In this episode, David Folwell, President of StaffingHub, talks with Ericka Hyson, President of WorkN. They discuss how staffing firms can meet the demand of today’s consumers, how the digital transformation is impacting the staffing industry, the life-changing power of Peloton, and their hopes for 2021. 

Folwell:

I’m joined here today with Ericka Hyson, who’s the president of WorkN. Super excited to have you on the podcast. Very excited to hear your take on the future of staffing. Thanks so much for joining us today to kick it off. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about your background? We’ll go from there.

Hyson:

Dave, thank you so much for having me here today. I appreciate the opportunity. Yes, my background, I’m the President of WorkN. I come from 20 years in the staffing industry. I had pretty much every role in the company at the Ettain Group. I started my career in 1999, and really have a passion for the industry. Thank you.

Folwell:

Yeah. Every conference I’ve seen you at, you seem to know everybody in the industry. You are quite well-connected, and it’s been amazing to see what you’ve done at the different roles you’ve been at within the staffing ecosystem. Tell me a little bit about how WorkN helps staffing agencies.

Hyson:

I love that question. First of all, I just had to make a comment that I get so much energy from the network and connections that I bring. It’s such a privilege to get to know so many folks in the industry. So I appreciate you saying that. I guess I’m a recruiter at heart, and I do enjoy those meaningful connections.

You asked about WorkN and what problems we solve for the industry. We really think about the times that we’re in right now, and the timing of what’s happening in the world. Some of the obvious things that we solve for the industry is to provide the mobile technology that allows staffing firms to let their talent and customers engage with them on mobile.

On the surface, it might seem simple to think about engaging your customers with touchless technology.

But at the end of the day, behind the scenes, there’s a deep value that we provide in being able to do an exceptional job at leveraging data, our staffing firms’ data. And to be able to re-engage, engage with talent in a meaningful way on mobile in a time when, probably now more than ever, people are valuing the idea of self-service and being able to engage and communicate with you on their terms.

Folwell:

Yeah, that’s great. With that, I think the rise of mobile — years ago, it used to be that it was about your website being mobile-enabled. Now, when it comes to staffing agencies — one of the things I think about when I think about WorkN is the fact that you’re literally offering people a direct channel to the candidates that they’re working with, to communicate with, to build a relationship with, on an ongoing basis. From my marketing background, I’m always thinking, well, emails are crowded, people don’t read emails, and text is valuable — but when you can have an app on the phone and actually communicate directly, it’s pretty amazing to have that direct line of communication.

I think if I remember correctly, you’ve had some stories about how quickly you’ve been able to mobilize workforces. Are there any success stories that you’ve had or that you’d like to share with our audience?

Hyson:

Yeah. I mean, I think, speed is certainly one benefit. When you think about, I need to fill 40 jobs tomorrow morning, it’s holiday season, my client is a retailer. The old way might be, or has been, the recruiter in the branch is hustling to call, email, and text talent to be able to see who’s available and confirm work and wait and read through and sort through voicemails, emails, and texts responses.

With WorkN, the new way is to be able to leverage the app, to distribute, work to a curative pool of talent, to wake up their phones, and fill the jobs in a really fast way. But also, really without the spam, because you’re waking up the phones with the relevant talent in a way. And it provides them the opportunity to have self-service, where they can select and accept work or express interest in a job. Maybe they haven’t completed all their onboarding requirements for some reason.

If you think about what’s happening right now, it’s the holiday season. I know if I order something on Amazon today, I might get it today, I might get it tomorrow. So if you think about what’s happening with talent, the same is happening in the industry, where talent is expecting to be able to click a button and have something quickly served up to them. The same goes for today’s customer, you’re seeing staffing firms asking for support with RFIs and RFPs that they’re filling out because their customers are now asking for more self-service than ever before. This might seem controversial and a little bit crazy, and maybe falling on ears that want to hear it, as a threat to the old way of servicing customers in person with high-touch and high-value activities. Not all customers value that.

The modern customer is looking for a frictionless way to engage with you. Certainly the speed is an outcome of that, Dave. But staffing firms rarely come to us and say, “I’m really looking to improve my time to fill,” although that is a great output. Typically, the driver in implementing a technology like WorkN is really to put some emphasis on that customer experience. How can I remove friction throughout their journey with my company? What are the workflows that we can automate to make it seamless? What are the ways that we can provide an experience to talent in another way as an alternative to calls, emails, texts, or coming into the branch? What are some ways that my staffing firm can engage with talent after hours?

Another great use case might be the client’s looking for those 40 workers tomorrow, and we’ve got 40 ready to go. Those jobs were filled in three minutes on the app. Well, now it’s midnight, and Sally Worker’s got a fever and can’t come in tomorrow. If my staffing firm wants to allow Sally Worker to have the flexibility in app to cancel, then Sally can cancel with a click of a button and doesn’t have to call in or talk to a person, which is an incredible value to the candidate, thinking I work for an employer who allows me to do this. It’s also pretty awesome for the recruiter because they’re not fielding emails and texts at 2:00 in the morning, especially if they have a technology that we have called re-queuing on where that work can go get redistributed out, and someone else’s phone wakes up and that work gets filled without the recruiter or the client seeing any gaps in their work or schedule for the next morning. So, these are just a couple of examples of the real value to the customers through leveraging mobile technology.

Folwell:

That’s incredible. Great examples and use cases there. When I’m talking to a staffing agency — I think most come around to the idea that the digital transformation is happening. We need to adopt it. We need to take action. For some reason, I always relate it back to traveling in hotels where, in the ’90s, there were 20,000+ staffing agents or travel agencies. Well, there’s still quite a few now. We know that the majority of travel is booked online, managed online by ourselves. We all do that happily with a very different model of travel agency than what we used to work with. So transitioning with that, I know we’ve touched on a few different components of this regarding the digital transformation. But what does the digital transformation mean to you, from your experience in terms of how you think staffing industries are looking at it or how WorkN is approaching it?

Hyson:

Yeah. When you think about digital transformation, it can sound daunting. I’ll use a retail analogy, because it’s COVID, and a lot of companies in the retail industry have had to shift to transform digitally. Then we’ll talk about staffing, if that makes sense. It’s always good to tie it to something that’s tangible.

When you think about what it takes to — and why some retailers have been really successful during COVID, is they’ve been able to pivot very quickly to being able to service their customers in a new way. If you shopped before at Target online and in-person, you would go into the store or you could go online. Well, Target also has had for a long time the ability to pull up your car and get something delivered to your car, right in the lot. There’s separate parking places there. Grocery stores have been doing this for a few years now.

A lot of things had to happen in these companies to be able to pivot that way operationally so that everything that ends up in your cart, so to speak, ends up in your car, if you pull up at the curb. There’s a lot of operational things to be considering.

When you think about digital transformation for the staffing industry, this is where WorkN has stood up models from various different use cases, whether a staffing firm is looking to transform themselves going from old way to new way, or to completely disrupt themselves, going full-service automation end-to-end for talent and clients. So, it is not a one-size-fits-all, but we certainly can be prescriptive in some of the things to be thinking about for the staffing company.

Much of the success of digital transformation really occurs when there’s top-down buy-in from the CEO and President, and the COO and the CIO, and everybody, in lockstep being able to cascade the why. What’s changing? Why are we doing this? What’s the value that’s going to bring to our customers? Then thinking through the change management that might be involved. If the old ways to call, email, text, and the new ways to be able to distribute work through an app — that can be a little bit challenging for a recruiter and a branch to hear. They might say, “Wow, Dave, what am I going to do? If the app’s doing all the matching? Before I was doing all the calling, I’d like being busy doing all of these things. What’s the new future for me?”

Being able to think through for a staffing firm leader, the implications of the change and being prepared for explaining the why and the how. That recruiter in that instance would be well positioned to be doing high-value activities, not that there is a threat to their job disappearing tomorrow.

The same would go if all of a sudden, the staffing firm is providing self-service to their clients. Staffing firm sales rep might say, “well, what am I going to do?” Instead of the saying, “wow, this sounds really cool. I bet I could go get new customers with this technology who value self-service. I can use this as a new acquisition tool to go sell and generate more revenue for my industry.”

These are just a few examples of just the things that companies need to be thinking about in preparation for launching digital transformation and taking this on in their own company. Does that answer your question?

Folwell:

It does. I mean, it’s also fantastic advice. From my perspective, I’ve watched lots of agencies that chase the shiny new thing but don’t think through the full strategy. I think the term that you just said that I might hold onto and reuse quite a bit, cascading the why. I think it is a beautiful way of saying it because without the why, getting employees to engage and follow through is very difficult. Change is difficult for anybody. I think a lot of times recruiters look at, “well, that’s part of my job, what happens without it?” To your point, if they don’t know why it’s happening or what the opportunities are on the other side, sometimes it can be difficult for people to see through that or look up the actual opportunity that it’s created for them.

Hyson:

I think when I was COO at Ettain group, and I think this is one commonality that staffing firms all share is that, when you have investments in technology, it’s only as good as your ability to use it.

So, what’s the playbook for making sure that your technology is really working for you, and that you’re driving adoption? I feel like this is an area where a lot of firms really struggle. That change management preparation on the front-end is really important, and it’s equally important to carry it through and to constantly be refining what you’re doing, measuring success along the way, maybe tweaking things here and there from things you’re trying and learning, as well as just keeping it in front and center with your communications to your stakeholders, if it’s internal.

When I was at Ettain Group, and I loved to have a few metrics that we could track and manage that we talked about in our all-hands calls pretty regularly just to make sure that from our highest ranking officer in the company, there was a story. The story and message was with some great proof points, but also sent the message: “This technology is an investment we’re making, and it’s not going away. This is the new normal, and here’s what we’re going to do. Here’s why.” And you just keep reinforcing it and learning from the folks out in the field that are using it and hopefully creating value for your customers.

Folwell:

Absolutely. With that, you mentioned having some metrics that you track while at Ettain and knowing that you work with quite a few staffing agencies. Do you have any metrics KPIs, OKRs, whatever you want to call them, that you would recommend, or that you see as a common metrics for those staffing agencies that are successful or growing faster than others?

Hyson:

Yeah. I have a couple. In each client of ours, we usually say, “let’s pick two or three” and we have a long list of something to choose from. But certainly whatever your operational data is that really helps articulate the ROI on what problems you’re trying to solve.

Some of it could be very obvious, like an increase of gross profit for producer in your organization when you look at that trend over time.

Some of them might be less obvious. We have a customer Staffmark Group who is leveraging WorkN. The CIO spoke recently at the ASA Game Changers event with us. We talked about how they had seen an improvement in show-up rates from the workers, and it has gone from 70% to over 90%, leveraging our technology. That’s really an interesting metric to look at it. It wasn’t something that we’d said, “we must move this needle.”

It’s a very big testament to putting platform in the hands of talent that allows them to have more autonomy and being able to confirm work on their phone, sync it with their calendar, have some skin in the game, so to speak, on, “yes, I will show up.” There’s also reconfirm and some functionality in there that can help with that, move that needle. But that wasn’t something we said, “we must move this metric.”

Same with being able to redeploy talent. That’s a really important metric for a lot of staffing firms. But rarely does any staffing for our measure that well today. Redeployment rates by building a community with a white labeled app where talent can engage with your firm and continue that relationship — it’s huge to be able to track and measure redeployment.

There’s some others. We talked about the speed fill rates and time to fill, positioning your firm as a top vendor. If you’re in a relationship with the VMS business, speed is everything. So, the time to fill might be more important in those scenarios, to be able to help you incrementally win higher status and a better relationship with your end client as a result.

Net new business. We talk about being able to reinvent yourself with mobile technology. This is a step in digital transformation. Oftentimes, staffing firms think about last, which is, “wow, now I have this new technology, how am I going to weave this through all of my marketing assets and collateral that are external facing? I know how I’m going to get talent on the app and get them excited, but sometimes how am I going to bring a new value prop to my client is an afterthought.”

Some of the best-in-class firms are really thinking about leveraging technology in their go-to market strategy. We even get through the fabric of all of their messaging, their website, their pitch decks, so they can leverage it to go out and get net new customers and move the needle on that metric.

Folwell:

That’s great. Definitely some things for the audience to think about and a lot of good metrics to put in place. Digging in a little bit deeper on the digital transformation, do you have any — I think we’ve touched on quite a few of these things, at least a hypothetical in terms of use cases. But if you were to list a couple actions that staffing agencies should take now, or that you think are urgent in terms of when the digital transformation, or to make sure that they’re leaving it, what recommendations do you have?

Hyson:

I think coming up with a vision for what you’re trying to accomplish in a meaningful way. If you’re thinking about digital transformation — I can’t tell you how many discussions I’ve had with CEOs who have said something to the effect of, “we can have a chat about my mobile strategy, but it’s going to be quick. I don’t really have one and I need help.”

At WorkN, and we welcome the opportunity to talk through what that might look like. It can be customized and tailored to your vision. There’s plenty of room for staffing companies to have a unique vision for what digital transformation looks like and what they’re looking to accomplish. Every firm has a different strategy and can have the flexibility to implement it in a unique and meaningful way.

But having a vision, a north star of what you’re trying to get to, and then breaking it down into a phased approach and some steps into what you want to tackle first.

Your end game might be, “I want to have an end-to-end mobile experience for my talent from req to check, so to speak and beyond. What can I serve up to my talent?” It could be through partners with companies like Able for onboarding, or with Payments for same-day pay, or with Staffing Referrals to have a gamification and referral tracking and referral management platform in the app, from Clearly Rated to drive NPS results and promote best of staffing for your firm, through leveraging technology for candidate engagement and feedback like Sense, or Intercom for chat, and your ATS or job board for job search and apply. So really building out an end-to-end experience for talent.

But you don’t have to tackle that all in one step. You can start with, let’s move the needle by creating a white labeled custom app that is branded to my firm. We want to be able to take advantage of all the talent I have in my ATS. Get them onboarded and get them leveraging the app for current assignments and future assignments to be able to place more people and remove some manual processes in my company, that could be step one.

Step two could be, let’s also bring in other partners into this. Maybe viewing a pay stub in the app is really important,\ and could save a ton of somebody’s time because some branch somewhere or on the back office team of fielding phone calls saying, “I’d like a copy of my W2 or my pay statement.” So if you think about all the different places talent has to log in to engage or to interact with your firm, and you want to bring it all into one spot. We can work with our customers to make that happen. That can be a phased approach. It doesn’t have to be daunting.

Folwell:

I think that’s great. Definitely a very strategic look at how to make sure you’re implementing the digital transformation correctly. With that, I know you have a strong passion for the candidate experience. I’m wondering if you have examples. I would like to go back to specifics when possible, but if you have any specific example that you can share, or if specific examples, if you’re able to talk about maybe some nuanced experiences that are happening that didn’t used to happen from the candidates perspective that you think are interesting or cool for our audience to hear about.

Hyson:

Absolutely. I don’t know where to start. I think about the modern candidate as a consumer who expects frictionless experiences. So, how many different places are you sending a candidate to engage with your firm for different steps?

One comes to mind that maybe it speaks to healthcare. A lot of people think about WorkN an on-demand mobile technology for, like light industrial staffing or high volume opportunities. I could talk a little bit about some use cases in the healthcare world with COVID. We have one client, I’ll tell a quick story, who was able to deploy nurses in response to COVID for a metropolitan area that had lots of different locations of standup hospitals and different facilities all over the city. The nurses were going to have a different location to go to work every week and a different schedule.

Before we were introducing our technology, the nurses were going to be working with different schedulers and coordinators to let them know their availability and send emails back and forth, and handle calls to confirm, not only when were they supposed to be at work, where were they supposed to be at work, but every week the location changed.

Leveraging the WorkN platform with their white labeled app, they were able to take everything out of an Excel spreadsheet and everything reposition leveraging WorkN’s scheduling technology, which was huge for the talent to be able to receive, and in this case, confirm the work that they were still able to reconfirm, basically that they’re able to make that assignment versus just straight scheduling.

Staffing firm felt better knowing that the nurse click the button to say, “yes, I’ll be there.” And didn’t have to field phone calls and still had the option to click a button and call the staffing company, if they had questions or needed that support. But, it put all of it back in the hands of the candidate, in this case, the nurse, to be able to get to skip a lot of steps and phone calls, emails, to confirm work. 

Folwell:

Well, that’s amazing. 

Hyson:

That was one in healthcare. The story about Sally Candidate in the middle of the night, kid’s sick, they’re sick, needs to call off and can click a button, again, that’s configurable. The staffing company can set rules in the app for call-offs and cancellations, but if you allow it to happen in the middle of the night, that gives the power of the candidate and can really create a nice brand loyalty for your firm when you’re looked at as an employer of choice because you allow for that. You’re making it super easy for that talent to be able to communicate with you when they don’t necessarily want to have to pick up the phone and call their employer because they’re taking care of a sick kid in the middle of the night. Well, that was just a couple of examples.

Folwell:

I’m sorry for cutting you off there, I got excited — allowing people to confirm their time that they’re going to work and thumbs up like, yes, I’m coming. The scheduling aspect of that has been such a pain point with lots of the staffing agency owners I’ve talked with. Then, I just imagine the time savings on recruiters who are having to have a 24-hour staff to make sure that you’re getting things scheduled appropriately. But, then that also follows back to the show up rate that actually aligns with the calendar tool that we’ve recently released with Staffing Referrals. But if people own that experience of saying yes or no, versus being told what to do, if they have some interaction with that, that goes back to your show-up rate increases, which is pretty cool to see that you can have all of that done within your scheduling.

Hyson:

Yeah. Also, it is nice for the talent. When they confirm the work, it’ll sync to their phone calendar to help them stay on track and on top of things, which might seem small, but in today’s world that’s a huge convenience to be able to have that automatically sync with your calendar.

Folwell:

I’ve heard people say, “Well, we want to schedule,” or take that off their plate. But I think that, you mentioned this before we started the podcast today, but the pandemic has accelerated so many things. One of them is all of us have to book everything online. I’m going to get my haircut later, and I can’t even call anymore. I have to book online now. But it’s been amazing to see the adoption of new technology and these modern online tools.

Hyson:

Yeah. It’s interesting to watch. I love the analogy of the banking industry for this because I’m from Charlotte and it’s a banking town, and there were banks on every corner when I first moved there in 1997. If you think about what the banking industry has done, there are still branches out there. I think that’s a good equivalent to draw parallels for the staffing industry, who right now is trying to decide if they want to have branches next year. A lot of staffing firms have learned to operate without branches and are now questioning if they ever need to go back to that model. Others are 100% going back to that model.

But for the banking industry, you can still go into the branch. There are still branches. Now, there’s not one on every corner, but you can certainly get into the branch and do your business. If I wanted to, I could go into a branch and deposit a check or take out money, but I don’t. It’s still an option for me, but that’s not my preferred way of depositing a check. For me, it’s a lot easier and simpler for me to scan something from my mobile device and receive confirmation that I just deposited money into my bank account. But if I still needed to do it, I could.

The best-of-class staffing firms are really approaching this in my opinion from my omni-channel lens. It’s like, okay, I’m not trying to replace, I’m trying to enhance so that the customer can engage with me on their terms, not forcing them down this path. I’m going to make it as easy as possible and frictionless as possible for them on this path. But, if they still want to come into the branch to see us, great. So, I think that’s just another example of how the staffing industry can think about this as an evolution, and where it’s going. The catalyst has been COVID-19. It’s a huge accelerator for everyone thinking about the future in a different way. People realize what is possible. Everybody had to pivot this year. What’s going to be the best way to meet our customers where they are in this new world.

Folwell:

I actually saw an article the other day, it was talking about how COVID-19 has basically accelerated, all trends that were already in place have been accelerated by three to 10 years, which was … We started digging into that. It goes even beyond business, some sociological trends and some other things, were wild. One other thing, Ericka, that you brought, I think in casual conversation a few weeks ago, you brought this up and I haven’t gotten it out of my head, and now I’m thinking about it in different ways, but it was the pizza tracker concept, and the idea of providing more transparency to the candidate throughout the process.

I hadn’t heard that before you and have since shown the team the Domino’s Pizza tracker to give them the concept, but I really liked that idea. I wonder if you want to just explain a little bit more about that.

Hyson:

Yeah. Dave, I appreciate you bringing that up. We think about the modern candidate and the modern customer, and not only do they want no friction. They want the journey to be, take me down this path. But in staffing, the biggest gap you hear from talent hands down is the pain point of the black hole effect. “I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what happened.” Today’s talent wants more transparency into the process. What you’re speaking about really is about onboarding and progress tracking, or we actually refer to it internally as the pizza tracker. But the idea where when you order your pizza, you know where your pizza is and you know exactly when it’s going to be delivered to your door.

Same goes for what you just did on Amazon. I can see what’s going on with my order. I can track it. I can see what facility it’s at, when it’s going to get there. Maybe not this week since it’s Christmas, and maybe some things are in other ways outside of the typical. But generally speaking, for talent to be able to see their progress of where they are, and those statuses can be configured to the ATS statuses or partner statuses of, where am I? That’s answering the question, “where am I?” for the candidate, as well as “what’s next for me? What do you need me to do next?” So for that modern candidate journey to be customized to your workflows.

If it’s an end-to-end workflow where you want the candidate to be able to do it all, perhaps it’s connecting to an onboarding partner to prompt that talent to onboard themselves at that step. Or perhaps it’s as simple as, here’s where you are, your interview is scheduled, for example, or your application’s been accepted, whatever your workflows are that are tied to your candidate status in our ATS can be mirrored with the lens of, what do you want the candidate to see during that step, so they know where they are. To help with that transparency in self-service.

Folwell:

To that point, you brought up the resume black hole. It’s funny to think about how important a career is, how intense a candidate is on knowing where they’re at in the process. I mean, it’s a very valuable thing. If you apply for a job, you’re thinking, where am I? Am I going to get it? When will I hear back? You’re checking your email every day. The fact that we can check Amazon or our status our pizza, but when we apply for a job, which is a much more meaningful aspect of life, we’re left in the dark many times. I think you’re moving in the right direction on that, I love that. You’re building that out. That’s cool.

Hyson:

That’s right. The thing I want to make sure I don’t skip over is how much I personally really value the relationship with the customer. All of this automation hopefully doesn’t suggest that you’re basically leaving your candidate by the wayside to engage with you only in one way. It’s really about helping your staff, if you’re a staffing firm, focus on high-touch, high-value activities to enhance the level of service that you have. To really be thinking about this in a way, what are the value activities that talent or my customer wants to engage with autonomy? How do you automate that?

Then if they still want to call you or go into the branch, that’s great. But by doing this, you’re actually adding value to them, not necessarily taking any diminishing value on the relationship because I know just as well as all of you listening to this podcast, the staffing industry was built on relationships. You’re helping put people in jobs. Sometimes there’s a lot of delicate discussions to be had about, whether or not you got the job or not. This is not meant to fully put automation through every step in the journey. It’s really to enhance the journey to improve the level of service, if that’s your strategy that you want to provide to your customers.

Folwell:

Awesome. Couldn’t agree more. I’m going to shift to a couple of questions a little bit more fun, and it could be personal or business depending on how you would like to answer. I’m a huge Tim Ferriss fan, so I picked up on some of his questions that I try to use in the interviews. One of them is, what is the one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? Could be an investment of money, time, energy, or etc.

Hyson:

I mean, there’s a lot. I would say probably in real estate. I was really fortunate at a very young age to be pushed by my brother, I give my brother all the credit in the world who really encouraged me to buy my first house when I didn’t think I was ready. I was 25, I just started my job. I was an entry-level recruiter. I was not thinking I could afford to buy a house. I couldn’t necessarily see the vision of a fixer upper and an up and coming neighborhood that I could buy and put a lot of sweat equity in to realize that investment young, I was 25. So I’m super fortunate to have the big brother that gave me the nudge to convince me that I could do it. Certainly happy to say that sometimes I try to encourage those that I’m a mentor to think about investments in real estate, especially if you have the energy to put in and the sweat equity to be able to get returns on the smart investments that can help you build for your future.

Boulder is probably one of the best places to live as rated by US News and World Report in the October edition. Not a cheap place to live, and I would never be able to afford real estate here if I hadn’t bought my house when I was 25 in Charlotte. I look at real estate, for sure. That’s a financial investment. If you’re looking for some holistic field, good investments of time. I know you and I have known each other for a long time. I really enjoy giving back and giving my time as a mentor and getting to know individuals. I have volunteered, this’ll be my third year with the American Staffing Association’s Mentor Match Program. I’ve really loved that.

I also volunteer for an organization called Girls in Tech, whose mission is about promoting the advancement of women in tech. I also had the privilege of just finishing up a Mentor Match Program for the Ernestine McLendon Talent Grant, which serves underprivileged populations to advance their skills in IT recruiting, bettering their technical recruiting, which has been a lot of fun. I always learn so much as a mentor from my mentees. It’s definitely a reciprocal learning opportunity. If you’ve never formally been a mentor or a mentee, I can’t say how much of a reward and how much joy it gives me to be able to make those connections.

Folwell:

Well, that’s fantastic. In the last five years, what new belief behavior or habit has most improved your life?

Hyson:

Wow. That’s an easy one for me. Anyone that has known me for more than five years would know that I would never describe myself as an athlete. I still don’t describe myself as an athlete. 2018, I bought a Peloton. I will say that it has been life-changing, not only the community of Peloton, but also the convenience of being able, as a busy mom and an executive, to be able to not have the excuse anymore, if I don’t have time for self-care and fitness. To me, that’s huge. It’s just being able to sweat every day. I have a goal of sweating five times a week. I just love it. That’s been just game changing for me.

I’m really inspired by my generations of ancestors before me. My grandmother lived to be 94. She was amazing and had always prioritized her health. Having the perspective, I don’t know how old I was in 2018, maybe I was 45-ish, being able to think about, well, if I want to be able to do headstands and practice yoga when I’m 94, what do I need to do now to do that? It helps me frame that it’s never too late to get started, to learn something new, to try new things and to practice something new. It’s important to me, not only for my own health, but also to set a great example for my family.

Folwell:

You’ve been one of the biggest brand advocates that I’ve seen. I’ve actually looked up at research Peloton. I’ve got the mobile app. I haven’t bought the bike yet, but I’ve got the app because of you. So, you’ve got me moving down the path.

Hyson:

I just tried my first Pilates class. It’s a new launch yesterday. I did it with my 10-year-old, so I’m looking forward to practicing a little more Peloton Pilates in 2021.

Folwell:

Awesome, awesome. Rounding up the conversation today, is there anything else that you would like to share with our audience? Any closing thoughts?

Hyson:

I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to be on your show, Dave. It’s always a pleasure to catch up with you. I appreciate all your compelling questions. Looking forward to a positive and hopefully prosperous 2021 for the industry that has really shown so much resilience this year.

Folwell:

Absolutely. Ericka, it’s a pleasure having you on. You always add insightful comments and are very thoughtful with your communication. I think it’s pretty awesome to see what you’ve done within the staffing industry, and to see what you’re doing with WorkN. For any of the listeners that don’t have their mobile strategy in place, I highly recommend you reach out to Ericka and the team over at WorkN because they are doing some very cool things. So, thanks so much for joining today.

Hyson:

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Happy New Year.