Artificial Intelligence trends become today’s HR realities

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the past years has profoundly impacted a tremendous number of companies and sectors. Take the example of supply chain functions – these have been completely reshaped and fully robotized warehouses are now the new standard. In parallel, other support or corporate functions have also caught this technological wave, but not with the same speed and pace. Human Resources today are the perfect illustration: the shift towards Digital HR has started for pioneer organizations, but the majority of companies are still in the reflection and conceptualization stages. On one hand, there is an overwhelming feeling related to the immensity of ‘the possible’ in terms of HR technology offerings, and on the other hand, there is a need to answer growing expectations from an evolving workforce.

Today, HR C-levels are facing a common main equation: Ensuring that HR roadmaps will become even more relevant in the C-suite and help streamlining organizations while improving the employee’s experience.

But how are AI technologies concretely impacting the HR community?

Beyond the reflection and conceptualization stages mentioned earlier, AI is clearly acknowledged as a critical component of the future HR service delivery model. Most of discussions today are about how to incorporate chatbots, robots or other cognitive solutions within Human Resources departments.

Just to name a few examples:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is a new norm today. Any process optimization exercise almost always considers robotic automation as a solution. In this context, almost all HR processes are subject to automation. The main recurring ones that we observe are related to recruitment, core HR administration, compensation, payroll and performance, but all HR processes that require significant manual input are candidates for automation.
  • Chatbots are also getting a lot of traction. For example, in the HR space, chatbots are replacing traditional FAQs. Cognitive chatbots can also be trained by humans in order to improve their correct answer rate. This is a real game changer and robust accelerator to change the employee experience.
  • Robots are less and less considered as exhibition gadgets and can now be found in some HR front office departments.
  • Voice assistants on mobile for any employee, anytime, anywhere are becoming more common – say hello to the new HR ‘Siri’. A vacation request for example can then be part of a quick phone conversation, instead of several less efficient transactions involving HR systems and emails.
Gartner Emerging technologies 2017

What we are observing, is that AI technologies are becoming fully embedded within the HR community. The initial doubts and fears have been overcome by most HR professionals and AI is recognized as a real added value to the employee. The HR operating model shift is ongoing and we are only at the early stages as the technological change is evolving at an exponential speed. Tomorrow new Artificial Intelligence offerings will emerge and will continue to reshape HR departments.

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Beginning Your Journey: Migrating from SAP On-Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud

Written by Michael White, Technology Director at Hula Partners.

As companies begin transitioning to the cloud, we are getting a lot of questions around how to migrate to Employee Central from on premise SAP system effectively. What are the key questions to address prior to making the leap to the cloud and what are the important considerations needed in the process? Throughout this blog, I will address these questions today in order to alleviate some of the mystery surrounding this process.

The first and most important question you must ask as an organization is if you plan on keeping your SAP on premise system up to date with the data from Employee Central, or will you retire it at go-live? In my experience, many customers choose to keep their legacy SAP environment due to the number of existing integrations that would need to be reproduced and signed off in Employee Central. This is a daunting task as part of the initial rollout and requires coordination with many different vendors and their individual testing requirements. Thus, the lowest risk approach is to replicate data from Employee Central back to legacy SAP and let the existing integrations and payroll processing run as they do today. You can then replace the integrations and payroll over time as separate projects, where the risk is more manageable.

Next, you must decide as an organization if you want to roll out the entire employee population in one big bang or, if you will take a phased approach.

Core Hybrid

If you plan on having everyone go live at the same time, then you are looking at a “Core Hybrid” approach to your data replication back to legacy SAP. This means that Employee Central is the system of record for all employees and the employee data only flows in one direction (EC -> SAP). This simplifies the replication process greatly as you don’t have to deal with transfers between live and non-live populations. This also means that data migration, conversion, validation, and regulatory approval must be acquired globally for go live. Switching to a phased rollout later on is not recommended as it will require a total redesign of your approach and replication process. My biggest piece of advice for this approach is to begin your mapping process as early as possible. Specifically, begin thinking through the desired future data model you want to have in EC vs. the current data model in SAP. There are a few key elements to check in this mapping and design decisions need made with conversions between the systems in mind. All of the following mappings must be able to convert seamlessly between EC and SAP. If there is ambiguity, it can cause issues later with the SAP configuration for valid dropdown values based on area/subarea and group/subgroup groupings on the SAP side:

1.   Employee Group/Subgroup to WorkAgreementAdminCategoryCode/WorkAgreementTypeCode

2.   Company Code/Personnel Area/Personnel Subarea to Company/Location

3.   Action/Reason to PersonnelEventTypeCode/ PersonnelEventReasonCode

4.   Pay component frequency in Employee Central to Payroll Area frequency in SAP

NOTE:  The payment frequency (Hourly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, etc.) coming from Employee Central is validated against the payroll area frequency used in SAP. We’ve encountered and created workarounds to this validation for customers where these could not be aligned.

These values must be able to convert in both directions if you are going to successfully perform data conversion and load for go-live as well as ongoing replication of data from EC back to legacy SAP. Be especially careful of a single EC event type/reason mapping to multiple SAP action/reasons based on other attributes or context. If a single event is mapped to hire, rehire, and job change for instance, it will cause replication issues with the SAP validation checks for existing employees and status changes.

Side-by-Side

Alternatively, if instead, you plan on a phased rollout with different waves of employees going live at different points then you are looking at a “Side-by-Side” approach to your replication process. This means that for the live population Employee Central is the system of record and will replicate employees down to legacy SAP (EC -> SAP). However, for the non-live population you will maintain SAP as the system of record and transfer the employees to Employee Central using either web service integration or file extracts (SAP -> EC). All of the mapping decision points referenced above will still apply to this process. If this is your approach, the recommendation is to split your population by company or country for the phases. The replication configuration allows you to specify which companies and countries to feed to legacy SAP. In addition, you can also configure the allowed countries as part of the SAP inbound logic to filter out countries that are not in scope. Any employee records that are in a non-live country/company will be dropped from the replication in this manner, however you still need a way to send the SAP data for those employees back to Employee Central. There are several ways to accomplish this, such as leveraging the standard SAP extraction templates or writing your own custom code to extract templates in CSV format for transfer via SFTP. Alternatively, you can leverage the web service integration delivered by SAP to transfer employee data. SAP is working on expanding the configuration capabilities of this interface to handle custom relationships and other data you may want to export by giving you the ability to write your own extract logic to map to an EC field. I have seen the demo of this and it will be a very powerful addition to the integration capabilities to get more real time data transfer. In either approach, you must filter the employees sent over by the inverse set of companies/countries as the live population to avoid any circular employee updates from the change pointers. Additionally, there is a more complex scenario addressing how to transfer employees from live to non-live or vice versa. I will cover this more in depth in another blog post.

In summary, you need to decide on your approach early as it affects the replication scope between Employee Central and SAP greatly. There are also impacts to your configuration and customization requirements to facilitate the selected approach. I referenced several critical mappings that you need to have ironed out early in your design process to avoid headaches later. These are the most common causes of replication related errors between the systems, so having a solid data model mapping up front will eliminate those issues later on. Finally, if you decide on a phased rollout, then you will need to break your population up by company or country in order to prevent employees from the non-live population from being sent. Hopefully this post has been informative and started the requirements gathering process for your organization. I will be posting a subsequent article on Side-by-Side integrations and some of the pitfalls to avoid in my next blog post. If you have questions or want to follow up with Hula Partners, please contact me at michael.white@hulapartners.com.


Source: Beginning Your Journey: Migrating from SAP On-Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud


Continue reading for Part 2: Beginning Your Journey: Migrating From SAP On Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud, Part 2

 

How to find the right candidate for a job?

Finding the right job candidates is one of the biggest recruiting challenges. Recruiters and other HR professionals that don’t use best recruiting strategies are often unable to find high-quality job applicants. With all the changes and advances in HR technologies, new recruiting and hiring solutions have emerged. Many recruiters are now implementing these new solutions to become more effective and productive in their jobs.

According to Recruitment strategies report 2017 done by GetApp, the biggest recruiting challenge in 2017 was the shortage of skilled candidates.

The process of finding job candidates has changed significantly since few years ago. Back then, it was enough to post a job on job boards and wait for candidates to apply. Also called “post and pray” strategy.

Today, it is more about building a strong Employer Branding strategy that attracts high quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles. Today, it is more about building a strong Employer Branding strategy that attracts high quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles.

Steps for finding the right job candidates

1. Define your ideal candidate a.k.a candidate persona 

Not knowing who your ideal candidate, or candidate persona, is, will make finding one impossible. To be able to attract and hire them, you need to know their characteristics, motivations, skills and preferences.

Defining a candidate persona requires planning and evaluation. The best way is to start from your current talent starts or your best employees. Learn more about their personalities, preferences, motivations and characteristics. Use these findings to find similar people for your current and future job openings.

Not sure how to do this? Here’s our free guide for defining your candidate persona.

2. Engage your current employees

You probably already know that your current employees are your best brand ambassadors. Same as current product users are best ambassadors for product brands. Their word of mouth means more than anyone else’s. Encourage their engagement and let them communicate their positive experiences to the outside. Remember, your employees are your best ambassadors, and people trust people more than brands, CEO and other C-level executives.

Involving your current employees can not only help you build a strong Employer Branding strategy, but it can also help your employees feel more engaged and satisfied with their jobs.

3. Write a clear job descriptions

Even though many recruiters underestimate this step, it is extremely important to do it right! Writing a clear and detailed job description plays a huge role in finding and attracting candidates with a good fit. Don’t only list duties, responsibilities and requirements, but talk about your company’s culture and Employee Value Proposition.

To save time, here are our free job description templates.

4. Streamline your efforts with a Recruitment Marketing tool

If you have right tools, finding the right job candidates is much easier and faster than without them. Solutions offered by recruitment marketing software are various, and with them you can build innovative recruiting strategies such as Inbound Recruiting and Candidate Relationship Management to improve Candidate Experience and encourage Candidate Engagement.

Sending useful, timely and relevant information to the candidates from your talent pool is a great way for strengthening your Employer Brand and communicating your Employee Value Proposition.

5. Optimize your career site to invite visitors to apply

When candidates want to learn about you, they go to your career site. Don-t loose this opportunity to impress them. Create content and look that reflects your company’s culture, mission and vision. Tell visitors about other employees success and career stories.

You can start by adding employee testimonials, fun videos, introduce your team, and write about cool project that your company is working on.

Don’t let visitors leave before hitting “Apply Now” button.

6. Use a recruiting software with a powerful sourcing tool

Today, there are powerful sourcing tools that find and extract candidates profiles. They also add them directly to your talent pool. Manual search takes a lot of time and effort, and is often very inefficient. With a powerful sourcing tool, you can make this process much faster, easier and more productive. These tools help you find candidates that match both the position and company culture.

7. Use an Applicant Tracking System

Solutions offered by applicant tracking systems are various, but their main purpose is to fasten and streamline the selections and hiring processes. By fastening the hiring and selection process, you can significantly improve Candidate Experience. With this, you can increase your application and hire rate for hard-to-fill roles. Did you know that top talent stays available on the market for only 10 days?

8. Implement and use employee referral programs

Referrals are proven to be best employees! Referrals can improve your time, cost and quality of hire, and make your hiring strategy much more productive. Yet, many companies still don’t have developed strategies for employee referrals.This is another great way to use your current employee to help you find the best people. To start, use these referral email templates for recruiters, and start engaging your employees today!

GetApp‘s survey has proven that employee referrals take shortest to hire, and bring the highest quality job applicants.

If you don’t have ideas about how to reward good referrals, here’s our favorite list of ideas for employee referral rewards.

For more details about finding the right candidates, here is our 2018 guide for finding high-quality talent.

Avoid Making A Bad Hiring Decision With The Assistance Of Technology

rawpixel-com-323215 (1)A bad hiring decision can put a strain on a company financially with bad decisions, according to CV-Library, costing UK businesses losses of up to £15,000 (per hire). Due to the time and resources being invested into various different stages of the recruiting process. Unfortunately, these mistakes are at times inevitable and companies often feel the pinch of taking on board a bad hire. However, there are possible technological solutions that recruiters and hiring managers can adopt in order to reduce this risk and in the future make more effective hiring decisions.

Candidate screening

At times as many as 75% of applicants are underqualified for a given job role. Without the usage of hiring technology, it can result in recruiters spending a high proportion of their time sorting through applications and disregarding those unspecific to the position. If this is not done correctly, human error can ultimately affect the quality of hire and increases the chances of recruiting a ‘bad hire’.

Automated candidate screening reduces the reliance on a recruiter having to manually narrow down applications and instead this initial decision-making stage is managed with the addition of hiring technology. This type of automation works by filtering through CVs/resumes to determine the best fit for a specific role. Which can be dependent on different factors such as, experience, skills and qualifications. The applications are then narrowed down and the recruiter or hiring manager is presented with the most appropriate candidates to whom match the job requirements. By depending less on human evaluation to reduce high volumes of job applications, the risk of letting qualified candidates slip through the recruitment process is reduced. Saving the hiring professional valuable time to which they can reinvest back into other aspects of their profession.

Reconsider existing talent

High-quality candidates can often get overlooked, particularly those already existing within a talent database. These job seekers may have been unsuccessful for a previous role but their details are still stored and ‘kept on file’ but then are not made use of for future roles. Job-seekers have become tired of hearing this phrase after failing to land a job. However, this term can be taken to a new literal sense, with the addition of hiring technology.

New opportunities can be open up for existing candidates who failed to secure a previous role, enabling the recruiter to reconnect with the job seekers and find hidden talent already existing within their database. Which saves time and can find candidates who are already qualified for the role. This in turn, can improve the quality of hire, as these candidates may have a previously applied for a similar role and therefore already have the desired skill set and experience for the specific role.

Unconscious bias

In recruitment, there is always a risk of hiring decisions being made with influence from an unconscious bias. This is due to a perceived perception and notion regarding a candidate’s characteristics that may affect their job chances. Creating an unfair advantage or disadvantage to those applying for a role. Recruiting an individual with a biased thought process is likely to cloud the recruiter’s decision and their skills and experience may become secondary. This can easily result in a bad hiring decision, if their ability to do the job is not prioritised.

CiiVSOFT creates recruitment automation tools for talent acquisition, to help save costs and streamline hiring. Find out more here.

Should we rage against the machine?

For many years now, there has been an air of apprehension about the impact which machines would have on humanity. A couple of hundred years ago, the Luddites went to the extreme of destroying weaving machinery in textile factories through fear of losing their jobs and being replaced by machines. Fast forward to the present day and there continue to be concerns about human jobs being replaced by a machine of some sort. Should we be worried about machines taking over? Or should we embrace the change and the advantages which machines and technology can bring to our lives? And how does it stand in the context of Human Capital Management?

One of my earliest encounters of artificial intelligence came about when watching The Terminator. James Cameron’s masterpiece depicts how Skynet, a manmade computer system which was intended to remove human error from military operations, ultimately gained self-awareness and when humans tried to pull the plug, it sought to destroy the human race in retaliation. Part of this involved sending Arnold Schwarzenegger’s monosyllabic cybernetic organism back in time to kill John Connor, a human mandated with saving humanity. For a lot of people, this was a very scary insight into what machines, particularly clever machines, could be capable of one day. Then came the Matrix, another brilliant film (not including the third, that was terrible). Again, there is a battle of good vs evil, man vs machine, Neo vs Agent Smith, where machine is once more the bad guy. I could name countless other films which follow a similar pattern, could this negative connotation of machines be routed in our minds so that we have grown to instinctively fear them? Especially machines which can think for themselves and adapt over time.

Gartner

Sadly, now is not the time to reminisce about fantastic films. What good has come from machines adding value to our lives? A few instances spring to mind, one of them being the cash machine (ATM for our non-British friends). Way back in the day when the cash machine was first introduced, cashiers became increasingly worried that their jobs were at risk, when in fact it allowed them to concentrate on the more value added activities for their clients as opposed to the more mundane cash handling. For the client the ATM was a godsend, giving them access to their money 24/7 rather than 9-5. Continuing the banking theme, AI and machine learning is being used to enhance the customer experience by providing intelligent, automated services via machine learning Chatbots, such as Facebook Messenger. This is becoming a very popular platform for many organisations to service their customers and perform tasks like changing a seat on an airplane, sell products and send alerts, just to name a few. Earlier today a friend of mine showed me how he could chat with his bank using this platform to find out how much he had spent last month, much to his despair!

On a more personal level, some of my favourite uses of intelligent machines in day-to-day living are probably not going to come as a surprise to you. The likes of Amazon, Netflix and Spotify are able to give me a brilliant, tailored experience based on things I’ve bought, watched or listened to. On top of this, I was on holiday for 2 weeks (cruising around the Med, highly recommend it!) where of course I took countless photos. A couple of days after returning home to blighty, my Google Pixel phone automatically grouped my photos into an album named Trip to Greece and Albania, as well as segmenting the different photos into the locations where they were taken, clever and very useful! I’ve recently (as of 2 days ago) wanted to get in on the cryptocurrency hype and make millions by buying Ethereum, to do this I needed a way to buy said currency, so I downloaded an app. I had no idea what to do and I was looking for the Help icon, however to my surprise I found a Chat button, where I was able to communicate with a chatbot to get plenty of information to help me get to grips with the app and with buying/selling cryptocurrency. Needless to say I am not yet a millionaire from it.

One final personal comment on this topic comes from visiting a fast food establishment last month to get myself some breakfast. I noticed that there were a number of big pieces of kit attached to the wall where I could select the items and pay for them, I thought this was pretty cool. I also noticed that where there were once 6 tills to deal with customers, this had been reduced to 2 to make space for a bigger food delivery area. I found this slightly disconcerting and it made me wonder, what happened to the people who were manning those 4 tills? Had they been let go or had they been moved to other roles within the restaurant? I hope the latter.

I’ve talked about machines and AI which came out of Hollywood, how these technologies can have an impact on consumers as well as my own experiences. How will this all impact HR in the workplace? By implementing new software, the HR function has been able to reap great benefits over the last couple of decades. Whether has been by way of system consolidation, process automation or moving to the cloud, savings and efficiencies have been realised by many organisations. I’ve spoken to and read about plenty of organisations that are looking to take advantage of AI, here are a few examples of where it could benefit them.

Automation of candidate screening: AI can learn about different qualifications, employment history and other relevant factors, then compare them with top performers that currently work for the organisation, resulting in better quality of hires and a quicker hiring process.

Chatbots: By giving employees access to chatbot capabilities, organisations can provide employees with a consumer like experience when querying things like holiday balance, payroll queries and procurement assistance.

Predictive Analytics: Machine learning capabilities will provide organisations with insight into top performers, likelihood of attrition and predicted performance.

Modern learning: based on an employee’s preferences, job profile and activity, machine learning will be able to target employees with relevant, specific learning that will aid their development.

As an employee within the tech industry, I’ve seen many great applications of AI via the deployment of many different systems, platforms and tools. I’m a big optimist, so I believe that the use of such tools will be able to cut down on the mundane tasks which employees are mandated with and give them the opportunity to focus on more interesting, strategic work, rather than completely replacing workers. Where this may happen, tech visionary Bill Gates has called for the robots to be taxed to make up for lost tax revenues, but also to use to fund a training and development pot to help move the displaced employees into new roles.

So should we rage against the machine? No, at least not for now.

Joe Honess, Analytics Solution Consultant @Visier

6 Industries That Need Business Intelligence

Technological trends were always a game-changer in the industrial sphere. From the birth of the first personal computer to the expansion of the internet, every industry out there had to adapt to these technological breakthroughs at one point. Business intelligence is no different. Nowadays, with the market being so competitive, industries have to do whatever it takes to get an edge over their competitors. Business intelligence is one of those things that can give them an edge, especially in the domains of analytics, market and consumer analysis as well as security. So, without further ado, here is a list of six industries that benefit from business intelligence the most:

Retail industry

One of the biggest problems that plagues the retail industry today is theft. Namely, goods often get ‘misplaced’ somewhere between the time of the order to the point of sale. This is why BI is such an important tool in preventing inventory loss with its data warehousing. Now stores can keep close track of their supply chain and even check where these ‘leaks’ tend to occur, as well as which particular item is continuously getting stolen. As a result, stores can then use this info to make new measures and security procedures that can prevent such things from happening in the future and cut their losses significantly.

Food industry

Sustainability is becoming an increasing trend in the food industry. Here, business intelligence helps food industrialists find new solutions for old problems regarding the use of safer ingredients, eco-friendly packaging as well as general distribution. With its data mining and data collection tools, BI assists companies in researching new “green” technologies almost instantaneously. Today, a lot of people are very strict about the way their food is processed. Companies need to pay attention to their demands, lest they risk losing a huge portion of their clientele. Therefore, to no great surprise, there is a steady increase in quality control and yield management in the food production sphere.  

Telecom industry

Business intelligence in telecom industry is being widely used. Huge amounts of data are being handled each second with little to no margin for error. Being such a competitive market as it is, telecom providers need to find new ways of increasing their quality assurance. BI maintains data-processing to its utmost efficiency, providing powerful insight from the data collected. With this newfound knowledge, telecom companies can focus on anticipating customer needs as well as creating new customer retention strategies to get an edge over their competitors.

Oil industry

In the oil industry, business intelligence is used quite often to analyse geological data and seismic tests to predict where the largest oil deposits are. With the recent implementation of such predictive analyses, oil companies are getting an increase in profit which in turn lowers the price of oil. Likewise, BI is also used to monitor the constant fluctuation of crude oil prices in real time which allows the marketers to sell oil when prices get high enough, and fold when they are too low.

Fashion industry

The fashion industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. Decision making is absolutely vital for choosing the right kind of design that will eventually catch on like wildfire and become a global trend. This is where BI comes in handy with its analytical tools. It helps both buyers and marketers understand which target audience their consumers fit into. Thus, they gain the much-needed insight that will help them stay on top of their game. Excellent market awareness such as this can sometimes unearth the next big sensation which can help smaller companies make a breakthrough on the fashion scene.

Pharma industry

The main problem within the pharmaceutical industry is keeping track of the expiration dates of drugs which are kept in storage. Business intelligence software helps minimize the risk of an expired product ever leaving the shelves. This way, pharmaceutical companies can operate within safety parameters of health regulations. Also, another area where BI can offer its assistance is with the control of product patents. Sharing of patents will be a lot easier with the use of BI which will result in current patent laws changing drastically, enabling swifter FDA approval of new drug development.

To sum up, business intelligence can be a powerful tool for real-time decision making, analyzing the market and for keeping excellent track of data. It provides an advantage for companies over their opponents in almost every industrial sector and companies which learn to harness its full potential will be leading the pack in the near future for sure.

Chatbots Are the New Phone Interview

How to boost employee communication with these 3 apps

The way we communicate has come a long way since the ancient scratches and drawings on cave walls. The modern world of work is fluid and ever changing, with ‘agile’ solutions being required to solve contemporary problems. Work habits are changing as Millennials are demanding not only different working environments; with standing desks and cubicle-less, open planned work spaces; but also innovative technologies and solutions to keep them engaged, and to aid them in improving their overall employee experience. Consequently, this has made the work of internal and corporate communications professionals considerably more demanding. Yet despite this appreciation of the need for changing work circumstances, the ‘2016 Digital Workplace Communications Survey’ conducted on over 250 companies concluded that almost half of all employees (48%) advocated for a change in their company’s digital workplace communications. Here a list of the top apps to implement to boost employee engagement and communication.

Slack

Slack is a cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services. The name is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”, which concisely indicates it’s primary functions. Slack has humble beginnings and initially was used as an internal tool by its founding company. Since its creation in 2013, Slack has become one of the darlings of the tech scene, becoming one of the fastest growing apps in history. Slack was recognized as the best start-up of the year at the 10th Crunchies Awards, organized by TechCrunch. By the end of 2016, Slack was valued at $2.7 billion. Features offered by Slack include organized chat rooms (channels) by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. All content inside Slack is fully searchable This enables workers to search for all kinds of data including files, conversations, and users. Conveniently Slack is integrated with many other available services such as Google Drive and Dropbox; thereby making it simple to implement, and even easier to share and save files.

Impraise

Technology is here to make our lives easier. Having a conversation with someone on the other side of the world is now simple and instantaneous. There’s no delay. That’s precisely how good performance management software should work, and is the key to Impraise’s performance management software. Multi-award winning Impraise, is a web and mobile application, that was founded in 2013. Since then, the start-up has grown impressively with over 130 clients including booking.com, NRG and Fandango all using Impraise to streamline their in-office communication. Ease of use and accessibility are at the heart of Impraise’s performance management tool. Impraise allows you to gather relevant and accurate feedback for your employees faster and easier than ever before. Collaborative feedback is set up in a matter of minutes, giving an excellent understanding of your team’s strengths and possible coaching needs. Prompt feedback results in faster learning and encourages social interaction amongst your team.

Asana

Asana is web based ‘software-as-a-service’ designed to improve team collaboration. It comes in both web and mobile app versions, and enables users to manage projects and tasks online without the use of email. This is a crucial part of Asana’s mantra, as its founders  Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein launched “an audacious attempt to change the way people connect at work, where the incessant drumbeat of email has become an excruciating annoyance”. Asana works by giving each team its own unique workspace. These workspaces contain projects, and projects contain tasks which can be assigned (or owned) by a team member. Users can follow projects and tasks and, when the state of a project or task changes, get updates about the changes in their Asana inboxes. The app also contains a social network, instant messaging application and online calendar. These features enable teams of employees to share information and do most of their jobs without relying on tedious emails. This is a revolutionary idea as the ‘2016 Digital Workplace Communications Survey’ found that 97% of employees still use emails for both internal and external communication.

Without continuous and free flowing communication in the digital workplace, companies will fail to innovate and progress will be stunted. There are many applications that companies can adopt to improve communication however Slack, Impraise and Asana are our three favourites.

Is the Skills Gap Really a Spending Gap?

Written by David Nesper, Managing Partner at Hula Partners

The Equifax data breach is a teachable moment if ever there was one.

Equifax said the attackers entered its system in mid-May through a vulnerability in the Apache Struts application that had a patch available in March 2017. In other words, the company had more than two months to fix a problem that would have protected the personal data of over 143 million people.

This mega-breach highlights one of the key challenges companies face today: a skills gap and a hyper-competitive talent war that makes finding and retaining top talent incredibly tough.

Salesforce’s recent State of IT report surveyed 2,263 full-time IT leaders around the world and found that high-performing IT teams represent only 15 percent of the overall business landscape. Nearly a full quarter are rated “underperformers.”

Clearly, Equifax fell into that category. A high functioning team would have recognized the potential liability and acted with urgency. But in an era when even companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google often lose talent to younger tech companies like Airbnb and Lyft, how much of a fighting chance do non-tech legacy players like Equifax have for securing the kind of talent that might have been more on top of things?

What Can Be Done

Research firm L2 took a data-driven approach to honing in on the strategies that companies use to successfully lure tech talent away from tech companies. Opening an office close to a tech hub, for example, is very effective. Another strategy that works well, the firm reported, is offering executive-level titles and perks to senior players who want more than a lateral move. L’Oréal, for example, successfully recruited its chief digital officer away from Instagram by offering her a seat on its executive committee.

Wages are another area that could probably benefit from some corporate self reflection. After all, in an era when employee salaries have remained stagnant, how reasonable is it to expect employees’ skill sets to keep growing?

This extends into training too. In its 2017 What Workers Want report, recruiting firm Hays found a strong desire for more training among IT professionals — many of whom are self-taught — but also found a notable mismatch between the types of training IT professionals want and what they actually get.

The Legacy Tech Has to Go Too

Even hiring top talent and offering them all the training in the world won’t prevent another Equifax-like incident without a significant investment in technology itself.

recent survey of over a thousand IT decision makers by Riverbed Technology found the vast majority feel legacy infrastructures are holding their companies back. 93 percent of IT decision makers aid legacy networking tech causes cloud-related network problems at least once a month.

The Ponemon Institute — a think tank that focuses on data protection — found that 94 percent of enterprise IT decision makers still use a traditional network firewall and only 44 percent believe their organization has the ability to protect their network from potential attacks.

Bringing It All Home

The legacy tech problem connects up with the recruiting problem. When a prospective employee finds out an employer is using software built during the Reagan administration, how excited is she going to feel? Great tech workers want their skills to stay relevant. To attract and keep them, the technology has to be relevant too.

The general sophistication of consumer tech, of course, is a driving force here as well. Salesforce found 71 percent of employees want companies to provide the same level of technology as they use in their personal lives. The consumerization of IT trend is very real.

It says a lot that high-performing IT teams (which, again, are only 15 percent) are nearly three times more likely to make employee experience projects a priority. Airbnb, for example, recently changed the title of Chief Human Resource Officer to Chief Employee Experience Officer—a sign that the company is starting to reframe its own workforce as an audience with high expectations versus a pool of talent merely to be used.

So, in the wake of Equifax, maybe a little less talk about the “skills gap” might actually be a good thing. The skills gap is often discussed as if it’s a structural flaw in the workforce — some failure on the part of the masses to achieve full potential.

In fact, maybe the skills gap is really a spending gap. To get better performing teams and prevent more mega-breaches, maybe more companies need to start giving employees more of what they need: higher salaries, bigger investments in training, and the up-to-date technology that will let them do their jobs.

For more information, contact us at info@hulapartners.com or reach out to David Nesper directly.


Source: Is the Skills Gap Really a Spending Gap? – Hula Partners

HR Buzzwords or Actual Recruiting Strategies?

HR and Talent Acquisition (TA) industries have been going through some major changes in the past few years. Following the new trends, people have come up with new terms, HR technology, expressions, as well as new TA strategies.

Some experts believe that these new terms are just buzzwords, while others believe that they have become inevitable strategies of every successful recruiting and hiring strategy.

Here is my list of some of the newly introduced HR expressions.

1. Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment Marketing is an expression used to describe methods used for communicating organization’s Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition to attract high-quality job candidates to apply for their open positions.

Recruitment Marketing strategies are described as methods with the main goal of improving Candidate Experience and encouraging Candidate Engagement.

Many companies that follow latest trends in the world of HR technology, use features offered by Recruitment Marketing tools to better communicate their Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition.

2. Inbound Recruiting

Inbound Recruiting is a method of creating targeted and branded content with the purpose of increasing your firm’s popularity and strengthening your Employer Brand.

Inbound Recruiting follows the famous Inbound Marketing strategy; technique for drawing customers to products and services via recruiting content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization.

The number one goal of every Inbound Recruiting strategy is to engage qualified candidates and convert them into job applicants to expand talent pools.

3. Candidate Relationship Management

Candidate relationship management (CRM) is a method for managing and improving relationships with current and potential future job candidates. Many companies use CRM technology to automate and ease communication process with the job seekers, encourage their engagement and improve candidate experience.

For example, some Recruitment Marketing tools offer solutions for creating engaging email campaigns to provide highly relevant, educative and interesting content in order to build stronger relationships and expand their talent pools with highly-qualified job candidates.

4. Employer Branding

Employer Branding involves all the activities and tactics used to communicate Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition to passive and active job seekers.

In today’s “War for Talent” Employer Branding strategies are considered very important when it comes to solving one of the biggest recruiting challenges – attracting high-quality applicants.

LinkedIn’s research has shown that more than 75% of job seekers research about firm’s reputation before they apply for an open position. Companies that have weak employer brands not only have problems in attracting candidates, but also in retaining employees.

employer-branding-retaining-employees

5. Data-Driven Recruiting and HR Analytics

Data-Driven Recruiting or HR Analytics are two expressions used to demonstrate new recruiting methods in which HR Professionals make hiring decisions based on data gathered through HR technology such as Applicants Tracking Systems and Recruitment Marketing Platforms.

Data-driven recruiting has proven to improve some of the most important hiring metrics such as time to hire, cost to hire and quality of hire.

hr metrics

Question:

If you had data available that proves that referred candidates take shortest to hire, fastest to on-board, require least money and stay longest with your company, would you still waste your money on job boards and job promotions or would you improve your Employee Referral Program?

If you are wondering which HR metrics should you be tracking, here is our checklist of most important HR metrics with tips for improvement.

So are these just buzzwords or actual recruiting trends?

Creating the right learning environment for your employees is imperative. Here's how you can do just that.

How to Create a Better Learning Environment for Your Employees

Encouraging employees to always be developing their skills is good for their mood, career development, and even team bonding.

When you offer employees the chance to learn and grow, it shows that you value them. This makes them more effective in their role – both because they’re expanding their skills and because they don’t feel like just another cog in the machine – and therefore makes your business more successful, too.

From attending conferences online to making classes more interactive, technology makes staff training easier than ever. Here are just some of the ways technology helps you to create a better learning environment for your employees.

Make training part of company culture

Training should be seen as a key part of company culture. It’s only when employees are supported and guided in their growth strategies that they can really excel.

However, it can be difficult to for employees to find the time to work on their skills around their busy schedules. Automating certain tasks, such as speeding up data entry using Excel macros, gives them more time to spend on expanding their skills.

Other repetitive tasks, such as organizing meetings, can also be automated by adopting features such as calendar sync. When a team’s calendars are connected to a booking software, the meeting organizer can select the meeting attendees, then leave the software to work out the rest. It can even work out the most suitable meeting room and schedule the meeting around the availability of that room.

Give employees easy access to the training resources they need

Employees need the right equipment for their training session so that they can get the most out of it. This could involve laptops, projectors, screens, or even parking spaces.

In a large organization the availability of these resources can’t always be guaranteed. Connecting the calendars of these resources to a booking software allows them to be reserved in advance. Training sessions can even be scheduled based on the availability of the necessary resources.

The schedules of guest speakers can also be connected to your booking software, meaning that you can book a training session based around both their schedule and the schedules of everyone that needs to attend. Nobody needs to miss out because they’re on vacation or at another training event.

It’s not always necessary to attend training events in person anymore, though.

Many conferences now offer e-tickets, which allows employees to attend without the extra expenses of travel or hotel stays. This saves your business money while employees still get to develop their skills.

E-tickets often come with the chance to rewatch lectures after the conference is over, which can also be a valuable resource. It also means employees can watch talks at a time that is most convenient for them and don’t have to miss out on anything because of time differences.

Make learning more engaging

We’ve all had to sit in a cold, dank room surrounded by colleagues while someone talks at us all day. Sometimes what can be explained in an hour is dragged out into an all-day event to justify guest speakers or room rental.

This isn’t an effective, fun, or engaging training method.

When employees can use technology, learning instantly becomes more engaging. Training modules can be turned into games; meetings can be simulated or even attended in VR, and employees can get their questions answered instantaneously by a chatbot.

Chatbots can help employees both inside and outside of a training room – should a new hire have any questions, for example, they can ask the chatbot and get an answer straight away. This means they don’t have to disturb their colleagues to get answers, and they don’t have to wait around for their colleagues to be free, either. Your latest hire can get to grips with things and start helping the team faster.

In-house training can also be made more interactive with the use of virtual reality. Virtual reality can be particularly useful for dangerous jobs where on-the-job training isn’t always possible, but where it’s important for employees to develop their skills before completing their tasks for real.

It can also be beneficial for training sales teams or telemarketers in how to deal with difficult customers, or to teach pilots how to fly before they go up in the air.

Virtual reality can also benefit remote-working employees as they can feel just as much of a part of team meetings as those who are there in person. They can also be more immersed in client meetings.

Growth is important for people and businesses

Retaining highly skilled employees is one of the most difficult tasks that a business faces. Finding a way to keep them is important if your business is to grow, though.

One of the ways in which businesses can help to attract and retain the best employees is by offering them the opportunity to constantly learn and expand their knowledge. The most successful people are always learning new things, so it makes sense that these people, in turn, help to build a successful company.

Investing in employees’ skills is a win-win situation, it prevents staff from going to the competition and helps to build a business’s employer brand. The more advanced and interesting the development package, the more attractive it is to employees. One of the ways employers can make this attractive to employees is to invest in the right technology for the job. The better the technology available to employees, the more control they have over their schedule and the faster they can develop their skills.


Source: How to Create a Better Learning Environment for Your Employees | Cronofy Calendar API

About the Author

Kristina is a writer, digital marketer, and social media addict. She spends her days working as a content marketer for Cronofy, and her nights writing novels.

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.