Posted tagged ‘Accenture’

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.

Insourcing American Jobs – The Risk and Opportunity for HRO

January 19, 2012

Offshoring is once again under the harsh glare of the polarized political spotlight in a presidential election year. As my NelsonHall HRO colleague Gary Bragar commented in his blog, President Obama is increasing focus on job creation including encouraging employers to insource jobs back to the U.S. This may cast a shadow of negative publicity on outsourcing that includes offshoring, but I predict the issue poses only minimal direct threat to HRO. In fact, I see increased opportunity for savvy HRO service leaders.

In listening to the President’s remarks and reading the insourcing and investment fact sheet issued by the White House, it is clear that manufacturing jobs are the primary target.

The U.S. lost millions of manufacturing jobs and in some cases almost entire industries, as companies pursued ways to remain competitive with lower-priced global competitors. Lower wages and benefits were a key part of the equation, but there were other factors including regulations, taxation policies, and the low cost of transportation in what was still a bountiful world of low-cost oil.

Offshoring dynamics are changing, especially for manufacturing. The time delay inherent in moving products around the world now creates challenges in meeting the rapidly changing market preferences and shortened product lifecycles of a connected world. With increased competition for limited energy supplies from the emerging economies, the cost of transportation has become a significant factor. Add in moderately decreasing wage gaps and we can see why companies will be able to insource some jobs. Others will be able to create more jobs in the U.S., much like Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz have been doing for years.

HRO as an industry is already a blend of onshore, nearshore, and offshore technologies and workforces. A mix of right-shoring talent and technology helps vendors meet client needs for cost, service, and value. With time and transportation being minor factors in HRO or other BPO, talent remains a primary driver.

Access to pools of affordable skilled talent is an increasingly important element in the growth of all businesses, whether small or large, local or multinational. Who has access to comprehensive data on workforces around the world including costs, turnover, and availability? Who can see trends emerging on skilled labor capabilities and capacity shortages? Who has direct experience in building and maintaining global workforces both for clients and for themselves? HRO service providers!

Think about it, in our HRO community are the likes of Accenture and IBM, growing globalists like ADP and NorthgateArinso, modern tech heavyweights like Infosys and TCS, global research and analysis specialists like Aon Hewitt and Mercer, and RPO leaders such as Alexander Mann, Hays, and Manpower, we even have learning leaders that can handle rocket science like Raytheon RPS.

We need to have a large enough vision for what we can become as an HRO community. There is so much already that we can leverage. Be confident in our value and let our light shine bright!

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 and Shared Service Organizations: Integrated Business Service Partners

September 30, 2011

I used to speak frequently at shared service and HRO conferences based on my experience as a HR director and contract manager of one of the early major HRO outsourcing deals. I soon found I had to turn down most requests to speak at HR shared services events as it wasn’t a good use of my time. HR outsourcing was seen as a competitor to internal shared services and I sometimes spoke to nearly empty rooms.

Business process outsourcing and shared service organizations (SSOs) have both evolved, and more and more leaders are seeing that the two can go hand-in-hand and become synergistic partners.  In a new study by Accenture, “Trends in Shared Services: Unlocking the Full Potential,” more than two-thirds (69%) of the executives interviewed said their organizations began using outsourcing to meet their global service requirements within the first four years of establishing shared services programs. Accenture, a leader in providing large market global multi-process HRO according to the NelsonHall’s 2011 Targeting Multi-Process HRO report, recently shared the research at its 11th annual global shared services conference.

Executives who lead SSOs are increasingly accountable to the corporate C-suite. The number of SSO executives directly reporting to the CEO has doubled in the last two years, up from 8% to 17%. Overall, 59% report to C-suites officers including finance, operations, human resources, and information technology.

As shared service programs have become more proven and popular, they are being designed to deliver services that require more skills than basic administrative functions. And within the next five years, 49% of executives said their SSOs intend to deliver innovation services as well as other value-add services such as data analytics and research. Also, SSOs tend to grow; 90% of the executives are reporting that they are already delivering services to more geographies and markets.

At the same time, internal SSOs can find it hard to create, maintain, and continually invest in services that achieve both process excellence and quality excellence. This can become a barrier to moving into a more strategic role. HR policies had been standardized by 26% of respondents and 25% lacked the needed supporting systems. While 78% said their organizations define processes globally, 48% still implement locally. HRO can be very useful in standardizing services and processes, accessing and managing rapidly changing technology, and providing services globally at a lower total cost.

Integrated business services that leverage global corporate resources and contract with outsourcing partners are already being seen in the more advanced SSOs. The question is no longer internal shared services or outsourcing, and it is no longer sufficient to simply silo processes running in them in isolation. To take advantage of increased C-suite interest and expectations, it is time to build strategic SSOs and HRO partnerships to provide business results in ways and at costs neither could achieve alone.

Are you building integrated business service partnerships with the strengths of both?

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.

NorthgateArinso Getting SaaS-y Starting with e-Learning Content

September 28, 2011

NorthgateArinso (NGA) has just announced its euHReka Inclusion Framework to provide transparent access to third party providers, HR professionals, and associated resources.  The euHReka platform includes payroll and talent management SaaS for learning, recruitment, performance management, compensation management, and succession planning.  It serves 80 clients and 800,000 employees, and is available in 100 countries and 32 languages.

Although NGA has been providing learning BPO (LBPO) since its acquisition of Convergys’ HR Management business in March 2010, and since learning is already a part of its euHReka platform, the company is aware of the heightened demand for e-learning content in the market.  Consequently, NGA’s first partnership on the new framework is with SkillSoft to add e-learning content to euHReka.  Subsequent content and applications will include:

  • Compensation data
  • Benefits programs
  • Job boards
  • Professional social networking sites.

NGA is wise to begin with e-learning.  In NelsonHall’s LBPO market analysis, published Q4 2010, traditional instructor-led classroom training (ILT) is expected to be reduced from ~50% of the market in terms of revenue to 40% by 2012 due to the explosion of e-learning.  As a result, content development is also rapidly growing.  NelsonHall’s LBPO report ranks content development second behind learning administration in terms of LBPO revenue and ahead of delivery, technology, and consulting. 

Some examples of e-learning contracts this year include:

  • Accenture with HSBC
  • Genpact with JobSkills in India for a 5-year content development contract (note: approximately 85% of Genpact’s courses are provided via e-learning)
  • Edvantage Group with Yara International for safety e-learning (note: Edvantage Group’s H1 2011 financial results showed a 31% increase in sales and double-digit revenue growth y-o-y with EBITA increasing 168% to 5.9m NOK, compared to 2.2m NOK in H1 2010).

I believe we will continue to see significant increased demand for e-learning content for years to come, which will be further magnified by mobile learning (i.e., m-learning), especially for accessing content for self-paced e-learning when out of the office.  However, e-learning will not replace the uptick expected for virtual instructor-led training (VLT) because of the need to actively participate and focus on the learning task at hand in VLT.  I’ll write more about contracts for VLT and web 2.0 learning portals at a later date.  In the meantime, further analysis on the useage of e-learning by region and other associated information is available from NelsonHall.

Gary Bragar, HR Outsourcing Research Director, NelsonHall

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

Does HRO Stifle Innovation?

September 7, 2011

A question since the earliest days of HRO has been, what about innovation? We all want cake and want to eat it too, and that’s what buyers have always wanted: lower costs, improved performance, and innovation in HR business process management. Even when a deal was structured for the lowest cost pricing and standard SLA performance, clients soon asked “where’s the innovation?”

Knowing if a service provider is a market leader in HRO innovation is important to some clients, especially those companies that use innovation as a competitive advantage. Perhaps an equally important question is can an innovative company risk using HRO and will it help or hurt?

The Forbes List of The World’s Most Innovative Companies may help us determine if HRO providers can be innovative and if HRO is being used by innovative companies. The list is based on an “innovation premium” which is defined as “the premium the stock market gives a company because investors expect it to launch new offerings and enter new markets that will generate even bigger income streams.”

First, can HRO providers be innovative? Well, ADP (#87) is on the list of the top 100 that includes the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Starbucks. Infosys (#15) is on the list and it also offers HRO services. Congratulations to both ADP and Infosys!

Next, can innovative companies risk using HRO? Yes, they can and they do. Here are some of the top 100 companies on the list known to use HRO and their vendor partners. Notable is IBM HRO with at least three clients on the list: P&G, Kraft, and Avon Products. IBM HRO focuses on large market HRO and clearly can be a valued partner in HR transformation with leading innovators.  Other partnerships include Unilever with Accenture; KAO with ADP; Kellogg and PepsiCo with Aon Hewitt; and Agilent with NorthgateArinso. RPO providers are also represented with the triple threat of The RightThing providing RPO support for Amazon, Campbell Soup, and Praxair. I am sure there are many more connections to HRO among the top 100. Congratulations to all, let’s have a piece of cake in their honor!

According to the newly published “The Innovator’s DNA,” the 3P framework for innovation is people, processes, and philosophies that foster innovation as everyone’s job and there are key leadership skills and behaviors than can be developed to weave innovation DNA into the company. Of course HRO, even at its most innovative, cannot make a client an innovator. That must come from within. HRO can support each element of the framework for innovation and become an enabling partner to clients that are innovative or those that are striving to be.

Do you have an innovation premium? Is your HRO service provider capable of enhancing your journey of innovation?

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

Let’s Not Forget About Learning

August 30, 2011

According to a survey by KnowledgePool, a U.K.-based managed learning services provider, 70% of internal client learning and development (L&D) organizations are too busy doing daily fire-fighting to focus on strategic talent and learning issues in their company. Out of 104 L&D managers, 69% say their training department does not have enough resources and 42% say that training receives inadequate support from senior managers. Yet 80% of L&D managers said they could improve their organization’s training ROI; 77% think new opportunities for improvement could be identified through rigorous analysis of their training spend and evaluation data; and 75% say improvements could be made by using more informal and on-the-job learning methods.

Sound like an opportunity for outsourcing? You bet!  The good news from NelsonHall’s most recent quarterly HR Outsourcing Confidence Index is that learning services, which has been the last of the HR outsourcing service lines to recover, is expected to continue to strengthen as the year progresses. Following several strong quarters of growth within RPO, the need is now shifting toward implementing and optimizing learning programs. Good news in learning since the beginning of Q2 includes:

  • Genpact winning a content development contract by JobSkills in India
  • Raytheon Professional Services winning a contract to develop an e-training program for NATO
  • CIBER’s Federal division winning a 5-year training development contract with a potential value of $30.7m by the Center for Strategic Leadership, an institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Accenture winning an e-learning contract with a major bank that may later add classroom ILT
  • General Physics winning $3m in 5 new contracts from energy companies across Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia
  • Edvantage group winning a safety e-learning contract by Yara International, providing 7 interactive e-learning courses for 3,000 technicians, operators, engineers, and supervisors at 30 plants across 17 countries.

In NelsonHall’s last learning BPO report, top drivers of why companies are outsourcing learning, which support KnowledgePool’s findings, include:

1.        Lowering costs (average client savings of 26%)
2.        Increasing training effectiveness and ROI
3.        Improving the quality of learning for employees
4.        Accessing experts in the industry whose core competency is                       learning
5.        Flexible services, aligning learning with the customer’s                                 strategic objectives
6.        Focusing on strategic work, not transactional activities.

Look for increased learning outsourcing to continue the remainder of 2011, including by the likes of IBM who continue to see increased demand globally. In 2012, I think learning outsourcing will really soar. Although uncertainty in the economy continues to cause delayed decision-making, there is no doubt in my mind that we will see a boost in learning as companies unanimously agree talent management is more important than ever. To improve and engage talent, you have to invest in your people. There is only so long you can just say the words, eventually you have to walk the talk!

Gary Bragar,  HR Outsourcing Research Director, NelsonHall

Success Factors for the Market Segments of MPHRO

August 9, 2011

Last week, I discussed the four market segments of multi-process HR outsourcing (MPHRO) as defined in my 2011 NelsonHall MPHRO report: multi-country standardization, client-specific shared service transformation, core business focus, and technology-led HR service enhancement.  This week, I’ll examine success factors for service providers within each segment.

In the “multi-country standardization segment,” which is the segment with the highest growth rate for the next five years, it is critical for vendors to be able to support a client’s operations across a wide range of countries including emerging markets. Providers must also be able to rollout standardized HR administration and payroll to create a global system of record. Examples of service providers operating in this segment include ADP, HP, and NorthgateArinso.

To be successful in the “client-specific shared service transformation segment,” the largest of the four, vendors must provide HRO support directly or through a partner for all HR service lines (i.e., payroll, benefits, learning, RPO, and workforce development services) and have a high degree of multi-shore delivery capabilities to support clients in various locations.  Equally important is a service provider’s ability to be able to work with the client’s existing HR technology.  One of the biggest challenges faced by vendors in this group is getting clients to transition more than just back-office functions to its offshore service centers to reduce operating costs.  Service providers operating in this segment include those that have been long-term players in the MPHRO market such as Accenture; IBM; Aon Hewitt; ACS, a Xerox Company; and U.K.-based Capita.

Within the “core business focus” market segment, success is contingent on a provider’s ability to quickly deploy HR services and be accessible when expertise is required.  In terms of HRO offerings, standardized HR administration and payroll are a must and providing support for talent management services is very appealing.  The biggest challenge for vendors operating here is all the competition that exists from some of the following vendors: Genpact, TCS, Talent2, Infosys, HCL, Wipro, and Caliber Point.

Success in the final segment, “technology-led HR service enhancement,” requires vendors to provide their own standard technology for HR administration and payroll that includes talent management functions.  Also, it’s important that this technology be rolled-out relatively quickly.  Providers that fall within this segment mirror the multi-country standardization segment, but also include vendors such as Ceridian.

There’s lots of room in the MPHRO market for all types of buyers, so it’s critical for service providers to decide which segments are of strategic value and to define their sweet spots in their MPHRO portfolios and fill in capability gaps where contracts can be lost to competitors.

Amy Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall