“We want to become THE HR system people know and love,” — CEO Q&A with Adam Coleman of HR Locker

By Business & Finance
18 January 2023
Pictured: Adam Colmean, CEO & Co-Founder, HR Locker

Adam Coleman is the CEO & Co-Founder of HR Locker, a cloud-based HR software service that digitally transforms people management and recruitment.

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

My main focus is to motivate my team to be 5% better every day. Our culture is our main driver in HRLocker, this comes from the top down. I am constantly working with all our employees to stay true to our Massive Transformational Purpose (MTP)/Vision Mission 

 “To Make work and life easier for Employee and Employer, allowing the employee to manage their career in company… and beyond”  

This message is central to our HRLocker philosophy whether that is managing people or developing the product. 

What are your biggest challenges as CEO?

Developing talent. As HRLocker grows, so does our team and the challenge is making sure that every new employee and our existing employees buy into our culture and the strategic objectives and principles of our business. 

How do you keep your team/staff motivated? 

We have an incredibly open transparent working culture at HRLocker. It is what makes us unique.

This means that everyone has oversight of the company goals, and we make sure that they understand how they contribute to these goals. This helps us to stay motivated and feel like we are a part of the greater picture. 

What are the challenges facing the industry going forward?

As more businesses see the importance of cloud solutions, world markets are becoming borderless. This opens many challenges around GDPR & Data privacy. Making sure that these organisational needs are being met will be of huge importance in the coming year.  

There is also the changing talent market and addressing how people want to work. Many companies will need to revisit how they manage remote/hybrid/in-office working in 2023 if they want to stay ahead. I also think that the changing economic climate will lead more companies down the path of sustainable business solutions to drive efficiency.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?

While companies are slowly getting to grips with new ways of working after COVID there is an emerging emphasis on employee communication, especially in around employee engagement. It is difficult to ask people to bring their true selves to work when working remotely. This will be a big trend in the future. 

More emphasis is being put on diversification, inclusion, and sustainability and I think we will see more of this going forward. 

Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

I would like to see organisations spending more time on behavioural change before they take on digital transformation. Early adoption of employee experience (EX) strategies shows higher growth when they implement cultural change first. 

As an employer are you finding any skill gaps in the market?

There will always be skill gaps in the tech sector but there is an argument to be made for growing talent in-house rather than buying it in. It is not always the answer, sometimes you need specialist skills in place, but that adult development piece brings employee loyalty.  

There has been a lot of VCs led investment in the last 5 years, the knock-on effect has created salaries to swell in the sector. In the last few months alone, many rising tech firms have been making employees redundant, which is beginning to slowly affect the employment market, it will be interesting to see how this shapes up. 

How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?

At the time of the banking crisis, we were 75% Consulting and 25% product. After the banking crisis, we pivoted and became a product-led company. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength, and we are expecting strong growth over the next 2 years. 

How has Brexit affected you?

I do not think we have felt the brunt of it yet. As a fully distributed company, we have employees all over the world. The shipping of equipment to our workforce has been challenging as a result, but it has not affected our core business or strategy. I can see more issues coming down the line with Brexit, but I guess we will have to wait and see what problems occur as they unfold. 

How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your business/sector?

We have been advocates of remote and flexible working since 2014. When the pandemic sent everyone into a remote working tailspin, we were ahead of the game. 

Although it was a crisis, we did our best to help educate businesses as to how to remote work and manage people effectively. As a result, we became thought leaders in the world of remote work. This helped us to gain credibility as market leaders in remote working management.  

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

Well, I am on record saying that my main goal is to get HRLocker to a valuation of €64 million but judging the growth of the company over the last 3 years, I think HRLocker is capable of a lot more. 

Success for me would be having our employees at HRLocker get to fulfil their career ambitions in the next 4/5 to years. 

What is the best advice you have been given, or would give, in business?

A good friend of mine once said to me “most people give up just before they are going to succeed, so never give up!” 
Running a business can be difficult at times. Having the right team around definitely helps. Build your team, grow your talent and watch everything thrive.   

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

Most would expect me to say building a bootstrapped company and bringing it to the next stage by closing our first round of investment, which is a highlight but watching how my team has grown and stepped up to take on our next challenge has brought me much happiness over the last 12 months. It’s great that the whole team is beginning to see the evolution of the company and the direction we are going in.

What is next for your company?

Our main goal is to focus on growing revenue in our current and new jurisdictions, open new sales channels and grow our ARR.  Listening to our customer base, developing the product with new features to give the best product offering to our current clients and future prospects.  And of course, always maintaining our Massive Transformational Purpose. 

Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

The dream is to make HRLocker known as the go-to software platform for managing people throughout their entire employee lifecycle. We want to become THE HR system people know and love. 

As for the business, we want to continue to smash our targets and keep growing and developing the fantastic team we have built over the last few years. Hopefully, by this time next year, we will have achieved those goals.

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