HR 2020 a look into the future

With us rapidly coming to the end of the first decade of the 21st century I thought it might be fun to look forward another 10 years to see what a day in the life of an HR manager might be like.

(First I am not a fiction writer so bear with me. Second while 2020 might seem a long way away, in 2000 so did 2010 so I have not radically changed the overall work undertaken by HR. While this decision might upset some in the HR profession that things have not changed a lot I felt a conservative approach was warranted.)

Our hero today is Paul, Senior HR Manager for a mid sized organisation of about 2,500 employees. Paul has a small team of 3 covering all HR functions. He uses limited external providers for services such as training and recruitment, his team can complete most tasks with the help of their software agents.

On with the story!

Continue reading “HR 2020 a look into the future”

Your HRIS Selection Process

HR practitioners know that business strategy should drive HR strategy, and the same is true for the organisation’s Human Resource Information System strategy – it should be driven by the HR strategy and aligned with the business strategy.

Therefore, when selecting a Human Resource Information System for the organisation, the first and most important step is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the HR strategy and the business strategy. If you don’t have this understanding, you will need to obtain it before you commence the selection process.

The next step in the process is to clearly define what the organisation requires from its HRIS. At a macro level this should be fairly straightforward as the needs will align directly to the HRIS strategy and architecture. At a micro level, the needs analysis must encompass in detail the business, functional and technical requirements. Care needs to be taken as this stage as many organisations end up ‘over buying’ software that does not meet its needs.

For example, following are just a few of the key questions that need to be asked at this point:

  • What information does the organisation need to be managed, measured and evaluated?
  • What types of changes can the organisation predict and what adaptability will it required from the HRIS?
  • What ongoing support will be necessary?
  • Does the organisation require inhouse maintenance of the system or will the contracting of external maintenance be necessary?

Once you understand your needs you can approach the market and evaluate the different systems that are on offer to determine which meet your needs. Do not let yourself or others in the organisation be influenced by fancy marketing brochures and the sales pitch of the sales people or consultants. The evaluation process should act as a funnel process that allows focus on meeting the needs of the organisation in the best possible manner.

Movement at Stepstone?

After performing well in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report it seems things are changing for Stepstone . Earlier this week they held an Extraordinary General Meeting to vote on de-listing the company from both the Norwegian and UK exchanges.

De-listing of the shares of the company from Oslo Børs

In accordance with the Board’s proposal, the general meeting unanimously resolved as follows:

“StepStone ASA shall promptly apply to Oslo Børs for a de-listing of its shares from quotation at Oslo Børs.”

This a very interesting development as over the last year Axel Springer AG has been securing additional shareholdings in the holding company StepStone ASA. Since September Axel Springer have held 53% of the available shares.

Could we be seeing a private equity sale?

Best places to work as voted by you the employees

For the second year in a row Glassdoor has published their Best Places to Work listing based on votes by the employees of these organisations. Basically wisdom of crowds to determine the 50 best employers in the US. The terms of reference were:

The Top 50 were selected from more than 37,000 companies reviewed by the nearly 100,000 employees who completed a 20-question survey on Glassdoor.com in 2009. To be eligible for the list, a company must have had at least all of the following:

  • 25 reviews from United States-based employees between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009,
  • “satisfied” ratings overall and across all categories, and
  • a CEO with at least a 50% approval rating.

The top 10 employers based on the Glassdoor survey are:

  1. Southwest Airlines
  2. General Mills
  3. Slalom Consulting
  4. Bain & Company
  5. McKinsey & Company
  6. MITRE
  7. Boston Consulting
  8. Continential Airlines
  9. Procter & Gamble
  10. Juniper Networks

Which is an interesting list as it looks very little like the Fortune Best Companies to Work For top 10:

  1. NetApp
  2. Edward Jones
  3. Boston Consulting Group
  4. Google
  5. Wemans Food Markets
  6. Cisco Systems
  7. Genetech
  8. Methodist Hospital System
  9. Goldman Sachs
  10. Nugget Market

If we compare the lists side by side you can see how different they are, the numbers in brackets indicate where the company appears on the other list, if at all.

Glassdoor Fortune
  1. Southwest Airlines (-)
  2. General Mills (99)
  3. Slalom Consulting (-)
  4. Bain & Company (-)
  5. McKinsey & Company (-)
  6. MITRE (66)
  7. Boston Consulting (3)
  8. Continential Airlines (-)
  9. Procter & Gamble (-)
  10. Juniper Networks (84)
  1. NetApp (15)
  2. Edward Jones (24)
  3. Boston Consulting Group (7)
  4. Google (14)
  5. Wemans Food Markets (-)
  6. Cisco Systems (-)
  7. Genetech (-)
  8. Methodist Hospital System (-)
  9. Goldman Sachs (16)
  10. Nugget Market

While yes the lists were compiled at different end of the year the Fortune list at the beginning Glassdoor as of December 1, they do should how different two lists can be. Even if you compare the Glassdoor results from 2008 the Fortune list is still rather different. This tells me that just relying on external lists to determine the top employers is dangerous practice.

The key is to know if your employees are engaged and telling others that your company is a great place to work. This is a critical first step in the creation of successful talent management strategies, such as referral programs.

Magicality of a Gartner Magic Quadrant

Ok magicality may not be a real word but who cares.

Being in the magic quadrant for a vendor can make or break them in the sales process as so many people place so much emphasis on these results. As such Gartner released the 2009 eRecruitment Magic Quadrant last week with some interesting results.

eRecruitment-magic-quadrant_Dec_2009

Firstly Taleo is an outright leader, which should come as no surprise, but the real interesting parts of the Magic Quadrant (MQ) are with the other vendors.

  • StepStone has moved well and truly into the MQ, and are joined by PeopleClick.
  • Bernard Hodes Group has fallen out of the visionaries quadrant back into the niche market
  • The large ERP vendors remain high in the ability to execute attributes but still lack the visionary attributes of a Taleo or Kenexa .
  • For the first time an Australian vendor is listed, PageUp People , congratulations to Karen and her team.
  • Both Kronos and Mr Ted have moved up the ability to execute stakes which is good.

If you want some ideas about what to do with the information head over to the Human Capitalist for some recommendations.

Do brands have a Dunbar’s number?

Well do they?150

(You do know what Dunbar’s number is right?)

This question was posed by Manu Prasad over in India, thanks to Gautam Gosh for pointing it out.

Manu ponders that:

if there was a Dunbar number for brands, dictated by the number of people the brand can connect with- internally as well as externally? There are two things I read recently which added to the thought. One was the idea of the Intention Economy (via Surekha) which “grows around buyers” and is “about markets, not marketing”, and which is builts beyond transactions alone – conversations, reputation, authority, respect all of which are earned by the sellers and buyers. This is a provisional idea, the other is a report from 360i (via Mashable) which states that “that a majority of social media search listings that appear for brand-related queries are created by individuals not affiliated with the brand”, an increasing trend.

An interesting concept because behind each brand online is a person, an individual who wants to get out and make a difference. Remember when we engage either online or offline it is about one on one relationships and conversations.

Back to our brand and its people. Each of these people are in fact limited by Dunbar’s number. So does that mean a brand is limited by the number of people they have online times 150?

Thought provoking.

(A side note my view is Dunbar’s number applies to people and specific contexts. For example if you are in a social mode while using a service you can only have meaningful connections with 150 people. While if the next day you are using the same service for business you might interact with a completely different set of 150 people.)

A history lesson of sorts

I got distracted today so I started digging through my old blog posts to have a look at some of the subjects I have covered in the last 5 years.

Initially I was very much focused on blogs as a method of solving all of the world’s issues. Mainly because that was the main form of user generated content that we had. (Think – when all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.)

Here are some of my posts that stood out:

How the world has changed, we now have all sorts of tools available to individuals and organisations alike. However the foundations are the same FUSE or “Find, Use, Share, Expand”.

For an organisation to effectively leverage their employee’s in a knowledge economy, these employees need to be able to quickly and efficiently find the information they need. Once found the information needs to be used to create the outcomes required by their KPIs. With this newly formed outcome they will most likely then share with either other employees, customers or partners. The act of sharing expands the outcomes of the employee and the recipient.

Each piece of information you put through the FUSE process can result in your very own virus, a small infectious agent that can replicates inside the cells of another organism. In fact the whole concept of FUSE is much the same as the life cycle of a virus!

FUSE should be your framework for the introduction of social technologies into the enterprise.

Agile talent management software – Your survival plan?

I read with interest this morning Dr John Sullivan’s article looking at how to survive in such turbulent economic times, his concept seems to be a play on the software development process Agile. To quote Wikipedia Agile software development is:

Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

I am very interested in John’s views next week as he shows us some of the attributes he sees within an agile talent management strategy. In the meantime let me provide some of my own thoughts.

Last month I sat through a demonstration of a top end talent management system that ticked all of the boxes from a feature set, which as a buyer of software is important. However during the whole presentation I could not help but think “wow this would require a large structured project to implement in even the smallest of organisations”.  To start with a massive project would be required around defining competency frameworks, then career paths, development plans, capturing employee information, etc. Ongoing the process of ensuring performance management information is collected, development plans are kept up to date, compensation plans managed would overload many an HR department.

Most systems and their vendors today still follow something that closely resembles the waterfall model of software development. Again from Wikipedia:

The waterfall model is the most structured of the methods, stepping through requirements-capture, analysis, design, coding, and testing in a strict, pre-planned sequence. Progress is generally measured in terms of deliverable artifacts: requirement specifications, design documents, test plans, code reviews and the like.

Where as agile processes produce completely developed and tested features every few weeks. Today the consumer web is a very fast moving and dynamic environment that can change almost overnight, for example 18 months ago MySpace was the place to be, now it is Facebook. This has lead to most consumer focused web development teams, and some corporate, to use agile processes to quickly deliver new features to their customers. To this end a host of light weight tools have entered the market to help support these teams, for example Pivotal Tracker and Agile Zen.

Today most corporate IT environments are the exact opposite to agile. They have enormous governance models designed to stop “cowboy software development” and ensure that all stakeholders, including the board, internal customers, and in particular departments such as finance, have the necessary input into the decision making process. These governance processes have been required due to the complexity created within an organisation’s IT environment from years and years of short term planning and projects where only “phase one” has ever been deployed. Ok yes there are exceptions I admit, but ask the employees of most organisations what it is like working with their IT team and they will roll their eyes at you.

Enter Agile.

Just as Dr John Sullivan is suggesting you bring agile practices into your talent management strategies, how about you bring them into your software projects as well?

Presentation from ATC Social Media Event

The slides from my joint session with Trevor Vas from HCMS are now available for you to view.

ATC Social Media Event

Yesterday was the first joint ATC/Inspecht event looking specifically at the usage of social media in recruitment. My personal opinion is that overall the day was a great success, although we will wait for the formal feedback from participants to know their feelings. Here are some of my thoughts and observations.

  • Having over 130 people in a room designed for 120 is a little cramped, but that is what happens when you sell out an event.
  • A lot of people knew very little about social media in general, let alone how they could be using it as part of their day to day work.
  • 80% of the participants were internal recruiters or consultants, very few agencies were represented.
  • Mark Pesce is always a great speaker.
  • There was lots of good discussion on Twitter.
  • E&Y are doing some very good things.
  • Atlassian as always have their finger on the pulse of their community.
  • People are very confused about how to include social media as part of their recruitment strategy.
  • There is a lot of concern about the legal and management issues of social media in the work place.
  • Job boards are not going away anytime soon.
  • We need to really start to promote Enterprise 2.0 as part of talent management strategies

We will be pulling together as many of the presentations as possible and make them available on the conference site. Also all sessions were captured on video once the videos are edited they will be posted online.

Here are a couple of blogs post I have found discussing the event:

A final note, we are talking about a bigger and better event for 2010 so watch this space.