Archive for the ‘Emerging Market’ category

Catching Up with ADP

June 20, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The recent passing of long-term U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg reminds us of his early role in the formation of what became ADP, a founding member of HR outsourcing. In the early 1950s he was engaged in selling insurance and sold a policy to two young New Jersey businessmen, Henry and Joseph Taub. The Taub’s were pioneering a then new concept; payroll outsourcing. The brothers knew payroll processing and Lautenberg knew sales and marketing. Lautenberg took a risk and joined the Taub brothers and together they created a new industry.

Establish Operating Principles

By the time the company incorporated in 1961 the three leaders established principles that still guide the company some 60 years later. Following are a few of the principles they put in place.

Focus on Business Markets that Offer Significant Growth Opportunities

ADP has always pursued growth through new market opportunities, both by expanding it service lines and by entering new geographies. Much of the early growth was through acquisitions, as well as organic growth. Lautenberg retired as CEO from ADP in 1982 having made over 100 acquisitions!

Over time, ADP became a global player. An early acquisition was GSI, a large payroll and HR services company in Europe. The latest 2013 acquisition is Payroll S.A. to expand LATAM payroll capabilities to Chile, Argentina, and Peru. In the last few years major acquisitions included Workscape (benefits), The RightThing (RPO) and SHPS (benefits).

Embrace Technological Change to Enhance Product and Service Offerings

By the early 1960s ADP had moved from manual operations to the pre-computer punch cards and on to leasing its first computer: an IBM 1401 mainframe. That willingness to continue to embrace the new is seen in ADP’s successful launch of a series of cloud-based SaaS HR technology and BPO service platforms, including Workforce Now (1k-20K employees), Vantage HCM (50-3k employees), and GlobalView for multi-nationals. Together, the three services support more than 40k clients.

The company has also launched extensive mobility options, including RUN powered by ADP for small business mobile payroll and ADP Mobile Solutions for access to a broad range of information and transactions spanning time and attendance to benefits and pay cards.

Attract and Retain Motivated and Talented People

ADP has grown into a $10bn global outsourcing business with one of only four remaining AAA credit ratings in the U.S. With ~570k clients across 125 countries, we know customers support its line-up of services and proprietary developed technologies. What about people? A few recent awards tell the story:

  • Ranked second on Fortune’s 2012 list of America’s Most Admired Companies in Financial Data Service
  • Ranked in the Top 50 on IDG’s Computerworld 2012 list of the 100 Best Places to Work in Information Technology (IT)
  • Named to the 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, for the third time.

We therefore need to ask the question of prospective purchasers: does your prospective or current HRO service provider have long-term guiding principles and can you see evidence of them in action? Because ADP does.

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Social Media in HRO Needs to be NICE

March 23, 2012

To work my way into the topic of social media, I am going to start outside of HRO. IBM recently launched a Social Media Boot Camp for its small- and mid-market business partners and clients.

The social media boot camp is globally available for qualified candidates, including those from emerging markets such as China, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. It is designed to develop the skills and ideas that will enable participants to sharpen their social networking capabilities and build stronger and more interactive ties with their clients. The online course includes an eight-week session with live coaching. It is produced in conjunction with Profitecture and is available for up to 75 participants each quarter. The Q2 2012 classes are already full, and enrollment has started for Q3 2012.

The IBM-led conversation on social media provides a broader view in using new media channels. According to Ed Abrams, IBM vice president of mid-market marketing and strategy, “…remember that social media is all about conversation. You don’t want to use this forum for press releases, or collateral- type materials. You need to remember that social media is very much like a face-to-face conversation. People want to engage, they want the chance to participate.”

Starfire Technologies is one of the early business partners to complete the boot camp. Mary Spurlock, Starfire’s Vice President of Marketing, says that social media is a 2-way street and that while it is important to publish, share, and deliver value when using social media, it is also important to listen, read, and follow what your customers are doing with social media.

There are very practical aspects as well. In RPO it is already critical for a service provider to be on the leading edge of leveraging the latest social media trends, functionalities, and tools. For now, let’s stay with the broader view.

The use of social media in HRO needs to be NICE.

  • New: Use social channels to offer something of unique value. Don’t simply repeat the same content offered elsewhere, and keep it fresh—update, update, update! Offer something unique (or at least a unique take) in the content.
  • Interactive: Offer multiple ways and levels of interaction. Providing a “comments” section is not even table stakes today. People know how to find your corporate website. If they are on Facebook, they are looking for new ways to connect with you. Be creative.
  • Connective: Take advantage of the opportunity to interact with the intended audience to continue, extend, and expand the conversations and weave connections across multiple channels into a whole. Each media channel should have a specialized point, purpose, and voice.
  • Engaging: Social media provides a unique opportunity to bring your brand attributes to life in ways that create enriched longer-lasting relationships. Here, “engagement” does not mean “interactive”; it means being invested in a mutually beneficial relationship.

How NICE is your use of social media?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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