Monday, August 29, 2005

Talent Acquisition Metrics

Here's a PDF from Webhire. I found it interesting that manual recruiting processes and automated TAS were not significantly more different in the type and quality of the metrics they provide. In all honesty, I don't think that this survey measured the "quality" of the metrics.

For example, if we talk about measuring the cost per hire, most manual systems will miss some hard dollar costs and most soft dollar costs. However, an automated system will be able to capture these. One example being the cost of the interview - the automated TAS will measure the salary spent on the interview, whereas the manual system only recorded the cost of lunch during the interview.

I simply thought Webhire could have done a much better job "selling" their case.

Friday, August 26, 2005

More on HR Communications

One of the things that bothers be about is that I can't have comments automatically showing up on the board - you have to click comments to see them. Most of the time, comments are innocuous enough, but sometimes they should not be buried. Here's Andrew's reply to my previous post - and some great insight and alternative perspective to my own experiences. As you all know by now, I'm an HR consultant specializing in change technology, so I'm definitely biased. Thanks Andrew.

Andrew Marritt said...

Interesting, and thanks for picking up on the conversation.

Most of my research came from the financial sector, specifically retail banking. In Europe I suspect the TP / assertion of universal self-service is not here. There are major banks, for example, employing tens of thousands and rating in the top 10 banks in the world where neither email access nor intranets are available to all employees.

I have worked within professional services & I suspect that in those organisations you see a very different world than most people. If you are not in some ways a 'high performer' in the traditional up-or-out consultancy you'll not last long.

The big issue here is whether a message is read and acted upon. The intranet or email may deliver the message but that doesn't mean that the message is acted upon. I agree with the risk of messages changing, though you can design a process to reduce this. Electronic messages are easy to bypass. Just because the message is available doesn't mean that it's going to be effective.

Finally, one factor worth considering is that you or I are obviously highly motivated to communicate via electronic channels - hence why we blog. Most people aren't like this & therefore just because I respond to electronic messages and you probably do doesn't mean we should use these channels as a primary one.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Branding, Communications, Service Delivery

Perhaps the post should be "Branding, Communications, Service Delivery... Again." Actually, there have been a couple of interesting things on the web. The first is a post by Andrew who referred to another debate about communications strategy and change. In it, the debate rages on about if effective communications come from a top down approach (specifically from the direct supervisor) or from a multi-directional approach.

To be honest, Andrew takes a fairly centrist approach saying that you have to know your employee base to understand what drives them. He also applies the 80/20 rule saying that most people (average performers) don't seek out information and thus need the direct contact by their supervisor. I'll agree with this in low-tech sectors. However, in organizations that have highly sophisticated employee groups such as technology, biotech, professional services... a far higher degree of employees are highly compensated and have more sophistication in terms of data access. So Andrew is correct if we are talking about an assembly manufacturing plant, but perhaps not a biotech research firm. (Andrew - did I just say exactly the same thing you said? lol)

In these more sophisticated employee populations, I subscribe to the idea that the employer has to communicate the brand multi-directionally. The most effective is through self service and the intranet. In fact, I believe direct verbal management communications are highly ineffective in these settings. This is due to the idea that communications become unstable and inconsistent. The role and beauty of web communications is that it's delivered EXACTLY the way you planned.

This brings us to article 2. This is an article you need to log in for, but it talks about the role of self service and HR service delivery. I've hilighted a few passages
The latest HR Service Delivery Survey done by Towers Perrin suggests that “…employee self-service is nearly a universal fact in corporate America today”, and while manager self-service lags behind a bit, it “is poised for robust growth.” In addition, the survey suggests that in many cases, self-service “is becoming the only option.” A specific measure cited in the survey suggests that “In 2005, nearly two-thirds (60%) of the companies surveyed expect to provide a Web-only option for annual benefits enrollment.”

This newer and more widely accepted model for HR Service Delivery provides more direct and timelier access to users, which allows HR Departments to become more efficient, timelier and more consistent in their delivery of information, data, and transaction processing. Information can pass smoothly to those who need it and HR related transactions can proceed in an orderly approval process anytime, virtually anyplace without the necessity for one-on-one engagement. Moreover, when HR deploys web solutions for its service delivery, it shows its ability to leverage technology on par with the rest of the organization.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Oracle Fusion, and future PeopleSoft functionality

Oracle Fusion has been a pretty good mystery for me. I have not heard much concrete information until lately. While I can't tell you where this information came from (other than it's not from within the organization I work for), it is very reliable.

First of all, Oracle is clearly combining JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Oracle Suite to create Fusion. This has always been well known. I have always assumed that SCM would look like JDE, HR would look like PeopleSoft, and Financials would look like Oracle. Basically, I've heard nothing to invalidate or substantiate this.

What is interesting is their short, mid and long term visions for each product:

Short term (2006):
PeopleSoft will release V9. This is a huge surprise as I thought the current release on 8 would be the last. However, V9 allows Oracle to hang onto PeopleSoft clients for that much longer, and it creates major upgrade revenues as V8 to V9 will probably be strenuous.

Oracle will go to R12 (release 12) while JDE One and JDE World will not have any more major upgrades.

Short term functionality:
PeopleSoft HR V9 will provide a whole new talent management dashboard with hiring, turnover, performance and skills inventories for the organization. They will also be working hard to streamline and standardize workflow and approval processes. Any simplification here would be excellent. Learning management and performance management enhancements are also scheduled for V9 in 2006.

Oracle HR R12 should be interesting as one of the major components in development is a new dashboard for senior level HR practitioners (execs). This new dashboard will provide daily insight into the HR health of the organization.

JDE future functionality focuses on supply chain, and continues Oracle's focus on dashboards. This time it's in a plant manager dashboard, so I won't dwell on it.

Oracle Fusion:
Oracle has clearly stated that Fusion is the successor for all 3 product lines. This means that there will be upgrade paths from Oracle, PeopleSoft and JDE. The hope is that upgrades will be simplified, but I think we all know that Oracle will most likely struggle with maintaining clients unless the functionality is spectacular (which it promises to be). They have also clearly stated that Fusion will include the best functionality from all product lines. Lastly, I'll point out that Fusion is supposed to adhere to industry open standards.

Mid Term (2007):
Oracle Fusion will deliver more dashboards, onboarding, recruitment, learning, and workforce scheduling applications in 2007. This is just the first set of apps. Their problem is that early Fusion will not bring a cohesive HRMS to the market - in fact core HRMS is totally missing. This is in fact a good marketing strategy. If their current PeopleSoft clients buy Fusion modules, then they are more likely to upgrade to Fusion HRMS when the time comes.

Long Term (2008):
Oracle Fusion will finally bring HRMS to market in 2008. This will contain a new role based use of the application which I don't quite understand yet. It will also expand on the analytics, metrics and portal capabilities.

I'm honestly quite hopefull regarding the Oracle package. At the moment, nobody but SAP does large business enterprises well, and they desperately need a competitor. Oracle's strategy of maintaining the next PeopleSoft release (V8) and rolling out Fusion a year earlier than I thought was planned should keep the PeopleSoft masses from looking for another software vendor too soon. We'll have to wait and see.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Convergys expands BPO offering beyond HRO

No, I haven't died, quit, or just gone away. I've been in the middle of parallel tests for a client and that has been an all consuming task. This also means that I haven't been doing the normal market research I usually do every week.

Convergys finalized it's deal with Deloitte to acquire the Deloitte Fiancial BPO business. With this acquisition, Cenvergys becomes a much stronger player in the overall BPO market. They are already decent sized for HRO, and this just gives them better ability to attract organizations which want a seamless platform for HR and Finance.

While I'm not sure that most large organizations will want to single-source their BPO to one vendor, this offering certainly increases Convergys' exposure and market share. It's also possible that acquiring Finance BPO from Deloitte will improve their PR outsourcing business.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

eRecruitment Market Trends

Thank you Gartner!!!!

One of my pet peeves over the last year has been ATS systems calling themselves talent management applications. Anyone reading my posts knows this bugs me to no end. Gartner's eRecruitment white paper clearly states a difference between Talent Acquisition Suites (TAS) and Talent Management Suites (TMS).

They state that Peopleclick, Taleo and Virtual Edge are all TAS vendors. Kenexa, Recruitmax and Workstream are all TMS vendors. Not to toot my own horn, but this matches well with my lists for ATS and TMS.
Talent Acquisition Suites/Talent Management Suites: In addition to vertical-market depth, we also expect to see more competition based on product breadth. TASs that merge e-recruitment and service procurement (that is, contingent workforce management) will be one level of differentiation. PeopleClick and VirtualEdge are good examples of vendors that provide TASs. In addition, there are vendors that are providing even broader suites of products — talent management suites — which expand into performance management, career development, succession planning, learning and compensation management. Kenexa, Recruitmax (via its acquisition of CCH/KnowledgePoint) and Workstream (through its various acquisitions, including, most recently, Kadiri) are good examples of vendors that provide broader suites of products. We believe customers prefer these integrated suites more than niche e-recruitment solutions, all else being equal. The integrated suites can leverage common capabilities, such as competency management, workflow and reporting/analytics. In addition, there are reporting and analytics, which are not easily replicated. For example, if an enterprise wanted to find a correlation between high performers and sources of talent, it would be harder to pull data from separate e-recruiting and performance management solutions than it would be from an integrated solution. Customers should understand not only how their e-recruitment vendor can support their e-recruitment requirements, but also how it will participate in the broader suite markets.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Talent Management searches are up

This is actually a very poor polling technique, but it does at least show that companies are thinking about talent management. Unfortunately, I have no idea what people mean when they say talent management. To me, TM is a complete suite that runs through recruiting (talent acquisition), to learning and retention. Unfortunately, many applicant tracking systems are billed as talent management software, when they really only cover 25% of the functionality that's needed in a comprehensive suite.

Nonetheless, has a poll out there that states roughly 20% of the 150ish respondents are going to be buying a TM package this year. 70% will not and the other 10% are in between. In my opinion, 1 out of 5 companies looking for software is huge.

KPMG does not know the difference between DB and DC?

Well, we all know there is a HUGE difference between accountants and actuaries. (Do I need to tell any actuary jokes?) But this press release is a rather harsh example of why a good HR consulting firm lime Mercer, Towers Perrin or Wyatt should be doing your benefits consulting and not a Big 4 firm.

The Daily Telegraph, via NewsEdge Corporation :
KPMG is one of Britain's biggest accounting firms, employed (inter alia) to audit company pension schemes, so it should surely boast the technical expertise to tell the difference between a defined contribution scheme and a defined benefit one. Yet when it came to the firm's own scheme, it needed the High Court to decide. KPMG invited the court to agree that it had been running a defined contribution scheme all these years, so that the risk should fall on the retired partners.

When the court disagreed, the firm appealed, and this week the Appeal Court threw the accountants out so comprehensively that it even refused leave to appeal to the Law Lords. The shortfall in the scheme will have to be found by the existing 553 partners, and at pounds 70m (in 2002) promises to make a nasty dent in the firm's operating profits. The very fact that there is a shortfall is a bit of a giveaway; in a defined contribution scheme, the question doesn't arise, since the nascent pensioner takes whatever the contributions have grown to, and buys his annuity. KPMG's case was that benefits were calculated without reference to earnings, but the court has disagreed. It's an important case, and a curious one.

KPMG is highly likely to be auditing your company pension (there are only three other big firms on the planet) and if they can't tell the difference between DB and DC, then it's a pretty poor lookout. In the increasingly frenzied game of pass the parcel being played between employers and employees faced with pension deficits, the small print is important. It's created lots of lucrative work for accountants, but KPMG may find the clients less inclined to appoint them in future.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Generation gap and learning

I was sitting at my brother and sister-in-law’s house last night and the conversation turned to their teenage son. He was sitting in front of the computer playing some shoot and kill video game with some friends on-line. Remembering the many posts about video games and learning from other blogs, I commented that the future of work and jobs might be the ability for learning organizations to build on these new skills that don’t exist in abundance in the labor pool.

Take video gamers as an example. Last night, my nephew was sitting at a keyboard and mouse, using practically all of the keys on the keyboard for commands (often multiple keys – “S” can be shoot a gun, “ctrl-S” can be shoot a machine gun, etc…), using a mouse or joystick for some movement control, using the keyboard to control which friend he’s talking to (yelling commands to) over the microphone, and all the while toggling between views at a speed that would dizzy most of us.

My sister-in-law (a physician), commented that some studies have shown that video gamer surgeons often perform better where micro-cameras and mechanics are required – sometimes your hands just can’t get to certain places. These surgeons utilize small devices to perform miniscule operations that are no longer performed by hand or sight.

Ceridian put out a press release that doesn’t say a whole lot other than identifying differences between Gen X, Gen Y and everyone else.

For the first time in history, many organizations have workforces that comprise four distinct generations: Matures (ages 60-78), Baby Boomers (ages 41-59), Generation X (ages 28-40), and Generation Y (age 27 and younger). Matures and Baby Boomers make up well over half the American workforce. Generations X and Y comprise approximately 44 percent of the labor market, according to the Department of Labor.

To ultimately seize the opportunities of a multigenerational workforce and achieve generational competence, Ceridian encourages employers to understand and build awareness of generational differences; study how different generations interact, use products and access services within the enterprise; leverage generational understanding to identify market opportunities and to improve marketing, product development, customer service and management practices; and design projects to provide opportunities for cross-generational collaboration.

While I think it’s important to be aware of the benefits of a multi-generational workforce and the opportunities that brings, I’m much more interested in what learning organizations will do over the next decade to maximize the return on billions of dollars of video game investment.

Hyperion BI certifies on SAP Netweaver

Recently I wrote about BI software and forgot to put in Hyperion. Here's a press release from Hyperion and their SAP partnership.

Hyperion's new center of excellence located at the SAP headquarters will allow them to provide SAP specific development and tighter integration. That's about all I know. :-)

Monday, August 01, 2005

State of the Industry - Portal

When I talk about portals, I'm talking about an HR portal - not the enterprise portal. Portal is not synonymous with employee and manager self service - portals indicate another level of technology. Here's a good portal explanation from a vendor.

In my mind, there are only a few vendors that are providing this service. Here are my top vendors:

1) Plumtree
2) SAP
3) PeopleSoft (if you can get Oracle to sell it)
4) ADP (outsourced only)
5) WorkScape (HR only)

Plumtree and SAP offer enterprise portals, but the technology and maturity of the products give it a clear advantage over the other products. PeopleSoft can compete well, but who can buy PeopleSoft these days? For HR only portals, take a look at excellent products from ADP and WorkScape.