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Talent Analytics, What is it and Why Does it Matter?

How often do you think talent analytics are used today? More than you may think. We know everyone talks about data. Whether you’re figuring out how to acquire new users or build an audience with content, you’re probably using analytics to set goals and measure what’s working. But a critical area where both qualitative and quantitative data continue to make a difference in the world of work is talent analytics.

At its most helpful, talent analytics takes the guesswork out of hiring the right talent. Talent analytics doesn’t just help you get a warm body in a seat, either. This data can help recruiters and companies ensure a talent match where only the most motivated and those inspired to do their best work sign the dotted line.

When it comes to world-class recruiting in an increasingly competitive landscape, talent analytics play a central role in making HR and recruiting work smarter. Think of it as a way out of the HR fog

That said, understanding the right metrics is key to narrowing down the focus. By applying talent analytics, you can better pinpoint and hire team members who will ultimately serve as positive assets to the organization

What ARE Talent Analytics?

Talent analytics is the term for a data-focused approach to decision-making regarding current and future employees. By analyzing past employee behavior to predict future performance, talent analytics is often used by HR, hiring managers, and recruiters to find the best type of candidate.

According to Deloitte, “Four percent of organizations surveyed believe they have predictive talent analytics capabilities today. Only 14% of companies have any form of talent analytics program in place. Yet, more than 60% want to build a plan this year. 

In a still-relevant Harvard Business Review article about competing on talent analytics, Tom Davenport, Jeanne Harris, and Jeremy Shapiro outlined six types of data used for managing a workforce.

6 types of Data Used for Managing a Workforce

  1. Human Capital Facts: The key indicators of the business’s health, such as headcount, turnover rate, and employee satisfaction.
  2. Analytical HR: Segmented data on the units, departments, and individuals that most need attention.
  3. Human-Capital Investment Analysis: Tracks the activities that have the largest impact on the business, such as how employee satisfaction results in higher revenue, lower costs, and greater employee retention.
  4. Workforce Forecasts: Identifies and predicts the best times to either ramp up or cut back on staff.
  5. Talent Value Model: Provides information on why employees want to stay in an organization or why they choose to leave.
  6. Talent Supply Chain: Predicts how to best staff a company according to changes in the business.

Levels of insight vary – from basic information to predictive modeling. As organizations integrate talent analytics into their practices, deeper insights allow for better planning.

 

Analytics, What is it and Why does it Matter? | TalentCulture

What Moneyball Taught Us About Analytics

Using data gathered from your current workforce can drastically improve your ability to make smarter decisions when recruiting talent. Relying solely on your gut to make a hiring decision is a mistake.

I like to compare talent analytics to the more commonly known practice of sports analytics. This was made famous by the book and film Moneyball. It transformed the way professional baseball teams recruit talent. Instead of relying on gut instincts and old-fashioned scouting, Billy Beane and Peter Brand transformed recruiting by using something now known as “sabermetrics.”

The Oakland Athletics used empirical analysis of baseball statistics to measure in-game activity and thereby predict future performance. Once laughed at by old-school baseball managers, sabermetrics is now used by every team in the Major Leagues.

Just like Beane and Brand, organizations can use talent analytics to hire the right people. Additionally, to better understand how to align company strategy and employee capabilities. Decisions on how and where human capital should be allocated across the organization are much more reliable. Therefore, effectively placing individual employees becomes easier. 

Talent Analytics: Art or Science?

As much as I strongly believe in the power of data, I would never advise someone to rely solely on data to quantify and qualify a human being. 

In my opinion, stellar recruiting is an art as much as it is a science. Using data and analytics as business intelligence is powerful, but your value judgment is fundamental. If talent is a natural ability, it is impossible to precisely quantify. Plus, talent doesn’t (usually) stagnate; it grows and changes, so you need to take that into consideration when assessing data.

Talent analytics has proven to be an ever-growing asset. It allows HR and recruiting teams to better connect with organizational goals. By knowing what you’re seeking, talent analytics can save time and resources. The ability to measure and leverage people data is not only exciting but smart business. 

HR Meets Technology: The Ten Facets Of Culture

HR is experiencing a watershed moment. It’s not like the massive shift from virtual punchcards and e-forms to Cloud-based applications and analytics. It’s not the sudden appearance of millennials texting in the staff cafeteria, or the first Internet conference call. It’s the shift to a new paradigm: HR and Technology is essential to the success of an organization. This is culture.

Simply put, HR has become an integral, critical component in the functioning of business, from strategy to operations, customer experience to culture. It’s no longer a tangent, or a bunch of middle managers working in a bubble of regulations and number-crunching somewhere on the seventh floor. Not that we ever saw ourselves that way.

At least that’s the model. It’s not always the reality. But I’m being asked what’s next a lot these days, because, for a range of reasons, there is a tangible, different, next happening in this field. When the pundits and thought leaders are all being posed “what do you see as the future of” questions, I know from experience that the future is probably already happening. It’s a different culture and ecosystem, and we’re already living in it.

Here are my 10 facets of HR meets technology and why culture remains a top priority:

  1. HR as a discipline is gaining traction.The ability to execute serious power lifts using the fact-based, predictive framework of analytics, the Cloud and Big Data has changed the outside’s understanding (and perception) of what HR is capable of.
  1. HR is connected to strategy.As the world of work shifts from local and regional to global, human resources is being reframed as human capital; a total strategic investment and far more than just a facet of operations. 
  1. HR is critical for success.The full-spectrum presence of business on the web, social, mobile and live means an even deeper and constant tie to customer experience. And that constant need for a quality customer experience necessitates the best human interface (as in employee) possible, which means a fuller, more far-reaching program for employee engagement.
  1. HR is part of a competitive reality.Back to analytics here. They’re no longer an option; they’re a competitive necessity. A 2014 Aberdeen/IBM study showed that best in class organizations are 3.7 times more likely to train for analytics skills and 5 times more likely to hire analytics professionals – including talent analytics.
  1. HR is insight plus imagination.To leverage the best metrics and insights requires a tremendous scope of imagination; a vision based on more than streaming data. To fully capitalize on tailored, bespoke metrics that provide strategic intelligence takes top-tier leadership — as in a CHRO.
  1. HR is insightful.A useful stat from Bersin here:14% of companies that have invested in data-focused HR far outperform those that haven’t. Recruitment efforts are two times more effective, and stock returns outperformed their peers by 30 percent over the last three years. It’s a clear example of the future as now. 
  1. HR is a data-driven culture.Culture has to be generated with leadershipto be internalized by an organization: only leadership can embody that culture into every facet and function. The new HR leader has a mandate to embrace analytics and metrics to problem solve, and stitch them into every function of talent management.
  1. HR is multifunctional.Part of seeing HR as a 3-D function is covering all the phases of search and employ: recruitment and an ongoing talent search; performance tracking; training and onboarding; engagement; succession; compensation, recognition and rewards; and pipelining. All are approached with the same data-driven focus, and all are correlated to each other. Rather than disparate functions, these are all seamlessly related.
  1. HR functionality is centralized — or at least compatible.Organizations no longer leap-frog over analytical functions, landing on separate islands of knowledge. All are consolidated into a larger, unified system that is shareable, agile, responsive. But let’s be realistic: given the constellation of single vendor tools now, some organizations may have already begun the investment in HCM in one area, but not in another. In the future, these facets do play well with each other, so the ROI is still a happy one.
  1. HR is brilliant.HR professionals are adept at tracking performance of the past, the needs of the current, and projections for the future. They’ve evolved a skill set that’s sensitive but fact-based, in which talent analytics are the hinge around which a whole range of strategic decisions are made. And that’s how we transform the organization — now that we’ve been transformed ourselves.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

Talent Analytics: Predicting HR’s Way Out Of The Fog

Here’s the average amount of time recruiters spend looking at a resume: 6.25 seconds. That’s how long it takes to evaluate, by brain, whether or not a candidate is the right fit for a job. And here’s another stat: this is the thirteenth month in a row when 200,000 plus jobs have been created.

So, theoretically, to fill 200,000 jobs would require 347 hours of brain time. That doesn’t count all the other candidates who didn’t make the cut. Or what happens after the hire.

The variations on success or failure in HR are always endless: we’re human, not robot, for one thing. But given our profoundly transformed world of work, the variables are now also epic. From multiple generations to global organizations to the enormous impact of Big Data, there’s no turning back. Our era has been called the Talent Age, the Social Age, the Mobile Age. What it’s not: the Pile Of Resumes Age.

Hence HR’s present headache. There’s a lot of talk about how we need to change the culture: become more people-centric, understand what the millennials and innovative talent wants (start by accepting that they are The Future of Work), figure out how to foster engagement and express recognition and make sure no one leaves. And then there’s all this data. Big Data can seem part ether, part mega-entity. As someone told me, it’s like a fog machine was left on and filled the conference room as we all sat there, stunned. And the word unstructured can strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned talent managers.

But it’s not a fog of data, it’s our own fog. We need to approach epic change in an epic way and be very clear about it. To really leverage human capital now, we need to turn to the data that is constantly forming, streaming, reforming. Passive and active candidates, onboarding, training, engagement, retention, attrition, performance, recognition: it can all be predicted with Big Data.

The key is that we are not just gazing into a crystal ball, we’re looking with clarity, knowing that the more information, the more time, the more data points, the more accuracy. But this is about modeling, and about forecasting:

  1. Turnover.Predicting the risk for the most turnover — in which functions, which units, which locations, and what positions, and modeling the scenarios in advance
  2. Churn / retention.Identifying where the highest risk of churn is going to be, and who is at risk for it. Determining what resources should be turned to them in terms of retention activities and / or training.
  1. Risk.Building realistic profiles of which candidates are risk for leaving prematurely, and when. Creating models of which candidates are likely to experience drop in their performance.
  1. Talent.Forecasting who, among new hires, are going to be the high achievers and high performers, and decide should they be shifted into fast track programs. 
  1. Futurecasting. Modeling the various changes that an organization may experience, from global to political, and what the impact of talent hiring, retention and engagement could be.

We need technology that can be used through mobile devices, is interconnected via the cloud so it’s consistent across the board, is intelligent enough to keep learning, is agile enough to refocus. We also need tech to be consistent enough to be a Watson to our Jeopardy. But that’s exactly what predictive analytics offers: the ability to take the past and make sense of it in terms of common factors and key relationships, and to use that information not just to model and predict the future, but to make sound and insightful recommendations.

It may seem like a glaring paradox, but in data lies the future of human resources and talent management. So yes, we do need to change the culture — to one that relies on data. And then we can see clearly.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

Big, Bad Data: How Talent Analytics Will Make It Work In HR

Here’s a mind-blowing fact to spark up the late-summer doldrums: research from IBM shows that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. I find this fascinating.

Which means that companies have access to an unprecedented amount of information: insights, intelligence, trends, future-casting. In terms of HR, it’s a gold mine of Big Data.

This past spring, I welcomed the ‘Industry Trends in Human Resources Technology and Service Delivery Survey,’ conducted by the Information Services Group, a leading technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company. It’s a useful study, particularly for leaders and talent managers, offering a clear glimpse of what companies investing in HR tech expect to gain from their investment.

Not surprisingly, there are three key benefits companies expect to realize from investments in HR tech:

  • Improved user and candidate experience
  • Access to ongoing innovation and best practices to support the business
  • Speed of implementation to increase the value of technology to the organization.

It’s worth noting that driving the need for an improved user interface, access, and speed is the nature of the new talent surging into the workforce: people for whom technology is nearly as much a given as air. We grew up with technology, are completely comfortable with it, and not only expect it to be available, we assume it will be available, as well as easy to use and responsive to all their situations, with mobile and social components.

According to the ISG study, companies want HR tech to offer strategic alignment with their business. I view this as more about enabling flexibility in talent management, recruiting and retention — all of which are increasing in importance as Boomers retire, taking with them their deep base of knowledge and experience. And companies are looking more for the analytics end of the benefit spectrum. No surprise here that the delivery model will be through cloud-based SaaS solutions.

Companies also want:

  • Data security
  • Data privacy
  • Integration with existing systems, both HR and general IT
  • Customizability —to align with internal systems and processes.

They also want their HR technology to be:

Cloud-based. According to the ISG report, more than 50% of survey respondents have implemented or are implementing cloud-based SaaS systems. It’s easy, it’s more cost-effective than on-premise software, and it’s where the exciting innovation is happening. 

Mobile/social. That’s a given. Any HCM tool must have a good mobile user experience, from well-designed mobile forms and ease of access to a secure interface.

They want it to have a simple, intuitive user interface – another given. Whether accessed via desktop or mobile, the solution must offer a single, unified, simple-to-use interface.

They want it to offer social collaboration tools, which is particularly key for the influx of millenials coming into the workplace, who expect to be able to collaborate via social channels. HR is no exception here. While challenging from a security and data protection angle, it’s a must.

But the final requirement the study reported is, in my mind, the most important: Analytics and reporting. Management needs reporting to know their investment is paying off, and they also need robust analytics to keep ahead of trends within the workforce.

It’s not just a question of Big Data’s accessibility, or of sophisticated metrics, such as the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reveal the critical factors for success and measure progress made towards strategic goals. For organizations to realize the promise of Big Data, they must be able to cut through the noise, and access the right analytics that will transform their companies for the better.

Given what companies are after, as shown in the ISG study, I predict that more and more companies are going to be recognizing the benefits of using integrated analytics for their talent management and workforce planning processes. Talent Analytics creates a powerful, invaluable amalgam of data and metrics; it can identify the meaningful patterns within that data and metrics and, for whatever challenges and opportunities an organization faces, it will best inform the decision makers on the right tactics and strategies to move forward. It will take talent analytics to synthesize Big Data and metrics to make the key strategic management decisions in HR. Put another way, it’s not just the numbers, it’s how they’re crunched.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

Talent Analytics: A Crystal Ball For Your Workforce?

We’ve been listening to the buzz around Big Data and Talent Analytics for a couple of years now. It has been nearly three years to the day that I wrote about why Big Data is HR’s new BFF. It has a lot of potential, Cloud-sized trove of information that, with the right algorithms and filters – can be turned into actionable insight.

The existence of these new streams of verifiable information about potential hires adds a hefty dose of science to one facet of business that, surprisingly, has often felt like more like an art. Sure, the resume looks great and the interview was a standout. “Star player” one recruiter claims, “I can feel it in my gut.”

Think about it – sports have traditionally mixed stats with that sixth sense. Those winning World Cup teams? Hard numbers helped build those rosters: no one’s gotten to be a star midfielder or striker without awesome stats, one of the original forms of Talent Analytics, when you think about it. It’s time the World of Work catches catch up.

I’m not saying ditch the intangibles altogether. HR is all about humans— with so many different behaviors, skills, intelligence, and mindsets that you can’t simply quantify someone. But Talent Analytics can do a whole lot of the heavy lifting. You just have to know how to use it.

  • Talent analytics uses data in management decisions, be it in talent acquisition, retention, placement, promotion, compensation, or workforce and succession planning.
  • It has the capacity to be a powerful descriptive tool, looking at past performance and information to enable strategic change. Josh Bersin described the astonishing revelations a company had after performing a statistical analysis of sales productivity and turnover. The data showed that old indicators (such as GPA and education) were far less critical to performance and retention than factors like experience selling big-ticket items, for instance. When the data was implements into the recruiting process, the company grew by $4 M in the very next fiscal period.
  • It’s an incredible predictive tool, a trustworthy future-caster, HR’s own crystal ball. By analyzing the skills and attributes of high performers in the present, it enables organizations to build a template for future hires. As my neighbor here in Cambridge MA Greta Roberts notes, predictive talent analytics is much more useful, because it asks questions in order to change the outcome, not reflect on it. What will our attrition rate be this year? Who may leave the company? What can we do to reduce that turnover?
  • By its nature Talent Analytics is democratic: merit may well trump a fancy education, skills may supersede proximity, and remember those apparently intangible aspects, like social skills, flexibility, emotional intelligence, initiative, attitude,? They are now measurables. Just look at Google’s HR division devoted to people analytics, and massive, global sites like LinkedIn, a gold mine for HR.
  • Advanced software algorithms can identify talent and match it to an organization’s needs, pinpointing team players based on core traits and personality matching, making it an effective method for taking care of costly and time-consuming preliminary screening.
  • It’s mobile.Everything’s mobile. Your talent acquisition strategies had better be, too. New mobile apps make talent searches a matter of anytime and anywhere, including red-flag identifiers, an efficient way to handle the increasingly global and social nature of hires.
  • It’s growing.The market for corporate talent management software grew by 17% in 2013, and is now over $5 billion in size. Gartner predicts that the market for BigData and analytics will generate $3.7 Trillion in products and services and generate 4.4 million new jobs by 2015.

That buzz? We can still hear it, loud and strong. Maybe it’s time to sing along.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

photo credit: Crystal Reflection via photopin (license)

Will Technology Replace HR in 2016?

We’ve been hearing about technology replacing humans in HR for more than five years. Algorithms, Talent Analytics, and Predictive Behavior Technology are certainly having a significant impact on HR, and making it much more of a science. Yet there’s an issue because technology is fallible too. What about the other side of the argument, that HR is an art because, at its heart, it’s about people?

Which is it? Art? Or science?

I say both. Today’s human resources professional resides somewhere between the warmth of personal relationships and the cold truth of data. For years, we’ve watched HR change before our very eyes: technology has seeped into our interactions in the workplace, from recruiting and training to performance management, leaving many wondering how—and if—HR still has a place in modern organizations.

My answer? It still does. And here’s why.

From analytics to algorithms, technology’s new tools help us use data to be more efficient, effective, and scalable. Data can drive business decisions, provide insights into the workforce, predict future requirements, quickly match talent to needs, and measure traits and results that are critical to an organization’s success.

“Experts predict the Internet will become ‘like electricity’ — less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good and ill,” according to the Pew Research Center’s Digital Life in 2025. Yet, technology is not yet ready to replace the HR department. Dealing with people is, not surprisingly, inherently human: Adaptable, always changing, and full of possibility. HR is more than data-driven science, it’s an art—and despite the many benefits, it isn’t ready for a hands-off approach. 

Embrace What Technology Has to Offer

The reality is that organizations don’t have the capacity or the budget to keep technology out of HR—nor should they try.

Recruiters spend an average 6.25 seconds reviewing a resume. That sounds speedy until you realize there were 292,000 jobs created in December 2015 alone. That’s where machines can help: The non-profit National Bureau of Economic Research found computer algorithms do a better job of evaluating skills, personality, and overall job fit than humans. Machine-assessed candidates even stayed in their positions longer than those selected by recruiters.

Talent analytics can bring clarity to information that can seem overwhelming. These analytics can identify factors that predict employee success, calculate the risk for turnover, measure engagement to improve retention, and forecast talent needs. Using this information can be the difference between thinking—and knowing—you’re making the right decision.

Other emerging platforms are streamlining critical HR functions. New platforms for benefits and payroll make staying compliant much simpler. Online training options make on-boarding and professional development cost-effective, individualized, and accessible from anywhere in the world.

HR professionals should lean on these tools. But at the end of the day, it still takes a human being to understand how to interpret and act on insights they have identified. What technology enables us to do is shift focus from shuffling data between piles, to the areas that truly need a human touch.

Can Talent Analytics Do HR’s Job?

No. But they can help.

Talent analytics can do a lot of the heavy lifting for recruiters. Organizations don’t have the budget or capacity to manage the deluge of resumes that can come in. And who makes their decisions based solely on a CV these days anyway? Even interviews and portfolios have had to make room for the value of a candidate’s social footprint.

Talent analytics can lend a hand in the screening process, measuring a person’s innate talents and checking any number of criteria. They can provide a forecast of a person’s potential—not based on traditional indicators, like education or GPA, but on personal attributes and motivations that are inherent to who they are. Imagine trying to measure someone’s emotional intelligence or attitude. You can’t do that based on work experience, an interview, or gut instinct.

Companies like Google use analytics to manage existing employees and maximize the potential of new recruits, fine-tuning everything from how they review applicants to their on-boarding process and organizational structure.

But these systems don’t work on their own. The data they collect is impressive, but analysts are still needed to interpret it; there are too many idiosyncrasies and variables to be able to quantify personality traits with 100 percent accuracy. Even with machines, there is always room for error.

You Can’t Automate Culture

Algorithms screen; they don’t build relationships. Millennials value transparency and company culture in the workplacein fact, it’s one of their primary concerns. Analytics platforms can scan for traits that identify the candidates who are the best fit, but the culture that will keep them engaged is shaped by unique human factors. Recruiting good employees isn’t just about analyzing their personality—it’s also about communicating your own.

Technology Is a Tool

Technology can make an employee’s job better by analyzing what works and what doesn’t. It can be used to free up time in HR to focus on strategy and developing new policies. In fact, it can even give recruiters tools to make the process more human. But effective HR still requires a human touch. This is part of the balance between science and art. Think of the data as a paint-by-numbers project: Analytics give you the colors and numbers—but you’re still the one who has to paint the picture.

This article was first published on Switch and Shift on 2/17/16.

Think Like a Workplace Futurist

In the first quarter of 2015, Millennials finally overtook Generation X as the largest cohort in the workplace — there are more than 53.5 million of them working today. Their massive size and economic power has had marketers and business leaders tracking the “Millennial mindset” for years.

And yet, nipping at their heels, here comes Generation Z, the oldest of who are just starting to come of age. The U.S. Census estimates that Generation Z will include close to 80 million members — a number that eclipses the conversation-dominating Millennials.

It’s time to stop thinking in terms of generations; such thinking makes it too easy to buy into assumptions. For example, Millennials aren’t necessarily tech geniuses any more than anyone over the age of 40 is categorically a Luddite.

Instead, a leader needs to learn to think like a futurist. From innovation and technology to diversity and cultural norms, the pace of change is too rapid to focus solely on generational differences.

The Role of Technology, Analytics & Big Data

Younger generations are adjusting to the new world of work as much as their older colleagues; it’s the technology, not any one generation, that’s pushing workplace boundaries.

For example:

Thinking like a futurist means being in a constant state of learning, absorbing emerging trends and concepts, then considering the impact they might have globally as well as longer term. It means being open and receptive to change, both within your organization and outside. It means considering future possibilities, not just what’s happening right now.

For example, futurists are interested to learn how analytics can drive a company’s success.

AMC experienced this when looking into what personality traits lead to the best concession workers. Their data revealed that technology and training weren’t predictors of job performance; what mattered was emotional intelligence, a worker’s ability to work with and engage customers through social interaction.

AMC used these insights to develop a hiring process that screened for these traits in applications. The result? They cut turnover in half, and increased the bottom line margin by 1.5 percent. They didn’t just hire workers who were the best prepared for success, they also found people who stayed with the company for a longer period of time.

While data-informed hiring processes should be embraced, I am compelled to include a note of caution: It’s important to avoid the mistaken belief that algorithms or statistics are free of bias. It isn’t always clear how bias can creep into analytics, but it’s important to see data as the tool it is. Recruiters (read: humans) still need to make decisions, not just interpreting analytics but ensuring that HR best practices are met and that hires are diverse and a great personality fit.

Futurists Consistently Connect Technology and Culture

A futurist will seek to understand not only how technology changes the hiring process, but also its impact on corporate culture.

Technology allows workers to untether themselves from a cubicle; they no longer need to be in an office to attend a meeting or interact with their team. Job seekers have access to a global workplace, where they can prioritize work and employers who reflect their values.

However, freedom of place also has its drawbacks: Feelings of isolation among remote staff, limitations of corporate culture, varying expectations, different work-life boundaries, and a whole new model for communication.

This makes transparency paramount for attracting top talent. An open-book recruitment process allows job seekers to match their work needs to the right organizational culture, which leads to better-qualified applicants who are invested in the outcome.

Artisans Are the Future

A futurist isn’t just a strategist, they’re an artisan: They take trends, interpret them, and craft a vision for their organization. Taking a futuristic approach to work means more than scrutinizing work theories. It means gathering evidence to ultimately take action — one that may require risk, but which can also create competitive advantages.

It’s easy to get caught up in the generational differences that are shaping our evolving workforce; but we need to move beyond labels and focus on the factors that directly influence the way we live and work today and in the future. By actively looking forward, organizations will make better decisions for the culture of the company and its workers. The tools are already here, we just need to approach them with more curiosity and less fear.

Image credit : Bigstock 

A version on this post was first posted on Huffington Post on 11/19/15.

Simply Knock Three Times For Positive Workforce Impact

“Oh, my darling, knock three times
On the ceiling if you want me
Twice on the pipe
If the answer is no…”

Tony Orlando & Dawn

It started with an e-mail. The latest OnStar diagnostic report from our Saturn VUE chock full of data analysis on nearly every single facet of the car: engine and transmission system, air bag system, antilock braking system and more. We had green checkmarks across the board except for one: emissions system.

Argh. Yes, the engine light was on. “How long has the engine light been on?” I asked my wife who usually drives the VUE.

“I don’t know. I think about two weeks,” she answered.

“Wow,” I said.

“What? It’s been running fine.”

“Wow. Those idiot lights,” I added, channeling my father but not referring to my lovely wife.

So I called OnStar and they ran another diagnostic real-time and sure enough the recommendation was to take it in to a GM dealer and have the emissions system checked.

Which is what I did, and when I was getting a shuttle ride back, one of the other passengers, a young lady in her early 20’s, was on the phone with her dad. She said to him, “I have a question.”

I heard her say, “Knock three times? What? That was a song?”

She smiled and laughed and then I said, “Tony Orlando and Dawn.”

She repeated it to her father and then nodded at me. “Yep, that’s what he was just singing to me.”

Funny. It’s not knock four times or three times on the pipe – it’s repetitive precision is exactly how we remember the 1970’s pop hit. At least, those of us who do remember it. All of us have those single sources of musical truths baked into memory banks year after year.

And then it hit me (finally, right?) – the single source has been lost in the fact that since the early 1980’s cars have become more and more computerized, to the point today that data is constantly streaming from cars to servers to diagnostic outputs alerting us to all things that are well and unwell. This is true of most manufactured electronic “things” today that have microprocessors and they can tell both the manufacturers and the consumers exactly what’s going on inside.

This has also been true of finance, sales, marketing, supply chain management software and technology database systems for decades. Business leaders are now demanding the human resources (HR) data and analytics. The talent data and analytics that inform them about recruiting, performance, compensation and learning strategies. The analytics that will drive the enterprise’s workforce strategy and support the financial results the organization wants.

But aggregating and maintaining the sheer volume of workforce data available today, required to maximize that very investment, can be daunting to even the most progressive enterprise. It’s highly complex and costly for large global organizations due to the number of databases and data systems they maintain.

At the very heart of talent analytics is access to clean, collected, and unified workforce data. Early adoption is now occurring in organizations that are organizing and maintaining data so that it is transformed, standardized and reportable, so that they will be able to glean useful information that can in turn lead to measurable improvement in financial performance.

But they’ll need to have a primary data conduit from which HR and other vital business and finance data can flow to and from every internal and external system, all managed in a unified platform – a single source of truth.

How do we get to that single source of big data truth? I asked Marc Rind this question on the TalentCulture #TChat Show. Marc is the VP of Product Development & Chief Data Scientist at ADP and he told us that they’ve been working on a data exchange platform with a very simple API (application programming interface). It allows companies to bring in data assets from other systems and combine them with workforce data in order to bring out valuable insights into the state of their talent and where they’re going.

For example, Marc referenced a healthcare organization that unifies and analyzes their data to identify hiring patterns as well as projecting their overtime and scheduling needs real-time. Their everyday managers can also get the information they need to what their new hire attrition rate is, why it is, how it compares with their competitors, and what they should do to reduce it and be more competitive.

Another example included a retailer trying to understand not just how the sales are going in various locations or store locations, but also understanding how overtime impacts sales and what are the skills they should be hiring for elsewhere and other factors impacting positive outcomes based on those locations that are beating their sales goals. Nice weather plus optimal customer service leads to an extra 10% jump of foot traffic and great sales outdoors versus the mall stores.

These little ditties of insights can and do pay dividends. They are the HR tech pop songs that many providers of unifying platforms and data integration and management solutions are singing today with more to come tomorrow. Companies no longer have to sacrifice their favorite “tunes” – features and functionality – from the best of breed talent management solutions they’ve invested time and money into in exchange for moving to one unified core HR and talent management platform with subpar TM functionality. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Having access to meaningful data standardization and analysis as a single source of business and HR truth leads to strategic reporting and insightful analytics. Both provide critical guidance for organizational decisions, reinforcing the relationships among HR, finance and supply chain management.

So there you go, HR. Simply knock three times for positive workforce impact. After you’ve unified your data, of course.

#TChat Preview: How HR Drives Positive Workforce Impact With The Right Data Insights

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT).

Last week we talked about how to build and market your employer brand, and this week we’re going to talk about how HR drives positive workforce impact with the right data insights.

Carpe Diem HR! Time to seize the business day!

HR has more momentum and presence in driving technology decisions than we have seen in years past. So how do we seize the day and innovation to make it impactful to our organizations and workplace?

First HR has to understand the business and the metrics that drive competitive advantage. Across the HCM ecosystem, the right data is key. Asking the business to make decisions based on data insights can be scary if HR doesn’t understand the relevance and credibility of the data.

Join us and learn what data empowers HR to drive tech innovation towards a positive workforce impact.

Sneak Peek:

#TChat Events: How To Build And Market Your Employer Brand

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, July 22 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as they talk about how HR drives positive workforce impact with the right data insights with this week’s guest: Marc Rind, VP of Product Development & Chief Data Scientist of ADP Analytics and Big Data.

 

Tune in LIVE online Wednesday, July 22

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, July 22 — 1:30 pm ET /10:30 am PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, and Marc will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What empowers HR to drive tech innovation towards a positive workforce impact? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How can HR ensure what data is real & impactful to create a competitive edge? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What examples of organizational data insights can HR leverage? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Until then, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!!

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HR: You CAN Get There From Here

R.E.M sang the words and they are sometimes, jokingly, attributed to people from Maine – “you can’t get there from here.”

For those in HR, it’s not an uncommon thought – there are so many changes to workflows that seem straightforward and so logical to implement, but getting buy-in sometimes seems impossible or not worth the fight. Or just as frustrating, you may not know where to begin to make changes to help improve HR’s contribution to the business.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Furthermore, you can be the instrument of organizational change that improves the bottom line for your company.

What’s the key?

Take it slowly – one step at a time – and follow the data.

Small Steps, Big Improvements

You just might be amazed at the improvements you can realize with seemingly minor adjustments. The key is implementing change incrementally, in small chunks that can be readily embraced by the people you’re serving.

Here’s a 4-step process for implementing real, beneficial change that improves the value HR contributes to your business. Note also that it is an ongoing, iterative process that never really ends.

  1. Target One Area For Change

You might have a long list of processes that are ripe for change, either due to a company directive or an area where you feel you can make an influential change. This might be reducing the time to hire for open positions, improving employee engagement or improving succession planning. It could even be as simple as automating some procedures. These are high-level goals that might seem unattainable or unrealistic to accomplish without a major company initiative and major resource investment.

  1. Review the data

Data presents a window to the opportunities before you. By looking at data such as current time to hire, level of engagement, skill gaps, characteristics of high performers, employees at risk of leaving and more, you’ll be able to isolate bottlenecks as well as opportunities for improvement. This will allow you to modify your processes and workflows where necessary. Simple changes can often yield enormous benefits.

For example, the data might show one simple operation (or single person or team) might be the only element preventing a significant improvement in your company’s time to hire. Maybe the approval process is bogged down at a particular place in the workflow. Change that one piece of your operation and the results can be monumental.

Or, data might highlight a particular team’s lack of engagement. With this knowledge, you can readily spot the root cause, whether it’s the manager, the employees or something else. Whatever the case, the organization will be better for spotting this information sooner than later.

  1. Re-Engineer HR Processes

With automation and data analysis embedded into your processes, you’ll now be in a position to make better decisions and improve the workflow of your talent acquisition and performance management operations. You’ll be able to handle exceptions faster and quickly adapt to external forces such as regulatory compliance changes. You’ll have insight to make better organizational decisions, such as who is best suited to fill new leadership positions.

Next, you can continue to review the data, confirm improvements have been made and continue to refine. Or, you may need to look at other potential areas of improvement. Then, keep going, continuing to improve processes and workflow. By continuing to look at the data to rationalize current procedures or change your workflows in an agile manner, you’ll be in a cycle of continuous improvement as you enhance your ability to contribute to your organization’s goals.

4. Transform Your Organization

Having achieved significant wins and real change for your company, the final phase of this data-driven journey is true organizational transformation. The data might reveal what actions to take in order to ensure certain top employees stay with your company. It can shed light on which managers and teams are doing the best job – and why. It will show you which people in your organization are most (and least) engaged.

With this data in hand, you can begin to make changes within your workforce to address the underlying causes of problems while better capitalizing on efficiencies and successes. This is an ongoing, never-ending process.

Bypass Obstacles One Improvement At A time

There are typically many roadblocks, real or imagined, when implementing change within HR or related functions. Taking small, achievable steps rather than attempting seismic transformation can lead to quick, huge benefits that have the added fortune of high organizational buy-in, due to the low-impact nature of the changes. The insight gleaned from data can lead to incremental changes in how you conduct business, which can result in faster time to hire, better hires, improved retention rates, improved engagement and much more.

Small steps, big results – you can get there from here.

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People Quality Makes For Picture Perfect Business

“All I know is that sometimes the truth is contrary — everything in life you thought you knew.” —Neil Peart (Musician and Writer)

Without doing the math and coloring them in, you can still tell what most of them are. But that’s no fun when you’re six, just learning addition and loving to color pictures like my oldest daughter does. Adding the numbers together in each piece of the picture “puzzle” and then following the corresponding picture color code to color each piece in is the thrill of discovering its full context.

If the data is right (the math is correct) and the color code followed accordingly (regardless if colored a bit outside the lines), then these two things coming together tell a vibrant story in and of itself. And no matter how many times you complete the color by number pictures, the vibrant stories remain valid and reliable.

Quality may always vary somewhat with all of the above, but it’ll definitely go beyond the artistic going with one’s gut.

Like in recruiting. In a global talent acquisition market where most recruiters and even hiring managers spend only seconds reviewing each resume (we’ve all done it), no matter how good we think we are, it’s no wonder the “gut feel in hiring” is usually less accurate than a coin flip.

In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review last year highlighted that, “humans are very good at specifying what’s needed for a position and eliciting information from candidates—but they’re very bad at weighing the results.” The authors found that simple computer algorithms outperform human decisions by at least 25 percent, “regardless of whether the job is on the front line, in middle management, or in the C-suite.”

While there is obviously still value in having recruiters and hiring managers who possess good people instincts, it has become even more essential that they have reliable data on which to base their sourcing, screening and hiring decisions.

We’re just not as good as we think we are when it comes to computing quality.

Reliable data and that single source of data truth – that’s where we need to get to first in order to address the quality conundrum. That’s not easy when today’s human resource and talent acquisition professionals rely on a variety of systems, such as HRIS, ATS, ERP, CRM and more, to manage their most important asset – their people.

These systems supply companies with data on everything employee-related, from general demographic information like date of birth to candidate sourcing channels and from compensation and benefits history to employee performance ratings. And, the volume of HR data generated by companies is increasing daily – in large organizations, there can be upwards of 10 different HR applications generating data.  In multinational corporations, there are dozens of different disparate HR systems, covering various geographies and functions, yet disconnected from the “mothership” core.

Obviously the solution is to integrate and analyze the data that is held within a company’s talent acquisition system into the company’s human resource information system (HRIS) and vice versa. This could be done in a integrated core HR and talent management suite solution, or it could be done with a sound data integration and management solution that nicely unifies the pipelines of any and all HR and recruiting point solutions and/or suite combos.

As the workforce continues to become more global, mobile and diverse, ensuring that all these systems enable collaboration and cooperation becomes even more critical. Again, we need that one single source of data truth that will support our HR reporting and talent analytics initiatives, something we talked about at length on the TalentCulture #TChat Show with and Jen Phillips Kirkwood, ADP Analytics and Innovation Ambassador.

By allowing for applicant data to flow unobstructed between all these critical business systems can enhance our ability to:

  • Build deep talent pipelines
  • Obtain a long-term view of our workforce
  • Gather real-time, actionable data
  • Save recruiters and hiring managers time and resources
  • Standardize and synchronize data across all HR systems

No longer are talent acquisition professionals focused primarily on time-to-fill as a competitive advantage – now, it is also about finding ways to increase quality of hire. The unification of all this data enables improvements in recruiting effectiveness throughout the organization, impacting the overall quality of hire and ultimately the performance of the business.

When I got certified as a Talent Acquisition Strategist from HCI last fall, we went over a progressive case study on quality of hire measurement from Avanade, a technology company that helps clients and their customers realize results with Microsoft technologies.

Avanade has created a worldwide interview assessment methodology that measures competencies, behaviors, technology capability and cultural fit, against their current workforce populations. This results in improved new hire performance and helps reduce attrition for the first 12 months of employment.

Their quality of hire analytics require multiple data points that help calculate and inform continuous adjustments to new employee quality. This includes:

  • Average performance rating for new employees in the first 12 months.
  • Employee performance as a percentage of “achieves expectations” of performance in the first year.
  • Annual hiring manager survey focused on overall quality of new employees.
  • Percentage of employee retention during the first 12 months of employment.

Quality of hire is often referred to as “the holy grail” of recruiting and hiring. It’s what all the winners of the Candidate Experience Awards aspire to. In fact, Amelia Merrill, Head of People Strategy (HR) at RMS and four-time CandE winner, recently presented at the first-ever CandE 101 Workshop and shared that “either you’re all in on the candidate experience, or your not. Nobody gets half pregnant.”

Indeed. There’s no better way to be “with quality-of-new-hire child” than by going all in with unified HR systems, key recruiting and hiring data and talent analytics. An excellent way to start determining your quality-of-hire is by tracking the turnover of your new hires during their first year with you. Higher-than-desired levels of turnover within this period often signify poor sourcing, selection or onboarding – or some combination of these activities. It all comes down to how carefully you measure and track new hire sourcing, performance, competencies, turnover/retention, diversity and inclusion, and developmental/leadership potential.

Just do the math: people quality is what makes for picture perfect business.

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.

photo credit: Crayons, Coloring via photopin (license)

Talent Analytics Key To Unlocking Big Data’s Power

Here’s a fact I find fascinating: research from IBM shows that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.

The clear takeaway is companies have access to an unprecedented amount of information: insights, intelligence, trends, future-casting. For HR, there’s a gold mine of Big Data.

Last spring, I welcomed the “Industry Trends in Human Resources Technology and Service Delivery Survey,” conducted by the Information Services Group (ISG), a leading technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company. It’s a useful study, particularly for leaders and talent managers, offering a clear glimpse of what companies investing in HR tech expect to gain from their investment.

Not surprisingly, there are three key benefits companies expect to realize from investments in HR tech:

• Improved user and candidate experience

• Access to ongoing innovation and best practices to support the business

• Speed of implementation to increase the value of technology to the organization.

It’s worth noting that driving the need for an improved user interface, access, and speed is the nature of the new talent surging into the workforce: people for whom technology is nearly as much a given as air. We grew up with technology, are completely comfortable with it, and not only expect it to be available, we assume it will be available, as well as easy to use and responsive to all their situations, with mobile and social components.

According to the ISG study, companies want HR tech to offer strategic alignment with their business. I view this as more about enabling flexibility in talent management, recruiting and retention — all of which are increasing in importance as Boomers retire, taking with them their deep base of knowledge and experience. And companies are looking more for the analytics end of the benefit spectrum. No surprise here that the delivery model will be through cloud-based SaaS solutions.

Companies also want:

• Data security

• Data privacy

• Integration with existing systems, both HR and general IT

• Customizability —to align with internal systems and processes.

They also want their HR technology to be:

Cloud-based. According to the ISG report, more than 50% of survey respondents have implemented or are implementing cloud-based SaaS systems. It’s easy, it’s more cost-effective than on-premise software, and it’s where the exciting innovation is happening.

Mobile/social. That’s a given. Any HCM tool must have a good mobile user experience, from well-designed mobile forms and ease of access to a secure interface.

They want it to have a simple, intuitive user interface – another given. Whether accessed via desktop or mobile, the solution must offer a single, unified, simple-to-use interface.

They want it to offer social collaboration tools, which is particularly key for the influx of millenials coming into the workplace, who expect to be able to collaborate via social channels. HR is no exception here. While challenging from a security and data protection angle, it’s a must.

But the final requirement the study reported is, in my mind, the most important: Analytics and reporting. Management needs reporting to know their investment is paying off, and they also need robust analytics to keep ahead of trends within the workforce.

It’s not just a question of Big Data’s accessibility, or of sophisticated metrics, such as the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reveal the critical factors for success and measure progress made towards strategic goals. For organizations to realize the promise of Big Data, they must be able to cut through the noise, and access the right analytics that will transform their companies for the better.

Given what companies are after, as shown in the ISG study, I predict that more and more companies are going to be recognizing the benefits of using integrated analytics for their talent management and workforce planning processes. Talent Analytics creates a powerful, invaluable amalgam of data and metrics; it can identify the meaningful patterns within that data and metrics and, for whatever challenges and opportunities an organization faces, it will best inform the decision makers on the right tactics and strategies to move forward. It will take talent analytics to synthesize Big Data and metrics to make the key strategic management decisions in HR. Put another way, it’s not just the numbers, it’s how they’re crunched.

This post was adapted from “Big Bad Data: How Talent Analytics Will Make It Work In HR”, which originally appeared on Forbes.com.

About the Author: Meghan M. Biro is a globally-recognized talent management leader and social business and community catalyst. As founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group, she has worked with hundreds of companies, from early-stage ventures to global brands like Microsoft and Google, helping them recruit and empower stellar talent.

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#TChat Recap: The HR Technology Mic Drop

The HR Technology Mic Drop

It’s a little known fact that by 2015, the HR technology industry will most likely be worth $10 billion. As the World of Work shifts towards driving better business outcomes through efficiency and transparency, we acknowledge the industry’s efforts and innovation this week on #TChat from the #HRTechConf. HR technology is not only teaching us how to improve the way we measure performance, but also how we engage, train, and reward. This week’s guest: Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, President/CEO of Xceptional HR, author, speaker, HR professional, and workplace social media expert, taught our community how HR technology is transforming our workplaces to provide a more efficient and transparent experience, that’s a win-win for employers and employees.

It’s no secret that HR technology is designed to improve business outcomes, but:

Can you imagine working at an office where silence is golden? Hopefully, for most of us this is not the case. But Brian does bring up an interesting point about how HR technology should act as an amplifier to employee engagement and productivity. HR technology also provides us with the tools to track and measure how we work, because ultimately it’s about creating opportunities to read and react versus sit back and wait for employees to walk out the door. Remember…

Plain and simple is right. Great HR technology not only amplifies our engagement and productivity, but it connects us to other areas that drive business outcomes. Metrics and analytics matter when it comes to measuring productivity, but they also can contribute to how we hire and retain talent. It all ties into how we drive better business outcomes. Analytics is a common buzz word in our industry, and rightfully so because:

HR technology helps us plan, monitor, and tweak. And the bigger picture here is it connects the dots for everyone. Employers can find the talent they need more efficiently and create opportunities for them to grow. And while there are some great and highly-innovative HR technologies available to organizations, the end result isn’t always a perfect ending. Make sure you know what it is you’re looking for. When it comes to HR technology:

The right HR technology aligns with an organization’s strategic needs and culture. Remember, employees are the driving force behind whether or not HR technology succeeds and reaches its full potential. Make sure employees are asked for feedback about the kind of tools they feel their work is lacking or completely missing. Definitely invite the most enthusiastic employees to participate in a focus group to demo HR technology. If they love it, then they will be your biggest ambassadors to promoting the product. Driving better business outcomes is a team effort and it does require HR technology to help make an impact.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guest: Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, President/CEO of Xceptional HR, author, speaker, HR professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media.

#TChat Events: How to Use Company Culture to Attract In-Demand Candidates

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to How to Use Company Culture to Attract In-Demand Candidates.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, October 15th!

Join us next week, as we talk about How to Use Company Culture to Attract In-Demand Candidates during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

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photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via Picjumbo cc

#HRTechConf Building A Culture Of Good Data

Building a culture of excellence depends on recruiting and retaining the right people. How do companies attract, hire, and retain the best employees? HR departments and recruiters use a variety of tools, techniques, and systems to engage with the brightest prospects. Of course, the methods companies use to select employees are evolving rapidly given the extraordinary advances in today’s HR technology.  What are some of the most interesting trends unfolding?

Video:  Video is emerging as a powerful instrument in the HR arsenal. Video interviews are an ideal tool in today’s globally interconnected world. But video interviews are just one way companies can harness the power of this revolutionary medium. Videos that give prospective employees a sense of the company’s culture can help attract promising candidates before the application process begins.  For Millennials and other tech-savvy generations, video is the primary channel for learning and sharing information. As a result, video is increasingly important to any company’s employee engagement efforts.

Better Metrics: There is an old business adage: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” No doubt, gathering and quantifying information can help companies gauge if their efforts are yielding results. However, most companies and businesses are drowning in information. If you spend all your time gathering and analyzing information, but not acting on it, then you are essentially “boiling the ocean,” to borrow an industry parlance phrase. So, it is imperative to settle for a limited number of metrics that you can actually analyze and then act on.

Workplace Engagement:  It is time to think of the HR function as a workplace engagement system.  Fostering an esprit de corps is an essential task for any HR department. Accomplishing this goal entails tapping the wisdom of HR professionals and making this wisdom available to prospects, employees, and other stakeholders by weaving multiple points of contact and engagement into the organization. Video and collaborative platforms can be an integral part of the workplace engagement process.

75% of HR leaders recognize that talent analytics are vital to the success of their organizations.  However, less than half of those respondents had a talent analytics plan up and working. Another statistic is telling: According to Josh Bersin in a recent HR Forecast 2014 article, “only 14% of the companies we studied are even starting to analyze people-related data in a statistical way and correlate it to business outcomes.”

Talent Analytics depends on good data.  But even more than this, TA depends on knowing what to measure. Many companies track dozens of meaningless metrics. The most important metrics are those tied to specific organizational goals and those that help a company and its employees improve their performance. HR departments and organizations need to think carefully about the metrics that matter to their companies. What metrics can help HR departments evaluate their talent acquisition and retention goals? What methods, tools, and technologies are improving the workplace engagement process? What metrics lead to the highest quality recruits? Building and sustaining a culture of excellence depends on many factors. The organizations that can identify those factors, and act on them, will be the ones that thrive.

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#TChat Preview: The HR Technology Mic Drop

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about how to successfully work from anywhere, and this week we’re going to talk about the HR Technology mic drop.

Specifically this is our very special 2014 HR Technology Conference & Exposition show, live from fabulous Las Vegas and complete with one of the most influential influencers in the HR Technology space, Jessica Miller-Merrell. Follow the hashtag #HRTechConf to get all the daily updates on activities!

Fact is, the HR technology industry will most likely be worth nearly $10 billion (or more) in 2015. That’s the mic drop. Boom.

A lot of opportunity for HR vendors, and great news for buyers because integrated “talent engagement” software is here to stay, including recruiting, performance, compensation, succession, learning and so much more, all of which are helping improve employee engagement, productivity and driving business outcomes.

Plus, data management, social collaboration and video technologies are all still very hot. Oh, and talent analytics across the board, that’s really the big, big mic drop. Double boom.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about the HR Technology mic drop with this week’s guest: Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, President/CEO of Xceptional HR, author, speaker, HR professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media.

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: Sink Or Swim: A Tidal Wave Of Tech Is Shaping HR

Didier Bonnet: Convincing Employees to Use New Technology

Trish McFarlane: Big Trends in HR Technology and Beyond

Elaine Orler:  Top Trends in Talent Acquisition Technology

Ben Nelson: Wanted: Long-Term Thinking about Technology and Education

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: The HR Technology Mic Drop

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, October 8th — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our host, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guest: Jessica Miller-Merrell.

Tune in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, October 8th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Jessica will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What’s innovative and exciting in HR technology today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How are companies using talent analytics to drive business outcomes? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What are your recommendations for HR buyers attending this year’s HR Technology conference? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

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#TChat Recap: The Talent Science Of Cultural Change

The Talent Science Of Cultural Change

Every week our #TChat Community takes an in-depth social look at what’s going on in the World of Work. This week was particularly interesting because we discussed how data and analytics are shaping organizational culture. Our guests: Brent Daily, Founder of RoundPegg, employee engagement software that increases business performance through applied culture science; and Natalie Baumgartner, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specific focus on assessment and additional training in strength-based psychology, know closely how talent science can affect the way employees change their perception about organizational culture. The revolution in HR technology has paved the way for organizations to realize how great company culture rewards them with employee engagement and workplace productivity. Before we can begin to understand the makeup of company culture, we must start to:


You can’t begin to form and understand culture until you know what your employees truly value. You have to learn what matters to them. If you want to walk into an office full of organic creativity and passion, then start by asking the right questions. Begin to:

Melissa is right about listening to employees. She’s also right about getting employees involved in shaping company culture. Who better than employees to understand what their organizational culture looks and feels like? Employees carry with them the data to uncovering what organizational culture should be. Of course:

Yes, data and analytics can help light the way for our talent science. It can shed light on what can’t be seen clearly without technology. It can even shed light on paths we did not know are available for us to take. Great company culture comes from understanding the makeup of employees. It’s not about presenting employees with flashiness and disillusionment of what you’re selling. Employees know what they crave. Brent reminded us that:

The key to realizing what your culture is and what it can be comes from having meaningful conversations with employees. Remember, they carry the data to uncovering what your organizational culture can be. HR technology helps remind us of this, and teaches us to recognize the obvious about company culture. You need to get employees involved in shaping company culture by strategically implementing ways for them to add feedback and grow within the organization. Cultivating culture is a science, not a cheap magic trick. Data and analytics gives us the insights we need to understand our organizations, but it’s finding the will to change is what makes it all worth it.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests: Brent Daily, Founder of RoundPegg, employee engagement software that increases business performance through applied culture science; and Natalie Baumgartner, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specific focus on assessment and additional training in strength-based psychology.

#TChat Events: The Talent Science Of Cultural Change

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to The Talent Science Of Cultural Change.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, August 20th!

Join us next week, as we talk about Surviving a Bad Workplace Culture during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels! Passive-Recruiting photo credit: Andrew Morrell Photography via photopin cc

Games and Data and Talent — Oh My! #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full review of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Game On: Playing to Business Strengths.”)

Two of the hottest trends in the world of work today are “gamification” and “big data.” But what do these concepts really mean to you?

For some Leaders and HR professionals, this looks and feels like buzzword territory. But others are starting to recognize how game-based tools and big data intelligence can truly transform talent strategy. In fact, some of today’s most innovative organizations are actually combining these techniques — creating powerful new solutions that improve management decisions, as well as business outcomes.

New Paths To Better Talent Choices

The truth is, gamification, big data and advanced analytics are creating a perfect storm that is rapidly redefining employee acquisition and retention. These emerging trends are central to the future of work. And that’s why they are our focus this week at #TChat Events.

As our community explores the connection between games, big data and talent strategy, we welcome two experts:

Guy Halfteck, Founder and CEO of Knack, a company that combines cutting-edge video games, big data analytics and behavioral science to help companies identify and recruit top talent. (Connect with Knack on Twitter)

Mark Howorth, COO at Panavision, and former Partner and Sr. Director of Global Recruiting at Bain & Company.

To kick-off the discussion, I spoke briefly with Guy in a G+ Hangout recently about how big data shapes the human side of business:

For a deeper look into Guy’s perspective on this topic, you may also want to watch his recent appearance at The Economist forum “The Ideas Economy: Human Potential 2012”

#TChat Events: Games + Big Data + Talent Management

Our guests this week are seasoned innovators who deeply understand the strategic implications of gaming and data. This promises to be a fascinating discussion for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So please plan to join us, and bring your ideas, questions and concerns!

#TChat Radio — Wed, Sep 18 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

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Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Guy Halfteck and Mark Howorth about how games are emerging as a highly effective, reliable way to select, recruit and retain employees. Follow the action online, and dial-in LIVE with your feedback and questions!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Sep 18 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move the discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will lead an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Why is gamification becoming more important to the world of work?
Q2: How can gaming data improve recruiting and hiring decisions?
Q3: What are some real-world use cases of successful workplace gamification?
Q4: How can business leaders best deploy games in the workplace?
Q5: How can companies use gaming technology to improve employee engagement?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!