TecHR Interview with Nir Leibovich, CEO and Co-Founder at GoCo Inc.

A serial entrepreneur, seasoned executive, angel investor, patent holder, and startup mentor, Nir has amassed extensive experience in all stages of a company and across multiple industries. The CEO and co-founder of GoCo talks about the impact of automation in HR tech and how AI will shape future processes.

Tell us about yourself, Nir and about GoCo – what drove the initial idea of GoCo?

My co-founders and I have had the good fortune to build and grow previous companies together over the last 15 years. Along the way, and through all stages of growth of those companies, I realized an interesting paradox in HR. Any business owner or executive will agree that there is nothing more important to a growing business than hiring great people and encouraging them to be their best selves. Your HR team sits at the heart of that and can propel you forward or hold you back. Yet, HR is also inundated with an insane amount of administration, compliance, paperwork, and other tedious and manual tasks that make it nearly impossible for them to invest the necessary time on high value and strategic people initiatives. 

We experienced this ourselves at previous companies, and when I started looking around and seeing every other department accelerating with technology, we knew there had to be a better way to help HR streamline and automate the administrative side and give them back the time needed to focus on higher-value areas.

Given the challenges in recruitment, what are the top reasons you’d suggest companies use automation to drive their hiring and onboarding efforts?

We’ve all seen the statistics around the painful costs of recruiting and training a new hire, not to mention the talent wars and all-time low unemployment. The bottom line, the answer to all of this is retention and engagement! If you can retain your talent longer and improve engagement, you will have a secret advantage over the competition. That means investing in the employee experience and it starts with onboarding. Your new hires should get blown away with the first impression and interaction they have during their onboarding process. It should be modern, seamless, frictionless, and delightful. 

A modern onboarding and HRIS solution will help you orchestrate and deliver this delightful experience. Additionally, by automating onboarding, you’ve also streamlined the entire data collection process which saves dozens of hours per hire for your HR team, that’s valuable time they can now spend dreaming up and executing on new ideas for engaging your talent and maximize their potential.

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How can companies start automating their processes with GoCo?

Our entire philosophy at GoCo is to make it easy to start with a lot more flexibility. We believe that you can and should start automating all of your HR processes and data workflows today, without having to make a big decision around changing your payroll, benefits broker, or other systems that work well for you. 

First, our platform can plug & play with your existing payroll, your existing benefit brokers, and other systems you already use. Early on in product development, we made the decision to build features around automating the data sync with other platforms, as we did with our automatic payroll sync feature. Second, we recognize that you have invested in your current checklists, processes, the documents you use, etc… and so we, in turn, invested significantly in the technology to be able to take all of your existing work and bring it to life digitally. Many of our competitors expect you to conform to their system, but our philosophy is to be “more flexible” and help you automate your existing processes. Lastly, we have excellent customer service, with a dedicated person to hold your hand every step of the way, or even do it for you. We’ll import all your data, configure all your document templates, workflows and company policies, and support you through launch and thereafter. We’re an extension of your HR team

How do you see the impact of AI shaping how HR Technologies are built in the future? What capabilities of AI will drive new product features?

There is a lot of promise in how AI can help with HR automation. Today we’re primarily focused on breathing digital life into otherwise manual and paper-heavy tasks. We’re far more concerned in helping employers and HR teams build the piping and automation of data into a centralized database to drive efficiency, better experiences, and new business insights from valuable HR data. However, when it comes to getting fast, more conversation-like answers to common questions employees may have, I think AI can be extremely valuable to HR.

Given the growing use of HR Tech across industries, how should companies prepare their workforce for the Future of Work? 

In my humble opinion, it’s less about how companies prepare their workforce and more about paying closer attention to the desired employee experience that their workforce is already expecting. There is a growing population of millennials overtaking the workforce. Their expectation is that day to day work shouldn’t feel so foreign and different from the one-click, mobile-friendly, paperless, instant gratification experience they are used to outside of work. It’s critical that the touchpoints they have with their employer feel more modern, current, and like an extension of their everyday life. 

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What according to you are the points to keep in mind while hiring for B2B sales and marketing roles?

Ah.. good question, really one that deserves an entire interview on its own. Honestly, a lot of it depends on the stage of the company. We’re in the early growth stage of GoCo. In this stage, and especially for marketing and sales, I like to see intelligence, curiosity, resourcefulness, agility, perseverance, and beaming energy.

What are your top 3 predictions/trends for 2020 in the field of HR/HR tech?

  1. HR/IT departments will become far more interwoven around administrative tasks and the solutions they use to manage them.
  2. AI will play a bigger role in on-demand employee self-help.
  3. Manual data entry and paper-heavy workflows will be greatly diminished – especially if GoCo has a say about it 🙂

Your favorite HR/HR tech quote.

“Digital transformation is not about technology. It is about people” – Josh Bersin

It’s true, you can build all the tech your heart desires, but at the end of the day, if your tech is trying to change how people do things, it’s going to be far slower than if your tech is helping people do what they want better.

Tag (or mention/write about) one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

Pete Lamson, the CEO at JazzHR

Any parting thoughts here you’d like to share? It could be on anything, a motivational tip, work-life balance, etc.

Completely random, but as I was answering your questions, I got a text from my wife with this beautiful quote she shared from a book she’s reading… “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer. Seems fitting as I love geeking out on HR tech and want to extend my gratitude to you for the opportunity to do so. Cheers!

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GoCo logo

GoCo is an HR software that makes it easy to focus on the people, not the paperwork. Onboard a new employee, send & collect documents, or easily manage time off. Easy to start. Easy to use. Easy to love.

A serial entrepreneur, seasoned executive, angel investor, patent holder, and startup mentor with exits to Zynga Inc and Gene by Gene Ltd (Privately Held), Nir has been fortunate to amass extensive experience in all stages of a company and across multiple industries.