4 Ways To Transform Talent Management Success With AI

Artificial Intelligence in HR

The technological revolution continues to gather pace. Investment in AI is expected to grow by over 300% in 2017 compared to 2016, according to research consultancy Forrester in its report : Predictions 2017 : Artificial Intelligence Will Drive The Insights Revolution. Used effectively, automation and AI empower employers to create effective talent management strategies. Here are just four for 2017:

Future Workforce

Tapping into the gig economy : Workforce models are evolving to encompass gig economy, contractors and part-time workers within traditional recruitment workforce planning systems. In the UK alone, one million people are now agency workers but there is a clear distinction between agency and the ‘open talent’ workers of the gig economy. Evaluate the source of your most successful employees with recruitment analytics and expand your talent pool to incorporate gig economy workers on vital roles. 70% of gig economy professionals have over 10 years of experience in their market and will prove to be a valuable resource as skills in sectors such as tech and engineering become more scarce.

Recognising the disconnect : The growing popularity of a freelance career is expected to lead to a fall in employee loyalty but it goes beyond contingent workers. Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2017 survey found that, while nearly a quarter of employees consider work/life balance important, only 13% of employees feel the same way. Recognising the disconnect that exists between HR and its employees is essential to improve engagement. The Institute of Leadership and Management refers to this disconnect as a ‘leadership lag’. Measuring employee retention levels through data analysis will provide insight into the success of your talent management strategy and enable HR to deliver change.

Engaging candidates : Chatbots are predicted to play an increasingly interactive role in hiring. Jobseeking company Fastjob trialled chatbot Mya earlier this year. Mya is designed to take over 75% of the recruitment process, utilising a combination of AI and natural language processing (NLP). Early trials indicate that candidates who engaged with Mya were over three times more likely to be contacted by a hiring manager. Chatbots are also considered more suited for mobile than apps. In a further development, the Financial Times also reported last month on robot hiring manager, Matlda. Still in the research stage, Matlda is designed to shortlist and interview job applicants. Successful hiring means engaging with technology. Companies choosing to stay with the familiarity of manual recruitment systems will fail to attract high achievers. HR technology is the first step ensure your company is poised to compete in a candidate driven market.

talent

Monitoring wellbeing : A focus on workplace wellbeing will be central to successful talent management in 2017. For instance, the global workplace is facing a sleep deprivation crisis. In the UK alone, sleep deprivation costs an estimated £40 billion per year, or 200,000 working days, according to RAND Europe. The US loses 2.28% of its GDP – up to $411 billion and 1.5 million days – due to sleep deprived employees. As wearables begin to incorporate AI, HR can tap into technology to monitor sleep patterns and implement policies to improve employee wellbeing. 56% of people would be happy to allow employers to collect data from wearable technology provided there was a related benefit, although it should be noted that 41% don’t trust their employer not to use the data against them. Implementing a clear policy for ensuring the ethical and confidential use of the data gathered is essential.

Writing in Harvard Business Review Andrew Ng observes that ‘if a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.’ Engaging with automation and AI, empowers HR to rapidly respond to and engage with ongoing changes in the workforce and labour market. HR technology is your first step towards achieving that goal in 2017.

Advorto’s recruitment software provides workflow and structure across the entire hiring process, offering a dynamic database of candidates and analytics. Used by some of the world’s leading organisations, it provides a straightforward first step into HR analytics and big data.


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Growth fears: How can businesses align business growth with employee satisfaction?

Written by Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President (EVP) International at Epicor Software, specially for The HR Tech Weekly® blog.

Happy Employees

When a business experiences sudden growth, it creates a myriad of emotions from joy and excitement to dread and fear. The progressive mind-set that stimulates growth can inadvertently cause us to be less sensitive to the negative emotions that might emerge as a result. Because we are creatures of habit, it is probably not surprising that some of the increased complexity and ambiguity can be quite unsettling. Paradoxically, this emergent fear can start to hinder growth, as leaders pick up on it and start taking preventative measures to avoid damaging customer relations, reducing service quality, and minimize the mounting pressure on operations.

The reality is that progress is part of doing business, and with some careful planning and forward-thinking, the growth period does not have to be ridden with pain. The right IT infrastructure can help to facilitate some of these big changes and make the process a lot smoother.

Recent research conducted by Epicor has explored the different approaches organisations take to growth. It’s been found that the three priorities tend to be in turnover and sales, profits, and expansion into new industries and product areas. The outlook for 2016 is positive; 70% of respondents expect growth in 2016, and 79% have made (or are making) investments in integrated IT infrastructure as a key to supporting growth.

But what happens if the growth is unforeseen, or experienced as a surge? Leaders can find themselves on their back foot if they have not developed the appropriate skillset to handle the new changes.

Rob Morris, Head of Innovation and Thought Leadership at YSC, the premier global leadership development firm, believes that hiring for and developing the right skillset for growth goes a long way in dealing with the excessive demands placed on the workplace.

“Although we plan for growth in linear and rational ways, it often looks more like chaos in practice. When growth happens at such an unpredictable pace and scale, you don’t usually hire for that growth. As a result, you will not have the people resources to deliver on the new scale that you have created for yourself. The downside is people end up doing more than they expected, and often outside of the roles they were hired or trained for.”

A growing business can hinder employee satisfaction

A risk associated with business progress is employees becoming increasingly disengaged in the workplace due to heavier workloads, pressures, and deadlines. According to the Epicor research, 43% of leaders are concerned that as their business grows, workloads may increase to a level that places too much pressure on staff, prompting key personnel to leave the organisation.

Morris believes that a key predictor of job satisfaction is whether employees find ‘meaning’ in their work and warns that an employee’s personal values and missions can become misaligned with the company’s goals once the company starts growing.

“If I am asked to do things outside of the boundaries with which I joined the company, suddenly I may be less committed to it. If employees have less of a connection with the tasks involved or when they take on too many new tasks, too fast then it creates job dissatisfaction.”

It is vital to have the right infrastructure in place to support employees during growth. If technology can be used to ease the strain of increased workloads, employees can even find themselves empowered by growth. They may, for example, find themselves working on a wider variety of tasks, working closely with leadership to drive growth, and gaining more access to corporate knowledge if their roles are facilitated by the right technology.

How can businesses reduce the ‘pain’ of growth and plan ahead?

Any big change in a business – especially a surge in growth – can be disruptive and can filter through the organisation. According to Morris, this collective expression of pain typically manifests as resistance or disengagement. But businesses can get ahead of this curve by planning for any potential problems and ensuring they have enough resources to cater to increasing demands by the workforce[1].

The Epicor survey findings revealed that the top two stimulants for growth are ‘technology leadership’ (40%) and ‘skilled workforce’ (39%). This can be a two-edged sword. Organisations that are stuck with legacy systems might find themselves falling behind, unable to adapt to new business processes, or meet the demands of employees who expect modern technology in order to do their jobs. On the other hand, the organisations that leap onto new technology, will find themselves ahead of their competitors, ready to embrace new challenges.

A key facilitator in managing this process smoothly is to make investments in the right technology as the “demand for quick communication and transaction” increases[2].

Many progressive businesses are already doing this – according to the Epicor research 79% of businesses have made or are making investments in integrated IT infrastructure. Increased data visibility, for example through the use of the latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, can allow businesses to perform in-depth analysis of key KPIs, so that they can manage costings and profitability more confidently. Customer relationships can likewise continue to prosper during the growth period with agile and scalable ERP and manufacturing execution systems (MES) that meet their demands.

According to Morris, employees need “emotional support to withstand the pressures of growing.” He also recommends “fostering a robust culture so people can be resilient throughout the growth surge.” It’s clear that this culture can be more robust if people are supported by the technology they need to do their jobs. Although it seems counter-intuitive, e.g., deploying technology in support of an emotional challenge, investment in the right IT infrastructure is therefore essential, and will help maintain the emotional well-being of employees throughout this transitionary period.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2013/apr/22/growing-a-business-efficiently

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/the-elevator/12095150/steps-to-business-growth.html

About the Author 

Sabby Gill - EVP - EpicorSabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In the role of executive vice president, International, Gill is responsible for operations including sales, professional services, and field marketing, with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was senior vice president of International Sales for IGT, a gaming technology company. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.


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3 Ways to Enhance Talent Attraction & Retention through Corporate Philanthropy

Millennials Valunteering

Deeply rooted in today’s society and demonstrated time and time again, Millennials and Generation Z is a need to give back in more personal ways, make a change and find meaning in their work life. Some of the world’s biggest companies like GE and Walt Disney are fulfilling that need through corporate, socially conscious giving programs. But, how does corporate philanthropy really impact attraction and retention?

Corporate philanthropy enhances the employer brand

Millennials make up 75% of the workforce making their needs and desires much more influential when it comes to employer branding strategy. Project ROI found 80% of surveyed Millennials want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society. Over half would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation. Even from a consumer standpoint, today’s society favors employers that make corporate philanthropy a priority and a part of its core values.

Engagement has become more than simply donating to whatever cause an employer chooses. By taking a strategic approach to corporate philanthropy companies can fuel involvement, personal satisfaction and even grow employees’ skills. From giving employees the chance to choose which charities to give back to, to incorporating skills-based volunteer opportunities, involving employees in the philanthropy process will greatly impact the bottom line.

Corporate philanthropy enhances employee wellness

Every employer wants happy employees, but happiness isn’t the kind of metric you can track. What we do know is, whether happiness is caused by their work or not, happy employees are more productive, satisfied and engaged in their work.

A recent Robert Half survey found 61% of U.S. workers who are involved in philanthropic activities outside of work feel it positively impacts their overall wellness, allows them to find a better work-life balance and it makes them more effective in their work.

Employers can make these effects even more impactful by having a corporate philanthropic program that lets employees put in their social awareness time on the job. This is a precious engagement opportunity that clearly has the potential to increase productivity and satisfaction, ultimately leading to increased retention and a favorable EB.

Corporate philanthropy ties employees to the values of the company

72% of Millennials feel a job where they can make an impact is important to their happiness and 58% would take a pay cut to work for a company with values aligned with their own. When it comes to accepting an offer, candidates prefer to work for an employer that engages in cause work.

From recruitment to engagement to retention, corporate philanthropy marries social responsibility with talent attraction and retention and then some, providing employees outlets that allow them to contribute back to the world while developing their talents, with the support of their employer. Money is an important deciding factor in the career choices people make, but the true motivation lies in how connected they are to their job and the company they work for.

Time continues to change for the better in today’s workforce. By cultivating an environment that embraces a need to find meaning in their work, employers are forced to change or modify their corporate philanthropy strategies in a way that not only makes employees work harder and gets candidates more interested, but directly impacts core values and the bottom line too. How does your company’s philanthropic efforts enhance the talent lifecycle?

About the Author 

Nita KirbyAs Director, Client Solutions at CyberGrants, Nita Kirby is about providing philanthropic strategic development, creating management processes, troubleshooting and ensuring client satisfaction and customer relationship management oversight.

CyberGrants is a software company that provides employee engagement and grants management software to connect the world’s givers to those who can benefit from them the most.


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What is Financial Wellness?

Written by  John Tabb | Originally published at Questis

Many products proclaim themselves to fall under the Financial Wellness category. This post covers the characteristics of a true Financial Wellness Program.

According to Tom Rath and Jim Harter, leaders of workplace well-being research for Gallup, financial wellness is defined as “effectively managing your economic life.”

This simple concept encompasses many factors, including:

  • Keeping spending within one’s means
  • Being financially prepared for emergencies
  • Having access to the information and tools necessary to make good financial decisions
  • Having a plan for the future

The underlying concept of financial wellness is financial security, one of the most common goals reported by employees across all sectors. However, very few report having access to the kinds of financial services and benefits that they feel would be the most helpful. This sentiment is echoed by employers in a 2014 report from the Center for Financial Services Innovation. Most of their financial health offerings consist of limited employee assistance programs designed for crisis situations, comprising just a small part of an employee’s total health benefits package. In many cases, these programs aren’t included in the benefits package at all. What’s missing is a more comprehensive approach to financial fitness, one that helps employees build lasting financial strength and stability, leading to a more solid organization.

A Holistic Approach

Employer-based financial wellness is often seen as an addendum to other benefits, but the financial health of employees should be viewed through the comprehensive lens of other health and wellness programs that employers offer. These services don’t just take care of employees when they’re sick, but also work to prevent them from getting sick in the first place with fitness, smoking cessation, diet and lifestyle programs. Financial wellness programs should work in the same way, offering holistic support and advice to employees so they can meet short-term needs while working toward long-range goals.

Each employee has different financial priorities and obligations, so a successful, holistic wellness program requires solutions tailored to an employee’s unique circumstances. This starts with digital engagement, interviews and examination of employees’ pay and benefits records to establish a complete picture of their finances. The aim is to understand employees’ goals when it comes to paying taxes, purchasing a home, establishing and maintaining good credit, healthcare, emergency preparedness, education costs, paying down debt, saving for retirement and other parts of their financial life.

The second part of a holistic approach to financial wellness is understanding the concepts of good financial health and having the right tools to act on that knowledge. This means employees not only need education, but also the opportunity to put this information into action. For some employees, this simply means using software to keep track of financial goals. For others, having a financial coach or adviser to review their finances and offer suggestions does more to keep them accountable and engaged with their goals.

wellness-figure-2-1

Benefits of Employer-Based Financial Wellness

The value of a good wellness solution is felt across the organization, from employees to management and other decision makers.

For Employees

A high level of financial wellness gives employees the ability to make better, more informed decisions and manage a successful, long- term strategy. When employees have acomprehensive understanding of their finances, they can create effective strategies for dividing, and potentially automating, their paychecks between bill, savings, investments and other commitments. Employees will be equipped with the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to develop and support successful financial outcomes.

In fact, studies show that people who regularly plan ahead for emergencies and other irregular expenses are 10 times more likely to be considered financially healthy than those who don’t, regardless of income or other demographics. Experts point to this as evidence that positive financial habits have more impact on a household’s financial well-being than an increase in income. A report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that a lack of disposable income is one of the most commonly cited reasons that employees give for not participating in retirement plans and other employer-provided financial benefits. However, if employees can make more effective use of their current funds, they may find the income to put toward their future.

For Employers

Employers feel the effects of their staff’s financial health as well. Employees in stressful financial circumstances are less productive and less likely to remain at their jobs. Pat Milligan, Senior Partner at Mercer, found that 22 percent of employees report missing at least one day of work to handle financial problems, 15 percent reported spending at least 20 hours a month working on personal financial tasks at work, and a full 20 percent have had to resign from jobs due to financial stress. And according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, one day of employee absence costs businesses an average of $348 in lost productivity. From that angle, ensuring that workers are free from personal financial stressors can boost a company’s profitability.

Wellness-Figure-1

Unfortunately, many companies, including those polled for the report conducted by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, don’t realize their need for a broader approach to their employees’ financial fitness until workers become reliant on emergency EAP services, increasing the costs of these programs and jeopardizing the company’s ability to keep them going. Financial wellness can help companies fight against unnecessary expenditures due to absenteeism, lost productivity and benefit cost overruns, allowing businesses to expand their benefit options to include:

  • Programs that enhance money management skills and help employees create and build assets
  • Newsletters and other periodic publications
  • Investment, retirement, college, emergency and health care planning seminars
  • Debt- and credit-related programs

A more extensive list of benefits can also help businesses attract and retain top-notch staff, as employees who are financially content are more likely to stay with the company for the long haul.

The road to financial health is an ongoing journey. Once financial wellness has been achieved, both employees and employers have a role to play in its continued progress. Establishing and cultivating financial fitness requires individual persistence, as well as a supportive environment with accessible, high-quality financial services. This will not only allow companies to realize benefits such as increased loyalty, higher productivity, and lower costs, but enable employees to meet the challenge of balancing responsible living today with wise planning for tomorrow.

Article sources:
[1] Jennifer Robison, The Business Case for Wellbeing, Gallup Business Journal
http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/139373/Business-Case-Wellbeing.aspx
[2] The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Employers
https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~scholz/Research/Financial_Education.pdf
[3] Financial Wellness at Work, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201408_cfpb_report_financial-wellness-at-work.pdf
[4] Pat Milligan, Driving Financial Well-being: A New Multidimensional Approach for Organizations, Mercer
[5] Aliza Gutman, Understanding and Improving Consumer Financial Health in America, Center for Financial Services Innovation

Source: Questis – What is Financial Wellness