Organimi is a cloud based, easy to use, low cost alternative to traditional software org chart design tools that enables users to easily create and share org charts, photo boards, and directories. The Canadian start-up allows organizations of all sizes, industries, and workforce modernizations to organize how they communicate and collaborate wherever, and however they work.
Drawing on feedback from a growing user community across thousands of organizations including well-known brands such as Airbnb, eBay, and Kayak. Organimi developed V5 to simplify the process of creating an org chart and increase flexibility for modern organizations looking to create direct representations of complex organizations. They have also made it easier to share org charts with members across organizations to increase transparency and limit knowledge gaps.
“We listened and our users wanted more flexibility to accommodate their diverse needs for their organizational structures, so we opened up options to customize the tool to their preferences, simplifying the overall use case regardless of their organizational structure.”
-Eric Apps, Organimi Co-Founder
Organimi’s main users of the platform include: business owners, faith based and not-for-profit organizations, sales reps, account managers, consultants, educational organizations, government departments, agencies and other public sector groups and virtual organizations.
Organimi is free for up to 50 members. Sign up today at https://v5.organimi.com/register
Organimi is a cloud based, simple organizational chart maker. Based out of Toronto and Waterloo, Organimi is charting organizations of the future. The company founders have embraced the changing nature of the modern workforce to create software that is flexible to accommodate different organizational designs.
Today our guest is David Green, a true globally respected and award winning writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.
David is the Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. He is also the longstanding Chair, of the Tucana People Analytics conference series, the next edition of which – the People Analytics Forum, takes place in London on 29-30 November.
David has spoken at conferences and/or worked with people analytics leaders in over 20 cities in the past year including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Paris, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow and Berlin. This affords David with a unique perspective and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what’s forthcoming in the field of people analytics.
The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.
1. Hi David, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. The year of 2017 is approaching its end. What made a difference this year in the field of people management and HR technologies?
Thanks Alexey, it is a pleasure to speak with you. For me, 2017 has been a pivotal year in the field as the realisation that people analytics is core to the future of the HR function has become far more widespread. In one of his recent articles (see here), Josh Bersin described people analytics “as the lynchpin of success for HR in the next few years”, and I have to say I completely agree – although that probably doesn’t surprise you!
We still have some way to go in terms of widespread adoption and just as importantly in embedding analytics and data-driven decision making within organisational culture, but the acceptance that this is core rather than peripheral is a welcome momentum shift.
Elsewhere, the move from many companies to develop programs and technologies that personalise the candidate/employee experience in areas such as talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and mobility is also positive. It’s about time that we have rich and personalised experiences at work similar to those we already enjoy as consumers. Data and analytics plays a foundational role in this.
2. People analytics is an area of profound interest to business leaders. What do you see as the main trends in the people analytics space?
You are right to highlight the heightened interest levels in people analytics Alexey. I’d summarise the main trends as follows:
More and more organisations getting started with people analytics – 2017 seems to have been the year that the talking about when to start analytics stopped and the actual hard work in creating capability began for many organisations. So, the number of organisations in the early stages of their people analytics journeys is on the increase and many will face similar challenges in terms of data quality, skills and capabilities, stakeholder management/education and project prioritisation. Our recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research on HR Analytics Readiness in Europe demonstrated though that most organisations still have a long way to go.
Developing an analytical culture: this is key for organisations that want to develop sustainable capability in people analytics. This means exciting, equipping and enabling HR Business Partners, and clearly demonstrating and communicating the impact of people analytics initiatives within the organisation. This is the focus of many companies that have built initial capability and success in people analytics.
Ethics and privacy concerns: this continues to be the most important and challenging aspect for practitioners. Research from Insight222 reveals that 81% of people analytics projects are jeopardised by ethical and privacy concerns. With the EU GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018 and the emergence of new employee data sources, focus on this area will continue to be high.
The consumerisation of HR – as per my earlier point, many organisations that have developed people analytics capability are looking at ways to understand and improve the employee experience. In addition to the personalised machine-learning based technologies referenced earlier, this includes efforts to understand and analyse employee sentiment. You can’t do either of these things without analytics so those organisations that have already developed people analytics capability are in pole position to take advantage here.
Organisational network analysis (ONA) – interest in ONA has exploded in 2017 as organisations seek to better understand team effectiveness and productivity. Practitioners interested in this burgeoning area of people analytics should check out the work of Rob Cross, recent articles by Josh Bersin and vendors like TrustSphere, Humanyze and Worklytics. Expect interest in this area to continue to soar in 2018.
3. On the eve of People Analytics Forum 2017 could you slightly open the curtain on what makes an ideal agenda in modern HR analytics, workforce planning and employees insights then?
I always enjoy chairing the Tucana People Analytics World and People Analytics Forum events as the agenda is always cognisant of the fact that the diversity of delegates in terms of where they are with analytics varies widely. As such, the three tracks: Start (for those getting started), Grow (for those building capability and looking for deeper insight) and Advance (for advanced practitioners and those exploring new data sources) means there is something for everyone. This is hugely important as in my experience the people analytics community is highly collaborative and there is a mutual desire amongst practitioners for shared learning. The Tucana events provide this in spades.
4. It was heard that some attendees of conferences recently formed a viewpoint that the slow adoption of analytics has been because of a lack of practical cases delivered by speakers. Your point of view on the problem will be of great influence.
I haven’t really heard this viewpoint from many. I would argue the contrary in fact that most of the conferences I attend feature numerous and diverse case studies from practitioners. I think you need a balance of speakers from the practitioner, consultant, vendor and analyst communities as each provides a slightly different perspective – indeed much of the innovation in the space is coming from the vendor community. As such, at the conferences I chair, speak and attaned there is normally much to inspire delegates whatever their maturity level when it comes to people analytics. Of course, there is a distinction between being inspired and immitation as each organisation faces different business challenges and has unique cultures. If I could offer one piece of advice to practitioners, whatever their maturity level, it is to channel their efforts on the key business challenges that have the biggest impact within their organisations.
5. What new data-driven HR solutions are on your watchlist and why?
As I mentioned before much of the innovation in the people analytics space is coming from the vendor community and I always recommend to practitioners to keep abreast of the latest developments here. Data-driven companies to look at include: TrustSphere, Alderbrooke Group, Aspirant, Glint, Visier, Crunchr, Workometry, Peakon, OrgVue, Headstart, Worklytics, Humanyze, Qlearsite, One Model, hiQ Labs, Cultivate and StarLinks; and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!
If you’ll forvive the self-promotion, I would like to add that IBM is also doing some groundbreaking work in this space through bringing Watson to HR, particularly in the talent acquisition and the employee experience areas – see more here.
6. What advice would you give to HR professionals looking to boost their careers within the people analytics space?
For me, HR is one of the most exciting places in business to work in at the moment and the increased use of analytics and data-driven decision making is one of the reasons why I believe this to be the case.
We’re living at an exciting time in the history of work. Everything from the way we design our workplaces to entrenched ideas of organizational hierarchy are being questioned and even rejected in favor of new processes, designs and ideas which favor flexibility, customization and, above all, agility.
One such ingrained concept which is being totally revamped is the idea of the team. Rather than the traditionally static top down teams, knowledge intensive organizations are reformulating this concept to better fit their fast paced environment.
The great thing about this reconceptualization of the team is that there is not one but several new models which are being taken and adapted to fit the needs of the organization. Customization and experimentation are key.
However, the unique characteristics of these teams also means that they don’t necessarily fit into standard HR processes, especially the annual performance appraisal. Traditional top down annual reviews were created for static teams in which managers, peers and reports stay the same and an individual’s year long performance is assessed. The challenge for HR will be to redesign performance appraisals so that they can be customized for each teams’ needs.
Here are some common characteristics of these new types of teams which HR will have to take into account:
The main idea behind these new types of teams is to increase agility. One of the most important parts of this is keeping decision-making at the team level. Rather than having to wait for approval, these teams have the ability to act fast facilitating a more flexible response to sudden industry changes. These sudden changes in direction also require flexibility in goal-setting and constant feedback to help get everyone on track.
These teams consist of people with different areas of expertise, thereby, both enabling each member to leverage their strengths to accomplish team goals and facilitating knowledge-sharing within the team. For example, Spotify has created its own grids of employees based on different groups, tribes, chapters, etc. of skills. Watch this video to see how their system works. With everyone bringing a different skill to the team in order to reach a common goal, feedback is key, not only from team leads, but also from peers.
These may not necessarily be static teams but can also be project based groups which form and disband on a needs basis. For example, gaming company Valve is famous for allowing their employees complete freedom to form and move between groups based on their interest in a project, even providing them with rolling desks which can be moved along with their owner.
Creating psychological safety in teams
According to Juan Castillo, Scrum master at tech company Impraise, no matter what type of team you have, creating psychological safety is the most important element you need to create a successful team. This is difficult to build as safety requires trust, which can only come when people feel comfortable sharing ideas or raising concerns without being judged. The term psychological safety was originally coined by Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson and later found to be the top quality needed for a successful team during Google’s Project Aristotle study. Read more about psychological safety.
How can HR create a performance management process that fits the needs of these new types of teams and, at the same time, fosters trust?
Performance management in agile teams
Rather than trying to fit these unique types of teams into a traditional annual performance appraisal framework, allow teams to customize their own performance management cycles which are sprint or project based. This could include:
Sprint or project based performance appraisals: Rather than basing performance reviews on year long performance, allow teams to decide when performance assessments are most needed. In the past, pen and paper reviews took hours for HR to set up and then distribute the results. Using a performance management tool gives team leads the power to set up reviews in minutes eliminating hassle.
Empower your people: The best people to receive development advice from are those you work with the most. If your people move frequently between ad hoc and project based teams they may miss the opportunity for valuable insights from temporary team members. Allow your employees to take ownership of their development by giving them the flexibility to choose who they want to receive feedback from during their performance appraisal.
Continuous feedback: In these teams everyone has their different field of expertise but the point is not to keep this knowledge separated. Agile teams present a unique opportunity for upskilling and growing your talent organically. Make the most out of this by facilitating continuous 360-degree feedback outside of performance reviews.
Feedback moments: Creating specific moments during which people share feedback with each other can help train positive feedback behavior within teams. The more people are prompted to give feedback the more they’ll become comfortable with it and then begin sharing it on their own.
As Castillo shared with us, this has to start at the top level. As a scrum master he regularly asks his team for feedback after retrospectives to see how they can be improved so that everyone benefits. Leading by example can show the rest of the team that it’s ok to ask for and receive feedback.
Another important moment during which feedback is essential is during sprint demos. It’s not only important that agile teams share the work they’ve accomplished with other teams, but it’s essential that they’re also able to receive external feedback, especially from individuals in customer success or sales who are working directly with clients.
Finally, a major part of creating a successful and comfortable environment is by taking time to celebrate success. Let people know that their hard work won’t go unnoticed.
You may be wondering, if you give these teams too much flexibility over their performance management process, how can you ensure alignment across the organization?
HR’s role in creating a self-service performance management system
While teams should be given the flexibility to choose the performance management style that works best for the way their team works, there are three things HR will need to do to facilitate this self selection based environment:
Competencies: Create core competencies which will help you align and compare team performance across the organization. Likewise, having a library of competencies will set the standard for new leaders learning how to best guide their teams.
Technology: It’s up to you to choose a performance management tool that allows each individual group, team tribe, etc. to customize their own process within the same platform. Impraise is one option which has been chosen by over 100, mainly tech companies, including Atlassian, Fandango and Shopify.
Data: Using one platform allows you to collect, analyze and compare the performance of different teams on core competencies. Use this data to gain insight into the health of your teams. Rate of feedback exchange within a team can be a great indicator of psychological safety.
There can be no more one size fits all performance management process. Instead, it’s time to build an agile process that caters to the needs of agile teams.
The jobs market remains buoyant, emphasising the need to increase efficiency in hiring processes and improve retention levels but without taking responsibility for its data, achieving these goals will remain elusive and threaten HR’s survival.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) Report on Jobs last month revealed that permanent placements rose at their highest rate in over two years in July while the availability of temporary and permanent candidates dropped again. An increase was also reported in salaries for all new hires.
This news comes as the CIPD reports that analytics and AI were named as two of the top three most disruptive issues facing HR during a panel debate at the University of Bath. The contingent workforce was the third. ‘Ownership of data’ was highlighted as a specific issue as the nature of the jobs market and the working environment are both relentlessly disrupted by technology. CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese also observed a ‘complacency’ surrounding technology.
Taking ownership of data
Without taking ownership of data it is impossible to understand what is happening in your hiring process or improve falling retention levels among new hires. This is a particular problem in the UK as nearly half of all employers are failing to address the impact automation and AI will have on their business.
In order to avoid a complacent attitude towards recruitment data, adopt the following three steps:
Align your recruitment planning with business objectives: Talent acquisition strategies should be aligned with the overall objectives of the business but nearly a third of hiring teams don’t have a strategic workforce plan according to a Korn Ferry report. Collaboration is essential to implement effective talent planning and must be supported by technology.
Use applicant tracking software: The first step towards effective use of data is the implementation of a modern recruitment management system yet nearly half of employers don’t use applicant tracking software in their recruitment strategy. Without it, gaining an accurate understanding of what is preventing your business from hiring talent is impossible. Vital recruitment metrics enable HR to evaluate and improve hiring success yet too many hiring teams lack this vital knowledge. Evidence based decision making is critical to creating a talent acquisition strategy that works.
Acknowledge the mobile job search: Only just over a quarter (28%) of companies use mobile technology in recruitment yet the rise of mobile job search is one of the most prominent tech trends affecting talent acquisition. By integrating a mobile responsive hiring process your ability to hold on to the qualified candidates in your recruitment funnel will improve – it is a straightforward step available through your recruitment software.
Improving the effectiveness of HR
Additional issues complicate HR’s ability to take ownership of its data. The effectiveness – or otherwise – of HR functions also affect this area.
A new survey from ViewsHub found that HR departments in technology companies were rated as the least effective and notably below the industry average. Professional service companies and retail also recorded low rankings which were based on three key criteria, namely, the ability to get things done, their technical ability in their jobs and their responsiveness to other teams. HR functions in the travel and food sectors ranked highest in the survey.
Again, a move towards data driven recruitment can improve the perception of HR across an organisation:
Become more agile: An article in the Harvard Business Review, suggests that a lack of agility is holding back HR’s ability to adapt to disruptions. It proposes that HR should operate in ways that respond to ongoing changes in culture and working style – which includes developing a tech-centric culture. This is evident in tired recruitment processes that bear no resemblance to the job search habits of today’s candidates and are based on assumptions that the labour market still favours employers. An agile HR function increases efficiency in hiring and ultimately productivity. Relinquishing your reliance on manual recruitment processes will enable that and improve the ‘effectiveness ranking’ of HR departments which are struggling to respond to the needs of their business.
Use data to understand the jobs that make a difference:McKinsey suggests that 5% of jobs create 95% of the impact within an organisation. Those exact jobs are different for every company. HR analytics will help your business to identify your roles which fall into the 5% category and focus on sourcing the talent for those positions – and improve the effectiveness of HR. Taking ownership of data and avoiding complacency around technology is key to this.
Take ownership of your data. Invest in world class recruitment software used by some of the world’s leading organisations to manage their entire talent recruitment systems. Contact Advorto today.
Every organisation that processes personal data must comply with the new GDPR rules that take effect in May 2018. There are no exemptions based on a size or sector, no staggered dates for compliance and, based on the current performance of the body responsible for policing data protection legislation, a rock-solid guarantee that the new regulations will be enforced and, where companies fall short, fines imposed.
Those with HR and people responsibilities are, without a doubt, at the front line of GDPR compliance. They work with personal data all the time: in fact, their jobs could be said to rely on it.
As custodians of employee information, they’ll be the ones who will need to audit existing processes; validate their own security and that of third parties that they share HR information with such as HR software and payroll providers; take on at least some of the responsibility for compliance training and monitoring and equip themselves to report any data breaches involving employee data, as well as respond to ‘subject access requests’ from employees.
Where should you start?
For many HR teams getting to grips with GDPR is understandably daunting. Not least, because so much has been written about the higher standard of consent for processing personal data that the legislation requires – and the cost of getting it wrong.
At first glance, asking employees for consent seems reasonable. You may already let employees know why you ask them for personal information and what you use it for.
However, when it comes to collecting and processing employee data in the context of GDPR, a reading of the regulations indicates that the focus on consent is misleading and could, in fact, be damaging.
Under GDPR, consent is defining as meaning “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.”
In an employment context, relying on consent is problematic for three main reasons:
It’s administratively complex. Since consent needs to be ‘specific’ and shown by a ‘clear affirmative action’. A catch all clause in an employment contract, or on the login screen to your HR software won’t cover it.
It’s unlikely to be un-enforceable in law. In an employment relationship, demonstrating free consent is almost impossible since the relationship is not one between equals. By refusing consent, an employee may feel that they put their relationship with their employer in jeopardy.
By asking an employee to give their consent to processing information, you may inadvertently give them stronger rights to have their details deleted. What would be the business implications if, for example, an employee demanded that you delete data about their absences (sickness or otherwise), performance, skills, perhaps even their address. It may seem unlikely, but it’s possible.
Legitimate business interest
Instead, HR should rely as far as possible on legitimate business interest. This should cover the data that is required to ensure the employer fulfil their contractual obligations to their employees. For example, to pay them, award paid time off, manage grievance or health and safety issues etc. It will also extend to issues relating to the effective running of the business, such as monitoring absences, performance reviews or skills audits (with a caveat in relation to automated decision making – which is also covered by GDPR).
Legitimate interest cannot be applied in all cases. For example, processing employee information related to wellness initiatives, while laudable, is likely to require consent, as is sharing personal data with third parties so they can market their services to your employees – however attractive the offer.
An essential first step for HR, therefore, is to audit and document employee information: what you gather and why, where you store it, how you ensure it is accurate and up to date and who you share it with. This forms the foundation for the other activities that HR – or someone else in the organisation – will need to address for GDPR compliance.
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has put together a handy 12-point plan for anyone with day to day responsibility for data protection, much of which is relevant to HR.
Beyond the data audit, top priorities for HR are likely to include: updates to privacy notices, review of current consent approaches, awareness and training activities, internal and partner data security reviews, processes for reporting data breaches and a cost-effective response to subject requests for information.
For HR teams making do with spreadsheets and paper-based files, GDPR may also provide the impetus to modernise personnel record keeping. In a side note to the legislation, the regulator recommends making use of employee self- service HR software, so that employees can both see, and where appropriate correct, the data their employer holds on them.
Consolidating HR information in a single, secure HR software system has other benefits for GDPR compliance. It’s generally easier to demonstrate that you have appropriate security in place if personnel records are held behind a secure login than in spreadsheets or office filing cabinets and approval workflows and audit capabilities make tracing and tracking infinitely easier than trawling through historic emails.
Although GDPR will not be in force until May 2018, the new regulations will have significant implications for the way that companies manage their HR data. HR need to start to prepare now.
Please note: this article is based on our understanding of the requirements of GDPR and should not be relied upon as legal advice or to determine how GDPR might apply to you and your organisation. You should refer to the legislation and, if in doubt, work with a legally qualified professional to discuss GDPR, how it applies specifically to your organisation, and how best to ensure compliance.
HR departments are the last thing fast growing companies pay attention to. In the race to become lean hypergrowth machines, many executives in the tech industry see HR simply as a nice to have, if not a symbol of the corporate culture they want to avoid. While it’s become common to start off without an HR department, now we’re seeing fast growing companies reach past the 50 person mark without any formal HR in sight.
With the onslaught of HR tech tools many companies are opting instead to buy solutions that will take care of everything from recruitment & onboarding to payroll and L&D. This is not only a trend affecting startups, bigger companies are now beginning to use HR tools to decentralize many processes placing them into the hands of managers and even the users themselves.
Unfortunately, HR has been relegated to the equivalent of the office hall monitor for way too long. Is this the end of the HR profession? Are we moving towards an age when HR can be completely replaced by tech?
What Tools Can Do:
People want choices. They want to be able to have some sort of control over the processes that affect them and not have to deal with paperwork or waiting. In this fast moving digital age there is an app for everything, including traditional HR functions such as: recruitment, onboarding, payroll, perks and vacation tracking, performance management and L&D. Self-service is becoming a trend, not only in our personal lives but also in the workplace.
Is HR Still Needed?
The answer is, more than ever. The millennial workforce is much more demanding than any other generation. What’s more, they’re much less likely to stick around if their demands aren’t met. A recent article by Gallup demonstrated that millennials are the generation that’s least engaged in the workplace and most likely to switch jobs, with six in ten saying they would be open to new job opportunities. Today with new tech tools that help your competitors recruit, even passive candidates, there’s no time to lose.
This means that employers need to create a more hands on unique experience to keep young talent engaged starting the day they come in the door. This includes curating and integrating tools into customized processes to make them more efficient, employee focused and reflect a company’s unique employer brand. Ultimately, tech tools are facilitators, not solutions. It’s now HR’s job to design a new type of organization that caters to the needs of its employees. Here are four ways the role of HR will change due to the rise of HR tech:
Creating the Employee Experience
Creating the ultimate employee experience has been recognized in Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends Report for the past few years as the key to attracting, retaining and engaging talent. No employee experience program should be the same. To not only attract talent but to attract the right talent, it’s essential to create a unique employer brand. With the rise of websites like Glassdoor, the more time HR spends creating a great experience for current employees, the more likely they’ll become brand ambassadors for the company.
Likewise, your people are different, give them options… but not too many. One of the most important roles Deloitte foresaw in its 2016 report was the need for HR to become a curator for this overly connected generation. With so many options for eLearning tools, communication channels and perks available, sometimes what this generation needs is a guide who can select and whittle down the vast array of distractions and choices presented on a daily basis.
While traditional HR functions may be moving more towards user oriented self-service, it’s HR’s job to choose tools that meet their people’s needs and work best within the organizational framework they’ve designed.
Another key aspect of creating the ultimate employee experience is to reinvent and rehabilitate decades old processes that employees distrust or even hate. Performance appraisals are one such process that have often gotten a bad rap. In traditional stack ranking style, they were unabashedly used to decide who would stay and who would be shown the door.
Today many HR departments are starting the process of rehabilitating performance management by getting rid of or reinventing the process to make it more focused on employee growth and development. Cementing the change they’re replacing reviews with employee driven feedback interactions, more frequent coaching conversations and even the opportunity to give upward feedback – a major departure from the so called ‘rank and yank’ system.
Each company has its own unique culture, whether it reflects what executives envisioned is another question. It’s not necessarily the job of HR to create their company’s culture but to take its values and mission and infuse them throughout all processes within the organization. A company’s core values are often described as its moral compass. As many recent cases show, this should not be taken lightly.
After fast growing tech company Zenefits was charged with taking short cuts on online broker license certifications they came out with a statement announcing that, “Zenefits now is focused on developing business practices that will ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements, and making certain that Zenefits operates with integrity as its No. 1 value.”
However, what must be remembered is that words and reality can be two different things. Your top leadership can profess a company’s values but you need a constant reinforcement of those values at every level of the organization to ensure they’ll really be followed. As the architect behind all people processes, putting HR in charge of strengthening and infusing values (with full support from top leadership) is the best way to ensure they’re fully integrated into your culture.
Translating People Data
Employee experience is not something that can be designed and put in place for life. Just like companies that aren’t constantly innovating their product, those which are not innovating their employee experience will lose out in the talent market. That’s why HR must create an always on engagement culture by frequently measuring and analyzing. People data can tell you when engagement levels are low but it can’t tell you what the root of the problem is. This is where HR must learn to identify the triggers through processes like employee journey mapping and then effectively communicate to executives the changes which need to be made through storytelling.
The great thing about the rise of HR tech is that it takes away more of the administrative tasks HR has had to deal with in the past and leaves professionals with more time to transform their organizations into great places to work. The challenge HR will face is adopting a new way of thinking about their profession and arming themselves with the tools they’ll need to bring their department and company forward in the future. For more info join our free employee experience email course.
Companies have HR departments that are responsible for storing confidential information such as an individual’s social security number, payroll information, health information as well as employment history.
Because of enormous amount of sensitive data collected on individuals, HR departments opt to store data in a digital format, thus, making it susceptible to cyber-threats. Furthermore, since HR departments receive more email that any other department in a company, they are even more vulnerable to such threats. One of the most challenging form of cyber-attacks that HR departments face today is ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data and restricts access to a computer system. Often malware is sent through an email in the disguise of a resume or cover letter. When the email is opened, then the malware infects the computer and the entire network. The next time a user tries to gain access to the computer system, he or she is required to pay a monetary ransom in the form of Bitcoin to remove the restriction. WannaCry is one commonly known name for the recent ransomware attack that affected many companies.
Ransomware not only steals an individual’s personal information, but it damages a company’s reputation and financial status as well. The good news is that there are steps that HR departments can take to prevent ransomware attacks.
Basic Security Measures
It is imperative that HR departments work closely with the IT department to implement strong web filters and spam controls as a basic security measure. Next, the IT department should have Endpoint analytical tools to immediately detect, quarantine and shut down ransomware invasions.
Finally, always have a working data backup plan that is not connected to the company’s network so data cannot be infected.
Latest Operating and Software System
The IT department should make sure that the company’s operating system and software is up-to-date. It is extremely important that security updates are installed on all machines as they are released to protect all computers on the network.
If the company uses Microsoft Office software, it is recommended that macros are turned off. In addition, remove plugins if using Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java or Silverlight since these plugins can run a risk of having embedded malware attached to them upon installation.
It is essential for companies to train employees on their information security policies. Employees must understand that technology alone is not enough to protect sensitive data and that there are cybersecurity threats that can bombard them.
Employees need regular training sessions in learning how to use technology as well have an understanding that technology is not always foolproof. There should be employees training in the do’s and don’ts of data protection. Since HR employees receive numerous emails daily, they need to know what types of files are safe to open.
Finally, employees need to know how to respond, and to whom they should report a cyber threat if the unthinkable happens.
Network Segmentation and Separate Work Stations
The IT department needs to ensure that the company’s most sensitive data is not stored all on one network. This is done through network and database segmentation. A restriction should be in place where only certain authorized individuals can access sensitive information. For example, make one person the administrator for the system.
The administrator should only log into the system as absolutely deemed necessary and use a regular account for everyday use. Furthermore, the IT department should assign dedicated workstations to employees responsible for reviewing resumes and monitor workstation usage.
To ensure the validity of the company’s security, it is a good idea to hire an outside firm to test the vulnerability of its IT security. By hiring an outside firm, the company can understand where hackers can possibly penetrate the system, and take necessary steps to make data more secure.
To conclude, HR departments have access to massive amounts of sensitive data and the employees are typically not very well educated in knowing how to protect themselves from data breaches. Therefore, they are an easy and lucrative target for hackers.
It is easy to see why HR departments are prone to such cyber-attacks. However, when the HR staff works more closely with the IT department, preventive steps can be taken to reduce ransomware attacks. Precautionary steps such as implementing basic security measures, installing the latest operating system and software, setting up network segmentations and dedicated workstations, training employees and having outside testing to check for security breaches can save a company’s reputation and financial status.
About the Author:
Josh McAllister is a freelance technology journalist with years of experience in the IT sector, and independent business consultant. He is passionate about helping small business owners understand how technology can save them time and money.
Businesses are always looking for new ways to improve and innovate, and the payroll industry is no different. Payroll is arguably the purest form of HR data, providing employers with real-time information that can inform a more intelligence-led approach to business decision-making. Payroll systems that deliver insight as well as a good service for both employers and employees will undoubtedly gain long-term business intuition. Because of this, forward thinking organisations need to embrace a payroll system that can provide an optimum payroll service for employees across all departments and local market. Investing in a global payroll system that encompasses the individual needs of an organisation is the answer, but how can global payroll providers ensure that multinational businesses comply with all in-country legislations?
Retaining talent and providing the best service for employees is paramount for business leaders – something that has been fueled largely by the advent of new HR technologies. Studies show that if employees are not being paid correctly and on time, the knock-on effect on retention is significant. Employers that do not harness the benefits of global payroll will consequently fall behind in the competitive race, with business penalties spanning the short and long term.
With an increasing number of business leaders starting to understand the benefits that can be reaped from investing in global payroll, how can we expect global payroll to progress in the future? Below are three industry predictions:
1. Improved Employee Engagement
With Generation Z about to enter the workforce, businesses need to look ahead and think seriously about how to cater to the needs and requirements of these digital natives – and that includes playing to their payroll preferences. Generation Z grew up with technology, is comfortable using it, and has come to expect it in the workplace. If businesses can’t cater to these needs, they will struggle to retain the best talent within this workforce bracket.
SD Worx expects to see an increasing number of built-in employee engagement functions within global payroll systems over the coming year, which will include functionalities that improve and enhance the employee experience. These functionalities will be tailored to their users – self-service and user-friendly tools for Generation Zs and Millennials, for example. There will also be an increase in measurement and reporting tools that enable close monitoring of workforce experiences in a way that can then be acted upon to boost employee engagement.
2. Deeper HR Integration
Forward thinking organisations will begin to integrate payroll with wider reward and recognition benefits to create a single, comprehensive system. With the line between work and home life becoming increasingly blurred amidst the ‘always-on’ culture, businesses need to ensure that they have the right technologies and systems in place to help combat this and deliver positive workforce experiences. Payroll systems that incorporate add-on rewards and wellbeing benefits will therefore become increasingly commonplace in coming years.
3. More Data-Driven Predictions
As mentioned above, modern payroll systems now provide much more than a monthly back office function – with the right solution, they can deliver on-going business critical insight into an organisation. The desire for global business insight is increasing year-on-year, and if managed in an optimal, systemised way, accurate payroll data will increasingly begin to provide the source of this much sought after visibility. When combined with other data sets such as employee performance and talent management, the collective insight this delivers can enable business leaders to act upon information in a reactive way, but also in a predictive context to support future planning. Key examples include being able to better identify employee attrition and absence patterns in order to correctly forecast recruiting needs and save costs.
Global payroll providers not only ensure that employers are complying with global legislations, they also guarantee that local requirements are met too. Local legislation frequently changes – like Australia adopting Single Touch Payroll this year, for example – and many large organisations have already been the target of fines due to breaking compliance with local payroll requirements. Every country had different regulations, and it is the job of a global payroll provider to tailor their offering with the needs of each organisation.
The future is often uncertain at times, but global payroll with local capabilities can improve forecasting and planning, giving the business a strong and more insight-led direction. It is clear that the growing trend for global payroll with local capabilities will remain a key business requirement as businesses expand internationally and the world becomes ever more globalised.
Paycor Announces Workforce Insights to Provide HR Leaders with Deep Insights and Real-Time Analysis of Employee Data
New Data Visualization Solution Extracts Rich and Actionable Insights from People Data to Bring Valuable, C-Level Insights to Key Business Stakeholders
CINCINNATI – April 11, 2017 – Human Capital Management company Paycor today announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders. This new tool provides highly interactive dashboards that allow users to explore workforce issues and discover trends, so they can identify and solve business problems more quickly and effectively.
According to Bersin by Deloitte Research, there was a 120 percent growth in companies correlating people data to business performance in 2016. Merely mining HR data is no longer enough. It has become an operational business imperative for today’s organizations to extract actionable insights informed by data. Paycor’s Workforce Insights is a new, modern way for small to mid-sized businesses to meet this need.
Workforce Insights is a highly graphical and aggregated interactive data visualization solution that helps track and successfully manage business issues. This new solution instantly identifies key insights without having to import or export data, and provides actionable, results-driven charts detailing information compiled across HR, time, payroll, benefits, talent acquisition and onboarding data, so users can spend less time searching and more time focused on solving important business issues. Customers can easily tailor dashboards to fit their unique needs for a full view of their business. Users can take actions directly from the dashboards.
Key benefits of Workforce Insights include:
Identify actionable insights – Data from HR, time, payroll, benefits, talent acquisition and onboarding allows companies to identify issues, uncover correlating patterns and solve people problems such as performance issues by department or location.
Paycor is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, but has sales representatives and offices across the country. To learn more about Workforce Insights and how Paycor can help your business, please visit https://resources.paycor.com/workforce-insights.
“We built Workforce Insights based on feedback from CEOs, CFOs and HR directors of small to mid-sized businesses across all industries,” said Zhen Tao, Chief Technology Officer of Paycor. “Workforce Insights provides HR and operational leaders with a holistic view of their people data and delivers valuable, actionable insights to key business stakeholders, further demonstrating the true value HR technology brings to the organization. This solution is a data revolution for companies looking to improve the way they understand their people data and use such insights to drive operational improvements.”
Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 31,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize the management of their most valuable asset – their people. Paycor’s personalized support and user-friendly technology ensure that key business processes, including recruiting, onboarding, reporting, timekeeping, compliance and payroll, run smoothly. Paycor’s people operations solutions are recommended by today’s most innovative brokers, bankers, and CPAs. Learn how Paycor can transform your business by starting a conversation at http://www.paycor.com.