David Ossip’s Ceridian — a Canadian success story

Ceridian CEO and Chairman David Ossip is an image of what success looks like for a Canadian-born corporation, Dayforce, several years after being acquired by U.S.-based human capital management (HCM) software firm Ceridian.

Not only has Ossip been the recipient of 40 different awards from Top 40 under 40 to Canada’s Most Admired CEOs of 2017. Ceridian’s accomplishments rang true at the TSX on May 4, as the genius of Ossip’s vision, and his company’s leadership team demonstrated how fantastic technology could disrupt a massive market in a very short period.

Today, Ossip has built a network of over 3,000 clients representing a leading position, with an annual compounded growth of 60 per cent in the $20 billion U.S. enterprise software market. Ceridian was listed on the

David Ossip, CEO and chairman of Ceridian.

New York Stock Exchange last week, followed by listing on the TSX. Ceridian employs over 500 developers in Ontario under its slogan, “Makes work life better.” This remarkable Canadian story began in 2009 as Ossip and team recognized a gap across industries for its on-going HCM requirements.

A solution was born that enhances an employee engagement using a human capital service from 10 years to “lifetime” through addressing a consistent common challenge of HR workflow that touches multiple points and silo databases. Based on the latency time to get data access to employees records that record time and attendance, paid data, calculated earnings, the accuracy of payment and compliance, Ceridian’s technology provides immediate access that includes updates and also gives employees access to their records.

Ceridian was always known for its excellent tax processing. In bringing Dayforce’s innovative technology to bear with an outstanding best of class tax operator was the match that lit the world of human capital offerings on fire. However, it is the leadership of Ossip and the culture he has created with his leadership team that makes Ceridian an outstanding success.

Strategically, Ossip focused just on HCM, ensuring the company had the right partnerships and relationships. Internally the first order of business was to revitalize the culture of the old Ceridian. The new CEO wanted to ‘walk the talk’ of being accessible to all staff members. A clue to his down-to-earth approach is his chosen email address—[email protected]. He religiously has a quarterly all-hands call that consists of a five to 10-minute update followed by unsolicited open questions.

The CEO focuses on its five top areas presenting an on-going engagement challenge to all when asking, “How are we going to address this?” His stamp of leadership is demonstrable in town halls and the many general discussions which also identifies triggers of disengagement with team members to fix it fast. Such laser focus also ties back to Ossip’s values which centre on optimism. Optimism, in Ossip’s view, consists of careful preparation that allows for building knowledge, growing one’s competencies that ultimately leads to success.

By being consistent, Ossip’s design allows for a single employee experience by creating a collective knowledge throughout the organization. A very sophisticated onboarding experience is in place from the day a person begins their tenure. From HR self-service forms to addressing what is the corporation’s expectations as well as understanding the individual’s personal short and long-term goals.

Leaving nothing to chance or catch-up, Ceridian is also using expert predictive technologies that aggregate information through a machine-learning model that integrates to client datasets. The Ceridian application will alert clients’ managers, ensuring customers are always on top of their human capital issues.

As an early developer and adopter of leading-edge applications, Ceridian is also advancing voice technology coupled with machine-learning. In turn, this helps to infer what the person, internally or client-facing, is attempting to do with their end to end workflow. Questions such as, “Hey, Alexa, can I trade my shift today or take a vacation?” to an administrator asking, “Hey, Alexa, am I ready to pay locations 1-2-3 today?” saves time, money and frustration.

Excellent leadership and visioning technology to real problems drive Ceridian to achieve its remarkable results. No longer sci-fi in work processes, the future is here, and Ceridian is leading the charge.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Fawn Annan
Fawn Annanhttp://www.note2file.ca
Fawn Annan is the President and Group Publisher of IT World Canada/IDG Canada, the largest global IT media company located in 87 countries. Its global brands such as CanadianCIO and Computing Canada are written with local views for global IT issues.

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