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    Workday Envy

    This week I had he chance to attend a webinar from Workday centered on the annual Benefits Enrollment process.  It was an excellent session, that showcased Workday's cool user interface, intuitive design, and powerful features. Let's just say I left the webinar with an extreme case of 'system envy'.

    For the last few years myself and a colleague in HR have been responsible for ensuring the smooth running of our organization's annual Open Enrollment, which has been done entirely online for four or five years.  In fact, online or web-enabled benefits enrollment is not that novel a concept any more.  If you went to an organization that was still passing out paper enrollment forms, you would probably be surprised.

    But Workday takes the process a major step further, with their concept of the 'Workday Benefits Network'.  Essentially, Workday will (for a fee) take over the responsibility of creating the interfaces from your HR system, to the benefits providers for the purposes of enrolling employees in plans and recording changes. I can't begin to describe how much time, effort and cost we have endured in developing and maintaining (on our own) the necessary file feeds from our HR system to our various providers.  It is an annual exercise it seems, us tweaking and modifying our custom code to meet the providers new or changed formats, waiting to hear back from their tech staffs, and us making still more modifications.

    Frankly, it is a low-value, behind the scenes activity that is important, but invisible to our employees and managers.

    I would love for our ERP provider to take ownership of all of those processes, but I doubt that would ever happen.

    Can we switch to Workday now?  



    Your HR Director should blog

    Either I don't know the right Google search terms, or almost no HR Directors or VPs of HR are publicly blogging.

    This seems odd to me, for in these times of forecasted talent shortages, fierce competition for skilled workers, and difficulty in keeping your best assets, the VP of HR really should assume the role of 'Head Talent Marketer'.

    So many of the largest consumer brands have invested significant time, resources, and funds in corporate marketing-type blogs aimed at sharing and conversing with customers, prospects, and media.  Some well-known examples:

    General Motors - GM Fast Lane

    Kodak - 1000 Words Blog

    Delta Airlines - Under the Wing

    All of these blogs do a great job of shaping a message, helping to define a brand, and connect with their various audiences.

    Why wouldn't this work for a VP of HR?  A blog led by the Head Talent Marketer and supplemented by other thought leaders of the organization I think would be an important addition to your recruitment efforts. The leader in the Recruitment efforts can and should be the biggest cheerleader for the organization. 

    Why is this a great place to work?  Here are some incredible things that are going on here. Look at some of the superstars you'll get a chance to work with if you come on board. Those are just a few topics that the Head Talent Marketer can address.

    I can't be the only one who thinks this is a decent idea, so my question is - where are the VP of HR blogs?

    If you know of one - send me the link or leave a comment.




    Welcome to Wiki

    Today we launched the RIT Human Resource Development Faculty wiki (internally we are using the term Community of Practice).  Access the wiki at rit-hrd.pbwiki.com (by invitation only, if you are an RIT HRD faculty member send me an e-mail if you did get not your invite).  We envision the wiki as a resource and tool for faculty to share best practices, learn from each other, and get to know each other a little better as well. 

    This project was started by I comment I made back in the spring to Professor Donna Dickson, after receiving one of her 'Dear Faculty, here is some information you may find useful' e-mails. My comment was simply, 'I wonder if a wiki would be a better way to communicate that type of information', as well as provide a collaborative, dynamic, knowledge platform, you know all the classic benefits of wiki. 

    Once I set up a brief demo using the awesome PbWiki product she jumped right in and supported the project.  Over the summer we met several times to discuss the goals for the wiki, the basic structure, and some ways to give us the best chance for adoption and success.

    Here is the what the home page looks like - really clean, simple, and easy to navigate, hallmarks of PbWiki (click the image to see it in full size).

    I am a huge proponent of wiki technology, both in the classroom and out as an enabler or platform for enhanced collaboration, knowledge sharing, and improved productivity.  I could post on and on about wiki, but for this post, I am content to acknowledge the HRD wiki launch and also say thanks to Professor Dickson for her support and enthusiasm. 

    And also thanks to PbWiki which I recommend highly.

    The wiki will only be as good as the contributors, and I am confident that our group is just the type to embrace the Community of Practice.



    Recruiting and Twitter


    A student asked me about how companies are using Twitter for recruiting. There are really several differennt aspects of using Twitter for recruiting that I see for the corporate or professional recruiter:

    Communicating or Advertising your opening

    1. Straight up adverts - Tweet something like 'Hi - we are looking for a Java developer - details here -  www.job.comp.com. This might be the least effective method, but it has an advantage of being quick, simple, and free. Realistically, the success of this approach depends in large part, to the maturity and size of your Twitter network, which I will expand upon in a follow up post.

    2.Use TwitHire to generate your job posting tweet. TwitHire gives you a simple form where you fill in Job Title, company name and URL to the job, then posts the Tweet directly to Twitter from your Twitter account.  The nice thing about using TwitHire is the Tweets are readily identifiable as Job posts. Here is an example (click on the image to see it full size):

    3. If your Corporate Job Site or other recruiting site (like Monster) can generate an RSS feed, you can use Twitterfeed to 'push' the new job postings via RSS directly to your Twitter account, or to a dedicated 'Company Jobs' Twitter account. Each time a new posting is made on the source site, a new Tweet will be sent with a link to the job advertisement.

    Using your Network on Twitter

    4.Simply Tweet - 'Hey, I am looking to hire a few great engineers, contact me if you are interested'.  Leveraging the folks who already follow you on Twitter can give you a great source of candidates. Again, the size and maturity of your network is key here.

    Using Twitter Search

    5. Twitter Search can be a useful way of uncovering potential candidates, or at a minimum contacts that you may be able to network with to build your Twitter reach.  Twitter search is just that, the ability to search the public steam of Tweets for words or phrases. Here is an example I found searching for the words 'job' and 'java' (click on the image to see it full size):

    Twitter is fast becoming an important resource for recruiters, particularly ones recruiting in technical and graphical design fields. 

    What are some other creative ways you can leverage Twitter in your recruiting?


    Where is my choir?

    Since I have been researching and teaching my HR Technology class I have tested a really large number of web services, software programs and concepts in my preparation for class. 

    Certainly many are the most obvious types of products that would have direct application to the study of HR Technology, vendors  like SuccessFactors, Halogen, Taleo, and SpectrumHR come to mind. 

    But I found that as the class content started to evolve and mature I introduced Twitter, Second Life, Socialtext, PbWiki and SelectMinds.

    And I have even spent time on the 'utility' type Web 2.0 services, while not really designed for HR applications, could certainly support many HR initiatives.  Some of my favorites are Zoho, Box, Meebo, FlickR,and Slideshare.

    And like any good worker, I have tried to educate our internal HR folks and other colleagues on some of these tools and services.  And while I fully understand that we are knee-deep in the muck of a train wreck of an Oracle R12 upgrade (a whole other story for a different post), I have been really disappointed in the general lack of interest in exploring quite frankly any of these tools in our own organization.

    The couple of folks I could convince to get on Twitter are sure it is a goof.  Two different attempts at kick-starting some internal wiki development are stalled (I still post to it, I am stubborn), and you would have thought I committed a crime when I told an internal training class that the presentation was on SlideShare and I would gladly give them the link.

    (Here they are by the way - I know they are ugly have not had time to make them over)

    Irc Training Slides
    View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: irecruitment recruitment)

    I know, people are busy, don't bother them with superfluous garbage like Twitter and Yammer.  Leave Facebook for the Admissions department.  I wonder if this organization will ever be ready to embrace the new Web 2.0 world.

    And I also wonder how long it makes sense to keep preaching, when there seems to be no choir?