As I’ve written in the past, Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is a treasure trove of data that most HR professionals miss. That’s because the report isn’t about HR trends, it’s about internet trends. But almost any way you look at it, HR is impacted significantly by the trends she presents. I wrote about her take on the U.S. Income Statement in the Macro Thoughts section of the report a couple of weeks ago. This week, I’m going to start at the beginning.
It’s simple, really. In the first section on Global Internet Trends = Solid User Growth, Slowing Smartphone Growth, this chart appears:
This looks to me like adults spend 5.6 hours per day on the Internet:
Now to be clear, this is a mixture of work and personal time. But, Holy Moly, the average adult spends almost 6 hours per day connected to the Internet! Even if half of it isn’t at work, that still means that half of it is at work! That’s 3 hours a day. 3 hours a work day.
Tell me this doesn’t impact HR. Tell me this doesn’t impact productivity on the job. Tell me this doesn’t create less collaboration, less teamwork, less effectiveness on the job. And my first question is, how much of that time is spent researching and applying for new jobs? Yikes!
This is one data point. Just one. But if it’s true, and your productivity numbers are slipping, maybe this is an area to explore. Or if your turnover is rising, maybe other employers are making it super easy to learn about their businesses, their cultures, and their job openings — all on the Internet. And making it super easy to apply via smartphone.
I’m not saying that the Internet is evil or that Smartphones are the devil’s work (although I did hear an investor at a huge business conference opine both of those points of view a year ago…). I’m merely pointing out that it is unlikely that all that time being spent on the Internet is work-related, or project-related, or business-related, or customer-related.
What are you doing to re-harness this time and energy?
The competitive world of HR Conferences may be changing forever. And that’s not a bad thing, in my opinion. Innovation is happening in this space – from stronger SHRM state conference offerings, to an additional HR technology-related conference (HR Tech World) being introduced in the U.S,, to other new entries – all designed to disrupt the usual HR conference offerings and deliver greater value to attendees.
The best example of this is the WorkHuman conference, held last month in Phoenix. With well over 1,700 attendees and almost no corporate sponsors (except for the organizer, Globoforce), the focus was on engaging, useful, envelope-edge pushing content and nurturing/inspiring attendee experiences. Described as “the Woodstock for HR” by Globoforce CEO, Eric Mosley, WorkHuman isn’t our parents’ HR conference. Heck, it isn’t even our HR conference.
Re-certification credit opportunities abounded, but the focus of WorkHuman – unlike many of the really large HR conferences – was on the attendee experience. From early morning yoga and runs or walks, to healthy snack breaks, to half-hour content blocks (how many one-hour sessions can you attend in a two-day conference?), to lobby-area snackable content presentations, to blockbuster keynote speakers: this conference is changing how HR does conferences and I see its impact on almost every other HR-related conference I attend.
It’s true that I advised the organizers on their first two conferences, but I came as an attendee this year and was thrilled to see that, despite its rapid growth (year one: 300+ attendees; year two: 600+ attendees), its focus on engaging the full human attendee has not wavered. Any time you get more than 1,500 conference attendees, the organizers tend to focus on 1) logistics, 2) schedules, and 3) sponsors/exhibitors. The people who attend become “blocks” that need to be moved around, That hasn’t happened at WorkHuman. Attendees arrive as humans and leave as engaged and inspired humans.
While the conference space was large, every thought was given to the humanity of the attendees. One didn’t need to walk far to get a drink of water. The signage was easily read. The venue provided rooms of appropriate size located in close proximity for the audiences – so that session sampling was possible. The “center aisle” held snack stations, a “spotlight” stage with indoor amphitheater seating for shorter more informal presentations, comfortable chairs for congregating and conversations, info stations, and cheerful, easily identified staff to answer questions and provide directions. It’s clear that the attendee was not relegated to “steerage” status at WorkHuman. They were front and center at all times.
It’s true that activities started very early – but the early agenda entries were healthy and focused on strengthening the body as well as the mind, as opposed to cramming in more re-cert credits. Starting a conference day with yoga or a group run followed by a healthy breakfast seems a smart way to start a day of learning, regeneration, and inspiration.
The short description is that there weren’t any. Well, outside of Globoforce, the conference organizer. It’s a rather remarkable conference experience, to be focused on new ideas, on new connections, and new ways of leading rather than being sold by vendors at every step of the way. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not anti-sponsor/exhibitor. This is just a new way of organizing. It is fitting for a conference focused on bringing humanity into our everyday organizational life to create an exhibitor-free experience. It makes sense. As the conference gets bigger and bigger, it may make business sense to bring on a few selected sponsors, but don’t look for a major exhibition hall any time soon. Attendees take away value far greater than cheap exhibitor tchotchkes at WorkHuman.
Globoforce upends the usual HR conference calculus. By investing in the WorkHuman movement, by engaging the most current speakers and content, by prioritizing the attendee experience as the most important component of an HR conference, the WorkHuman team has created – and strengthened – one of the most compelling business conference events currently available.
Next year’s conference will be in Austin, TX (April 3-5) and keynoter Brené Brown has already been announced. I hope I see you there!
Every year, I look forward to two reports: The Deloitte Human Capital Trends report and the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends report. I’ve written about the Deloitte report here and here; and the Internet Trends report here and here. The 2017 Internet Trends report was published last week and it’s a doozy!
Ever year Mary Meeker, from Kleiner Perkins, takes a vast look at what the Internet is doing to the world. How it is changing everything. While it’s never about HR, per se, HR is in most nooks and crannies of the data that are shared. And it really should be required reading for all business leaders. Including HR. This year, at 355 pages, the report is a blockbuster. And worthy of more than one Data Point Tuesday post.
This year’s report looks at these areas:
To be honest, I always start with the macro thoughts section. This is where she drops the aha! moments. Well, at least for me. And this year was no different. Part of the macro thoughts are about USA, Inc. and she leads off with the USA’s income statement comparing F1986 through F2016. If you think of the USA as a business, this is eye popping.
What does this have to do with HR? Well, nothing and everything. Understanding income statements is a requirement for any business leader today. Including those in HR. Understanding how our businesses spend and make money is key to being able to successfully lead and invest in people.
Understanding our nation’s income statement should be a requirement for every citizen. Knowing how the taxes we pay are used, where our money is being invested, and the state of our debt are all important things for us to know. Be honest: have you ever really thought about our nation’s finances from an income statement perspective? Even if you have, this ought to be under a magnet on your refrigerator door!
Knowing the state of our nation’s finances will put into perspective the state of your employer’s finances – and the choices that are being made nationally as well as at work. This is called perspective and it’s a valuable thing to have.
Next week, we’ll take a look at another aspect of the Internet Trends Report for 2017 that may have a more direct connection to the world of HR. In the meantime, you might take a look at it here. (And the 355 pages are PowerPoint pages, so they’re pretty easy to move through.)
“Over 70% of companies are planning to invest in solutions with recruitment marketing capabilities over the next 12 months.”
The report, focused on providing essential information to enable the understanding of the recruitment marketing vendor space, doesn’t rank providers. Rather, it shines a light on the space and provides some organizing principles for understanding what’s happening in this dynamic and competitive space.
The report starts with an overview of the top 10 trends in recruitment marketing – and they may not be what you expect:
The need for greater simplicity
The opportunity in the mid-market
The cost is justified
Artificial intelligence is a must-have
A different set of metrics
ATS satisfaction increases with an RMP investment
Services take two forms
Recruitment marketing is an experience solution
Companies want more use cases
Inbound marketing is a differentiator
Early in the report, Madeline Laurano, Co-Founder & Chief Research Officer, defines a recruitment marketing platform as a platform that “manages outbound sourcing, inbound recruitment marketing, and employer branding. A recruitment marketing platform includes capabilities that maintain the employer brand, foster candidate relationships, and enhance messaging and communication efforts. The most critical capabilities in these systems include: Career Site, SEO, Employee Referrals, and Talent Communities/Networks.”
Simply put, it opens the top of the funnel and manages the interactions with talent in a robust and clear way that creates rather than destroys relationships.
The top four priorities of talent acquisition leaders when contemplating investments in their practices are these:
So, providers need to ensure that these four bases are covered. Thanks to Aptitude’s research, you can clearly understand which providers offer which capabilities. It is not surprising that improving the candidate experience is the top of the wish list – and a capability that is no long a “nice-to-have” feature.
The report is hefty, at 90 pages, but it’s a primer on recruitment marketing. If hiring more people – and more people who fit your organization better – is part of your remit, this report will give you the foundation you need to begin to put your strategies and plans in place. As usual, the Aptitude Research team has done a great job of both analyzing a critical part of the market, as well as educating the HR professional on providers to consider.
Jobvite’s annual Job Seeker Nation Study was published a couple of weeks ago. They took a whole new approach, given the current political environment in the U.S., and it’s fascinating. Subtitled, Finding the Fault Lines in the American Workforce, it looks at how divided our nation really is when it comes to attitudes and actions related to changing jobs.
“If the past year taught us anything, it’s that we live in a divided nation. In fact, nearly 80% of Americans – an all-time high – believe the country is split in two. With this year’s Job Seeker Nation Survey of 2,000 Americans, we sought to define that split: who are the two groups and what does the job seeking experience look like for each? The answer surprised us: ‘Divided America’ is a myth. Sure, from 30,000 feet you see Blue vs. Red. Coast vs. Coast. But dig a couple layers deeper and you don’t find a neatly divided population… What we found is many different versions of the American job seeker.”
And then we’re off to the races with fascinating data points covering the workforce, job seekers, men, women, quitters, stayers, generations – different slices of workforce data that are sure to make you stop and think about what’s really happening with your employees.
The finding that I found most interesting had to do with job sampling. For example, more than half of the respondents are satisfied at work (64%) – but 81% of them are open to new job opportunities. Additionally, 50% had at least one interview this year to explore options – with no intention of leaving their current position! Additionally, job seekers are not as happy as they used to be. In the last year, the percentage of workers satisfied at work has plummeted 10 percentage points to 64% (from 74%). But more concerning is that 82% are open to new job opportunities. That’s a tough message for employers.
The dynamics of the workforce in 2017 are clearly not cut and dried – and certainly not as simple as Generation vs. Generation or Male vs. Female. Of course, we knew that. But this report shines a light on some more nuanced slices of the data and provides some surprising results.
I look forward to this report each year. (Here’s my take on last year’s report.) The Jobvite folks always serve up a different set of data points that add depth to the planning and conversations employers are having about their workforces. This year is no different. Take a look here. You’ll find some useful insights.
Attending HR conferences successfully – getting the most out of the experience – really has taken careful planning and tons of time management. Some HR conferences are so big and have so much going on, that it can really feel like work to make sure you’re achieving an appropriate ROI for your employer.
But conferences have changed over the last 7 years. For one, there are a TON of HR-related conferences to choose from. Significantly more than 7 years ago. HR-related professional associations, HR products and services providers, publishers, networking organizations, research organizations – a whole host of organizations – all want a piece of HR professionals’ time to ply their wares and influence the direction of people policy making. They all provide re-certification credits from the HR certifiers of your choice and they promise you’ll learn everything you need to know (until the same time next year) to be successful HR leaders. It’s a booming business. But there are some new approaches to HR conferences – and their content and targeted attendees – that deserve your consideration.
I’ve been affiliated with Globoforce’s WorkHuman conference since its inception in 2015. Eric Mosely, Globoforce’s CEO, had a vision of turning his organization’s annual customer conference into a global force for good. A global force for taking 2 days each year to consider the value of humanity, the value of creating human cultures for our organizations, the value of truly focusing on human relationships to power organization success. And, in large part, his vision has come true: at its core, WorkHuman is a global movement of people, purpose, and passion bringing more humanity to today’s modern workplace.
WorkHuman this year is May 30 – June 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’ve attended, you already know it’s a conference experience unlike any other. If you haven’t attended, you should know that it aims to educate you on the value of creating a more human organization culture; to nourish your human spirit allowing you to do the same for your colleagues; and to connect you with like-minded individuals. The keynote speakers are not the usual HR fare (Michelle Obama, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, Chaz Bono, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and they all bring a particular point of view to the human organization experience. Breakout sessions – or Spotlight sessions as they are called at WorkHuman – bring additional academics, leaders, authors, and experts to help attendees get their arms – and hearts – around their humans.
In my earlier blog post, Conference 101, I suggested that pre-planning, networking, and smiling (as a way to be approachable) were time-tested ways to maximize conference attendance. At WorkHuman, I suggest that giving yourself permission to be human and being open to meet like-minded people are all you need for a successful and meaningful conference experience. Creating a human organization culture starts with allowing yourself to be human. And where better to begin that process than with thought leaders of all stripes, and attendees from all organization functions, all coming together to learn from each other the value of the human experience at work.