Cloud-Native HR: Talking With Pivotal’s Joe Militello

March 16, 2016 Coté


sfeatured-podcastWe’re always espousing how much cultural change is needed to realize all the benefits of “Cloud-Native,” so I thought it’d be interesting to talk about how HR helps out with that change by talking with Pivotal’s head of HR, Joe Militello.

One of the key principles of his approach is to remove complexity—from process to paperwork. Later in the episode, we talk about the leaning up of the annual performance review as an example of removing that complexity: at Pivotal, it’s a totally optional process, which boggles some HR folks’ minds. However, in looking at all of the effort that goes into annual reviews—employees establishing goals, managers reviewing them, and all the proces around it—Joe’s team found that it was an alarming huge amount of work for something that very few people (if any!) liked. Instead, they’ve been instilling the idea of continuous feedback into the company’s process. And, for those who still want them, there’s tools and processes available for full on annual reviews.

We talk about simplifying the recruiting process too. In an example that sounds a lot like the old “how long does it take you to deploy a line of code” trick, Joe goes over Pivotal’s goal of putting an offer out 24 hours after an interview (assuming the candidate warrants one). The back-end for most HR systems and the approval process wouldn’t allow for such a quick offer letter, but after applying that de-complexifying lense, it’s possible to get there. Just like focusing on all the effort, end-to-end, it takes to deploy one line of code to fine “waste,” this 24 hour goal helps lean up the HR process.

Another topic we discuss is the ongoing experiment of including work simulations in the interview process. Having a programmer do a small coding and design task is nothing new, but applying that to sales, marketing, and other roles is interesting and novel. Joe goes over how they’ve been doing “stand and deliver” components for sales interviews, and discusses how they’re rolling such simulations into interviews for all roles.

And don’t forget, you can find more Pivotal Podcasts at




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