Digital Signage eXaminer, in partnership with The HR Gazette, caught up with Gajendra Ratnavel, CEO of L Squared Digital Signage and one of the sponsors at SocialHRCamp Toronto 2014, to get his thoughts on HR tech developments and the upcoming event.
Editor: Tell us a bit about your personal career history and what brought you to your current company?
GR: I’m a techie at heart and by trade – my degree was in Computer Engineering and I’ve always had an ambition to use my enthusiasm and experience within digital and technical communications to offer powerful services and innovative products. After around six years as a technical Project Manager (and Software Engineer) at National Instruments and then Allegro Wireless, I decided it was time to set sail as captain of my own ship, so to speak. In 2005 I founded L Squared and I’m proud to say that, through offering top end-to-end Digital Signage solutions, we’ve grown the company to become an internationally recognised brand within Screen Media.
Editor: Can you tell us a bit about what your company does for HR professionals?
GR: Sure. Through our mounted screens, kiosks and digital wayfinding we help facilitate and enhance corporate communications. For example, we help manufacturing plants, conference venues and engage with their employees through centrally managed, targeted company messages and updates.
Its amazing really! Digital Signage, as opposed to a company intranet or email is SO much more powerful! Not just because of the vastly more engaging and attractive dynamic content a HR or Comms team can present to employees but because of the huge amount of time that a digital screen gets to inform and influence.
Think about it logically – unlike a company memo which may or may not even get opened, when one is in, say, a canteen with cool digital screens mounted on wall, employees become far more likely to watch, absorb and respond because the screens will be in line of sight for maybe 30 minutes during a lunch break.
Editor: What is your target market? Please tell us a bit about typical companies which use your services?
GR: Our market is wide and deep. We service and target small to Enterprise level companies across Canada, USA and Europe. Generally, we work most closely with HR professionals plus those in Operations, Comms and Marketing.
Editor: How does your product/service help HR professionals?
GR: The average time that a digital screen gets to engage with an individual in a retail environment is 8 to 12 seconds. Not only is that average WAY higher than most other marketing and communication channels but, as in the canteen example, sometimes the opportunity of a ‘captive audience’ can go to 10s of minutes. This is huge for HR! That’s because it provides a proven opportunity for HR professionals to communicate in real time and with scheduled messages with a much higher attraction rate than anything else out there – apart from maybe the traditional company town hall meeting.
Editor: In your opinion, what will be the big HR and social media technological shifts and patterns of adoption in the workplace in the next 5 years?
GR: I’m an engineer, not a HR professional so my predictions are slanted as such. For me, I see a rapid adoption of easy to use, web-hosted services which don’t just allow for better collaboration and measurement but also fosters better employee branding through deeper levels of staff engagement.
Editor: There are more hands-on sessions to help HR professionals strategically use social media and emerging HR/Recruitment technology at this year’s ‘unconference’ than ever before. The Camp’s session facilitators are experts in the fields of HR, Recruitment, Marketing, Social Media, Learning, Leadership and more, and will also be active participants throughout the day. Will your company be presenting a session?
GR: We absolutely will. Yes. We’ll be hosting an interactive session on new screen technologies and how HR pros can use Digital Signage content management systems and their cool widgets to grow social media followings, brand awareness and convey the all-important corporate messages to staff.
Editor: Who will be speaking and what will be the topic(s) and learning outcomes?
GR: It is likely going to be myself and our Director of Business Development, Brent Nacu. The topics have already been touched on I think but the learning outcomes will include understanding types of non-mainstream CMS and we’re hoping to offer a special free trial of our CMS to session attendees.
Editor: How does SocialHRCamp fit with your brand objectives?
GR: By being a sponsor and a session host we hope to raise awareness of the L Squared brand and help educate attendees about the latest cost effective digital communications options available.
Editor: Why did your company choose to get involved with SocialHRCamp and what results are you hoping from the sponsorship?
GR: Despite a compelling case for using digital signage to enhance corporate communications, for some reason our industry struggles to make HR professionals aware of how we can help make their jobs easier.
When we heard about SocialHRCamp and its focus on technology and employee engagement we just knew that we had to get involved! The Results? I’d say lead generation but my Marketing Director would probably say brand exposure. It would be good to get both from the event.
Editor: With low adoption of social media and HR technology within the HR Community it’s important that we introduce new technologies and push attendees beyond their comfort zones. How are you planning on doing this at SocialHRCamp Toronto 2014?
GR: The L Squared Hub is our SaaS CMS. Not going to say too much more on that for now other than will let our software speak for itself at the event!
Editor: How can people learn more about your services?