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Exit Interview by Patrick Donegan — Newsletter #96

By: Patrick Donegan

For some time, I’ve been looking for one “source” that curates modern takes on HR Tech, perspectives from the people who build it, and its impact on enterprise — something that’s tailor-made by professionals for decision-makers.

I never found it — so I decided to build it.

Every week, I’ll be sharing fresh insights on tech platforms, design, data, and the future of work — straight to your inbox.

My Thoughts

You know that saying, “You can’t take care of anyone else unless you first take care of yourself”? Well, it’s true for managers, too. The fall Future Forum Pulse Report 🚨 revealed some troubling data surrounding the pressures executives feel as they navigate the challenges of leading in our “new normal.” Burnout 🔥 is rising, with executives reporting less work-life balance and more work-related stress and anxiety. And while many of their teams favor embracing hybrid work models for the flexibility it brings and its positive impact on culture, nearly twice as many executives still want some form of returning to the office. 🙄

The leader experience is suffering. Particularly for middle managers at enterprise-level companies, who are experiencing some of the highest anxiety levels of their careers. 😰 Many of us have a bad habit of devaluing leaders’ experiences because they’re not on the front lines — but their lack of meaningful interactions and fulfilling work directly correlates to the entire team’s experience, performance, and work culture. 🔄

Most great leaders pride themselves on putting others first; it’s a trait that likely got them to that position in the first place. 🏆 I have no qualms admitting that I’ve prioritized employees’ needs at my own expense. But there will eventually come a point where doing so becomes a detriment to your team’s experience, rather than an enhancement. In this case, putting yourself first is what’s best for your organization. 

So, if you feel your experience is changing for the worse, whether it’s due to internal factors or those beyond your control, I urge you to take a few minutes today to think about how you can put as much effort into meeting your own needs as your employees’. ❤️‍🩹

Tech Innovation At Work

Internal mentorship programs are helping companies invest in their employees and reduce churn rates — to no one’s surprise. Of course mentoring works — giving people the tools, 🧰 support, and guidance they need to understand the culture and expectations of the job just makes sense. 📦 Amazon, which has a notoriously rough turnover rate (150% annually — yes, you read that right), is attempting to turn the tide 🌊 by prioritizing mentorship programs for outside manager hires. Since every company culture is unique, they’re using mentoring to improve engagement and culture at scale and, most importantly, reduce the risk of new managers detracting from current employee experiences. They’ve teamed up with mentoring solution provider Chronus, whose “future-ready mentoring” helps companies implement digital transformations with services like extended onboarding, flash mentoring, and more.


Between trying to develop an effective interview process and juggling 🤹 a company’s ongoing operations, recruiting costs a lot of time, money, and productivity. To add insult to injury, making a bad hire can raise these costs even more — up to 30% of an employee’s first-year earnings more. 💸 Helping ease the growing pains of searching for the best candidate, Filtered, a skills-based hiring platform, is turning to augmented reality (AR). Their AR interview process tools are reinventing how companies evaluate talent. “Our job simulation functionality is the virtual equivalent of shipping candidates a company laptop to complete real-world challenges—like those a new company employee would face—available anywhere in the world.” 💻 😲 Filtered boasts that they can reduce interview times by 50% and boost time-to-hire. Sound intriguing? Check them out if you want to see what recruiting in AR might look like for your company.

The Changing Workplace

In a swift but not unpredictable turn of events, Twitter 🐦 is allegedly attempting to rehire some of the employees laid off last week. In addition to buzzing conversations on the anonymous employee app Blind, an alleged leaked Slack chat 🙈 from this past weekend put out an all-call for employees to identify any former Tweeps who may be willing to return and “nominate” them for consideration by Sunday afternoon. According to Bloomberg, who first reported on the news, Twitter officials stated that an undisclosed number of employees were laid off by mistake. 🤨 Even if employees choose to return, it’s unlikely the rehire will quell the class action lawsuit filed against Twitter for not providing 60 days notice prior to dismissal, per California legislation. As of my writing this, this story is hot off the press, and you can bet I will keep you updated in the coming week as it progresses. 👀


Haleon, the freshly-divorced maker of Advil, 💊 has announced that the company will begin offering 26 weeks of paid leave for new parents. Since demerging from consumer goods supercorp GSK, the company has recommitted to internal and external organizational values, identifying itself as “a new company single-mindedly focused on delivering better everyday health with humanity,” 💯 according to its website. The United States is the only developed country without federally protected paid parental leave. Hopefully, the publicity Haleon’s announcement is receiving is a step in the right direction and a virtue signal for other companies to follow suit. 🏃

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Patrick Donegan Chief Strategy Officer

Patrick Donegan

Chief Strategy Officer

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