Episode 287: The Role of the CHRO and Business Acumen

Scroll down to read more!

Episode 287: The Role of the CHRO and Business Acumen

Scroll down to read more!

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive workplace leader. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com, as she sits down and gets to the bottom of trends, tools and case studies for the business leader, H.R. and recruiting professional who is tired of the status quo. Now, here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Episode 287: The Role of the CHRO and Business Acumen With Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (@MagicJMS)


Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:25.71] Welcome to the Workology Podcast sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace the HR Exam. Today’s podcast is part of a series on the Workology Podcast that focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the Chief Human Resources Officer or CHRO. I call this our CHRO series and it is powered by the folks at DailyPay. The CHRO sometimes is also called the VP of Talent and Culture or the Chief People Officer. It’s an executive-level role that deals with managing human resources as well as with organizational development and implementing policies of change to improve the overall efficiency of the company. Today, I’m joined by Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar. He’s the Chief People Officer at Minted.com. He received his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan with his dissertation on organizational change and diversity. After several years running a lab in Silicon Valley, he went on to lead in multiple industries, including stints at Sun Microsystems, Taco Bell, BlackRock, Gap and Old Navy, Starbucks and Riot Games. Jay, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:01:36.57] Thanks for having me, Jessica.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:01:38.13] What an interesting background. I love this. You’ve been in H.R. at the executive level for about 20 years. How has your role evolved over time into this Chief People Officer role?

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:01:52.56] Well, I’m glad you think it’s interesting because hearing it tires me out, it makes me feel very gray-haired. You know, before I was a Chief People Officer, I spent most of my career actually alternating between specialist and generalist roles, which is, it happened by circumstance but it’s something I really recommend to people regardless of their HR career aspirations, whether they want to be a CHRO or not. Being a specialist gives you a unique perspective on the challenges of creating something for employees, and being a generalist gives you a unique perspective on delivering something to employees, and the, also, obviously, the daily challenges that leaders and managers face. So it’s interesting spending time in either a specialist or generalist shoes I think makes you better at the other. And it’s something that I did pretty regularly before, before taking on that top role. But honestly, the main reason that I am a chief people officer is because a number of people egging me on and believing that I should do that. And, you know, I have often, and this is not a new concept, but I’ve often made the distinction between mentors and sponsors, mentors or people who have your best interests at heart. They could be peers, uncles, managers, anything. But sponsors are people who have your best interests at heart, but who also have the power to create opportunities for you. And I was never really ready for most of the roles that I got. But I was being dragged there by a group of sponsors who just believed that I could do more and believe that I could be in that top role and made opportunities happen for me sometimes, you know, even before I ever felt like I was ready for them, in fact, gosh, I just I like I said, I don’t think I was ready for most of the roles that I stepped into.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:53.13] Thank you for that. And moving on from like the sponsors and the mentors conversation, one other thing I noticed when I looked at your sort of resume and looking at your experience is that you have worked with mostly enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, but the last two jobs have been for much smaller organizations. So can you talk about this progression? Because normally it’s the other way, not in reverse. But why this change and how has it worked for you?

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:04:30.08] Well, maybe TMI for a work podcast, but I actually had a very textbook mid-life crisis and realized that there was something about the ways my career had evolved that were, I don’t know, deeply unsatisfying. And that led me from these large multinational global enterprises who are terrific brands, terrific employers to these smaller, scrappier, high growth kind of startups. And, you know, there’s definitely aspects about smaller organizations that feel different from larger ones. The first is probably the energy and the urgency that exists in smaller organizations. There’s just a kind of speed and, I don’t know, dynamism that exists in smaller organizations that I think pulls on different muscles or works different muscles than larger organizations. And the second is this sort of unavoidable ownership in entrepreneurship that is required to be in a smaller organization. There’s literally no one else to solve the problem for you, so you have to solve it yourself. And the amount of resources, infrastructure that exists at large organizations isn’t there. And so you are often having to do things scrappyly or, you know, in ways that get it done with what you’ve got available and that is, it’s just again, it’s a different way of working. Ironically, I actually think I’d be more effective in larger organizations now because of those two things. I think, I think it would be great if more larger organizations had that level of energy and urgency as smaller companies. And, you know, I think ownership and, ownership, particularly even more than entrepreneurship, but ownership matters no matter where you are. And it’s something I think I’ve learned more deeply in smaller companies than larger ones.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:06:24.62] Well, and let me just say on the TMI front, I’m all TMI all the time. So I have written and talked and spoke about all sorts of things related to my personal life because they do bleed over and into your professional life. So I’m so glad that you had a midlife crisis and here you are.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:06:42.84] Well, 2014 was not my favorite year, but, but it, it has been a wonderful journey in hindsight. It’s been great

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:06:52.31] Now that we know are now that you’ve shared about working in H.R. and small and large organizations, I wanted to hear about the skills and experiences that you believe are absolutely requirements for the CHRO role. But I’m also thinking like, are there different skills and experience requirements for the scrappy startup for small business versus the large enterprise? So I would be interested in your point of view here for sure.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:07:18.32] Yeah, you know, I think they’re actually the same, interestingly. I mean, there’s some technical skills that are different, you know, whether if you’re in a pre-IPO startup, you don’t need necessarily to have kind of the ability to work with committees and boards, and that sort of thing is as much as large enterprise, public companies, CHRO, but a lot of the core competencies are the same. And I think they mostly come down to, from my, in my mind, the three biggest ones are business acumen, drive for results and judgment. Across every industry and as you say, I’ve been in a lot of them and across all scales and sizes, the most successful HR people are the ones who know the business, who get stuff done and who have great judgment when given the chance to exhibit it. Now, I think it’s a little harder to teach judgment to me. That sort of comes from learning and experience and having that kind of learner’s mindset for every time you fail or succeed. But the others are definitely teachable. And it’s also why caring about your company’s products, I think matters or because it’s a faster path to business acumen. But, you know, if you have that ability to see a problem, wrestle it to the ground, solve it and do that in ways that matter to driving the business forward, I think you’re going to be successful at any part of HR, especially that CHRO role.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:08:44.88] The other thing I would say is I think probably mid career. I started to learn that HR programs and products and policies are best if you treat them like consumer products or programs and we need to have a product mindset in H.R., and I think that, that leads to very successful CHROs. CEOs can connect with their heads of H.R. if they’re bringing a product lens to what they’re doing and just treating their internal customers as customers. And then I think we’re going to talk about this a little bit later but data acumen is something that I, you know, as you say, I ran a research lab at, in Silicon Valley. I came out of graduate school thinking of myself more as a statistician than an HR person. I don’t think I even knew what H.R. was when I came out of grad school. And I think that’s actually been one of the fastest paths I’ve had to being able to influence senior teams is the ability to use data for decision making and being able to speak the same language as my business peers.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:58.65] We are going to talk about data, but when I one of the things I wanted to ask you before I move into that area is the shift to remote work. You guys have a call center, had a call center in Oakland, California, but you’ve had some significant changes in the business and how you are growing as an organization or driving revenue since the pandemic began. And I wanted to ask what the biggest challenge was and what you learned from that.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:10:27.84] Yeah. So for those who don’t know, Minted is a crowdsourced e-commerce platform selling things like stationery in the form of wedding invitations, baby announcements, holiday cards, that sort of thing, but increasingly also art and home decor. We have artists in 100 different countries around the world and we crowdsource design using consumer panels to figure out which designs we should sell on our site or through wholesalers. And it’s been a wonderful business for most of its 14 years of existence. And weddings was a hugely wonderful business to be in until 2020 when people stopped getting married. So 2020 was a little bit of a rough year for us, but it did allow a lot of other parts of our business to flourish because people were sitting at home staring at blank walls, wanting artwork or wanting to stay connected through cards. The biggest shift for us internally was that we didn’t even have a remote work policy when, and we were one of the first companies in San Francisco to move to work from home. Mariam Naficy, our CEO, she is many things real brand visionary, amazing entrepreneur. She’s also a little bit of a germophobe, and I think was tracking coronavirus news before many of her peers. So we moved to work from home and I think March 1st in 2020. So very early in the pandemic.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:12:02.10] And that was a huge shift for us. And I think it was probably the biggest shift was for our customer operations or our call center, as you said, which is about a third of our company. A call center that had set in Oakland for the entirety of the company’s history. And not everyone in our customer operations team even had their own laptops, so we had to get people laptops, get them working from home and set up a whole bunch of ways of working and policies that didn’t exist before. And we were, as a company, kind of set up for face to face decision making. And it has been a huge amount of learning about how to do communication and keep people aligned when you can’t see one another face to face. We’ve really had to think about mental health and burnout for our employees, which I think has been true of all of my peers in other industries and other companies as I talk to them. And onboarding has been has been a real challenge. So I think all of those things have been huge places of kind of our learning curve. Some of that, some of the alignment issues we’ve tackled through technology, which has been great, is kind of accelerated our technology roadmap internally. We’ve tracked, we’ve tackled our mental health and burnout through enhanced benefits.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:13:24.60] There’s some wonderful things that have come out that, like Ginger and others, just other offerings that have been fantastic for people who to give them access to online mental health care. Onboarding has probably been the toughest. There’s a Harvard professor I know, really love, Youngme Moon. She said something recently on a podcast that I just really think about a lot. She said that part of working is an individual sport and that is really possible. That part is really easy to do remotely. Part of working is a team sport, which is very difficult to do remotely, but possible just has a lot of challenges associated with it, and then part of work is a spectator sport. You know, it’s watching how things get done, understanding the culture through watching meetings, understanding who is where and how the company works by watching it unfold, and that part’s essentially impossible done remotely. And I what I’ve noticed is all the people we’ve hired since the pandemic began and have onboarded, where they struggle is with that spectator sport part, making sense of how the company works and how the different departments fit together and how decisions get made. And that’s the part I still feel like I’m very much on a learning curve to understand how to how to tackle.

Break: [00:14:49.01] Let’s take a reset. This is Jessica Mille-Merrell, and you were listening to the Workology Podcast sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace the HR Exam. We’re talking about the role of the CHRO and the importance of diversity and metrics and all the things with Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar. He’s the Chief People Officer at Minted.com. Now, this interview is part of a series that I called the CHRO series, and it is powered by our friends at DailyPay.

Break: [00:15:17.18] Personal and professional development is essential for successful H.R. leaders. Join Upskill HR to access life training, community, and over a hundred on-demand courses for that dynamic leader. H.R. recert credits available. Visit UpskillHR.com for more.

The Shift From D&I to DEI: How Equity Changes Company Policy 


Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:15:33.30] Can you talk about your seasonal hiring and going fully remote, because I know we talked about that in the prep call. Just maybe talk us through that, because that was fascinating to me, like logistically and all the things that you guys were dealing with in real-time.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:15:50.07] Yeah. Yeah. It was fascinating for me, too. So, so the, our customer operations team that third of the company triples or even quadruples in size in our fourth quarter where we do a ton of sales. And it’s always been in Oakland, we’ve always expanded in Oakland and suddenly in 2020 we were doing it virtually in markets we’d never been in and that there was just a lot of gambles associated with that. We, we had to start doing hiring in places like Atlanta and Detroit and Dallas Fort Worth and just places, Sacramento, places where we’d never had to think about sort of our talent marketplace. And then we were suddenly mailing these very expensive laptops because a lot of the work we do is design focused and requires some pretty good computing power. So we’re sending these laptops to people knowing that they were only going to be with us for three months and hoping that they would, at the end of that three months, mail the laptop back to us. And the amount of sort of breath holding and risk-taking that that whole endeavor entailed was, was really profound. And what was, I don’t know, maybe kind of more, it made me believe in human beings more I guess, it, we basically broke every customer service metric that we had. It was a success on every dimension. In fact, it was so successful that we’re going to do it again this year regardless of where we stand with the pandemic. We’ve already announced to the company that we are going to stay remote on the call center side of things for through the through the end of this year. And what we found is people love, people, first of all, we hadn’t tapped out in, there is a certain amount of ways that we tapped out the Oakland talent market.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:17:41.01] There’s only so many wait times you can quadruple that call center every fourth quarter and expect that you’re not going to, that you’re going to get new people. Whereas with these other markets, we there are all these people who are thrilled with the idea of joining this company Minted that was a sort of tech, Bay Area tech company with a design focus. It was just, we had kind of a cool factor in a lot of those markets and people had such a good experience that we got almost every single laptop back on time and then a request to please let them know when we were doing it next year because they’d love to work for us again. It was just a really positive experience. And like I said, they were just very engaged with the customers. The training went off really well remotely, and, and we had great, great results from a from a customer operations perspective. So, you know, obviously for us, that’s a huge cost savings for real estate. If we decide to stay remote, which we haven’t made that permanent decision yet. But for me, what I get most excited about are those other things. The ability to find talent nationwide just sort of broadens the talent pool exponentially. And the idea that we can offer this uniquely positive experience for people is just really exciting. I think it never would have predicted a year ago that we would do a Q4 virtually and then decide to do it again. But, but that’s where we’re at. And it’s it’s been really fun.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:10.50] I love that. And thank you, thank you for sharing. I think these are the kind of stories that are such an important part of this podcast series. I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about DNI. So and again, I think your background is fascinating because like we’re talking about Minted and scrappy startup, and then I am doing research and I find that you establish the first diversity and inclusion corporate goal in Gap Inc’s history and also led the DNI for Starbucks and all of its umbrella brands and incorporated DNI into the talent process across six different industries, including hiring, performance management and compensation. So I wanted to make sure we, we delve into that a little bit. So my question for you is, what should HR leaders keep in mind when it comes to improving their DNI at the company and trying to create organizational change in that area?

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:20:09.68] Yeah, as you mentioned at the beginning, my dissertation was on organizational change around issues of diversity. So this is a topic near and dear to my heart and something I care deeply about. And I really like the shift, just as an aside of talking about diversity and inclusion, which is what it’s been through most of my career to diversity, equity and inclusion. I think the, the adding equity as something that we’re trying to get, which is trying to get people who are not starting at the same start line to, to make up some of that ground. So, you know, diversity is about having different backgrounds, perspectives and ways of thinking in the same place. Inclusion is about making sure that those voices are heard. But equity is really about making sure that everyone’s on an even playing field. And I really like the shift from DNI to DEI. And what I would say is, as I’ve been thinking about this issue, I really think it H.R. leaders need to tackle this both top-down and bottoms up. And the top-down part is really important. Ultimately, the CEO not, not just a leader or some of the leaders on the management team, but the CEO needs to believe in this as a core value or else I just think progress is really difficult, not impossible, but really difficult and almost to a company, when I think about the case studies of organizations that made meaningful progress on DEI, it’s because of either a new CEO or a CEO having some sort of revelatory experience, usually because of a crisis of some kind or some personal journey that they’ve gone on that has them wake up to the fact that this is really, really important, excuse me, important.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:22:05.61] And, and so I really think that, that whatever you can do as an H.R. leader, to have your CEO see this not as a moral issue, not as a business issue, but both something that is really, really fundamental to their business success and also their, you know, personal values. I think that is hugely important. At the same time, you should be fostering bottoms up influence, and that usually happens through employee resource groups and. I’ve said ERGs go through a, from my perspective, pretty predictable life cycle or arc, and they start out as essentially, and this is going to sound maybe a little diminishing, but I but I really think it matters is they start a little bit like social clubs, like they are there for people who have some, like, reason for identifying with other people and they share food and music and cultural experiences with those folks. It’s just nice to be around people like themselves. And so there’s a huge sharing and kind of social fandom that happens in those employee resource groups.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:23:25.82] And that’s kind of the foundation with which a lot of them get started. And then they become learning vehicles. They become places where people want speakers to come in, or it’s an opportunity for employees in the company to take leadership roles that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to within the ERGs. And they start thinking about the development of their members and what membership means. And that move from a kind of social connection to a learning vehicle is a really cool thing to watch. And then eventually they start to want to influence decisions at the company. So they start to ask questions about aspects of the culture or the internal H.R. policies, or they start to ask questions about the recruiting process or they start to ask questions about the product set and why we don’t have more products that speak to a particular audience, and that’s when you start cooking with gas on, on ERGs. That’s when they start really becoming almost like special interest groups within, within a political discussion or something, they start to influence senior leaders on thinking differently and when they’re really, really going well, I have seen CEOs say, you know, we’re thinking about doing this thing, but maybe I should go talk to our black employee ERG first and get their perspective and before it, before we pull the trigger on this thing. So, so I think you need both.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:24:58.71] You need that kind of groundswell of the bottoms-up energy. And there’s things you can do to, to foster it. And then you need that CEO not just buy in, but really believing that it’s something that matters. And if you get both of those things, then you can really, really move. And then the last thing I’ll say is then frustratingly and I maybe this my own ineffectiveness or something, but, but I really do believe this is true. DEI change is slow. And it’s, partly that’s because of the complexity of it, but, I don’t know what the other factors are that lead it to be slow, but I really think it’s important for HR leaders to measure progress in years, not in quarters. If you set up a DEI dashboard and you expect that it’s going to change month over month, you are going to be sorely disappointed. It is something that really takes a long time to start to see that the, the cogs moving and the progress to be made, and I think those I’ve watched organizations take really huge sweeping changes and they still feel like they’re years in the making of seeing it show up as results on, on kind of their internal demographics or the way that they think about product management or whatever. So those are a brain dump of thoughts on the topic of DEI.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:26:20.83] This is great. And as you’re talking, I’m doodling like the ERG evolution. I think if you go when this publishes, you go to Workology.com and you look at the show notes, we’re going to include an image. I just feel like it’s visual representation for ERGs. And I have been I mean, I feel like almost a large percentage of these CHRO interviews like yours are DNI or DEI is coming into the conversation. And ERGs are an increasingly important part of where a company is going and, and the changes or enhancements that are being made in that organization, they are driven by those ERGs and the conversations that are having in there within them. So this is great.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:27:10.09] I can’t wait to see the visual.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:27:11.65] Yeah, I’m going to have to be out here because it’s like I just wrote it like a little graphic. I just send it to my image team and they’ll come up with something amazing. But I think that these are, it’s a critical component of any effective diversity, equity, inclusion program within an organization. I want to shift gears again. Just, I mean, your background so diverse, so, and you wrote this incredible article, which we will link to in the transcript of the podcast. You’re going to have the, the ERG evolution image and this article that you need to check out. It’s from 2015 and it’s called A Lack of HR Talent. And in the post, you talk about people choosing a career in H.R. because they like working with people. We hear this all the time and why that is short-sighted. Can you talk a bit about that and what, if any, changes you have seen that have occurred since you wrote the article?

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:28:08.35] And that was, I was, I was in a group for a while where I was writing monthly LinkedIn blog posts, and that one was definitely the most widely shared and polarizing of the ones, and it’s gotten a lot of discussion. So, look, I actually do think getting into H.R. because you like people or, is, is important. And the reason I think it’s important is because you end up seeing in H.R. people in their worst and most vulnerable moments. And so wanting to support people and enable people to be successful is a really important ingredient. But to borrow a legal term, liking people is a necessary but insufficient reason to go into H.R. just liking people, if that’s the only thing that that really is creating or cobbling together the function is a bunch of people who like people is I really worry that H.R. becomes this kind of lowest common denominator function. It’s where other people go because they don’t have technical skills that help the business in other ways. And that sounds harsh and that’s what the article says. So that’s why it was polarizing. But but I really do think you need, you need more, you need more than just being able to like people. You need to actually have a technical or hard skill set that you’re bringing to the table. Now, the good news is, since I wrote that article, which was six years ago, I do think things are changing, actually, for the first time in the in my career, I used to bemoan in fact, I think I see even say in that article I bemoaned that these are the same issues that I felt like were true 10 years ago or, you know, five years before that.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:30:01.21] Now I actually do feel like there’s a shift. I’m seeing more elite MBAs wanting to be an HR. I’m having a lot of career conversations with Stanford and Ivy League MBAs. I’m getting asked to consider public board of directors seats, which I didn’t think was going to happen in my lifetime. I’m seeing CHROs become presidents of business units in various places so, that wasn’t happening before. And I think it’s probably the combination of the complex challenges of a global pandemic, the issues of remote working, Black Lives Matter movement, and the larger DEI issues. You think about the last oh, I guess, but seven or eight years of talks of systemic gender inequity or institutional racism and that sort of thing, and I think a lot of CEOs are being forced to realize that many of their most critical issues sit in HR’s lap. So I think it’s nice to see the shift and I feel like we’re going to have a talent influx over time., but that’s why, you know, to me, the, what we do with that talent is they have to bring more than just liking people into the equation. They have to bring some harder skills.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:31:20.90] I’m happy that, that you’re seeing change and, and I am also seeing change, and also the continued like series interview with, with CHROs has been fascinating. And I, my goal truly is for us to have these kinds of conversations and so that we can help shape future CHROs as they’re thinking about their career, that it isn’t, it isn’t cookie cutter, and that there is a lot more business strategy knowledge that is involved, metrics and numbers that’s involved in, in the HR role than ever before. So we need to be seeking these things out now when we’re in that specialist or generalist or coordinator role. And as we move and evolve into our career, we can pull from those experiences so that we can truly support the business and move into, like you said, presidents of divisions or, or CEOs or CEOO roles within the organizations in the future more than ever before. One of the areas I did also want to talk to you about, because of your background and your point of view, is the importance of data and metrics for HR decision-making. So you’ve, you have hinted on this a little bit as we went through the entire podcast interview. But I want to focus on metrics for HR decision making, the role of, of metrics in change management, that organizational development side of things and other HR initiatives as we’re being pulled into, thankfully, more conversations with executive leaders and into more of these different changes that are happening within our company. Finally, somebody like we should probably talk to H.R. about this. So how does metrics and data, how is that shaping these new just changes and initiatives that are happening with HR’s involvement?

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:33:15.71] Yeah, I mean, this was kind of the punch line of that article you mentioned, which is H.R. needs to be better around data. And I think there if we get crisper and clearer on the science of H.R., I think we will significantly advance our credibility as a, as a function. And, you know, I mentioned that CHROs need to have high business acumen. Actually, I think all HR people need to have high business acumen and this is kind of an extension of that. You need to speak the language of the business and how most business decisions get made is through data. And so you need to think in terms of value drivers and predictive analytics and algorithms and think in terms of quantifying problems, even if they are people problems, in order to influence CEOs and leadership teams and be able to get things done. And the reason I think that this is particularly important for HR teams is because HR sits on a metric ton of data, hiring data, performance data, compensation data, exit data, demographic data, benefits data, employee survey data, just all of this information. But in my experience, we’re not often mining those data in order to learn and have insights into what’s really going on in an organization.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:34:45.62] So the more you as an H.R. professional, can get comfortable with jumping into those data sets, cleaning them up and using them for decision making, I think the more effective you’ll be. And if you as an H.R. leader don’t, if you feel like that’s a little bit out of your depth, then hire a data scientist, hire an insights or analytics person who is focused on people issues and people data, and you will be amazed at how quickly the conversations advance with that kind of rigor and nuanced understanding of data sets being applied to the data that you’re using. And I just, I can’t say it strongly enough. It, it is, I think it is the key to unlocking having HR feel like an administrative function, a reactive function, one that sits kind of is the tail rather than the dog to move into this, you know, strategic influencer of the direction of the company that it is your ability to take data, understand it and use it for decision making. I think that is the single biggest driver of moving from that first place to the second place.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:36:11.94] I love it and thank you for, for taking the time to share all these insights and experiences, I absolutely appreciate and I know everybody who’s listening is is saying the same thing. Where can people go to learn more about you and the work you’re doing at Minted.com?

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:36:31.77] You can always set me up on LinkedIn. I’m pretty stingy with accepting invite requests, but I’m pretty generous in responding to LinkedIn mail. So feel free to to connect through me with me there. I do have a Twitter account, @MagicJMS. That’s as much kind of nerd game stuff, which is my other identity as it is business stuff, but every once in a while I do, I have some business stuff there. Other than that, I think you can always email me at [email protected]. Happy to take inquiries there. Everything else on social media, all the other social media accounts I have is mostly just to keep track of my teenagers. So probably not a good, good use of those.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:37:17.64] But that’s kind of, maybe, like we get on social media. I also want to link to the Minted.com website so you can kind of check it, check it out and take a look at the jobs page or their careers page too so you can kind of keep up with what’s going on as you guys move into your busy season with.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:37:40.17] Thank you.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:37:40.92] Without, without that crazy hiring that’s going to be going on. How fun.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:37:44.13] Yeah. And I will say we are definitely in growth mode in 2021 and our headquarters is in San Francisco. But increasingly we’re having more remote roles as our, as our sort of mindset evolves. And also we are expanding hugely in the Kansas City metropolitan area. So if you happen to be in the Midwest and have an interest in Kansas City and almost any functional area, we are probably hiring for it. So check out our jobs page.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:38:13.74] Fun fact. I’m from Kansas originally, so.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:38:16.80] What?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:38:17.31] Yeah, yeah. I graduated from K-State and lived in Kansas City and worked at Home Depot and opened up stores and ran regional HR stuff there. So I love KC.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:38:27.36] Yeah, well, all right. If you also have that KC connection, actually, Jessica, if you want to apply, we have an H.R. Director role open, so go for it.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:38:36.21] Well, I might know some people who could be a good fit, so I’ll circulate that for you for sure. Well, thank you so much, Jay, for taking the time to chat with us.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar: [00:38:44.19] Thanks for inviting me. I really enjoy it. Thanks very much, Jessica.

Closing: [00:38:46.95] Are you loving the Workology Podcast? Our Workology community reaches over 600,000 H.R. leaders every single month. Want to be a sponsor? Reach out to us at Workology.com/advertising.

Closing: [00:39:00.81] It’s interesting to delve into a role like the CHRO whose experience more closely connects them to the strategy and operations of the overall business and how this works with the rest of the company, especially when you’re dealing with a global pandemic and how you have to be flexible and agile, and not to mention being able to use data to help drive your decisions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a DEI or organizational change. I love the conversation that we had with Jay today, and I appreciate him taking the time to chat with us today. This podcast is part of our CHRO series, and it is powered by our friends at DailyPay. Thank you for joining the Workology Podcast, which is sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace the HR Exam. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell and until next time you can visit Workology.com to listen to all our previous podcast episodes.

Connect with Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar.


– Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar on LinkedIn

– Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar on Twitter

– A Lack of HR Talent (LinkedIn post)

– CHRO Job Description

– Minted.com

– Minted.com/jobs

Episode 285: The Role of the CHRO and DEI With Whitney Bennett

Episode 283: The Role of the CHRO and Talent Management

New Manager Training: The Feedback Sandwich

How to Subscribe to the Workology Podcast

Stitcher | PocketCast | iTunes | Podcast RSS | Google Play | YouTube | TuneIn

Find out how to be a guest on the Workology Podcast.

Did you like this post? Share it!

A Word From Our Sponsors

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

Recommended Posts

Your Path to Successful SPHRi Recertification: An HR Guide

Explore SPHRi Recertification in our guide. Get insights on the process, earning credits, and enhancing your HR career. Don't miss out!...

SPHR vs SPHRi: Charting Your HR Certification Journey

Dive into the SPHR vs SPHRi debate: learn their differences, career benefits, eligibility requirements, and study tips to enhance your HR journey....
The Benefits of a Healthy Workplace: Measuring Success

The Benefits of a Healthy Workplace: Measuring Success

Discover the keys to measuring workplace wellness and unlock strategies for a productive work environment in our comprehensive guide....
Workology’s Learning Portal Gets a Major Upgrade

Workology’s Learning Portal Gets a Major Upgrade

After months of building and testing, our new learning portal is ready! Ace the HR Exam students now have access to more resources than...

Checkout Our Products

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

More From Workology

Workology’s Learning Portal Gets a Major Upgrade

Workology’s Learning Portal Gets a Major Upgrade

After months of building and testing, our new learning portal is ready! Ace the HR Exam students now have access to more resources than ever.
The Benefits of a Healthy Workplace: Measuring Success

The Benefits of a Healthy Workplace: Measuring Success

Discover the keys to measuring workplace wellness and unlock strategies for a productive work environment in our comprehensive guide.

SPHR vs SPHRi: Charting Your HR Certification Journey

Dive into the SPHR vs SPHRi debate: learn their differences, career benefits, eligibility requirements, and study tips to enhance your HR journey.

Your Path to Successful SPHRi Recertification: An HR Guide

Explore SPHRi Recertification in our guide. Get insights on the process, earning credits, and enhancing your HR career. Don't miss out!