How automation changed my career: Alex Miklin, Vice President of Strategic Markets at TalentReef

Humans of Automation, Alex Miklin

Time and again, we’ve seen how automation makes our customers’ lives easier. But in many cases, it does much more than that—our champions have earned promotions, company-wide recognition, and newfound influence over strategic decision-making all because of their role in automation strategy. Of its many benefits, automation is undoubtedly a springboard for career success.

In this post, we sat down with Alex Miklin, Vice President of Strategic Markets at TalentReef, to learn how automation has transformed his career. 

Forging his own career path

While Miklin was initially hired at TalentReef to help with SEO strategy, he quickly became a jack of all trades.

Miklin transitioned into a software implementation role where he helped define customer integration requirements and conduct customer trainings. He then tried his hand at product management, and, finally, ended up on the engineering side of professional services managing TalentReef’s payroll platform.

Miklin welcomed the challenges that each role brought. He prided himself on his ability to learn fast, and was always eager to get into the weeds of processes in order to spot areas for improvement.

But while overseeing professional services, Miklin would soon be presented with one of his biggest challenges to date—and a make-or-break moment for his career. 

Running up against a million-dollar problem

Miklin noticed that onboarding new customers took up to eight weeks. Each new customer required a custom integration in order to go live with the TalentReef payroll platform, which was time consuming to build, even with two to four full-time engineers dedicated to the cause.

The long delays frustrated customers, so much so that 7% of customer churn—or the equivalent of $1 million in revenue—was tied to integration delays. In some cases, Miklin even had to provide concessions during contract negotiations because the implementation time was so lengthy.

Miklin knew the team needed a solution, and it wasn’t going to be a quick fix. It had to go deeper than just signing off on a new technology or increasing the engineering team’s headcount. Miklin needed to rethink the entire strategy of integration building.

While the challenge was daunting, it had its bright spots: potentially recouping millions in lost revenue for the company and getting Miklin closer to achieving his personal goal of becoming more of a consultant and advisor in guiding customers toward developing sound integrations.

Creating new business processes with automation 

Miklin did what any savvy business person would do—look at the competition. By evaluating how emerging companies in the industry were excelling, Miklin discovered the concept of an iPaas. 

He evaluated several options with iPaas capabilities, including Talend, Cloud Elements, and Boomi, but Workato stood out as the clear winner. Workato was an integration and automation partner all in one; it would allow TalentReef to orchestrate repeatable seamless processes that connect TalentReef into downstream partners.

Miklin was able to completely eliminate all the implementation complaints for TalentReef’s payroll offering with Workato. Implementations are now completed 7X faster—those that used to take weeks, now just take a few days. 

Moreover, by integrating applications like Workday and ADP, and by automating workflows across them in record speed with Workato, TalentReef was able to gain a competitive edge. They’re now able to help their customers succeed in a best-of-breed strategy as compared to the traditional all-in-one HR platforms.

Miklin’s vision for and investment in automation paid dividends for the company and would soon supercharge his career.

Driving strategic decisions in a new managerial role

The professional services team is now able to monetize integrations and, for the first time, become a revenue source for the company, instead of an operational cost. 

One of TalentReef’s most strategic payroll partners offered high praise, stating that TalentReef has built the best integration out of any applicant tracking system that they work with. Now, this partner goes out of their way to recommend TalentReef and has become a major lead source. 

On a personal note, Miklin used Workato’s success to transition into a new managerial role, this time on the sales team. His success in previous roles gained him recognition but his use of automation earned him a seat at the table where he could drive bigger strategic decisions. 

Miklin’s role is now focused on identifying strategic partnerships to create new revenue streams and mitigate customer churn. The role is another huge challenge for Miklin, but one that he’s eager to take on and, with the help of automation, one that he knows he can be successful in. 

Reaping success—both personally and for the company

 With all of the career success that automation has brought Miklin, he’s not ready to abandon Workato just yet, even though it technically no longer falls under his responsibilities.  

“Even though I’m not in professional services anymore, I’m still driving our {automation) strategy—what’s the next connector we build, what use cases we should be considering internally or with customers,” he notes. “Workato is still my baby and I want to make sure that it’s being managed effectively.”

Due to Miklin’s efforts, automation has already gained a greater foothold at TalentReef. Workato has been adopted by the marketing team to automate lead generation, and there’s much more ahead, such as leveraging Workato to automate the bookings process, background checks, employee assessments, and more.

The executive team, in particular, has taken note and given their full approval to expand Workato across the business. They’ve seen firsthand how Workato has increased revenue, and have no plans in slowing down their use of automation any time soon.