can she do it? I said, why don’t we see?

 

Vaish:

Yeah.

 

Kate DCamp:

So anyway, don’t mean to get off onto parenthood, but HR

 

Vaish:

I

 

Kate DCamp:

and

 

Vaish:

know.

 

Kate DCamp:

peer, some skills, no question.

 

Vaish:

Yes. All right, thank you so much for joining us. As always, this was another amazing conversation that I had with you. And hopefully we’ll see you again for another episode of this podcast that we’ve launched. And thanks to you. Take care.

 

Kate DCamp:

Thanks, take care, hope everybody has a great day. Thanks,

 

Vaish:

Alright, bye bye.

 

Kate DCamp:

bye-bye.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *