Whatever Happened to Succession Planning?

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Here’s an interesting and quick read by Ben Eubanks and Trish McFarlane for Ultimate SoftwareThe New Realities of Work. Ben and Trish are seasoned HR leaders turned analysts within the HR technology space and this quick read reflects the depth of their in-the-trenches HR experience as well as their knowledge of the HR tech space.

This quick hit has 5 topics:ultimate-1

  1. Strengths-based Talent Practices
  2. Social Influence
  3. Collaborative Innovation
  4. Tools Promoting Partnership
  5. Blending Approaches for Better Outcomes

The first category, Strengths-based Talent Practices has a configuration I hadn’t seen before:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Learning
  • Performance
  • Succession

Talent acquisition, learning and performance management are the usual suspects in these conversations; but I don’t see succession included in these broader discussions any more and I appreciated seeing it here. The concepts of succession and succession planning have given way to the almost singular focus on talent retention and the necessity of doing a better job at managing the various generations in our workforces. Giving succession planning short shrift through the organization has given rise to higher turnover and inadequate preparation of talent to assume higher levels of responsibility. In short, a major part of retaining talent is preparing it for ever greater roles and responsibilities. I may be totally out to lunch here, but I think our focus on retaining talent has made us laggards in educating and preparing our talent for greater responsibilities. We’re taking a very short term view, which, in my opinion, exacerbates the talent retention challenge.

This quick treatment doesn’t shed a ton of light on this issue, but rather includes it in the a broad (and quick) discussion of the new realities of work and calls it out as an area of best practice. Check it out. Trish and Ben have done a nice job.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR, HR Technology, HR Trends

Talent Acquisition the Data-Driven Way

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Visier’s The Demand for Data-Driven Talent Acquisition report is a very quick read and gives some interesting data to consider as you plan for your 2017 talent acquisition activities. The opening paragraph of this short white paper sets the stage for some interesting data points:

“With countless recruiting-related technologies and assessment options on the market, business leaders might expect that measuring the long-term impact of talent acquisition is a practice that’s well-established and effective. A survey of hiring managers, however, suggests that the reality is just the opposite.”

The bottom line is that still, after massive investments in recruiting technology, it’s still tough to predict the long-term quality of hires. And measuring the impact of the recruiting process is becoming job #1 for many recruiting organizations because their clients, hiring managers, are expecting more.

200 hiring managers from across the U.S. – from a number of industries – took a survey in October 2016. All of the respondents were from organizations employing more than 8,000 people with over $1 billion in annual revenue. The size of the responding employers may well be irrelevant in the discussion of talent acquisition and what continues to challenge organizations of all sizes.

The report is fairly straightforward – just 8 questions are reported in this paper. Two that stuck out to me are pretty obvious, but also pretty revealing:

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It’s no surprise that managers in larger organizations – remember the respondents were hiring managers not HR or recruiting professionals – want the recruiting process to be improved. Other questions and data in the report show why that would be the case. Hiring managers in larger organizations appear to be challenged by the effectiveness of their recruitment support teams. But beyond finding the right people who will stay in the job, hiring managers also want more data-driven processes when looking for new talent. Data-driven business processes abound in larger organizations and hiring managers are expressing deep interest (70% of them!) in employing data-driven processes for talent acquisition. Makes sense to me.

Visier publishes these bite sized reports fairly often and I enjoy reading them. They open windows of simple (and sometimes all too obvious) insight that can be quite useful.

 

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Filed under Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Hiring, HR Analytics, Recruiting, Recruiting Trends, Talent Acquisition, Visier

Zombie HR

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The Future of Work, a new report from the SHRM Foundation, is a quick study on, well, the future of work.

Everyone talks about the future of work like it’s the next scary thing coming for us after the zombies have left. And that may be true (well, not the zombie part), so this short report can help you frame what you should be concerned about.

Working with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the SHRM Foundation identified 5 trends that their research shows are impacting the world of work:

  1. Demographic shifts
  2. Loss of middle-skilled jobs
  3. Skills gap: disconnect between educational standards and organizational demand
  4. Eroding physical barriers and increased globalization
  5. New models of work: crowdsourcing

Taken individually, none of these trends are surprising, right? But taken together, they create a set of concerns that keep most C-suite leaders, as well as their HR colleagues, up at night.

I believe that the most impactful of the five trends is number 3:  the skills gap. The growing disconnect between employer skills needs and output from the global education system is already impacting small, medium, and large employers everywhere in the world. The other four trends just make things even more challenging.

Take a look at the report. It’s a quick read and will put the whole “future of work” discussion into a helpful context.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Economist Intelligence Unit, Future of Work, HR Trends, Randstad, SHRM Foundation

6 Reasons To Attend HR Tech User-Conferences

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I am frequently invited to attend user conferences in the HR Tech space and I am becoming a huge fan of these events. There is something for everyone – from certification to skill building to inspiration to fun! The latest case in point was KronosWorks, the annual gathering of customers and prospects of Kronos, the heavyweight provider of tools and services to manage and engage an entire workforce with a focus on time/attendance management.

With over 2,500 attendees from all over the world, KronosWorks was organized like a well-oiled machine. Based on my experience there – and at a number of others, like those produced by Universum, Smashfly, and Globoforce, here are my top 6 reasons to attend an HR Tech User Conference.

  1. Improve the ROI of your HR Tech investment. All user conferences provide training on getting the most of the product or service. ATTEND THESE SESSIONS! I guarantee you that you aren’t getting all the possible value out of your investment. And think about bringing someone along with you next year. Having more than one person with technical skill in managing the product/service helps mitigate risk.
  2. Learn how it really works. Creating relationships with peers in other organizations can save you time and money. Whether these are organizations that deployed the full stack, deployed the solution before yours did, or those that were similar in purchase and deployment strategy, comparing notes and learning from others’ successes and mistakes will only improve your investment’s impact.
  3. A view of the future. Every user conference has a session that discusses the product/service roadmap. Want to know what’s coming? This is invaluable for planning the next year’s budget. Have suggestions for improvements? Trust me, the vendor will be all ears – and you’ll have access to the most senior leaders of the organization. Come prepared with your product wish list!
  4. Certification. Almost every user conference offers technical certifications as well as the usual HR-related certifications. Why not make this part of your personal professional development plan as well as an organizational effectiveness plan? If PD dollars are tight in your organization, these conferences are solid two-fers.
  5. Inspiration. Most user conferences these days have dynamite keynote sessions – whether, like at KronosWorks, where the topic was generational dynamics, or like others where futurists and other top selling academics and authors speak – there’s always a thought provoking topic that provides complementary current thinking.
  6. Social Activities. All the user conferences I attend have wonderful opening receptions with great food and music, and the opportunity to meet other attendees. Additionally, some provide pretty amazing “outings.” This year KronosWorks was held in Orlando and everyone was bussed over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for an evening of relaxed fun. I know there were lots of implementation discussions taking place over magic wands that night!

These conferences are valuable for anyone who touches the implementation or administration of an HR Tech product/service. And especially for those in the first year or two of a user relationship. You can’t have too many relationships at the top of the vendor’s organization and you can’t know enough about how the technology can work for your organization. And if you’re a long-time or power user, your user experience will be hugely impactful in the continued tweaking of the product and the product roadmap.

The bottom line for attending an HR Tech user conference is that both sides of the relationship get smarter – the product/service gets better, your relationship with the vendor gets stronger, and you get smarter. Not a bad ROI.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Technology, HRM Technology, Kronos, KronosWorks

Watson Agrees With Me!

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“More positive employee experiences are linked to better performance, extra effort at work, and lower turnover intentions.”

For people who follow my work as a speaker and a writer, this quote may seem familiar. And it’s true. I’ve said variations of this for several years. And I’ve had a range of data sources to back me up. But now, Watson has said it, so it must be true!

My friends at Globoforce and the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute have published a new white paper:  The Employee Experience Index. And it’s definitely worth a read – and not just because Watson agrees with me.

Together, Globoforce and IBM have created the Employee Experience Index that should give all those legacy engagement survey data analyses a run for their money. Frankly, I think focusing on “employee experience” rather than “engagement” makes sense. Employee experience is specific, it’s logical, it’s definable. “Engagement” is none of those things. After a broad research study that included literature review and construct identification, construct measurement, and index and driver definitions, they define employee experience as:  “a set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organization.” An elegantly simple definition. We can work with this!

And they did:  they created a 5-dimension, 10-item index to capture the core facets of employee experience:

  • Belonging – feeling part of a team, group or organization
  • Purpose – understanding why one’s work matters
  • Achievement – a sense of accomplishment in the work that is done
  • Happiness – the pleasant feeling arising in and around work
  • Vigor – the presence of energy, enthusiasm and excitement at work

These dimensions make so much sense to me. And here is the framework of drivers and outcomes of employee experience at work:

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Again, elegantly simple. Note the “Human Workplace Practices.” Not “best practices.” Not “effective practices.” Human practices. Watson is on to something!

This 13 page analysis and report includes findings like the following:  Positive employee experience is linked to better work performance, more effort, and retention. And their data supports these conclusions.

This is a terrific report. Download it here. It will give you a perspective on what many call engagement and will give you a context in which to engage your leaders – the folks who set the stage for your employees’ experience.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience Index, Engagement, Globoforce, HR Trends, Humanity in the workplace, IBM Smarter Workforce, Watson

The State of the Recruitment Industry

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I recently ran across this:  Global Staffing Trends 2017:  The State of the Recruitment Industry. This little report from LinkedIn would be easy to dismiss, but I encourage you to take a look. It’s written for search/staffing firms. Not for corporate or in-house talent acquisition folks. So unless you’re a third-party staffing firm, not so interesting, right? Well, I’d encourage you to take a look.

I’ve had issues with LinkedIn’s research before, but this is a pretty straight-forward and easy to consume report. Won’t take you 10 minutes to read. But if you’re an in-house talent acquisition professional, you should read this. The trend information is pretty interesting.

Here are the top 4 takeaways as LinkedIn defines them:

Staffing firms expect to grow in 2017.

68% of staffing firms expect the size

of their firm to increase in 2017. They

intend to hire more recruiters, sourcers,

marketers, and coordinators during the

course of the next year.

 

The volume of placements will increase.

79% of staffing firms will see an increase in

the volume of candidates placed in 2017.

Despite this, an overwhelming number of

recruitment firms say that they still place

candidates in 2 months or less.

 

Budget goes to traditional tactics, but

branding tops investment wish list.

While nearly 50% of budget goes to

traditional sources, if given unlimited

funds, staffing firms would prioritize

business development, branding and

investing in better sourcing tools.

 

Social recruiting, candidate diversity,

and screening automation are the trends

defining the future of recruiting.

Using social and professional networks to

generate new business and recruit more diverse

candidates are on top of recruiters’ wish list.

Another prominent trend is the automation of

the screening and hiring process.

So why should you care?

Well, staffing firms think you’re going to be hiring more people in 2017 and that you’ll use their services more than you did in 2016. That means they think their businesses are going to grow year-over-year. They are staffing up to meet your growing demand for their services and that could mean they’ll have fewer experienced and proven professionals working on your searches. You may need to stay closer to those firms and the assignments you give them to ensure that your brand is being represented well in the talent marketplace.

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While staffing firms think business will grow next year, they still expect to complete their assignments in two months or less. That’s interesting. Even if they do hire additional experienced staff, is it realistic to expect fast, great talent matches in the same period of time? Maybe. Maybe not.

Staffing firms would also really like to beef up their business development investments as a priority. So that means you’ll be called on more frequently by firms you’ve not engaged with previously. Gird yourselves for a sales and marketing onslaught.

And finally, understand what new kinds of technology your third-party recruiting firms are using to ensure that your brand is being cared for appropriately. Are you OK with the most of the steps in the funnel being automated? If you’re not, your search firm needs to know that. And if you are, how automated are those steps? And will they promise to eliminate the black hole in the search process?

If you use third-party recruiters, this report is interesting. How often do you get to see inside the budgets, investments, strategies and business planning of your providers? I think this information will help you manage these relationships and contracts, and help you create a win-win relationship with these mission critical partners. And make no mistake, any provider/partner/vendor who touches your talent is mission critical.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Linkedin, Recruiting, Recruiting Technology, Recruiting Trends

Facebook and Snapchat are the least of our worries

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The Workforce Institute at Kronos has just published an eye-opening report on the cost of wasted time at work. The $687 Billion Question, discusses the impact of what Kronos labels engagement and what others might label productivity. The focus is on some surprising causes of low productivity in the workplace based on responses to research of conducted in 2016. It included 314 online surveys and detailed interviews with HR professionals (105), Operations/Line of Business managers (105) and employees (104) at companies with more than 600 employees in the Retail (21%), Healthcare (20%), Public Sector (20%), Manufacturing (19%), Service (16%), and Transportation and Logistics (4%) sectors.

The report shows in detail some unexpected — and wholly controllable — causes of low productivity and discusses the ramifications of just one hour of wasted time. And by wasted time, they don’t mean Snapchatting, staying current on Facebook, or making personal phone calls. They mean time wasted by inefficient processes and systems. Time wasted by dealing with office politics, with administrative tasks unrelated to the job, unnecessary complexity, and lack of appropriate skills – all contributing to low productivity at work.

The report provides data and analysis in five sections:

  1. Stuck in the middle: People are torn between meeting customer needs and manager expectations

  2. Small changes create big rewards: Why reducing one hour of wasted time can save billions of dollars

  3. Why your greatest asset shouldn’t be a liability: Balancing the needs of people with the numbers

  4. Bridging the engagement gap: Turning technology into an engagement tool and competitive advantage

  5. Don’t dash for cash: Use communication, collaboration, and culture to keep employees engaged

Easily understood graphics abound and the discussion of the hard dollar losses to our organizations is compelling and important.

kronos-questionThat’s $4,554 per year per employee. That’s the $687 Billion price tag.

So, if our employees spend additional time goofing off on social media, shopping online, or dealing with personal business while on the clock, the $687 billion cost just gets bigger and bigger. Not good. Definitely not good.

The $687B Question is a quick read and helps frame the cost of controllable kinds of unproductive employee time. This kind of lack or productivity is clearly able to be reduced. But first we have to be aware of it. What’s the cost in your organization?

 

*Note:  I serve on the board of the Workforce Institute at Kronos

 

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Productivity, Kronos, Workforce Institute