Monday, January 23, 2017

The Outlook on Paid Parental Leave in 2017

By Sushma Tripathi, Vice President, Workforce Planning and Benefits Consulting at ADP

For many American workers, the subject of paid parental leave is a hot-button issue. The U.S. is one of the only developed countries in the world without a nationwide law that guarantees some form of paid parental leave, yet recent polls show that most Americans—as many as 82 percent of those voting in the recent election—support paid leave for workers.

Given that Americans are clamoring for these policies, more large corporations have begun offering paid parental leave. For example, Netflix® offers new parents unlimited paid leave for one year, while American Express® recently announced it will give employees 20 weeks of parental leave and offer benefits worth up to $35,000 for adoption and surrogacy events, as well as $35,000 for infertility treatments.

Offering benefits such as these has become increasingly important as the composition of today’s workforce changes. Families with dual incomes have become more prevalent, meaning that more than ever, married couples are sharing childcare responsibilities. At the same time, more Gen Xers are faced with caring both for aging parents and young children.

Companies are also realizing the value of paid leave benefits as a tool to attract and retain top talent. As some 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day, companies are competing for skilled workers among Gen Xers and Millennials. To attract these workers, they need to offer benefits that cater to each generation’s needs. For example, recent ADP research found that younger workers favor education-related perks and paid maternity/paternity leave, while Baby Boomers are more interested in employee discounts and wellness.

In addition to enticing and keeping top talent, paid leave can also lead to happier and healthier employees. These policies can help ensure workers take the time needed to recharge their batteries to remain productive and avoid burn-out. That said, it’s important to clearly outline guidelines for employees and to make sure they understand that taking time off will not negatively impact their career advancement.

In the end, when clients ask my advice, I tell them that deciding whether to offer paid leave is more art than science. It’s all about weighing your workforce needs and operational costs, and then making the decision that’s best for you.

Sushma Tripathi is vice president, workforce planning and benefits consulting at ADP.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Predictive Analytics in HR: 5 Predictions

By Scott Mondore, co-founder and managing partner at SMD

Everyone can probably agree that predictive analytics is not going away (it's a good thing, too because leveraging the approach properly will behoove an organization). The following are predictions about how this approach will impact HR leaders, their organizations and the HR field in the future.

The Data Balancing Act

HR will still struggle with the balancing act in 2017. That means that there is a balance between just having more data and having the right insights from the data. Think about all the data HR already owns: HRIS, employee surveys, 360 feedback, candidate data from an ATS, performance management ratings, etc. The reality is that a lot of data already exists, and many practitioners will continue to have an insatiable—and unnecessary—need for more data.

If this prediction comes true in your organization, remember that your real need is to harvest the power of data to identify drivers of outcomes. HR functions are better off leveraging the intelligence from the data they have than racing to gather more data.

Adoption and Change Will Be Slow

The adoption of predictive analytics in the HR world will be relatively slow in 2017. This may not seem like a bold prediction, but it’s certainly worth discussing. Think about it: many HR professionals went into HR because they love working with and helping people. Not as many chose HR because they love numbers and statistics. So, many HR professionals understand that analytics can greatly help HR contribute more to the bottom line, but they may not have the proper skills to effectively apply analytics.

A Competitive Advantage with ROI … for Some

HR organizations that use analytics the right way will have a significant competitive advantage because few will do so quickly. Below is a list of reasons that will drive—and almost force—HR to achieve this competitive advantage:

Quizzical CEOs: One day soon, CEOs will start asking CHROs “What exactly is the ROI of all these surveys and assessments?” The only way to identify the ROI is through the application of analytics.

KPI confidence: HR will stay in its comfort zone for a while by focusing on KPIs such as turnover. That’s because turnover is a key metric with real costs and one that HR feels comfortable owning. Eventually, most organizations will start to show direct business impact on other KPIs, such as sales, revenue, productivity, operations, and customer satisfaction.

Bad Analytics Leads to Bad Business

There are lots of vendors jumping on the analytics bandwagon. Most of these tools and approaches use very basic methods and don’t connect results directly to business results. Others are pushing new approaches based on machine learning and algorithms. These may be truly innovative, but be very careful in this area. Remember that one of HR’s primary roles is risk mitigation and that some of these “new” approaches introduce very real risks.

Demand for Analytics Skills Will Grow

There’s already a massive shortage of HR professionals that lack skills in analytics. The demand for expertise in this area will continue to grow in 2017.

Statistics surge in schools: HR educational programs will emphasize statistics and data analysis.

Skill set search: Organizations hiring for HR roles will increasingly seek out candidates with these skills. HR leaders don’t have to be statisticians, but they must understand the application of analytics and be good consumers.

Are you I/O?: Demand for I/O psychologists in HR functions will skyrocket (and in fact, is already occurring). Predicting human behavior and performance is very difficult and complicated. I/O psychologists know how to do this – hence the increased demand for their skill sets.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top Talent Markets revealed in Contingent Workforce Index

For the second year in a row, New Zealand demonstrates an optimal environment for use of contingent labour: availability, cost efficiency, regulation, and productivity, according to ManpowerGroup Solutions’ annual Contingent Workforce Index (CWI). Singapore, the Philippines, Israel, and India moved to the top of the leaderboard in 2016. The top five markets for 2016 do not include any countries from the Americas, as workforce volumes for countries in the other regions elevated them to the top based on more favorable availability scores. The United States and Canada dropped to sixth and seventh in 2016 from second and third in 2015, respectively.

India has risen from 24th to fifth, as its large labour force ranks it first for availability with the weighting adjustment in this category for 2016. Israel is now fourth globally due to its increased ranking in the regulation category—it is now easier to do business in the area. Moving into the top five globally this year, Singapore ranked third in the regulation category and it’s high productivity, along with availability, creates a favourable contingent workforce environment in this market. Israel ranks fourth, up one spot from 2015, despite the increase in the weighting of notice periods and severance regulatory metrics, and increases in wages when compared to other countries. The U.S. moves from second in 2015 to sixth this year, based largely on higher costs compared to other countries.

Regional Rankings

New Zealand
United States
South Africa
Hong Kong

The 2016 CWI puts the APAC region back on the map. In 2015, the CWI reduced the emphasis on population size in exchange for education levels, English proficiency, and the potential of the future workforce. However, this year the emphasis was on global employer preferences and priorities which lie with the availability of skilled workers and workforce size.

Across the Americas there has been change with both the U.S. and Canada falling out of the top five global countries. For Canada, this is easily explained by workforce size. Whereas in the U.S., the shift is attributed to regulatory changes, specifically overtime, notice period, and severance pay.

Israel maintains its top ranking in the EMEA region in 2016, moving up from fourth in 2014. In 2016 the new workforce size rankings keep a EMEA countries out of the top five. Both South Africa and Turkey advance to the top five nations for 2016, with high marks in productivity.

CWI’s Changes The emphasis on the size of a country’s contingent workforce remains consistent year-over-year, as do the weightings of English proficiency and tertiary education in the workforce. Based on input from industry-leading clients around the globe, weighting of the volume of skilled workers within a market has increased significantly from 2015 to 2016. The definition of availability was also modified to meet current industry definitions.

These adjustments resulted in higher rankings for countries with large populations but with poor English proficiency and low volumes of skilled labour, such as China and India, compared to 2015 rankings in the same category. It also meant slightly lower rankings for markets such as Israel and Ireland, which have stronger language skills and advanced educations among their emerging workforce but smaller labour forces.

Key factors to this year’s CWI ranking include: Availability: Based on industry trends over the past year, a shift in priorities resulted in a change in the 2016 weighting. This year larger workforces and the availability of contingent workers, as well as skilled labour, were given more influence. Where the size of the workforce and English proficiency used to be the most heavily weighted variable in the CWI, the 2016 rankings put a greater emphasis on the quality of the workforce.

Cost efficiency: The relative cost of contingent labour continues to rely heavily on the varying wage levels in each country; however, based on input from global employers, this year the CWI takes the cost of benefits and taxes into greater consideration. Consequently, countries with the lowest wage thresholds continue to rank highest for cost efficiency, the leader board does, however, now reflect those markets that have the lowest total cost of labour, inclusive of other operating costs that impact employment. Additionally, in 2016 the definition of overtime was adjusted to reflect the typical meaning of the word as opposed to simply working on a rest day.

Regulations: The CWI analyses the extent to which the legal and regulatory climates in each country impact the cost and process of hiring local workers. Pay parity, contract duration limits, notice periods, and severance requirements restrict the use and increase the cost of contingent labour more than any other regulations. Countries with the highest rankings in this category offer the most regulatory workforce flexibility for contingent labour.

Productivity: Productivity accounts for the employer’s ability to leverage a worker within each country over the length of a contract. The CWI includes worker productivity output as well as number of hours in a workday, days in a workweek, permitted overtime, and paid time off. Countries that restrict the hours in a workday or workweek and limit overtime have the most constrained productivity measures.

 —Raleen Gagnon, global director of market intelligence at ManpowerGroup Solutions.