My name is Chuck Ros, and I’m a software entrepreneur.
That sounds like I’m entering some 12-step program. In a way, I guess I am. You see, a few years back I sold my third company, Emerald Software, and took some time off. I did some travel. A lot of travel, actually (www.chuckandlori.com). I started doing some consulting and fractional work, mainly in product management and software. And I really enjoyed it all, except for one bit.
Emerald Software was a pioneering company. “Bleeding edge”, you might say. In 2003 we began to create an employee onboarding product long before anyone was using the term “onboarding”. It’s fair to say we helped defined what onboarding automation is today. We were also a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product before it was common to license business software that way. And my roots in employee onboarding and hiring automation actually go back a decade before that: in the mid-90’s I built a system for a major fast food franchise that collected new employee information from their point-of-sales terminals and created employee records in their payroll system. I imagine I could claim to have built the world’s first onboarding system, but I see it more as a natural evolution of the market than a sudden appearance of some new technology nobody had ever seen before.
So when I sold Emerald, I wanted to wash my hands of HR and employee onboarding and just move on. I wanted to dabble in other applications and technologies and industries. Like any other technologist I wanted to look forward, not behind. I did some work in marketing technology. I did some work in travel technology. I sat on some advisory boards of some startups, I did some career mentoring. I tore through Lynda and Udemy classes and brushed up on programming in Python and Swift and R and Amazon Web Services and … well, a lot of stuff.
Chuck Ros, the Godfather of Employee Onboarding
And then, one day, I was introduced in a meeting as the “Godfather of Employee Onboarding”. I laughed it off at the time, but for some strange reason I dwelled on it. Have I been typecast in the software industry?
In the last few years I’ve come to grips with the fact that employee onboarding–and the wider topic of new hire automation–is now baked into my career DNA. Software is just a tool, a fact I’ve always known, but a unique business process like onboarding is a true expertise. My value as a programmer is solid. But my value as an expert in employee onboarding and hiring automation is a couple of orders of magnitude greater. It’s the whole “vertical vs. horizontal” sort of thing.
Ironically I’ve known all along that my attention should be focused on the employee onboarding process and hiring automation. Some of the career advice I’ve given recently was to specialize, to find a topic you are interested in and can be passionate about, and do a deep dive into that discipline. I just had to listen to my own advice.
Chuck Ros, Employee Onboarding Consultant
So here we are, in 2018, and I’ve embraced the pseudo-fact that I’m the “Godfather of Employee Onboarding”. The last year to 18 months I’ve been working on re-aligning my work to this premise, and I now have two outcomes that will dominate my blog topics here moving forward (though all my old blogs from “back in the day” will stay here, if for no other reason than my own occasional reference). First, I have a new product. It’s called Assets@Work and it’s an employee asset provisioning application–asset provisioning being a key part of the new employee enablement aspect of onboarding (as well as ongoing, employee life cycle, enablement, but we’ll get to that topic in upcoming blogs).
Second, I’m proud to say I’ve joined forces with Atlanta-based HR consultancy Camden Delta. In the last few years I’ve had the privilege of consulting with some great organizations to help define and improve the employee onboarding process and new employee experience, and even if I am the “Godfather of Employee Onboarding”, it’s great to have colleagues to compare notes with, share experiences and challenges, explore new ways of doing things and perspectives, and simply having a diversity in resources.
So if your organization needs help with any aspect of the employee onboarding process or overall hiring and talent acquisition, I’d love to hear from you: feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or feel free to post questions here on my blogs.