Q&A: How Engagement Tech Drives Recruiting

Ben Slater is the vice president of marketing for Beamery, a talent engagement platform that melds the principles, concepts and tools that marketing enterprises use to build their customer pipeline to their recruiting efforts. We spoke with him about the dynamics of candidate engagement, and how recruitment marketing fits into talent acquisition efforts.

You refer to Beamery as an engagement platform. But aren’t there other products out there that are very similar and don’t focus so much on engagement?

The term “engagement” is really a product of us thinking about Beamery in the context of the industry and what makes it different. There are other products that do a great job with bits of what we see as talent engagement. That could be the CRM and candidate management, it could be career sites and talent attraction, it could be engagement. But we don’t think anything has the scope and breadth that Beamery does when it comes to managing the entire candidate journey in one place.

When we were thinking about the right positioning for the company, we kept coming back to this idea of a holistic way of managing the entire candidate journey in one place. We kept coming back to the central currency of engagement, of it being the thing that’s consistent throughout the entire process. That’s why we settled on “talent engagement.”

Today we’re in a tight labor market the dynamics involved with finding talent are very tough. What’s your view of the recruiting world right now, and how do you find employers are coping?

‘I think most companies would agree they don’t have a huge pipeline of a highly qualified, high quality talent that’s winding around their building anymore.’ @BenJHSlater #HR #HRTech #Recruiting CLICK TO TWEET
I think most companies would agree they don’t have a huge pipeline of a highly qualified, high quality talent that’s winding around their building anymore. And I think another layer is that every company is now looking for the same blend of skills, to a certain degree. You could argue that every company now is, to a certain degree, a technology company. That puts an even bigger squeeze on certain skill sets.

To me, and obviously I’m a little biased, it really forces employers to be a lot more thoughtful about the way they approach recruiting, about the way they’re attracting and building relationships with the people who could be a good fit for their company. It’s forcing employers to be a lot more human about how they think about hiring and to really think about their value proposition as an employer.

It seems to me there’s really two tracks going on here. One is that recruiters are playing their traditional role. The other is this idea of recruitment marketing. Could you talk about the relationship between them? How do recruiters and recruitment marketing work together?

For me it’s the dichotomy between something that’s process-driven and transactional versus something that’s more relationship-driven. Think about this as a funnel. Recruitment marketing is that top layer of the funnel, where you’re attracting the right people or engaging them, helping them understand your brand, helping them understand why they should apply for a job with your company and taking them through some form of candidate lifecycle.

Recruiting is the is the process management that comes into play when someone’s been identified as an applicant or has active interest in one of your jobs. It’s pushing them through that pretty defined, step-by-step process of interview, assessment, etc. So one is more transaction and process-driven while the other is proactive and relationship-focused.

Do you think recruiters view recruitment marketing as giving them adequate support and paving the way for them?

I think it depends on the set-up of the recruitment organization. You have many overloaded talent acquisition teams that are being asked to perform marketing duties on top of their existing workload. Then you have companies that are really thinking about specialization when it comes to the recruiting team. They’re breaking the department down into recruitment marketing, talent branding, operations, sourcing and recruiting, assessment and so on. I think those organizations are a step ahead when it comes to thinking about the modern candidate journey.

Obviously technology plays a big part in all this. Do you think vendors in the space are providing adequate tools to help recruiters and recruitment talent acquisition teams in this labor market?

I think vendors are broadly failing to provide adequate training to help recruiters use their tools. There’s a lot of good technology out there, but I think a lot of vendors fall short when it comes to building up the skills, competencies and understanding of recruiting teams so they know how they leverage those tools most effectively. It’s easy to forget that, in many cases, the person who’s leveraging your tool has never done this kind of work before. This is very new to them. Not always—we often see recruiters hiring marketers to be part of their team. But it’s really incumbent on the vendor to help its customers understand the outcomes they’re actually looking for with the tool.

That seems to be a common thread among HR tech vendors in general. There’s a lot of power out there, but the vendors stopped with the product. They don’t give enough attention to training users to get the most out of their products. Do you agree with that? And if you do, do you think vendors are ever going to put more emphasis on training?

I agree with that to an extent. One of the ways we’re addressing this is by building an internal talent consultancy. Our goal is to really help both prospects and customers understand what they’re trying to get out of their talent operating system. We’re trying to act as a strategic partner. What we need is for this to be the market’s approach to how HR tools are onboarded to customers.

Part of the issue is that the HR tech ecosystem has gone through enormous changes in the last five years. There’s so many new companies, and I think a lot of companies are making big promises. And with so many new tools out there, it’s hard to ask HR to keep up with everything.

Let’s switch gears. There are two schools of thought about HR technology. One is build your own suite. The other is to work through a core solution. It seems like Beamery has a foot in both campes. What’s your view? Which do you think is the better approach, or does it depend on the company?

We see our mission as helping companies look up the second most important asset—their first being revenue, people being second as the driver behind creating that revenue, creating that value.

The important thing here is that each of these suites is founded on one really core competency, then has an additional set of tools attached to increase its market share.

Companies are always best off if people are important to them as a concept. If they agree that people are their greatest asset, they’re always better off building that best-of breed-solution by combining different tools.

But that only works if those tools play nice together. And that’s where the suites win, in many cases, because suites naturally have connections to each other. I think what you’re seeing with newer tools, like Beamery and obviously others, is that the control you get over the integration through better APIs allows a continuous flow. That’s what’s allowing companies nowadays to blend different things together.

So essentially it’s becoming easier for companies to assemble their own package?

Yeah, exactly. And I would preface that by saying it’s a roundabout way. No company is looking for more tools. No one ever said I want to use more software. But I think companies need to be able to handle really well three core competencies in the candidate and employee lifecycle: employee management in the HRIS, the application, and everything that sits before the application. Beamery is a tool that combines everything that sits before the application into one place.

Looking out over the next year, what’s the biggest development or biggest trend you expect to see in talent acquisition technology?

There’s a couple of things.

First, recruiting and talent acquisition were traditionally part of HR. Today, talent acquisition is really standing on its own two feet in the business as a trusted partner. I think we’ll see an extension of that this year. Already in many companies TA—not only HR—is getting a seat at the mythical table. If you read any kind of annual letters from CEOs at Fortune 100 or Fortune 500 companies, talent is always one of the top things on their mind. I think it’s a natural extension that talent acquisition becomes more and more important an issue. So that’s number one.

Second, I think that companies need to be more personalized throughout the entire recruiting process, whether it’s the way they engage people on their website or how they create a real-time experience for candidates or leverage different types of candidate data to more effectively categorize and market to prospects. This is only going to become more important as organizations think about the roles that they have to fill right now, and how they can get the very best people for those roles. That could be anything from ties to the campus to diversity, personalization and relevance. I think that’s only going to increase the demand for solutions like us. That’s obviously exciting from our perspective.

Finally, I’d say we’re operating in a society where personally identifiable information is coming under more scrutiny than ever before. Last year we had GDPR. On the horizon, I see more focus on the way organizations handle candidate data, the ways they make sure that information stays private, the way they respect candidates’ desires and requirements throughout the process. Particularly for global organizations that have to deal with legislation in multiple geographies, I think compliance, while it’s not sexy, becomes even more important to the way that companies think operationally about talent.

Source: https://www.hcmtechnologyreport.com/qa-welcome-talent-engagement/

Gender equality – changing a mindset


Like the rest of the world, organisations in Australia are struggling to fill critical roles, with personnel who have the right talent, skills or experience. However, if the latest findings from management consulting firm McKinsey are anything to go by, they are probably looking in the wrong direction.

While women constitute 42 percent of employees, they make up just a quarter of executives and only 10 percent of CEOs for large, commercial companies. In certain industries, female participation is exceptionally low, for example in cyber-security where only 10 percent of information security professionals worldwide are women! What is more, many companies don’t make it easy for women in the first place, with recent government statistics revealing that only 25 percent of women work full-time, therefore making it difficult for them to progress and flourish in their careers.

Of course, there are real-life success stories such as Julie Bishop (Australia’s first female foreign minister), Maile Carnegie (former Australian Google chief), Catherine Livingstone (chair of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) and of course, the formidable Gina Rinehart who famously turned around the mining company she inherited from her father. Sadly, for the majority of women, it appears that many organisations, both in the private and public sector, are good at talking about gender equality but poor at putting it into practice by overlooking 50 percent of their workforce for senior roles.

Changing the mindset along with the job spec
The world might have moved on with digital transformation and smarter working but the general mindset towards women appears fixed in a time-warp. The problem is, if you ignore 50 percent of your total workforce, how can you expect to compete against more enlightened organisations at home and abroad? The questions should be how do you attract and find more women? How to empower and then keep them? These are questions that can apply to all employees, regardless of gender.

Here are a few tips to get started on reassessing the corporate mindset:
Make a conscious decision to change – by introducing an organisational model that is committed to diversity and actively sponsors rising women.

Start from within – the chances are the employees you already have know your culture, understand how your company works and are loyal. Why waste time and money on outside recruiters when you might already have the best candidates within your existing talent pool?

Get the job spec right – the mining industry is a classic example of a sector that faces skills shortages but dig a little deeper and you’ll find they sell their jobs to men rather than make them attractive career opportunities for both sexes. Pitch the job correctly and you’ll find the right people. In particular focus on areas that appeal to women for example, flexible working practices, transparent pay structures and maternity leave.

Introduce new workplace planning practices – such as ‘redesigning roles to enable flexible work’ and ‘supporting talent through life transitions’ to create a more inclusive work environment, practices that McKinsey believes are proven to achieve greater gender equality.

In uncomfortable or hazardous industries such as marine engineering or defence, simple measures like improving the working environment are good ways of addressing skills shortages. Most recently, the Australian Defence Force revealed that its new fleet of submarines are to “have better living conditions as well as be more female friendly”, a definite move in the right direction.

Using Workforce Management to close the gender gap
Another tip is to review the technology that manages your people and other resources. Today’s Workforce Management (WFM) technology offers a practical and secure all-in-one solution for recruitment, onboarding and asset management while keeping personal details safe – at anytime, anywhere, using a variety of mobile devices. Automation simplifies and accelerates the recruitment process to eliminate the common feeling of disenchantment that can follow a long and lengthy interview procedure. Tap into existing talent and maximise their potential using key WFM capabilities:

One solution, single view of all candidates – the beauty of modern integrated WFM technology is it links seamlessly with critical HR databases and ERP systems to provide a complete view of all employees. Details such as gender, age, career and pay history, past roles and future aspirations are presented in real-time making it easy to source and match candidates against current vacancies

Make the most of self-service apps – enhance employee engagement by allowing access to WFM systems via mobile applications on people’s mobile devices. Knowing in advance about shifts, travel and career options both at work or at home via a mobile device provides more control over work-life balance which is important to everyone whatever their gender

Turn information into insight – use WFM as a powerful workforce planning tool to conduct ‘what if’ scenarios such as time for maternity and paternity leave and the flexibility to accommodate career breaks or role changes for working parents

Don’t just attract them, keep them – make the most of WFM data to focus on relevant and tailored e-training programmes that empower people and allow them to learn at a time and place to suit them. They’ll be happier and more likely to stay put! Get out of that time-warp and don’t ignore the hidden workforce. The rewards will be lower staff attrition and recruitment costs and higher levels of productivity and operational efficiency.

Source: https://www.thehrdirector.com/features/diversity-and-equality/gender-equality-changing-mindset1034/

4 Prime Reasons Why Companies Should Retain an Executive Search Firm

Search partners are not just “recruiters” or “head hunters” but are credible ambassadors for their clients. The role of a search consultant has evolved beyond just finding the “right candidate”, “the right cultural fit” for a leadership role. It has taken on the avatar of “champion” or “chief advocate” personally communicating the client’s vision, values, growth potential and culture to a targeted community of senior industry/functional leaders on behalf of the client, thereby subtly, but most definitely, building/enhancing an organization’s employer-ability brand and its ability to attract the best leadership talent to its fore.

There has always been a very strong case advocating the use of a search partner whilst hiring leadership talent. With geographical boundaries becoming more fluid, technology shrinking our world and the war for talent becoming de rigueur, the case for working with the right talent advisor only becomes stronger.

Consider these four prime reasons to consider executive search as the only go-to option for leadership hiring:

Search brings passive candidates to the table
This reason is old hat. But it continues to be the most valid reason to consider executive search as the only way to hire leadership. Search as a process is designed to communicate the organization’s value proposition, USP, culture and so much more to a wide variety of candidates (often from different industries, geographies etc). The process allows for the best candidates, including passive candidates, from a given targeted set to come to the fore and consider the mandate. This is something that recruitment/advertisements or other traditional methods just cannot deliver.

Search Consultants are specialists
Search consultants bring a rich, wide variety of industry information and experience to the table. They have deep networks and strong relationships across their areas of expertise which allows them access to information, industry insights and the wisdom of senior leaders. The right search partner is probably as resourceful and well informed as an investigative journalist, and as well networked as your lawyer. The challenge for organizations lies in choosing a search partner who brings experience coupled with energy and resourcefulness along with the right amount of wisdom.

Internal Hiring CoEs vs The External Search Partner
Rationalizing costs where one can is a prudent policy. However, when organizations set up internal hiring CoEs, they must carefully consider leadership mandates that the COE will fulfil. Leadership talent in Asia and often across the world, feel that their long-term career goals and aspirations are better represented via a third party (search consultant) and hesitate to engage (often refuse to engage) directly with an organization. Thus, a strong case to engage with a search firm for critical mandates. Bringing in an objective third party to balance the interests of the candidate and the client leads to excellent hiring decisions.

Why the search process often trumps the “referral”
With extremely sophisticated evaluation methodologies available with leading search firms and their deep understanding of industry segments they work in, a search firm’s ability to objectively assess and match the best candidate to a mandate is a smarter way for companies to hire. This is especially true of independent/boutique search firms looking to build strong, long-term relationships with their clients. They understand the value of hiring for the client’s long-term success. Unfortunately, a referral from within, is usually monetised by the company, thereby, biasing the decision-making process. Referrals gathered on the fly from friends and well-wishers often don’t even make the initial cut, thereby wasting precious company time.

Search is an expensive and engaging process, where boards and company leadership need to commit both time and money. However, data over the past 30 years shows that the benefits of using executive search to hire leadership far outweigh the costs. It’s an objective, risk free, intense process run by specialists who have the client’s interest at the very core of the engagement. Search Firms are your brand ambassadors, corporate communication specialists, talent management experts, industry consultants all rolled into one.

When hiring something as critical as company leadership should you prefer recruitment over search? The closest parallel one can draw is when considering a critical procedure like open heart surgery, would you get your GP to perform the operation or would you go to a specialist? The answer is obvious!

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/329876

Employee Surveys Won’t Help Your Organization Achieve Higher Engagement

Given that engagement surveys are significant part of the human capital management industry, my assertion that they are set up for failure may seem a bit outrageous, but allow me to make the case. Let’s start with the current state of employee engagement (and brace yourself, because the news is not good):

1. While employee engagement is obviously a good thing (it correlates with extra effort, commitment and positive morale), Americans’ overall engagement levels are horribly low — roughly one in three employees is highly engaged.

2. Despite all the money spent on surveys and related engagement programs, the numbers haven’t increased significantly in the last 20 years (30% in 2001 and only 34% in 2018, according to Gallup). At this rate, we’ll need over 300 years to get to 100% engagement.

You would think that after decades of surveying and billions of dollars invested, these results would compel us to try a new approach. Yet they haven’t, and I can tell you why: We are stuck on the idea that engagement is driven by people being happy and satisfied with their work experience — but it’s not.

Engagement and happiness are two separate things, and (more importantly) one does not cause the other. All the time we’ve spent focusing on happiness has actually distracted us from the real driver of workplace engagement: being successful. Happiness doesn’t drive engagement; success does. Let that sink in.

Happiness and satisfaction may often be there too, but I believe true employee engagement is ultimately a function of how successful your employees are in your organization, not how happy they are at work. In other words, as soon as you start interfering with employees’ success (both personally and organizationally), you risk lowering their engagement. Conversely, when you create a culture that enables both the employees and the organization to be deeply successful, then you can expect to see engagement numbers go through the roof.

So let’s take a fresh look at those engagement surveys. Once you realize engagement is a function of success and not satisfaction, the inherent flaw of engagement surveys should become immediately apparent. Engagement surveys measure satisfaction, yet the areas that employees are most unhappy about are not necessarily the areas that will have the greatest impact on their success, thus the data you gather will frequently encourage you to change the wrong things inside your organization. You might make your people happier in the short term, but if you fail to make them dramatically more successful in the process, you will end up with low engagement scores next year, too. Sound familiar?

Here’s an alternative to this expensive hamster wheel: Instead of running another employee engagement survey, devote your internal resources to a more in-depth analysis of the patterns inside your culture that are getting in the way of your success. Don’t try to figure out if people approve of your organization. Try to understand how the way thing are done gets in the way of them being successful. When you find and fix those damaging culture patterns, engagement naturally rises as a result.

For example, innovation is a hot topic these days, but the last thing you should do is assess whether or not your people approve of your innovation efforts. Instead, find out how your culture is getting in the way of the specific kind of innovation that drives your success. One organization I worked with would have scored fairly high in terms of “approval ratings” around innovation, but they still had a big problem that hadn’t been addressed: Their innovation efforts were robust, but they consistently stayed within an individual’s own work stream. As soon as they needed to activate broader experimentation (which would impact other departments), or beta testing or prototyping (which would involve customers), the learning and risk-taking decreased dramatically. The company realized that its stove-piped innovation efforts were not reaching far enough, so leaders set out to change those patterns by developing new processes that would make it easier to run more cross-functional experiments.

If this company had run an engagement survey, it would have missed this pattern. It would have found other areas of unhappiness to work on, and in the end, it would be worse off — further away from success, even if a few employees became a bit happier in the process.

Halt your engagement surveys, and double down on more effective management of your culture patterns. The increased engagement you get will just be icing on the cake.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/03/13/employee-surveys-wont-help-your-organization-achieve-higher-engagement/#60c7b7c6416d

Using Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis to Tackle Employee Burnout

Human Resource professionals are now using an advanced data-driven approach to improving employee retention. Machine learning software analyzes engagement survey responses and online reviews – quickly determining the “why” behind scores and quantifying the key themes that are driving burnout.

Work-life balance. Cynicism. Loss of enthusiasm. These are critically important words to digest when looking at employee happiness. Andrew Alexander, MD, and Kenneth Ballou, MD, listed them as symptoms of physician burnout in a recent article by the American Journal of Medicine, which also cites burnout on the rise – from 45.5 percent in 2011 to 54.4 percent in 2014.

According to a recent @work piece by Sheryl Kraft, job burnout, per se, accounts for an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion in healthcare spending each year and has been attributed to diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, high cholesterol, and even death for those under the age of 45. And doesn’t even include detrimental roadblocks to an organization’s culture and ultimately customer consequences.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at one way to reduce burnout, improve employee engagement, and subsequently increase customer satisfaction and loyalty – all through sentiment analysis. First, we’ll look at the benefits of engaged employees.

Benefits of Engaged Employees
Engaged employees feel more internally motivated than those who have lost their interest or who have burned out. Let’s look at a few signs of engaged, satisfied and happy workers:

Customer-facing staff make eye contact, speak cordially and spread their happiness to visitors, and other staff members.
Nurses empathize more with patients, and they’re more mindful of a patient’s feelings and needs. Doctors show a more focused and truly sincere interest in patient care.
Food service workers feel more motivated to focus on customers and meeting their needs.
Overall, staff shows fewer turnovers, less absenteeism, less apathy, and make fewer mistakes.

How Employee Sentiment Analysis Works
It’s hard to hone in on employee sentiment no matter what size the organization, but large, complex organizations have a unique challenge. Human Resources systems can spit out surveys and monitor feedback channels to get a read on how their workforce is feeling. This returns employee engagement scores that can be monitored over time. It quickly becomes impossible to read, let alone act, on every piece of open-ended feedback.

That’s where sentiment analysis comes into play. Many organizations already have a feedback system in place, and a wealth of data is already sitting and waiting for analysis. There may be a lot of feedback data to process, and it can be daunting. Sentiment analysis software takes a look at all employee survey responses and quickly determines the “why” behind the engagement scores.

Clustering Qualitative Feedback Into Themes Using Machine Learning
To begin sentiment analysis, surveys can be seen as the “voice of the employee.” Engagement surveys that are distributed on a regular basis show engagement scores (i.e., how engaged are the respective employees) to track over time. Surveys often solicit open-ended feedback which returns voluminous amounts of sentiment in text form.

That sentiment can then be clustered into themes or topic areas. A good text and sentiment analytics platform will use machine learning (artificial intelligence, or AI) that uses algorithms trained to recognize the themes.

Employee engagement themes identified by machine learning include:

Career Growth
Work-life balance

Sentiment Analytics provides insights into what is driving morale
As themes are recognized, each employee comment from the various surveys can be tagged with the relevant theme(s). Each tag can be assigned a sentiment, for example positive, negative, or neutral. The AI algorithms do the grunt work – reading the qualitative feedback and organizing comments into different buckets with respective tags.

The HR or equivalent team within the organization can then review and take action on the insights from the newly AI-structured data.

By immediately viewing insights that were given by the “machine,” human resource professionals can then understand what impacts employee happiness without reliance on anecdotes and hunches, and subsequently, take action to make sentiment more positive where applicable.

For example, maybe the negative sentiment was a result of a new software application rollout, a relocation or move, a management change, or a modification in the benefit plan.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/employee-engagement/using-machine-learning-sentiment-analysis-to-tackle-employee-burnout/

Rizing to a new HCM challenge

Since its foundation in 2015, Synchrony Global had marked itself out as an innovative organisation on the HR landscape. With a focus on solutions that aimed to provide best practice cloud processes, innovative technology and robust operational services, it was a company that catered for the entire employee life cycle – from attract to hire to retire.

Traditionally, Synchrony’s 360-degree approach to cloud HR and payroll services and solutions had been provided through three main divisions: Business Consulting, System Integration and Operate and Improve services. In addition to being recognised as an SAP and Cloud Innovator for developing accelerated SAP SuccessFactors methodologies, Synchrony also created a portfolio of SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions, o­ffering out-of-the-box, preconfigured cloud HR and payroll solutions that were modular, flexible, scalable and able to be implemented rapidly. It also provided access to SAP SuccessFactors’ enterprise-grade HR management capability to organisations of all sizes.

However, January 2019 saw Synchrony Global acquired by Rizing, LLC and join the Rizing HCM business. We will now see the companies’ o­fferings brought to an even wider audience, in Australia and 11 other countries around the world. Darcy Lalonde, previously chairman and CEO of Synchrony Global, has been brought across to Rizing HCM as president of Asia-Pacific. With the name currently changed to Synchrony – A Rizing HCM Company, and with a more formal rebranding to occur in April 2019, he’s quietly optimistic about the promising future of this new joint organisation.

With our install base now comprising more than 900 active clients, we can provide a statistically significant sample across many industries” Luc Hédou, CEO, Rizing HCM
“At Synchrony, we set the goal to be a leader and bring world-class human capital solutions across the Asia-Pacific region,” says Lalonde. “With Synchrony joining Rizing HCM, we are excited to deliver Synchrony’s award-winning solutions on a global scale to organisations of all sizes, while simultaneously providing clients worldwide with our implementation capabilities, product and industry expertise, and a full suite of Ongoing Platform Support and continuous improvement services.”

Luc Hédou, CEO of Rizing HCM, is also optimistic about the venture.

“As one of the fastest-growing SAP partners and recipient of the SAP SuccessFactors Partner of the Year award for APJ in 2017, we could not be more thrilled to bring Synchrony into the Rizing HCM family,” says Hédou. “By leveraging the broader organisation, we can accelerate the growth both in the region and globally, providing tremendous value for our customers. Coming together under one brand will provide clarity and purpose to our customers, prospects and partners.”

Tackling the modern challenges of HR

Cloud implementation has become an increasingly crucial part of many organisations’ HR strategies as a growing number of companies look towards reducing reliance on physical storage. Clients deploying cloud HR solutions such as SuccessFactors expect implementations that are fast, affordable, and as minimally disruptive as possible.

This is something that has been at the forefront of the mind of Mike Ellis, EVP of Sales APJ, as Rizing HCM has outlined its new endeavours.

“Increasingly, our clients are seeking measurable, outcome-based implementations that directly align to their business performance objectives,” says Ellis. “Understanding, measuring and recording useful data that can drive business outcomes is more important than ever.”

Although simple enough on paper, there are numerous practical challenges involved in designing and implementing a solution to achieve HR transformation and cloud adoption. Rizing HCM sees this as a key area of both current and future innovations for the company.

“Our customers’ cloud HR implementations often involve the use of offline spreadsheets to store configuration parameters,” says Ellis. “With such a rudimentary tool, requirements are insufficiently documented, the ability to audit does not exist, and there is no comprehension of an overall global template.”

Blueline and Cube are new product innovations that fulfil this function at Rizing HCM. Customers receive an implementation template – similar to a Model Company – as a first iteration. Workbooks can be automatically generated, which is a key element of any SAP cloud solution.

“Blueline offers a solution that standardises the methodology, takes approvals online, and provides the ability to store requirements,” says Ellis. “If a field changes in the solution configuration, you have immediate visibility to the impact of that change.”

Smarter solutions

Ellis also notes that businesses typically have lots of HR data available to them, but what they really need is actionable, ‘smart’ data. Smart data enables insights, which ultimately lead to business impact. This begins with a successful ‘go-live’ and continues with the realisation of business outcomes.

“That’s our primary driver for building the Cube technology,” says Ellis. “We’re keen to help our clients elicit transformative data that combines talent insights with business performance and operations information ultimately into one actionable data set.”

The adaptability of the program has been a key factor in its success. Its ability to recognise industry-specific statistics plays an important role in its wider appeal to clients.

“As we look at our large SuccessFactors install base, for example, the Cube AI functions can recognise standard practices for capabilities across industries,” says Ellis. “For example, we would know that 80% of retail clients have a certain configuration that supports retail needs such as mass hiring and contingent labour. Over time, we can visually present those practices specific to clients and help them accelerate their adoption of SuccessFactors innovations.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Hédou. With the organisation’s expansion over recent years, Rizing HCM has been able to collect a broad range of data that in turn has a significant role to play in the success of other businesses.

“We are excited to deliver … award-winning solutions on a global scale to organisations of all sizes” Darcy Lalonde, president of Asia-Paci­fic, Rizing HCM
“With our install base now comprising more than 900 active clients, we can provide a statistically significant sample across many industries,” says Hédou. “This is real, empirical data. It’s not a marketing ploy; it’s the foundation of true data-driven decision-making.”

Clients are able to go beyond simply assessing data from the install date; historical data is obviously of critical importance too. Every client needs to address its own history, but how this is handled can impact the length of and any risk involved in a SuccessFactors implementation.

“With the Cube archiver for SuccessFactors HR, companies can look at historical records concurrently, and that eliminates the need to load that data into Employee Central,” says Ellis. “It also ultimately allows the decommissioning of expensive legacy applications, accelerating the project ROI.”

Combining Blueline with the power of Cube analysis of HR operations ensures not only a successful go-live but continued success as the solution is updated and evolves throughout its life cycle. It’s an approach that has been a crucial part of Synchrony’s past success, and will remain important into the future.

“It’s a fine line between transitioning to global specialists while still retaining your roots,” says Ellis. “However, we’re still bringing our innovative approach to solving client problems. In the long run, it’s only going to change client relationships for the better.”

Source: https://www.hcamag.com/au/news/general/rizing-to-a-new-hcm-challenge/161344

The Top Learning & Development Questions Solved by Analytics

Learning and Development (L&D) programs are a critical component of an organization’s health. Without strong L&D programs, employees will have a harder time being productive, moving up in the organization, and contributing to overall financial performance. Additionally, it can also lead to lower employee engagement and increased turnover. However, despite the obvious positive effects of L&D, most efforts go without any success measurement or insights into how they impact the overall business.

According to one ATD report, only 35% of talent development professionals surveyed reported their organizations evaluate the business results of learning programs. Furthermore, only 15% measure the ROI of any learning programs. While “reports” of who attended or feedback forms on trainers are not uncommon, without a connection to outcomes, the L&D organization is hard pressed to answer the most important questions to their success. This makes L&D less of a valuable organizational driver and more of a nice-to-have.

By incorporating analytics into L&D, there are some long-standing benefits that can be achieved, and provide valuable insights into the impacts they have on an organization. In fact, analytics can solve the most challenging questions facing L&D programs today. Let’s take a look at just of few of these questions.

Do L&D programs keep your employees from leaving?
Retention is critical talent and top performer is a key objective for most organizations. L&D can address this problem; in fact, one Culture Amp study found that people who stay with an organization are 24% more likely to say that they have had access to the learning and development they needed.

But how do you know for sure that your L&D efforts are improving retention rates? Analytic insights can determine the correlation of those taking training programs to turnover, or highlight particular training programs that lead to the longest-tenured cohorts. With this information, you can determine which levers to pull to further increase employee retention based on the programs the data has revealed as most successful.

Does L&D improve employee performance?
Strong performers can make the difference between hitting business objectives and missing them. Yet, it has been challenging for L&D leaders to connect learning investments with performance outcomes. One approach has been to run an experiment with a control group. For instance, a consumer packaged goods company that wanted to know if product expertise mattered shared with me how they trained a portion of their sales team to be experts on pasta, including its all its shapes, history, and preparation techniques. The cohort who received the product training was compared to those who didn’t, and the data showed those with the training outperformed those without. When budgets are tight, a training program that looks like a history course in pasta is likely to be cut, but when the data shows it increases sales it becomes mission critical.

Measuring the impact of a learning program – whether as an experiment or not – at your organization is only possible if you have a learning analytics solution that can connect all your HR and business systems together. This single source of data truth enables you to track, for example, what the ratio of high-performers are to non-high performers who do training, how long it takes performance to improve after training, whether training and certification programs have an impact on improved financial performance and more.

Are employees who participate in L&D more engaged with the company?
On its own, employee engagement is a traditionally difficult metric to measure. However, studies have shown that L&D plays a role in engagement scores. One study, in particular, suggests that 41% of the fluctuation in employee engagement is driven by activities that learning and development professionals have the opportunity to influence. In turn, 70% of the difference in performance can be explained by the degree of engagement.

Analytics help examine employee engagement within locations, departments, and teams to discover if those who are highly engaged are the same individuals that have recently completed a professional development program. Likewise, learning data can reveal which groups have the lowest engagement, what factors may be contributing to this low score, and whether more training could improve the situation.

Who benefits the most?
Job roles are becoming increasingly specialized, which means a “one size fits all” L&D approach does not work. In fact, 68% of L&D providers indicate role-centric approaches, otherwise known as an individualized approach to L&D, are “Very Valuable” or “Extremely Valuable.”

By focusing efforts on employees that are more likely to make a positive impact on the bottom line, L&D teams can create more specific career development programs that will hopefully increase profits and productivity. This is where analytics plays a key role.

Analytics can be used to identify the individuals who have benefited the most from training over the past few years – these are your high performers who have been promoted within the shortest amount of time. You can then focus some of your programmings on this group. Likewise, look for the employees who have recertification deadlines to meet as they should take priority in L&D development.

Analytics can also be used to find the right training programs for the right audiences. Do your high potentials with low tenure in research and development need leadership development or more time to develop rare skills aligned to their role? Traditionally this has been guesswork at best but with data and analytics, these employees can benefit from a targeted career development strategy. Furthermore, you may want to examine the common attributes of employees who have never done training to see what effect this has on performance and whether a new L&D program for this group is warranted.

Overall, modern learning analytics technology can connect the necessary HR and business systems together to make it faster and easier to analyze learning data, enabling L&D leaders to answer their most important questions, including what is L&D’s long-term impact on business results.

With the right solution in place, L&D can move past the technical hurdle of connecting training directly to its impact on the business and spend more time developing the value learning programs deliver to the bottom line.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/learning-development/the-top-learning-development-questions-solved-by-analytics/

How Daimler is using graph database technology in HR

Automotive giant Daimler is using Neo4j’s graph database technology in its HR department. ZDNet spoke to Jochen Linkohr, the manager of HR IT at Daimler, to find out more.

ZDNet: When did you start looking at using the graph data model in HR and what attracted you to it?

Linkohr: For us, we could see advantages to using graph technology in HR projects because HR data is not isolated, so you don’t normally have one person working without a connection to another person. If you look at a company, every time you look at the people working in the company you will see that they all have a connection to other people working in the company, you won’t see anybody who is completely isolated.

That is one of the reasons why we thought that HR data might be a very good fit with a graph data model. We have started with trying to understand what graph and HR data have in common.

Let us says that John is working on an analytics project and you have another person, Amy, who is also working in HR. Then if you have another dataset which is an analytics project for HR, then you have a connection between John and Amy because they are working on an analytics project for HR.

So data and the information on this data is not in the data itself — there is John, there is Amy and there is the analytics nature of the project. And that is the basis of a graph and that fits very well with the real world.

That is the first reason. The second reason, and it’s a concrete reason why we created this structured application, is that we created our Leadership 2020 programme at Daimler. We are transforming as a company from the classical, hierarchical structure to a mixture of classic hierarchies and what is called a ‘swarm’ which is a mixture of the same people working on the same project but coming from different departments and different hierarchies.

And we thought that when dealing with this multi-structured data, it might be a good starting point for using graphs because we have a lot of structures being transformed to other structures because somebody wants to know who is working in a swarm.

So, if somebody wants to know who is working on a swarm and in which structure, in which factory and things like that, then at some point you have to manage this data. We thought that this would be a good starting point to create a system that would be doing this.

This was the starting point for the first project which is called Structure Cube.

Can you explain what the aim was?

Companies normally have a hierarchy where somebody has a boss; the boss has a boss and so on. But if you don’t have that clear hierarchy and the company is organised using swarm then they might refer to a location where you manage different structures, So, I am working here within, let’s say, five different structures. You can look at my data on a hierarchy level but you can also look at different structures on where I am working, on what I am working and which swarms I am working in order to get a result.

So, if you want to match all these structures on top of another structure, you will end up matching all the nodes which are the people who have their own nodes and you have to do an n-dimensional matching of all these structures and other structures.

You have to build all these structures using the same data but structured in a different way. That is the starting point and we end up with a Structure Cube.

Did you start with one plan for a particular part of the company or did you aim to do it for all the company?

We started with the whole company, Daimler AG [a company with 250,000 employees]. We started to integrate all of the structure within it. Not on all of the structures but on the structures that are common to the whole company.

Could you give me an example of a structure?

A structure may be a classic hierarchy — who is the boss of who? Another structure may be where are you working or in which swarm? You can have a row-based organisational chart or a hierarchy-based chart. You can also have a location-based organisational chart dependent on which location you are working in because one company or one division of our company may not be at the same location. So, there are different ways to construct charts depending on the data.

How did you collect the data — I’m assuming that you had some sort of automated process to do that?

Well the data was already there but on different systems, so we just extracted it from the different systems or just interconnected it. So, it was there and the swarm organisation had started some years ago, so we just had them interface to enter the new data.

The existing data — like the classical hierarchy — is there and so we just interfaced to that.

Can you give me an idea of the files as you were building them? Presumably you had a pretty massive file of the employees?

We had some thousands of nodes but it was not really that much. For a graph database like Neo4,j that is nothing. We have the links with the nodes in different versions of hierarchies. I think that we have in the dimension of tens of thousands of nodes.

You were using a graph database, Neo4j, in this. What was the main aim? Was it to increase efficiency or reduce the cost of processing the data?

Using a graph database as we analysed the problem was logical because it was a graph problem which can be easily handled with a graph-based approach. But to build a graph problem on a relational database would be more complicated than just using a graph database. You use the right tool to do the right things — you shouldn’t use a hammer to put a screw in a hole. It works but is not as good as it should be.

Did this process turn up any surprises such as advantages/advances that you hadn’t anticipated?

Neo4j didn’t turn up any surprises except for the surprise that it was so easy. I played around with Neo4j a lot beforehand and did find things that turned up and I thought might fit well but mainly the surprise was that it was easier to set up and install than we had anticipated.

Using a graph database is significantly different from using a traditional database, were your employees able to cope with that?

It’s just a new technology and in the IT sector in general you have to be able to learn faster and our employees are used to that. Graph data is hundreds of years old while graph data technology is new. Ten years ago, nobody talked about graph databases. The IT team had no problem in learning how to use it.

There were some voices who queried why we were using new technology when they were used to classical databases, but it was the case that on the one hand some people wondered why, but in the main they understood very quickly.

What are the next steps? Do you see other areas of the business, outside of HR, that could benefit from using the technology?

Inside HR using Neo4j we have already developed the Common Key Tool. Developing tools is very easy using a graph database and that is one of the key advantages of Neo4j as a product. But you have to think about whether the problem fits the solution and not everybody will be able to do that.

But if the problem is a graph-based problem — let’s say you detect that more entities have huge amount of dependencies or it might be the multiple connections between modes. You might have to manage and explore these dependencies, and, in those situations, you should think about using graph everywhere in the company and outside as well.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-daimler-is-using-graph-database-technology-in-hr/

Why a Technology-Enabled Onboarding Process is Critical to Business Success

A smooth onboarding process sets the tone for employee engagement and overall job satisfaction. Let’s take a look at how technology can ensure your onboarding process builds healthy employee-employer relationships and leads to long-lasting involvement.

Have you ever been ghosted? Not by someone you were dating, but by someone who worked for you? If you haven’t yet, odds are you soon will. Today’s tight job market has generated an upsurge in workplace ghosting. So much so that employees are either leaving their current jobs without giving any notice, or they aren’t even showing up for the first day of a new job because they found something better at the last minute.

In a time when employees are trumping employers, the importance of companies being prepared for their new hires both on the first day and beyond the initial few weeks cannot be emphasized enough. And nothing establishes a healthy, lasting employee-employer relationship better than a smooth, technology-enabled onboarding process.

Communication is key to starting off on the right foot
Effective communication is crucial to onboarding so new hires know what to expect, and technology streamlines that vital interaction. Without a well-oiled, technology-enabled onboarding machine, employers may be inconsistent in their communications with new hires after a job offer has been accepted. This lack of follow-through can lead to employees second-guessing their decision to join the company or at the very least, dampen enthusiasm.

Workflow automation enables efficient and seamless employer-employee contact before the first day of work. It reminds companies to complete time- and activity-triggered tasks, such as writing a welcome email, providing a summary of benefits and sending payroll-related paperwork. It also tethers disparate departments together by automating onboarding tasks in a central location.

For instance, an automated process built on a low-code platform ensures that all necessary tasks are completed by the employer before a new hire arrives for the first day. HR enters new employee paperwork and payroll into the system, IT procures a computer and sets up network access and the employee’s new manager prepares helpful information. Having all necessary tools and information in place, especially day-one network access, empowers productivity and serves as a new hire’s litmus test: Were they ready for me?

Another area where technology aids the onboarding process is with training. According to a recent Bridge survey, 86 percent of millennial respondents would stay at their jobs if career training and development was provided. The takeaway: Training is critical in attracting and retaining top talent.

Offering learning-development opportunities on day one, particularly when workloads are light, delivers the message that the company values an efficient, productive and engaged workforce. Workflow automation clearly defines employer-mandated training, allows new hires to search for available courses to add to their skill sets, and provides guidelines for enrollment.

A structured process enables healthy employee-employer relationships
Along with improved communication and training, workflow automation unifies and streamlines onboarding processes that help enhance employee performance, increase efficiencies and ultimately retain the talent you just hired.

Successful companies offer employees user-friendly experiences that provide a digital, engaging, self-service process right at their fingertips. In fact, the 2015 State of Talent Management by SilkRoad Research found that 72 percent of organizations use self-service functions within HRMS for employees to access information — from versions of hardware and software they need to do their jobs to understanding where they fit in their company’s hierarchy — without having to call or email others for help.

Despite this success rate, organizations don’t always provide managers with the same HRMS self-service capabilities. Which is baffling because a self-service portal would provide a more efficient work environment by not only streamlining everyday service requests but by simplifying managers’ onboarding duties. Remember, department managers likely bring in new talent sporadically; and if their familiarity with the onboarding process is limited, the experience – and the new employees – can suffer.

That’s why a technology-enabled structure is particularly helpful for this group. By defining which tasks the hiring business unit owns versus HR or IT, an automated workflow ensures that gaps and vulnerabilities don’t occur and keeps employers from fumbling blindly through the process.

It’s no surprise that it takes a lot of time and resources to get employees up and running. That’s why it’s so important to get a new relationship off on the right foot. Consider this: an estimated 42 million employees left their jobs last year, according to the 2018 Work Institute National Employee Retention Report, which resulted in an estimated $600 billion in turnover costs. A structured, technology-enabled onboarding process increases the probability that new hires not only show up on their first day but stay past their ramp-up and ultimately become engaged, productive, longstanding employees — a win-win for employees and employers alike.

A technology-enabled process drives company-wide efficiency
The skinny of onboarding is this: It can drastically help or hurt companies in their search to attract and retain employees during the United States’ tightest job market in decades.

The reason? New hires view their onboarding experience as a reflection of how companies treat their employees and how they, in turn, will be treated.

By investing in the right technology, you ensure an efficient and effective onboarding experience, a positive employee-employer relationship and continued employee engagement. And of course, you decrease your chances of being ghosted, at least in the workplace.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/employee-engagement/why-a-smooth-technologyenabled-onboarding-process-is-critical-now-more-than-ever/

How to rebuild trust in a toxic workplace

Toxic workplaces are pervasive–and expensive.

According to 2017 research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, roughly 1 in 5 workers are bullied at work, and 61% of employees are aware of workplace bullying. More than half of tech workers said they believe their workplace is toxic, according to a survey by social networking platform Blind.

And it doesn’t take many toxic employees to accelerate turnover. Even if just one toxic employee is added to a team of 20, good employees are 54% more likely to quit, according to report by cloud-based learning and talent management company Cornerstone on Demand.

If you’re seeing the signs of a toxic culture–employees aren’t performing as well, are complaining, or are even leaving the company–it’s in your organization’s best interest to address it immediately, says career development and mentoring strategist Shavon Lindley, founder of San Dieg0-based Mentoring Method, a leadership development and mentoring technology solution. Once you notice a problem, it’s a process to rebuild trust and restore your workplace to health.

Admitting the problem and letting employees know you’re aware is the first step to a healthier culture, says Houston-based executive coach Joshua M. Evans, author of Enthusiastic You! Rediscovering Your Passion & Energy: Tools for Success in Your Daily Life. “Because toxicity, when you walk into an office, is apparent. You can taste it, you can feel it,” he says. But employees aren’t always willing to be the first to admit there’s a problem. They want leadership to speak up first, he adds. Communicate to your team that you want to make things better and seek their feedback in doing so.

If it’s possible that the conditions rise to the level of a hostile workplace, it may be a good idea to assemble a team that includes your human resources lead and your legal counsel.

“Toxic” is a broad term that can be used to cover many forms of bad behavior or conditions. You need to understand the issues that are affecting your culture, says Kavita Avula, PsyD, lead consulting psychologist with KonTerra Group, a Washington, D.C.-based leadership and organizational development firm. Request feedback from your employees. Employee engagement surveys or direct conversations with managers may be useful, depending on the size of the company or the nature of the issues. You may also find clues in feedback from performance reviews.

“Avoid rationalizing, avoid becoming defensive when you hear something you don’t like,” she says. The feedback may not be pleasant, but remaining objective and curious about it will help you evaluate it more effectively and take appropriate action.

Once you know the issues that your organization is facing, you can take corrective action that will truly matter. For example, if the toxicity is the result of an employee or practice, you can work to retrain or remove the employee or rethink the practice. Lindley likens the process to restoring a human body to health. “The most efficient way to detox and really reestablish harmony is to identify which ‘organ system’ or, in this case, which section of your company needs the most support, and want to change the environment or support the elimination of that toxic load,” she says.

Avula says organizations may find success in rebuilding trust through restorative justice, through which the group works together to determine the best way forward. “It’s an alternative to the disciplinary system in the sense that it brings together people involved in the conflict. And it looks at the needs of each individual involved,” she says.

Restorative justice, which is typically conducted with a trained facilitator, also helps prevent the recurrence of damaging behavior, Avula says. If someone had engaged in misconduct, for example, and they are dismissed, they may just do the same thing at their next job. Restorative practices help them learn to repair the harm done, she says.

In addition to identifying problems, organizations must also evaluate and recommit to their values, Lindley says. Think about adding values like transparency or integrity, she says. Then, communicate to your team exactly what those values are, why you’ve recommitted to them, and how they’ll be modeled in your organization. Even better: Share a plan for following through.

“If you’re going to just say, ‘Things are gonna be different,’ people aren’t going to believe you,” Lindley says.

Employees want to know that their well-being is a priority part of the company’s values system as well, says Atlanta-based organizational health and culture consultant Randy Ross, author of Relationomics: Business Powered by Relationships. They want to know that the organization has their best interests at heart. “If I don’t believe that someone has my best interest at heart, it’s very, very difficult for me to trust them, because I feel like they’re always, first and foremost, going to take care of themselves,” he says.

As the organization proceeds to transform itself into a place that fosters trust–which can be a long process–establishing two-way feedback is essential, Ross says. Authentic, transparent communication about the steps the organization is taking will go a long way toward helping employees understand that leaders are serious about change. Similarly, establishing ways for employees to communicate their feelings to leadership will help the organization track progress and identify areas that need attention, he says.

The process will likely require a lot of communication and revisiting various steps along the way, Ross says. However, the advantages make the investment in turning around a toxic environment and restoring trust worth it, he says.

Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/90314680/how-to-rebuild-trust-in-a-toxic-workplace