050: HR, Scaling Your Tech Startup, and Preparing for Venture Capital with Bruce Marable, Co-Founder and CEO of Employee Cycle

This episode of the Self Made Strategies Podcast is sponsored by: Lopes Law LLC (www.LopesLawLLC.com).  If you want to work with a firm that cares more about you than their billable hours, email or call Lopes Law LLC at info@lopeslawllc.com or (267) 777-9117.


About this week’s guest Bruce and his company Employee Cycle

Bruce knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur since as far back as when he was in college at West Chester University, and would purchase clothing to sell on campus to other students.  That experience taught him how to market himself, brand himself, and how to make a profit. 

Bruce created his first tech startup, while at West Chester, UniversityBay (basically a Craigslist for college students).  It was essentially an exchange platform, where students could exchange sneakers/watches/gear for textbooks, or simply buy/sell items to other students.  Additionally, students could look for jobs, internships, and housing, on the platform. Bruce likes to say that it “failed gloriously.” 

At the age of 19, Bruce also managed Patti LaBelle’s Philadelphia based studio for a while.  Bruce then worked as a media planner and marketer (doing search engine marketing) for companies and brands that were new to him (like J&J, and some others).  Bruce believes that marketing should be HR’s big brother. Data should also drive HR, and you should treat your employees like customers. First and foremost, you should stop “fucking up job postings” and tell people about the jobs that they will actually be doing.

Bruce also co-founded several other tech startups, for example: Defined Clarity (a software firm that built, customized, and provided support services for web frameworks and enterprise applications); and, gatherDocs (a mobile hiring tool that simplified the hiring process for the hourly workforce).  Bruce was also the VP of Business Development & Marketing for Efficient Hire, which started from a partnership, which then eventually merged into another.

Soon thereafter Employee Cycle was born.

Bruce frequently speaks at Disrupt HR, at other tech or startup conferences, is an active member of Philadelphia’s startup community. 

Employee Cycle is dedicated to helping organizations leverage HR data to make data-informed and data-driven business decisions.  They do this by creating user-friendly workforce dashboards, that are super easy to use, with internal and external HR data, financial data, and other relevant information that shows the impact on the bottom line.

 If you’re interested in better understanding and optimizing the efficiency of your workforce, you should email Bruce right after you finish listening to how awesome he is.

You can read more about Bruce here: (https://employeecycle.com/about/).


Show Agenda
  • On today’s episode we will:
    • Get to know Bruce and Employee Cycle 
    • Discuss HR data – specifically why HR needs to be data driven (similar to the way Marketing campaigns are run); and how HR data storytelling helps visualize the story around diversity (ethnic groups and level of engagement), engagement, performance, employer reputation, etc.
    • Learn about how HR data helps increase employee retention and engagement, and why you need to create EE goals from the start (because Bruce believes that “having a transparent and organized career path creates an environment of retaining key employees”)
    • Then we will dive into the trials and tribulations of co-founding tech startups as well as some best practices for tech startups (because Bruce has a lot of experience in the startup space)
What you will hear on this episode:
  • How Employee Cycle transforms “disconnected HR Data” into one centralized source of truth
  • Some of the HR mistakes that organizations commit, which Employee Cycle helps fix
  • Looking at EE retention, why goal setting early in the EE/ER relationship and ensuring that there is a transparent career path is so important to retaining key EEs
  • Necessary milestones to get a tech startup off the ground (necessary steps to take, necessary agreements to set up, and what are your thoughts on seeking out investors early on vs bootstrapping, etc.)
  • The ideal team size and mix of co-founders (Bruce has co-found many startups)
  • How to test your ideas before going to market
  • Once you know a market exists, and you need to start doing business development, where to start pitching and prospecting
  • Best practices for being prepared for your pitch meetings
  • Why marketing is critical for tech startups, and what the necessary best practices
  • Lessons learned throughout Employee Cycle’s seed round process, and Bruce’s advice to other tech startups looking for funding (e.g.: how to get VCs to pay attention, how to stand out, etc.)
  • The three things Bruce wishes someone would have told him as he was co-founding his startup companies and trying to scale the brands he has been involved in
  • And so much more!

After you’ve listened to the episode, make sure you visit Employee Cycle (https://employeecycle.com/) to get more information about their amazing HR Dashboard and tools.  

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