SAP integration with Outlook

As this story from IT Toolbox says why did it take so long for SAP to have meaningful integration with Outlook?

If you use Outlook a lot you will be able to get access the SAP HR information. This is a fantastic step. Full appointment, taks lists, email, contact and other Outlook data will have linkages with SAP. Without too much information I can only assume training calenders, leave schedules, and workflow tasks etc will be available in Outlook.

New Theme

Since moving to WordPress I have been amazed at the ease of use, as a content management system I am very happy with it. I have also been blown away by the number of themes available to download and use. Today I have loaded a new theme called Relaxation by John Wrana I like it a lot it has clean lines neutral colours and generally a professional look.

If you have an opinion let me know, oh and be prepared for some other changes :-).

Annoying terms

Via ContingentWorkforce.Org

Digital Home Canada has an article on the most annoying workplace terms and phrases.

In reading the list and the full article I might be an annoying person to work with. Oh well I might do some value-added thinking outside of the box to develop a win-win customer centric solution that has alignment with my core competency and develop synergies and incremental benefits that focus on accountability management with generation X so that at the end of the day I can develop metrics on how to redeploy people, however given this is a paradigm shift I will take it offline not to bore you all.

ePortfolios and Resumes the crossover

Lousie, from BlueSkyResumes wrote about a client of hers who is having trouble remembering the different projects that they have worked on. The upshot of this is it is very difficult to write a truly reflective resume.

While a lot of the discussions to date on ePortfolio’s have been focused on the educational aspects I see another more valuable, longer term usage. An ePortfolio can also be a place for someone to develop a history of what they have achieved during their working career. As long as it is an semi-unstructured tool almost anything could be collected as any point in time. Thus providing inputs into the resume preparation process when required. If written clearly the ePortfolio might even form a portion of the resume. The ePortfolio would need to have the ability yo have private thoughts and notes, similar to WordPress’s Private Post feature.

Recruiting Metrics

As Heather said there has been lots of discussion (here, here, here, here, and here) recently on recruiting metrics and the quality of a hire. Andrew Marritt provides a very interesting perspective on why quality of hire is even only appropriate in a limited number of circumstances.

All in all a fantastic discussion. But what does it all mean?

A metric should not be used in isolation, not all metrics are suitable for all circumstances and the biggest you have to be able to compare apples with apples, not oranges. Let’s not forget that at a base level your data must be accurate.

But let’s also look at the whole discussion from a information management point of view. A while back I saw a breakdown from the Meta Group on Workforce Information Management that highlighted the typical 5 categories that organisations go through when implementing workforce analytics. These were:-

  1. Information distribution
  2. Metric delivery
  3. Contextual embedded analytics
  4. Correlated analytics
  5. Predictive modelling

The discussion to date on quality of hire seems to be focused around the need for correlated analytics and predictive modelling, while the tools and methods available today a more focused on metric delivery. Therefore a gap in what we want to deliver and what our tools and technique enable us to deliver.

Correlated analytics allows us to relate workplace information with overall enterprise data that then allows us to understand the impact of workforce investment. A typical example of this would be the impact of turnover within a job grouping on revenue. While predictive modelling would allow us to generate views of the future using time-sliced data in multi-scenario analysis. Such as a 1% increase in employee satisfaction will result in a reduction of time to fill by 10% and a 2% reduction in turnover within six months with the related linkages to revenue and bottom line profits.

Now with most organisations stuck at the bottom two levels when it comes to their analytics programs it is no wonder why we are unable to meet the demands on how to articulate the success of recruiting. The question we really need to ask is when will we have the tools and methods to move up the value change to deliver these more advanced reporting environments? We need vendors to deliver real solutions that are usable in a majority of organisations, not just in brand new installations or those on the bleeding edge.

Resume tool follow up

A one of the features in CVOz that I originally did not fully appreciate was the email alerts. Steven Hair from CVOz responded to an email enquiry I had about the product and provided some additional information.

The email alert will inform employers when a person matching their ideal criteria goes live within the system. This then allows the employer to rapidly respond to a candidate flagging themselves as available. A great feature if your market as scarce skill or hard to find resources. Given this nice feature an employer would then be able to target when they search and activate a token, thus saving tokens until they have a higher chance of success.

Australian Resume Tool

On Friday I was browsing a site (which I can no longer remember) that had Google AdSense, from this I found an interesting new Australian site CVOZ that allows you to post your resume for prespective employers. I originally wrote a long review of the site only to have Blogger crash during the post, hence my move to WordPress, I am going to try and reproduce the review again.

The registration and initial set up process was very easy with a clear and consistent user interface. Within the initial setup screens there is a continual prompting to use pictures on every single page, coupled with the very colourful templates does not project a very professional image, which is critical for a resume. The different sections make it easy for a novice to create a resume with the content that is required by most recruiter, as an example I set up a basic framework for myself at http://www.cvoz.com.au/cv/michaelspecht/.

The resume is entered in a structured format that is certainly easy for storage in a database, and maybe even in HR-XML format, although I doubt but you never know :-). For example the section on Employment History forces the job seeker to complete their employment history based around key achievements and overall duties. My only comment would be for my current role I still had to enter an end date, which means I need to continually update the record.

I liked the personal detail area that allows me to control how much information I give out, to the point where I can make all personal details private.

An interesting feature is the site allows me to up load supporting documentation. This allows job seekers several option. For example job loading scanned copies of certificates or example of previous work based on industry.

One cool feature is the ability to generate a PDF version of your resume to use used at other sites. I would have liked the feature more if the CVOz logo was not at the top of every page.

I also registered as an employer just to give the database a bit of a test. An interesting feature allows employers to purchase “tokens” that given them 2 hours at a time searching in the database, each token is A$49.90 not bad really. The proof though is in the quality/quantity of the candidates returned, given the site is new I would of expected free usage for a period say a month until a reasonable number of candidates are in the database. I tried a search for SAP Project Managers and only found a few, I cannot remember how many, but it was around 10 not really enough to warrant the A$49.90 expense. Unless of course you get the perfect candidate.

How to take notes

Michael Hyatt has some great advice on how to recovering the lost art of note-taking.

He is right on the mark with his ideas:-

    Note-taking enables you to stay engaged.
    Note-taking provides a mechanism for capturing your ideas, questions, and commitments.
    Note-taking communicates the right things to the other attendees.

His pointers on how to be more effective is very interesting, with some fantastic comments. Since I have been implementing GTD I have been taken far more notes that before, these pointers will now make my notes easier to read and more useful.

What a web I have woven

Just sitting here on a lovely Anzac Day afternoon (on a Monday which makes it even better), going through all of the places I need to update due to the fact that I have moved “house”, makes me tried just thinking about it.

I will be kept busy over the next few weeks just catching up!