Michael Specht

A blog from Australia looking at technology, management, Human Resources (HR) and recruitment.

Some content for you

June 24th, 2013 · 1 Comment · HR Management, HRIS ·



In the interests of trying to save some of you from subscribing to multiple locations I will try to cross post content from Navigo Research here.

A few recent posts.

You have to action your data for it to be meaningful

A recent study by Cleo Magazine has found that many organisations are complying with the reporting requirements of the new Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act) but not actually actioning the details. In fact until they were contact by Cleo they did not realise there was in fact a salary gap between genders, even though the information was in the reports submitted to WGEA.

Social Network Analysis and Succession Planning

A very neat use of LinkedIn Company Insights to look at the movement of staff between the different financial institutions in Australian. Also some thoughts on how social network analysis can be used for succession planning.

Since writing the post I have caught up with Riges Younan from Avature. Avature has a feature that allows organisations to build organisation charts within their talent pools. This reminded me a bit of the analysis undertaken by Dr Laurence Lock Lee in the post.

Speed, Agility and HR/Payroll Software

A short summary of the recent conferences (ATC and SuccessConnect) I attended. The outcome of which was a thought that while we are getting faster software  releases through SaaS/Coud offerings, have we restructured our businesses to take advantage of these features?

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Where has all the content gone?

May 19th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Blogging, Personal ·



A short update.

As some will know I started a new job about 6 weeks ago. Like all new jobs things have been fairly busy, but I have been writing, just not here.

Most of my blogging is going to be over at the Navigo Research site.

I will still be blogging here, just at this stage not sure on the content. For now if you want to catch my blogging you will need to subscribe to both places :).

Over the next two weeks I will be in Sydney for a couple of conference. First the SuccessFactors SuccessConnect 2013 23-24 May  and then Australasian Talent Conference 28-30 May. I have some free time during this trip if you would like to catch up drop me an email.

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7th Annual ATC Conference coming up

March 20th, 2013 · Comments Off · Recruitment ·



Brochure

The 7th Annual ATC Conference is just around the corner and from the looks of the agenda it will be as fantastic as the previous ones. This year’s theme is around agile talent management and will be looking at the different ways you can structure your talent management function.

As always the speaker line up is top quality and once again including several international representatives, including the likes of Gerry Crispin and Kevin Wheeler. Not to be out done by the international speakers there are local practitioners and consultants to help provide the Australian perspective; Davin D’Silva, Kimberley Hubble, and Jared Woods to mention a few.

The agenda has a few very interesting sessions that I hope to attend. Jenny Hoysted and Tony Wallace are running a session about agile workforce planning which given many organisations struggle with regular workforce planning going agile with it would prove to be difficult. Also Richard Lishewski, Global Talent Acquisition Director, Nike session on the different options to deliver talent to your organisation will provide a bit of a global context to things. There are several session around social recruitment, no surprise there, even a “social media bootcamp” for those yet to jump on board. Several sessions are looking at how to balance your workforce in an era of outsorcing, offshoring, contigency and redundancies.

While not speaking this year I am certainly planning to attend to catch up on what is going on.

(Disclosure: ATC have been a previous client and business partner of mine and the team are good friends.)

UPDATE: Since publishing this post I have been asked to assist in running one of the pre-conference workshops, Building a Winning Social Recruitment Business Case with Jared Woods.

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On the Move

March 12th, 2013 · 2 Comments · HRIS, Personal, Technology ·



A few months ago I started assessing what I would be doing come the end of March after this very long project was over. I blogged a few times about the process of trying to decide where I was going and what I was doing, I even applied for a few jobs.

Well it is now time to make it official, from April 2nd 2013 I will be joining Navigo.

There is a fair bit more to this story than I am off to join some organisation.

Firstly very soon after my first post about starting to look for new challenges, Peter Forbes the owner of Navigo, reached out and asked if we could catch up. We caught up for a coffee in Hawthorn and discussed the state of the Australian marketplace, some of the things I have been trying to do with Inspecht and more importantly where he had been going with the Australia HR Technology Report. Navigo had released 2 reports purely focused on HR Technology in Australia, something brand new and really needed.

We both knew that the marketplace wanted information about vendors and trends but Peter could now back this up with solid research. I had experienced the same while building Inspecht and what Navigo now had, which I did not at Inspecht, was this research.

During 2012 Peter decided that he wanted to build out a new business line under the Navigo brand focusing purely on Research and Advisory. As part of this he went to market to try and recruit a Research and Advisory Analyst, with very limited luck. However when I blogged about looking for new work he felt I might be suited to the business, so he reached out.

Over the next couple of months we met a few times discussing what the role might look like. I took Peter through some of my thoughts about what I was looking for in a role. At the same time he took me through the way the Navigo ran it’s business, from the heavy use of Confluence, fully integrated into their Sugar CRM environment to their process focused style of operations. As the relationship grew so did my comfort level of joining another organisation to continue the type of work I had started in 2009/2010 with Inspecht.

So a couple of weeks ago I accepted the role as Senior Advisory at Navigo Research.

What does the role do:

  • Produce analysis and research into technology used in HR
  • Provide consulting and advisory services to Navigo Research customers
  • Promote and build the Navigo Research brand

Basically I will be building on the fabulous foundation of work already done on the HR Tech Report to write reports, white papers, and other research. In addition I will be building processes and practices to help organisations undertake technology reviews and complete the systems selection process. I plan to also work with both buyers and sellers of HR Technology in Australia to understand both the existing marketplace and the trends. (Vendors be ready for me to contact you.) With the best part of the role being to blog, write, and network with everyone and anyone in the HR Technology space in Australia.

There are a few practical things that will also change. (Other than I will have a real job.)

The Inspecht site has been closed and now re-directs here. There will be a new domain http://navigoresearch.com.au that will be launched before the end of April to be Navigo Research’s new home. We will be migrating all of the content from HR Tech Report to the new brand ( I say we but it’s really Jules the Navigo Marketing Manager who will do this part). From April 2nd you will also see me start to blog over at Navigo Research, this site will continue for personal blogging and the occasional rant.

Something else I want to address; products and independence. While Navigo resells some products that is under their solutions business line which is separate from the research. I will be working very hard to ensure that complete independence is kept and all vendors get an equal showing a view strongly held by Peter as well. If someone ever feels that is not happening please contact me as it will be my personal reputation on the line if that does not happen.

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Disengaged Employees cost you US$2246 per employee every year

February 28th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Engagement ·



Profitability drives the actions of all organisation, even not for profits as they at least need to break even, as such senior leadership teams are constantly reviewing regular reports on the health of their organisation through financial, operational and people metrics. Unfortunately a majority of these metrics are looking backward at what took place during the last month, quarter or year.

Especially when you start looking at metrics such as Employee Engagement/Satisfaction which usually result out of an annual survey. Following the actual survey period is at least a month of analysis after which the result are usually distributed back to managers over a period of weeks if not months. Afterwards the long drawn out process of implementing the recommendations takes place. This can actually disengage employees as they do not see positive outcomes from the survey for many months.

At best organisations will have engagement figures that are only 90 days old, at worse over 12 months, resulting in executives using a historical view on the “health” of their largest expense for decision making.

Over the last few years serious financially based research has been taking place around how employee engagement impacts organisational financial performance. Alex Edmans’ most recent findings are:

Companies listed on the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” generated 2.3% to 3.8% higher stock returns per year than their peers from 1984 through 2011.

Leading expert on employee engagement David Zinger provided an interesting fact; a disengaged employee is actually costing you US$2,246 per year. David’s source as a lovely infograph created by ADP in the US based several different bodies of research. Some other facts from the infograph include:

  • 67% of employees are not engaged, this is less than Australian estimates of around 80% not engaged
  • 49% of employees feel their executive do not create an environment that drive engagement
  • Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave
  • Removing roadblocks and access to resources can improve employee performance by 25%

It is research like Alex Edmans and figures like the type from the ADP infograph that make it not surprise that switched on organisations take this seriously and are finding year old data on engagement just not “cutting the mustard”. Really switch on ones are doing something about it like Atlassian’s Mood App.

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