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The HR Leader in conversation with Brent Pearson

By Shandel McAuliffe | |6 minute read
The HR Leader in conversation with Brent Pearson

Founder of Enboarder, Brent Pearson, joined The HR Leader to discuss innovative onboarding, human connection, and the future of talent acquisition after a potential recession.

 Shandel McAuliffe, editor at HR Leader: “What inspired you to create Enboarder?”

Mr Pearson: “Most of my career has been in HR and HR technology. In 2015, I was looking for business ideas to start my own company. I went out to my HR network and I had one particular idea, which I had prototyped and knocked up a presentation [for].”


“In my prototype, I had one little button in the bottom right corner and it said ‘onboard’, and everybody was drawn to this button; they all wanted to know what I was thinking. They clearly expressed that this was a pain point.

“I looked around in the market and what I realised was that, while there were other vendors that were focusing on onboarding technology, all of them were focusing on process automation. And all of them, their value proposition was ‘how do I make HR’s life easier?’

“Back in 2015, I took a gamble that the employee experience is going to become more and more important. And that was the genesis for the idea behind Enboarder and how I started the company.”

Editor: “How did COVID-19 impact your workforce?”

Mr Pearson: “COVID-19 spread the workforce far and wide. And while I was concerned about the connections, when it really hit me was when we had an event, probably about four or five months ago now.”

“We’re having just a good ‘kick your heels up’ celebration. I walked in and I looked around and I was like, ‘Wow. There’s about a third of people here that I don’t know’.

“Pre-COVID-19, if we had one of these events, you could just feel the energy and the buzz.

“While we were physically together now in the same space, there was not the same level of energy, the same level of connection that we had had before. That was a big wake up call for me.

“I’ve been really focused internally now on, ‘how do I rebuild the connections in our company worldwide?’”

Editor: “What do you think will come out of the future of employee retention?”

Mr Pearson: “As I look forward, there’s this impending recession which everyone thinks is going to come, and it’s going to come in some way, shape or form. And to me, I use the analogy that it’s like a hurricane.”

“We’ve never gone into a recession with such a low unemployment rate, and we are so tight for talent now.

“Once that recession hits, imagine what it’s going to be like coming out the other side of that hurricane.

“[Recruiters] will be having a field day. I think it’s going to be a very good time to be a recruiter, a headhunter, and they’ll be going hard after your staff. So for me, I’m thinking not only how I play offence, how do I get talent to grow, but I’m thinking about defence. How do I retain my staff? How do I keep them intact? Because if I can’t do that, it’s going to be a tough time after that hurricane.”

The transcript of this podcast episode was slightly edited for publishing purposes. To listen to the full conversation with Brent Pearson, click below:




Employee engagement

Employee engagement is the level of commitment people have to the company, how enthusiastic they are about their work, and how much free time they devote to it.

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel has recently returned to Australia after working in the UK for eight years. Shandel's experience in the UK included over three years at the CIPD in their marketing, marcomms and events teams, followed by two plus years with The Adecco Group UK&I in marketing, PR, internal comms and project management. Cementing Shandel's experience in the HR industry, she was the head of content for Cezanne HR, a full-lifecycle HR software solution, for the two years prior to her return to Australia.

Shandel has previous experience as a copy writer, proofreader and copy editor, and a keen interest in HR, leadership and psychology. She's excited to be at the helm of HR Leader as its editor, bringing new and innovative ideas to the publication's audience, drawing on her time overseas and learning from experts closer to home in Australia.

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