Archive for the ‘skilled labor’ 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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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.

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HRO: Are you Violently Good at the Talent Process?

August 19, 2011

In following up on my recent talent management (TM) blog, Building HRO Business Value, I spoke with Marianne Langlois, Global Process Executive with NorthgateArinso (NGA).  Marianne agreed that TM has been on the back burner for many companies, but now she sees growing interest. It may even be that TM is one of several paths to climbing out of crisis.

With several lost years, simmering issues of an aging skilled workforce and new generations entering the workforce are heating up. Surveys show that succession planning has become a critical concern of senior business leaders. Creating succession plans is fine, but there is too often a cycle of identifying and/or hiring top talent and then losing them within two years.  If this is happening, then whether the tools and processes are home grown or “best of breed” doesn’t matter because they are not adding full value to the business.

We do not need to make the case here for the value of a holistic and integrated talent management system and process supported along with, as Marianne says, HR partners who are “violently good at the talent process.” We do need to discuss how to get there from where many companies are now: scattered with underutilized tools, disconnected processes, islands of related data, as well as what roll HRO plays.

For NGA, the underlying HR system is key because it helps bring all of the data together to monitor and manage talent and workforces across the enterprise. Core HRIS and payroll is a necessary part of the whole, and the sooner the base is considered, the faster and more direct the value added TM services can be built. With today’s many HR system options, TM can be added now or later as a module, hung off the side as a specialty system, or even connected via a cloud-based SaaS application.

In this environment, are organizations willing to do more than talk? Yes. For example, a major global pharmaceutical company is working with NGA to build the integrated TM platform it needs, including letting go of their earlier investments in TM systems that were not connected or fully used.

Renewals are a great opportunity for TM. NGA is working with major clients that came with the Convergys acquisition last year on plans for the future. Fifth Third Bank will be continuing with NGA for another seven years and it will also be moving to the next generation of HRO services based on SAP HCM and euHReka.

With clients looking for integrated and streamlined systems and data across the enterprise and around the world, vendor, product, and service selection need to keep glob-ability in mind. Can you get a unified view of your top talent and their compensation, appraisals, laterals and promotions, as well as development plans and activities?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Global Growth Requires Global Mobility and Global HRO

June 1, 2011

No country is an island, even if some are surrounded by water. Each country, its employers and workforces are part of a globally intertwined macro economy and an employer in any one country can be competing for sales and talent with competitors from around the world.

Global growth requires developing global workforces to: increase a middle class of consumers; develop in-country sales, service, and/or production employees; and take advantage of right-shoring labor pools. Employers also need to access skilled talent in short supply in-country and yet importing talent can find an employer caught up in the turmoil of political as well as logistical issues.

The EU can be especially difficult to navigate. According to a new Accenture study issued at the European Business Summit 2011, “Europe in Tomorrow’s World,” one issue Europe needs to address to get back on track for future growth is the graying of the workforce and how to both develop and access more skilled labor.

As reported by Worldwide ERC, many EU countries are already wading in the waters of culture and immigration and are either considering or taking action to improve opportunities to augment local workforces:

  • Sweden reduced its “Experts Tax” by 25% to attract more highly skilled expats, especially in the areas of science, research, and engineering;
  • Austria opened its doors to workers from the eight Eastern European EU countries to bring in both highly-skilled and lower-skilled workers for industries such as construction and food service because of its aging population;
  • Denmark’s major businesses called for relaxed immigration policies because six of the country’s ten largest businesses say they need to attract foreign employees within the next three years, and most businesses believe that current immigration policy is preventing them from hiring the foreign employees they need.

There are many ways for HRO service providers to assist in globalizing workforces including:

  • RPO: Top-tier RPO providers continue to expand coverage into more and more countries.  RPO vendors can also help navigate the work visa process in-country.
  • Mobility: Expat assignments are a key tool to developing global leaders, one that must be carefully managed due to cost and complexity. Who better to assist than a workforce mobility expert?
  • HR systems and payroll: Managing a multi-country workforce requires timely and accurate data and that is hard to come by without access to a top-notch employee data and reporting system. Services and systems are available from HRO payroll and multi-process HRO providers.
  • Consulting: Before acting, a global workforce strategy and polices are needed to guide expansion. A HRO provider with an industry leading reputation in HR consulting can provide you with a one stop resource for transformation planning, implementation, and change management as well as operations.

Whether your company is a major MNC entering into new markets or a mid-sized company expanding into just one additional country, a resource skilled in the dynamics, logistics, and legalities of global workforce growth can be invaluable — check out your friendly HRO global community.

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall