Tag Archives: HR Technology

Moving the HR Industry Forward

data point tuesday_500I love finding new sources of information that shine a light on how organizations can achieve better business results through Key Interval Analysts 2better people practices. This month I found a new source – although the principals are old friends – that is going to make important contributions in the use of HR technology in the improvement of business outcomes. If you haven’t heard of Key Interval Research, you most certainly have heard of John Sumser and William Tincup, the founders and principal analysts. And if you haven’t seen the first of their monthly research reports, let me introduce you to “The Ideal Vendor Relationship.”

The report is based on a survey of 1106 HR and Recruiting professionals conducted in December 2014 and January 2015. The survey respondents were from a broad cross section of titles in HR functions from organizations of all sizes. The survey itself had 85 subject matter questions and 35 demographic questions and the answers were collected online through several methods.

The incidence of “ah ha!” moments are so numerous in this report that sets out to explore, understand and illuminate how HR practitioners and their administrative players work successfully together with HR technology vendors and their administrative players to achieve organizational goals. These are crucial insights because, as William and John believe, “today’s work world requires that HR Departments accomplish their work through outside people and tools.” As we all know, more and more of those people are vendors and those tools are software.

The report is full of surprising findings:

  • The software lifecycle drives relationships
  • Only a small fraction of HR practitioners are dissatisfied with their HRTech tools
  • A majority of respondent companies have terminated an HRTech vendor for cause, but
  • Nearly 80% of respondents like their HR Software
  • The HRTech vendor-practitioner relationships are surprisingly healthy
  • The most important factor in the long term relationship with a vendor is the time required to get an answer

And there are more. Many more surprising findings. I won’t give away most of the good stuff, these guys are in business and want you to buy this report, but the myth busting section was particularly interesting. One of the myths they bust is that what matters most to the customer is schedule and budget. That’s right. A myth. User Satisfaction is significantly more important. This would be important for every vendor to understand and for every customer to own. Here’s the graph explaining…

April 7 2015 Customer MythThe report covers the software lifecycle, discoveries – including the busting of long held beliefs, easily digested findings, notable vendors and a pocket guide. Also included in the report are 4 cases from HR practitioners managing HR software vendor relationships and working on important business issues. The takeaways are critical. (Note: not all of the outcomes are positive.)

These are smart guys asking smart questions that maybe no one else is asking. And the answers aren’t what I expected. They aren’t even the answers they expected. And that’s what makes this report so refreshing and so useful: answers to questions that aren’t being asked and insightful analysis into the surprising answers. Worth the price of admission. Check it out here.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, John Sumser, Key Interval Research, William tincup

HR & Video: A Match Made in Heaven?

Data Point Tuesday
A recent global survey “Global View: Business Video Conferencing Usage and Trends,” conducted by Redshift Research on behalf of Polycom, Inc. dives into recent shifts in the way HR is communicating and shaping business culture. Data for the report was collected from 1,205 business decision makers in four regions and twelve countries. Major discoveries of the report included the ways Human Resource executives perceive and are using video and video conferencing technology. The data suggests that a move towards video provides advantages for talent management, staffing, training, productivity and flexible work enablement.

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 2Data from the survey tells us video is widely used by HR departments across the world. Polycom’s study found that video conferencing ranked as a top-three tool for communications, with HR respondents ranking email as the number one preferred communications tool (88%), followed by voice-conference calls at 62% and video conferencing at 46%. Interestingly, HR executives who use video at work today said they would prefer video collaboration to email as their top method of business communication within three years. HR executives that participated in the study saw clear benefits of using video communication tools over other forms of communication – with 98% of the Human Resources executives surveyed reporting that video conferencing helps companies work through issues of distance and cultural barriers to ultimately improve productivity amongst their teams.

Aberdeen Group Research 2014Respondents from the survey who use video conferencing today stated that the top advantages of this method of communication are: better collaboration between globally dispersed colleagues (54%), greater clarity of topics being discussed (45%) and more efficient meetings (44%). 76% respondents report that they use video conferencing at work and 83% of respondents (nearly 90% of those in their 20’s and 30’s) use consumer video conference solutions at home today. Laptops and desktops were the most popular form of business video conferencing, followed by conference rooms, and then mobile devices.

Inside and outside of the workplace, we’re seeing a movement towards video as the newest trend in keeping us better connected. Whether this is the addition of video features to major social media platforms, or businesses using video conferencing more frequently, it’s clear that video is on the rise. When you add in the increased focus on workplace flexibility by many organizations and a workforce that places increasingly more importance on the ability to be mobile and highly connected, integrating video communication tools in the workplace makes a lot of sense.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR, HR Technology, Human Resources, Polycom

Streaming Live: 2014 Great Place to Work Conference®!

Data Point Tuesday

I’m going to deviate from my normal Data Point Tuesday this week to offer you an invitation to attend the streaming keynote sessions from our 2014 conference. The 2014 Great Place to Work® Annual Conference kicks off this Thursday in New Orleans, and we’re very excited to share some of the great learning opportunities of the conference virtually! This year’s conference has sold out with 1,150 registered attendees from more than 400 companies. 39 out of our 45 keynote speakers and concurrent session leaders are business leaders (20) and senior HR practitioners (19). This is the only national event that teaches, inspires and connects professionals across industries and functions to strengthen workplace culture through building trust.

We’re thrilled to bring a packed agenda with a wealth of engaging speakers to those attending in New Orleans this year. If you’re not attending however, don’t worry! We will have free live streaming of our conference keynote sessions here this Thursday and Friday (April 3rd and 4th). Our keynote speakers this year include Bill Emerson, CEO of Quicken Loans, Terri Kelly, President and CEO at W.L. Gore & Associates, Victoria B. Mars, Member, Board of Directors at Mars, Inc., Blake Nordstrom, President at Nordstrom Inc., and Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. We’re very excited to allow all of you to join us virtually and we hope you’ll take advantage of a great opportunity to take away actionable ideas and learn about best practices from experts at companies recognized for building trust, pride and camaraderie in the workplace! See you there!

Watch the 2014 Great Place to Work® Conference Keynotes Live Here

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Filed under 100 Best Companies to Work For, China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Great Place to Work, Great Place to Work Institute, Hiring, HR, HR Conferences, Human Capital ROI, Leadership, Leadership Aspiration, Learning/Development

The B2T Revolution

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Employees (And Prospects) Are Consumers When it Comes to HR Technology

Mobile devices and apps are no longer the hot new craze. The B2C (Business-to-Consumer) sectors have taken care of that. Mobile devices have become an essential item for communication and internet access, and as Cisco reports, by the end of this year (in three weeks!) the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth. By 2017, it’s predicted there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita. We’re now seeing companies like Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, selling more mobile devices than PCs. And as you’re undoubtedly aware, smartphones are a huge part of this mobile device equation. The growth of smart phone usage in 2012 was 81% and has only increased since. We’re using our smartphones for MUCH more than phone-calls though. Downloading applications, checking email, accessing the internet, getting directions, making dinner reservations, paying for purchases and meeting Mr./Ms. Right are just a few examples of ways smart-phones and mobile devices are being used today by people all ages from all walks of life. The bottom line is people are living their lives on mobile. And as long as the product is intuitive, easy to use and fast, the potential for success on mobile devices is huge.

HR Technology applications are no exception. A 2013 Mobile Consumer Report from Nielsen found that 82% of U.S smartphone users browse the web on their smartphone, and 63% use smartphones for social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. According to Talent Management Headquarters, one billion (1,000,000,000) job searches are conducted on mobile devices each month! Mobile recruiting is well on its way to being the next big thing for talent acquisition. This makes sense when we consider that we can use mobile devices during short moments of down time, on a bus or during a lunch break.  As career sites and job postings become increasing mobile friendly, it’s likely that both passive and active job seekers will turn to their mobile devices before they turn to their desktop to hunt for jobs or job search related information.  And mobile recruiting offers organizations the benefit of exposure to job seekers who may not own or be frequent users of computers.

More importantly, with so many employees working from mobile devices, it has become increasingly critical for employers to provide HR information through vendors with easy to use, native mobile apps. Perhaps this is the new focus:  B2T – Business to Talent! Mobile HR applications offer employees (as well as HR managers) instantaneous interaction and engagement with HR Data like payroll and benefits information, recruiting/talent acquisition services, performance/goal management, and time and labor information – even more so than using a laptop or desktop. And in the day and age when all of us are used to instant access when we are living our non-work related lives, having these important processes and data easily accessible are becoming a must-have not a nice-to-have. In 2011, the ADP Research Institute looked at how mobile technology could make HR mobile solutions a game-changer. Respondents reported a significant benefit in using HR mobile solutions, citing improved workforce satisfaction, improved real time decision making, and improved workforce productivity. So the B2T revolution is here.

Mobile technology has revolutionized much in our lives and for HR leaders and employees there is more change to come. User friendly HR applications for mobile devices will prove an effective way to increase efficiency for managers and employees, just as the popularity of job searching on mobile devices will undoubtedly impact how we recruit. Communicating with talent – current and future – via mobile really could be a game changer for employers, employees, job seekers and HR technology providers.

The B2T bottom line:  employees are consumers. And they expect to have consumer-like experiences with the technology and software at work and about work. And if you aren’t providing it for them, they’ll likely use their smartphone to find another employer!

Mobile-Enabled Process Adoption

*This post is part of SilkRoad’s first annual #HRTechTrends Blog Carnival. A recap of all participants will be posted on SilkRoad Ink on December 20, 2013.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, ADP Research Institute, Business to Talent, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR, HR Technology, Mobile Devices, SilkRoad, Talent Management Headquarters

Is HR Still in a Bad Mood?

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This was a popular post from last year at this time and I’m wondering if HR is still in a bad mood…

Results from The Fifth Annual Talent Management Study by Knowledge Infusion and Human Resource Executive® were published recently in HR Executive by Mike Brennan and some of the findings were surprising.

I didn’t find it surprising that 63% of the respondents report that they have trouble filling jobs and that they can’t find the right candidates. That’s been reported frequently.

It also doesn’t surprise me that more organizations than not will be increasing their investments in Learning/Development, Performance/Goal Management and Workforce Analytics/Planning services and technology. That’s obvious.

What really does surprise me is that 58% of HR executives believe that peer leaders in their organizations “do not buy into talent management.”

Lordy, I hope this isn’t the furniture conversation. And I’m willing to believe it isn’t because 83% of the respondents also believe that “many of our managers do not know how to manage people.” Additionally, 65% of the respondents believe that “many of our HR generalists/business partners are not equipped to consult with the organization on talent.”

Ouch. Either the HR respondents to this survey were all in a colossally bad mood, or they’re starting to look clear-eyed at their organizations and re-calibrate their challenges.

It’s clear that many organizations need to look at legacy systems and programs in the talent management arena (can you say annual performance review system?) and, according to this survey, they are. But focusing on leadership understanding and managerial effectiveness in talent management might be a strong first step.

It’s a great day for HR if the results of this survey mean a new focus on talent management effectiveness – at the top, in the middle, and most importantly, in HR.

But if it was just a systemic bad mood, we’re sunk. Because, in the words of one of my favorite movie characters in one of my favorite movies, “we have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”

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Filed under American President, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Credibility, HR Executive Magazine, HR Technology, Knowledge Infusion, Managerial Effectiveness, Talent Management

Building the HRM Technology Business Case

The highly anticipated CedarCrestone 2012-2013 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 15th Annual Edition was released at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago last week.

If you have any thought of adding HRM technology to your budget next year, the data in this report can be the foundation of your business case for the investment request.  Even if you aren’t going to ask for technology investment money for FY2013 this report will give you important data for managing your technology in new ways.

In analyzing the more than 1200 survey responses to identify key common practices, the CedarCrestone team (led by Lexi Martin) used these four independently validated key financial metrics to identify the highly successful organizations:

  • Revenue per employee:  Top performers is $681,903 vs. $352,576 for all others
  • Profit per employee:  Top performers is $317,508 vs. $131,157 for all others
  • Operating income growth (EBIT):  Top performers is 61% vs. 11% for all others
  • Return on Equity:  Top performers is 23% vs. 10%

Once the pool of top performing organizations was created, the analysis for common practices began and resulted in identifying the following Seven Practices of Top Performing Organizations:

  1. Top Performers have standardized processes and sophisticated change management processes.
  2. Top Performers are more likely to already have, or be planning a move to, a SaaS HRMS.
  3. Top Performers avoid extensive customizations of their HRMS.
  4. Top Performers have higher user adoption of employees, and manager self service, and shared services.
  5. Top Performers are more likely to have an integrated Talent Management system on the same platform as their HRMS solution.
  6. Top Performers have more sophisticated business intelligence solutions in place and more often put these tools in the hands of managers.
  7. Top Performers have more HR technologies in use and spent less on HR technology per employee.

The CedarCrestone 2012-2013 Survey White Paper goes into great detail about each of the seven best practices with quick characteristic overviews as well as deep data dives.  Well written and easily understood, this report is full of really useful information – whether you’re an HR department of one or one hundred.

The best practice that caught my eye was #7:  Top Performers have more HR technologies in use and spend less on HR technology per employee.

Regardless of the application category, Top Performers have more technology in place than the others.  We place each respondent in a technology application adoption quartile:  62% of Top Performers are in the top quarter of application adoption vs. 35% of the other publicly traded organizations; the categories of BI (Business Intelligence) and social applications both had 20%+ differences in adoption  between Top Performers and non-top performers.  And all of that technology still comes at a 12% lower cost per employee! 

It may seem  counter-intuitive that more technology means less cost, or that more technology means less humane-ness.  But what’s more humane than the organizational stability that comes with success?  What’s more humane than a highly profitable business that’s able to invest in talent?  What’s more humane than the organizational growth and longevity that higher levels of productivity produce?

Download the CedarCrestone report here, get a cup of coffee and spend an hour on the data and conclusions.  You won’t be sorry because these dots connect.

It’s budget season. You need the business case to invest in HRM technology and this report will give you most of the firepower you’ll need.  You could be a hero at this time next year!

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Filed under Business Case, CedarCrestone, China Gorman, Connecting Dots, EBIT, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Technology, HR Technology Conference, HRM Technology

The Language of Business

Visier, named one of the “2012 Awesome New Technologies for HR” by Bill Kutik, the founding conference co-chair of the upcoming HR Technology Conference in Chicago, is changing the face of HR analytics.  And by changing the face, I mean, putting a beautiful, incredibly interactive and astonishingly useful face on the workforce data collected by the many and disparate systems inside organizations.

All vendors in the HCM space commission research and surveys by credible third party organizations and write what they hope are useful white papers to ensure an educated prospect and customer base.  These white papers, while clearly biased, have some powerful data and insights that any HR practitioner – generalist, specialist or leader – can use to educate themselves.  Trolling through the Resources tabs of HCM solutions providers when you have some downtime can be worthwhile.

As I was browsing through the white papers at the Visier site, I came upon some great stuff.  Since Visier is in the workforce analytics business the subject matter is all tied to workforce analytics.  And they’ve got some great survey and research data for you.  But in this survey report, 2012 Survey of Employers:  Workforce Analytics Practices, Preferences & Plans, tucked in at the very end, was a chart showing what more than 150 U.S.-based employers (presumably through the voice of HR professionals taking the survey) thought their top workforce concerns were for 2012:

This is the first survey that I’ve read in which performance was ranked as the top workforce concern of HR professionals.  These top concerns lists are everywhere and none of them rank performance at the top.

  • Llloyd’s annual Risk Index (most recent 2011) lists Talent and Skills Shortages as Risk #2 (Loss of Customers is Risk #1)
  • Deloitte’s 2012 Human Capital Trends lists Growth as #1
  • The HR Policy Association (most recent list is 2011) lists Executive Development and Succession at the top of CHRO concerns
  • The WFPMA &  Boston Consulting Group survey (most recent is 2010) of global HR leaders lists Managing Talent as the most critical global HR issue
  • Human Resource Executive’s annual “What’s Keeping You Up Now” survey (most recent is September 2011) lists “Ensuring employees remain engaged and productive” as #1 (note that the 4th concern in the Visier survey was engagement.  Performance and engagement are not the same thing.)

I’m happy to see a survey of HR professionals identifying workforce performance as their top concern because performance is about business.  Performance is quantifiable.  Performance isn’t touchy feely.  Performance is not the language of professionals who chose HR because they “like to work with people.”  Performance is the language of professionals who are comfortable with measurements, analytics, data, accountability, business success.  In short, performance is the language of business people.  And I cheer when HR people speak the language of business rather than the language of HR.

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Filed under Analytics, Business Language, Business Success, China Gorman, HR Analytics, HR Conferences, HR Technology, Performance, Visier

Data Analytics: Too Sophisticated for HR?

Mercer and WorldatWork have collaborated again on a survey and report about current total rewards/compensation trends in metrics and analytics.  The focus of the research was to understand what types of analytics are currently being conducted and what technologies are being used to conduct them.

It’s an interesting report – especially from the vantage point of what it says about the relationship between HR and data and HR and analytics.  The survey was fielded in February, 2012 to compensation leaders who are WorldatWork members (the dataset held 560 scrubbed responses , a final 10.9% response rate), so they all have more than a passing knowledge of the total rewards function.

The big takeaways of the survey data are that:

  • Rather than use sophisticated analytical approaches like projections, simulations and predictive modeling to support decision making, organizations are more likely to use ongoing reports and benchmarking from internal and external peer groups.
  • Survey respondents report lack of access to and confidence in data regarding education competencies/capabilities and training investments – critical to workforce analytics.
  • Compensation professionals may be falling behind their colleagues in other HR functional areas in their adoption of more sophisticated analytics methodologies.

The report discusses why adoption of more powerful analytics is low despite 67% of respondents indicating adequate skill levels to engage in higher level analytics and almost half (47%) having 1 -2 FTEs tasked with HR-related analytics.  More important, 75% of the respondents reported that C-suite executives in their organizations have asked for workforce projections, simulations or predictive modeling.

Mercer and WorldatWork point out that while respondents report that some data is not available or of poor quality, 75% of respondents say their organizations are working to improve the consistency of their data. Paradoxically, 52% are unclear where responsibility for data integrity lies.

I found it interesting that the researchers suggest that “unavailable” data may result from a lack of interest in the data rather than an ability to access it.  A compelling point.

From the responses outlined in the exhibit above, one could readily agree with the researchers that critical workforce information about education, competencies, prior work experience and investments in training aren’t top of mind for compensation professionals. It could easily be that compensation professionals believe these datasets and their analysis more naturally belong to other HR functions:  learning/development and talent management/acquisition.

The writers argue that rewards/compensation professionals have a preoccupation with the behavioral side of rewards and overlook the “asset side” – the impact of rewards on the ability of the organization to acquire appropriate talent.

The bottom line for the researchers is to encourage rewards/compensation professionals to begin to think more expansively – and use higher levels of analytics – on the role of rewards in driving human capital development and business success and focus a little less on salary competitiveness and pay-performance sensitivity as performance drivers.

A very interesting report and very useful data as you begin to plan your 2013 budget.  Stepping up your workforce analytics sophistication could be a game changer for your organization.

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Filed under C-suite, China Gorman, Employee Benefits, Engagement, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Technology, Mercer, Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management, Total Rewards, WorldatWork

Is HR in a Bad Mood?

Results from The Fifth Annual Talent Management Study by Knowledge Infusion and Human Resource Executive® were published recently in HR Executive by Mike Brennan and some of the findings were surprising.

I didn’t find it surprising that 63% of the respondents report that they have trouble filling jobs and that they can’t find the right candidates. That’s been reported frequently.

It also doesn’t surprise me that more organizations than not will be increasing their investments in Learning/Development, Performance/Goal Management and Workforce Analytics/Planning services and technology. That’s obvious.

What really does surprise me is that 58% of HR executives believe that peer leaders in their organizations “do not buy into talent management.”

Lordy, I hope this isn’t the furniture conversation. And I’m willing to believe it isn’t because 83% of the respondents also believe that “many of our managers do not know how to manage people.” Additionally, 65% of the respondents believe that “many of our HR generalists/business partners are not equipped to consult with the organization on talent.”

Ouch. Either the HR respondents to this survey were all in a colossally bad mood, or they’re starting to look clear-eyed at their organizations and re-calibrate their challenges.

It’s clear that many organizations need to look at legacy systems and programs in the talent management arena (can you say annual performance review system?) and, according to this survey, they are. But focusing on leadership understanding and managerial effectiveness in talent management might be a strong first step.

It’s a great day for HR if the results of this survey mean a new focus on talent management effectiveness – at the top, in the middle, and most importantly, in HR.

But if it was just a systemic bad mood, we’re sunk. Because, in the words of one of my favorite movie characters in one of my favorite movies, “we have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”

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Filed under American President, China Gorman, HR, HR Credibility, HR Executive Magazine, HR Technology, Knowledge Infusion, Managerial Effectiveness, Talent Management