Archive for the ‘HR Metrics’ category

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!

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HRO and a Culture of Analytics

July 13, 2011

Recently, Bersin & Associates held a webinar on HR measurement and the need to create a culture of analytics to get to data-driven decision making. Bersin refers to four levels with HR metrics and workforce metrics as the basics. Integrated talent management metrics and business impact predictive metrics are the advanced levels.  Getting to the advanced levels is not easy to achieve and it will likely take several years for those with the vision and fortitude to make the journey.

Many HR vendors offer HR analytics tools including IBM. I spoke with several IBM’ers to learn more, including Steve Johnson in product management.  IBM’s Workforce Performance application is based on its Cognos platform. It is prebuilt with highly configurable HR analytic content from hire to retire with pre-packaged standard reports. It is available as a licensed product (on-premises or hosted) that has prebuilt connectors for SAP, PeopleSoft, and Oracle’s e-business suite. To ensure the application functions well at every level from basic to advanced, IBM has added SPSS predictive analytic software.

Designed to map to HR data from many sources, it brings in data internal to the client and from other applications from third party vendors — key in getting consolidated cross functional workforce information for HR’s many processes and subject matter areas.

IBM understands that HR analytics is a journey and measurement is in its own DNA. The application can be used from basic to advanced levels and extended from HR specialists -only to business unit HR partners and on to line managers as readiness matures. Reports vary by user type from pre-set dashboards and scorecards, to detailed operational reporting, and to ad hoc research by power users.

IBM starts from the viewpoint of business workforce questions HR needs to answer and advise such as: do we have the right mix of people to meet business objectives optimally, or what will our workforce age distribution in key jobs look like in 3 years, in 5 years?  After assessing client needs and interest, a discussion of the actual metrics follows and a starting point can be identified.

The Workforce Performance application is available directly from IBM. It is also available to IBM’s HRO clients and to other service providers who want to integrate advanced HR analytics capabilities into its service offerings. A typical client is in the 5K to 10k plus employee range and there is particular interest from high tech and global employers.

IBM has a user forum for its Cognos products and with the HR analytics users interested in learning more from IBM and each other, there may soon be a user group just for them.

Even the best tools and most capable service provider cannot make the whole journey, especially the cultural part, for a client. Do you have the strategy and roadmap for your HR analytics journey and do you have a HRO partner that will help you create a culture of analytics?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall