Innovation, Future of Work, What We Do
The start of a career change is the best time to seek learning opportunities.
From Advertising to UX Design: How a Career Change Led to Rewarding Purpose
By Rodolfo H., UX Designer
I have a question for you. Do you love your job? If you had to pause to answer that, keep reading. If you didn’t have to pause to answer that, keep reading!
As cringy as it sounds, I am grateful to say I love my job because it comes with a purpose. I took a leap of faith by making a career change in February 2020, and my innovation journey began.
My friends describe me as the bubbly, fun, always-get-the-conversation-going type of guy. What can I say? I just love meeting people, learning about what inspires them, and I have found that human minds are so powerful when you allow ideas to fill a room.
Growing up in Brazil, I remember always being intrigued by the design and new trends in the market. I graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising. Upon graduation, I spent years working in advertising, always paying attention to consumer behavior. Soon, my understanding of customer preferences and creativity led me to think about what I could do next.
That’s when I had a lightbulb moment. UX Design!
I found my passion through intuitive designs. With a solid foundation in user preferences, I was ready to transition my communication skills to the new field. As I was looking for a role that provides all the foundational next steps in my newly established UX career, ADP’s opportunity presented itself, and of course, I took it right away.
It’s OK to feel unsure and uncertain when you are changing career paths. There’s a risk and also potentially a great reward. The process can be intimidating, but don’t let this deter you. I found that connecting with your colleagues, learning the ins and outs of the business, and digging in deep with your tech stack goes a long way in setting yourself up for success in the early stages of your career change.
Joining the UX Design team at ADP was one of the best decisions I made. They taught me to create better product designs by trying new ideas. Innovative and exciting – that’s how I describe the tech hub at ADP Brazil Labs in Porto Alegre, Brazil. A variety of teams on site provide software and infrastructure development for products worldwide. Depending on one’s role, the tech stack could include PyTorch, Machine Learning, AWS Cloud, Big Data, TypeScript, Go, Java, Kafka Streaming, GraphDB, and ReactJS. Our list of technology is growing.
Embrace the unknowns. The start of a career change is the best time to seek learning opportunities. With this mindset, I have been able to build projects from the ground up in my new field.
Inspire and Get Recognized
Every day I challenge myself to go beyond a UX Designer’s role and look for learning opportunities. One recent example is the week-long Hackathon my team, and I participated in.
The Hackathon consisted of three to four hours a day brainstorming ideas and improving prototypes. By the end of the week, we stood before the judges and presented the final project.
Our idea was to create an accessible tool that helps people with disabilities find job opportunities. The ADP Brazil Hackathon committee was impressed with our product’s functionality, and I couldn’t believe it when they presented the Intrapreneur award to me! It was definitely the highlight of my career journey and the beginning of my tech innovations. Thank you for your support, Horizon Team!
I am proud of my team’s work. Together, we developed a tool that could positively change people’s lives. I especially enjoyed tackling different aspects of the project, from functionality to making a real difference. We look forward to implementing the tool in the hiring process across ADP.
Better Future of Work
Inspiration happens in minor ways, such as helping someone to learn a new product or exchanging ideas on a whiteboard.
My purpose lies in creating a better experience for people, and it aligns with ADP’s mission, always designing for people. I know the Intrapreneur Award was just my first milestone, and there is more to come as I build products with my team.
Be sure to keep an open eye for opportunities and proactively seek them out. Anything is possible with a group of creative people!
#Brazil #Hackathon #UXDesigin #UserExperience #CareerJourney
Click here to search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.
Here you will find leaders who support your career growth, a community that feels like a family, and a growing innovation center focusing on the future. We work hard, but we also have fun together and humbly give back to our communities. Learn more here.
Voice of Our People, Tech Trends, Career Insights
“Practice what you deliver in speech and use your products to better understand the user experience.”
Coming to ADP
Before joining ADP in August, Seema J. had worked in the technology space for over 25 years in different industries. She started with telecom and moved into media, health insurance, and information services. She has looked at various digital transformations and technology consolidations from a back-office perspective.
“Throughout my career journey, I’ve discovered my passion lies in using technology to create impactful customer experiences,” Seema said. “I ask myself: how do I use technology to solve problems? I also value mentorship and team growth, always moving forward with new ideas.”
When she came across the product management opportunity at ADP, she took it immediately. Seema’s service tech background led her to design systems from a global lens. She’s looking forward to building her career and focusing on client service.
Power of People
Seema shared that her first two months at ADP were about absorption, understanding, and learning. She is now putting her knowledge and vision into forming a go-to-market strategy.
“Associates here always make time for each other, sharing updates and exploring tech interests,” Seema said. “I also connected with people outside my team to understand their work.”
When asked about her career journey as a woman in STEM, Seema explains she has always been interested in technology. She started with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and pursued a master’s in computer science.
That was when Seema came to her first career intersection after college: pharma or telecom, and she chose the latter. She used her experience in the industry to grow in different areas, such as long-distance billing system analysis, insights, and tools.
“I enjoy the long tenure of associates at ADP and how many transitions into different roles within the organization,” Seema said. “This allows people to gain experience in multiple areas and apply that knowledge in any teams they join.”
Seema then went back into internet products and design, specifically in chip designs, product lines, and the portal space. Her career involves creating customer experience journeys and leveraging technology to solve problems.
“My career progresses by understanding what I can learn and always searching for forward-looking solutions,” Seema said.
Systems and Cloud Technologies
Seema focuses on improving the client’s experience and services. She looks at both ends of the spectrum from the client’s and associate’s perspectives.
“My goal is to have the knowledge readily available to associates to fulfill client inquiries on time,” Seema said. “I’m working with a mix of homegrown and cloud-based technologies that provide self-service capabilities.”
Seema is also exploring chat capabilities and predictive analytics to understand client sentiments and help associates better support them.
Three Product Management Trends in 2023
Seema believes that there are trends toward digitalization and a hybrid environment where people access information on their smartphones and other gadgets quickly and easily.
Personalization is becoming increasingly crucial for end-users, and many products are leveraging data to provide a more personalized experience. For example, Siri and other customized tools show how products can leverage data to improve the user experience.
Seema believes that low-code/no-code environment is becoming more popular as the industry moves towards software as a service (SaaS) products. The setting allows developers to prototype and test their products quickly, getting user feedback and improving the product promptly.
3) Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Though the trend towards data is not new, Seema notes it is becoming more critical to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to gain valuable insights.
“I believe applying AI will become a standard practice in products soon,” Seema said. “I am enthusiastic about the possibilities in these trends, offering more in product management. They will continue to shape the industry for sure.”
Data-Driven, Innovative, and Fun
When it comes to the qualities of a good leader, Seema talked about the importance of innovation and adaptability, especially in the current environment where multiple workstyles exist, from hybrid to remote.
“My team comes from different backgrounds and experiences. There’s always more to learn,” Seema said. “We enjoy the team-building tool StandOut, which helps us understand each other’s strengths and how to leverage the traits.”
Seema advises technologists interested in Product Management to listen to clients and their feedback, which can be a significant input for product innovation.
“Practice what you deliver in speech and use your products to understand the user experience better,” Seema said. She describes ADP Tech as data-driven, innovative, and fun. Outside of the tech world, Seema enjoys gardening to relax.
#ProductManagement #WomeninSTEM #Data #AI #Technologies
Click here to search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.
Innovation, Future of Work, What We Do
We thrive on innovation and turning ideas into action. Anyone can be an inventor and an innovator.
When Roberto S. joined ADP, he never imagined how far he’d “Roll.”
He started his ADP journey by working as a Machine Learning Engineer. In May 2022, he moved from the Brazil Labs to the Innovation Lab in Roseland and was awarded the ADP 2022 Inventor of the Year.
ADP’s Inventor of the Year recognizes an associate who develops products with great features. Tech associates submit a summary of the invention to the ADP Patient Program, providing a unique solution to a challenge.
Roll is the first digital AI/ML HCM solution for small businesses, offering payroll, time and attendance, and more. Everything a small business needs for running HR & payroll in a simple chat-based mobile application. Roberto’s patents have driven Roll from an idea on a whiteboard to a real in-market offering.
“Roberto’s contributions to ADP and, specifically, Roll, has been invaluable, and how he focuses on driving technology forward and innovating to create new technology makes him so successful,” Roberto Masiero, SVP of Innovation, said. “It’s no surprise he’s been named the Inventor of the Year!”
ADP recognizes the hard work and innovative efforts that go into filing a patent application. Every inventor named on a patent application receives a monetary award for each utility and each design. Roberto was chosen based on his contributions, providing technically detailed and sound documentation.
Machine Learning in Roll
The machine learning models Roberto designed for Roll use a chat interface to interact with clients. In the process, Roberto and his team developed a variety of NLPS (Natural Language Processing) technologies for Roll in the intent classification, questioning, and answering domains.
On a weekly basis, the team meets to discuss strategic and tactical developmental ideas for Roll, including a technical paper reading session, in which they collectively brainstorm ideas to help make a better application.
“Developing technologies for Roll is a never-ending process of asking questions and learning,” Roberto said. “This is a team effort. I’m only the messenger and sometimes the guy poking everybody with links and technical articles.” On the team, he gives kudos to Guilherme G., Roberto C., Carlos N., and Juliano V.
The Team’s Patent Process
Roberto sees the patent process as a method to transform ideas into a formal document that will increase ADP’s innovative power on the market. “There is always a great team working behind the scenes to help engineers describe a solution and ensure this initial description will make it to a patent, with all the legal aspects covered,” Roberto said.
As the Inventor of the Year, Roberto encourages other inventors to keep in touch with the patent team to understand the process and give their ideas a try.
Advice for Technologists
“My career journey has been a remarkable, fun 5-year ride at ADP,” Roberto said. “If you’re considering a tech career, I’d encourage you to apply to ADP because this is where you can bring your ideas forward, receive feedback, and try new things.”
Transformation is at the heart of what makes ADP unique. With innovation rooted in our values, ADP continues to provide opportunities such as our patent program, showcasing ideas from associates at all levels.
“It is always important to ask yourself how the idea will benefit ADP,” Roberto said. “Keep your minds open and study new areas and domains. Sometimes the innovation happens in the intersection of domains of expertise!”
#MachineLearning #MachineLearning #HCM #Technologists #Roll #Inventor
Click here to search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.
Innovation, Tech Trends, Career Insights
As a leader in the industry that collects a wide range of data from employees, we ensure the information is safe with us.
Say you met a technologist at a hackathon and want to connect with the person more. Instead of exchanging business cards like before, you’ll likely pull out your phone and exchange information digitally.
From LinkedIn profiles, Instagram usernames, hometown, and family relationships to mentions in articles from years ago, the internet and digital world do not erase one’s footprints in most cases.
With all information and data becoming digitalized in the 21st century, it’s time to utilize them in a way that’s never been done before. Data is not just your social media photo or where you went for vacation; it can be numbers and confidential information from financial to hospital records.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Xiaojing W., our Distinguished Engineer who advocates for data privacy and user-respectful interactions. She shared with us some ways she keeps applications safe and secured at ADP.
Why Data Privacy is important
By Xiaojing W., Distinguished Engineer
On September 7, 2017, a consumer credit reporting agency announced that it had breached the data of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers, including customers’ names, dates of birth, social security, driver’s license, and credit card numbers. These incidents resulted in a loss of consumer trust, therefore, future business opportunities.
ADP takes pride in building applications that put customers’ privacy first with holistic security and privacy practices. In fact, our Chief Data Officer developed a holistic privacy framework instilling the privacy culture and centrally managing the practices in daily data operations.
Here are some of our methods:
When it comes to creating a trusting experience for users, we have five best practices to share:
With over 1M clients (about the population of Delaware in the United States), ADP pays more than 38M workers worldwide (about the population of California in the United States), and just in the US alone, we reach nearly 20% of the private US workforce.
As a leader in the industry that collects a wide range of data from employees, we make sure the information is safe with us. At the same time, we pay attention to the design process, ensuring a safe, user-friendly experience for everyone involved.
Here are five design patterns for creating user-respectful and privacy-aware interactions:
Tech Trend: All about Data
Data is always changing, which means more people want ways to keep their information private. This has led to the development of new techniques that preserve user information in large datasets.
Here are four types of technologies that are getting attention in the industry:
You may ask, how does the new landscape in data privacy change our product design thinking?
To better understand our clients and the needs of their employees, we must have a comprehensive view of who they are (i.e., profile data) and what they do, and how that impacts their day-to-day (i.e. behavior).
By following HBR‘s new data privacy rules, our products will empower users with trustworthy technology solutions.
Our private permissioned blockchain also safeguards highly sensitive personal data while simultaneously allowing individuals complete control. This innovative technology enables ADP to craft new products and services that benefit employees and clients.
Data privacy isn’t the Privacy Officers’ job; it’s a collective responsibility. As engineers who are often tasked with the technical aspects of securing sensitive data, we must understand the landscape of privacy-enhancing tools and technologies.
Keep in mind that we must stay up to date with the changes in the data industry as our users trust us with their information. Taking care of the trust and protecting the data should be everyone’s top priority.
#Data #DataPrivacy #WomeninStem #Automation #UserExperience
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Voice of Our People, Career Advice, Career Insights
Data Science is perfect for you if you enjoy storytelling and solving complex problems with data.
Is Data Science the Right Career for You?
By Mark P., Lead Data Scientist, Product Development DataCloud
As a Data Scientist at ADP, I use workforce data to tell stories, using curiosity to analyze and display the data. In this blog, I’ll share my observations of experiences and trends in the growing field of data science.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data science will continue to grow, and the number of jobs is estimated to increase by 28% through 2026. In other words, data scientists are in demand, and our role will continue to impact many industries.
What comes to mind when you hear “data science”? Numbers and graphs? Machine learning and big data?
Let’s dive into a quick definition.
What is Data Science?
My perspective on data science was shaped years ago. People started referring to themselves as data scientists and posting jobs for “data scientists” around the same time that machine learning with big data was spreading to industries and companies beyond tech.
I view data science as the methodical analysis of an extensive dataset to understand a subject of interest. Machine learning is a powerful means of such analysis, but not the only one. I focus on a different area, writing query code and dynamic calculations to produce interactive visualizations. To me, the significance of big data is more of a spectrum than a boundary. Science is a systematic study for understanding, and we can understand things with smaller amounts of data too. But big data like ADP has made the insights and applications deeper and more reliable.
Pragmatically speaking, data science can be whatever an employer considers it and communicates through the specific skills they seek. No definition of data science can replace an employer’s expectations, the candidate’s expression of their experience, and conversations about career fit and advancement. With evolving technologies and models, there are a growing number of opportunities in this career. As a Data Scientist at ADP, it is certainly rewarding to have occupational, organizational, and demographic facts on over 30 million US workers to explore – anonymized of course!
Top Trends in Data Science
Currently, two of the most visible trends in data science are cloud-based development and the advanced application of natural language processing (NLP).
Cloud-based platforms and services such as Amazon Web Services and Databricks make it easier to source data, develop analyses and models, collaborate with colleagues, and deploy products. We work closely with these partners and have often spurred innovation in their products as we expand our capabilities.
NLP has many current and potential applications in human capital management, including client support, occupation and skill classification, job posting development, and candidate recruitment. Since jobs are diverse, overlapping, and constantly evolving, building and maintaining comprehensive, systematic knowledge can be challenging. NLP can make our solutions more scalable and data-driven than classifications created by human experts alone.
Day in the Life as a Data Scientist
My research on restaurant employment and wages during the COVID-19 pandemic represents many common day-to-day components of data science work. While it is well-known restaurants were one of the most heavily impacted industries, ADP data shows some cities fared better than others. You can see this in the 18-month employment trends for 3 of the largest 50 US metros.
Visualizations like these are the tip of the iceberg: the most visible part of the work requires much more underneath. In addition to conceiving and developing metrics, models, and graphics to create knowledge, data scientists need to find good data sources and write code to retrieve and process their information. They need to understand the limitations of their sources – things like sample bias, predictive labels, outright errors – and communicate and correct them.
And data scientists need to query people as well as data! For example, interviewing local restaurant association executives for their expert perspectives and calling US Bureau of Labor Statistics economists to discuss statistical methods.
How can I gain experience in Data Science?
If you are interested in data science, you can find a ton of resources, including boot camps, online courses, Medium articles, and YouTube videos. If you look up #datascience on TikTok, it has 89 million views! Of course, classes are a great way to acquire vital education, but they can be a significant investment in time and money. You may wish to test your interest with a project that involves either a question you’d like to answer or a problem you’d like to solve. You’ll gain not only motivation but also a proof point to share with potential employers.
As an example, when 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang proposed a universal basic income, I was curious to know who might benefit from $1k a month and how to quantify the benefits objectively. I searched for household spending data, turned up relevant data and code from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and then used free versions of SAS and Tableau to create a public dashboard to answer that question.
I’d advise anyone interested in data science to follow their curiosity and search the web for public data and free tools. You’ll face technical challenges along the way, but sites like W3 Schools and Stack Overflow can help you tackle them as they arise. Of course, many people prefer the structure of classes to an open-ended, “many-options-no-right-answer” type of project. The former is fine – but if you can take the leap and try the latter, you’ll gain a good experience of what real-world work is often like!
Data Science is a great option if you can:
Three self-examination questions for Data Scientists interested in ADP:
Interested in a career in Data Science? Let’s work together!
Learn more about working at ADP here and our current openings.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Whether it is Women’s month, Pride month, or every month over, under, or in-between our personal lives and our professional lives, every moment matters. You matter.
My ADP Coming-Out Story
By Taylor L.M., Information Security Project Manager
Woman. Femme. Queer. Daughter. Wife. Mother (of two). Sister (of seven). Friend. High school drop-out and Wellesley College graduate. Political science major. Data Security Professional.
I proudly shared everything listed above except for the queer part when I started working at ADP nearly eight years ago. That’s not to say I didn’t celebrate everyone else’s “out” statuses. I was in ADP’s Pride Business Resource Group (BRG), where I walked in parades. I rejoiced when we won Obergefell v. Hodges and laughed hysterically with friends when Melissa Ethridge handed Ellen a toaster oven. Yet I continued to “hide” that part of myself in the corporate environment. I was in a relationship with a man, so most assumed, and no one asked. When that relationship didn’t work out, I began dating a woman. I just switched her pronouns to him. But that little omission began to feel like a lie, especially as our relationship grew more serious.
Although I knew ADP supported the community and made huge cultural and legal strides, I was still afraid. I was afraid my co-workers would see me differently – afraid my team would wonder why I had been keeping this secret. Mostly I was afraid that my experience didn’t really “count.”
Did I deserve to be a member of this community that I was simultaneously supporting and keeping at arms-length? In hiding who I was, would people think I had been ashamed before I told the truth, even as I had rallied alongside this community and stood up for their and our beliefs? Had I somehow been complicit in the negativity, ignorance, and distrust of those who do not support us?
I no longer wanted to hide when I fell crazy, madly, deeply in love with Jennie. I wanted to stand up and shout to the rooftops. I wanted to bring my whole, authentic self to work. To be clear, I didn’t climb on the roof at Windward Parkway (don’t do this, it’s dangerous, and you will likely end up hospitalized or in jail). Instead, I chose to take incremental steps to test the waters, as they say. I started by telling one person, then another. I gradually changed he/him pronouns to she/her pronouns in conversations. I showed up at our team’s holiday party with Jennie on my arm.
Jennie and I got married last September, and I proudly displayed one of our wedding pictures on my laptop. Every time I screen-share, I share the bliss of two people in love. I never did see a raised eyebrow, a smirk, nor detected a micro-aggression. That’s not to say that those things don’t still happen all over the place. If you or someone you know is facing discrimination at work, research your rights and get help.
I’m glad to share that my experience of “coming out” at ADP has always been met with kindness and acceptance. We live in a time when labels can be ascribed to all of us – each is a unique, complex human, yet we are all the same. We struggle. We rejoice. We feel pain. We feel joy. We heal from the past, and we look to a brighter future. More than anything, we all love and seek to be loved in return. In this journey, I’ve learned that every experience counts. Every step I took made me feel better than the one before it. I could have stopped anywhere on that progression, and the outcome would have been the same: I belong, and so do you.
Whether you are “out” to one or all, not yet ready, or a faithful ally – you too belong. Everyone who celebrates love has a role in our community and this movement. Whether it is Women’s month, Pride month, or every month over, under, or in-between our personal lives and our professional lives, every moment matters. You matter. (And our community is always giving out free toaster ovens.)
Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.
Voice of Our People, Innovation, Career Insights
For anyone who wants to work as a conversation designer, the first step would be to understand how human-computer interactions (HCI) work.
Career Journey from a Filmmaker to a Conversational Designer (CxD)
By Azfar Rizvi, the Conversational Designer
If you look at my current role at ADP, you might be surprised with my professional background. For a decade, I was a journalist and a screenwriter traveling and producing films for global news and media networks. In collaboration with World Wildlife Fund and the British Council, my last films toured across Europe and the UK, garnering a mention from editors at Rolling Stone Magazine.
Who would’ve thought I’d be a good fit at ADP?
It wasn’t until 2015, when I was asked to consult as a screenwriter for an Amazon Prime Video project, I realized how transferable my skills were from screenwriting. Being part of a writers’ room at a significant streaming network pushed me to explore my fictional dialogue and screenwriting chops! And I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.
What Is a Writers’ Room?
A writers’ room is a workspace where TV writers brainstorm
each element of a TV series including episode breakdowns,
the series arc, the season arc, character development, and
various substories within each episode or each season. A writers’
room is where the direction of the season is determined and refined,
& where all the creative minds—the showrunner, producers, and writers
—brainstorm the ways in which they can help create an excellent show.
As I emerged from my journey through Hollywood, I consulted on a year-long Conversational AI project for Google Assistant. This was a daunting undertaking. My Conversational Design work surfaced in front of over two billion users worldwide overnight. The new GA experience combined text and voice interaction ranging from songs and jokes to easter eggs and riddles. We pioneered an interface to bridge the gap between human conversational intelligence and artificial intelligence. Millions of these users were migrants from diverse backgrounds – so embedding grace in the experience to produce content that resonated with everyone took a significant amount of self-reflection and research. When we launched, we hit it out of the park. That was the day I truly understood what it meant for content to converge in the sweet spot between AI tech and storytelling.
I fell in love with this new universe and this journey eventually culminated at ADP!
Q: Why did you come to ADP and why do you stay?
This is a great question, and the answer constantly evolves for me. Arriving at ADP during the pandemic, I saw the team’s efficacy in the work of Conversational AI. Thousands of users and clients were trying to access accurate financial information using our existing platforms, and I saw an opportunity to be a part of these exciting acts of service – to be able to make lives easier by serving the best possible solutions in the most empathetic manner.
I continue to stay and grow at ADP because I love the learning opportunities provided by our UX leadership. The people-centric open-door policy here is unlike anywhere I’ve worked. I collaborate with an amazing team where people and culture triumph in service to overcome personal challenges every day. What more can one ask for!
Q: Let’s talk about using your creative and technical skills at ADP!
My role at ADP is a combination of conversation design and process ideation. From a CxD perspective, I collaborate with Product Owners and Managers. At this stage, we dive into what use cases we need on our roadmap and the tradeoffs. Internally, with the User Experience team, it becomes more hands-on as I design the conversational experiences and mockup the technical and functional base of what a multimodal experience could look like.
For the conversation design process, I leverage skills acquired across my previous work: UX writing, VUI design, interaction design, and audio/visual design. I like to think of my role as that of a bricklayer – understand the user needs, embrace the tech constraints, figure out the underlying logic (APIs, etc.), and design a detailed specification document that represents the complete user experience. The last step is to curate this experience and work with the developers to produce it. This journey forces me to leverage a combination of both industry chatbot standards, and the direction our ADP UX leadership wants our virtual assistant, A.V.A, to take.
Q: What is a piece of advice for candidates looking for jobs in Conversation Design (CxD)?
For the past decade, Conversational AI has been incorporated into a diverse collection of form factors empowering users to interact more organically with automated systems. This is when A.V.A, ADP’s virtual assistant comes in place. A.V.A combines digital concierges and AI-powered chat solutions, extending our users’ significant level of intelligent service automation and personalization.
Conversation Design (CxD) at its core is the craft of delivering a comprehensive experience users might engage in to arrive at a pre-determined automated outcome. It is the discipline of producing a series of detailed design flows/outcomes leveraging the businesses’ purpose and underlying logic to curate a holistic user experience.
CxD is a new field so there are quite a few pathways into the industry. For anyone who wants to work as a conversation designer, the first step would be to understand how human-computer interactions (HCI) work.
A good place to start would be to get comfortable with ambiguity. Begin with diving into UI (User Interface) and UX design. Understand the basics of a storytelling arc. Read, write, and analyze dialogues and screenplays. Utilize existing CxD platforms where you can design interactions, preview prototypes, and implement the final experience. Both Google and Amazon have detailed design tutorials for their Assistants. Use these resources to create experiences for your portfolio and start sharing these with peers on LinkedIn.
Q: What is some overlapping, essential skills required in both filmmaking and designing?
Before ADP, I produced conversational experiences for virtual assistants at Google and Verizon. A significant part of my skills is a continuation of my learnings from screenwriting and storytelling — understanding the user journey, how can we use context to create an empathetic user experience, and how can we continue to iterate on the results. Take a feature-length documentary as an example: you start with a core narrative, shoot the right visual, and edit to create a final product. The same logic applies to conversational AI chatbot. Before coming to ADP, I spent a lot of time poking holes in my own work – showing it to friends and family and asking them what works and does not work for them.
Q: What are leaders like at ADP? What is your team’s dynamic?
The UX leadership at ADP is unlike none other I’ve worked with in the past. These are some of the most empathetic and seasoned professionals in the industry who continue to push the envelope. The conversational AI technological roadmap is constantly being iterated upon and is just one of the hallmarks of ADP’s current work. We have a Design Guild where we show up to support each other’s work, experiment with emerging CxD and UX use cases, and future-proof ADP’s brand. Our leadership is committed to uplifting all of us through weekly 1-on-1 sessions and biweekly feedback walkthroughs.
Q: What inspires you outside of work?
My curiosity and passion for storytelling inspire my day-to-day outside of work. Before we were plunged into the Covid world order, I was working with emerging entrepreneurs to empower them to share their stories outside of their communities. ‘Life of I’ is my passion project that has fueled live storytelling events across cities in Canada, the US, Afghanistan, Australia, and Pakistan. I personally work with a select few storytellers who narrate a personal story of their choice in front of a live audience. We’re currently pioneering a new remote storytelling format in collaboration with a local NYC-based co-working space!
In addition, I am still involved with my original screenwriting team. We’re putting together a spec script for Netflix about a girl who travels across different magical worlds through a portal in her bedroom’s closet. The team’s super excited about this story of resilience and empowerment, and we start shooting in September. Fingers crossed!
Q: What do you look forward to the most in the future?
Deep down, I identify as a storyteller. I started my career as a radio producer around 20 years ago. Back in the day, it took me over two hours to line up the right theme music and queue up the correct songs for a 45-minute radio show. Today, the same can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes. The days of DATs are gone!
Behind all this evolution is the power of AI and automation.
AI’s technological development has constantly been transforming the way businesses nay the world operates. Developments in VR/AR space, the Metaverse, and the haptics have proven humanity’s desire to continue to push the proverbial boundaries. Over a decade ago, the first smartphone was launched, and it rendered keypads on mobile phones redundant. With this change in the traditional user interface, it was evident that technology will continue to evolve, reducing the size of our devices. Every ten years, human-computer interaction completely changes – Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby, and other AI-powered virtual assistants are a testament to this change. And A.V.A. our virtual assistant is a step in that direction.
We are hiring! Click here to see what we have available.
Career Insights, Voice of Our People, Career Advice
If you are passionate about making sure people have a smile on their face when they open their payslips, you might have what it takes to become a product champion at ADP.
The Five Key Elements of a Product Champion
We spoke to one of our Product Leaders who had years of experience implementing ADP’s product development approach, recently leading the GlobalView Core Payroll product for the APAC market. He shared five elements of our product development framework that helps turn product managers into product champions.
“When I first joined ADP, I had worked in supply chain and fintech for 15 years, but the payroll domain was new to me. As a product manager, I knew that my role was to envision how to build products and what features we needed, but I wasn’t sure how to best understand my end users to do my job better,” the leader said. “Fortunately for me, ADP has a framework that guides the learning and skill-building needed to take a person from a product manager to what I like to call a ‘product champion’—someone who takes ownership of their work, leading products team to make people happier.”
Although our product leader believes each piece of the framework is essential, he highlights two foundational components: passion and empathy. “No one does everything perfectly, but if you have passion and empathy, the following five elements will help you become a product champion,” he said.
1) Speak up for the customer
When developing new products, a product champion needs to put the customers first and advocate for them, especially when there are different ideas on moving forward. It’s common for a product manager to make many decisions on different architecture types and marketing strategies. Since users cannot give feedback at every stage, it helps if the product manager thinks from the customers’ perspectives.
A true product champion understands the users and their pain points. What makes their lives easier? What solutions are available? The goal is to save time and money, helping the customers better serve their employees. The shift in perspective helps solve the customers’ absence in the product-building processes. We are confident that we are solving the right problems when we advocate for the customers along the way.
2) Know the market
In addition to becoming a customer’s advocate, a product champion needs to be a market expert with a solid understanding of the trends and competitors within the space. We design irreplaceable unique strategies our competitors can’t easily copy in the development stages, creating long-term life cycles for our products and businesses. Remember that our products should make us stand apart, and understanding the market helps create this differentiation.
Product managers benefit from the massive amount of data we have here at ADP, enabling real-time understanding of what people want and need. In addition, we hire highly strategic research analysts dedicated to market research. A product champion connects and learns from these experts to benefit from their expertise, pairing qualitative data with quantitative analysis. This extra step helps a product champion paint a complete picture of what’s happening.
3) Zero in on the goal
We measure success by outcomes, whether a single feature or a whole new product. One of the most critical tasks in product management is to track the team’s steps and measure if they will lead to the desired objectives and outcomes. Progress is incremental, but we can increase business awareness and gain more sales and new users while increasing customer satisfaction with it.
How do you track whether 38 million people and 920,000 clients are happy or not? At ADP, we know when our users find and use new features. Even if a new function is three screens deep, we know immediately when clients navigate through them or have problems with the latest features through our deep user research. Product champions look for and understand these choke points, and they use artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools efficiently, monitoring the outcomes of the enhancements.
4) Build teams and consensus along with a product
Every product manager is a builder. Behind the scenes, we evaluate how fast and efficiently our teams are moving. A product champion sits at the center to coordinate engineering teams, ensuring we progress towards the final products and keeps everyone on the same page.
Coordination often becomes challenging when every team member has their vision of an ideal project. The solution to this challenge is what differentiates a product manager from a product champion. A product champion builds consensus allowing the team to work together while delivering what the customer needs.
5) Empathize and influence
Part of the building process is selling the product’s vision and communicating the customer’s pain points to the teams involved. A product manager who has empathy will speak up for customers and build consensus. If you know what makes the customers’ business operations difficult, you can identify their needs and improve their lives by providing better solutions. This approach also applies to internal teams. It’s also crucial to suggest alternatives when an expectation is not feasible.
At ADP, product managers have the opportunity to learn from people with deep expertise who allow us to elevate our work to the champion level. “We can’t quickly draw a line between what’s in our responsibility and what isn’t,” the product leader said. “A product champion claims both success and failure, always looking for improvements.”
Becoming a product manager is a huge commitment, so passion is a deciding factor in hiring. People who are passionate and dedicated will go the extra mile to become product champions. “If you are passionate about making sure people have a smile on their face when they open their payslips, you might have what it takes to become a product champion at ADP,” the product leader said.
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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At ADP Brazil Labs, the top two areas ranked most highly were pride in exercising the profession and teamwork.
Great Place to Work® Named ADP Brazil Labs one of the Best Companies to Work 2021
Great Place to Work® (GPTW), a global authority on workplace culture, named ADP Brazil Labs one of the best companies in the Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. GPTW has a mission to build a better world by helping organizations become a great place to work for all. ADP Brazil Labs was ranked 20th in the medium-sized category and was recognized as one of the most successful companies implementing people management.
How does GPTW rank companies?
GPTW uses a comprehensive method to measure employees’ work experiences and analyze the organization’s practices and culture, setting standards in the industry. The research includes a variety of criteria and ranks the best work environments. The survey covers associates’ evaluations on growth opportunities, quality of life, credibility, a sense of respect, impartiality, and aligning with values in the company. At ADP Brazil Labs, the top two areas ranked most highly were pride in exercising the profession and teamwork.
Over the past few years, ADP Brazil Labs has further strengthened its people management strategies and practices, including team development, improvements, and consolidation to encourage professional growth. The lab values people’s voices, promotes associate engagement and offers management tools. These practices sustain an organizational culture marked by associates’ self-development, leading to great recognition.
The award reinforces ADP Brazil Labs is heading in the right direction. “Being certified by the GPTW RS seal is only possible thanks to our associates,” said Julio Hartmann, the Vice president of ADP Brazil Labs. “They give their best day after day, fulfilling our purpose in building the future of work through technology and innovation.”
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Career Advice, Bootcamps, UX
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[TEXT: Samantha, Senior Platform Engineer]
[TEXT: Stephanie, UX Designer]
I attended one at General Assembly. It’s called User Experience Immersive. And for me, I didn’t have the ability to quit my job to do this full time. So I definitely took on the part time study. And upon completing the course and getting my certification, I started looking for opportunities within ADP.
[TEXT: Jack, Software Engineer]
When I graduated from that programming boot camp, I was just looking for a solid job. And I just really appreciated all that ADP had to offer. It was a really fun product, for one thing. As I got to meet what would be my fellow software engineers, I found that I really had a really solid rapport with them and got along with them well. So between the culture, between the people, and the product itself, it really just seemed like the right fit for me.
[TEXT: Aimee, UX Designer]
After I’d completed my boot camp program, I was looking for a way to network that worked for me. So I don’t really enjoy going to events and just sort of talking to random people. I thought the best way to be would be to be involved in organization and that people would get to know me and how I work by actually working with me.
And the way that I found out was Margot, the Director at ADP for User Experience Design. She was actually on the board, and I was as well, of an organization called User Experience Professional Association. And she happened to post about an opening under her department. And I reached out to her. And I told her, you should consider me if you haven’t hired anyone yet. And she just kind of put me through the regular recruiting process by starting with the HR person contact.
[TEXT: Ready to design what’s next? Visit tech.adp.com/careers.]
[LOGO: ADP, Always Designing for People]
[TEXT: ADP, the ADP logo, and Always Designing for People are trademarks of ADP, LLC. Copyright © 2020 ADP, LLC. All rights reserved.]
As a technologist at ADP, there are many different ways you can find yourself working in one of our innovation centers. One of those ways is by being recruited through a technology Bootcamp. Our Associates share how they found their first job in their technology careers at ADP through Bootcamps. Added bonus- the networking they were able to do through the program!