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October 28, 2019

Five Questions with… CoreHR CEO Dean Forbes

"My high potential professional football career seemed to crash and burn pretty quickly"

By CBR Staff Writer

Every Monday morning we fire five questions at a C-suite tech industry interviewee. Today we’re pleased to be joined by Dean Forbes, CEO of CoreHR, the Ireland-headquartered, cloud-based HR and payroll software specialist.

Dean: What’s the Biggest Challenge for your Clients

Their biggest challenge is to elevate HR from being a service department and cost centre, to becoming the chief designers of people strategies that advance the achievement of core business goals, and which also improve employee engagement.

Dean Forbes, CEO, CoreHR

Before HR leaders can succeed in this challenge and focus on strategy, they first need to ease the administrative burden that faces their teams around things like payroll, people management, rostering and other routine activity. They need to transform inefficient paper-based processes into a digital, automated and integrated system.

Once that’s achieved, they need a process for gathering sophisticated analytics that prove the ROI of HR and in particular the contribution HR’s strategic work is making to overall business performance. CoreHR offers HR leaders the technology platform they need to tackle these challenges and shift from being a tactical function into becoming one of the central pillars of an organisation.

 Technology that Excites you Most?

I’m still pretty energised by how mobility is unlocking all types of new services and changing the ways in which we live our lives. Not only are our mobiles now an integral and intimate part of our social lives, they are fast becoming the way we pay for items, the device that enables our travel, manages our entertainment and runs our businesses. But now we can see mobile technologies going a step further with automated vehicles that will not just change the way we travel by car, but will change the way major cities are designed in terms of traffic flow.

Of course our own product, CoreHR XD, thrills me tremendously. We launched it in Leicester Square, London, end-September this year to 150 HR leaders and it went down a storm. By the time the big day came, I’d been living and breathing the development for months, working closely with our great teams here and our customers, and often lying awake at night with a head full of ideas.

 Greatest Success?

I’m really proud of the turnaround and ultimate sale of KDS, a business I led as CEO from 2011 to 2016. We sold the travel and expense software firm to American Express. It was the largest tech deal Amex had done at that time.

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I’m even more proud of the team I’ve built here at CoreHR though and the work that we are doing to change the impact and relevance of HR in modern organisations. We’re growing three times faster than analysts say the market for HR technology is growing – so we’re eating the lunch of big competitors. This success comes down to the fantastic abilities and the tremendous energy of every single one of our employees and partners.

I’m also extremely grateful to our customers, including Cineworld, Arcadia Group and the University of Oxford, who widely recommend us to their peers.

Worst Failure?

My high potential professional football career seemed to crash and burn pretty quickly in 1997, when despite playing well (I thought) at Crystal Palace, I failed to win a new contract with the club, or to get signed by another following many trials. But I got over it, re-taking control of my life by working my way up in the world of IT business management.

In another life I’d be…

A chef and small restaurant owner by the sea in Guyana. When I have the time, I really enjoy cooking. My family and I love to escape to Guyana on holiday. The sunshine, sights, the wonderful people and simply the tastiest Caribbean style food you can imagine are all big draws for us!

See also: Five Questions with… Tradeshift Cofounder Gert Sylvest

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