HR Technologies Are Following the Social Landscape

Karen Crone - Chief Human Resources Officer @ Paycor, Inc. | The HR Tech Weekly®

Today our guest is Karen Crone, Chief HR Officer at Paycor – a leading provider of intuitive, cloud-based HR, payroll and timekeeping software.

Karen spent over 15 years in senior and C-suite positions in HR in leading companies such as Convergys Corporation, Kendle Corporation now INC Research, American Modern Insurance Group, and currently Paycor.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Karen, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Recently you told us about HR predictions in terms of employee benefits in 2017. What do you think this year will bring to us in respect of HR technologies?

HR technologies are following the social landscape in many ways. For example, smartphones have become the human body’s external central nervous system. They relay information from every facet of our lives – news, entertainment, calendars, email, text messages, phone calls and so on. We have come to expect fingertip access to real-time information that integrates our personal and professional lives. From my perspective, mobility will continue to be the top trend. This is especially critical as the work itself becomes more fluid in terms of when, how, and where it’s completed. Mobility also supports the dynamic of collaborative and virtual teams that group, disband, and regroup as the work requires. HR technology must be mobile-friendly to be relevant.

Another trend is analytics and guided insights through dashboards and reports. For example, a young professional with a 401(k) does not just want to know her account balance, but also her performance relative to their peers. Is she saving more or less than peers? Is she using similar investment strategies? Lastly, she wants to know what to do to maximize her savings. The same concept applies to organizations. For example, employee retention data in the aggregate does not provide insights into critical talent segments like first year employees, top talent, or Millennials. You can take this further and look at industries, geographies, peer groups, and so on. HR technology must not just present data, but also interpret it, benchmark it and guide an outcome.

Lastly, as consumers, we appreciate curated products and services that match our interests. Amazon and Netflix are great examples. This same concept is shaping learning. We want to be served the highest impact content, in any format, which helps us close a learning gap. We also want that content to have our peer groups’ stamp of approval. For example, a sales person wants to be shown the best example of a product demo or the best script for overcoming objections. It must also be accessible on the smartphone or tablet, bringing HR technology full circle.

  1. You have extensive experience in managing Human Resources for over twenty years. How has HR management evolved since you started, and what are the tips for 21st century from your perspective?

HR management today is about keeping business leaders and managers tuned into the voice of employees and removing obstacles to their performance and development. Engagement at the grassroots level is critical to a healthy organization. You must cultivate candid, two-way communication – and really listen. Today’s business moves too swiftly and has too many complexities to rely on just the executive team for all the answers. That’s probably the biggest change – the power of the people, and the need to embed HR at the front-lines of the business. Your best ideas, your biggest innovations, and your efficiency ideas all reside at the grassroots, and HR can help surface them.

  1. It is a kind of standard to consider that Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions are designed mostly for the corporate business. How it’s important for small and medium businesses and why?

HCM solutions are even more important for SMBs. SMBs often run fairly lean, yet they face the same business challenges and to-do lists as larger companies, with fewer people to handle the load. HCM solutions create capacity by automating data collection, data analysis, work flows, reports and so on. For every task you automate or put at people’s desktop through employee or manager self-service, there’s more time to spend on the customer experience, new product ideas, recruiting top talent, or a host of similar business issues. HCM solutions create capacity for SMB leaders and their teams to work on the stuff they love – making a great business.

  1. What is the role of a Chief HR Officer (CHRO) and why it’s important for them to have a voice at the leadership table?

The primary role of the Chief HR Officer is to be the coach, counselor, sounding board, and voice of reason for the CEO and senior executive team when it comes to leadership team dynamics, the leadership of the executive’s team or function, and his or her personal development. Another role is to be the physician to the company’s organizational health and culture. It’s better and easier to practice preventative care than to address neglect. One example that illustrates this is an empty succession pipeline. It’s important for CHROs to have a voice at the table to keep people matters front and center in the context of business strategy. Businesses without a solid “people plan” are missing a leg of the stool. CHROs facilitate and guide that important, most often strategic, dialogue.

  1. Employee engagement is a hot point in HR discussions. Very often it seems that it’s mostly addressed to new hires (and new generations) while it’s important from “hire to retire”. Could you share some tips from your practice please?

At Paycor, we are more sophisticated in segmenting the workforce and in personalizing services. As an example, we learned that our 4-6 year tenured sales professionals were sliding in their connection to the company. No surprise there, as you noted in your question. In a high-growth company like Paycor, we focus significant energy on onboarding new associates. We started action planning at the segment level, which in this case resulted in a Chief Sales Officer roundtable, more career consulting, a HQ visit, product training, and so on. Segmenting by life events is another way to personalize engagement. For example, how can you make recognition of a baby or a wedding, or your response to a serious illness memorable? When you get personal, you strengthen the connection and ultimately engagement.

  1. What companies of all sizes should consider when evaluating HR technologies?

When evaluating HR technologies, it’s critical to start with the end in mind, what problems you are trying to solve, and how you want the business to run in the future. That helps prioritize the features, functions, and types of technology needed. Next, consider the relationship you have with the providers. There will be hiccups along the way. Think about who it is you want and trust to be by your side. If your partner listens to and responds during the sales process, it’s a signal that the customer experience matters. Lastly, consider the voice you have in shaping the future of the technology. What role does the customer play in identifying and influencing new releases? The technology must grow with you.

  1. What are the upcoming challenges for you as CHRO of an HR Tech company and Paycor as an HR Tech vendor?

As the CHRO of Paycor, it’s about scaling our people practices in support of rapid growth and reinforcing our strong culture across an evolving geographic footprint. Growth creates first-class challenges! The HR tech space is intensely competitive when it comes to hiring the best and brightest engineering and product management talent. As CHRO, I stay vigilant on the state of hiring and on internal mobility. A healthy talent pipeline is one signal of a healthy company. Finally, for Paycor as an HR tech vendor, we are monitoring the ripple effect of the new Presidential administration. Our customers expect and want Paycor to help them navigate compliance complexities and business opportunities. Finally, our hallmark is service. We want to keep improving the customer experience and make employee management even easier.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Karen CronePaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

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Employee Relations: The Last Bastion of Manual HR Processes?

Employee Relations: The Last Bastion of Manual HR Processes?

Today our guest is Deborah J. Muller, CEO and Founder at HR Acuity®: a leading provider of employee relations and workplace investigation solutions.

Deborah founded HR Acuity, LLC in March 2006, after she spent more than 20 years in key HR leadership positions at numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Citicorp, Honeywell, Marsh & McLennan and Dun & Bradstreet.

HR Acuity designed and developed HR Acuity On-Demand, an essential web-based application that minimizes an organization’s legal and financial risks.

HR Acuity On-Demand, winner of the 2009 Top Product of the Year award from Human Resource Executive® Magazine, enables consistent documentation of employee issues, a structured process for workplace investigation, and immediate search and reporting.

The recently released 2016 HR Acuity Employee Relations Benchmark Study analyzed employee relations practices related to organizational models, case management processes, metrics and issue types, volumes and trends. The entire study had 74 organizations participate representing over 870,000 employees with the goal to establish a foundation for the development of a unique set of best practice employee relations benchmarks.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Deborah, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. You started HR Acuity® operations ten year ago. What has changed during this time in the employee relations management landscape?

Over the last ten years we have seen a real shift in the intersection of HR and technology. Organizations are looking beyond the traditional HRIS data to get insights that can be used to understand, diagnose and even predict how employees – their human resources – will behave and perform. And the relationships between employees, employer, co-workers, and customers – must be part of that story. What can we learn from those interactions (the good, the bad and the ugly) to become smarter in hiring, developing, managing and motivating our employees to drive business success? As a result, we have seen our conversations with clients make a real shift from educating about the power of employee relations to strategic dialogues about capturing and deliberately using this information.

  1. Why did you decide to perform the Employee Relations Benchmark Study, and how long did it take to get the results?  

For the past eight years we have been conducting an annual survey take get a pulse on employee relations issues and practices. But over the last few years, our network has been asking for more. When it comes to employee relations issues, organizations want to know what is “normal?” How many harassment issues should we expect? What should we expect our caseloads to be like given our size or industry? How do similarly situated organizations model their employee relations resources? The data had not previously been available and we were in a position to capture it. That being said, we were very fortunate to form an incredible advisory board from organization such as ADP, TIAA, MetLife, LinkedIn to help develop our Study questions.

The result was an in-depth questionnaire that required participants to take the time to gather the data requested sometimes from multiple constituents within their organization. In the end, their willingness to do so with such granularity speaks volumes about their desire to get their hands on this valuable information.

  1. Did you have any assumptions before performing the Study, and how different were they from the outputs?

Since I live employee relations day in and day out, I had some hypothesis going in but clarity of what we heard was most surprising. First of all, we knew from our clients that organizations were making a switch to centralized employee relations teams – this is something the Study confirms. What surprised me was uniformity of rationale for this change. Organizations are looking to drive consistency of process, ensure neutrality how issues are handles and safeguard that those handling the situations have the right expertise.

Secondly we knew there was steady increase in the reliance of organization to track employee relations metrics. When we started surveying organizations in 2009, less than 15% used an employee relations management system and over 50% didn’t track at all. What was surprising to us with the Study was how far this has shifted in the last seven years — basically flipping around. Now over 45% of organizations use some form of an employee relations management solution or case management system while only 12% reported not tracking at all.

And finally, in one of our open ended questions we asked about how caseloads have changed recently. Almost everyone who commented used the exact same word to describe what they were seeing…”complexity.” Cases are just more complex than they were a few years ago. Not a big surprise given the growing number of regulations that need to be considered but very powerful reading through comments from strangers who all use the same terminology.

  1. What are the core statistics and findings of the Study? Could you just lift the veil for our readership please?

So to give you a peek at some of the results I’ll share three areas of information the Study explored:

Organizational change. Not only are organizations moving to centralized models but our data shows that that type of organizational model uses 25% fewer HR resources than those with Mixed and Decentralized Models.

Analytics. Most respondents described employee relations analytics as “early stage.” However those that are ahead of the curve are actively monitoring key metrics and provided insightful examples of how the information measured has been used to impact key business drivers – all which we included in in the Study results.

And finally case and staffing benchmarks. The Study provides some “normal” on numbers and types of cases that employers are dealing with. In most instances we were able to break those numbers down by size of organization and organization model so that as a reader you can consume what is most similar to your needs. For example, for every 1,000 employees, our Study found that organizations will receive approximately 4.44 allegations of discrimination or harassment.

  1. On one hand, there are plenty of HR Tech solutions for recruitment, employee engagement and other things often called disruptive. On the other hand, some employee relations statistics may surprise you. What about solutions for managing risks, preventing and resolving conflicts at workplace?

I love that you bring up this point. Employee relations seems to be the last bastion of manual HR processes. And when you speak to HR practitioners they totally get it. The reality is that most HR professionals already capture employee relations information on a daily basis but in spiral notebooks or at best on excel sheets. By “digitizing” this last piece of the puzzle organizations can create tremendous impact and ROI without disruption. Instead of spending millions of dollars to figure out something intangible like employee engagement, having an employee relations management solution can uncover why employees are disengaged, what are the trends that drive inappropriate behaviors or subpar performance, what can you do to reduce incidents and drive growth: very tangible and very straightforward.

  1. Your Benchmark Study covered the corporate world. Do you have any observations regarding SMB companies and recommendations for them to mitigate risks of employee relations?

At HR Acuity we always say that employee bad behavior doesn’t discriminate…whatever size or industry, you need to be ready to face issues or allegations that will pose risk for your organization. Process missteps can be costly and particularly detrimental to the health of a smaller organization. So our recommendation is to be prepared. Have a process. Know who will be involved and ensure they have the proper training to handle the incident in a compliant manner. HR Acuity has some great free resources and tools on our website that we encourage folks to download.

  1. The last but not least question I love to ask my guests is what are upcoming challenges for you?

For us it is about Managers… How can we leverage technology to provide managers the tools to do their jobs more effectively? Those tools will not only help drive consistency but can be used to validate that good management and leadership practices drive business results. Once that happens, the relationship between managers and HR will change to become less traditional and more strategic.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Deborah J. Muller and  The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Reputation

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An Interview with Nielsen’s Wendy Salomon, VP, Reputation & Public Affairs

wendy-salomonToday, we welcome Wendy Salomon, a vice president in Nielsen’s Reputation Management practice, to join us for our Q&A blog series. In her position, Wendy leads research engagements that deliver business insights to her diverse set of clients. She is entrusted with some of the firm’s most valuable client relationships.

Wendy has more than twenty years of experience with research and research-based consulting. She has helped her clients set strategy, refine business and reputation management plans, and optimize agency relationships based on research insights. Her work focuses on reputation management, brand strategy, and strategic communication engagements. She has earned particular regard for her ability to consult in challenging B2B environments around the world.

Wendy recognizes the value of both qualitative and quantitative inputs and has intelligibly brought to bear advanced analytics for many of her clients. She is a highly regarded partner and is often called to interact at the c-suite level within her client organizations. She is a published thought leader on reputation management and a sought-after presenter.

The interview is hosted by Jennifer Spencer, Content Marketing Manager at Versaic.

Versaic: Why should companies invest in CSR?

Wendy: It’s funny; that’s something you used to hear asked a lot, and now investing in CSR is not often something that is called into question.

The most successful companies have led the way in understanding that corporate reputation is a business asset that requires proactive understanding and management—the same as any other asset like their supply chain, brand portfolio, workforce, etc. How a company is seen as engaging with the world—whether it is viewed as socially responsible by key stakeholders—is often at the heart of reputational equity and risk.

Simply put, the world and the marketplace have moved beyond evaluating companies based solely on the quality of what they make or the service they provide. Equally important to protecting and growing reputation are the relationships a company has with the environment, communities, its employees, etc.

Versaic: What brand and marketing value can CSR and sustainability initiatives bring?

Wendy: We know that a strong corporate reputation clears the way for positive product brand stories to be heard. A company might have a compelling brand story to tell, perhaps even a pitch-perfect value proposition. However, if there are reputational frictions in the conversation about the company—for instance, if some call into question whether the company behaves in responsible ways—that brand message will have a really hard time cutting through the noise.

CSR activities protect and grow corporate reputation, which creates a supportive backdrop for brand strategies to be brought to life. CSR activities also help the company continue to engage with communities and stakeholders that can provide valuable feedback for their products and services, strengthening their business. Investment in initiatives that bolster reputation unlock business value and shared value.

Versaic: What are the unexpected benefits or outcomes that you have seen for companies that have implemented CSR programs successfully? 

Wendy: Beyond the good these programs do in the world, one of my favorite outcomes of these types of programs is the positive impact they have on employees. This is true on two fronts.

First, for employees themselves, these activities are often a critical piece of how they connect with the company. It makes them fulfilled, gives them a chance to serve with colleagues in a new way and build their skills, and plays an important role as they go out in the world and serve as brand ambassadors in their daily lives.

Second, we know that future talent around the world feel it is a priority that the company they work for is socially responsible, and this is particularly true of those early in their careers. Even when compared to things such as career advancement, elements of corporate character are a compelling part of a company’s reputation that can influence whether someone wants to work for you or not. The importance of this can’t be overstated. There are many who seek to work in a sexy technology environment but somewhat fewer who aspire to many of the stalwart “traditional” industries that desperately need creative talent to remain innovate. CSR activities can help pave the way to attracting and retaining high-potential hires.

Versaic: What are the three most important ways companies measure the success, and how does that lead to value in the business?

Wendy: From what we see, the landscape of CSR measurement is evolving and is a big opportunity for CSR managers. When measurement is lacking, the programs default to being a line-item expense versus something that drives business value for the corporation. By measuring success, the case can be made that CSR activities protect reputation and shape the business landscape in a supportive way. I’d recommend focusing assessments in three broad areas.

First is actual performance. Are the efforts themselves bringing about the desired positive change? CSR programs take many forms, but they all generally seek to make the world a better place. Perhaps your CSR initiatives set out to feed, educate, or create healthier lifestyles using products that are manufactured with fewer negative environment impacts, or they provide access to cleaner water and the chance for kids to play in cleaner parks, etc. Companies must measure and evaluate their positive impacts, alongside their community and nonprofit partners, so they can share this information both internally and externally. It’s good to do good.

Next is “campaign”-level understanding. This primarily applies to initiatives that are fairly well resourced and time bound, etc. Were stakeholders aware of the effort, how did they come to know about them, and did it contribute to the desired understanding of the company/issue? Over time, insights like this serve to inform future efforts to hone CSR practices.

Last is the overall impact that social responsibility efforts have on corporate reputation and risk mitigation, including the impact on the company’s license-to-operate and overall business environment. This is the business case for CSR that is critical for companies to operationalize—the extent to which being a socially responsible company builds reputational equity and mitigates reputational risk.

Versaic: How can companies truly differentiate themselves in how they communicate their CSR initiatives and results?

Wendy: One of the main things that should be kept in mind when it comes to communicating about CSR initiatives is the basic tenet that companies will need to tell more than just one story. Particularly for CSR, how diverse stakeholders view the information will vary dramatically based on their specific priorities. So, a CSR communication strategy for consumers, for example, is quite different from the strategy for policy influencers, NGOs, or investors. There is a real danger in being tone deaf. Thus, accounting for the different lenses through which stakeholders see your CSR activities is important and has real implications for communicators.

Another thing I’d share about how to differentiate is the expanded value that’s possible when companies engage in activities that link to their own core competencies—moving from old-school philanthropy to “skillanthropy” or skills-based contributions. This could be a CPG company addressing access to healthy food, a bank educating vulnerable populations on financial literacy, a shipping company getting supplies to storm-battled regions, etc. There is a particular “stickiness” when programs such as this are part of a CSR portfolio, as they allow them to shine a light on the good the company does in the world and also the expertise it brings to the marketplace day in and day out.

Versaic: What tips can you share with companies who would like to increase the impact of their CSR programs?

Wendy: You’d be surprised at how many companies don’t communicate the steps they take to be socially and environmentally responsible at all. There is worry that it will be seen as opportunistic versus sincere, or boastful versus humble. The truth is that people are making an effort to learn proactively about the way a company engages with the world before they decide to support it—whether that support be in the form of buying the company’s product, working for the company, or welcoming the company’s expansion in their local community. We know that many don’t like what they find and opt to engage elsewhere.

So, the main tip I would share is to tell your authentic corporate-responsibility story. It’s up to companies themselves to make sure this information is available when consumers go looking; without it, opinions can be shaped by broad industry perceptions, critics, and misinformation. A misperception of many reputation managers is that a lack of a bad story is the same as a good story, under the false hope that the lack of high-profile irresponsible behavior provides the proof necessary that the company is engaging in responsible behavior. For companies who have prioritized social responsibility, it should be a component of their enterprise-messaging strategy.

Versaic: Where do you see CSR going? What is going to be important three years from now?

Wendy: I would say there are two things to watch.

First, we have seen the evolution over the past decade from a definition of social responsibility that was dominated by environmental issues toward a broader view of corporate citizenship. Looking ahead, I think this “bigger tent” definition of what it means to be a responsible company will continue to expand. So, we’re likely to hear more about economic impacts, transparency, employee well-being, etc., as proof points for being a responsible company.

Second, it’s a hobby of mine to take note of how companies work CSR activities into their actual organizational structures. Is there a “sustainability” team or “global citizenship” department? Is it primarily a marketing function charged with creating a glossy sustainability report? Are responsible business imperatives decentralized and woven in across the company, giving it a voice in R&D, community outreach, and hiring practices? It’s all across the board right now. As the definition of corporate responsibility becomes broader—the bigger tent I mentioned—presumably, providing a framework for responsible behavior will need to become more systemic. I’m not sure yet what shape it will take, but I think we’ll see fewer occasions where companies opt to relegate CSR to a silo and fewer instances where it is an appendage on the org chart that is separate from where the “real work” happens. We’ll see more and deeper integration.

Try a demo today.


Source: Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Reputation: Nielsen’s Wendy Salomon, VP, Reputation & Public Affairs

People you hire will be pivotal in shaping business culture and maintaining success!

epicor-software-executive-shares-his-vision-with-hr-from-c-level-perspective

Today our guest is Mr. Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President (EVP) International at Epicor Software.

Sabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In his role, Gill is responsible for operations including sales and professional services with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was Senior Vice President of International Sales for IGT. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. In your recent article you have told us about how as companies grow and expand, there is a tendency for employees to be disengaged in the workplace due to heavier workloads, pressures, and deadlines. You explained how investing in the right technology can help companies manage this growth. What other drivers can you point to for ensuring employee satisfaction, engagement and wellbeing?

As your business grows you need your team to be strong, so the people you hire will be pivotal in shaping its culture and maintaining its success. Ensuring that your employees are happy and fully engaged is also vital. Take for example a traditional business that acquires smaller, nimble entrepreneurial entities to gain a competitive advantage but find the newly acquired talent assets that the company paid highly for start leaving the company. This is a common mistake made by many companies that are growing through acquisition but failing to consider the wellbeing of, and engage effectively with the organisation’s new employees.

Another important aspect for companies to consider is the influx of Millennials in the workplace. I would argue that it’s even more paramount for organisations of all types and sizes to create workplace environments that nurture the free-thinker and their entrepreneurial spirit. But where do organisations start? To begin, they need to understand the characteristics of entrepreneurial teams and what motivates them. You can almost forget about traditional incentive plans; when dealing with entrepreneurial types, “challenge” trumps traditional notions of compensation/rewards, because if the work environment isn’t challenging enough, they are likely to leave. They need to understand what the entrepreneur works for (and what they live for): The vision, the dream, the challenge – it’s their oxygen. To fully engage, entrepreneurs must buy into the vision.

As companies grow and with it create entrepreneurial teams, larger organisations may need to rethink placing talent in the constraints of the traditional hierarchical structure. These teams may be more effective when they are free to look at projects holistically: to craft a vision and define how problems will be solved. Remove as much process, structure, and bureaucracy as is feasible; as they prefer working without walls, and that includes traditional “job description” boundaries. 

  1. What do you expect from HR Managers delivering to the change management initiatives?

Employee ‘buy-in’ is the cornerstone of any change initiative and the onus often falls on HR to manage this process. Changing business processes can have an impact on employees’ familiar work routines whether or not they are directly involved in the project, so this process must be managed for the entire workforce. Employees need to be gradually introduced to new processes and job roles over a period of time so that they can accept and familiarize themselves with these developments. Neglecting this aspect or putting it off until later on in the project may result in organisational resistance to the new system, even to the point of operational risk. 

  1. Do you observe any distinctions when people from different industries, functions, and maybe regions, implement new software? For instance, what scares HR professionals more comparing with other business roles?

Change is never easy and most people are averse to change – this is true regardless of culture, industry and job function! HR’s challenge, given where it sits in an organisation, as opposed to other business roles, is helping employees, navigate and embrace any changes made in the organisation. 

  1. What are the core advantages Epicor®Human Capital Management delivers to HR and business when their demands and expectations grow toward self-service, engagement, micro-learning, and people analytics solutions? 

Today’s economy needs HR to adopt a more proactive and strategic role. To add to this, managers and employees are demanding direct access to human resource (HR) systems and information. Epicor Human Capital Management (HCM), delivers this and more, helping HR departments better manage a dispersed workforce, improve human resource processes, and make HR an integral part of an organisation’s strategic planning.

Epicor HCM is an intuitive, functional, and adaptable HCM solution that helps HR departments to spend more time managing talent than data. With Epicor HCM, HR teams have the ideal tool to manage their organisation’s most valuable resource—the workforce, who are pivotal maintaining a company’s success.

Epicor HCM automates everything related to HR in a single software system, enabling the organisation to track, manage, and analyse all data for the employees, from application to retirement. Through automated workflow, Epicor HCM allows organisations to improve efficiency. With powerful reporting and analytical tools, HR teams can gain a complete picture of the company’s workforce to enable better strategic planning.

  1. What technological trends will influence ERP and particularly HCM vendors in the nearest future, in your opinion?

The Cloud has without a shadow of a doubt been one of the biggest drivers of change in our industry. Organisations across the globe are beginning to realise the benefits of moving to the cloud, specifically:

  • Compelling connectivity — the ability to collaborate in real-time across remote sites, mobile employees, and trading partners
  • Enhanced operational efficiency — seamless operations, unparalleled scalability and flexibility, upgrade management, and business continuity
  • Improved security — higher level of security, network monitoring, and disaster prevention
  • Smart economics — the opportunity to achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and positively affect the bottom line
  • Better resource allocation – improved ability to focus resources on core business activities and applications

These benefits are magnified when it comes to HCM because HCM has always been viewed as a non-critical, labour intensive function. By moving HCM applications to the cloud, organisations can make sure their HR teams focus on more business critical activities, reduce operational costs, and, most importantly, stay connected with an increasingly mobile workforce. 

  1. You have proven C-level experience in business development and managing people within global technological companies in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. What do you recommend to managers who strive to build their careers at the international markets?

My number one recommendation for managers is to be understanding and respectful of the various cultural differences. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to dealing with people across markets. What works in the US might not be the right tactic for China, but sadly too many C-level executives take this for granted.

Secondly, “Be as good as your word – do what you say you’re going to do.” The idea of following through on commitments and being held accountable for your plans and actions is vital. It helps build trust and comfort with the people you deal with knowing that you bring credibility and will ensure that things get done. You want to be that person who others can rely on. People buy from people and your future is in the hands of what they say and what they do. When you enter a relationship, which is what we do when we implement ERP solutions, you need to care about the job you, and everyone else, does for that customer. Everything reflects on the promise you make to your customers, partners, investors and employees. Whichever way you look at it, their emotions, personal ambitions, etc., all play a part in the business at hand.

Thirdly, be an advocate of change and look for excellence in everything you do. Do not dither. C-level positions demand, as well as offer, respect. People expect answers and directions from those in these positions in a timely and articulate manner. Think about a driver of a high-performance car; with a professional driver behind the wheel you can obtain strong performance and look to break lap records. However if you put a novice behind the wheel, you will struggle to get the same results. You need to grow into the expert that people want to rely on to drive the business forwards.

Finally, I would say, continue “to reflect”. What I mean by this is always take a step back when you find yourself in a difficult or complex situation and reassess what it is that you are trying to achieve. Too many times we get fixated on finer details and can’t see the forest for the trees. Taking a step back can help us see the wider picture and realign our focus.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Sabby Gill and The HR Tech Weekly® blog is is obligatory.

How Starwood Measures Social Impact

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An Interview with Kristin Meyer, Associate Director of Community Partnerships

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Kristin Meyer, Associate Director, Community Partnerships

Since 2009, Global Citizenship has been a cornerstone of Starwood’s business strategy. Global Citizenship provides Starwood’s guests, customers, communities, owners, and associates a better way to experience the world. A key component of influencing lasting, sustainable improvements in communities around the globe is accomplished through collaborative partnerships with the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc. (“Starwood Foundation”) and international charitable organizations. The Starwood Foundation is dedicated to enriching communities by supplying financial grants to select partner organizations driving change in three key focus areas: Workplace Readiness, Human Rights, and Community Vitality (includes: Sustainable & Ecological Development and Disaster Relief).

When we first started a partnership, the Starwood Foundation team knew they needed to track, quantify and evaluate their social impact and put a system in place to manage the complexity. As a first step, the Starwood Foundation contracted with The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI) who suggested a shift in mindset from ‘funder’ to ‘investor’ to achieve a portfolio approach. With that perspective, the Starwood Foundation created a strategic framework to clarify results for their signature program grants. With clarity on what results they were seeking, they could be more strategic in how they identify partners, educate those partners, align the application and selection process, create effective grantee reports, and implement performance assessments. The flexibility of the Versaic online solution made it possible to streamline the grantmaking process and aggregate results across programs.

One year ago, Versaic wrote about Starwood’s grants program in this ebook. We wanted to follow up with Kristin Meyer, Associate Director, Community Partnerships, to get an update on the Starwood Foundation’s grants programs and the impact they are having.

The interview is hosted by Jennifer Spencer, Content Marketing Manager at Versaic:

1. Thanks for joining us Kristin. Let’s start by talking about the Starwood Foundation’s workplace readiness program. The investments the Foundation has made in this focus area and the impact it has had on your hiring in those communities is such a great example of tying corporate philanthropy programs to business goals. Can you elaborate on your signature workplace readiness program and the results the Foundation has seen?

By adopting more of a results-based framework, we’ve been able to apply what we’ve learned from our partnerships with NGO’s around the world to better understand what needs to be done in the private sector to support the requirements of the community. In the area of workplace readiness specifically, we know from the results shared by our partners that training is not enough to move the needle in the workforce development space. Our partners were achieving phenomenal success equipping individuals and marginalized populations with the appropriate skill set as well as the social and emotional support to enter the job force. Yet many of our partners often commented on how time consuming and challenging the process was to establish employer partnerships and place their clients into local jobs. In addition, employment retention was quite challenging, not because the clients weren’t adequately prepared, but because employer expectations were sometimes not aligned.

We have taken some of the learnings from our investments on the CSR side and applied that to how we can do our part as a business within those communities. How do we better train and equip our hotels to ensure they are working with those same NGOs on the ground, and actually hiring from that talent pool? How do we make sure they really understand not only what an NGO does, but the populations that they serve, and how those populations may differ from our typical candidates? What are the practices they may need to alter internally in order make sure that those individuals are adequately supported starting from an initial interview, through onboarding, hiring and retention? That is really where our program has been successful. We learned from our philanthropic investments the impact we’re achieving and where there are gaps, and are applying that to our business model to ensure that as an organization, we are playing our part by hiring from the talent pool we are helping to create.

2. Regarding the other pillars that you’ve focused on, are you getting the same kind of results, learning, and impact in those areas that you’ve achieved in workplace readiness?

Sustainable & Ecological Development is another area where we’ve used a results-based framework to manage our charitable investments. Through this approach, we have been able to make investments in environmental organizations around the world. Similarly to Workplace Readiness, we are able to capture learnings from our NGO programs and apply that knowledge to our business operations. For example, one of the funding streams under Sustainable & Ecological Development is water risk, encompassing water access, quality, scarcity, security, stress and sanitation & hygiene. My colleague, Claire Cutting, works with our partner NGO’s within this focus area. Through these relationships, she is able to better understand the conditions that can lead to any one of these water issues as well as prevention and remediation actions. In one such case, the analysis from coastal and watershed restoration projects, funded by the Starwood Foundation’s results-based investments, has provided learnings that led to the creation of a water risk framework for our development team, ensuring that we, as a company, understand how to properly mitigate a community’s water risk as we build new properties. Applying knowledge from our Foundation investments to our business allows us to contribute positively to a community and ecosystem’s health. We also are able to share examples of successful business practices with our NGO partners so that they can share with other relevant stakeholders.

3. Can we talk a little bit about how you are collecting the data needed to analyze results and communicating impact?

We collect all of the data directly from our grant partners. We worked collaboratively with the Versaic team as well as our consultants at TRI to establish the results framework, which was specific to Starwood and the impact we were trying to drive. From there, we approached a small group of our grantees, showed them the results we were seeking, and asked them to help us understand what steps were involved for them to accomplish the desired results. That process helped us build out a more robust grant application that included the right indicators of success. We ask our grant partners to project their expected results during the application process and then we collect progress updates on a semi-annual basis, which makes it simple for them to submit and easy for us to discuss successes and challenges.

In addition, The Starwood Foundation team does a lot of training at the beginning of the relationship with a new NGO partner. If I were to call out one thing that we do as a best practice, it would be this initial training. Asking our new partners to attend a two-hour training on results-based impact is understandably a tall order, but many have since come back to us and said how worthwhile the training was for them. We want our partners to clearly understand the results-based framework, how to think about setting milestones, and what we mean when we talk about impact. Having our partners share their results is imperative for us to understand our larger impact as a Foundation. To understand the progress of our grant portfolio, we built scorecards that enable us to look at the results of each individual grant, as well as aggregate the results of our investments. As an example, for Workplace Readiness, we can look across our global portfolio to understand not only how many individuals have been served, but how many of them have achieved a certain education level or how many have retained employment for a certain period of time.

4. How has your impact reporting affected your brand and business?

For the Starwood Foundation, our results-focused approach has definitely elevated our exposure and reputation within the nonprofit field. The Starwood Foundation has become a respected partner within the charitable community. In addition, the work of the Starwood Foundation has enabled us to understand where there may be opportunity to have even more impact as a company. We’re able to more effectively evaluate and consider opportunities with both business and social returns. The Workplace Readiness program is a perfect example of this in action. As a result of the Starwood Foundation’s investments and the strategic framework, we were able to identify an opportunity on the corporate side in terms of how Starwood can more effectively drive social impact and tap into a new potential talent pipeline.

jennifer-spencer-versaic
Jennifer Spencer

Driving inbound interest means being everything from a publicist, researcher, and writer to thought leader.

 

 

Whether it's sponsorship, grants or donation, Versaic's best-in-class solutions are easily combined and customized to provide companies of any size a comprehensive solution for managing their CSR programs. Visit www.Versaic.com to learn more.

Source: How Starwood Measures Social Impact: An Interview with Kristin Meyer, Associate Director of Community Partnerships

The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears

Written by  | Originally published at CMSWire 

The era of digital HR is arriving fast, bringing together social, mobile, analytic and cloud technologies.

Digital HR will bring with it new ways to improve employee productivity and the effectiveness of business processes but the power of HR tech transformation is only beginning to emerge. Too many HR departments have yet to embrace the possibilities of this transformation.

Eugenia Bereziuk spoke with several HR professionals to ask them about the current state of their HR tech use and gather their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges that digital HR brings with it.

The Question

— How is your company incorporating digital HR technologies?

The Answers

Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR, LaRosa’s

Steve BrowneAs executive director of human resources at LaRosa’s Inc., Steve Browne has strategic responsibilities for more than 1,400 team members as a generalist.

Our approach to HR has been more “old-school” to date, but I like many of the apps/systems that are out there now for HR folks to use. We have on-line tools but they aren’t tied to apps yet.

I have a feeling that most, if not all, HR resources will be app-based in the near future. We have been looking at scheduling apps most recently to help ensure that our team members have current information in their hands.

There are so many solutions I would consider. The key to me isn’t a brand name, but making sure that the tech truly meets our needs. I find that many HR practitioners get overwhelmed when they have so many options to choose from.

The tech needs to fit a company’s culture as well as the needs of HR and the workforce. It takes strategy and developing a partnership relationship with a vendor to make the best choices.

I think that digital HR is our reality. I don’t think it will replace people, but I do think it will improve how HR is practiced. It is the natural evolution of business … but the gap needs to shrink more rapidly.

Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly

Alexey MitkinAlexey Mitkin has 15 years of C-level corporate experience in Human Capital Management in leading multinational and local companies.

Not all HR specialists are ready to use HR tech and there are few things to consider behind the scenes: The first is human nature because people are usually inclined to resist change.

Second is the rapid development of new HR technologies because HR professionals simply couldn’t research and adopt all the new apps even if they wanted to.

A related third issue is the level of user experience versus the complexity of new solutions. In general, adopting any new solution will result in a learning curve and that’s especially true when technology solutions are evolving faster than we can adapt to them.

Finally, I’d highlight the gap between what business expects from HR and what HR actually delivers. It’s not uncommon for CEOs to invest in FinTech or MarTech more easily than in HR because they are more confident in their understanding of those technologies compared with HR.

I belong to the HR tech world and am deeply addicted to digital technologies. Yet I think it’s simultaneously true and false that the future of HR is digital: On the one hand, everything is becoming digitalized and we must adjust to become, if not digital natives, at least digital immigrants in order to survive. On the other hand, since human nature remains the same, we’ll need more profound scientific knowledge about people and behavior to make digital technologies more effective.

In today’s era of new competencies and approaches, there is no doubt that in order to come out on top, HR departments will need to craft effective combinations of traditional and digital approaches.

And one must always keep in mind that no technology itself will change a culture. As Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres said at the Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA, “Instead of trying to make a better robot, try to make a better man.”

Kristi Weierbach, Manager, HR/Payroll Advisory Services, Stambaugh Ness

Kristi WeierbachKristi Weierbach is a senior HR professional focused on helping clients create a unique HR architecture, applying practical solutions that complement strategic goals and company culture.

I have been exposed to various forms of digital HR during my career, including recruiting/onboarding solutions, training and performance management solutions and compensation/benefit management systems.

HR systems can help HR departments reach optimal performance but significant time and energy is needed to set up and implement any type of new HR technology. For example, if unclean data enters the system, then reporting and dashboard functionality will be hindered.

HR technology is here to stay and as an HR professional, I have an obligation to embrace it. That being said, it is important for companies to perform needs analyses prior to selecting HR technology solutions because those solutions can range from basic to robust.

For all members of an organization to benefit from an HR solution, it must be a system of engagement rather than just a system of record. Technology has changed the way we communicate with our employees, supervisors, and executives1 and I look forward to the continued transformation of the HR profession.

Jackye Clayton, Editor, RecruitingTools.com

Jackye ClaytonJackye Clayton said she uses her sense of humor, understanding of recruiting and HR to knock out informative, smart, addictively clickable blog posts about tools you do use, will use or should use as a recruiter or a person who just wants to hire top talent.

I think the fear of HR tech among many HR professionals has to do with adapting to change, especially if they believe that their current solutions are doing an adequate job. It is hard to convince someone who is experiencing success that a different way can work even better.

Another reason is that they have no existing processes for onboarding, coaching, engagement and so on, so implementing new technologies means adding more work rather than streamlining current practices.

The other thing that we have to consider is that certain apps control the data that we have worked so hard to gain. However, I believe that embracing HR tech is imperative in order to move forward and stay ahead of the competition.

But you have to reserve a place for old-school tools. I believe that face-to-face communication is the number one old-school tool that gets overlooked. Sometimes,  good communication is the only thing that works.

Ward Christman, Chief Advisor, HR Tech Advisor  

Ward ChristmanWard Christman has more than 20 years experience creating and selling e-recruiting technology and services, with special expertise in ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), employee referral, and job marketing (via job boards and social media).

In my experience, HR professionals are generally people people, not technology people. HR people may be using technology like computers and smartphones, but they are trained for compliance and risk mitigation.

That makes them, by nature, averse to taking risks and trying new technologies and often leads to concern about upending the status quo. That’s why many of the leading HR technology vendors get around that mindset by selling directly to the C-suite

The newer flavors of HR technology can put the consumerist experience that we’ve come to expect when using platforms like Facebook and Twitter into the hands of employees and potential employees. We need to ensure there’s a solid business case for a given technology in order to make an investment in the first place and employ the change management needed to ensure success for that investment once the business case has been approved.

I see the future of HR being 100 percent digital, from initial sourcing of candidates all the way through to retirement provisioning. Many of the old-school tools we use might work today, but they won’t be well-received in the future without serious upgrades to their user interface and usability.

Adriano Corso, Sourcing Science/Digital Recruiting Consultant, IBM Smarter Workforce

Adriano CorsoAdriano Corso leads, develops and manages all digital recruitment activities within IBM Kenexa in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the US.

With all the tools available today, there isn’t a single tool that works for everything. That’s why a mix of tools, platforms, and SaaS — in combination with a great sourcing and recruitment team — is necessary to succeed.

As a digital consultant, I’m not very keen on using old-school tools and I am always looking for new digital solutions we can implement for our business. In my experience, marketing automation tools are starting to play a key role in recruitment. Once integrated with an ATS or CRM, they let us not only track the history of a specific lead but create a tailored strategy with specific triggers based on a candidate’s behavior.

I would definitely suggest that any company think outside the box to listen to and understand their audience better, the same way that company would assess any market needs and trends.

Digital technology is part of our lives and it has brought us new ways of imagining and managing businesses. But if we get too excited about the potential of artificial intelligence, we are going to lose human relations at some point.

I personally believe that recruitment and HR need to rely on human relationships and connections, even though we currently use digital tools, platforms and channels. For instance, I am against having robots handle job interviews. In the end, go digital, but make sure you are able to build true relationships through it and with it.

Title image by Lena Bell

About the Author

Eugenia BereziukFormer journalist Eugenia Bereziuk is a business analyst at CactusSoft, a full-cycle software development company, and editor-in-chief at HR-blog WISP.

Twitter | LinkedIn | CMSWire | WISP Blog


Source: The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears | CMSWire


Reprint: The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears | WISP Blog

HR Tech Is So Dynamic and Still Has Very Much a Work in Progress

Interview with Bill Kutik

Today our interview is with Bill Kutik, one of the top four HR Technology influencers in the US, and the industry’s leading producer of shows – live and online.

For 19 months, his independent broadcast-quality video series called Firing Line with Bill Kutik® has featured monthly interviews with leading HR tech thought-leaders on YouTube.

Since 1990, he has been monthly Technology Columnist for the US trade magazine Human Resource Executive (you can read his columns at Human Resource Executive Online®).

But he’s probably best known as founding co-chairman (sometimes called “The Father” or even “The Godfather”) of the magazine’s famous annual event, the HR Technology® Conference & Exhibition, the world’s largest held every October in the US. He began it in 1998 and stepped aside for new leadership in 2013.

The Bill Kutik Radio Show®, his previous online talk show with industry leaders, has suspended new shows but many people are still listening to its 183 podcasts in the archive at HRE Online.

In 2012, the magazine named him one of the “10 Most Powerful HR Technology Experts.” He previously wrote for The New York Times and has a BA degree from Harvard University.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Bill, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. You run the TV show well known among the business audience as Firing Line with Bill Kutik®. What are you trying to accomplish with it and how do you make decisions on inviting your guests? And curiously, what do you feel today to be at the opposite side of the table?

Hi Alexey, thank you for inviting me.

When I started planning the TV show in late 2014, I realized that all the various shows I had produced since 1998 (HR Tech, the Radio Show) were all based on the same bedrock principle: Guests talk about what they’re thinking and doing, not what software they’re selling or which software they might be using.

The analyst relations executive at Workday, Geoff McDonald, asked me to repeat that after I said it because he thought it was the best description of “thought leadership” he had ever heard. I was flattered.

Because I came to HR technology from years in commercial journalism (doing work for The New York Times and The Boston Globe), I have brought with me some values that are now sadly considered old-fashioned. Namely that articles (or blogs), conference presentations and interviews (audio or video) should be in the best interests solely of the reader, listener or viewer – the audience – and definitely not necessarily in the interests of any vendor involved.

I was ruthless about that at HR Tech, where happily the owner Ken Kahn completely supported the idea that we never sold speaking slots to vendors. Imagine, attendees are already paying to see the content. Should anyone sell it a second time so it’s no longer in their best interests?

So I started Firing Line with Bill Kutik® to continue providing HR practitioners with objective information about the latest technology trends without marketing or favoritism. It was the same with the Radio Show, which I did for seven years.

Decisions on the guests for both are made simply based on who can best deliver value to the audience.

As for being on the other side of the table… being a good interviewer means taking second chair to the person being interviewed. Teasing out and highlighting what they know. Since much of what I do are interviews and panels (except for my columns), I don’t get to do much of the talking. So I love whenever the roles are reversed! Look how much more I get to say here than you do, Alexey!

  1. You provide the HR Technology Column at Human Resource Executive Online®. How do you choose your topics to be covered there and what other projects do you undertake?

Being a columnist is the most difficult job in journalism. Others only write when something happens; columnists have to fill the space (in my case) every four weeks, even if nothing has happened.

Of course, HR technology is so dynamic that I can’t think of a month when nothing happened. Because I like my columns to be in-depth, I often write them after attending full-day analyst meetings or multi-day user conferences. That gives me the kind of perspective a good column needs.

Thirty years ago, I learned from the world’s leading computer industry commentator (an old college friend, Esther Dyson) that vendors do most of the innovation in the industry. Certainly there were terrifically innovative end-users like Cisco and Walmart, but they were the exception.

So my columns tend to focus on what the vendors are doing. In addition, I try to use them to explain to the practitioners how the software industry works. Think about it. Practitioners may buy new solutions every three years or so from someone who sells them every day! The match-up is so unfair. I try to level the playing field. In that regard, one of my favorite revelations was that salesmen for large, on-premise enterprise software regularly asked for four-times the price they were willing to settle for!

Now that’s exactly what the street urchins in Cairo trying to sell you cheap souvenirs do. It was never universally true, but I was shocked to discover it and thought it important to tell HR practitioners about it.

  1. You started the HR Technology® Conference & Exhibition (also known as ‘HR Tech’ which probably gave the name to the whole industry). What was the mission behind the idea to establish such an event in 1998, how it was changing during the time and what other events should HR managers keep their eyes on?

The mission from Day One was to help make HR practitioners more tech savvy. Not to understand the bits and bytes of it, but to understand the business benefits that technology could bring them. And offer that to them from their colleagues, senior HR executives, and not from vendors who too often do the educating at other events, sometimes to their own benefit.

Our mission enlarged, when I realized there was a vast audience of HR generalists who somehow thought technology did not apply to them. We started a major campaign – with the help of the most popular U.S. bloggers at the time such as Laurie Ruettimann, “HR Ringleader” Trish McFarlane, “HR Capitalist” Kris Dunn, “HR Bartender” Sharlyn Lauby and Dwane Lay – to convince them their career advancement required it. I’m often guilty of exaggeration, and I remember once writing that if they didn’t get tech savvy, “They should start looking for a large cardboard box and nice place under a highway to live in it.” Over the top.

HR Tech was almost alone at the beginning. Now there are similar events around the world: Australia, China, India, Dubai, Bahrain, Norway, Amsterdam, Paris and London. I was once invited to an event in Moscow, but organizers never got beyond a brochure (which I still have) describing me in Russian. I love that because all four of my grandparents came from Russia, where I’ve been told my family name translates into “little cat,” not kitten. “Kooteek”: a term of endearment.

And don’t forget the show that started it all organized by IHRIM (International Association of Human Resources Information Management), begun decades earlier than HR Tech. Its next annual conference is scheduled for March 2017 in Toronto.

  1. SAP, Oracle and Workday, sometimes called as SOW, deliver most integrated and complex HR Tech solutions on today’s market. What are the core advantages they have, in terms of daily HR needs?

What I like to call the “Big Three” specialize in meeting the most complex needs of global corporations with more than 5,000 employees. Among the advantages they bring is being able to deal with specific HR needs in dozens of countries, especially in payroll.

Our largest analyst firm, Gartner, often publishes a “Magic Quadrant,” which graphically compares the “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision” of all HCM vendors. The leaders are in the upper right corner of the four-box labeled “leaders.”

The Big Three are always there. But practitioners too often make the mistake of tearing out the leaders box and making it their short list. Without considering that their company, for example, may have just one location in the US with just 600 employees. So that’s not necessarily the way to go.

  1. What are the market expectations from HR technologies to appear in the nearest future? Briefly.

Everyone is touting predictive analytics, most especially “proscriptive” analytics that suggest what you should do to fix a situation revealed by the data. HR departments need to move very slowly on this and insist that vendors go beyond their canned demo. And instead, load the company’s own data – say from 18 to six months ago – and then test to see if the predictions turned out right in the last six months, which HR already knows! Still very much a work in progress.

  1. Do we really need all that ‘bells-and-whistles’ HR Tech vendors deliver as stand alone, OEM or integrated solutions?

It’s often said that most people use only 10 percent of the functional capabilities in Microsoft Word. In my case, I know that’s true because it is marvelous software for writing a book, keeping track of footnotes, re-numbering as they are added or removed, automatically putting them at the bottom of the correct pages, or even aggregating them for a section at the end.

The same is true of HR software. But with SaaS, customers are generally not paying for the capabilities they’re not using and someday may use them. Many are terrifically useful, and I’m glad they are there.

  1. You follow the evolution of the recruiting systems since 1988 when it was ever evolved to the present digital times. In this new era, which are the powerful approaches to be used as effective recruiting solutions? What recruiters should never sweep aside and take to the future? Only applicants…

I was present at the birth of the first Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in 1988, as you mention. What has happened in that last 10 years is the ATS has come to be seen as the essential, but largely administrative, system involved in the Talent Acquisition process. Much like an HRIS, HRMS or what’s now called Core HR is essential but not very strategic.

And just as with Core HR, where people realized the real strategic advantage was in the programs that were attached to it (later called the Talent Management suite), the center of value in recruiting has moved away from the ATS to what were once called “edge applications” but now more often are called “Recruitment Marketing.”

I love to point out that the reason an ATS is called an Applicant Tracking System is it cannot deal with candidates who have not yet applied. Yet the very best recruiters are spending time dealing with them, not just sorting through applications and resumes.

I admit that focus on candidates can seem a little like the famous Groucho Marx joke: “I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member!” But the War for Talent is all about identifying and attracting candidates, not just throwing out a baited fishing hook (job board postings) and hauling into the boat everything that bites on it.

Obviously, I could go on and one about this topic. But I’ll spare your readers and hope they have stuck with us this far.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Bill Kutik and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

HR Needs to Embrace Science and Analytics to Drive Real Business Outcomes

infor-enterprise-software

Tarik Taman - Infor
Mr. Tarik Taman, Infor

Today our guest is Tarik Taman, General Manager and Managing Director, South Asia Middle East and Africa at Infor.

Tarik is responsible for all aspects of bringing Infor’s innovative Cloud Strategy and for growing Infor’s influence and marketshare in one of the fastest growing regions of the World.

He is also undertaking the role of General Manager, HCM & Cloud ERP Businesses for almost seven years.

As Infor’s Global GM of Human Capital Management, Tarik Taman was at the forefront of catapulting Infor to a top contender in the competitive HCM Cloud Marketplace.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

 

  1. Mr. Taman thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Infor was the gold sponsor of The HR Tech MENA Summit that has just come to the end in Dubai. What are the key takeaways you can share with us?

 

The region is ready for advanced HR practices and state-of-the-art technology to help support the transformation most businesses will need to embrace in order to be competitive in the coming decade. The conference attendees were hungry for knowledge and open to sharing their successes and challenges with each other.

 

  1. What are the market expectations from HR technologies to appear in the nearest future?

 

The market is seeking technology with a high degree of usability and innovation that can support business and cultural changes. The discipline of HR needs to embrace science and analytics to drive real business outcomes from their HR solutions. By rolling out new software solutions that feel like Facebook and using science to help them identify, recruit, hire, promote and reward better, HR practitioners can now more easily drive meaningful business value and outcomes to their firms.

 

  1. How do you consider global vendors’ opportunities to develop out of their traditional markets to the new emerging areas like MENA?

 

Newer players like Infor are starting to take advantage of the growing confusion and hunger for innovation in the MENA region. The cloud is disrupting the traditional dominance of old world software houses. It’s a new start to the HR technology scene and I predict market share to shift dramatically among technology providers.

 

  1. How Infor HCM can help business and HR leaders to make better management decisions and develop more productive and engaged workforce?

 

Whether companies are looking to augment their current processes and systems or completely replace them, Infor can help guide companies through talent transformation. Driving engagement & productivity requires a complex understanding of each employee or candidate’s potential, and their fit into your organization. Systems like Infor HCM can bring big data approaches even for point solutions that turn traditional learning management systems into Learning Optimization platforms, which can plug directly into your present HCM system and serve up just-in-time content on smart phones for performance support and coaching. Or if your organization is ready for a complete HCM technology refresh, Infor helps customers with new ways of implementing systems. High risk, big bang projects are a relic of the past, and customers can engage in prescriptive implementations built for their industry, making it possible to go live with their first phase in 90 days. Continuous adoption and optimization is what Infor’s Best Practice Deployment model empowers.

 

  1. What are the upcoming challenges for Infor on the global market, and in South Asia, Middle East and Africa Region in particular?

 

Infor considers itself the world’s largest startup. With nearly 15,000 employees in over 100 countries our reach is significant, but we are just getting started. Infor has over 5000 customers in the IMEA region and we have recognized how important this region is to our future. For the first time in Infor’s history, IMEA is a standalone business unit reporting directly to the Presidential Level. India is one of the fastest growing countries on the planet, the Middle East is going through significant change and will need to utilize technology to lower cost and increase productivity, and Africa is the last economic frontier for global companies. Were investing heavily in local capabilities and are very bullish about the value we can bring to our customers in these countries.

 

  1. What skills do you recommend for people in HR to develop in order to stay in line with the challenges of the new digital era?

 

People, like businesses, need to reinvent themselves regularly. HR organizations need to embrace science, big data and analytics. Other G&A departments like Finance and Supply Chain have done this, and the HR organizations can too. Invest personally and professionally in skills and knowledge on how to use new tools to gain insight into your talent pools. Embracing science means you can turn talent management into Talent Optimization, producing bottom-line impacts for your company.


If you want to share this interview the reference to The HR Tech Weekly ® blog, Infor and Tarik Taman is obligatory.

Key trends evolving in 2016 for HR technology • Avature

On the eve of the HR Tech MENA Summit QNA International interviews Dimitri Boylan, Founder & CEO, Avature

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What are the 5 key trends you see evolving in 2016 for HR technology? As one of the leading experts in technology solutions worldwide, what do you see emerging as the key focus for MENA region in terms of HR technology? 

Dimitri Boylan press release image
Dimitri Boylan, Founder & CEO at Avature

The challenges and opportunities faced by HR leaders today increasingly resemble those of marketing leaders. Technology and the Internet have fundamentally reshaped the way we live, particularly the way we shop, select travel destinations, how we bank, communicate, commute, and socialize.

In response to this change, sales and marketing leaders have adopted an ever-expanding array of tools that use social media, mobile, and cloud technologies to engage their audiences and influence their behavior for competitive advantage. Recruiting has followed this trend and leading recruiting organizations operate very much like a sales and marketing function. The use of CRM (candidate relationship management) methodology in recruiting will be the biggest change that companies in the MENA region should expect.

We will also see HR leaders abandon previous stand-alone solutions that were deployed with limited organizational impact, like succession planning systems that were deployed for, and only leveraged by, a small percentage of the company. Similarly with performance management software, until now it was only used for recording annual reviews. Over time we will see these products expand into much broader solutions prioritizing internal mobility, which impacts the entire organization by making it more transparent, motivational and agile.

Social and mobile will continue to grow and provide value through increased adoption and improved direct-access user experiences. This will enable HR to leverage real time data to recommend location-based learning, optimize productivity and achieve greater efficiency by offering scheduling and task management suggestions – not to mention networking and knowledge sharing opportunities with team members. 

In learning and development, we’ll see a radical change from tracking solutions to in-system training, with a strong emphasis in social learning and organic knowledge distribution.

Employee engagement technologies will most probably be based on a social model not too dissimilar to what is seen in the consumer Internet. They will move from being systems of record to platforms for engagement. In the end, the suite is being replaced with a social platform that everybody is part of, and of course, accessibility from any device will be the norm.

Big data will play an increasing role within future talent management strategies. The mounting pressure for human resources to play a more strategic role in the business will mean having the right technology to engage employee communities, the data to understand what drives them, and the insight to make smarter decisions. All these factors will be paramount to HRs success.

With today’s changing markets, competitive pressures and evolving needs, there is increasing pressure on technology to deliver greater flexibility, scalability and configurability to the business. The region can no longer rely upon on-premise solutions. They need to move to cloud based solutions that allow multiple processes to be set up for different countries, business lines, in multiple languages, with the right data segmentation and security to comply with the various regulatory requirements.

In order to stay competitive and grow, what are the recent advancements in HR software that companies need to be aware of in the MENA region? 

To remain competitive, HR should leverage the tools that SaaS delivers, particularly real-time talent analytics and social engagement tools to demonstrate how the HR strategy is driving revenue, lowering costs and reducing people risk by creating a productive and engaged workforce.

The consumer grade technology of 2nd generation SaaS solutions are now giving HR leaders the ability to deliver on their HR strategy by allowing them to create innovative and engaging programs, removing the limitations and rigidity that legacy on-premise and first generation SaaS products provided. The constant high frequency and non-disruptive upgrades SaaS delivers creates a steady flow of new functionality for the HR organizations to work with. Imagine creating an experience where your employees have access to a mobile optimized portal or a mobile app, which has built in chat functionality and a HRBP on the other end to assist them with their questions. Now compare that experience to your current legacy HR Self Service Portal. In the minds of your users, you have a 15-year-old HR system competing against the modern usability of consumer websites they use daily, like Amazon, Google and Facebook. SaaS lets you level the playing field – it gives HR the tools to get the engagement and adoption that your talent management programs need.

On a global level do you see companies investment in HR technology shifting towards people centric solutions from process centric solutions? What kind of advancements do you foresee being used on the mid and large enterprise level?

Hiring and retaining the right talent continues to be HR’s biggest challenge. As a consequence, companies are now investing in the tools to source and proactively manage relationships with passive talent, using CRM tactics. These tools enable recruiters to segment, profile, and execute highly personalized campaigns to both internal and external talent. HR now has access to this data early in the lifecycle, which also helps them figure out why people leave, what drives them to stay, and gain the insight to make quicker and smarter decisions.

As employee engagement rises higher on the agenda, the future will be all about having people on a social platform. Platforms that allow companies to get their hands around the DNA of their people, to get into the subtler aspects of how employees engage with each other and participate in the business. These systems have started to contribute important information to the Big Data story. Because Big Data is not your payroll, your financial information, or your inventory – it’s the insight and intelligence that companies get from the interactions that their employees have with customers and with each other.

The real benefit here is businesses will be able to achieve greater value out of their workforce. Leading 2nd generation SaaS solutions bring agility, flexibility and configurability to the end business user, which will allow businesses to quickly respond to change and market demands and will help better engage talented people and reduce unwanted turnover.

As most of the upcoming workforce in the MENA region is the millennial generation, how would you see social and digital engagements and mobile communications work towards developing and attracting the right talent pool? Is it the right time for these kind of investments?

Absolutely. The upcoming workforce demands a very different type of candidate experience. Millennials, described as digital natives, pose new challenges for recruiters to move beyond traditional approaches. Avid mobile users, connected 24-7, and tech savvy, they expect a more digital, mobile, and rapid experience. They also want to connect with real people, experience the authenticity of a brand, and delve into company culture – all before they even consider applying. Gone are the days where all you do is post a job on a job board and expect the perfect candidate to show up on your doorstep.

Millennials pursue organizations that have beliefs and goals similar to their own, seek greater fulfillment and work-life balance, and ultimately choose organizations in which they can grow. This means that companies need to develop the right message (Employment Value Proposition), which is communicated via the right online channels in order to catch their attention. With over 300 million employment- related Google searches and 45% of job seekers using their mobile phone once a day to search for jobs, it’s no longer a question of the right time – it’s how fast you can implement these strategies.

As a Gold sponsor for the HR Tech MENA initiative, what are the key reasons that have prompted you to associate yourself with this event? What is the message you would like to convey through this partnership? 

Avature’s leadership has a history of enabling and supporting innovation and change. In 1997, we began focusing on talent with the advent of Internet, which was HotJobs.com on Netscape 1.0, where we developed one of the first web native applicant tracking systems, subsequently introducing the concept of CRM to the recruiting function in 2008.

With over 400 customers across a wide range of industries and markets, 65 of which are Fortune 500 and 58 having over 75,000 employees, Avature brings a global perspective to this event along with insight into best practices that we see within our customer base.

Through highly agile cloud technology that is easily configurable for unique processes, our customers are leveraging Avature and enabling change within developing markets such as MENA. This approach has been successful in Asia-Pacific, and we see MENA following a similar path given the importance of the region.

About Avature

Avature is a highly configurable enterprise SaaS platform for Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, and the leading provider of CRM technology for recruiting globally. Founded by Dimitri Boylan, co-founder and former CEO of HotJobs.com, Avature brings consumer-web technology and innovation to the HCM software market. Avature solutions include shared services sourcing, applicant tracking, campus & events recruiting, employee referrals, social onboarding, branded employee engagement, internal mobility, and performance management. Avature has 63 of the Fortune 500 as customers and is used in 67 countries and 14 languages. Avature delivers its services from data centers in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has offices in Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, Melbourne, New York, Paris and Shenzhen.

Media Contacts:

Maria Lorenzo Brisco press release image
Maria Lorenzo Brisco, Marketing Director at Avature

Maria Lorenzo Brisco

E-mail: press@avature.net

Web: www.avature.net

Twitter: @Avature

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