What you need to know before you begin...

...more to come :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A bit about 9/28 and what I hope 10/5 brings...

Well...I know everything I need to know about ADP! ;-) But in all reality, the 1 hour demo was fantastic. Although the system lacked the flash and sexiness we all look for in systems today, it was surprisingly robust for a system that purports to be a one stop shop for the major HR technology needs. It is the dream of most organizations to have credible data all in one place - it helps facilitate smooth processes and makes for reporting possibilities most executives only dream of (well, without needing to run a macro that joins 6 tables of data...or more realistically finding someone who knows how to do it).

If ADP isn't my thing, well the 18 step HR Software Analysis model sure will help with that. From defining the problem and understanding integration to running reports and utilizing regional-specific functionality, I feel much more comfortable in my ability to not get sick on the rug. If you get my drift...which is only possible if you have taken Jun's HR Tech Class BTW :-).

And lastly, what I still look forward to is the Taleo demo. As a current user of the Enterprise Recruiting and Onboarding modules I'm eager to see what the latest and greatest is...as well as having an SME at my disposal for the questions I currently have.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How does HR Technology help the business thrive, you ask??

I work at an organization where HR truly is a business partner. We have the proverbial, "seat at the table" when it comes to strategic decision making and business modeling. Thus, the technology we use to drive our business is CRITICAL to driving the overall business.

I can list a million reasons (literally) why HR Technology is crucial but for the purposes of this blog, I'll focus on my top 3:

1) Managing Talent

This is increasingly important as the size, diversity, and geographic span of your organization grows, but knowing who can do what and who has done what is extremely beneficial in overall talent management. For example, Finance is in dire need of a project manager to help implement an expense management system but they don't know where to turn. Little do they know that a PM in IT is wrapping up their current project and before their time with our company, their IT experience was specific to finance at another organization implementing the exact same system. With an HR Technology system that helps managers identify and tap into that talent, both HR and the business can save money and seek qualified talent to help the business grow and evolve.

2) 'Making the World Flat'

Yes, another Friedman quote :-). But very relevant here. If you are in HR for a company that operates in 30+ countries, HR systems are almost necessary to provide any sort of unity or standardization in terms of business processes, workflows, tools, forms, etc. Heck, even corporate branding can be HUGELY affected by a unified system that is used globally. But at the basics, it flattens the world and makes available tools to people thousands of miles apart from each other.

3) Mitigating Risk

Lastly, I believe that mitigating risk is another key factor in HR Technology. The more manual the process - the more exposure to risk you have. Even if you operate the best in class systems, if the integration is manual, you still run the risk of corrupt data. HR Technology will help to keep the integrity of the data used, BUT, the output data is only as good as the input. So ensure your processes are air tight. Or at least a slow leak.

So in closing, HR Technology supports the business to thrive, but I'd also be willing to say that to some point, HR Technology provides the means for business to thrive. Will the internal HR support of an organization ever become a profit center? Well, likely not...but as professionals we can sure help to validate why it is a cost center you can't live without :-).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I learned on 9/21 and what I'm looking to learn on 9/28...

9/21 was an evening of thought-provoking lecture...literally. Having experienced so many technology changes in my career, Wednesday's class begged so many questions.

With so many technology solutions out there, how do we decide on the right one solution?
Who decides?
How do we pay for it?
Who is going to implement it?
Who should we involve in the implementation process?
How long should implementation take?
What kind of testing will be involved?
Who uses the system?
Who are the major stakeholders?
What defines success?

As we began to take a look at solutions, these thoughts raced through my mind in past experiences and current demands. Would Mongo DB help our Global Compensation Analytics team deliver information more accurately? Timely? Would Sonar 6 make performance reviews less painful and actually help identify top talent? Even better, would it provide leaders the information they need to know to identify the cross-functional talent across the organization? Would Jobvite help our organization to target younger, entry-level audiences for our service and sales positions? Could RedCarpet by Silkroad better manage our onboarding process while keeping our global footprint in top priority?

These and a myriad of other questions ran through my mind...and perhaps through research and additional information and ideas (next class??), I can help to answer them. Starting with Jobvite. In next weeks class, I'd like to see what the 'social media underpinning' to Jobvite means. How can I use it to attract the right talent for my entry level positions LOCALLY? Looking forward to it, Jun.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What are public domain technologies good for anyways??

Well, just like anything, it depends. I know...I'm not a fan of that answer either (in most cases), but it's true here. The aptitude for things like blogs and wiki's are likely much lower at companies such as law firms or financial services organizations. Especially when you compare these industries to industries such as the entertainment industry or the high tech industry where the cutting edge of technology is considered the norm.

But with that said, regardless of the industry, organizations must learn to embrace technology in order to be successful and stay competitive in today's global marketplace - even if the adoption of the technology is a bit more conservative than other companies. And if it is a slow start you seek to get your feet wet in the pool of technology, there are still a million places to start.

These solutions are perfect for smaller organizations with smaller budgets that lack in-house IT support. They are typically intuitive, cheap (or free), and were designed to meet glaring needs. Take Google Docs, for example. Have a small business where different teams need to collaborate on documents? Or perhaps teams in different geographical locations that need access to these documents? Well, Google Docs may be the perfect answer. Are you the CEO of a start up technology organization and you are looking for a way to disseminate information to your teams quickly? Try Google Blogger! Are you a small business looking to expand your workforce but are not sure how to attract recent college graduates and get your company's name out? A wiki may be your answer!

In any case, if there is a need there is a technology out there to solve it. Not only that...it may be free. So if your organization is struggling to manage their onboarding processes, looking for a different way to attract talent, or is in need of new tools to manage year-end compensation processes...GOOGLE IT...who knows what you might find...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's my HR strategy you ask???

Thomas Friedman says, "...the world is flat." Here is essentially what that means: A guy (or girl) with a computer in Bangalore can create a startup with an immediate audience of millions of people who are potential customers for his/her goods and/or services. This shop is located in the basement of a mortar home in a small subdivision that barely has running water. But yet, this person has access to an infinite amount of tools, resources, AND CUSTOMERS, instantly making him/her a small business owner with virtually endless earning potential.

This model has directly affected the structures of businesses and the lines of business within the business. Global service and operations models are the norm and people are required to be multi-functional to meet the needs of the changing environment. Roles are no longer siloed. Businesses are no longer siloed.

Which leaves me. Organizations and the people within have 'specialties'. They could be project managers, or IT Specialists, or business leaders. HR professionals need all those skill sets to be truly effective in a global and multi-functional environment.

Which leads to my goals to ensure success moving forward. The key to that success is through education and experience. Currently I am a recruiter, finishing this HRM certification, but to be multi-functional, perhaps I'll explore formal project management training? Perhaps I'll get an IT certification? Do I want to change fields? NO. Do I want to evolve in HR...within my role...within my company? YES! And the key to that growth and promotional opportunities include mastering multiple skill sets and getting that true global experience. Enterprise level strategic leaders in today's workforce MUST have a global focus, a global vision, and global experience to stay relevant, effective, and competitive. We as HR professionals must meet the needs of the clients we support and as the lines of business that look to us as SME's lay global platforms, we must be there to support the development. This includes project management, change management, technology implementations, understanding global laws, ensuring regulatory compliance, and MANY other things. Can this be done by 1 person, probably not. But the more you know and the more you invest in yourself, the more valuable you become. Thus, my strategy.

BoNuS bLoG!! - Social Media in the Workplace

So (HR Tech Class)...if you were able to catch the Sterling webinar this may be repetitive, but today's bonus blog are the key highlights from what ended up being a VERY enlightening webinar.

Tuesday's webinar (9/20) was facilitated by a number of people at Sterling (a background check company) including Kirsten Adams - Marketing Manager, and Geoff Andrews - COO of Social Intelligence. What follows are some of my personal take-aways from the webinar.

The webinar kicked off with the statement that 80% of recruiters are using Google or another search engine in the recruitment search process...AND...the fact that social media is here to stay.

Good? Necessary? SAFE??

CNN did a study showing that many organizations large and small are starting to do 'Social Media Background Checks'. Sound feasible, right? Sounds like a good thing? Well, as you probably expect, there is a Catch 22 to EVERYTHING. (except death and taxes...yada yada)

The Catch is as follows:

A) Not using PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information in the hiring process can put a company at risk of being charged with negligent hiring practices.


B) Looking at protected class information, like race, age, etc, can heighten the risks of discrimination accusations.

The bottom line is that the states and federal government will iron these things out over time, but in the meantime companies need to operate responsibly and compliantly to mitigate risks.

Sterling offers companies 'Market-Ready Social Media background check' products that provide organizations the key information they need to know to mitigate risks of both the search process and the hiring process. Their products use unique technology to compile this information, stripping away risky information like pictures, ages, etc - providing companies data to make better and safer hiring practices. (For example, if you are interviewing a 40 year old single Hispanic mother who has a FaceBook picture where they are in a casino smoking cigarettes and you don't hire them...having access to this information in the hiring process can be considered discriminatory hiring practices.)

Essentially, Sterling's product offers solutions to provide the information needed while mitigating the risks involved in searching yourself. Right now the rules on whether it is lawful to look, use, or even connect with these potential applicants online is being ironed out...so better to be safe than sorry! Check out http://www.sterling.com/ if you want more information :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I learned on 9/14 and what I hope to learn on 9/21...

First and foremost, there is WAY more out there in terms of usable technology than I had been made aware of in my meager travels to date. So many things I wish I knew 'back then'. All the thoughts of, "Man, I could have used____to address___" or, "I wish I had___when I was tasked with___".

Long story short, I learned that virtually any real world problem likely has a technology-based solution out there somewhere - you just need to know where and how to look. So step 1 - EDUCATE YOURSELF! (In this case, myself). By next class I hope to have brainstormed the problems I currently face in being successful in my profession - gigantic or minuscule - and try to better understand how technology could help solve the problem.

"Solving problems by being aware of creative solutions" - My new mantra to operate in periphery with my other goals...and a way to help differentiate myself from the masses.

What can I apply right away you ask, Jun? The mantra above.

Next steps...brainstorm real world issues to tackle as I design my project charter. Long term goal...execute to a level presentable to Sr. Management (possibly :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Expectation and Success Measures...

Well, what can I say? This blog is a direct result of this class (HR Systems & Technology via the UC Berkeley Extension) which has already 1) Surpassed my expectations, and 2) is already considered to be a success. But I have a feeling that isn't exactly what this 1st assignment is asking for :-).

So as far as expectations go, here are a few conceptual things I'd like to have a better handle on:

1) A better understanding of the current state of the industry (specific to HR Technologies) and what the future of this umbrella of HR might look like...who knows...it isn't too early for a career change :-).

2) Some insight into the specific technologies - especially the new/ cutting edge technologies - that are available to the HR profession. What are other industries using to streamline processes globally? How are they using technology to save money? I realize this could be new recruiting/ onboarding software...software to manage benefits enrollments...or even a total rewards software that helps pull together all these things under one nice and tidy umbrella. My bottom line has always been that the more you learn, the more valuable you are.

3) Learning from the experiences of others would be my last expectation. If there is anything that I have learned in my professional career (albeit short) it is the old adage learn from others mistakes before you make them yourself.

Measuring success seems pretty formulaic for this class when it comes to grades (BTW - Success for me starts and ends with the 1st letter of the alphabet...has always been a personal philosophy of mine) but personally, I've actually put a lot of thought into this after the first class. Having never blogged, 'tweeted' or even used Google Docs, I realized I have a long way to go with "social media".

Of course I don't completely live under a rock. I mean, I have a FaceBook (find me!!), and a Linked In (find me there too!!) but success to me, in part, is to truly familiarize myself with these tools to the point where tweeting with my iPhone app becomes habit...like 'checkin in' to my favorite pizza places via FB.

Lastly, to be successful I want to utilize the tools of the industry that I am gaining insight into to get a fundamental grasp of the tools available to me as an HR Professional, and to the organizations I support. This will help me to be the business partner I want to be, offering my skills, tools, knowledge, and time...in return for a number followed by five zeroes. Maybe a 4 or a 5....500,000...that works. Base, of course. Total comp is a whole different story....

Checking out for now - off to the store to get some ideas for next weeks class snacks! But more to come...!!