Visibility Software CEO Sean Pomeroy is counting on slow and steady to win the HR software race.
“If you’re a cutting-edge company and you’re looking for cutting-edge clients, there’s typically a lot of bloodshed involved,” Pomeroy said recently. “We want to be more of the slow and steady, more reliable and consistent technology, but something that’s also proven and that will really have a good ROI.”
Pomeroy thinks Visibility Software’s Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train are just the reliable and proven HR products that AED’s members need to add to their workforce development toolbox.
“Our main focus is to help clients solve problems within the two bookends of HR, which are the recruiting side and the training management side,” he said. “We provide solutions that help our clients manage those areas, much like the accounting department has an accounting app or the payroll department has a payroll system.”
Cyber Recruiter is an applicant tracking system that automates and organizes all the tasks and data that come with finding and onboarding new employees.
“Someone could say ‘we could just use Excel,’” Pomeroy said. “OK, well great, but have you ever been in Excel and done a sort without selecting all the rows and now your data is all jumbled? Excel is definitely better than paper. We’re better than Excel.”
Complementing Cyber Recruiter is Cyber Train, a learning management system that serves as a virtual training manager to ensure all employees stay up-to-date on required courses and companies aren’t racking up compliance violations.
“The better your people are trained and the better their skill is – and your ability to help them get there – the better the employee will be, the more profitable the ability to continue to grow that employee, the better that employee retention will be,” said Pomeroy.
Both Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train are fully scalable to adjust to the user’s individual needs, and they can be integrated with other software “so that a client has a full solution but with a best-of-breed approach.”
“They are both single individual products, but they do come in three levels: Express, Professional and Enterprise,” Pomeroy said. “The key there is just scalability. It’s not necessarily tied to size. It’s really a way to help with scalability and price, so that depending on needs and budget you can get a solution that will work today, but also one that will grow as your organization and sophistication grows.”
Pomeroy, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology, knows all about organizational growth.
He and a business partner started Visibility Software in 1989 with the plan to just resell HR software created by others. They soon realized, however, that the available solutions in the marketplace either failed to have a recruiting and training management component, or what they did have was subpar.
By 2002, Visibility Software had grown into a software development company with the birth of Cyber Recruiter.
“Some of the first round of clients are still on the solution 15 years later,” said Pomeroy, who moved his home base from Fairfax, Virginia, to Newberry, South Carolina, along the way.
Those initial clients and others are not necessarily early adopters of new technology, which is more than OK with Pomeroy and his team of 18 employees and a handful of contractors, who all work virtually.
“Probably between 75 and 80 percent of clients we bring on board are using Outlook, paper and Excel to do their recruiting and training management,” he said. “The industry has spent over $5 billion investing in HR technology over the last three years, so there’s a lot of marketing going on that leads you to believe you’re the only one not using technology. That’s not true.”
Pomeroy and his team have learned to take their time getting new clients up and running with Visibility Software’s products.
“It’s not just rip and replace,” he said. “We found that it was very convenient for us to send a trainer or consultant out to the location, and they’d meet with them on Monday, ask them what they wanted; set it up on Tuesday; train them on Wednesday and Thursday; and leave Friday. What we found is that it was super convenient for us, but it overwhelmed our customer, especially if they were coming from paper.”
Instead, the Visibility Software team holds two hours of weekly virtual meetings with new clients, leaving them with “homework” to complete after each session. It typically takes about six weeks for new clients to get fully up to speed on using the software.
“It’s a slow trickle of information, so that it doesn’t overwhelm,” Pomeroy explained.
Both Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train can be purchased outright by the user to install on their own server, or they can “rent” the software and access it from the cloud.
Looking forward, Pomeroy said Visibility Software clients can expect to see added features, such as more mobile-friendly products and texting capabilities. They shouldn’t, however, expect to see a sudden push to the latest but not-so-greatest new technology.
“I read an article that said augmented reality will be the new training method, and it made me laugh,” Pomeroy said. “I don’t necessarily disagree with that; but if augmented reality is barely moving forward in the consumer arena, I think it’s going to take even longer for us to say it’s really cool and get it into business and then have it trickle down. For us, it’s a matter of continuing to evolve our HR solution into things like goal management and into things like onboarding, so we’ll continue to expand that at a slow and steady pace over the next five years.”