Ceridian Optimistic About HR Tech; Virus Impact May Have ‘Bottomed Out’

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Ceridian CEO David Ossip told financial analysts that his company encountered more obstacles than barriers during 2020’s first quarter, and there may be some hints the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact are touching bottom.

The company reported revenue of $168.8 million during the three months ending March 31, a 27 percent increase from 2019’s fourth quarter. The company had 4,480 customers live on Dayforce, and said its pipeline was continuing to grow despite the pandemic’s disruption.

.@Ceridian said it encountered more obstacles than barriers during Q1, and thinks it may see hints the #COVID-19 impact is touching bottom. #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

During the quarter, Ossip estimated, Ceridian missed out on between $1 million and $2 million in recurring revenue because of delayed account activations. “So there was some impact, but it definitely wasn’t a material amount,” he said. While some project kickoffs were also delayed, he expected those efforts to startup soon, if they haven’t already.

In fact, delays seem to be the most prominent consequence of the pandemic on Ceridian’s business right now. “First, we’ve seen very few projects get canceled. The pattern seems to be that there’s a push into later quarters,” Ossip said.

At the same time, the market is distracted. In March, companies scrambled to set up employees to work from home, and now many of the executives who make buying decisions are preoccupied with getting their people back to work. Ossip sees this dynamics as temporary. “I think we’re actually feeling positive that we’ll go back to the usual sales cycle,” he said.

Ceridian Marketing Goes Digital

As shelter-in-place orders and travel bans spread with the pandemic, Ceridian began leveraging more digital approaches to marketing. Attendance to the company’s first virtual summit was strong. Since then, the sales force has begun conducting virtual one-on-ones with prospects, and Ossip said those sessions seem “to be going very nicely.”

The company’s digital marketing efforts have benefited from the company’s expertise in payroll and tax, Ossip believes. The complexity of U.S. and Canadian government programs have given Ceridian an opportunity to position itself as a helpful expert, for one thing. “We’ve done a lot of very informative webinars, leveraging outside speakers and our own experts, and I think that has improved the brand of Ceridian,” Ossip said.

Ceridian monitors its customers’ employee headcount and saw “a slight increase” in both employees and customers in the week before the May 6 analyst call. “So nothing really to get overly excited about, but there seems to be evidence that the impact of COVID has kind of bottomed out,” Ossip said.

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