Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 9 August 2017
We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary.
1. The advent of HR business partners
Over the last decade, many organisations have seen value in having HR business partners with the aim of finding business solutions that are more in alignment with organisational philosophy and frameworks.
The essential function of the HR business partner is to drive synergies across various HR functions, thereby ensuring that strategic as well as tactical aspects of a business are handled prudently.
The strategic aspect of a business involves the strategies and approaches adopted to achieve its goals. The tactical aspect involves the tools employed to achieve them.
As part of HR Business partnering, well-defined groups around HR operations are first formed. The thinking behind this exercise is that when the HR operations are managed effectively, there is then time and resource for the HR business partners to deal with core business challenges and find appropriate solutions to drive the human capital and business agenda in a unified manner. What is expected of a HR business partner:
• Understanding the business and financial model and being able to advise the leaders with business-appropriate HR solutions
• Identifying the key success indicators for the business and providing the right talent management strategy to drive these successes
• Understanding the skills and competencies that would complement business success and then drive the talent acquisition and learning portfolios
• Identifying key talent and mapping them to business-critical roles.
• Assessing the organisational risks that could jeopardise the company’s business success
• Designing organisational design and structures that deliver the business imperatives
• Understanding the organisational pulse and driving proactive change management initiatives/ programmes
To fulfil the above-demonstrated business focus, HR business partners must possess the following qualities.
The leaders who run the business want HR leaders who understand the business, know the pressures they face to deliver results, and can provide practical organisational solutions. They need to be the employees who can handle employee issues in a sensitive and confidential manner, thereby driving the organisational values of trust and confidence.
HR leaders need to offer solutions to business problems by navigating through the various business perspectives and challenges. Business leaders appreciate thoughtful, sound, creative and well-thought-through solutions to problems, offered with a strong stakeholder commitment towards the organisation.
Everyone needs a sounding board — someone who can be trusted to provide impartial and confidential advice. The HR leader has to be the coach who enables managers and leaders to understand the business issue, challenge status quo and empower them to solve their business challenges. This quality makes the difference between a good and great HR business partner.
Agent of change
In an ever-changing business environment, business planning in the context of changes is primary for any organisation to succeed. The ability to change the strategy, business model, culture and introduce innovation is necessary to change the trajectory of the business. This requires making significant changes to the talent or organisational design in some or all parts of the organisation; and together with business leaders, the HR business partner should be an enabler of change.
2. New trends in managing Human Resources
Human Resource Management is the backbone of any organization because it provides the human capital, without which it is just not possible to conduct business. Earlier HR handled administrative tasks like personnel files and paperwork only, ensuring that employees got their paychecks and benefits on time, processing performance reviews and managing the occasional crisis or conflict. With the advancement of technology, a shift in the dynamics of industries and a change in the attitude of people, the role of HR has become more demanding and agile. Here are some trends that are shaping the way HR is evolving.
The dependence on head hunters or recruitment agencies is diminishing. The use of the social media like Linkedin, job portals that are linked to recruitment sites, professional network platforms and internal employee references are some of the methods that are used for effective and successful hiring practices. An employee with the right attitude is considered to be more employable than a candidate who has the skills and education that he or she brings to the table.
The use of big data
Recruiters use big data analytics to find employees that are most suitable to a role and find a connect between employee productivity and academic performances. Big Data also generates so much information that HR uses it to make sense of it all in a comprehensible and engaging manner.
In the days gone by, employee loyalty was taken for granted. If an employee joined an organization, he or she would leave the firm only on retirement. People became comfortable in their jobs and a change was frowned upon. But things have changed now in the present age. Employees have become very focused on their career development and their attitude shows a lot of aggression in moving ahead in their growth and development. The onus is on HR to chalk out a career development path for the workforce and offer them learning and talent development opportunities that will not only enhance their careers but will also make them more productive to the firm.
Employee branding through social media
The new-age generation is never far away from social media. There are very few millennials who do not use this method of communication. HR uses social media to reach out to people and create a brand for their firm as one of the best places to work for. The results of the use of social media can be quantified by HR to organize their branding activities in a much more organized manner and improve on areas that need attention.
Creating the right work-life balance and encouraging employees to work from home, enjoying the options of flexi time and time away from work are some of the benefits that HR offers to its employees in order to maintain the right balance between their professional and personal lives. The use of technology is aiding HR in a big way to offer these benefits through webinars, conferences, and meetings through online forums.
HR is a bridge between employees and the management. They should build relationships that help the business grow and meet their goals. HR should create an environment where employees not only show up at the place of work, but they actually want to show up. Employees should feel motivated, engaged and happy so that they can work efficiently and productively.
It is vital that significant changes in the method of Human Resource Management are modified from time to time. The modern up-to-date techniques will not only be beneficial but will also be less stressful.
Employees’ dependence on HR is on the decline because they can now access information online and on their new-age devices. This frees up HR to focus on business strategies and planning, in order to contribute to the overall effectiveness and financial performance of the organization.
3. A CHRO Sheds Light on Blending Tech Cultures Post-acquisition
Three months after the acquisition of U.K.-based software company Rivo Software, Sphera Solutions is working to bring employees into the Sphera family. Chicago-based Sphera is a global provider of operational excellence software and information services with a focus on operational risk, environmental health and safety, and product stewardship. Laura Hanson, Sphera’s chief human resources officer, is working to assimilate the common culture of both companies as well as recruit the best tech talent to add to Sphera’s workforce. Hanson has 25 years of human resources experience in technology, engineering and professional service firms, and has been with Sphera for six months. Workforce intern Ariel Parrella-Aureli spoke with Hanson about life post-acquisition, finding unique tech talent and Sphera’s communication methods to keep its employees informed, including its 23 percent remote workforce.
Workforce: What are the challenges of being a CHRO at a tech company?
Laura Hanson: Recruiting is definitely one — attracting the right people. A lot of things that attract tech workers are nowadays really table stakes, like stability, working from home [and] developing good snacks. We have a great mission to make the world a more safe, productive, more sustainable place and people who are actually passionate about that kind of thing has helped us. We will target universities or people who have environmental programs.
WF: How have you kept employees engaged and the company culture alive after the acquisition?
Hanson: Acquisitions are so tough but we really have learned a lot; it’s such a great learning but painful [experience]. One thing we do early on, which we have learned from previous ones, is even in diligence, we find out if there is a culture miss; it is so hard to overcome that amid the integration. Assuming you have a good culture mix, then part of it is just highlighting what parts of the culture are alive and then reinforcing it. For example, this company had similar dynamics to us — they were really passionate about the environment and what they do for clients and the world — so we helped cement them as part of Sphera. We also pulled them in immediately to highlight what they are doing; we bought them for a reason: They have a fantastic technology space and people and they came in almost immediately and started teaching others, highlighted their benefits and what they are bringing to the organization, so that has helped a lot. The other thing is we communicate until we are sick of hearing from each other — our throats are sore because we have meeting after meeting with them, touching base, checking in. We are trying really hard to get them into the family but not lose their culture.
WF: How do you attract new talent to a tech company when tech talent is in the highest demand, especially among millennials who are increasingly joining the tech workforce?
Hanson: We have to identify what are we, what behaviors work well here and what does success look like here, and then it makes it harder to search because it narrows our search. However, the upside is you get people who are more productive, stay longer, more intrigued in the organization and opportunity. With the different populations, attracting them to what we do here is part of it. Making sure we have all the things important to them — the flexibility, the balance, the giving back to the community, is critical. The other thing is making sure there is good development opportunity and that doesn’t just mean, ‘Hey I took this training class at this really expensive conference.’ It really means making your learned skills marketable because that is a big deal. One of our mottos is to make a more sustainable world but we are trying to make more sustainable people, too. We want you to build your skill — if you are going to be somewhere else that’s OK, but we want to keep you and make sure we are getting a benefit from you and you are getting a benefit from us.
WF: What is the demographic of your company?
Hanson: I wish we have a more diverse demographic. We don’t have enough women! We don’t have enough women in the tech world. We have a relatively older population because people have long tenure here; we have retained these developers for many years. They have migrated their skills and learned new platforms. We do have a lot of work to do to get more cross-training for these people and learning different platforms and tech as well, but we have a great retention record.
WF: How are you going to bring more women into the workforce?
Hanson: We got a lot of people to stay with us for a long time, so as we bring in new talent, we are being more diligent about opportunities. Part of our strategy going forward is to target other organizations where you can find good tech talent. Teaching tech skills is less difficult than teaching behavior skills. There is so much talent out there and we could really be helping in that regard. I am a big fan of women in tech.
4. ‘Location, Location’? It Isn’t Everything: Here’s How to Attract out-of-Town Talent.
Skills, talent, culture fit, ambition: These are just a few of the qualities leaders look for in new hires. While there are job candidates who embody all these things, options may be limited due to a company’s geographic location.Yet some companies work to overcome that limitation.
TalentCare is one such company. Michelle Hubble, who’s vice president of employment brand and recruitment marketing for the healthcare recruiting agency, deeply believes in widening her candidate search to find the best talent for her Austin-based company.
Of course she understands the difficulty candidates and their families face in transitioning and relocating. But she strives to help candidates get past any reservations by having candidates complete an online self-assessment. This helps her team understand candidates’ work styles and show them that the company is sincerely invested in their success.
“It’s quantifiable, and the scoring can be customized,” Hubble told me of the assessment process. “For some candidates, this can be a turn-off; it takes time and thoughtfulness.” In addition: “Candidates who refuse to complete the assessment show us they weren’t the right candidate. And for those who do [fill out the assessment], it shows them we are serious about their success, and not just our own.”
Job-seekers are looking for companies like TalentCare: employers willing to help them move their careers forward. Here’s how leaders can make this willingness known to their candidates, to attract the best talent from from both near and far:
1. Walk a mile in their shoes.
Out-of-town talent, meaning people looking to relocate or work remotely, have very specific needs. They want to know a job will fit those needs before making a final decision. Hubble described how she helped one particular candidate see this by putting herself in that man’s shoes. “Instead of reading a description of a job and a list of requirements, our job advertisement helped the candidate picture himself in the work environment and imagine whether that environment would be one in which he would thrive,” she said.
Being specific about the job qualifications isn’t enough. Focus on the industry, what challenges current team members face and how the company helps those employees overcome them.
“For TalentCare, one of our biggest selling points is that we do things differently. We create solutions where none exist yet, so we are a very collaborative and innovative team,” Hubble shared.
2. Make the company’s culture clear.
Candidates aren’t searching just for careers; they’re searching for a place where they and their families can grow. This means they need to trust that a company’s culture is the right fit for their personality and work style.
“Generally speaking, people really want a home, a place that makes them happy; so, illustrating the company culture and values-alignment throughout the recruiting process has been a helpful tool for us,” Shane Evans, co-founder and president of Massage Heights, a massage franchise headquartered in San Antonio, told me via email.
Evans described how she put her company’s values to the test when hiring five key executives who lived far away.
“What ultimately attracted them was our family values and, of course, the opportunity to grow with a brand that is still in its infancy, as far as size goes — [and one that] has a lot of upward potential. Obviously, benefits and profit-sharing for some key individuals are important, too, but it ultimately gets down to potential and culture,” Evans said.
So, the message is, when hiring, be straightforward about your company culture through all stages of the hiring process. Use current employees’ video testimonials to share what they love about the company, its leaders, their co-workers and their positions.
In addition, share on social media photos of team-bonding activities or projects that hold special meaning. This will help out-of-town talent gain a closer glimpse inside the company’s culture and how they might fit in.
3. Show off the company’s location.
For many candidates, the decision to relocate isn’t based only on the job, but the location. Brian Metcalf, CEO at GreenRoom, a full-service digital marketing and public relations agency in Miami, takes full advantage of Florida’s warm weather during cold-weather recruitment months.
“We typically find the majority of our talent from the Northeast and Midwest during cold weather months,” Metcalf explained to me in an email. “During the cold-weather recruitment period, we make sure our social media channels showcase all of the wonderful outdoor activities and gorgeous weather we enjoy while the rest of the country is buried under snow.”
GreenRoom continues to highlight what its location has to offer during in-person interviews. These take place in the company’s conference room, which overlooks a pool and the Biscayne Bay.
While those of us at other companies may not have warm weather and alluring waters to attract talent, our locations all have their own attractive features. That allows you to share your employees’ favorite places to eat, local attractions for both adults and kids and reasons why relocation might be a positive adventure.
Then, once your candidates are sold on the location, let them know the company cares about their ease of moving and transitioning. Use a relocating platform like UrbanBound to make the moving process easier. With this tool, out-of-town talent can quickly ask questions with online support, begin onboarding and even book relocation services.
4. Keep traditional recruiting intact.
Connecting with out-of-town talent often requires a lot of digital resources. But some of the best candidates are still found through good old-fashioned networking.
Brian McCarter, CEO of Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, a company that provides on-demand energy and sustainability performance assessment and management software solutions, looks at industry events for people who are disrupting the market .
McCarter’s team members, based in in Trumbull, Conn., were recently charged with finding a director for their Colorado C-PACE program.
“My partners and I had been closely following something called the Investor Confidence Project, which set out to standardize energy-efficiency finance projects, to make them more attractive to investors,” McCarter explained to me via email. “We became active in discussion groups that focused on developments and got to know Tracy Philips, the man who was heading up the effort.”
Through their networking efforts, McCarter and his team discovered Philips wasn’t just making moves to standardize energy efficiency finance projects — he lived in Colorado. Some would say McCarter was lucky to find someone who fit the position perfectly and lived in the recruitment location. However, it was the CEO’s persistent networking that really found and attracted Philips.
So, follow his lead: Attend networking events in as many locations as possible. Find passionate people who are in the same space and could meet the company’s future needs. Even if people aren’t actively looking for work, leaders have the opportunity to make meaningful connections that could eventually pay off.
5. Phased retirement could ward off a workplace ‘brain drain’
The fastest growing demographic is people 80 and over, with people 100 and older following close behind, reports Marketplace, citing an AARP statistic. The population is aging and so is the workplace, leaving employers with a skills and knowledge shortage, according to AARP.
To ward off “brain drain,” the loss of invaluable knowledge in the workplace, employers are offering “flexible retirement.” This work arrangement allows older employees to keep working but on a shorter workweek, World at Work, an HR professional association, told Marketplace.
Some employers offer “phased retirement,” another form of flexible retirement, in which older workers’ hours are reduced over time until they reach full retirement, says Marketplace. About 5% of employers offer “phased retirement,” the Government Accountability Office estimates.
“Brain drain” occurs when experienced employees exit the workforce, leaving a knowledge void behind. Marketplace described a nurse on “flexible retirement” who could give a colleague vital information about a 10-year-old decision involving a medical procedure. This is the type of historical knowledge older workers can provide others in the workplace.
One drawback to “flexible retirement” and “phased retirement” is that both can keep younger workers looking to enter the workforce out of jobs that older workers occupy.
But not all employers are anxious to keep older workers onboard. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled an age discrimination case against Philadelphia’s Public Records Office for $60,000. Some employers prefer to higher young workers because older workers tend to have higher medical costs and often require higher salaries due to experience. Employers are even pouring money into 401ks to get older workers to retire.
Employers must balance the need for knowledgeable mentors with cost-saving retirement initiatives and avoid violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by basing recruiting, hiring, retention and other employment decisions on age.
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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)