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    Entries in HR Tech (158)

    Friday
    May202016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 246 - Do you need an HR system?

     HR Happy Hour 246 - Do You Need an HR System? What Leaders Need to Know

    Hosts: Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese

    Guest: Dave Fiacco, PeopleStrategy

    Listen HERE

    First, Steve and Trish are THRILLED to welcome our new partner and sponsor, Virgin Pulse to the HR Happy Hour show!  Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, designs technology that cultivates good lifestyle habits for your employees. Please visit them at www.VirginPulse.com for more information.  

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish talked with Dave Fiacco, President and COO of PeopleStrategy. As President and Chief Operating Officer of PeopleStrategy, David Fiacco sets the bar high and ensures the company upholds its promise to deliver exceptional solutions coupled with extraordinary service.

    Dave talked with us about a topic that leaders everywhere struggle with.  Do you need a HR system?  Do you need to upgrade your system?  If so, how do you know and what are the steps?  Some of the issues we tackled on the show:

    -What considerations should HR think about during the process of moving from using Excel or other home grown tools to an actual HR system?

    -How do HR leaders (or other leaders) decide if a suite or point solution is what they need?

    -How does the type of solution you choose tie into pricing?

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below.

    This was a fun and interesting show, thanks again to Dave Fiacco for joining us this week.

    Remember to download and subscribe the the HR Happy Hour on iTunes, or using your favorite podcast app for iOS or Android - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to never miss an episode.

    Wednesday
    May182016

    The secret to buying software

    Indulge me, if you will, with a short quote from The Book of Basketball:

    (Isiah Thomas, NBA legend with the Detroit Pistons):

    "The secret of basketball is that it’s not about basketball."

    Here’s what Isiah Thomas meant: the guys who have the best numbers don’t always make the best team. There is more to winning than just the raw talent (although that plays a huge role).

    What Isiah learned while following those Lakers and Celtics teams around: it wasn’t about basketball.Those teams were loaded with talented players, yes, but that’s not the only reason they won. They won because they liked each other, knew their roles, ignored statistics, and valued winning over everything else." 

    What does the 'secret' of winning basketball have to do with 'real' work and more specifically, enterprise software?

     

    It is that more and more the 'secret' of making the right software solution purchase decision for your organization has less and less to do with the traditional measurements - system features, fit-gap analysis, and on-paper capability; and has more and more to do with the your mutual vision for the future, and the ability to execute on that shared vision by your potential software provider.

     

    Solution capabilities, certainly at the enterprise level, are evolving and expanding faster than ever. With cloud-based software deployment, shorter enhancement and upgrade cycles, and the comparative ease for organizations who wish to adopt new these capabilities to be able to derive value from them - the actual list of capabilities or 'yes' responses to an RFP questionnaire matter less than ever before.

     

    No, what matters today, and will likely matter even more in the next 5 years, is your ability to assess a potential software providers ability to 'see' around the corner, to articulate an idea of what will matter most for work, workplaces, and employees, and present more than just a list of software features, but rather expand upon a vision of how they (and you), will navigate the next few years of a working world that will almost certainly look much different than the one we live in today.

     

    Think I am wrong about this? That 'features' matter less than vision?

     

    Ok, think about this.

     

    If say three years ago you went out to collect bids for a new enterprise-wide performance management system, you would have challenged your potential vendors to show you features like goal alignment, cascading goal assignment, proportional competency evaluation, the connection of performance rating scores to compensation plans, and more. You would have made final evaluations not only on these points, but also on how easily you could migrate your existing annual performance management process to this new system.

    Fast forward to today, where we are entering into a new world of employee performance management.

    Today, if you were again to collect bids for a new enterprise-wide performance management system you likely would be looking for features like real-time feedback, peer-to-peer recognition, the ability to do 'scoreless' reviews, and a connection of the performance tool not to your comp system, but to your enterprise collaboration tools.

    The main features you would be chasing would be very, very different.

    That's why the secret to buying software for the organization is that it isn't about the software - at least not as it exists at a fixed point in time.

    If three years ago your chosen vendor for performance technology had the vision, and the ability to adapt to the new world of performance management, then you likely would not need to chase another new solution to meet your (and the workplace's) changing needs. But if they didn't? And they were really only or at least primarily concerned with checking 'yes' to every question on the RFP?

    Then three years later you are left with a technology that can really only support yesterday's process.

    Don't get caught up on features. At least don't make features the only thing you think about when evaluating technology.

    Features are cheap. They are easily copied. And they fall out of fashion faster than you think.

    Vision?

    Much harder to come by. And much more valuable.

    The secret to buying software is that it's not about the software.

     

    Thursday
    May052016

    HRE Column: Five Ways to Succeed with HR Technology

    Here is my semi-frequent reminder and pointer for blog readers that I also write a monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online called Inside HR Tech and that archives of which can be found here.

    As usual, the Inside HR Tech column is about, well, HR Tech, (sort of like I used to write about all the time on this blog), and it was inspired by the planning process for the upcoming HR Technology Conference, (October 4-7, 2016 in Chicago).

    A big part of the Conference program is set of sessions that we call "Customer Success", which we launched for the first time in 2015. The Customer Success content was so well-received and highly attended last year that we are bringing it back again in 2016 (stay tuned for more details, the full agenda for HR Tech 2016 will be posted soon). So as I sat down to write my latest HR Executive Magazine column, which I wanted to be about the Conference, I kept coming back to this content and the larger ideas of Customer Success with HR tech.

    Here is an excerpt of the HR Exec column titled 'Five Ways to Succeed with HR Tech'

    Thankfully for me, I have almost completed the program for the 19th annual HR Technology Conference and Expo®to be held Oct. 4 through 7 in Chicago. And, as an aside, I am really thrilled that the conference is returning to Chicago, as it will be great to be back in such a fantastic city after several years' absence.

    One question I always get during the program development for HR Tech is "What is the main theme for the conference this year?" And each year I usually give the same type of answer: There isn't a singular theme, but rather there are several sub-themes that seem to permeate and influence the development of the program, and thus become the "big ideas" for the overall event. But one idea that I know for sure will once again feature prominently at the event, (as it did in 2015), is the concept of "customer success," i.e., how organizations can make the most out of their HR technology investments. I'd like to talk about some of these ideas around customer success, as they have been on my mind quite a bit as I finalize the conference program.

    What are some of the key considerations for HR leaders and their organizations when attempting to make the best decisions to maximize their investments in HR tech? Here are five ideas that we will be talking about at the conference this year.

    Do your homework.

    A huge part of succeeding with HR technology is in knowing where to start, and that's where educating yourself about the HR-technology market and landscape factors in. There are numerous sources of information about HR technology for the HR leader -- attending the HR Tech Conference being one of them -- and investments you can make to prepare and research the market. Of course, there are plenty of other sources of HR tech market and solution information, and we will help conference-goers better understand these various information sources as well as the landscape of the HR tech marketplace overall. This market is moving so fast and has so many players that HR leaders need a plan and an approach to market education and research that we hope to provide.

    Make sure the numbers add up.

    For years, new HR-technology investments were justified by productivity gains and reduced HR-systems costs. But after many years of implementing HR systems, your organization could be at a crossroads, wondering what opportunities for savings and increased efficiency remain. You should also be aware there are additional opportunities for savings and it will take a new approach to serving the business and thinking about IT working together with HR that will drive strategic advantage. At the conference, HR leaders will have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in how non-HR and boards of directors evaluate HR-technology-investment-capital decisions, the metrics that work in moving an HR-change initiative forward, how to get the funding for those big change initiatives that HR needs and how understanding the key HR technologies will propel your next HR business case.

    Read the rest at HR Executive online...

    You know you are intrigued about what ways 3 - 5 are, right? Well, hop over to HRE to find out.

    If you liked the piece you can sign up over at HRE to get the Inside HR Tech Column emailed to you each month. There is no cost to subscribe, in fact, I may even come over and take your dog out for a walk or re-seal your driveway if you do sign up for the monthly email.

    Have a great day!

    Thursday
    Apr282016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 244 - Global HR Technology Trends from HR Tech China

    HR Happy Hour 244 - Global HR Technology Trends from HR Tech China

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Madeline Laurano

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour show, join hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane as they talk with Madeline Laurano, co-founder of Aptitude Research Partners.   Fresh from the HR Technology Conference in Zhuhai, China, the three talk about the trends in HR technology and how they are similar around the globe.  

    Specifically, the conversation covers having Talent Acquisition as a priority and the Chinese focus on services.  With that focus, there is great interest in acquiring and using the best and most relevant HR technologies.  We also talked about the way that China officials brand their city and the benefits US organizations could gain by having that focus.  

    We also talk about the way that China uses social media in their organizations.  The perception is that they ban most of the sites we use in the US.  And while that may be true, they have alternatives that may be just as effective.  In fact, the US contingent all embraced WeChat and loved it.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widger player below:

     

    This was a really fun and lively show, and we hope you give it a listen.

    And many thanks to everyone at LRP Publications and China Star for putting on the HR Technology China conference and for inviting us to participate as speakers.

    Reminder: You can listen and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, and all the major podcast player apps for iOS and Android - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a new episode.

    Wednesday
    Apr272016

    Who makes better hiring decisions, man or machine?

    Despite two-plus decades of innovation, billions of dollars spent by organizations on HR/Recruiting technologies, and (adding in this one), 139,927,434 blog posts on the topic, hiring still remains stubbornly difficult, is often lengthy and costly, and all too often results in disaster.

    There are potentially dozens of individual reasons why this sad state of affairs persists in 2016, but I want to talk about just one in this post - the question of whether or not hiring could be improved if we relied upon people (mainly hiring managers) less, and machines, (automated job fit assessments and similar instruments) more. The source of the rest of the data in this post is from a 2015 NBER Working Paper titled Discretion in Hiring by Mitchell Hoffman, Lisa B. Kahn, and Danielle Li.

    In the paper's abstract, the authors set out to answer a simple question:

    "Who should make hiring decisions? We propose an empirical test for assessing whether firms should rely on hard metrics such as job test scores or grant managers discretion in making hiring decisions."
    A pretty good question for sure.

     

    Who (or as we shall see soon what), should have the final, or at least the most influential voice in determining which candidate to hire for a given role?

    According to the authors, hiring is hard and prone to error for two primary reasons. One, resumes, profiles, even interviews are usually not perfectly complete and able to reveal with a high degree of confidence and accuracy who is the best candidate for the job. And two, the people the firm entrusts to make hiring decisions are simply not that good at making these decisions.


    They start with imperfect information, then apply (sometimes subconsciously), there own views, preferences, and biases that may not be congruent to the organization's goals to the decision process.

    Bad information + inaccurate, possibly biased decision makers = way too many bad hires.

    So what might a remedy be to combat the 'bad information' and 'bad decision makers' challenge?

    How about improving the information, (not very controversial, surely), and removing the decision makers (possibly more controversial, as most hiring managers will claim they like to, you know, hire).

    More from the NBER paper on what they did and what they were able to find:

    In this paper we evaluate the introduction of a job test, and develop a diagnostic to inform how firms should incorporate it into their hiring decisions. Using a unique personnel dataset on HR manager, job applicants, and hired workers across 15 firms that adopt job testing, we present two key findings. First, job testing substantially improves the match quality of hired workers: those hired with job testing have about 15% longer tenures than those hired without testing. Second, managers who overrule test recommendations more often hire workers with lower match quality, as measured by job tenure. 

    This second result suggests that managers exercise discretion because they are biased or have poor judgement, not because they are better informed. This implies that firms in our setting can further improve match quality by limiting managerial discretion and placing more weight on the test.

    Less manager input/discretion in hiring led to better hiring outcomes. Across the board in this study.

    A few caveats worth mentioning, (and you should, if you are so inclined, read the entire paper here).

    This study was performed across a dataset of 15 firms hiring for high volume, lower skill kind of roles - think something like data entry, call center, that kind of thing. The kinds of jobs where it is relatively easier to come up with an accurate job test/assessment, and ones where the primary measure of hiring success is often retention.

    Also worth noting is that the researchers controlled for other measures of employee success like productivity, i.e., they were able to determine that when hiring managers overruled the job test scores in making hiring decisions that they were not in fact sacrificing longer tenure for increased near-term efficiency.

    Essentially, for this category of low to mid-skilled service roles, the researchers were able to show that all things being equal, additional managerial input and discretion into the hiring decision process only served to lead to worse hiring outcomes.

    I will close with one more line from the study's conclusion section:

    In our setting it provides the stark recommendation that firms would do better to remove discretion of the average manager and instead hire based solely on the test.

    But that conclusion only holds true for the 'average' manager, right?

    I'm sure your managers are way above average when it comes to making hiring decisions.

    Right?

     

    Discretion in Hiring, Mitchell Hoffman, Lisa B. Kahn, Danielle Li, NBER Working Paper 21709, November 2015