Archive for the ‘HR analytics’ category

Highlights and Trends in the HRO Market for H1 2013: Part 1

August 7, 2013
Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Amy L. Gurchensky, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

It’s hard to believe that H1 2013 is complete, which makes it an ideal time to recap highlights and trends from the HRO world this year.

Overall Activity

There was a healthy number of new contracts awarded across all HRO service lines in H1 2013. In addition, renewals and contract extensions signed were consistent with H1 2012. There was, however, an increase in activity with organizations changing their existing service provider, particularly within benefits administration and RPO.

For the last few years, attention has been on the mid-market (500-10k employees), among other things, as an area for growth within HRO. Quarter-over-quarter, mid-market activity has made strides relative to the large market. In fact, in H1 2013, the majority of activity reported was from the mid-market.

Beyond HRO, the number of HR software contracts signed globally was up substantially compared to H1 2012. For example, in the U.S., ADP was awarded a contract for its Vantage HCM platform, including HR, payroll, benefits and onboarding modules, by The Paradies Shops covering 4k employees. In the U.K., Ceridian gained traction with its automatic enrollment module with Asda for 175k employees and WH Smith for 16k employees.

Payroll

Despite being a mature service line, payroll outsourcing does not disappoint. The biggest news reported in H1 2013 would have to be ADP’s acquisition of Payroll S.A., which will expand its LATAM payroll capabilities to Chile, Argentina and Peru. ADP already had in-country services in Brazil, and had capabilities through GlobalView and Streamline to serve multinationals in other LATAM countries.

Other news within payroll includes Acrede opening an office in Singapore to expand its global payroll reach into Asia-Pacific. Growth opportunities in the region include Japan and South Asia-Pacific.

RPO

The RPO market continues to be a hot one to watch. Contracts were awarded in various countries, including the U.S., U.K. and China, and ~20% of contract activity in H1 2013 was from multi-country deals.

The level of M&A activity was consistent with H1 2012, but the level of RPO partnerships has dwindled. Nevertheless, RPO vendors were busy expanding service offerings and delivery capabilities, and launching new websites. Some examples include:

  • Randstad Sourceright launching an RPO integrated assessment program
  • Manpower U.S. launching a multi-channel delivery model
  • Ochre House launching a COE to drive innovation
  • Randstad Sourceright opening a shared services center in Budapest
  • Hays launching a new mobile website
  • AMN Healthcare launching a redesigned website.

Although technically within H2, it is timely to mention the Pinstripe and Ochre House merger.

Learning

After a rather long lull, the learning BPO market has shown many signs of improvement. New contracts include Raytheon and GM Korea for content development and training administration services, and delivery of sales and non-technical training.

GP continued its acquisition frenzy focused on strengthening and expanding its geographic footprint with Prospero Learning Solutions (Canada) and Lorien Engineering Solutions (U.K. and Poland). Not to mention Capita’s acquisition of KnowledgePool.

Stay tuned next week for more highlights and trends from H1 2013 that are specific to benefits administration and MPHRO. I’ll also share some insights on what to expect in H2 2013 based on NelsonHall’s recent HRO Confidence Index survey.

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Mercer on the Move

June 14, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

This week I attended Mercer’s always well managed and informative analyst forum in Boston, MA. The meeting was focused on the talent consulting line of business.

Talent Management on the Rise

Mercer research indicates that human capital issues are a top CEO concern and managing talent is becoming a board of directors’ issue, moving beyond the traditional CEO succession planning and compensation to overall talent and workforce planning. The new Mercer Talent Barometer Survey, which was introduced at the 2013 World Economic Forum, reports that 60% of the 1,200 global companies surveyed are investing more in talent, but only 30% feel that their workforce plans are highly effective.

The business of talent has become both exciting and disruptive, with possible new entrants, globalization, media, innovations, and opportunities. (Talk about new entrants, eHarmony is considering getting into the talent matching game!)

With a possibility of double-digit growth, the talent group looked at how to grow across the talent value chain by expanding its services, tools and technology offerings for talent, rewards, and communications to increase growth and leverage Mercer’s depth of experience and capabilities.

The answer will become apparent over the next few months as more packaged solutions are launched that combine consulting, information, and technology to meet the needs of clients that want a less-customized consulting approach with “off-the-shelf” packaged and reusable services and tools.

Workforce Planning Versus HR Analytics

Some elements that will be leveraged are already mature and solid revenue producers. Surveys, benchmarks, and analytics for compensation/total rewards and job structures are a more than $200m line of business. Globalization of the revenues is already well on its way, with about equal distribution from North America, Europe, and emerging markets across 57 countries.

Instead of focusing on HR analytics, Mercer is emphasizing data acquisition and integration, data modeling, as well as data visualization as it applies to a wide range of workforce and data that drives business results. This may mean a consulting and outsourcing services engagement, it may mean workshops and training, or self-service use of integrated SaaS technology platforms with one or more Mercer products.

Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast

There are a lot of moving parts in Mercer’s strategy to create an integrated talent solutions portfolio.

It is brought together under the go-to-market Talent Impact label that includes new and existing products and services to forecast, engage, mobilize, reward and assess talent. Behind the scenes Mercer will be streamlining its own architecture into fewer and more integrated technology platforms to support the new offerings.

There is a lot to be done in a short time, but that is in alignment with the “think big, start small, and move fast” philosophy of Orlando Ashford, senior partner and president of Mercer’s talent business. Mercer is on the move!

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

HR Analytics and Big Data

March 21, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

I recently had the pleasure of moderating a webinar for HR Outsourcing Association (HROA) members on HR Analytics and Big Data on behalf of the Publications and Practices Committee. This was a natural hot topic for our group of HR service providers, advisors, analysts, and buyers as you can hardly read your email without finding a new batch of blogs, webinars, articles, and conferences on analytics and big data, including for HR.David Bernstein, the head of eQuest’s Big Data for HR / Predictive Analytics Division, and Yvette Cameron, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research, Inc. and founder of NextGen Insights, were our guest experts and both have an extensive background and long-term interest in HR measurement and analytics. The following is a summary from our discussion with Yvette and David.

How are HR Analytics and Big Data different?

When we talk about Big Data what we’re really talking about is slightly bigger than normal but not a huge amount. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done in getting better HR metrics and measures and better ways of communicating results. By bringing in data from a variety of sources from across the enterprise and pairing it with your HR data and looking at patterns, you can start to see correlation, infer causation, and create the ability for forecasting / modeling.

Much of the work we are doing today is measuring the effectiveness of our programs using HR system data – the challenge is getting to the broader business data in order to start making correlations to business value and outcomes and to build understanding of our own employees by mining data in enterprise, productivity, and employee interaction systems.

Are HR clients ready for Big Data?

The desire is there to push beyond the wall we’ve hit with current analytics and metrics. The industry is ready for that helping hand and is looking for service providers to offer help with this.

The struggle isn’t around ‘should I’ but around ‘how do I’ in terms of where to begin. The vendor community can help bring the profession forward in terms of ‘how to make it happen.’  Right now, there is more of a consultative need to fill in missing knowledge and skills; the opportunity for the vendor community is to provide these plus ongoing services that turn the data into insightful information.

Is there a Big Data skills gap in HR?

One of the biggest hurdles and obstacles to implementing a Big Data program, second to having the budget, is the lack of expertise and skills – the HR component of any implementation program can hold companies back. HR divisions struggle between bringing these skills onboard or developing them internally.  This is an opportunity for service providers to help HR become even more strategic as they increase their skills.

The interest in HR analytics is building, but there a gap in actual buying and client abilities to leverage the new capabilities. This provides a growing opportunity for us as an HRO community to make Big Data real in HR and HRO!

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HR, Analytics, and HRO – No Walk in the Park

June 25, 2012

By Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Business intelligence tools, consulting, and services have been around for years, including for HR. Increasingly, one can find analytic solutions from HRO service providers, including those whose business services extend far beyond HRO and those that are pure-play HRO vendors. Every so often I review analytics packages, success stories, and service offerings and each time I am impressed by what can be done with the right tools, technologies, consulting, and data.

One would think that analytic solutions that provide fact-based information to support HR recommendations and then track the business impact of HR interventions and programs would be an easy sell, but it is not.

There are always leaders and early adopters ready to use the most cutting-edge tools and with the internal capabilities to ensure that value is delivered. That group is now getting into advanced HR analytics, but that group is not large enough to sustain a robust market.

Savvy HRO vendors with advanced analytic solutions understand the issue of client readiness and maturity. If the foundations and fundamentals are put in place first, then a vendor can whet the client’s appetite for more useful and usable information. For example:

  • Vendors in a consulting engagement for a specific problem should show how its advanced offering can be used along the way
  • Vendors should be aware of clients that are dealing with anecdotal data and data silos and who are struggling to get consistent, accurate, and timely data on the workforce basics because this foundation can be built on to support the entry point for analytics
  • Vendors providing HR outsourcing should teach its clients how to take full advantage of the metric capabilities, reporting, and data analysis that are already built into the services.

Too often, HR analytic solutions get too advanced too quickly for the average HRO client. HR is already drowning in data and the thought of getting more, even more sophisticated data is not necessarily a perceived plus. What would we do with it? Would we really use it? How will it fit in with all of our other sources of data, reporting, dashboards, etc.? Our standalone applications have built in reports and analytics, why do we need another system? Would it pay its own way as an investment from our limited budget (i.e., ROI)? Even for those with a strong interest, the data and capability to make it dance are often lacking.

As a long-time champion of the use of metrics and analytics in HR, I loving seeing the strength that the use of great data adds to the consulting and relationship skills of HR business partners. There is a whole lot of foundation work needed to prepare for getting full value out of HR analytic solutions. I hope HRO service providers will stay the course because better use of data is a critical part of becoming strategic HR business partners and succeeding in the age of human capital management.

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Volatility Is the Future – for Businesses and HRO

November 22, 2011

According to the Talent2 APAC Market Pulse Survey, many business executives in the Asia Pacific region have come to accept market volatility as the new business norm with a large proportion feeling more prepared to respond to unstable market conditions. The just released study presents a broad view of senior business executives across Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Of the more than 700 survey respondents, more than 70% were from multinational corporations.

The goal of the study was to understand the level of business confidence and volatility and its impact on talent and people strategies across APAC. Tested by fire, 55% of the executives feel better prepared for continued market volatility. That will be needed, as the study highlights that even those countries enjoying consistent growth are concerned about another recession happening within the next year, with 97% in Singapore, 95% in Hong Kong, 87% in China, and 85% in Australia worried about another financial crisis.

Even with these concerns, many APAC companies are continuing to add employees with businesses in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore increasing staff numbers. In China, 80% of businesses have increased staff in the last 12 months, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore at 73%, then Australia (53%) with New Zealand (40%), and Japan (30%). At the same time, skill shortage is of concern in the region, with most businesses (65%) having experienced problems in recruiting due to skill shortages in the past year.

Although executives are accepting that market instability will continue and they must balance growth and cost control in the face of recessionary concerns, Talent2 points out that not much is changing in how workforces are managed in APAC. Most recruiting and hiring is focused on permanent employees, even though executives see the benefits in employing contract workers for the flexibility to scale up and down (76%) and the ability to better manage employment costs (43%). Currently, only 12% of the APAC workforce is employed on a contingent basis, compared to 22% globally.

It is not easy to move to a blended workforce that includes a greater use of contingent workers. For many of the APAC countries with faster growth workforces, employees are naturally looking for permanent jobs with higher wages. It is also hard to find all of the tools and talents needed to help from one vendor. RPO is taking off very well in many APAC areas, but vendors may not also have the technology and expertise to support building a contingent workforce.

Talent management is not just a software application. It is a critical business capability, one well suited for HRO providers that can blend technology, service, analytics, and consulting on a regional and global basis across the full suite of talent management elements. Leading HRO vendors should also be leaders in creating the agile workforces of the future. Who will we be seeing leading the way?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

ADP has a Platform for HRO Success

October 11, 2011

Last week, many of us covered announcements from the HR Technology conference.  Among the new service news was ADP’s Vantage HCM SaaS and BPO platform, which was formally launched on October 3rd at HR Tech.

Vantage HCM covers HR administration, benefits, payroll, time and attendance, and talent management. It is an enhanced version of ADP’s successful Workforce Now platform, which was launched in October 2009 and already has more than 10,000 clients. ADP is estimated to have invested 18 months and $600m in the new platform. General availability is slated for March 2012 to allow time for full testing of critical high volume HR activities such as annual open enrollment and end-of-year payroll with 12 pilot clients from a variety of industries with 1,200 to 20,000 employees.

I see a bigger story here: ADP has built a business platform to support execution of its strategies. Here are several elements I see in play.

Support the core. ADP is adding new services while protecting and enhancing payroll, its single largest revenue generator. Payroll is built into the core package of each multiple process HR (MPHRO) system.

Serve your main markets. In payroll, ADP supports every size organization. Now, it offers MPHRO platforms for nearly every size organization: Workforce Now provides core HR needs for less than 3,000 employees; Vantage HCM covers more robust HR needs and talent management for up to 20,000 employees; and Global View supports large, multi-country organizations typically with more than 20,000 employees.

Leverage acquisitions.  Vantage HCM talent management services include succession planning, performance management, and compensation management as the fruits of collaboration between ADP and Workscape, which was acquired last year.

Reuse development investments.  Vantage HCM uses “plug and play” design for fast and easy additions, integration of new modules, or preferred partners, such as Cornerstone for learning.  Access will be immediately available from multiple devices including smartphones, another benefit of development reuse.

Roadmap development and growth. Workforce Now and Vantage HCM are U.S. services. Both will be expanded to Canada, with Workforce Now ready in 2012. In the future clients will be able to choose the basic benefits module or Workscape services for more complex benefits needs.

Buy, build, and go. ADP prefers to buy or build for strategic growth services. It chose to build its own proprietary MPHRO systems. It acquires complementary service lines and players in geographies to quickly establish a beachhead with top tier players. Once it identifies a target, it moves fast, integrates new acquisitions and captures synergy savings.  (ADP just announced acquisition of The RightThing for RPO. Acting fast indeed!)

Go your own way. Most MPHRO providers offer HR analytic packages as an added cost option. ADP is building in related data views, dashboards, metrics, and integrating workforce analytics use right at the point of need.

Do you have a business platform as broad and consistently used as ADP’s?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

HRO Confidence Continues to Soar!

July 21, 2011

Our recently published Q2 2011 HRO Confidence Index indicates that 50% of HRO suppliers, which includes payroll, RPO, learning, benefits, and MPHRO vendors, are much more confident in the HR Outsourcing business over the next twelve months compared to the previous twelve month period.  Thirty-five percent are slightly more confident and 15% are as confident.  The driving factors are two-fold.  The top reason is new contract activity, first reported as the main reason in Q3 2010, and the other reason is increased scope of existing contracts.

In the past, my colleague Linda Merritt and I have written about new contract awards. For this blog, I wanted to focus on the importance of contract renewals, including increases in scope expansions as they are closely following new contract activity as the reason for this high confidence in HRO!

A few examples of recent contract renewals and scope expansions include the following:

  • Last week, Genpact was awarded a 7 year MPHRO contact by Nissan to include payroll, recruiting, training, and benefits administration.  Genpact had been providing HR services to Nissan group companies and affiliates.  It has also been providing services outside of HR that included F&A, procurement, collections, customer service, and analytics.  As part of the contract, Genpact acquired Nissan’s HR shared service center in Yokohama, Japan, which handles HR functions for 54,000+ employees globally. The center, renamed Genpact Japan Service Co., Ltd., will serve Nissan, its affiliates, and other Genpact clients.
  • In June, NorthgateArinso was awarded a 7 year MPHRO renewal and scope expansion by Fifth Third Bank that I wrote about in my blog on the 23rd.
  • In June, Pinstripe was awarded two RPO contract extensions and scope expansions by Johns Manville and Rayonier. For Rayonier, the scope was expanded  from professional hires for one division to include all professional and hourly hiring for all divisions.
    • In April, Aon Hewitt was awarded a flexible benefits contract by Emap, a business-to-business media group in the U.K.  Aon’s Risk Solutions business had already been providng services to Emap.
    • In addition to winning a total retirement outsourcing (TRO) renewal earlier this year with BP America, Fidelity Investments also won a  5 year contract renewal for TRO in North America by HP, adding 162,500 participants from EDS who were previously serviced by other providers.

I believe we will of course continue to see contract renwals, but within the next one to three years, we will see an even larger increase in scope expansions.  Why?  Although buyers are increasing their propensity to outsource, since the recession began in 2008 we’ve seen new HRO buyers treading more lightly to test the waters before diving more deeply.  A common example I see is in recruiting, where a new contract may start out for a particular business unit or geography, but then expand based on client satisfaction and increased benefits to enterprise-wide RPO, similar to the Pinstripe example above. When these contracts come up for renewal and the clients are happy, having  obtained the benefits they signed up for and maybe even had their expectations exceeded, then there’s a good chance these clients will be looking to increase whatever scope they can.

We’ll come back to additional findings and trends in our HRO Confidence Index in a future blog, but in the meantime , NelsonHall clients can view the full report at the NelsonHall website.

Gary Bragar,  HR Outsourcing Research Director, NelsonHall