Hrtechcube Interview with Vice President, Product Innovation, AMS – Quincy Valencia

Quincy Valencia, VP, Product Innovation at AMS discusses the difficulties faced by hourly workers in the regular talent acquisition processes.

1. Tell us about your role at Hourly by AMS.
AMS pioneered RPO and has such an amazing talent consulting group that knows the HCM vendor landscape well, but we weren’t known as a technology vendor. That has all changed! I joined the newly formed products division in 2018 as the VP of Product Innovation to build our first solution, Hourly by AMS.

I was fortunate to be brought in by our division leader, Jerry Collier – who, by the way, was one of the first handful of employees at AMS. Jerry had a clear vision for how we could finally address the gap he had seen his entire career in the experience of high-volume hourly hiring, and he believed we could build a solution to finally make it better. I lead the product function, which means that I’m responsible for understanding the current and future needs of the market and making sure that the features and functionality in the Hourly roadmap anticipate and address those needs.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I’ve spent the vast majority of my career in talent acquisition, with much of that in the retail and wholesale space, focused on how to make the process and experience better overall. I started as a practitioner, but eventually ventured into tech way back when ATS was the new big thing. To be honest, much like the rest of my TA colleagues at large, the focus years ago was always on the back-end – and to be honest, candidates were an afterthought.

As the market has evolved, so has my thinking, and now I’m hyper-focused on ensuring that the experience is better for everybody involved in the journey. We need to think about it more holistically so that hiring for candidates, hiring managers and HR leaders is simple and enjoyable. At Hourly, we’ve traditionally focused on the salaried or professional part of our workforce, but 2020 has reinforced our direction and shown us that the population of hourly candidates is truly what drives our economy. We owe it to them and to ourselves to finally focus on this space. In many industries, these are the people that are closest to the customer and it’s critical to driving the business outcomes we’re seeking.

3. How do you think technology is changing the HR Sector?

For years, HR leadership always fought for a seat at the proverbial table, taking a back seat to Finance and Operations and the like. Now, HR is no longer the “touchy/feely” organization it was always perceived to be.

It’s a driver of business decisions and outcomes, and we now know that technology is arming HR professionals with data and automation to work in a way they’ve never been able to before.

4. How is digitization empowering the hiring of hourly workforce?
As with every business function, leaders are constantly asked to do more with less. But this year (2020), we’ve seen that become a reality for so many more organizations.

One organization we recently spoke to has, just this year, gone from 180 on its recruiting team down to just 2. It’s very difficult to respond to rapid changes in workforce demand with just humans. Digitization scales organically. It doesn’t matter if you need to hire 10 people or 1000, if your systems are set up to automate as much of the process that can be automated, your tech will manage it for you.

Tech can manage candidate outreach and attraction, application, screening, assessment, and even interview scheduling. All of these aspects are critical when you have hourly workers who have a strong desire to move through the process quickly, recruiters with limited bandwidth, and hiring managers with businesses to run.

5. What are the biggest hurdles today for hiring hourly workers?
There are so many! Not enough applicants, because the competition is fierce. Or, too many applicants, because your brand is strong and there isn’t a lot of competition – either scenario presents a huge challenge for talent acquisition teams. And then, how do you know who is most likely to succeed and stay? 37% of candidates in a survey I just read about recently said speed to hire is the #1 factor in determining where they work, and that makes sense when having hours and not having hours from one week to the next can make the difference in whether or not you can make your rent payment.

If you’re a recruiter burdened by outdated tech anchoring long and arduous processes, you’re already at an immediate disadvantage in the competition for the talent your business runs on. I could go on and on.

6. What difficulties do you think are faced by applicants for hourly jobs?
We really do make it far too difficult for people we actually need in our businesses.

This response really just mirrors my last one. Scenarios like:
● With so many applications, how can I get my questions answered or even know if I am being considered?
● How can I apply if I can’t do so on my phone, when I don’t have a laptop or desktop?
● It’s difficult to schedule an interview when the recruiter or HM only calls while I’m already at work at my other job, so we’re caught in a game of phone tag which is hard to maneuver.
● I’m left waiting for weeks with no communication, should I wait or go apply somewhere else?

Even basic document requests can be a hurdle, like “I don’t have a resume,” but it’s a required document, even though it’s a minimum qualification job. Or, “I do have a resume,” but it’s not on my phone.

7. What are some of the major developments to expect from Hourly?
As the Product Leader, this is always my favorite question! 2021 will be an incredibly active year for Hourly, as we continue to work with our clients and help them mature how they serve their hourly job seekers. We’ll continue to be hyper focused on candidate experience, as we continue to refine our conversational experience to be even more intuitive, informative, and fun. Look for our candidate attraction suite to bring some groundbreaking functionality to the table, beginning as soon as Q1.

And our already advanced analytics and hiring manager dashboard are undergoing some major leaps forward as we speak. I wish I could say more on this, but needless to say, it’s incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to share it with the market.

Quincy Valencia Vice President, Product Innovation at Alexander Mann Solutions

Quincy Valencia is Vice President, Product Innovation at Alexander Mann Solutions and a passionate leader challenging the status quo to bring new insights on technology and service delivery into the talent acquisition space. Quincy has more than twenty years of experience in recruitment, having worked in corporate, technology provider, staffing, and RPO organizations.


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