SmartRecruiters Blog

NextGen Influencer Panel: Mentorship, Implementing SaaS & the End User

In Bill Kutik’s final go around as commander and chief of the HR Technology conference, he moderated the “first annual” NextGen Influencer Panel: Getting Out From Behind the Baby Boomers, featuring Aberdeen Group Human Capital Research Director Madeline Laurano, EIC Experts Managing Partner Jarret Pazahanick, HR Leader Trish McFarlane, and SmartRecruiters SVP Product Maksim Ovsyannikov. It was the 97th panel moderated by Kutik and the discussion fittingly covered how mentorship, SaaS and the end user will shape the future of HCM.

NextGen Influencer Panel



“Technology will come and go but being honest and trustworthy will last a long time,” said Jarret Pazahanick.

All four panelists stressed they would not be here without the guidance from HCM influencers of the Baby Boomer generation, such as Jason Averbook,  Naomi Bloom, and Bill Kutik. These industry leaders not only led the adoption of HCM software, but also groomed the next generation to innovate.

“You really have to be a life long learner and teacher,” said Trish MacFarlane. I for one am thrilled to hear this collaborative approach of building software to solve real business needs. What matters is putting something out there – everyday – that is better than yesterday, while helping someone do it better tomorrow.

“Don’t leave with your knowledge, leave your knowledge with us,” Maksim added.

Implementing SaaS

“HR really has a greater responsibility in a SaaS world,” said Madeline Laurano. The evolution of workflow, real-time reporting, and workplace collaboration has SaaS to thank. But not all SaaS is created equal.

Most vendors like to say there are a true SaaS company – living entirely in the cloud and possessing the capability to integrate with whatever other technology your business uses. Most vendors who say this do not have customers confirming after implementation.

It doesn’t work like the demo! is the result of a failed implementation,” explained Bill Kutik.

The key to avoid adoption of the over promising and under delivering HCM solution lies in the selection process.

“Which vendor do you trust to deliver on their promises?” Jarret Pazahanick urged everyone to ask themselves. “Which vendor has the vision for the future?”

Maksim boiled down the vendor evaluation process into two words: Show Me. Vendor claims they can integrate with your payroll solution? Show Me what the integration looks like. Vendor claims that customers love the performance of the integration? Talk directly to that customer.

End User

Life is too short to use software that doesn’t pleasantly provide real business value. We don’t build software to meet your bosses specs, we build software to make hiring easy for every hiring manager.

“There’s real value in rolling out a total solution with a common user experience,” said Jarret Pazahanick.

“One of the biggest mistakes is trying to customize everything … and trying to make the software look like it did before,” said Trish MacFarlane.

“It’s time to refocus more HR technology conversations from the buyer to the end user,” said Maksim.


If tomorrow’s HCM software will lead to better labor market, I think it will be done by companies that set the standard for how their own human capital is managed. Mentorship is not a lost art and your business depends upon it. The diversity of panelists at NextGen Influencer Panel: Getting Out From Behind the Baby Boomers at HR Technology Conference painted a bright picture for the future of HR technology. I see a future with HR technologies that provide value in real time, speak fluently to each other, and never stop thinking, how can I make you better at your job?

David Smooke

David Smooke was the Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at SmartRecruiters and is the Founder of ArtMap Inc & AMI Publications.