Archive for the ‘Talent Management’ category

IBM Accentuates its RPO and Talent Management Offering by Acquiring Kenexa

August 28, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

Although a bit smaller than the $1.9bn Oracle paid for Taleo (coincidentally at $46 per share as well) and the $3.4bn SAP paid for SuccessFactors, I believe that IBM’s acquisition of Kenexa, a cash transaction at $46 per share or ~$1.3bn and closing in Q4 2012, will have a much more immediate and larger impact than the aforementioned acquisitions.

Both Taleo and SuccessFactors were specifically acquired for their talent management (TM) technology. Beyond the strength of Kenexa’s technology, however, is the provision of TM services including:

  • Consulting
  • RPO
  • Employee engagement
  • Leadership development.

According to an IBM study conducted earlier this year, 71% of respondents cited “human capital” as the leading source of sustained economic value, above products and services innovation and significantly higher than technology. Kenexa, as a HCM and TM provider, will compliment IBM’s TM offering, which focuses on the full TM life cycle of attracting, developing, rewarding, and retaining talent. Specifically, IBM’s TM offering includes:

  • Recruiting
  • Learning
  • Performance management
  • Compensation
  • Succession management.

In addition to its multi-process HRO (MPHRO) offering, which includes TM, IBM also specializes in providing workforce strategy transformation, social technology, and analytics to predict and measure performance.

While RPO is part of IBM’s MPHRO offering, it also provides RPO on a standalone basis to GM. Kenexa’s RPO capabilities, however, will accelerate IBM’s RPO market share, making it one of the largest RPO providers globally with clients headquartered in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Kenexa also delivers RPO services in Latin America including South America in ~25% of its contracts.

Kenexa’s BrassRing technology is one of the two most widely used applicant tracking systems in RPO contracts. Kenexa also brings its Kenexa 2x Recruit platform, which in addition to recruiting and learning contains the following performance management modules:

  • Goal setting
  • Competencies
  • Performance appraisals
  • Compensation
  • Career development and pathing
  • Succession planning.

NelsonHall estimates that Kenexa has more than tripled the size of its RPO business since 2006 with brand name clients including Ford and multi-regional contracts with Baker Hughes and Eli Lilly.

IBM’s price of $46 per share is a 42% premium over Kenexa’s August 24th close, but it will be well worth it. IBM is getting much more than software technology; it is getting assets, including human talent that can make a HCM difference. IBM’s plan is to combine its approach to social business, analytics, and TM to transform business processes to create smarter workforces with measureable business results. Given Kenexa’s record of growth and IBM’s experience with integrating acquisitions, this sounds like a good plan and a great business opportunity for both companies.

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

Bridging Talent Management and Workforce Management with HRO

August 3, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

One of the hottest topics in HR and HRO has been talent management (TM), including everything from recruiting and RPO to performance management and employee engagement. Major ERP vendors have snapped up TM software leaders to strengthen HR product lines, e.g., SAP and SuccessFactors; Oracle and Taleo. Very good moves and very on trend, but let’s not forget about the less flashy powerhouse: workforce management (WM).

TM and WM are both critical components of human capital management (HCM) and depending on definitions and models, there can be a lot of overlap. For my purpose here, TM is about the individual and the capabilities for a specific job position and WM is about groups of workers and managing multiple positions.

TM involves attracting, retaining, and developing people with the required capabilities according to requested volumes and performance management. WM involves workforce planning and forecasting the capabilities and volumes needed and day-to-day scheduling and time and attendance. It takes both processes to have the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right places, at the right time.

Let’s consider two more elements, HR analytics and ROI, that will also benefit from seamless HR systems and processes, which our dear HRO community can enable and deliver. Timely and accurate workforce data is a foundation block upon which HR is built. At least part of the drive for multi-country payroll has been to get better employee data, and there is an important feeder into payroll: time reporting. Today’s leading time and attendance systems offer great flexibility in capturing the detailed data needed for payroll plus analyses of productivity, labor costing, pricing, project billing, workforce planning, etc.

Everybody wants to tie HR and HRO to ROI. Lowering the cost of HR operations alone is not enough. We must show real impact in measurable business results. Simplifying a bit, TM supports improved business results through customer satisfaction and revenues generated; WM supports improved business results through optimizing SG&A via operations and reducing losses.

Many HRO offerings come in basic and advanced levels. HRO providers– ensure you offer both levels of time and attendance, scheduling, and attendance management services. Buyers – take the time to determine whether advanced workforce management services will not only provide better data, but will pay for itself through reductions in overtime and the impact of absences. Also, for many positions and industries, ensuring all customer-facing seats are filled at the right capacity, capability, and time has a direct link to productivity and revenues. Finally, don’t forget about compliance with wage, hour, and labor regulations where accurate records and proactive scheduling are a great defense against fines and losses.

HR and HRO in partnership can be the bridge to strengthen TM and WM across the entire human capital value chain.

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

How Mercer’s HCM Views Impact HRO

June 11, 2012

Would you build a $4.5bn facility in Africa if you were not sure you could find the skilled workers to run it? That was the comment of a real CFO at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. Human capital management (HCM) was one of the hottest topics at the forum drawing C-suite leaders into a full day of discussions. Concern about talent shortages has reached #2 on the risk management list, and top business leaders are recognizing talent as both a key competitive factor in growth and its lack as a risk factor limiting growth, especially in emerging markets.

This was the opening conversation at Mercer’s analyst forum focusing on its Talent, Rewards, and Communications (TRC) consulting practice and its approach to global talent growth. The TRC group is led by Pat Milligan, Senior Partner and President, and it accounts for $600m of Mercer’s $3.8bn 2011 revenues.

The forum was also about Mercer’s approach to its own growth. Mercer has increased its feet on the ground in emerging markets and is adding to its portfolio of services. Having completed seven acquisitions in the last sixteen months, including ORC Worldwide and CENSEO, expect to see more strategic acquisitions in the near future as Mercer leverages its cash on hand to build scale. Mercer’s TRC practice already has a great start with 55% of revenues from outside of the U.S. and 18% growth in 2011, 11% organic.

Mercer is focusing on more than consulting as a standalone service.  It is combining consulting with enabling technology and data to continue to win in its very competitive market space. Along with discussions on talent management, there were demonstrations of technologies and tool kits to gather, monitor, and manage information that helps clients make better people decisions, such as Mercer iknow and Human Capital Connect. 

Most clients cannot afford to immediately “rip and replace” their current tools and technologies, so Mercer will also help clients who say, “make what I have work.”  Its new Belong portal will be the front door to bringing together the information, tools, and applications – whether it’s Mercer’s own or a client’s blend of programs. Offering HR portals is not new, but Mercer is building in data extractors to offer the most needed information, dashboards, and limited functionality within the portal without having to go out to the full application.

There are other critical components to consider. This is where HRO comes in as part of the build and operations team to ensure cost-effective and viable end-to-end HR services for the participants, HR generalists and COEs, managers, senior leadership, and the enterprise itself.

Whether as a single source of consulting, solutions, and services or by using an ecosystem of preferred partners, is your HRO service provider(s) capable of helping you go from strategy to design, build, operate, and improve your HR capabilities and services to deliver full business value?

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

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

Employment Branding: Business, Culture, and HRO

May 25, 2012

Yesterday, I participated in a very lively online Twitter discussion about employment branding. Branding is a common topic for businesses, particularly for corporate, product, and service identities. Employment branding is important to ensure the attraction and retention of employees that can deliver the business brand experience. Meghan M. Biro’s brand humanization concept is that it is all connected: the business brand, its culture, and its ability to attract and retain talent. That connectivity is a business opportunity for HRO, think RPO and employment branding services, and it is also an issue for HRO service providers as employers.

In an earlier blog this year, I concluded that HRO will not hinder and may even help clients achieve human capital leadership, using leadership and best place to work awards as evidence. Diversity award lists from DiversityInc.com and Diversity MBA magazine have just come out for 2012 and again we see recognition of HRO service providers including Accenture, ADP, and IBM, as well as many companies that use HRO. Here are examples from the world of RPO:

  • Alexander Mann Solutions: Citi and Deloitte
  • Futurestep: General Mills and Kaiser Permanente
  • KellyOCG: GE
  • Kenexa: Verizon and U.S. Navy
  • ManpowerGroup Solutions: Wells Fargo
  • Randstad SourceRight: AT&T and Capital One
  • The RightThing, an ADP Company: Kellogg and WellPoint.

As part of my long running theme on talent management, I believe strongly that HRO vendors can and should be leaders in creating the agile workforces of the future. Part of being a leader is practicing what you preach, which is largely what corporate and employment branding is about.

In HRO service providers often need to scale up and scale down quickly, while still ensuring a full slate of experienced subject matter experts. On top of that, many HRO service providers base client care centers and processing centers in talent competitive markets, which often stimulates high turnover and brings together workforces from very different cultures. This is the second challenge of employment branding for HRO, as employers, each service provide needs to build a differentiated employment brand and corporate culture to attract and retain the talent needed to fulfill its business brand.

Part of developing an employment brand is determining what attributes make a particular employer a good place to work and developing programs to ensure those elements are in the workplace and recognized by current and prospective employees and are aligned with business outcomes. Sounds simple, but it surely isn’t.

Buyers, ask your HRO service providers about their workforce practices to see if they practice what they sell. Service providers, in addition to client testimonials, engage and leverage your own employees as brand ambassadors.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

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

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.

ADP’s Meeting of the Minds, not just an Ordinary Event

March 19, 2012

I attended ADP’s Meeting of the Minds (ADP MOTM) that happened last week March 11 to 14 in Dallas. This was my first time attending, and I didn’t quite know what to expect until I arrived—well, how about ~900 enthusiastic ADP clients. This is an annual event of which ~30% of attendees were first timers.

Sure, there were a few ADP presentations and demonstrations on ADP’s latest products and services, but many of the sessions were not conducted by ADP and were instead facilitated by HR practitioners and clients. Professional development would be a good way to summarize it. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas—how about ~170 sessions that you could attend to learn about everything from Healthcare Reform to Payroll taxes, to RPO, to best practices across a number of services, and functions including shared services, recruiting, change management, etc. There were also hands-on training sessions, of which I attended Learning, part of ADP’s Talent Management.

I could write my entire blog talking about the keynote speaker, Emmitt Smith, and the fun social events, but I’ll shift gears to talk about HRO to keep with our blog focus.

To begin, it’s important to share ADP’s three priorities, as stated by CEO Carlos Rodriguez, that are important to advance ADP as a:

  • Technical leader
  • Service leader
  • Global leader.

Regina Lee, president of ADP’s national and major accounts, GlobalView, and ADP Canada, spoke about four key areas of investments that were made by ADP:

  • Integrated Human Capital Management: including Vantage HCM and Workforce Now
  • Talent Management: including the integration of performance management, succession planning, and learning. ADP’s talent management platform has over 100 clients
  • Benefits Administration and Healthcare Management: having acquired Workscape in 2010 to strengthen ADP’s benefits administration capability, in addition to Workscape’s talent management and compensation capability. On March 8, ADP announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire SHPS Human Resource Solutions (rationale is below)
  • HR BPO, including the acquitisition of The RightThing in October 2011 (further details below).

I’ll finish my blog focusing on Benefits Administration and RPO.

The Workscape acquisition has proven to be a success, with ADP adding ~100 additional benefits clients annually. SHPS will further strengthen ADP’s benefits administration offering with capabilities including:

  • Eligibility and enrollment
  • Spending accounts administration
  • COBRA administration
  • Absence management
  • Benefits advocacy.

SHPS will strengthen ADP’s leave administration and reimbursement account administration capabilities, including HSAs and HRAs, which have become increasingly important as more employers offer high deductible benefits plans to their employees. You can read about this in my recent blog.

The RightThing – coming off its best year in 2011 – was ranked by NelsonHall in its 2011 RPO report as the top U.S. RPO provider in terms of North American revenue, bringing in ~80 clients. Prior to the acquisition, ADP provided recruitment administration and technology, but it is now a full end-to-end RPO services provider. Expect an RPO contract announcement soon and much more to come as RPO will continue to be provided as a standalone service and now also in combination with ADP’s multi-process HRO services.

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.

Transformational MPHRO is Thriving at IBM

March 1, 2012

I love covering MPHRO news! I still believe that broad-scope MPHRO has the greatest potential for long-term partnerships that create significant HR business impact and financial results for clients.

A summary of IBM HRO wins in the second half of 2011 shows that it is doing well in a still tough market for large-scale MPHRO while winning major MPHRO awards, including transformational deals.

Let’s start with the 13-year multitower award from Algar Group in Brazil that covers HR, F&A, and procurement supply chain management. The contract is valued at $100m and covers seven of Algar’s business segments and ~13,000 employees. While Algar Group covers a wide range of services: telecom, IT, agribusiness, and even tourism, it wants a standardized platform for back-office services with efficient processes, high quality, and lower costs. The HR portion includes call center, personnel management, benefits administration, payroll, training, and performance management.

There was also a unique long-term multitower award from Tanfeeth that covers HR, F&A, banking and other vertical back office, and client-facing BPO services. Tanfeeth is a fully owned subsidiary of Emirates NBD, the largest bank in UAE. IBM will provide managed services for the Tanfeeth shared services center, including BPO management and workflow services, predictive analytics, tools and training, and managing part of Tanfeeth’s delivery portfolio. The shared services center will also use IBM’s software applications to provide and manage the services and will support Emirates NBD’s 8,000 employees.

Tanfeeth will also provide services to other UAE organizations as the Gulf Cooperation Council’s first authorized multi-employer service center. This is a major strategic step for IBM in bringing larger-scale BPO to the Middle East. Tanfeeth has the needed local knowledge and long-term relationships, and IBM will bring its expertise in process, training, service delivery, and systems management.

As part of a planned transformational journey, there is a built-in attention for the employees of Tanfeeth and its clients covering change management, training and development, and even the opportunity for high-performance employees to participate in IBM’s worldwide leadership training program.

Then there is the competitive-bid MPHRO contract award from Air Canada for almost eight years and worth an estimated $76m. The deal is for full-scope MPHRO serving Air Canada’s 26,000 employees in North America and includes HR contact center, employee data management, employee travel support, payroll, benefits administration, leave management, recruiting services (with select support from manpower), and software application support for the HR systems used to provide the services.

Why is IBM continuing its MPHRO winning streak? According to Kevin Howlett, Air Canada’s senior vice president of employee relations, “IBM’s core strengths as a market leader in innovation played an important role in our decision-making process.” It also helped that the client felt IBM also had the strongest service offerings, a commitment to transformation, and the proven ability to ensure delivery performance and lower cost.

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.