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TecHRseries Interview with Irene Hendricks, Chief People Officer at DailyPay

It’s more crucial today to hire leaders who can train teams, combine one vision and build processes and metrics to ensure company success; Irene Hendricks, Chief People Officer at DailyPay shares more in this QnA:

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Tell us a little about yourself Irene…we’d love to hear about DailyPay’s core company culture and hiring processes, how have these initiatives evolved over the years at the company?

By background, I have chosen to spend my career and focus my education in HR. One aspect that’s a bit unique is my mergers and acquisitions focus, which has enabled me to look at operational processes and company cultures across dozens of organizations. I’ve spent the majority of my career working at the intersection of people strategy and business results, mainly in financial services. Joining DailyPay was exciting for me, as I have worked in both retail and manufacturing, as well as with large non-exempt employee populations. Upon joining, I immediately saw the applicability of our product in improving the attraction, retention, and engagement of our customers’ employees.  I love working with a highly innovative company, and DailyPay and its ambitious mission certainly qualify! As an emerging company ourselves, we are constantly evolving our culture and ways of working, always anchoring in our DailyPay values and striving to create the same experience that our customers want for their employees: a great culture, responsive to employee needs, and one that is continually focused on growth.  By delivering this for DailyPay colleagues, we are confident that we can provide the right products and customer support for users.  

What are some of the biggest hiring trends and HR technologies that you’ve held close as part of your processes over the years?

I spent several years with GE, which taught me to focus on metrics, and on execution.  For this reason, my work will always anchor in how we can, as a young and fast-growth firm, create scalable solutions that enable business success and career development for DailyPay colleagues.  Measuring outcomes is essential. The best program in the world on paper isn’t meaningful unless we can demonstrate why it affects some aspect of our firm – whether in diversity, development, hiring or any other aspect of being a great place to work.

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What are some of the ways in which you’ve seen businesses’ needs for HR Tech change this year – what are some of the ways in which you feel HR tech innovators can enhance their offerings to suit these changing needs in 2021 and beyond (how and why?).

With the dispersion of employees due to the pandemic, we’ve seen an increased demand for app-based solutions. People are working from a variety of locations, and juggling personal demands to boot. Having the ability to access their HR information on any device, at any time is essential. Creating interoperability between devices, but not losing sight of excellent customer service support for when it’s needed, is key. And, consumers are demanding cutting edge design and product sets. At DailyPay we are continually focused on ensuring we are enhancing our offering across all of these dimensions.

While HR leaders and HR Tech innovators have responded to the 2020 global pandemic crisis in different ways – there have still been a lot of lags that businesses have had to deal with when it comes to navigating a changing tech landscape and addressing dynamic challenges during this time. Can you share your thoughts on some interesting ways in which businesses have used their HR processes and supporting technologies to create better remote work experiences this year?

2020 year has taught us the importance of user-centered design. Knowing what our employees need and how to deliver it requires an ongoing dialogue. The core of what we are doing – working, innovating, collaborating, and having fun while doing it – hasn’t changed. However, we need to really focus on delivering the best user experience, and ensuring that DailyPay colleagues can collaborate and innovate is key to that. What we’ve seen is that this remote work period has been a journey – from the initial phase of “this will be over soon” to a period where lots of video events bridged the gap between being in the office and being remote. Over time, Zoom fatigue sets in. We decided to pivot to fewer video meetings while creating meaningful and impactful experiences. From group workout sessions, trivia, meditation, movie nights, chocolate and wine tasting, we’ve done it all! And we did a ton of listening to what our colleagues wanted. Importantly, our internal “culture crew” of colleagues stepped up to lead some of these events and keep morale up. We could not have done any of this without them! Making sure our colleagues were as supported as possible, enabled a focus on our users and on our growth where we did not skip a beat.

As HR leaders respond to the business needs of the new normal; what are some of the top thoughts you’d share with them as they prepare to build stronger remote work cultures deep into 2021?

Be flexible. My favorite tag line from a recent commercial is – “2020…didn’t see that one coming”. As human capital practitioners, we’ve pivoted into health and safety, both physical and psychological, in an unprecedented way. We’ve navigated shifting business economics, counseled leaders, and kept employees as safe and secure as possible during a time when the landscape shifted constantly, often week by week. What can we take away from this? Think hard about what we learned this year. What is the core value proposition of your company to customers and to employees? This alignment of company and employer brand must be strong but it also has to be real. As a company that supports employers, we need to walk our own talk. So making sure that our workforce has what they need while supporting DailyPay’s hyper-growth, is job one for me and my team.

What are some of the top tech trends and in-demand skills you feel will dominate the B2B Tech space in the near-future and a few thoughts on key hiring trends in tech to prep for?

User experience and consumer experience. Understanding design thinking and employing it in a 360-way to shape our customer journeys as well as our internal processes. And, bringing these insights to the full support ecosystem including Product, Engineering, and Customer Operations to ensure a true 360 view. 

At DailyPay, this is one of our core values, seeing the circle. Thus, truly integrative thinkers who can mobilize teams, clearly express a vision, and create the processes and metrics to ensure success is critical. Technical skills are table stakes and leadership skills, whether as a manager or an individual contributor, are the true differentiator.

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A few of your biggest takeaways and tips on working effectively from anywhere….and adjusting to the new normal.

Take time to check in with yourself. I had a health scare earlier in the year in 2020 that landed me in the hospital for a few days. It really reminded me that trying to do it all was a great way to end up not being able to do anything! I’m trying very hard now to look at work through the lens of how we can make processes more efficient rather than via individual heroics. In the long term, I know that this will pay dividends for my team, our employees, and our customers. Next, ensure you are taking breaks. It’s so easy to go back to work over and over at all hours, but the research is compelling in terms of the diminishing productivity of doing this. Being at home makes knocking off just one more task seem easy but at the expense of what? Ask yourself this question often and use whatever tools help you (a timer, buzzing on your smartphone, a gentle nudge from your pet or partner) to take regular breaks.  

https://www.dailypay.com/

DailyPay is an on-demand platform offering comprehensive pay experience solutions.

Irene Hendricks is the CHRO and responsible for devising and executing all people-related strategies, further positioning the fast-rising fintech brand as an employer of choice.

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