Posted tagged ‘employee development’

Kenexa and Aon Hewitt New Product Offerings Help Clients Hire, Engage, and Retain Talent

June 18, 2012

By Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

Kenexa’s RPO business has been growing, including globally as evidenced by its five year RPO contract with Eli Lilly to provide services in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas.

Kenexa has been expanding its business with new service offerings including those focused on talent management. Two new product offerings that help clients hire, engage, and retain talent include:

  • Fit Compass
  • Career Bull’s Eye.

Kenexa calls these offerings Performance Accelerators.

Fit Compass: helps clients determine the quality of the hire by providing managers with an interview guide to help probe for candidate strengths, work styles, and challenges of how they would fit into the culture of the organization. Fit Compass can also be used for employee development and career planning, team building, and team effectiveness.

Career Bull’s Eye: determines an employee’s level of engagement by assessing their purpose, passion and pay. It then helps business leaders identify where in the organization they need to focus by finding out causes of disengagement so it can make improvements and reduce turnover. It can also be used when onboarding new hires to ensure that they are engaged to avoid turnover. Results are shared during quarterly business reviews with the client. Both products are available as standalone services or can be bundled with other RPO service offerings.

Aon Hewitt provides RPO as both a part of its HR BPO offering and as a standalone service. Aon Hewitt’s RPO business has been growing globally as well. Examples include its HR BPO contract with BP where it provides RPO in North America and EMEA, and its recent contract award with a professional services company to provide RPO as a standalone service in EMEA and North America. Aon Hewitt has two new products that help organizations transform their hiring process:

  • SourceSprint
  • Digital interviewing capabilities.

SourceSprint: keeps applicants in a talent community for possible placement with other opportunities. Often when an organization fills a job requisition, other applicants are lost after the new hire comes on board. While the applicants may not have gotten the job they applied for, they may be good candidates for other opportunities. But, finding them again is problematic. SourceSprint changes that by using social media, optimization of search engines, and mobile communications to keep these prospects in a talent community. It remembers how applicants were originally found and their preferred communication.

Digital interviewing capabilities: improves the efficiency and experience of the hiring process for both candidates and hiring managers. Through its partnership with HireVue, Aon Hewitt clients can use the HireVue Digital Interview Platform to ask candidates scientifically validated questions that will ensure consistency and objectivity across interviews. Candidates then use a webcam to record their answers. Since it is not a live interview, candidates can respond from anywhere at their convenience, and hiring managers can watch and share the recorded interviews with colleagues anywhere.

Given these types of continuous innovative offerings, it’s no surprise to me that RPO has been rapidly growing as clients seek to attract, engage, and retain talent, while improving the efficiency of the recruitment process at the same time!

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HRO SaaS Uptake – What, How Much and Where?

August 19, 2010

As a follow-on to my July 7 blog titled, “SaaS More Than Just Catching On,” let’s today look at what types of HRO SaaS clients are buying, the size of awarded contracts and the industries in which HRO SaaS has had the greatest penetration to date.

The What

By rank order of the most commonly purchased software applications/modules:

• Payroll

• HR administration

• Benefits administration, including benefits planning, health and safety, claims submission, absence management and occupational health

• Employee and manager self-service

• Talent management, including recruiting and learning

• Workforce planning

• Compensation/salary administration

• Employee development for career pathing

• Travel  

The reasons behind the rankings, especially at the top of the list, are pretty self-evident. Payroll leads as it is the most visible and frequently used (and arguably, the most important) service. And HR administration really ties into employee and manager self-service, as one of the primary drivers of SaaS implementation is self-service for cost reduction and employee satisfaction.

The Size

As I noted in my July 7 blog, the mid-market is proving to be the ripest for HRO SaaS. Using Netherlands-based HRO provider Raet as an example – and a good one at that, as it in the past six weeks inked seven new SaaS contracts and one renewal – client company size is ranging from 250 to 12,000 employees. This uptake in the mid-market makes perfect sense, particularly on the lower end, as companies in this space need access to HR technology to enhance their operational efficiency but frequently lack the budget to invest their own capital in purchasing it. In terms of contract sizes, we’re seeing a length range from four to seven years, with an average of five years.

The Industries

In looking across all HRO SaaS contracts awarded thus far in 2010, education is the top industry, followed equally by local government and retail. I don’t necessarily believe there’s any secret sauce as to why these are the top three ranking industries, as organizations in virtually all – including healthcare, media, manufacturing and financial services – may be challenged with a preponderance of multiple divisions and locations, and often have several disparate systems for HR and payroll that do not communicate with each other, causing extra administrative work and duplication of effort, etc. Thus, the driver for most existing and upcoming HRO SaaS contracts is the ability to have one singular system for HR and payroll in order to achieve standardization, data accuracy, cost savings, self-service, timely processing and data, and employee satisfaction.

Due to all the inherent advantages, I believe we will continue to see a growing number of HRO SaaS contracts in the mid-market, across all industries. In addition, but to a lesser extent, I believe we will continue to see combined SaaS and outsourcing contracts such as the one announced on August 10 between MidlandHR and Swan Housing Group. Under this contract, Swan Housing will internally host MidlandHR’s iTrent software – which provides a single platform for HR, payroll, talent management and workforce planning. Swan Housing will simply provide the payroll data via iTrent, and MidlandHR will do everything else, from the structuring of pay and deduction calculations, through to payslip printing and distribution. The advantage of these hybrid-type contracts? Economies of SaaS scale coupled with outsourcing of processes for which internal resources and/or knowledge may be lacking.

Gary Bragar, Senior HR Outsourcing Analyst, NelsonHall

Employee Management 101 and HRO Provider Value-Adds

April 29, 2010

In prior blogs I’ve written about low levels of employee satisfaction and confidence in their employer, and the negative impacts these can have on an organization in terms of lost talent, potential revenue loss and certain additional hiring expenses.

Sadly, employee confidence isn’t increasing. In fact, according to the Kenexa Research Institute, employee confidence decreased, yet again, in Q1 2010. In the twelve countries tracked, all but Spain declined in the first quarter of this year.

With that in mind, I found an article entitled, “Prevent Exit Interviews” in the April 2010 issue of Talent Management magazine very interesting. The article essentially says that to help increase employee retention, supervisors should be conducting “stay interviews” – or what I call Employee Management 101 – with their employees. These are frequent one-on-one meetings with employees to ask how things are going, gauge satisfaction, ask what the company can do to help, etc. Unfortunately, during economic downturns, many managers avoid such meetings because they fear they won’t be able to deliver on employee requests. However, hiding their heads in the sand simply creates more problems and exacerbates employee dissatisfaction. The article suggests simple things managers can do, such as tell employees how much they are valued. And when they ask the “what can our company do to help” question, there will in nearly all cases be at least one thing an employee wants that the company can provide!

So how can an HRO provider help? I certainly don’t advocate having providers replace a manager’s direct and continuous discussions with employees. However, proactive initiatives by HRO vendors can help identify employee concerns and provide managers with insights into how they can address, eliminate, and/or lessen them.

There are a variety of HRO providers assisting their clients with this type of support. For example, Kenexa, an RPO provider, also provides performance management solutions and conducts employee surveys to increase employee engagement. And U.K.-based RPO provider OchreHouse focuses not only on recruiting but also on key aspects of talent management including engagement, development and employee retention. It conducts employee satisfaction surveys, and has a “Keep in Touch” program wherein recruiters periodically contact new hires several months into the job to see how things are going and ask if there is anything they can do to help. OchreHouse also conducts exit interviews to find out why people are leaving. Although too late to retain the exiting employee, the feedback, along with recommendations on how to retain talent, is provided to the company’s hiring managers.

As an organizational leader or supervisor, what are you doing to help retain your talent, whether on your own or with the help of a third-party provider? We’d like to hear!

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

Can RPO Help Ease Chinese and Japanese Employees’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” Woes?

March 25, 2010

What can employers in China and Japan learn from those in Denmark, Norway and Canada? Seems quite a bit, according to the results of staffing and recruiting provider Randstad’s new global Workmonitor survey released earlier this month. The online survey, administered by a third-party among minimum 400 full-time employees per country, found that only six percent of Chinese employees and seven percent of Japanese employees are “very satisfied” with their current employer, compared to more than 35 percent for those in Denmark, Norway and Canada. (FYI – The “very satisfied” levels for U.K., Australia and the U.S. were 20 percent, 24 percent and 31 percent, respectively.)

While Asia Pacific has been slower than other world regions to embrace HRO, NelsonHall research forecasts the Asia Pacific region to have the highest growth rate of HRO adoption over the next five years. Given the sobering results from the Randstad survey, China- and Japan-based employers may be well served by considering recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services sooner than later, especially when the contracts include talent management, employee development and retention solution components. Although RPO itself is not an end-all solution to improving employee satisfaction, if it includes the aforementioned services, it will go a long way toward helping to improve it!

We’ve already seen some evidence of RPO activity in China including the Talent2/VivaKi China contract signed in November 2009, and the April 2009-announced partnership between Kenexa and R&J Management Consultants, which resulted in the creation of Shanghai Kenexa. And a variety of other RPO providers, including Manpower, Hays, Futurestep, Adecco, Hudson and Alexander Mann, are stepping up their delivery capabilities and reach into the Asia Pacific market.

My advice to RPO providers servicing (or considering doing so) the Asia Pacific region, especially China and Japan: present your local market knowledge and delivery capabilities, not only in recruiting but also in retention-related activities such as expanded on-boarding processes with linkage to learning, reaching out to new hires at periodic intervals, conducting regular employee satisfaction surveys, conducting exit interviews to find out why people are leaving and then feeding those results with recommendations to senior leaders for action, etc.

My advice to China- and Japan-based employers: with the delicate state of your workforces’ satisfaction levels, robust on-boarding, performance management, talent management, employee development and other retention solutions are very important – as they are for employers around the world. It could be highly advantageous to leverage the expertise of an RPO provider to support you in these areas.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall