Interview with Founder & CEO, Velocity Global – Ben Wright

Ben Wright, founder and CEO of Velocity Global showcases the role of data in the process of talent acquisition and employee engagement.

1. Tell us about your role at Velocity Global?
I am founder and CEO of Velocity Global, the leading provider of global expansion solutions. I lead a team of 200 amazing people who work for each other and for our clients every day. We exist to help businesses grow globally and to support their employees in more than 185 countries.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I was working at a company that primarily did global entity setup and compliance for U.S.-based companies. Our clients continued to say, “I don’t want to set up a company; I just need to employ this person. Can’t you just employ this person for me?” Long story short, my employer wasn’t interested in pursuing this business line, so I resigned and launched Velocity Global after my non-compete expired.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading HR Sector?
HR will always be a people endeavour so I don’t foresee a time when the power of human engagement will be usurped by technology. That being said, the ability to readily access the important information about your employees, use big data to compare employee engagement results with life, professional, and external factors, and overall applying models to human behavior will ensure that business leaders are better equipped to help their colleagues through improved knowledge and timely support.

4. How has data driven approach empowered talent acquisition process?
We leverage studies and programs designed around hundreds of thousands of data points by organizations to influence our talent acquisition process. We start as early as trying to engage with the right kind of professional for our team via social media, branding, and overall corporate image. And then when candidates fully enter the recruitment process we employ the tools based on our own experience as well the data from key partner organizations.

5. Can you explain how does your platform help in better employee engagement?
Our business is people first, enabled by technology. Our business looks to our tech team to seamlessly drive the complex backend of our platform, combined with a simple user experience. That approach enables quicker, efficient, and meaningful human interaction, and trust in the process.

6. Many researchers are considering this remote working due of lockdown as a social experiment too, what is your take on this?
Work From Home has been on the rise for years, but in a more measured, opt-in manner. No doubt this current situation forced companies to assess how to continue business, continue relationships and manage new challenges. In many cases, workers balance childcare, schooling and additional challenges to everyday life, like getting groceries. Certainly this form of remote working is societal. But, those of us fortunate enough to be in a business model that allows for it must do our part. As business leaders, it is incumbent upon us to learn each day, not just cope. There are lessons that will carry forward into the future of work for the betterment of our employees and for our shared success. I, for one, am fascinated to see what work looks like after the initial COVID-19 lockdown periods.

7. What are the key steps that companies will have to take for employees, post COVID-19 pandemic ends?
First and foremost we must attend to the safety and wellbeing of our teams. All indications are that we will return in phases for the health of those in higher risk categories. That will likely mean varying accommodations for employees in the workplace, or for those who need to continue working remotely. One thing is certain, the requirements and compliance measures differ around the world based on the current local environment such as tracking the reported Ro (R naught, or the infection reproduction number) in a country or city where we have operations. Some of those are regulatory changes, and we help our clients navigate those complex, ever-changing regulations. In our offices, we are likely implementing purposeful spacing, heightened sanitation, staggering schedules to reduce the number of people gathering in workspaces, facemasks, temperature checks, and more. But much remains to be seen and defined.

8. What advice would you like to give to the technology Start Ups?

There are three things in your control: how hard you work, how efficient you work, and whether you will be mindfully present when opportunities present themselves.

Everything else is up to the universe. Don’t get overly bogged down with anything that falls in the category of what you can’t control (COVID-19 being a perfect example). Instead, expend your energy on the controllables and nail those every single day.

9. What is the Digital innovation in sales technology according to you that will mark 2020?
Spending much of my career in sales and revenue functions I watch this closely! I am amazed at how sociology, psychology, and big data is converging to give sales professionals the ability to focus their efforts.

10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
We try to stay on the cutting edge of the technology available for AI. As we talk about with our team, AI is here to help automate the mundane parts of the job. Computers are great for routine and repetitive tasks; to the extent we can leverage AI to automate those elements it clears up our incredibly talented colleagues to focus on the fun, challenging opportunities each day brings.

11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
I’m excited about our new direction from an overall technology roadmap perspective. We just brought on a new technology veteran, Dave Martelon, and what we’re planning to do is going to revolutionize the international employment landscape. I’m also incredibly excited about what we are planning from a branding and market penetration standpoint; our Marketing team is really second-to-none and what they have up their sleeves just makes me excited!

12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
Our team supports each other in every way, a key element in building a culture to make our company a once in a professional lifetime experience for the employees that work with us. It starts in our hiring process. We don’t hire just to fill a position purely based on relevant experience. We’ll hold out on a hire until we find that perfect fit, and if they happen to have germain expertise, then we’ll take that, too! And I get out of their way. If you micro-manage them or pigeon-hole them into certain positions, then you are not going to experience the miracle that they can bring to the table. There is no way we could have grown at the speed we have without empowering our team to break through barriers every step along the way.

13. What movie inspires you the most?
A River Runs Through It. Because fishing is a top tool to achieving balance in my life.

14.We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?

15. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
For sure: homepage is Google Maps, Strava, Suunto, Peloton, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Kindle, Dark Sky, Amazon, Slack, Giphy, WhatsApp, Uber, TripIt, Bird scooters, Timeshifter and United Airlines (the last four are not getting much use during COVID!).

Ben Wright Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Velocity Global

Ben has supported companies doing business across the globe for two decades. During that time, he uncovered a revolutionary way for companies to expand and hire across global markets, which was the impetus to start Velocity Global. Ben is a recognized expert on global expansion strategies, and regularly writes and presents on topics such as international employment, permanent establishment, global payroll, and expatriate assignments. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, a proud father of two children, and believes deeply in giving back to the community.


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