Tag Archives: HR Technology

Are HR And Finance Finally Going To Be Friends?

How on earth can it be August 1st? For that matter, how on earth can it be 2017? After taking off three weeks for vacation and business travel commitments, it’s time to be back considering new research and data of interest to the HR community. And here’s an interesting report from Oracle and MIT Technology Review.

My friends at Oracle sent it to me, and I’m glad they did. The report might signal the start of a new era of respect, cooperation, and, dare we say, organizational friendship between HR and Finance. Finance and HR: The Cloud’s New Power Partnership is a recent publication providing interesting data, analysis, and commentary about the Cloud’s opportunity to drive greater partnership, cost savings and actionable data through a strong HR and Finance relationship. It’s a quick read at 14 pages, and it’s based on survey data collected from 700 respondents that included senior managers and their mid-level management counterparts from Finance, HR, and IT, as well as more holistically inclined C-level executives. Organizations participating were from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia. About 75% of the participating companies generate annual revenue between $250 million and $1 billion from a range or industries. So a global sample of large employers. Just the segment that would be wrestling with the Cloud opportunities. And just the segment that would see value in a closer relationship between HR and Finance.

Among businesses that participated in the survey, 35% plan to create a shared finance and HR function within a year… 42% of respondents say they are motivated by improvements in productivity and performance. Respondents view closer finance and HR collaboration in the cloud as a strategic necessity, promoting operation excellence and accelerating innovation.

Wait a minute. I think I felt the ground move! Shared Finance and HR function? Within a year? That’s an eye popper right there. Not because it doesn’t make sense:  it really does. HR is becoming more data driven every day. And Finance has been data driven for years. Getting them together to analyze people data’s impact on the business and its growth plans is critical. And getting HR and Finance together through a technology bridge makes sense. Both HR and Finance need more and more data to manage the business. More and more analytics capabilities. More and more ability to predict the future based on today’s data. It’s fascinating to me that technology may be the puzzle piece that finally brings HR and Finance together. And the results – so far – look substantial:

These outcomes, though pretty generic, show an enormous upside opportunity for HR and Finance to migrate jointly to the Cloud. When do we ever get these kinds of outcome ratings on large-scale organization change initiatives? Or just on HR projects? Or just on Finance projects? It seems as if organizations are succeeding in generating real benefits from moving to the Cloud by creating teams from natural adversaries. And how interesting it is that the IT team is the attractor beam bringing HR and Finance together.

The report shares a few short case studies – from the education, energy, and financial services sectors – that underscore the benefits of integrated ERP-HCM Cloud systems deployments. (Note: this is a white paper. Underwritten by Oracle.) There are a number of interesting graphs in the report all underscoring these benefits. And they’re interesting to think about.

This is a quick read and it could help inform your thoughts about moving more HR functions to the Cloud. And to get you thinking about the inevitability of working more closely with your colleagues over in Finance. Better to have some informed opinions before your CEO, CHRO, CFO, or CTO starts asking questions…

 

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Cloud Migration, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, HR Technology, MIT Technology Review, Oracle, Technology Implementation, Workforce Management

Employees First

I came across this fascinating white paper from SilkRoad the other day. The Big Shift Puts Employees First:  HR Transforms from Processes and Transactions to Employee Experiences, is the 2017 contribution to their annual State of Talent reports. This shines a light on how the HR tech conversation has switched from tech to employees. The paper opens with this:  ”More than ever, today’s CEOs recognize the tremendous competitive advantage in a workforce that’s highly motivated, excited and tightly connected to business goals. Building a powerful workforce strategy remains front and center for HR teams.”

White papers are, by their nature, primarily marketing documents. The data are collected and analyzed in a way that put a positive light on the vendor/purveyor who commissions the study and report. There appear to be robust data behind this analysis with the use of results from 8 surveys (including one from an analyst firm), fielded throughout 2016, from1,335 respondents in HR leadership positions, It’s a vendor white paper, to be sure, but one of the more interesting I’ve seen.

The topics covered in the report include the following:

  • State of Talent Strategy

  • State of Talent Technology

  • State of the Employee Experience

  • State of Talent Acquisition and the Candidate Experience

  • State of Onboarding and the New Hire Experience

  • State of Talent Development and the Employee Experience

  • State of Analytics and Technology

  • State of HR

  • Top Five Talent Trends

Don’t let this long and timely list deter you from downloading the report:  it’s a compact 30 pages full of graphics and survey data. You can read this in under 30 minutes – and you’ll be smarter for it. These are critical topics for HR leaders and professionals in all industries – all over the world.

Introducing the first chapter, The State of Talent Strategy, 4 disruptors are identified that set the stage for the interesting data and discussions that follow:

Disruptor #1:  Dissatisfaction with HR Technology

Disruptor #2:  Continuing pressure to improve business outcomes

Disruptor #3:  Changing workforce, multiple generations

Disruptor #4:  Differentiation to attract talent

And then the following chart really kicks things off:

These data points then lead the fascinating analysis and discussions that follow. Even keeping in mind that this is a marketing document, it’s extremely well done and brings to light some important (and maybe surprising) shifts in focus and strategy that leaders (not just HR leaders) are contemplating.

You may not agree with all of the conclusions. And you may not have budgets to move forward in all – or many – of these areas. But the findings are fascinating and worthy of further exploration. Download the report here and have at it.

 

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Filed under Big Data and HR, Brandon Hall Group, Candidate Experience, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Tech, HR Technology, HR Trends, HRM Technology, SilkRoad, Workplace Strategies

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

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

Talent Acquisition Systems

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Aptitude Research Partners recently published a thorough analysis of the Talent Acquisition landscape. It is a thing of beauty. If you’re looking for an ATS, if you’re thinking about your talent acquisition processes, if you’re wondering who does what to whom in the talent acquisition space, this report is a must-read. It’s meaty, it’s thorough, it’s a complete overview of the providers in the space.

It identifies 10 trends that you must know if you’re tinkering with your processes and systems:

  1. The need for simplicity
  2. Interview scheduling is a “must have”
  3. Do not leave the platform
  4. Recruitment marketing is a critical investment
  5. Not enough candidate feedback
  6. Reporting must be simple
  7. Services integrated into the technology deal
  8. More collaboration between recruiters and managers
  9. High volume is still a differentiator
  10. The marketplace is confusing

While some of those topics are a little opaque, you’ll be glad you investigated them.

But my favorite part of the report was the graphic showing the full HR technology landscape. Take a look:

Aptitude Research 1

This is one of the best one picture overviews of the HCM landscape. While you’re working on the talent acquisition sliver. Don’t lose sight of the rest of the pie!

Madeline Laurano and her analysts have outdone themselves. And they’ve done you a big solid. Take a look at the full report. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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Filed under Aptitude Research Partners, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Technology, HRM Technology, Madeline Laurano, Mollie Lombardi, Recruiting Technology, Talent Acquisition

Are You Putting All Your Eggs Into The Engagement Basket?

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George LaRocque, Founder and Principal Analyst at #HRWINS, has published a new report that caught my eye. Where Purpose Meets Performance:  Can HR Tech Solve Culture, is an interesting look at the culture challenges of the U.S. middle market (5,000 and fewer employees) which employs roughly 90% of the U.S. workforce.

Here’s where he grabbed me:

“Studies show that companies with performance enhancing cultures far out-perform those without it in terms of revenue growth, stock price growth, and net income growth. Yet, it remains nearly impossible to tie HR and people programs to business results. Business leaders and HR practitioners have looked to employee engagement as a measure of successful corporate culture but first even defining employee engagement presents a challenge. There have long been efforts to standardize its definition and measurement, and the result has been just the opposite. We’ve seen a proliferation of science and methods narrowly looking at everything from happiness to community embeddedness, social network analysis, motivation and incentives, collaboration, personality and culture assessments, and more.”

What follows is an interesting discussion, with 3 strong case studies, that shows how the acquisition and deployment of core HR technology is supporting the increase in HR credibility and impact on corporate performance, as well as greater employee satisfaction. It’s interesting stuff and incudes results from several surveys that George put out in the field.

At 20 pages, it isn’t a long read and is well organized. The main points cover the following:

  • What employees rate as the leading drivers of their feeling of engagement.
  • What employers feel are the HR and people programs delivering the best ROI.
  • How employee engagement fits in the new world of work.
  • What role core HR technology plays in building culture and aligning with business performance.

The survey work underpinning this analysis lead George to believe as I do:

“…perhaps the strongest component of culture that resonates with employees, of ALL generations, is having purpose and meaning in their work.”

The survey results, as shown below, show that, at least in the vast middle market, Baby Boomers and GenX are the most interested demographic as it relates to meaning and purpose. That’s not what you expected, is it? But it tracks with my research and observations.

#HRWINS 1

This report includes several such graphs and data points that provide solid context for whatever thinking and planning you’re doing regarding culture, engagement and your employee experience. Putting all your eggs in the “engagement” basket will most likely not produce the returns you expect. There are stronger fundamentals that may well have a stronger positive impact on your employees’ experience. Especially if you’re in the middle market.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, #HRWINS, Baby Boomers, China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, GenX, George LaRocque, HR Technology, Millennials

Annual HR Systems Survey Analysis Is Here!

data point tuesday_500One of the highlights of the HR Technology Conference each fall is the publication of the annual HR Systems Survey White Paper by Sierra-Cedar. With the retirement of long-time analyst Lexy Martin, Stacey Harris has stepped up magnificently and published a whopper of an analysis of all things HR tech, the 18th since 1997.

Sierra-Cedar encourages the dissemination of this white paper and I encourage you to download it here because it’s full of interesting survey data analysis. Here are a few high level nuggets from the executive summary:

  • This is the year of the Enterprise HR Systems Strategy: 43% of organizations are undertaking a major HR systems strategy initiative

  • HR organizations achieve higher levels of HR, Talent and Business outcomes by embracing their organization’s culture.

  • We’ve hit the tipping point: over 50% of purchased core HRMSs are SaaS solutions.

  • More than 50% of organizations are using new Talent Acquisition tools outside of their applicant tracking systems.

As organizations invest more time, attention and financial resources in HR management solutions, Sierra-Cedar sees three primary outcome models for these investments: Talent-Driven, Data-Driven and Top Performing. It’s good to see organization principles for how business spend their money and time. And these three buckets make good sense. We could probably all tick off well-known brands in each of those buckets. As a business leader, I find it interesting to see the comparison between talent-driven outcomes vs. data-driven outcomes.

Here’s one of many charts in the report that I found interesting:

Sierra Cedar 2015 2It is interesting to note here that the business outcome measures – especially market share and profitability – trend higher across the board. A great reminder that using data and business intelligence to be smart about talent makes the business more successful.

I love reading this report each year. It provides a frame of reference for what’s new, what’s old and what’s coming. If your organization is currently thinking through the effectiveness of any of your suite of HRMS solutions, this is a must read. If your organization is not currently thinking about the availability of HR related business intelligence, this is a must read. If your current HRMS solutions all live on premise, this is a must read. Come to think of it, if you’re in HR, this is a must read.

You can download it here. And then read it. Really. And then send Stacey Harris a thank you note.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, HR Technology, Sierra-Cedar