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4 March 2020


Looking to learn more about HR Open Standards President, Jason Sole? Well, when he’s not volunteering his time to help promote HR Open at conferences or representing the Consortium at US Chamber events he’s the Director of Sales Engineering at DirectEmployers Association (DE). Jason serves as the primary liaison between the Development, Member Support, and Partnership teams at DE. A bit of a technical smoke-jumper, he’s able tackle and solve problems, explain complex technical issues to non-technical audiences, and pre-check setups and data gathering to make new projects flow smoothly. Jason is the proud parent of two children and enjoys taking trips to Disney with his family.
As the President of HR Open Standards, Jason goes the the extra mile to advance technology standards and positively impact the HR technology landscape. Jason answers some questions about HR Open, the standards, their impact, and how you can get involved.

For those who may not be familiar, can you tell us a little bit about HR Open Standards?

HR Open Standards is an international consortium of HR Technology creators. We have been around since the 1990s and existed for a long time as the HR-XML Consortium. We rebranded several years ago to reflect the changing nature of the technology and how it was being consumed (there were a lot of new alternatives to XML coming out).

Our goal as an organization is to provide a space where the builders of HR Technology–the engineers, developers, CTOs, and support staff–can come together and collaborate. This is primarily with the standards we produce, but we also provide a way for technologists at different companies to come together and compare notes.

Very interesting! How did you get involved and how many years have you had the opportunity to participate?

I have been active with HR Open Standards for six and a half years. I started by serving on the Technical Steering Committee in August 2013. At the time, another colleague at DirectEmployers was a board member, and they needed someone with a technical background to help offer some insight. They were doing a lot of work with mobile data standards, and mobile web development was an area with which I had experience.

That sounds like some great experience – tell us more about the roles have you played throughout the years within the organization. 

I have had several roles within the organization. I have chaired the Technical Steering Committee for six years and served on the Board of Directors for five. I was Secretary of the Board for 2018 and 2019, and I am Board President until the end of 2020.

What impact do you feel HR Open Standards has had on developing HR data exchange standards?

HR Open Standards is the only organization with a comprehensive set of HR standards. As such, it has had a profound impact on the standards ecosystem for HR systems. This has also allowed DirectEmployers to participate and help lead some interesting projects. Recently, we helped with the pilot program for the Job Data Exchange project at the US Chamber of Commerce where we collaborated with, Google, and the US Chamber to build a data exchange proof of concept between employers, educators, and government.

Congrats on your new role as President of the Board of Directors! What will your responsibilities entail in this new role?

Thanks! I will serve as one of the public faces of the Consortium, as well as help facilitate relationships the Consortium has with other organizations and standards bodies such as the US Chamber of Commerce and PESC.

How do you feel your involvement has affected your work with DirectEmployers?

It increases the visibility of DirectEmployers with the technology providers and decision-makers in the HR Industry. I can maintain contacts and relationships with other HR Technology companies that would be difficult or impossible otherwise. Also, I am exposed to new ways of thinking and solving problems, which is always helpful as DE encounters new technology and challenges.

How do you feel your involvement has enriched your career and helped with your role as a Sales Engineer?

It has forced me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I am naturally an introvert, but leading an international organization, and representing them in large, crowded meetings require that I expand and practice the non-technical side of my skill set. That skill set is critical in a Sales Engineering role where my job is making technology understandable and approachable to those that might be intimidated by it.

What projects are you actively involved with at the moment? Anything new and exciting on the horizon to share?

We are working with the US Chamber of Commerce and the White House to work on a collaborative set of data standards for the HR Technology community. It moves at the pace of government, but we are trying to create a unified approach to solve known problems. The hope is to free up capacity in the industry to build new things and stop solving the same problem over and over.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the work you’ve accomplished at HR Open Standards?

The HR Technology industry is both humongous and small. There are huge players across the entire globe, but you often see the same organizations and people at events. Those organizations all have smart and driven people who are trying to solve all kinds of unique problems.

What is the best way to get involved with HR Open?

Encourage your vendors to join and participate in the Consortium. The more voices we have, the more effective we are. Also, the more we can standardize and integrate like-minded systems, the simpler and cheaper the implementation of new HRIS systems will be.

We appreciate Jason’s contribution to HR Open and the standards. If you want to know more about DirectEmployers and how they offer simple solutions for complex OFCCP compliance and recruitment marketing challenges head over to their website to learn more!

10 February 2020

HR Open Standards Consortium Announces 2020 Board of Directors

HR Open Standards Consortium Announces 2020 Board of Directors

HR Open Standards Consortium, the only global network of HR technology professionals committed to leading the ongoing development of global HR interoperability standards, has announced its Board of Directors for 2020. The volunteer board contributes their technical and business acumen to guide the organization in its vision, to establish HR Open as an industry leader, and promote board collaboration through networking and thought leadership.

Newly elected to the Board of Directors are:

  • Amanda Carr, Product Manager, iCIMS;
  • Leslie Erwin, Sr. Director – Software Engineering, ADP;
  • Ryan Krostue, Chief Operating Officer, Universal Background Screening.

Amanda Carr expresses her pleasure to be on the Board of Directors. “I am excited to be part of HR Open Standards and a member of the HR Open Standards Board of Directors. The value of HR technology comes down to the data that is exchanged between various HR systems. HR Open Standards helps to facilitate that exchange of data in a standardized and efficient manner. The thought leadership and work of the members of HR Open Standards ensures that developers of HR systems can hit the ground running when implementing these integrations. It is an invaluable resource for what you need to know to implement your HR integrations and I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the value that is HR Open Standards.”

Re-elected members include:

  • Andrew Cunsolo, VP Product Management, Talemetry;
  • James Elder II, Principal Solutions Consultant & Sales Engineer, DDI, Inc.

Continuing in two-year terms are:

  • David Garrett, Alight
  • Bon Idziak, Accurate Background;
  • Jason Sole, Direct Employers Association;
  • Ingolf Teetz, Milch & Zucker; and
  • Jan-Willem van der Boom, Manus.

Newly elected Consortium officers include: Jason Sole, President and Chairman; Andrew Cunsolo, Secretary; and Ingolf Teetz, Treasurer.

Biographies of the 2020 HR Open Standards Board of Directors:

Amanda Carr, Product Manager, iCIMS. Amanda is a passionate advocate for the value proposition that open standards for interoperability between HR systems brings to companies, partners, and clients. To that end, she has been actively involved with HR Open Standards since 2007 in a variety of roles such as workgroup leader, co-leader, participant, and as a member of the Board of Directors. Amanda has been in the HR systems industry since 1999, and has been focusing specifically on HR Integrations in various Integration Product Manager roles in an assortment of HR Software companies since 2006. Currently, she is the Product Manager at iCIMS focused on further standardizing and enhancing the integrations between iCIMS and HCM Systems.

Andrew Cunsolo, VP of Product Development, Talemetry. With more than 15 years of product and technical leadership in recruiting technology, Andrew is currently responsible for developing Talemetry’s recruiting marketing (Job Broadcast), sourcing (Source & CRM), and candidate experience (Career Sites, Apply) products. Andrew has been involved in the Consortium since 2002 and is a regular speaker, presenter, and contributor.

James Elder II, Principal Solutions Consultant & Sales Engineer, DDI, Inc. With over 25 years of IT experience and over 15 years of experience developing and implementing assessments integrations as well as five years of contributions on the HR Open assessments workgroup, Jim hopes to contribute to shaping the future of HR Open. During his tenure on the Board of Directors, Jim found synergies with the way HR Open Standards Consortium is reinvigorating its mission and memberships with his organizations dedication to developing Better Leaders for a Better Future. Jim is leading an effort to develop full end-to-end API standards for Learning Systems integrations. Reaching out to build winning partnerships with LMS vendors, content vendors, as well as industry standards experts in the learning industry will be a focus in 2020.

Leslie Erwin, Sr. Director – Software Engineering, ADP. Leslie has 14 years of experience in HR technology, with a focus on Benefits. She has participated in the benefits workgroup as a schema editor and led the group for the 4.2 release where Plan Setup was added to the schema, allowing for a more complete benefits integration. Leslie is an advocate for the HR Open Standards, and is spearheading initiatives at ADP to implement partner API integrations using the standards.

Dave Garrett, hrX Product Manager, Alight. Dave has been working on Payroll and HRIS development and implementation since 1995 with experience in all aspects of the Software Development and Implementation Life Cycle starting as an engineer and currently working as a product manager. His current project on Global Payroll integration began in 2013 and adopted HR XML (as it was then) as the basis of the data model, HR Open standards continues to underpin the data model.

Bon Idziak, Chief Compliance and Government Relations Officer, Accurate Background. Bon is an 18-year industry leader in Background Screening, Drug Testing, and HR Technology. Bon has served on the HR Open Standards Board of Directors since 2009 and has held offices of secretary, treasurer, and president/chairman. A pioneer, contributor, and early implementer of HR Open standards, Bon is a proven advocate of the Consortium.

Ryan Krostue is Chief Operating Officer of Universal Background Screening. Since joining the company in 2002, he has been involved in all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, product management, operations and compliance. Ryan has been an advocate for HR Open Standards since Universal joined the Consortium and obtained its first certification in 2008, he looks forward to advancing the HR Open JSON standard within the screening industry as a member of the Consortium’s Board of Directors.

Jason Sole, Director of Sales Engineering, DirectEmployers Association. Jason runs the Sales Engineering team at DirectEmployers Association, a member owned non-profit that specializes in recruitment marketing and federal contract compliance solutions. Jason is experienced in all facets of the software development lifecycle, and specializes in problem solving, and process design. He holds a Master of Science in Technology from Purdue University, and has been involved in web and software development for 18 years. Jason has served as the Chair of the Consortium’s Technical Steering Committee since 2014 and on the Board of Directors since 2015.

Ingolf Teetz, CEO, Milch & Zucker. Ingolf is founder and Chief Executive Officer for Milch & Zucker, a provider of e-recruitment and recruitment marketing solutions. He manages company operations, initiates and strengthens technology partnerships, and is responsible for the development of its software, BeeSite. Ingolf’s long relationship with the Consortium includes serving on the board and representing the Consortium at international events.

Jan-Willem van der Boom, is founder of Manus Software and Services BV, a pan-European Work Force Management and Time Attendance supplier, with main focus on compliancy. Manus Software and Services was originally founded by Jan-Willem in 1988, during his study of Technical Computer Science at the Rotterdam Technical University. He filled the role of CEO until 2012. In his current role Jan-Willem went back to his roots and is responsible for Strategy and Development. He has actively been involved in HR Open for over five years, leading the Time Management JSON project and participating on the Business Steering Committee.

About HR Open Standards

Founded in 1999 as the HR-XML Consortium, HR Open Standards Consortium is a voluntary, consensus-based standards organization. Our community of HR technologists facilitate discussions on global technology concepts and challenges.  Members collaborate to develop free standards, which encompass the full HR domain from Hire to Retire and are open to all HR professionals.

9 January 2020


HR Open Standards is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. We want to share some of our milestones with you and show you how we got to be the only independent, non-profit, volunteer-led organization dedicated to the development and promotion of a standard suite of specifications to enable human resource related data exchanges.

HR Open Standards: A Timeline

1999 |Formation: First discussion about formation of a consortium in Alexandria, VA which results in HR-XML Consortium Inc. being organized in December 1999

2000 |1st Meeting: First HR-XML meeting in January. HR-XML releases DTD specification for Recruiting and Benefits

2001 |HR-XML: August 2001 released first XML standards

2003 |Product Certification: HR-XML introduces its first Product Certification Program

2003 |Additional Releases: Release HR-XML 2.0 and 2.5 Standards

2009 |HR-XML 3.0: Release HR-XML 3.0 and specifications

2012 |Online Training: Announce online training courses to support growing adoptions

2013 |1st JSON: Release JSON lightweight recruiting standard

2014 |HR Open Standards: Consortium changes name to reflect complete openness and not limit to XML

2015 |JSON 4.0: Candidate HR-JSON 4.0 Standards (timecards and wellness)

2016 |Individual Certifications: Individual Certificate Program to further interoperability and satisfactions with HR OS standards

2018 |JSON Fully Supported: HR-JSON 4.1 Standards (Assessments, Benefits, Compensations, Interviewing, Recruiting, Screening, Timecard, Wellness)

2019 |New Workgroups: Employer and Earning Record, Contingent Staffing, Learner Record.

We continue to add more workgroups and projects to provide the best services and standards to the HR industry. Thank you to all the members, volunteers, staff, and Board of Directors who have contributed to the Standards over the last 20 years!

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