That State of American Jobs and Workers

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While I was browsing the internet looking for some economic data, I came across this 2016 report from the Pew Research Center:  The State of American Jobs. And it is compelling! The Pew Research Center is “a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. They conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.”

This report is hefty at 95 pages, but it is totally readable. And full of great information about the state of the U.S. workforce. I couldn’t put it down. (Well, I couldn’t stop scrolling forward.)

There are five sections – and they’re all fascinating. If you have anything to do with people in your organization – hiring, managing, training, deploying – there will be nuggets here that will absolutely help you be more effective. The five sections are:

  1. Changes in the American workplace
  2. How Americas assess the jobs situation today and prospects for the future
  3. How Americans view their jobs
  4. Skills and training needed to compete in today’s economy
  5. The value of a college education

Each of these alone are fascinating topics and the data/analysis provided generate great food for thought and action. An opening overview section sets the stage for a fascinating discussion of how American workers are assessing their skills, their ability to be competitive in the economy and the role of the U.S. education infrastructure to ensure employability.

Here are two graphs from the overview section that ought to catch your eye. First:

pew-2And second:

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Each of these graphs tells a profound story about workers, responsibility for employability, and the role of our education system in preparing workers for careers. And these are just in the overview. Wait until you see the nuggets in each of the following 5 chapters.

95 pages seem long – but it really isn’t. There are insights galore here that can help you in your talent attraction, development, retention and deployment policies and programs. And you don’t have to dig to get to the nuggets. They’re right there on the surface. Download it here, and browse through it first. Then go back and delve in to the chapters that really appeal to you. If you’re in any kind of people business – and who isn’t? – those nuggets will be valuable. Totally worth your time.

 

 

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Productivity, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Pew Research Center, Post-secondary education, Talent Analytics, Workforce Demographics, Workforce Planning

Is “HR Analytics” an Oxymoron?

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As we head full-on into 2017, a friend sent me the link to a survey analysis that is extremely eye-opening. Still Under Construction:  The State of HR Analytics 2016, conducted and published by the New Talent Management Network, has some compelling data about how HR functions are deploying higher level analytics and how successful they are in deriving actionable insights. I was somewhat surprised at the findings. Maybe you will be, too.

According to the report, the perceived revolution in human resources inspired by the promise of relevance through data-driven insights is largely unrealized. No surprise, right? It’s a quick read, with reader-friendly graphs and charts that should make you feel more normal if your HR analytics investment and programs aren’t moving ahead as quickly as you’d like – or as quickly as you perceive your competitors’ are!

There are three primary findings:

  1. Big Promise; Small Reality

Essentially, there’s lots of talk and very little action. “…most organizations are using the same tools that existed years ago to produce the same analyses companies have always produced.”

  1. Backstabbing Data

“It turns out that the data is dirty – inconsistent, scattered, unreliable and sometimes just plain inaccurate.”

  1. Lean, Green and Unloved

Surprisingly, the HR data analytics push doesn’t seem to be helping: “more companies said their people analytics team hinders their analytics work than helps it.”

All three points above are discussed with interesting data points to support the conclusions. Point three is explained with the following:

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The takeaway here is that when there are dedicated people analytics teams in place, they are relatively small, relatively inexperienced, and not being very successful in changing the people practices of the organization. And therefore, confidence in these teams’ output remains low.

Perhaps experience and longevity will help. Or perhaps we’ve gotten the cart before the horse. This paragraph from the report really struck home for me:

“Only basic people analytics are being performed by most organizations, undercutting the popular narrative that companies are rapidly advancing in this space. The only rapid advancement seems to be in adding an HR analytics function, not getting deeper, more meaningful insights from it.”

This report generates real food for thought. I think you’ll find it interesting.

 

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Analytics, New Talent Management Network, Talent Analytics

Generations At Work

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I was doing some research for a client and came across this report from Monster:  Monster Multi-Generational Survey, published in 2016. The underlying survey was concluded in January 2016 and surveyed more than 2,000 across the Boomer, X, Y and Z generations.

I’m actually not a big fan of reports that show how differently each generation at work needs to be treated. I’m more in the camp of how to bring people together rather than solidify their differences. However, this is a very useful report. It’s not long, but it’s full of interesting tidbits. In its descriptions of each of the four generations active in the workplace today, these are the top motivators by generation:

Boomers:

  • Health insurance (66%)
  • Boss they respect (59%)
  • Salary (57%)

GenX:

  • Salary (59%)
  • Job security (39%)
  • Job challenges/excitement (35%)

GenY:

  • Salary (63%)
  • Job challenges/excitement (37%)
  • Ability to pursue their passion (36%)

GenZ:

  • Salary (70%)
  • Ability to pursue their passion (46%)
  • Job security (32%)

The generational differences are fascinating. And it’s our job to figure out how to retain these differently motivated employees while we bring them together into effective work groups. A daunting challenge to be sure.

Of particular interest, I think, are the data that describe the differences in technology demands and expectations between the generations. This is a fascinating glimpse into how each generation relates with technology at work and which technology tools they view as most important:

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This is a terrific overview of the workplace preferences of each generation. And while we don’t want to build walls between the generations, we certainly do want to leverage technology in a way that will enable higher levels of productivity as well as more complete and effective communication.

I’m always looking for ways to break down walls between employees and create stronger more compelling workplace cultures. Using information like this to more effectively communicate and to build strong relationships make this report interesting.

You can download the report here. It’s a pretty quick read – well worth the investment of your time.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Generations at work, HR Data, Human Capital, Monster

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