Archive for the ‘learning outsourcing’ category

Talent2’s Competitive Edge

July 8, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The NelsonHall HRO team recently spoke with Mary-Sue Rogers, Talent2’s global general manager for HR managed services, for an update on the major Asia-Pacific, pan-regional HRO service provider with ~2.6k clients across 30 countries. Its client base includes companies of all sizes in both the private and public sectors. The company had a busy fiscal Q4 2013 winning more than 60 contract awards across its service lines, including payroll, RPO, learning and HR advisory services.

The Asia-Pacific HRO Market is Competitive

Asia-Pacific is a huge and diverse region with many of the individual nations still considered “emerging markets,” with opportunities for long-term growth. Talent2’s in-region competitors are largely global HRO providers, some span all service lines and others go head-to-head-on a single service like RPO.

So how does a ten-year-young company compete with many of the biggest names in HRO? Its competitors also have in-region locations but find it hard to match Talent2’s 40+ HRO-dedicated locations supporting 31 languages in 16 Asia-Pacific countries, including parts of the Middle East. In May 2013, Talent2 further expanded its operations in support of the Asia-Pacific region by opening a service delivery center in the Philippines.

Succeed With a HRO Competitive Edge

It is a core part of providing multi-country services to offer local subject-matter expertise on employment rules, regulations, taxation and compliance reporting, and all of the competitors can provide such services directly or through vetted local partners.

Talent2 demonstrates deep knowledge of local regulations as well as cultural and business environments. It knows the nuances that others may miss, which can help develop a service offer that is right on the mark for design and cost. For example, in the first instance, Talent2 addresses the following questions:

  • What style of payroll service center support is preferred by employees in different areas of its region?
  • What are the differences in an MNC headquartered in the West versus one headquartered in the target region?

As a result, 50% of its clients use multi-country services led by payroll and followed by RPO. Some start with one targeted country and add more over time.

Quality services and competitive pricing, along with its deep knowledge, provides a winning combination for Talent2, achieving a NelsonHall estimated ~10% growth in FY 2013.

Then Change to Remain Competitive

Talent2, which became a private company in 2012, is working its way through its stated development roadmap. The multi-pronged plan is focused on upgrading and rationalizing its technology platform to meet current and future client needs and going environmentally green to control internal costs and lower the total cost of ownership for its clients.

HR services are changing rapidly all over the world, as are client needs and interests, and no service provider can long rest on its laurels. Therefore, the question arises: does your HRO service provider’s competitive edge match your needs today, and will it tomorrow?

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HRO Continues Growing and Going

May 31, 2012

As we near the halfway point, 2012 is going well for HRO. As support, here are choice tidbits from our HRO news coverage and analysis.

First quarter revenues were solid for most vendors. RPO and PEO led the way with continued strong growth in the mid-to-high teens even as new job growth has stalled. Clients are increasingly using HRO services to help manage and balance workforce talent needs. Lower but steady mid-single digit growth is rolling along for benefits and payroll in the traditional HRO service areas.

There was plenty of new business to go around by service line, vendor, geography, and in both the private and public sectors. There was even a very nice smattering of large deals with TCVs in the hundreds of millions!

Logica was awarded a 6-year multi-process HRO contract by BAE Systems to support its 33,000 U.K. employees. Included is implementation and management of a single-tenant, hosted Oracle HR platform, along with payroll, and adminsitrative services in support of talent management functions including recruiting and learning. This is Logica’s second significant sized multi-process HRO win in six months. This is a good indicator of its success as a major preferred partner of Oracle for HRO in Europe.

Speaking of Europe, HP has been awarded a major 15-year multi-process HRO contract by Italian financial services firm UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions SCpA. A major driver for this deal was the need for a platform to support globally standardized HR and payroll processes across the countries in scope (Italy, Austria, plus a third country), serving ~98,000 employees. The HRO services in scope include payroll, time and attendance, workforce administration, learning and development administration, mobility, and ex-pat services.

The U.K. was the hottest area for the public sector. These deals are long wave sales with lots of competition, and there were even incumbent upsets. The services are naturally very important, but the promised cost advantages must be delivered. Lots of hard work and strong partnerships will be needed by the client organizations and the vendors to ensure success.

  • Capita was awarded a £250m contract by the Cabinet Office to exclusively manage the Civil Service’s training services. It will both directly deliver training and manage a competitive network of other training suppliers.
  • Capita was awarded a £440m contract by the British Army for recruiting services. The Recruitment Partnering Project contract is for 10 years and Capita will also deliver supporting technology for the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. It will partner with Kenexa for assessment and recruiting technology.
  • Almost at the finish line is CSC as it has been selected as preferred bidder for a £400m, 7-year contract by the MoD to provide pay and pensions administration services to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) for the U.K. Armed Forces.

Let’s all hope the rest of the year keeps HRO growing and rolling along!

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

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HRO Confidence Remains Steady for 2012

May 10, 2012

Every quarter, my colleague Amy Gurchensky surveys HRO vendors for the NelsonHall HR Outsourcing Confidence Index (HROCI), which is then available for our clients and the participating service providers. In normal times, the HROCI does not change drastically from quarter to quarter; it more shows changes in trends over time. In uncertain times, however, it is a timely way to see changes in market perceptions even before disruptions occur in contract values, volumes, and revenues.

It is of some comfort that the HROCI is in a steady state of small changes from quarter to quarter. That is not a sign of upcoming exuberant growth, but it is a predictor that we will continue to see solid continuous HRO growth throughout 2012.

The most recent HROCI shows a vendor confidence level of 153, where 100 represents unchanged confidence and higher scores indicate increased confidence. While 153 is down a bit from 164 in 1Q 2011, it is in line with 3Q and 4Q 2011 at 151 and 147 respectively. Vendor confidence is often based on how current business is going, along with the pipeline. In HRO, growth from existing clients is just as important as new business. Ever since deals got smaller in scale and scope, there has been increased focus on retaining and growing existing accounts, and we see positive vendor confidence here as well.

Looking at some of the HR lines of service, payroll is once again in the leading position for growth, followed by RPO, multi-process HRO (MPHRO), benefit administration, and learning. MPHRO is expected to perform well in 2012, primarily driven by the need of organizations to standardize HR services across regions and geographies. Vendors such as ADP and NorthgateArinso that previously offered primarily payroll and employee administration services have been very active in acquiring or partnering to extend capabilities to a wider range of platform-based MPHRO functions. In addition, Logica is becoming increasingly successful in this space in Europe.

There is a slight tempering of growth expectations that can be seen in the data, although pipelines still seem solid. I think this is the same kind of hedge-your-bets thinking that is in the larger economy and what we are seeing from HRO buyers. Everyone still has a healthy sense of caution in case things suddenly go sideways.

Luckily, more and more HRO buyers and clients are willing to move ahead and get on with doing business, even if a bit cautiously. Other buyers still suffer from frozen decision-making and unwillingness to make long-term investments. Buyers with clear direction for what they want to achieve through HRO are the most likely to be deal ready – as along as prices are right and there is not too much upfront investment. The earlier service providers can assess readiness, the faster they will be able to fill pipelines with well-qualified prospects.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, 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.

What are the Top Global Skill Shortages?

April 26, 2012

Even when the U.S. unemployment rate was over 10%, we’ve heard that the unemployment of skilled workers with college degrees remained low at ~4-5%, and we’ve read data on just how bad the skill shortage is, including ManpowerGroup’s findings that 52% of U.S. companies are struggling to fill key jobs. We’ve also heard from me as an analyst (and former HRO buy-side client), pointing to the fact that development and retention of talent are more paramount than ever. But not as much has been written about what are the top global skill shortages. Well not until last week when U.K.-based global recruitment and RPO provider Hays issued a good concise summary of the top ten global skill shortages.

The list divides the skills by soft skills and hard skills that are in shortage globally.

Soft Skills

  • Languages
  • People and communication
  • Team management and leadership
  • Organization.

Hard Skills

  • Financial and budgetary
  • IT
  • Green skills
  • Procurement and negotiation
  • Research and development
  • Healthcare.

Beyond being good for job candidates and employees to know the skills they need to focus on; employers need to do a better job of investing in their workforce to develop and retain the talent that they already have. In fact, employees are looking for that. Mercer’s newly released eBook, “What’s Working Around the World”, points to the fact that career advancement and training opportunities are among the top priorities of the employee value proposition in many countries and are needed to address low levels of employee engagement.

As I get ready to publish my next global learning BPO report, I am optimistic to hear that talent management focus is no longer just a desired priority but is now a business imperative. Clients are increasingly focused on learning linked to talent management, including the linkage of learning to performance management and developmental plans. To meet client needs to attract, develop, and retain talent, vendors have been developing their talent management capability. This includes MPHRO vendors such as Xerox, Aon Hewitt, Talent2, IBM, and Accenture, whose talent management offering includes workforce forecasting and analytics, recruitment, performance management, succession planning, and learning.

In the report, I also wrote about the advent of social learning. For now, I’ll just say that speed to competence, followed by how the new generation of employees that are entering the workforce wants to learn, as well as the need for improved talent management, are what’s driving the acceleration of social learning.

If you are not already following me on Twitter, please do so at @GaryB_NH as I will tweet when the LBPO report is published. I’m targeting the 30th of April, in time for my presentation at the HRO Today Forum on May 1st titled State of the Learning BPO Marketplace and the Emergence of Social Learning.

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.

U.S. Jobs Grow – How Will It Impact HRO

February 7, 2012

By now, most have heard last Friday’s favorable jobs news.

In the U.S., 243,000 jobs were added in January, bringing the unemployment rate down to 8.3%, and as noted on one of the staffing provider’s earnings calls last week, down to 4.2% for college graduates. Government jobs have contracted as expected, while the private sector had the gains in the services industry, specifically in leisure, hospitality, education, healthcare, and retail, and in manufacturing, including construction.

Also last February 3, Randstad reported a five-point rise in its U.S. Employee Confidence Index.  The index measures the workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment. This is the biggest increase since the survey started seven years ago.

With good reason to be optimistic, many RPO providers are realizing the gains with increased hiring volumes by existing clients. Even before this welcome employment news, 2011 had been a good year for HRO. In RPO, many vendors achieved significant growth, including Kelly OCG, whose RPO revenue was up 40% year-over-year from 2010; Pinstripe was up 58% y-o-y with 21 new contracts and extensions; and for Q4, Kenexa reported an RPO growth of 54% y-o-y.

But the benefits go far beyond RPO. Increased hiring bodes well for providers of payroll, benefits, and learning as the number of employees they serve increases. For example, ADP, who already pays 1 of 6 U.S. employees, announced the number of employees on its U.S. client payroll increased by 2.8% in fiscal Q2 2012, for the period ending December 31, 2011. Benefits administration providers including Aon Hewitt, Fidelity, and Mercer reported numerous contract awards in 2011. In MPHRO, in North America, ADP won several new contracts, while IBM was awarded a large MPHRO contract with Air Canada and NorthgateArinso awarded a seven-year MPHRO renewal by Fifth Third Bank. In learning, vendors including Raytheon, Xerox, and Accenture won several contracts. There are more updates to follow on learning as NelsonHall is currently conducting a global learning BPO market analysis.

However, a few words of caution by ManpowerGroup were given last February 3 that demand is expected to continue to fluctuate and it would be prudent for employers to adopt flexible workforce models that include: full-time, contingent, and virtual-skilled workers to ensure productivity.

There are a few key implications here:

  • Providers who haven’t yet provided recruitment services that include RPO, MSP, and Contingent Workforce services would be prudent to evaluate doing so and/or consider partnering with a vendor that does
  • Given the ManpowerGroup statistic that 52% of U.S. companies are struggling to fill key jobs, focus on the development and retention of talent is more paramount than ever. Buy-side organizations should be continuously monitoring employee satisfaction, reviewing attrition rates, conducting exit interviews to find out why people leave, and developing action plans to improve organizational effectiveness. If buyers do not have this capability, they may want to consider a talent management vendor who can help them, which has become a key HRO vendor focus and for good reason!

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.

The Sun is Rising on HRO in Asia Pacific

December 16, 2011

As an “emerging market” the Asia Pacific (A/P) has more and more A/P companies become forces in the global marketplace as buyers and as producers – providing growth opportunities for product and service sales for companies headquartered in other regions (usually the West).

Do be aware that the markets for services like HRO already exist and are served by local and regional providers. Hence, new entrants offering unfamiliar brands to A/P buyers will need to assess their competitive value propositions for this vast, yet very localized market with a wide range of languages, price sensitivity, and HRO needs.

One of the largest A/P regional HRO service providers is Talent2, which offers payroll, RPO, traditional recruiting searches, HR administration, learning, talent management, and HR advisory services. Talent2 has services in 31 Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern countries, and its FY 2011 (ended June 30, 2011) revenues were AU$360m, up 26% from FY 2010. In operations since 2003, the company has ~1,700 personnel with offices and service centers spread across the region.

Talent2’s growth over the years had been organic, until 2008 when it added acquisition as a growth strategy and subsequently bought PCA in Japan, a payroll outsourcing and HR consulting provider. In 2010, it acquired Singapore-based Zapper Services with payroll outsourcing and HR administration in 14 A/P countries, adding ~1,000 clients, including multinational corporations (MNCs).

Having an available range of technologies and services is a benefit, especially when there are clients that are expanding their businesses for the first time and need a foundation of basic HR services with a high degree of subject matter expertise. This is also the case for large clients in mature markets looking for top quality and performance at a lower cost. Talent2 has multiple payroll offerings and other services to mix and match to meet the specific needs of clients of many sizes, verticals, with employees in one country to pan-national or global, using a broad range of languages and onshore and nearshore locations.

ADP and NorthgateArinso are two major global players that have been in the region for many years. As the A/P HRO market expands, more players will be looking to gain a foothold. With growth in many areas and services, Talent2 will need to focus its own value proposition and investments to maximize its regional advantages against what will be an even more competitive market. A sign that the company is ready to do just that is the addition of Mary Sue Rogers, one of the leading lights in the HRO community and previously the global leader of HRO for IBM. Rogers recently joined Talent2 as the Global Managing Director of HR services including payroll, HR advisory, and learning services.

No matter where the sun sets, at the end of the day, succeeding in emerging markets is the same as achieving HRO success anywhere: provide high-quality, high-performance subject matter expert services at the optimum price that solves business problems and delivers business results.

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.

SAP and SuccessFactors, Let’s Not Forget About the Basics of What Makes Talent Management Effective

December 13, 2011

Much has been written and tweeted about SAP’s announcement last December 3 that it will acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. Granted that SuccessFactors is a provider of talent management software, but software alone does not get at the core of what makes for effective talent management. That is why it is very intriguing to me – now that Twitter and blogging are “in vogue” – that all the excitement has been centered on the SaaS over the Internet buzzword “cloud.”

Don’t get me wrong, SaaS talent management is a great enabler, and terrific for SAP to have, providing employers with the tools to do performance management. But talent management is about attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent. Good recruitment technology helps attract candidates and software can help in doing performance management, but it is not going to develop and retain talent for you — now that would be a breakthrough if it did! As most of us are keenly aware, thanks to data provided by the likes of Randstad and Manpower (http://bit.ly/ujuMhC), there is a talent shortage and employers can help themselves by engaging and retaining the talent that they have. To do so requires the good old fashioned basics that the cloud cannot replace.

Organizational change is not going to happen if continual investment is not made in people as well as technology. Having conducted retention studies and managed employee programs, I can tell you first hand that the top reasons why talent leaves typically include:

  • Dissatisfaction with supervision and/or leadership
  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of developmental opportunities
  • Lack of a career path
  • The desire for more challenging and engaging work
  • Work/life balance.

Money by itself is not a motivator!

Call me old school, but I’m much more excited when I see things like:

  • Cornerstone sponsoring a Ken Blanchard webinar on the 14th of December: Helping People Win at Work, including the use of performance reviews to develop people, how to set clear goals, provide year-round coaching, and build an engaging performance-based culture
  • PageUp’s webinar last week showing  global employers how to retain critical talent with career planning
  • Contracts awarded to Kenexa for employee engagement surveys, including with Unilever for 140,000 employees globally, to not just conduct surveys, but help with action planning to act on any issues identified to improve employee engagement
  • Many of Ochre House’s RPO contracts also include: KPIs to reduce attrition, accomplished by conducting exit interviews, providing a dashboard with reasons why people leave, exploring problem areas in depth, and making recommendations to client leadership. In addition, OchreHouse often conducts employee satisfaction surveys and has a “Keep In Touch” program for recruiters to keep in touch with new hires to ensure successful transition and retention.

I’m just beginning to conduct my next global learning BPO market analysis. My Q4 2010 study found that companies are just beginning to invest again in leadership and performance management to increase employee engagement and retention. I’ll be looking for evidence that this is happening.

Employers, are you making the investments needed in your employees?

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.