Crystal Judd is a Senior Consultant and Project Manager who specializes in benefits system implementations. Get to know Crystal in this month’s employee spotlight.
Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina.
Alma Mater: The College of Charleston.
All-time favorite restaurant: Charleston has a lot of great restaurants but if I had to pick, I would say FIG, which stands for Food is Good. It is not an Italian restaurant, but they make a ricotta gnocchi that is out of this world!
Last book you read: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
TV Show you’re binging right now: I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t typically watch TV. Ozark is the one show I’m watching right now.
What are your hobbies outside of work? The weather in Charleston is nice almost all of the time, so I like doing lots of outdoor activities with my family. I like gardening and tending to our mini-farm (we have chickens right now), and we’re hoping to make a larger farm part of our family’s future.
In your own words, what do you do at HRchitect? I am a consultant who helps companies that are implementing benefits technologies. I’m able to work as a project manager for the larger benefits system implementation project as well as work as an implementation consultant and move the implementation side of the house forward.
How did you find out about HRchitect, and what made you join the company? I was an employee referral. An HRchitect consultant who I used to work with at Benefitfocus had talked to me about HRchitect, the culture, the remote work environment, and the fact that HRchitect was growing. I knew that I’d enjoy the work involved in the role, and having a young child at home, was intrigued by the idea of working from home, so I decided to apply. During the interview process, I had great conversations with my boss, and joining HRchitect just seemed right. Now I’ve been here for almost 4 years.
Tell me about your background in the HR technology industry. Early in my career, I found myself interested in Human Resources. I transitioned to a role with a benefits technology vendor, Benefitfocus, many years ago. During 5+ years there, I held several roles including payroll, project management and system consulting where I developed expertise in benefits systems implementation.
What’s a typical workday like for you? Every day can be so different! Generally, I like to start work earlier than my clients to try to get ahead, so I start checking e-mails early in the morning and preparing for the day. Since I often am in a Project Manager role, the majority of my day is spent on phone calls / virtual meetings moving projects forward. Depending on which benefits system a client is implementing, I might be doing extensive system configuration.
What aspect of benefits system implementations seems to be the biggest challenge for benefit administrators? User adoption is the biggest challenge, by and large. Most organizations are so focused on going live with their new system, that change management and change communications to employees are pushed off until the last minute, or logistical aspects such as ensuring all employees have access to a computer so they can utilize self-service functionality for uploading documents, are missed. Without change management to facilitate user adoption, the benefit administrators will continue to be flooded with employee requests that they’ll have to manually complete or coach the employee through via self-service, and when this is the case, the administrator is missing out on a significant benefit that likely was a major reason they selected a new benefits system in the first place.
Tell me about a recent project you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of. I recently finished up a benefits system implementation that was part of a full-suite HCM implementation for a client that is an enterprise construction organization based in Texas. The client had a complicated benefit rate structure, which can be very time-consuming to configure, but our team handled the configuration seamlessly, and the project has ultimately been very successful.
What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? I have a unique opportunity to see through the looking glass at what companies across different industries are doing with their benefits, and I really enjoy that.
Which employee perk or benefit that HRchitect offers do you enjoy the most? It’s not a perk or benefit, but one of the aspects about working at HRchitect that I appreciate the most is that I truly have a great relationship with Brian Kimball, who I report to. He lets consultants have the freedom they need to do their job. He doesn’t micro-manage, and is incredibly supportive if there is something we need, and the whole team is the same way. I think that speaks to HRchitect’s culture overall.
Learn more about Crystal Judd