I attended Ceridian’s Insights conference in Las Vegas from November 9-110 Overall, it was a very well-attended conference, both by its existing as well as a significant number of prospective customers. The conference featured over 40 customer speakers as well as keynotes from Venus Williams, Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, and David Horsager, author and CEO of the Trust Edge Leadership Institute.
Below are my takeaways from the major announcements and themes from the conference. I also published a quick wrap-up video that you can check out here.
- Consistent growth and innovation
- Continued focus on providing a seamless experience
- Focus on trust building
Consistent growth and innovation
Ceridian’s Co-CEO David Ossip kicked off the conference by sharing an overview of the company’s performance over the last 2 years. The company reported total revenue of $1.24 billion for 2022, an increase from $824 million in 2019. Recently released Q3 results showed 33% YOY growth. Ceridian reportedly has 6,000 customers live on Dayforce, its flagship HCM solution, in 2022, compared to 4,000 in 2019, and a 96.5% gross retention rate. Thirty-eight percent of those Dayforce customers are using the full HCM suite. The company now has over 170 partners.
On the innovation side, Ceridian shared products launched in 2021 and reported that it delivered over 840 new features in 2022. Five of the main features unveiled at the conference included:
- Employee Experience Hub: The product, is in early access and will be available globally in 2023. While not an entirely new product, the employee experience hub is the evolved version of the employee portal launched in 2019 and is a central hub for employees to find all company-related information and communications in one place. The improved portal is personalized for the user and provides relevant and contextual nudges and recommended actions (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Ceridian’s Dayforce Employee Experience hub | Source: Ceridian 2022
- Guides: This new product will help guide employees through milestones such as parenthood, promotions, exit, etc. It will provide employees with resources and guides from Dayforce and other systems and recommend connections to which employees can reach out for additional information and support. The product will be available in beta in 2023 (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Ceridian’s Dayforce Guides | Source: Ceridian, 2022
- Mobile Benefits Enrollment: Payroll is one of Ceridian’s strengths and it continues to invest in its capabilities. This new product will allow employees to enroll in benefits via the mobile application, making the process easier and simpler. It will suggest personalized recommendations for benefits and enable users to compare plans within the mobile app and configure it to their needs. It will also allow users to switch from mobile to the web without losing their progress. The product was the most highly voted by customers in the customer portal and will be available in December 2022 (figure 2).
Figure 3: Ceridian’s mobile benefits enrollment | Source: Ceridian, 2022
- Career Explorer: Powered by Dayforce Skills Engine that helps users with skills management, this new product will enable employees greater control over their careers. It will allow them to explore open positions within their companies, find out how they can upskill themselves, and apply for new roles. The product will be launched in beta mode in early 2023.
Figure 4: Ceridian’s Dayforce Career Explorer | Source: Ceridian, 2022
- Agile Organizational Management: The launch of this product was received with applause from the audience. It provides users with a visual organizational chart and the ability to model and reorganize structures and teams in response to business needs. It allows users to create internal positions within a team and move people to fill them all with a drag-and-drop capability while the system can launch the associated workflows on the backend automatically. The product is available in beta mode now (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Ceridian’s Dayforce Agile Organization Management | Source: Ceridian, 2022
The company didn’t share information on the number of customers that are currently live on the products already available or in beta. As I mentioned, most were excited about the Agile Organization Management product as it would make the admin user experience very easy.
While no doubt Ceridian has made significant investments in innovating and launching new features to help its customers, I would’ve appreciated more context around the product vision and what leaders believe to be its true differentiators. It would’ve also been helpful to understand which other products within the HCM suite customers find most useful and where the company plans to invest in the future.
The company also mentioned that it will be launching an inclusion survey as part of its engagement product within Dayforce, but it’s not clear how customers will use the data from the survey or what kind of insights be available from it.
Continued focus on providing a seamless experience
Ceridian’s Chief Product and Technology Office, Joe Korngieble spent time talking about Ceridian’s differentiator, which is the single data system at the backend of Dayforce that provides its users with a seamless experience on the front end (Figure 6).
Figure 6: Ceridian’s single system HCM solution | Source: Ceridian 2022
Because of the single data system, Dayforce is able to provide users with a personalized experience, automate workflows, and allow teams to be more agile and flexible. As Megan Sullivan, the VP of Product Design, said,
"We have an obligation to make experience and design a priority. We owe it to people to design experiences that make their lives better."
The single data system sets Ceridian apart from its competitors, and the company continues to reap the benefits of this advantage as it builds new features into the solution. I spoke with several customers about their experience using Ceridian, and many highlighted the ease of use and the seamless experience they get because of the single system.
Given this, I would’ve appreciated greater insight into the underlying structure and technology that enables the single system and, more importantly, their vision for scaling the product to meet customer needs. It would’ve also been helpful to understand how Dayforce integrates with other existing technologies.
Focus on trust building
A consistent theme throughout the conference was trust building. From the opening keynote to David Horsager’s talk, there was a clear emphasis on the need for companies to build trust with their employees in order to retain high-value talent and become an employer of choice.
The sessions highlighted Ceridian’s role in helping its customers build trust. The company shared how its single data system provides customers with a reliable source of data and thus helps them share it with their employees confidently, thereby driving transparency and trust.
Another new product that Ceridian believes will help establish consistency and provide greater clarity to its customers is the Ideal Talent Marketpalce (Figure 7). The product will provide full visibility to its users across its full-time, part-time, and contingent workforce, allowing managers to post jobs in the marketplace or with a staffing partner. The product also matches open roles with the right skills and qualifications based on data and information leveraged from the skills engine. The product will be available in beta in the second half of 2023.
Figure 7: Ceridian’s Dayforce Ideal Talent Marketplace | Source: Ceridian 2022
The investments made by Ceridian in their workforce management capabilities are smart. However, it would be interesting to learn more about whether the company plans to invest in workforce planning capabilities. Strategic workforce planning that requires a more long-term understanding of the supply and demand of the workforce will be increasingly important for companies as they enter a recessionary period along with a tight labor market. There was no information shared on how Ceridian is helping its customers do that.
The focus on trust-building is great. The company is also doing a good job of providing an active customer community where customers are able to share information, learn from each other, and share their experiences.
Overall, it was a great conference for Ceridian customers, with lots of new product announcements and information sharing. We would have loved to hear the leaders talk more about helping customers with their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts and navigating hybrid work challenges, especially those around connection-building and providing an engaging employee experience. We look forward to learning about more updates in the future.