Posted tagged ‘rpo’

Can HRO be Social, Smart, Quick, and Effective?

February 1, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Smarter Workforce and Smarter Commerce are the two major themes of this year’s conference for customers and business partners at IBM Connect 2013.

IBM is Messaging, Managing, and Delivering

First, I want to complement IBM on the clarity and alignment of its strategy with action. I have not seen this level of aligned organization and action across such a large and complex corporation before.

Building out under the Smarter Planet umbrella, IBM is bundling its many products and services, coordinating internal research and development, making targeted acquisitions, working across product and organization lines, and communicating clearly in its go-to-market campaigns. Given the great number of successful Smarter Workforce client case studies being presented, the proof points are already building to show business value can be delivered.

Smarter Workforce Supports Smarter Commerce

Smarter Workforce and Smarter Commerce are each separate service lines that can be coordinated to achieve greater business impact. Each is a combination of the IBM Platform for Social Business (social networking, social analytics, and social content) bundled with other new and existing products and services. Under the hood is a myriad of product lines making it work operationally, all tied together by messaging:

  • Smarter Workforce: Activate the workforce to improve productivity and unleash innovation
  • Smarter Commerce: Delight customers to increase loyalty, advocacy, and revenue.

Balance Individual Focus with Collective Value

Jonathon Ferrar, IBM vice president of Smarter Workforce, talked about the need to be social, smart, quick, and effective. Other words that were used a lot included community and relationships. Connecting communities of practice and building relationships, not for social intimacy, but for learning, leveraging, and leading to delighted customers and achieve business success.

Embedded throughout the social aspects of the services is a focus on the individual user that takes into account ease of use, mobile device access, points of need, and other behavioral aspects that are built in to increase collective business value creation.

Kenexa is Key to Smarter Workforce

The Kenexa acquisition closed in December 2012 and it is already being integrated into current offerings and it will be a key to plans for enhanced Smarter Workforce services as early as the second half of 2013:

  • Kenexa’s software platforms for recruiting and learning will be used for RPO and learning BPO services as well as integrated with the social business platform
  • Kenexa’s behavioral science expertise will be used to inform leadership, organizational, and talent management services and add to the analytics component.

IBM’s HRO services will be impacted by the changes. New options will be available to existing and new clients as talent management, learning, and RPO are brought together.

A lot of complexity remains to be managed, but it would be great to see IBM set a new high bar for making its services, client workforces, and HRO social, smart, quick, and effective!

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HRO Will Drive Ahead in 2013

January 25, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

With more organizations making the decision to use HR business process outsourcing services, even in the face of a still uncertain economic environment, the overall confidence of HR outsourcing suppliers in the market over the next 12-months is at its highest level in six quarters according to the latest NelsonHall HRO Confidence Index (HROCI).The HRO vendor confidence level is up 6% year-over-year reaching 155.5, where 100 represents unchanged confidence and higher scores indicate increased confidence.

Drivers Outweigh Inhibitors

The impact of the wider economy is strengthening the drivers for HR outsourcing which appear to be outweighing its impact on the associated inhibitors such as unrealistic pricing expectations and frozen decision-making. Currently, 89% of HR outsourcing suppliers believe that a net up-turn in HRO decision-making is taking place, with just 7% of suppliers perceiving that a net down-turn in HRO decision-making is taking place.

The top principal drivers for HR outsourcing include:

  • Increased cost reduction
  • Greater process consistency across business units and geographies
  • Organizations looking for an increased transformational emphasis.

New private sector HRO deals typically remain limited in initial size, and significant growth opportunities continue to come from existing clients in the form of added scale or scope. In line with the “increased focus on cost reduction driven by the worsening economic climate,” organizations are finally showing an increased interest in evaluating outsourcing opportunities previously rejected.

Transformation Beyond Cost Arbitrage

The HROCI supports our 2013 trends with “a clear ‘transformation’ agenda” and a focus on value. Clients are looking to vendors to help them:

  • Deliver a more empowered employee experience and access to learning using technology to administer, deliver, and share learning
  • Manage business outcomes by driving higher employee engagement including a better end-user experience and continual “future-thinking”
  • Achieve solid productivity and accelerate time to competency.

2013 Outlook

HRO vendor expectations for 2013 look best for payroll, then MPHRO which looks solid, followed by RPO, benefits administration, and then learning services. Multi-country deals for payroll and RPO will again be common with the average number of included countries around 20.  Of little surprise is that expectations for the government sector have slightly worsened, particularly for defense and state & local government.

Have You Listened

Another NelsonHall product of interest is the BPO Index which is supported by a quarterly conference call open to all who register.

According to the January Index, total BPO contract value was down significantly for 2012, especially in North America and Europe. The global economy and the U.S. fiscal cliff added to business growth uncertainty, which drove down industry-specific BPO the most.

At the same time, back-office BPO, which includes HRO, was up 25%, and HRO was up significantly year-over-year.

If you can lower total cost, improve performance, and increase business value, you can get an HRO deal!

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What’s New Again in HRO for 2013

January 15, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Even though predictions are a perennial New Year activity, the truth is that most trends play out over many years. Most HRO “predictions” are more like annual status checks and updates.

Transformation is new again

Several aspects of our old friend, HR transformation, are back on the table for 2013:

  • Operations transformation: new, upgraded, standardized, and integrated HR tools, systems, and processes
  • Strategic transformation: increases in overall HR performance that improve business performance
  • Accelerated transformation: the cycle of transition, standardization, and improvement needs to move at a faster pace than ever; which provider can help you get where you want to go with a track record of getting there faster?

A return to transformation fits with our NelsonHall 2013 HRO trend of value balancing cost and pent up demand for improved operations.

Even with more client and vendor maturity this go-around, we need to ensure that strategic HR transformation goes hand-in-hand with the evolution of the retained staff, HR generalists, and service delivery operations. One can either leverage and empower the other or hold back real progress in both.

Evolution and the use of new HR technologies  

Rapid technology advancement continues across all HRO services and within in each service line, providing a great opportunity for HRO buyers and a challenge for HRO service providers.

  • Easy access: mobility, bring-your-own-device, and cloud-based SaaS impacts every business including HR BPO. Increasingly, not only clients, but end users are expecting the same types of access and functionality from HR as they experience elsewhere.
    • HRO providers with modern platforms can bring these technologies to clients and their employees faster and at less overall cost
    • Service provider investments and the rapid pace of introduction add cost and stress to release cycles for services rapidly becoming table stakes which could pressure margins.
  • Emerging technologies: social media and analytics are new transformation tools, potentially powerful ways to improve performance of HR services and produce business results.
    • RPO leads in integrating the use of social media in recruiting, which helps RPO become a value play in the war for talent. This is a win-win: improved recruiting for clients and fuel for growth for vendors
    • Leading vendors with an active client community including early adopters will be able to create and test new and effective ways to leverage the new technologies that then can be added to service offerings. Learning vendors are already experimenting with effectively incorporating social media and gamification
    • Investments in leading-edge technologies that have not yet found breakthrough acceptance require a long view of growth and profitability, a risk that not all service providers are willing or able to take on.

From the most basic cost-reducing transactions to advanced partnerships in HR transformation, the full and growing range of HRO services has something for every organization in 2013.

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The CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey and HRO: Part 2

December 13, 2012
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

To complete my review of CedarCrestone’s 2012-2013 HR Systems Survey, I will highlight some of the newer HT technology trends.

SaaS HRMS: The Breakthrough Trend of 2012

According to analysis of the survey results, the benefits of SaaS HRMS include:

  • Faster time to value from deployments that take about half the time
  • Improved user experience, which leads to higher usage rates
  • Higher customer satisfaction.

The 50 top performers, based on financial measures, are leading the move towards SaaS HRMS solutions. Approximately one-third have a SaaS solution in place and more are planning to add SaaS in 2013.

Large market HR ERPs are still in the leadership position and face little near-term erosion from cloud-based HRMS. Near-term erosion, however, is the key phrase. Cloud-based SaaS HR platforms are disruptive technologies and as such, they are likely to quickly move up the value chain and eventually be able to serve larger and more complex organizations. In the meantime, SaaS HRMS adoption will move fastest among mid-market organizations.

Total cost analysis, not just system costs, will be important in the adoption of SaaS HRMS in larger organizations where ERPs are still less expensive on a per-user basis. Over time that pricing advantage will disappear, especially if evidence mounts for better performance and lower overall costs.

What’s Coming Next

  • Social and mobile-enabled processes are increasing in user-adoption
    • RPO and recruiters are in the lead using social media as ~50% of all recruiters use social-enabled recruiting processes
    • Early adopters of social-enabled processes show a link to 8% higher revenue per employee
    • Almost 60% of respondents have some mobile enablement in their HRMS
  • Integrated talent management is linked to the highest financial performance
  • Organizations with business intelligence solutions that integrate workforce and other organizational data outperform by 12% over those without such integration.

Keep in mind however that the newer applications are starting from small adoption bases and have not yet reached breakthroughs.

Key Words: Integration and Standardization

Throughout the survey, the results are links to the need for integration of HR applications with the core HRMS to gain the greatest benefits, and the precursor to integration is standardization of policies, practices, and processes. For example:

Integrated talent management on the underlying HRMS platform attains the highest financial performance at the lowest cost and can lead to 50% lower BI costs.

HRO service providers can help clients with the initial standardization needed for creating an integrated HR technology platform, whether it will be ERP, SaaS, or a hybrid system. Buyers: have a clear plan and consider getting help in investing, deploying, and using the new tools strategically to create business results. It is harder than it looks!

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Kenexa’s Analyst Day and 7th World Conference – A Winner: Part 2

October 24, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

For the last couple of years, Kenexa has been rapidly growing its RPO client base globally and 2012 has been no exception.

Recent RPO wins include BOSCH, FMC, and BT, all of which have been multi-country awards. It also has two additional RPO contracts pending. Reasons cited by the clients for selecting Kenexa for the new contracts include:

  • Quality of hire
  • RPO experience including engineering and technical recruiting
  • Cultural fit with Kenexa
  • Global capability
  • Flexibility of solution design.

Further information on the pending contracts will be released soon on NelsonHall’s website.

The customer panel at the analyst event included United Healthcare (UHC), AMD, and Fluor.

AMD:

  • Issue: AMD’s global salesforce and internal formal training were not meeting its needs.
  • Solution: Kenexa implemented its social LMS, which helped employees gain access to experts quickly.
  • Result: AMD went from 39 separate websites of products and training to one LMS with Kenexa that is hosted to eliminate IT and technical issues.

UHC:

  • Issue: UHC had a decentralized team, poor technology, low hiring manager satisfaction, and other metrics did not exist. It was hiring ~11,000 employees per year and wanted to standardize services and deploy a consistent system, starting with non-exempt hiring for a call center and extending into some exempt level recruitment.
  • Solution: Kenexa is using a hybrid delivery model of service center and onsite employees. Monthly and quarterly business reviews are conducted that include reviewing metrics such as on-time delivery within 26 days, acceptance rates, class fill rates, and candidate and hiring manager satisfaction.
  • Result: UHC is expanding the contract from the U.S. to include Europe (U.K., Ireland) and APAC (Philippines).

Other developments at Kenexa include:

  • A new RPO COE in Raleigh, NC (others are in Shanghai, Dubai, Buenos Aires, Krakow, Vizag (India), and Frisco (TX))
  • Fit Compass, which includes an interview guide that the hiring manager receives with custom questions tailored to each candidate based on the outcomes of the Fit Compass Assessment and an onboarding tool, Personal Fit Planner, to ease the transition from candidate to employee. It can also be used for development, career planning, and team building.

With each RPO engagement, Kenexa begins with an analysis of the client’s culture; it then trains its recruiters on educating the candidates and what it’s like to work for the employer. Some clients also include additional services. For example, Whirlpool’s contract also included a career site, social media, employment branding, and marketing.

At the Kenexa World Conference on October 17th, I attended two sessions:

  • Improving Quality of Hire at the Entry Level: A Strategic Application of Assessment, by Home Depot: Home Depot screens hundreds of thousands of candidates each year for hourly in-store positions and needed a more strategic method. It implemented Kenexa’s large library of assessments and Kenexa’s 2x BrassRing to improve the quality of hire and efficiency.
  • RPO 2.0: Creating the Hybrid Model, by PAREXEL: PAREXEL’s original five year contract with Kenexa was to end in 2011, but it renewed and implemented a hybrid model. Kenexa’s services include sourcing, screening, and candidate interview management; PAREXEL retained strategy, candidate relationship, job offers, and reference checks. The two companies work effectively side-by-side meeting with hiring managers to understand their needs; outsourcing is transparent to the client and SLAs have mutual accountability.

In sum, it was a fulfilling analyst day and World Conference. I look forward to the next IBM Kenexa Analyst Day, which will include a smarter workforce track.

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HR Tech Another Success: Part 2

October 17, 2012

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

In my blog earlier this week, I wrote about highlights from the new Outsourcing Track at HR Tech as well as the RPO meetings I attended. In related news, my fourth global RPO market analysis report was published on Monday.

In addition to walking through the exhibit hall and attending technology demonstrations, my additional meetings at HR Tech included:

  • Patersons: Its 2012 revenue growth is 70% YTD, driven by multi-country payroll. Safeguard World International has also reported similar success due to high growth for multi-country payroll services according to a business update two weeks ago.
  • IBM: The company is experiencing increased demand for its RPO and learning services and many of its key learning clients have renewed in 2012. New learning contracts include one in South Africa and pipeline activity includes a large global bank. The Kenexa acquisition will bring in new RPO and talent management opportunities that IBM will enhance with its social and analytics capabilities.
  • Hogan Assessments and SHL Assessments: Both companies provide personality assessments to predict work performance. SHL has also issued a talent management report with key findings showing that Eastern Europe ranks 1st in supplying IT and essential business skills; the U.S. ranks 23rd.
  • Secova: The benefits administration provider offers online enrollment, a 24/7 call center, eligibility verification, billing management, and leave management services that are delivered from their ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certified platforms. Services are provided from California, New Jersey, and Chennai.
  • Equifax Workforce Solutions: This was formerly operating as TALX, which rebranded as a result of its increased emphasis on the provision of workforce analytics and business intelligence to help clients improve their company’s performance.
  • HireVue: Offers a Digital Interview Platform that saves time, travel, and costs by allowing clients to create online interview guides with scientifically proven questions. Candidates then record answers via a webcam, which recruiting and hiring managers then view on demand, including from smart phones, to build digital talent pools.
  • JobVite: Provides a modular SaaS-based recruiting platform for applicant tracking, recruiter CRM, and sourcing talent.

Highlights from ADP include having ~30,000 clients for its cloud-based HCM platforms including:

  • ADP Workforce Now: Launched in October 2009, it supports clients with 50 – 1,000 employees. The majority of its 20k+ clients purchase the broader HCM suite.
  • ADP Vantage HCM:Piloted in October 2011 with general availability launched in June 2012, this platform, which targets employers with >1,000 employees, already has >30 clients. ADP has been adding ~5 – 6 new clients a month with a high percentage buying talent management, benefits (H&W), and time & attendance in addition to payroll. New wins include:
    • A national restaurant chain with ~24,000 employees
    • An employee healthcare staffing company with 15,000 employees
    • A retail chain with 4,500 employees.
  • ADP GlobalView: It now includes ADP Talent Management globally and has won several major clients including an electronics manufacturer with 85,000 employees in 29 countries including the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, which recently added the compensation module.
  • ADP Talent Management: It provides recruiting, performance, learning, compensation, and succession in 14 languages and 80 currencies for ~4,000 clients.
  • ADP Mobile Solutions: Deployed globally and offered in 12 languages, the app has ~30,000 clients and ~450,000 users.

See you all next year at HR Tech in Las Vegas October 7 – 9, 2013.

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