Posted tagged ‘workforce information’

The Trajectory of Change for HR and HRO

September 28, 2012

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The 15th Annual PwC Global CEO Survey of 1,258 CEOs in 60 countries shows what CEOs want now from HR that transcends country and industry. PwC summed it up as:

  1. Protect the home market from uncertainty
  2. Attack new and emerging markets for growth.

Hockey legend Wayne Gretsky said that he skated to where the puck would be, not to where it was, anticipating the trajectory of change. This is hard for HR, which often takes years to complete a major change and looks to HRO with a focus on price and improving operational efficiency. Skating to where we needed to be yesterday is hard enough; how do we skate to where we need to be tomorrow?

CEOs Top Concern: Talent

For the last two years, the number one concern of CEOs in the PwC survey is talent. CEOs are personally concerned with developing leaders and the talent pipeline. Why? Because CEOs see that talent constraints and mismatches are already limiting opportunities. CEO talent concerns include:

  1. Talent-related expenses rising more than expected
  2. Not being able to innovate effectively
  3. Not being able to pursue a market opportunity
  4. Cancelling or delaying key strategic initiatives
  5. Not achieving growth forecasts in overseas markets.

Talent Gaps

Availability of key skills is a concern in every market outside of North America, especially for the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. This matches well with the drive to increase the global coverage of RPO.

Talent gaps are greater in some areas. In addition to global talent concerns, it is harder for some industries such as technology and pharmaceuticals / life sciences to find needed skilled talent. Of heightened concern is middle management talent. Will RPO best fit at the level of volume and skilled talent hires? Or will RPO further encroach into middle management recruiting?

The future is also about talent management and proof of HR’s business impact. This supports the movement we are seeing to strengthen talent management (TM) capabilities through M&A. Examples include:

  • SAP and SuccessFactors
  • Oracle and Taleo
  • IBM and Kenexa.

CEOs Want Proof

Proof of business impact is part of HR metrics and advanced analytics. Even what should be the basics in workforce information is not considered comprehensive enough by most CEOs; they would like more data including the return on human capital investments, the cost of turnover, and staff productivity. HRO is ready with HR analytics as one of the newest components of HRO offerings.

Today, most HRO remains pressured on price rather than on value delivered. In hockey, someone must put the puck into play. In HR and HRO, someone must pay to develop the capabilities CEOs say they want. In the meantime, HRO is doing a good job of getting ready to skate to where business needs are going.

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Top HR Issues by Geography: The Same, But Different

July 23, 2010

In blogs earlier this month I addressed: 1) increasing use of SaaS; and 2) cost reduction as a top HRO driver based on data from NelsonHall’s recently published HRO buyer report, “HR Issues and Outsourcing Intentions.” Now let’s talk about the top HR management issues by geography.

On a 1 – 5 scale, with 5 being most important:

Asia Importance
Low consistency of HR processes across the organization 4.8
Difficulties in obtaining consistent single view of the employee 4.4
Need accurate and consolidated workforce information and reports 4.3
   
Continental Europe Importance
Difficulties in obtaining consistent single view of the employee 4.4
Corporate requirement for reductions in costs of HR administration 4.3
Need accurate and consolidated workforce information and reports 4.1
   
U.K Importance
Corporate requirement for reductions in costs of HR administration 4.2
Need accurate and consolidated workforce information and reports 4.1
Need to improve identification of high performers and succession management 4.0
   
U.S. Importance
Corporate requirement for reductions in costs of HR administration 4.2
Need to improve identification of high performers and succession management 4.2
Need for improved talent management capability 4.1

While the relative rankings vary a bit from geo to geo, and although there are a couple of outlier line items, the cited HR management issues can pretty much all be addressed by outsourcing core HR technology. Not surprisingly, this was identified as the number one HR service to be outsourced in our HRO buyer study, and its validity is bearing itself out as evidenced by recently-signed HRO contacts that are either for technology or technology plus HRO services. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

•  In just the last two weeks, Netherlands-based Raet has been awarded five SaaS contracts for its HR portal, RaetOnline, to leverage one system for HR and payroll, standardize to achieve improved efficiency, data accuracy and cost savings from elimination of systems and/or what may have been manual processes, and gain self-service capabilities 

•  Infosys is implementing a platform-based HRIS and global payroll platform for a leading Australian insurer, using PeopleSoft 9.0 to enable the client to have one standard integrated platform, eliminate disparate technologies, drive up process consistency, increase data accuracy and reduce costs

Tangentially, I found it interesting that cost reduction didn’t even make it into the top three HR management issues in Asia, while the U.S. and U.K. cited it as the primary issue, and continental Europe ranked it second. This made me think about my prior background in quality, long before I started working in HRO, and the work of Dr. Deming and Dr. Juran who trained Asian workers and managers on the importance of quality for three decades following World War II. Their tenet was that if you first focus on process and quality (of data), reductions in cost will follow. Cost reduction is of course important in Asia, but there’s clearly a different mindset in how to achieve it. Rather than my views on the principles of management, let’s engage. Where do you think cost reduction should fall in the “fix HR issues” equation?

Gary Bragar, Senior HR Outsourcing Analyst, NelsonHall