Posted tagged ‘hro research’

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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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

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ManpowerGroup Latin America Analyst Event

May 22, 2012

ManpowerGroup Solutions held its first analyst event outside of the U.S. in Mexico City to focus on the fast-growing Latin America market which includes Mexico and Central America (MeCA), and South America. I must first say the hospitality extended to us by both the Latin America and U.S. ManpowerGroup teams present was the warmest I could have imagined.

The agenda included:

  • Introduction to ManpowerGroup MeCA
  • Talentism is the new capitalism: ManpowerGroup insights from the World Economic Forum
  • The economic landscape in Mexico and Latin America
  • ManpowerGroup priorities, progress, and perspectives
  • The RPO and MSP market in MeCA
  • Visit to ManpowerGroup client and ManpowerGroup office (particularly helpful to understand how jobs are advertised in Mexico)
  • Labor and workforce demographics in South America
  • ManpowerGroup brand, messaging, and target markets
  • The global RPO COE
  • Analyst perspectives on topics including: client readiness for global talent planning, client satisfaction, and ManpowerGroup strategies

With such an informative agenda, I’d be writing a small book if I tried to cover all the content, so I’ll focus on the client visit to KidZania. KidZania is a global organization with franchises in Mexico. It is opening its third office there by June, which we were able to visit. KidZania is focused on creating a live learning experience for kids that allows them to role-play adult activities including working different jobs, spending money, and even learning how to drive a miniature car after acquiring a permit. The facility is Disney-like, but better because adults are not allowed inside. ManpowerGroup also has its first job agency within KidZania, so kids can assess their skills and search for jobs available on computers.

ManpowerGroup Solutions began providing RPO services to KidZania in 2010 after the client was searching for an agile vendor that could provide a flexible workforce solution with a focus on talent. The client stated the following three primary objectives of which ManpowerGroup has exceeded its expectations:

  • Find the right candidates fast
  • Reduce time / cost of recruitment, including quickly scaling up and down to meet hiring needs
  • Create the right culture among kids, parents, and collaborators.

I’ll revisit the Latin America market in a future blog, but for now I will say that although Mexico had one of its biggest recessions in 2008 – 2009, it has made a quick recovery, and is expected to create ~1.2m jobs this year. Mexico is about more than just outsourcing for labor arbitrage; it is about outsourcing for job skills where more than 100,000 engineers and technicians graduate every year from science and technology programs. Just last month, for example, Volkswagen’s Audi luxury-car unit announced that it will open its first North American factory in Mexico.

ManpowerGroup has more than 2,000 clients in MeCA and is present in 10 countries in South America. RPO is provided to both Mexican headquartered clients and U.S. MNCs with hiring needs in Mexico.

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, 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.

A Deeper Look – HRO and Health Care Exchanges

May 3, 2012

HRO is an ever changing set of services, processes, technologies, and client needs. My HRO colleague Amy Gurchensky recently covered one of the emerging service areas in benefits: health care exchanges. I wanted to know more about active employee exchanges and arranged for educational briefings with Aon Hewitt and Mercer since both are already in this market.

Both of the HRO service providers have found similar reactions from insurers to the exchanges. As with any new concept, some carriers are more progressive and recognize changing market needs. Other carriers are more cautious and methodical and want to know more about how the new models work, how to underwrite the risk, client implications, etc.

Even though health care exchanges offer preconfigured selections with price advantages for employers, exchanges are still group programs and the employer is still the plan sponsor for active pre-65 participants. Aon Hewitt’s corporate exchange offering includes services to help clients meet their obligations as plan sponsors.

Exchanges are a bundled service. Along with structured plans from participating carriers, traditional benefits administration services are also included. Both Mercer and Aon Hewitt have great depth in providing end-to-end participant services, handling escalations, and advocacy. For example, Mercer’s exchange offering includes clinical case management support as well as program oversight and audits. Aon Hewitt includes both tier one and tier two call center support and advocacy services for participants with issues or claims that are more complex and require a greater level of case management and carrier interaction.

Both companies are major league benefits administrators, and I wondered how the exchanges may impact revenues as clients move to an exchange-style service. Mercer sees the revenue impact as neutral initially and additive overall; Aon Hewitt views the exchange markets as an important natural extension of its traditional benefit administration services.

Today, health care exchanges are a very small part of benefits HRO, but there is significant growth potential. Mercer will be testing service models in rolling its Mercer Benefits Choice Exchange (MBCE) for employers with less than 1,000 employees, so expect to see the changes and evolutions that are common with emerging services. It will not be surprising if more HRO vendors launch exchanges, and even a couple large carriers may decide to offer exchange services directly as the market develops.

The future of health care private exchanges is not dependent on whether or not the current U.S. health care reform is amended or survives. Research indicates that up to 90% of employers offering health care coverage intend to continue to offer coverage in 2014.  Employers will continue to need options that help them offer competitive benefits at controllable costs, and innovative HRO service providers will continue to develop new services and options to meet those changing market needs.

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.

Flexible Benefits and HRO Add Choice for Employees and Options for Employers

May 2, 2012

Mercer’s What’s Working Survey found that one-third of European participants are seriously considering leaving their organization. This had me immediately questioning why. Does it have something to do with the employee’s benefits package? Probably not in the U.K. since 36% of respondents stated that their benefits package was the primary reason for staying at their organization.

In fact, 30% of survey participants in the U.K. said that their employer’s benefit package was the key reason for joining the company in the first place, up 5% since 2005. Across Europe including France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, the average percent of employees that are content with their benefits package is 50%, representing a general decline over the last five years.

The survey shows what employees value varies by country, culture, and age. While surveyed European employees have many common interests, there is variation by country. Employees in France and Italy were the most dissatisfied over many of the employee value proposition elements studied including base pay, benefits, and development opportunities. In most cases, score varied. For example, employees in the Netherlands were less likely to intend to leave and were satisfied with their benefits, but were dissatisfied with employer assistance in retirement plans and base pay.

With pressure on all aspects of workforce costs, including benefits, what is an employer to do?  One option is to add a flexible benefits program to increase employee desired choice while still controlling costs. Program designs include one or both of the following:

  • Employer paid benefit “credits” that employees can use to select the choices most important to them
  • Employee paid benefits available through the employer, payable with payroll deductions and usually at better prices than available in the general market.

While flexible benefits schemes have been slow to take off, the continued adoption rate will have a positive effect on flexible benefits service providers since internal HR departments tend to lack the skills necessary to administer these benefit choices successfully. According to Mercer’s European Survey on Employee Choice in Benefits, flexible benefits programs generally meet employer objectives (63%) and are well-received by employees (71%).

Using HRO to administer the programs reduces administrative cost and complexity for employers.  The number of European organizations outsourcing their flexible benefit plan has increased. Specifically, Mercer’s survey found the following:

  • 36% of employers outsourced their entire flexible benefits program, up from 28% in 2009
  • 33% use a combination of in-sourcing and outsourcing for their flex program, up from 23%
  • 16% manage the flex offering in-house, down from 35%.

NelsonHall’s upcoming Targeting Benefits Administration market analysis report will indicate that growth opportunities for flexible benefits are very good as organizations look for an alternative to salary increases and bonuses while meeting the needs of increasingly diverse workforces.

Amy L. Gurchensky, 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.

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.