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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Meaningful Technology

Empowering the emotional impact of employee recognition

By:  Jonathan McClellan, Employee Recognition Segment Director at Hallmark Business Connections

I think we can all agree that employee recognition plays a huge part in the ongoing success of today’s businesses. Engaging, connecting, and empathizing with your employees strengthens your relationship with them and helps create a work culture that fosters greater feelings of being valued, increased productivity, and enhanced performance for your entire organization. Simply put, by “telling them,” you create meaningful connections that deliver measurable results. But how can you maintain authentic, meaningful connections in your employee recognition program when you have 100, 1,000, or more employees? The answer is technology—technology that allows you to work in a meaningful, yet effective way.

Emotionally Impactful Enterprise Effectiveness

Efficiency in your business’ tools, procedures, methodologies, and processes are key to enterprise effectiveness for your business. And when it comes to employee recognition, it’s truly no different.

While face-to-face communication is the best way to recognize an employee achievement or milestone, turning to a technological solution doesn’t have to mean losing warmth or emotion. In fact, technology can make an enterprise-wide recognition program more authentic and meaningful while being efficient. To do this, it must deliver speed, service and scalability in the following ways:

Speed—the ability to recognize, react, and reinforce the employee behaviors and accomplishments that matter most, when they matter most. Speed in your recognition program shows that you care enough to make their moment a priority.

Service—Your technology solution’s ability to give the right people in your organization the right tools to grow the relationships that benefit your business. By empowering them with resources that give them real-time, reaction capability, they can respond on the fly and recognize on the go.

Scalability—An employee recognition solution must ideally offer a platform that is nimble and responsive to the changing needs of your business over time. The technology needs to provide the consistency, clarity, and control that make your job easier, your employees happier, and your bottom line the happiest.

A Note on Scalability

Why are consistency, clarity, and control so important to scalability in an enterprise-wide, recognition solution? Simple. They preserve the continuity, message, and security of your brand, mission, and vision.

In short, scalability ensures your employee recognition solution remains consistent across your organization in how it’s managed, used, and most importantly, received.

Scalability from a technology must offer clarity by providing the tracking, measurement, and reporting a business needs to gauge effective and efficient performance of the program.

Scalability helps preserve security when the technology actively administers and monitors a business’ rules, obligations, and checks and balances in order to maintain compliance.

Recognize the opportunity

Please don’t believe that a technology solution can effectively replace the ol’ face-to-face. It can’t and shouldn’t ever happen. People thrive on human interaction and always will. But, leveraging technology correctly can help your organization build and strengthen relationships when being together isn’t possible. Whether it’s because of a physical distance or a logistic issue, a technology employee recognition solution can fill the gap and ensure a special moment isn’t missed or delayed when it comes to recognizing and celebrating the employee responsible. “telling them,” says a lot about you. And when done in a timely, authentic and sincerely way, it helps your employees and your business thrive.

Jonathan McClellan leads the employee recognition business unit at Hallmark Business Connections, providing strategic leadership and employee enrichment solutions for Fortune 500 performance-centric businesses.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Critical Aspects Influencing Talent Acquisition in APAC

In the current day and age, we have moved into the “Talent Era,” where human capital is a top priority for organisations across the globe. With the fast-changing global economic landscape, wherein the emerging economies of Asia Pacific (APAC), such as China and India, are moving towards global economic supremacy, it is only natural that their talent needs are on the rise. This has consequently led to a steep demand for talent acquisition and talent management-related services in APAC.
The concept of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) programmes is picking up pace in these markets. Historically pioneered by West-headquartered organisations that had a presence in APAC, the RPO and MSP markets have reached a tipping point where many locally headquartered buyers have started embracing these solutions.

Some of the critical aspects influencing talent acquisition in APAC include:
  • Diverse demands are driving growth of RPO and MSP, especially the economic surge. Most APAC countries have experienced rapid economic growth in recent times. Consequently, companies operating here have also grown at a rapid pace leading to a sharp increase in demand for talent. Increasing the number of successful examples in the market is adding to the popularity of RPO and MSP. In the more developed but slow-growing economies, shifts in the talent landscape are driving an increase in outsourcing models. For example, the rapid conversion of talent from permanent to contingent workforce in Australia is causing organisations to look at a MSP programme. An increased openness in Japan around the concept of outsourcing is driving up RPO adoption there.
  • Maturity levels vary greatly by region. APAC is a heterogonous market where the level of awareness and adoption varies significantly from country to country . In general, RPO has seen more traction than MSP in APAC. Everest Group’s analysis shows that while Australia accounts for almost half of the market and is clearly the most mature, Singapore and Hong Kong are next, as these countries host the regional headquarters of many firms. China, India, and Japan are emerging markets witnessing heightened activity. Other markets are relatively smaller and are in early stages of maturity (see image 1). 
  • The market is experiencing growth. Everest Group’s research shows that APAC accounts for nearly 10 to 15 per cent of the global talent acquisition services market (North America is the biggest market, followed by Europe) and is the fastest growing. The strong growth is primarily attributed to heightened activity in the emerging markets of China, India, and Malaysia. Australia, while accounting for almost half of the market, is showing signs of maturity and is expected to grow relatively slowly (see image 2).
  • Multi-country deal activity is more common. An interesting aspect of the APAC market is the high occurrence of multi-country deal activity. Most global companies present here tend to operate across multiple countries in the region and, more often than not, enter into a multi-country arrangement to fulfil all their regional talent requirements. Barring Australia, most APAC countries are generally included in a multi-country construct (see image 3).
  • Local firms are earning market share. The market for talent acquisition services in APAC was pioneered by regional/local arms of firms that had their headquarters in the West. However, this trend is undergoing a rapid change, as many locally-headquartered firms have started to adopt such services in a big way.
  • Diverse challenges call for unique solutions. APAC is a heterogeneous market, and Everest Group’s conversations with enterprises in different countries have found varying needs necessitate building different solution models. Significant pricing differential prevails in the region, which requires for a well-thought-out delivery strategy. This also calls for a differentiated technology strategy, as most global solutions may not be viable in low-cost countries within the region. There are also challenges in terms of languages and regulations,
    which may make it almost impossible to do business without some sort of local presence.
  • The service provider landscape is diverse. Given the tremendous potential, many global service providers have already made a foray into the market. Some did it through acquisitions, while others went the organic route. Given that the market is inherently different from the West, many country-level service providers have also made quite a name for themselves. These local providers understand the regional sentiments well and have developed strong in-country delivery presence. 
 APAC is a fast-growing segment of the global talent acquisition outsourcing market—a fact that is unlikely to change in the near to medium future. As buyers look for tailored solutions to their talent problems and as global players adapt their strategies to suit local requirements, it raises multiple interesting questions: Will this market stay true to its potential? How will global players approach this market? What will be their value proposition and what type of solution will they bring in? What will be their strategy to counter the entrenched local providers? Whatever the answer may be to these, as long as the answer to the first question is yes, it will be a boon for buyers as they get offered more choices, more innovation, and ultimately greater value.

—Arkadev “Arko” Basak, practice director of Everest Group 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Photos from HRO Today Forum EMEA 2016

Thanks so much for attending the HRO Today Forum EMEA in Edinburgh! If you couldn't make it, check out the photos below! Visit to learn more about our other forums.

The Consumerization of Contingent Workforce Management Technology

By Brad Martin, Senior Director of Product Marketing | PRO Unlimited 

Within the contingent workforce industry, vendor management systems (VMS) have been plagued by a lack of consumerization. As in many industries, the technology has historically suffered from a robotic and cumbersome approach to user interaction. Now, however, there is a dramatic change happening in enterprise software design. The chasm between the consumer and enterprise experience is quickly closing. New “consumerized enterprise” solutions extend user experiences found in the world’s leading consumer applications to the business domain. 

The goal is to create an environment of efficiency. There needs to be a synergy between enterprise processes and the ease-of-use that these VMS deliver to both HR managers and contingent workers. End users, whether they are at home or at work, want solutions that are intuitive, easy-to-use, and deliver functionality that meets their transactional or business requirements.

Therefore, it’s critical that VMS software is designed for an omni-channel experience. The concept of an omni-channel VMS experience is simple, effective, and required for the evolving workforce. Users can access and utilize all major functions of the VMS from any device (web, mobile, tablet, and wearable). They can quickly review and approve timecards, expenses, statement-of-work (SOW) billing, among other notifications and requests. Ultimately, an omni-channel experience delivers the following benefits: faster execution, faster decision-making, and faster adoption. For example, when a worker or manager log in from their desktop or mobile device, there should be a short list of tasks that require completion. This enables a more actionable view of primary responsibilities and allows the user to optimize their time without wasting precious clicks searching for items that do not need immediate attention. 

Another area that benefits contingent workforce management technology is “contextual interface design.” In this type of design, the buttons on the interface will adapt to elevate the appropriate action for any task. There may be recently created requests and the actions required in context to its status. For a request that is in a “candidates submitted” status, the action button presented might say “review resumes”. However, that same action button might say “contact approver” if the request is waiting for approval before it can be submitted to suppliers. In either case, the action that users take will be in context to the status of that request.

VMS features should also incorporate vendor profiles containing a “Yelp!-like” review system that produces a rating for managers to reference when selecting vendors. Additionally, vendors can manage aspects of their profile though a vendor portal. Managers who wish to include a request for information (RFI) as part of a project request can do so by creating their questions through a Survey Monkey-type interface.  When reviewing quote submissions, the manager can review the quote and RFI details in a side-by-side view that rivals that of a Consumer Reports shopping application.

Finally, there is a need to understand that consumerization is the reorienting and reimagining of enterprise software away from “process-driven design” and towards delivering a rich, enjoyable experience. Organizations that manage contingent workforces can now realize the benefits of a new design approach that creates more intuitive user interfaces while incorporating familiar UI patterns and features like real-time in app messaging, peer rating for vendors, and contextual action. These types of features along with mobile functionality will result in delivering greater business outcomes across the enterprise like never before.

Monday, November 7, 2016

HRO Today Forum EMEA Starts Tomorrow!

We at HRO Today are very pleased to announce that our annual HRO Today Forum EMEA in Edinburgh, Scotland will begin tomorrow, Nov. 8!

The central theme of this year’s event is Be Connected! – HR Technology, Services and Leaders Unite. As technology continues to become more prevalent and integrated in daily life, leaders are learning to adapt and rethink the way their businesses attract, retain, and serve their employees.

Our program this year will focus on the way that technology has shaped today’s HR processes and ways that HR will continue to evolve in the future. We’ve got a fantastic agenda of diverse and informative sessions and plenty of opportunities to discuss best practices and network with top HR professionals.

For the full agenda and detailed information about sessions, speakers, and sponsors, check out our event guide.

We are also excited to recognize our attendees for their innovative contributions to the HR field during our HRO Today EMEA Awards Gala. Click here for more information about our annual awards.

We hope that you will find this year’s HRO Today Forum EMEA to be both informative and enjoyable!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Overlooked Employee Resources for Influencing Wellness Engagement

By Laurie Gondek, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Welltok

As employers strive to drive greater participation in their health and wellness programs, they may be overlooking key factors and resources that influence engagement. These factors were uncovered as part of a 2016 research survey of over 1,000 employees asking them what their motivations are to improve their health and well-being.

The survey found that employers won’t succeed with a one-size-fits-all approach, especially if they want to maximize the investments they have made in their health and well-being programs. Employees desire a customized program that fits their particular health goals and needs. With the right mix of programs, outreach and incentives, employers can realize the results they envision. These resources, which are often overlooked, will help engage employees more effectively.

The Top Overlooked Employees Resources:

Manager and Family Engagement

One of the most effective motivators has nothing to do with communications coming from the HR department; employees say they want programs delivered to them that are customized and easily shared with others. They would like to participate if they can involve their friends and family. Programs that involve the family are likely to drive greater participation. Direct managers and colleagues are also a big influence when at the office. They help to create a culture of health and help to set an example that enables employees to spend time on these kinds of activities. 

Beyond Health and Wellness: Personal and Financial Support
Employers need to go beyond traditional offerings and add programs that include more than just physical fitness, including activities like stress management, employee assistance programs and counseling. One of the most overlooked programs in this category is helping employees to cultivate positive emotions by practicing mindfulness, expressing gratitude, conducting acts of kindness or even promoting better sleeping habits.

Offering a personalized financial program like financial counseling, financial planning, or retirement planning is an often overlooked but desired resource. Perceptions on the employer’s role in financial health are varied by age, gender and income, so it’s important to have personalized programs that meet the needs of your employers no matter where they are in life.

It’s so simple, yet many employers don’t think to offer rewards. Nearly all employees (91 percent) say that they would engage in healthier behaviors if they received an incentive or reward, such as lower premiums, co-pays, gift cards, sweepstakes, or a charitable donation. This is true across all age groups with a slight decline as employees got older.

The good news is that the majority of companies can maximize the value of their offerings, regardless of their current levels of employee participation by offering the right mix of customizable programs. However, it’s important to note that not every employee is motivated by the same drivers. Employers must think more carefully about how to leverage these overlooked resources to connect individuals with the right programs at the right time, as well as how to create the right support networks and incentive design structures in order to generate the highest possible return on their investments.