Is your HR Strategy ready for the intention economy?

I sit here typing this post during the first week of the second decade in the 21st century however some many organisation’s HR strategies are still stuck in the 20th century.

Let me explain.

Today most organisational HR strategy is based on a asynchronous model where the organisation does something and at a later time employees react. For example a new performance management policy is released, at a later point in time employees execute the performance review process. From an alternate direction an employee’s productivity begins to drop over time this becomes an issue so the organisation executes the performance improvement process.

Many organisations are aiming to move to a more synchronous environment, or real time. Here we have live chats on the career pages, real time updates on recruitment processes and continuous learning and performance management. In practical terms this can be thought of as HR dashboards and score cards that are updated live during the business day.

Real time is only part of the story the real value comes from understanding intentions. For example knowing that employees with 3 years service in the marketing department who have not changed roles in 6 months are your greatest risk of leaving and therefore Mary needs a role change. Or where a senior top performer plans to travel to a different office location your talent management system automatically suggests potential employees who could benefit from a mentoring session. Another example is where an employee is attending a conference the systems identify other employees, based on internal content, who would benefit from either also attending or receiving a briefing their return.

Intention based HR builds on the idea of predictive analytics but takes things further. Yes this is a long way off but leading organisations will start to experiment with these ideas over the next year or two. For example what could you do with these ideas; people who are looking for work in real time, or who hate their job?

On a side note based on the latest Cedar Crestone HR Technology survey only 10% of organisations have implemented predictive analytics.

(Note: I built on the ideas proposed by Jeremiah Owyang.)

Cedar Crestone HR Systems Survey

The 12th Annual Cedar Crestone HR Systems Survey is in progress. Over the years many of my clients have participated in the survey and also used the results to define their go forward strategy. If you are in a position to participate I would highly encourage you to do so.

Not sure about the survey here is a quick run down from Aleixa Martin Cedar Crestone’s Director or Research and Analytics:

CedarCrestone is requesting participation in the CedarCrestone 2009-2010 HR Systems Survey: HR Technologies, Service Delivery Choices, and Metrics Survey, 12th Annual Edition through June 22, 2009. The survey is a comprehensive research effort designed to provide organizations with important data to plan, justify, benchmark, and execute HR technologies and to address key deployment options. The survey questionnaire is available online at www.cedarcrestone.com/hrssv3.

The 2009 HR Survey is broad in its coverage, including questions about:

  • Technologies to support talent management, business intelligence, service delivery, and workforce management as well as SOA and Web 2.0 innovations
  • Deployment options and related expenditures (on premise, software-as-a-service, hosting, business process outsourcing, etc.)
  • Comprehensive metrics such as employee/HR staff ratios, administrative costs per employee, links between technology adoption and financial performance, and many others

The survey collects responses from HR and IT management with knowledge of the HR technologies in use and planned, as well as those with an overview of key deployment decisions. The survey is targeted to respondents from organizations in all industries (commercial, public sector, and educational organizations) with over 500 employees.

While you are into surveys remember to take the Australian Sources of Talent survey and join over 390 Australian organisation’s who have already participated.

HR Technology Best Practice

Over night I received the results from Cedar Crestone’s 2008-2009 HR Technology survey, while I am yet to digest the full report, a quick review of the document and the assocaited press release reveal some interesting facts. Oh, the statistics are mainly North American focused but if history has shown me anything they predict a general trend for Australian organisations.

Some of the interesting points:

  • Use of administrative applications are obiovusly mature, however the results are showing an initial movement from in?house to software?as-a?service (SaaS) solutions. Now is this driving vendors or are vendors driving this move, not sure.
  • Talent management applications are very important and that these applications are helping organisations deliver higher financial performance.
  • The Employee Self Service and Manager Self Service trend is still deliverying value and reducing the size of HR departments and improving transaction cycle times.
  • Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 is still the arena of early adopters, with the biggest area of usage being recruiting and branding. The survey shows that organisations using these tools had double the sales growth of organisations that did not. This reminds me I really need to push/define my Enterprise 2.0 services more.
  • A final theme change management is the one key differentiator towards achieving a successful HR technology project. Which is good news as this is another key services of Inspecht.

Some points emerged in the results that I want to cover further.

those taking an integrated talent management approach strongly outpace organizations with a best of breed approach on operating income growth nearly three times (13.1% vs. 4.8%)!

Now it is important to understand the definition of integrated; “If two or more of the talent management applications are from the same vendor as the underlying HR management system, they were designated as having an “integrated” talent management approach.”

This little nugget seems to go directly against previous research reports that we shoud be moving towards a Core HRIS vendor and a Core Talant Management vendor. Could it be ouch for folks like Taleo who are heavily pushing their Unified Talent Management approach? Or one could say the Cedar’s history as an ERP implementation consulting firm might bias the results? I don’t think so.

Why?

Today’s talent management tools from best of breed vendors tend to focus mainly of recruitment, preformance management and sometimes compensations management. What they miss is learning management, which is key for developing one’s internal talent pool. Could this missing link be the key to why organisations who have a fully integrated environment are returning greater financial results?

Another result showed that organisations with comptency management achieved significant sales growth. Comptencies form the core of being able to manage your employees, aka talent. With separate systems it is very hard to have a consistent comptency framework so most organisations either do it very poorly or not at all.

Some further reading and analysis of the full report is in order.