Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 11 July 2017
We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary.
1. Why Indian IT Companies May Hire More Freelancers, Part-Timers
IT companies face a margin squeeze and a new global environment where increasing protectionism could increase their cost of doing business, according to HR specialists.
In a departure from traditional practices, many IT companies are experimenting with just-in-time or contract hiring. According to a recent report by Economic Times, Pune-based Persistent Systems included several freelancers and consultants in a team that worked on a short-term project. The report also said other top Indian IT companies, including Infosys and Wipro, are exploring the idea. “There has been an uptick in interest in contract hiring in IT companies. Contract staffing/just-in-time hiring is relatively gaining popularity amongst technology companies in India,” said Alka Dhingra, AGM of IT Vertical at TeamLease Services.
HR specialists say that flexi-hiring in IT companies is poised to see big growth in the future as companies face a margin squeeze and a new global environment where increasing protectionism could increase their cost of doing business.
In just-in-time hiring, companies hire after bagging a project getting an order or project. Companies typically have people on short- or fixed-term assignments. How does it help IT companies? Contract staffing is cost-effective and helps IT companies shrink bench strength, said Ms Dhingra. It increases flexibility as companies employ individuals with specialised skills only as per project requirements for stipulated timeframe, she added.
The other benefits include speed-up in hiring process. “Companies can hire whenever they’re ready as per their client requirements. These positions come with short turnaround time for hiring qualified contract staffers, giving client companies access to almost immediate workforce solutions.” Ms Dhingra further said.
Also, there is an increasing number of people who do not want to be employed full-time nowadays, say HR specialists. “Employers on the other end are looking at on demand hiring of workforce as per the project demands which regular workforce cannot fulfill. IT industry flexi-hiring is expected to grow 53 per cent by 2018,” she added.
IT services company Wipro last year acquired US-based IT services company Appirio which also brings to the Bengaluru-based IT company Topcoder, a crowdsourcing marketplace connecting over a million designers, developers and data scientists around the world with customers.
According to staffing agency TeamLease, the IT skills that are in demand in just-in-time hiring include software development, testing, content management, data analysis and user interface and user experience (UI/UX) design.
TeamLease’s Outlook On IT Sector
The Indian IT sector will continue to grow and create more jobs in the skills dominated by automation and digitalisation but the need of the hour for IT professionals is to upskill to fit better into global roles, according to Ms Dhingra. She mentioned that IT skills in areas of analytics, infrastructure, cloud computing, mobility, interactive interfaces, gaming, digital gateways and automation would be in high demand.
2. Talent management in the digital age
As more organisations jump on the digital bandwagon, the HR community is no exception to the rule. Technology has already permeated many parts of HR, including from the talent acquisition function to talent development.
Some HR teams have adopted simpler solutions, like automated payroll or learning management systems (LMS), while others have utilised more resource-intensive HR solutions such as enterprise resource planning systems which handle end-to-end HR processes.
Think business, not HR
What HR believes is important for the business may not be what the business really needs.
As the business goes digital, is it the right time for HR to implement technological solutions as well?
Even if the HR technology solution is relevant to the organisation, how will end users respond to the new changes?
The usefulness and timing of the implementation is crucial to ensure better buy-in from all business units.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point.
A LMS vendor promises to increase employee competencies through hours of online learning, with effectiveness measured through surveys conducted before and after training, combined with the total number of training hours.
If you ask a sales leader if this is good for their team, you are likely to get responses such as “Will the learning management system make my sales people more productive in sales?” or “As the time utilised for learning is an opportunity cost, how much time do my salespeople have to invest?”
These measurements do not convince business leaders that investing in HR technology can increase productivity.
Moreover, if salespeople have to simultaneously learn other online systems like customer relationship management systems or enterprise resource planning, you can guarantee there will be stiffer resistance to adopting the LMS and an increased probability of employee burnout.
Partnering with business leaders can help create better buy in with the employees and increase the shared ownership and accountability of the proposed solution.
Instead of pushing it to the business as an HR initiative, let leaders adopt the HR technology as a business solution to solve their most pressing needs specifically.
Simple can be complex
With increasing complexities in today’s workplace, the last thing the business needs is an additional layer from HR. This will only burden and further frustrate employees.
Using a reputable HR provider might mean a better initial buy-in; however, that does not always mean it will bring relevant business value.
One of the organisations I worked with previously decided to implement a reputable HR system handling end-to-end HR processes. The transition was painful as the solution was so cumbersome and rigid that multiple stakeholders and leaders had to be involved in endless meetings.
At times, everything would come to a standstill because the proposed solution could not fit needs and customisation would incur heavier costs.
Worse still, there were some needs that the system could not fulfil, like how most talent development activities could not be tracked through standardised administration.
One key takeaway from this experience was that one size does not fit all, especially in talent management.
Finding the simplest solution is not about finding a method that solves everything; it’s about a combination of resources designed in the most optimal format to make things work.
Understanding what the organisation and employees really need before searching for the right solution can save time, resources and finances over the long haul. If your organisation is still on a learning journey, it may be better to start with a simpler solution and to build as you move along.
Focus on employee experience
To prepare for the digital age, talent management also has to focus on creating the best employee experience.
It is not simply about renaming the HR organisation or changing job titles; it’s about evolving the identity of how HR organisations contribute to the business.
Here are the roles HR can play to focus on employee experience:
- Ensure your baseline people processes work well
Imagine if you wanted to apply for leave on your organisation’s HR system only to find that you cannot access the system. Or that incorrect numbers are being reported on your payslip every month. This can lead to a frustrating employee experience which will render other new HR initiatives useless. Employee engagement does not matter to employees if their baseline HR process is not working well consistently. Therefore, HR has to ensure that all administration of operational HR processes and record keeping is done well.
- Build the talent system
Instead of viewing talent management as silo-driven activities, it is crucial to see it from a business perspective as one process flow with key performance indicators. What “effectiveness” means to HR can mean something totally different to the business.
For example, accurately tracking and reducing “time to fill” for vacant positions by reaching out to social networks and job portals is important to HR, but does it really impact the business positively?
What if candidate A fills a position in one month but takes five months to get up to speed while candidate B fills the position in three months and takes only one month to gain full competence? Who would be the better candidate?
From an HR perspective, candidate A would reduce “time to fill” while the business would prefer candidate B as the business downtime for B would be two months lesser than A.
- Understand, manage and improve the employee experience
Making your company a productive and great place to work is a key role HR plays in today’s digital age.
This includes focusing on key HR trends like culture, engagement, design thinking, HR analytics, and organisational redesign.
It requires building new and relevant end -to-end HR capabilities to create a holistic experience for all employees, so that they can operate in a transformational customer-centric, and collaborative way.
3. Widespread Workforce Drives HCM Market Growth
Increasing complexities of managing the widespread workforce is expected to drive the Human Capital Management Market (HCM) to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% from $14.5 billion in 2017 to touch $22.51 billion by 2022, according to the latest MarketsandMarkets report titled, “Human Capital Management Market by Software (Core HR, Workforce Management, Sourcing and Recruiting, Applicant Tracking System, Staffing Vendor Management), Services, Deployment Type, Organization Size, and Region – Global Forecast to 2022.”
New technologies and mobility is enabling employees to work from anywhere, resulting in the workforce being widespread. To combat this and to gain a better control and improve engagement with the widespread workforce, organizations are increasingly trying to standardize processes for their core Human Resources (HR) activities, talent management and workforce management.
The HCM solutions market offers software for core HR, workforce management, applicant tracking, sourcing and recruiting, and staffing vendor management. Due to skill gap, talent acquisition has become critical. As a result, sourcing and recruiting solutions are expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. But, core HR and workforce management segments will dominate the global HCM market for the next few years.
HCM vendors also provide various services like consulting, implementation, support and maintenance, and training and support. The report predicts that the segment for support and maintenance service will grow at a faster rate.
The cloud-based HCM solutions market is expected to grow during the forecast period due the benefits of quicker implementation, lower costs and scalability that the cloud-based solutions provide. This will be the major reason why Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will increasingly adopt cloud-based HCM solutions. The secure access provided by cloud-based HCM solutions that allow HR users to carry out administrative activities through a secure HR portal will be another major driver for the increased adoption of cloud-based HCM solutions.
Among the various industry verticals, the report predicts that the consumer goods and retail sector will grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to significant adoption of HCM solutions and services in this industry. The new technologies like cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies have also contributed to the increased adoption of HCM solutions in Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI), healthcare, and transportation and logistics industries.
Regionally North America dominates that global HCM solutions market. The high rate of digital technology adoption across industries in this region, particularly in the US and Canada, is expected to drive the dominance of this region even during the forecast period. But, the report predicts that the developing markets in the Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America regions provides a lot of scope for the growth of the HCM solutions market in this region.
The main vendors in the global HCM market include Workday, Oracle, SAP, Kronos, ADP, and Ultimate Software Group. Other stakeholders of the Human Capital Management market include human resource vendors, distributors, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), consulting service providers, human resources service providers, resellers, telecom operators, enterprise users, and technology providers.
4. Six steps to a more diverse IT workforce
Like many companies, Rent-A-Center has made a commitment to champion diversity and inclusion. The IT organization at the rent-to-own company regularly draws on the talent acquisition team to help with candidate engagement, it has revamped interview practices to be more welcoming, and it has framed job descriptions with an eye toward addressing job seekers’ needs.
Yet even with this highly disciplined approach, things still fall through the cracks. Consider a recent job description for a DevOps engineer, which used language such as “Are you a Gladiator?” While the phrasing was intended to pique interest, the underlying tone undermines the culture of inclusion that Rent-A-Center is aiming to foster, according to CIO Angela Yochem.
“Having awareness of this issue and being able to eliminate it are two different things,” she explains. “We’ve been so conscious about how we phrase things so we don’t specifically target a certain type of candidate or artificially eliminate another. I know this team reports to a female CTO and is an inclusive team that requires people to be change agents and do a lot of influencing — skills you traditionally think of as inherent in strong technology-focused women. Yet few of those women would self-identify as a gladiator.”[ Further reading: How data analytics can drive workforce diversity ] Many IT organizations find themselves making similar missteps as they try to put consistent strategies in place to reshape recruitment and interview practices to attract more women and individuals from diverse backgrounds, races and ethnicities. Diversity — whether in sex, race, sexual orientation or nationality — has been an ongoing problem for both the high-profile technology sector and corporate IT departments.
According to Deloitte Global, fewer than 25% of IT jobs in developed countries were held by women in 2016. A 2014 report on diversity in high tech put out by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that, compared to private industry overall, the sector employed a larger share of whites (68.5% vs. 63.5%) and men (64% vs. 52%). The gender numbers for top executive posts were even more dramatic: about 80% of executives are men in high tech, compared to the private sector, where men hold 71% of executive positions.[ To comment on this story, visit Computerworld’s Facebook page. ] Injecting diversity into the IT talent pipeline is critical for a number of reasons. For many companies, building equitable, inclusive organizations is a moral imperative, but the practice also makes for smart business, according to Rachel Herter, a consultant at Paradigm, a consultancy that works with companies seeking to create more inclusive environments.
“Research across many fields, from psychology to economics, finds that diverse teams perform better, they make better decisions, and they are better at complex problem-solving,” she says. “For teams that care about innovation or about building new products and solving hard problems, diversity should be a priority.”
Many companies have focused on retention efforts in areas such as mentoring, sponsorship and affinity communities. But they can do a variety of things on the recruitment end to cast a wider net for talent and put everyone on an equal footing. Here are six strategies IT organizations can take to move the needle in that direction.
1. Go where the people are
Posting jobs in traditional, broad-reach job forums is not enough to guarantee a diverse candidate slate. Experts suggest bolstering those initiatives by targeting special events, conferences and even university programs that cater to a more diverse population.
That’s the game plan for Lisa Depew, head of industry and academic outreach at security vendor McAfee. Depew has made a formal commitment not only to attend events such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and the Society of Women Engineers conference, but also to be an active participant, serving as a formal presenter and speaker or teaching a class.
“These are great opportunities to be a spokesperson, provide mentorship and make connections, but it’s also a great place for hiring and getting the word out,” Depew says.
GoDaddy, once notorious for its sexist TV commercials, has in recent years aggressively pursued diversity and inclusion practices. The Internet domain registrar and web hosting company also makes it a point to establish a presence at conferences that are women-focused or cater to specific demographics or ethnicities, such as the AfroTech conference, says Katee Van Horn, GoDaddy’s vice president of engagement and inclusion. GoDaddy regularly hosts mixers, offers up its executive team to moderate forums and invites targeted groups to its headquarters so they can get a direct view of the company and its diverse workforce.
One population segment GoDaddy is working hard to cultivate is midlevel women managers who had temporarily left the workforce to have a family and are now grappling with re-entry. The company is attempting to raise its profile among such women by partnering with groups such as Path Forward, Van Horn says.
“We are having frank and open conversations with women in that space who aren’t sure they’ll stay in engineering or product management,” she explains. Instead of hosting a hard-core recruiting event, she says, “We provide a forum where they’re able to ask questions and have great conversations.”
2. Use social media
Social media channels such as LinkedIn offer other opportunities to target and engage with select groups. GoDaddy, for example, uses LinkedIn to find qualified female software development engineers, by searching for prospects with related titles and serving up content such as potential job postings and news about the firm that is designed to appeal to them, according to Andrew Carges, the company’s vice president of talent acquisition.
For the University of Oklahoma, LinkedIn provides access to job seekers who might overlook a Midwestern school in a metropolitan area that’s shy of 1.5 million people, says Jeralyn Woodhall, the university’s chief talent officer. UO started using LinkedIn several years back to search for IT candidates, using specific criteria and targeting alumni connections in particular geographic areas. “It helps us find someone who has a relationship with the university or ties to the central Midwest,” she says.
3. Weigh your words
Carefully crafting job descriptions to avoid overtly masculine-centric terms is generally a good rule of thumb, says Rent-a-Center’s Yochem. “If you start off with words like gladiator, you’re never going to get there for a certain set of candidates — it’s Bro Culture 101,” she says.
It’s important to write descriptions that not only convey what the company is looking for, but also reflect what will fulfill the candidate. You can’t just promise what everyone will want from a specific position (competitive salary and good benefits); you need to play up aspects of a job that might appeal to certain slices of the population (a collaborative environment, for example, or a challenging work environment that is constantly in flux).
More than anything, Yochem stresses, it’s important to make everyone feel included and part of the team. “Inclusion is as important if not more important than diversity,” she says. “Everyone, regardless of ethnicity, has something about them that makes them feel different than the pack. It’s important to include everyone and make them feel like they’re contributing in a way that’s unique to them.”
4. Recast job interview panels
One way to signal a commitment to diversity is with diverse interview panels, experts say. UO restructured its interview process several years back, says CIO Loretta Early, moving to a centralized model that ensures that every interview panel showcases the breadth of thought and diversity of people throughout the university’s IT organization. In practice, Early explains, this so-called organizational-fit model means that no female candidate ends up being interviewed by an all-male panel.
With the decentralized model, she says, “If a female candidate is potentially joining a team that’s all male, she might not see other role models in the organization. With the organizational-fit model, that candidate would meet people of different genders, different ethnicities and different age backgrounds. That way, while the team they’re currently being hired for doesn’t have women, they’d see other women and diverse people in other roles.”
5. Revamp the interview process
Some companies are also taking measures to recast the interview process to make it less intimidating and more inclusive. Companies such as GoDaddy and NTT Data are swapping out standard whiteboarding practices, which can intimidate even the most talented candidates to the point of brain freeze, for more inclusive collaborative programming exercises and solo project assignments.
At NTT Data, for example, candidates are told to choose a project they are passionate about, says Lisa Woodley, vice president of customer experience for the consulting and managed services provider, and then walk interviewers through their ideal process for developing a user experience.
“By giving them something they are passionate about, it takes them out of their discomfort zone, so you get natural responses that aren’t restricted in any way,” she explains. “We’re looking for people with a much broader view, and the only way to get that is to go beyond basic interview questions and get them talking about something they care about.”
There are also ways to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly, without unconscious bias — removing names from résumés, for example, or adding more structure to elements of the interview process. Paradigm’s Herter warns that it can be difficult to avoid relying on snap judgments or gut instincts during interviews, particularly when it comes to assessing a candidate’s culture fit. She advises IT organizations to develop a checklist of qualifications (must know x coding languages or have y years of experience in mobile interfaces, for example) that give an objective basis for decisions on whether a candidate should pass to the next round.
“During the interview process, all candidates for the same role should be asked the same questions, and the interviewers should use rubrics to evaluate candidates’ interview responses objectively and consistently,” Herter says.
6. Make diversity a requirement
Some companies are so intent on attracting more women and minorities that they are instituting formal hiring practices that hold hiring managers accountable to meet specific metrics. Uber, for example, recently announced that it is adopting a version of the “Rooney Rule,” a hiring policy popularized by the NFL that requires hiring teams to interview a specified number of minority candidates in every interview slate. Facebook and Pinterest have done the same.
NTT Data isn’t going that far, but it does make it clear to its recruiting organization and hiring managers that they need to actively pursue diversity, Woodley says. “There aren’t certain metrics they have to meet, but it is something we pay attention to,” she says. “Recruiters are accountable for bringing the strongest pool of candidates to the table for every role.”
In the end, though, even the most progressive recruitment and interview tactics won’t hold up if the organization hasn’t committed to shift its culture to be more diverse and inclusive. Says GoDaddy’s Van Horn: “You could recruit the best women and the most diverse candidates, and if you don’t have the right environment and culture, it won’t matter because people won’t stay.”
5. What do future jobs look like and how do we prepare for them?
Anyone in business or industry today already knows this: change isn’t coming. It’s here. It’s called the fourth industrial revolution and it’s driven by digital.
The acceleration of digital technology is forcing companies in every market sector to adapt to change in a hundred different ways. There is not a single job type unnaffected (even the human writing this piece could soon be outpaced by the descendants of intelligent AI content generators like Persado). In recent surveys:
- 50% of companies expect their traditional business models to be obsolete by 2020.
- 80% say they feel behind in adapting to change
- 90% say digital is forcing them to reassess job titles and team structures.
Against this disruptive background, no discipline is being affected more than human resources – whose practitioners must deal not only with seismic shifts in the way the business around them manages human capital, but also with the direct impact of new technology on their own day-to-day duties.
Traditional roles are increasingly under threat – how should we be adapting?
More and more innovative HR practitioners are rapidly reshaping the way they work in terms of adopting, rather than avoiding, powerful new technologies such as recruitment chatbots, database mining and Graylink. With frequent advances in areas like robotics, automated communication and the Internet of Things, the pressure is on for HR teams to diversify their knowledge set to keep pace with the digital disruption curve. For those prepared to get hands on with it, the current value of the HR software and tools market is said to be around $14 billion. The trick is working out how best to grapple with it.
It’s crunch time, people
The 2017 Future of HR Summit, taking place 19-20 July 2017 at the Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg, will address the exciting, ongoing transformation of HR in the business environment, forecast trends for the coming year, share innovative approaches to overcoming challenges, and discuss practical methods of employee engagement and talent acquisition in the hyper-digital age. Delegates will engage with experts on topics such as millennials (who they are and how to get them); HR’s secret weapon, chat-based messaging; developing a digital-savvy game plan; and mastering mobile recruitment.
There are other benefits in attending – HR practitioners will get to earn “continuing professional development” points, known as CPDs, via the Summit’s CPD accreditors, SABPP. Attendees will be rewarded two CPD points per day of the Summit – four CPD points in all.
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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)