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100 Episodes Strong: A Q&A on HR Break Room

With our HR Break Room® podcast nearing its 100th episode, we asked its host and producer, Caleb Masters, to look back at the first 99 conversations. Take a step behind the scenes as we discuss how the podcast team has brought industry-relevant ideas to earbud-worthy life since its Jan. 18, 2017, debut.

Before the podcast launched, what did the team want to accomplish with it?

Masters: We wanted to tell the Paycom story in a way that was more conversational, but in a larger sense, we wanted to explore the kind of conversations HR people are having. Then we asked how we can get the many bright people we have here at Paycom to speak with industry thought leaders and their peers about these important topics. It was driven by these conversations as a way to highlight what makes Paycom unique, what makes the role of HR more important than ever and what makes the future of HR so exciting.

What is the process for identifying guests and topics?

Masters: It’s evolved quite a bit over the years, but it all starts with, “What are the broader topics and themes that interest our clients and prospective clients — or the people who just want to learn more about HR?” Once that’s clear, we look at experts who know the subject inside and out and would make for a compelling conversation.

I’ve had the great pleasure and opportunity to speak with probably hundreds of thought leaders now. They tell powerful stories about how HR has been able to improve work for people, improve their lives and how they’re able to utilize technology to accomplish those goals. We’ve talked about everything from ergonomics to workplace safety.

Do you have a favorite standout moment?

Masters: If had to pick a favorite one, it was in 2018, when the HR Break Room team was able to go to the Society for Human Resource Management annual conference in a really big way for the first time. We built our booth, and a part of this booth was a little studio. When the exposition hall floors were open, there was always a conversation happening for visitors to watch. We interviewed 15 people across 13 recordings that week.

If you could have anyone — dead or alive — as a guest, who would it be?

Masters: That’s a million-dollar question. Neil Armstrong, if we’re going with real people. Fictional? Superman. They’re people who  are always going the extra mile. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That’s the kind of person I want on the podcast.

What is your hope for the podcast’s next 100 episodes?

Masters: I want HR Break Room to keep bringing thoughtful conversations that inspire and energize HR professionals to listeners. What excites me the most is that there’s so much opportunity to take these conversations to the people. Podcast apps like Spotify or Apple Podcasts is just step one; there are many other channels we can spread HR Break Room to, whether it’s on YouTube or through other new media opportunities. And again, that’s what we’ve always been about: bringing thoughtful, insightful conversations that can help listeners elevate their workforce through the discovery of the right HR technology for their organization.

Now that you have an idea of what makes HR Break Room, why not visit it yourself? Listen to hours of insightful conversations about HR technology and developments from the industry’s greatest minds. And stay tuned for our very special 100th episode just around the corner!



DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.