Productizing Ideas in the Services Industry with Tim Pröhm, VP at the KellyX Digital Innovation Lab

With an uptick in challenges like the Great Resignation and remote work, companies who are hiring today must understand people—their users—in order to thrive. Tim Pröhm, vice president at the KellyX Digital Innovation Lab, recognizes this opportunity and is using it to introduce agile product thinking and a significant digital transformation to the 75-year-old recruiting firm Kelly. Kelly impacts thousands of workers around the world each year, and is setting the example for how to attract and retain talent at a critical moment. In this episode, Tim shares how his team encourages startup strategy in the enterprise world, and how they are bringing the people ops wave to new heights through Kelly’s reach. 

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  • People ops products only succeed if they are customized to the holistic employee experience.
  • The job of people ops is to ask, “what do the people in your organization need to be successful?”

Things To Listen For

  • [1:30] Tim’s journey to product & his career intersections with the service industry
  • [3:30] Background on Kelly and its global influence in the staffing & talent industry
  • [4:30] How technology & product thinking emerged in Kelly’s work in recent years
  • [5:00] “It’s not about the human interaction anymore” in a digital world
  • [5:30] Innovation emerged through rapid prototyping, being responsive to users
  • [7:00] Lessons from Laszlo Bock’s book, “Work Rules!” on people ops vs. HR
    • HR focuses on compliance and traditional administration
    • People ops focus on “the full, real experience” in the organization
  • [8:00] Why you shouldn’t exclude people ops leaders from strategic product decisions
  • [8:30] If you can’t retain or attract talent, your org will fail; people ops can help
  • [11:30] HR professionals tried to “rebrand” as people ops before, but it didn’t work
  • [12:30] COVID made companies realize workforce strategy needs to be holistic
  • [13:30] The reality of “the overwhelmed employee” experience (hint: it’s more common than you might think)
  • [21:00] The importance of real-time visibility in business and people ops
  • [23:00] How automation, hiring, and people ops go hand-in-hand
  • [25:00] The growing importance of qualitative research
  • [27:00] “Digital transformation is a neverending exercise”
  • [30:00] Why startups and corporations need to “cross-pollinate”