William Tincup is an avid writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller, and teacher in the HR tech space. We are BIG fans of William and got a chance to meet him at the DisruptHR Cayman event and interview him a few weeks later. In this part of our interview with William, the great man shared his thoughts on other big names in the space and his experiences of working with vendors:
Editor: You’re a huge name in HR Tech. Can you share two or three other influencers who you follow? What sets them apart?
WT: Mark Stelzner comes near the top of my list. When he sees innovation, he calls it, and usually gets it right so I trust his opinion.. Mark tends to work with large companies and goes in and helps people do vendor selections and solve problems. He’s an eloquent writer, which helps, and he’s a no-nonsense guy.
Next would be Matt Charney because he has the same level of sarcasm and snarkiness I do, and he’s got an ability to see things that not everyone can see. I like that, especially on the recruiting side. Matt can see something and turn a phrase around, such as, “Microsoft buying LinkedIn” and show you something there that you weren’t contemplating. Like Mark Stelzner, Matt’s a very eloquent and gifted writer and speaker, so I pay attention to what he’s saying.
I also pay attention to John Sumser. He’s my former business partner and he’s just a wonderful man. Very eloquent, very insightful, and again, he can see things before other people can. So you pay attention to John because, in a way, it’s like paying attention to a futurist. He covers things that people will be discussing in a couple of years.
Editor: Any rising stars we should watch out for?
WT: Sure. There’s a younger crop of indivduals like Kyle Lagunas. Kyle has been in the industry just long enough that he’s starting to kick the status quo. He’s heard the pitch a hundred times, he’s seen it play out a couple of times and not the way vendors think. He’s not becoming more jaded or cynical, rather he’s becoming a bit more adept to calling BS. I think that’s what it takes to carry influence, because you have to know when you’re being conned or manipulated. I think Kyle’s at that point where he can really see that and articulate it.
Editor: Tell us a little about the vendor-analyst relationship. What are the typical dynamics between influencers like yourself and service providers?
WT: I think influencers now, especially if you’ve done this for a while, can sift through the BS.. I had a call with a vendor this morning, and she was telling me how I’d categorized her incorrectly in a list I built. So I asked, “tell me a little bit about that?” She goes, “Well, we do sourcing and we do assessments, and we do internal mobility, and we have this marketplace.” I said, “Well most people can’t get that complexity. If I were to put that down they would just skip you because it was too complex!” Vendors don’t like having reservations, I don’t know if you have any history with this through the Gazette, but they really don’t like being put in a box.
No vendor likes categorization and the practitioners both don’t know the categories, as well as who’s in those categories and who’s dominant, because the vendors refuse to be categorized. I think when you understand influence, you understand that it’s really about trust and respect. It’s also about having the ability to cut through all that BS, like what I did with that vendor this morning. I said, “I hear ya, but here’s the deal. Tell me what category makes the most sense and I’ll put you in that category. No problem, but it’s going to be singular because that will actually help the practitioners find you.” “Okay synergy”
Had I not been in the industry for 15 years, I wouldn’t have been able to have that conversation. I would’ve sat there and said, “Okay! Want me to put you in 4 different categories? Yeah makes sense…” I think once you’ve been in the game for a while you go, “Yeah, that’s not good for the practitioner.”
Check out more from our interview with William Tincup. Check out his review of DisruptHR Cayman.