Digital sweatshop or tech utopia?

Customer service comes to HR tech.

September/October 2018

Who’s moving the HR tech needle, and how?

Digital sweatshop or tech utopia?

Customer service comes to HR tech.

Who’s moving the HR tech needle, and how?

September/October 2018

| From Our Editors

HR work is complex, ripe with opportunity and rife with challenges. Technology isn’t just the province of software developers, coders and IT specialists. It’s an indispensable part of marketing, accounting, operations and sales. It’s an essential part of HR.

Sophisticated communication and collaboration tools, on-demand employee service platforms and a host of targeted apps have made a job that is fundamentally about managing people simultaneously bigger and more exciting.

It’s not just people who are your most valuable asset. So is the technology they use to carry out their work. The interaction between the two is the future.

As we write in this issue, technology reshapes HR in ways both big and small. Far from a back-office function, HR is on the vanguard of the future of work. Workforce is alongside you for the journey.

—Mike Prokopeak,
Editor in Chief

The workplace has changed a lot since 1922. That year The Journal of Personnel Research debuted, rebranded later as Personnel Journal and finally Workforce. Now in our 96th year, we take a look back at what was on the minds of past generations of people managers.

Preparing for World War II, October 1939/October 1940

Not surprisingly, World War II posed American employers many challenges, even before the country officially entered the war in December 1941. Personnel Journal covered pre-wartime employment issues with gusto. Employers were preparing for serious problems like a shortage of trained labor, strikes and demands for higher wages.

One major concern for employers was the raiding of skilled labor, according to the October 1939 article “War Effects on Labor Relations.” Employment managers in the airplane and machine tools industries, looking for skilled labor, would go to different towns to lure skilled workers from their jobs. “In some places the employment men were run out of town,” wrote author Charles S. Slocombe.

Slocombe also called for civility among organizations, stating that raiding was “something companies should avoid at all costs.”

An article from October 1940, also written by Slocombe, “Skilled Workers for Defense Industries,” meanwhile, focused on the U.S.’ efforts to ramp up its defense programs. The author mentioned two potential sources for skilled workers: apprentices in training and production workers with high potential to thrive in a skilled position. “It is essential that management establish a definite policy of promotion from within in order to train effectively through upgrading,” wrote Slocombe.

Andie Burjek

Not surprisingly, World War II posed American employers many challenges, even before the country officially entered the war in December 1941. Personnel Journal covered pre-wartime employment issues with gusto. Employers were preparing for serious problems like a shortage of trained labor, strikes and demands for higher wages.

One major concern for employers was the raiding of skilled labor, according to the October 1939 article “War Effects on Labor Relations.” Employment managers in the airplane and machine tools industries, looking for skilled labor, would go to different towns to lure skilled workers from their jobs. “In some places the employment men were run out of town,” wrote author Charles S. Slocombe.

Slocombe also called for civility among organizations, stating that raiding was “something companies should avoid at all costs.”

An article from October 1940, also written by Slocombe, “Skilled Workers for Defense Industries,” meanwhile, focused on the U.S.’ efforts to ramp up its defense programs. The author mentioned two potential sources for skilled workers: apprentices in training and production workers with high potential to thrive in a skilled position. “It is essential that management establish a definite policy of promotion from within in order to train effectively through upgrading,” wrote Slocombe.

Andie Burjek

When Job Boards Ruled Recruiting, NOV. 7, 2005

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that the Big 3 dominated their industry. Not GM, Ford and Chrysler. We’re talking about Monster, Yahoo HotJobs and CareerBuilder. They were arguably at the top of their game in 2005 and ruled online recruiting to the collective tune of $1.2 billion, according to writer Jonathan Pont’s Workforce Management story, “Leading Job Boards Address Challenges of Globalization, Overabundance of Responses.” And what was their model? Matt Ferguson, who remains today as CareerBuilder CEO, stated at the time: “We provide eyeballs. Those eyeballs translate into applications and hires, and that’s what companies pay us for.” Indeed, they did.

HR outsourcing was also hitting its stride. The story “BPO Bandwagon” found many lauding the move to outsource back-office personnel processes. In fact, highly regarded analyst Lisa Rowan said businesses were “getting to the Holy Grail of transformation.”

E-learning mergers were all the rage. Saba had acquired Centra Software for $60 million just two days after SumTotal bought Pathlore Software for $48 million. Why? To keep up with behemoths like IBM and Oracle, naturally. And where are Saba and SumTotal today? Both gobbled up by private equity firms.
Naturally.

Rick Bell

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that the Big 3 dominated their industry. Not GM, Ford and Chrysler. We’re talking about Monster, Yahoo HotJobs and CareerBuilder. They were arguably at the top of their game in 2005 and ruled online recruiting to the collective tune of $1.2 billion, according to writer Jonathan Pont’s Workforce Management story, “Leading Job Boards Address Challenges of Globalization, Overabundance of Responses.” And what was their model? Matt Ferguson, who remains today as CareerBuilder CEO, stated at the time: “We provide eyeballs. Those eyeballs translate into applications and hires, and that’s what companies pay us for.” Indeed, they did.

HR outsourcing was also hitting its stride. The story “BPO Bandwagon” found many lauding the move to outsource back-office personnel processes. In fact, highly regarded analyst Lisa Rowan said businesses were “getting to the Holy Grail of transformation.”

E-learning mergers were all the rage. Saba had acquired Centra Software for $60 million just two days after SumTotal bought Pathlore Software for $48 million. Why? To keep up with behemoths like IBM and Oracle, naturally. And where are Saba and SumTotal today? Both gobbled up by private equity firms.
Naturally.

Rick Bell

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that the Big 3 dominated their industry. Not GM, Ford and Chrysler. We’re talking about Monster, Yahoo HotJobs and CareerBuilder. They were arguably at the top of their game in 2005 and ruled online recruiting to the collective tune of $1.2 billion, according to writer Jonathan Pont’s Workforce Management story, “Leading Job Boards Address Challenges of Globalization, Overabundance of Responses.” And what was their model? Matt Ferguson, who remains today as CareerBuilder CEO, stated at the time: “We provide eyeballs. Those eyeballs translate into applications and hires, and that’s what companies pay us for.” Indeed, they did.

HR outsourcing was also hitting its stride. The story “BPO Bandwagon” found many lauding the move to outsource back-office personnel processes. In fact, highly regarded analyst Lisa Rowan said businesses were “getting to the Holy Grail of transformation.”

E-learning mergers were all the rage. Saba had acquired Centra Software for $60 million just two days after SumTotal bought Pathlore Software for $48 million. Why? To keep up with behemoths like IBM and Oracle, naturally. And where are Saba and SumTotal today? Both gobbled up by private equity firms.
Naturally.

Rick Bell

Sponsored

Forget Charisma, Look for Humility in a Leader

Charisma is an attractive characteristic in leader, but humility is a much better indicator of leadership success

Dr. Robert Hogan, Founder of Hogan Assessments

T

he existing paradigm in the business world holds that successful CEOs are ambitious, result-oriented, individualistic, and, above all, charismatic. The rise of agency theory, or the notion that incentivizing managers should improve shareholder returns, put greater emphasis on the need to hire leaders that appear leader-like. Unfortunately, conventional wisdom of what a leader looks like is, quite simply, incorrect.

On The Cover

ALL EYES ON YOU

There’s a fine line between an electronic sweatshop and a technological utopia.

On The Cover

ALL EYES ON YOU

There’s a fine line between an electronic sweatshop and a technological utopia.

Sector Report

44

HR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM PROVIDERS

When it rains it pours, and tight update schedules have companies soaking in the good fortune.

46

STAFFING INDUSTRY PROVIDERS

Some staffing firms are finding a niche in a customized, “build-your-own” talent space.

Features

28

SPHERE OF INFLUENCERS

Some say influence is about lifting others. For HR tech influencers, who’s being lifted and who’s doing the lifting?

32

PURCHASING POWER

Consumerization is pushing HR tech vendors to embrace customer service or risk losing business.

38

NEW COLLAR CULTURE

As the tech industry tries to fill thousands of vacancies, companies are turning to a “new-collar” workforce.

On The Web

speak up!

The Workforce online community provides you with virtual meeting places to chat about issues and trends affecting you and your workplace.
 

Join the group:
workforce.com/linkedingroup

Columns

4

your force

Humans Aren’t the Only Resources You Manage

13

WORK IN PROGRESS

Management By the Leadership Book

17

Benefits beat

Technology That Benefits Us All

20

THE PRACTICAL EMPLOYER

Perils of the Google Background Check

50

THE LAST WORD

Next-Generation Retirement Plans

For Your Benefit

14

THE ILLS OF TOO MUCH TECH

Diminished personal well-being and muted social connections are just two workplace effects.

15

ASSOCIATION PLANS

Small businesses can join to buy health insurance, though fraud remains a concern.

15

A GRAY AREA

Though there’s a shaky confidence among future retirees, health care is the wild card.

16

MILLENNIALS AND MONEY

When it comes to financial wellness, millennials face far greater challenges than previous generations.

Trending

10

HR, MEET GEN Z

Digital natives want it all — along with a competitive paycheck.

11

PEOPLE MOVES AND BY THE NUMBERS

Anne Buchanan riffs on HR for Guitar Center; Remote Workers.

12

Q&A

Deep thoughts on tech and diversity from Tarsha McCormick.

12

WOMEN’S WORK

Construction firms find new talent pool with female tradespeople.

Legal

18

CONTROLLING HR DATA

U.S. companies are under pressure to control personnel information.

19

LEGAL BRIEFINGS

Independent contractors; biometric data.

CORRECTION

In the July/August Workforce Sector Report “Too Many Rules,” it should have stated that Employment Screening Resources is based in Novato, California.

Trending

What HR Leaders Need to Know About Generation Z

These digital natives want it all — along with a competitive paycheck.

By Sarah Fister Gale

T

he first wave of Generation Z is entering the workplace, and companies may be surprised by how much they differ from millennials. They care more about things like technology, diversity and money than the last generation, and employers will need to adapt to win them over.

“They are the first generation of true digital natives,” said Rachel Harris-Russell, global head of corporate strategy and marketing for Allegis Group a staffing and recruiting company in Hanover, Maryland. “They have a built-in expectation for immediate access to information, and seamless employee interfaces that match their consumer experience.”

PEOPLE

Anne Buchanan
Guitar Center named Anne Buchanan as senior vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer. Buchanan will assume responsibility for leading HR strategy and enabling Guitar Center to attract, motivate, develop and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. Buchanan joins Guitar Center from Global Brands Group.

Kim Healey
English Premier League football club Everton named Kim Healey as the organization’s people director. Healey has more than 14 years’ experience in leading HR functions at football clubs, including spells at Blackburn and Wigan and has been head of HR at Everton since 2015. Healey will report directly to CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

Christopher Pickett
Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. announced that chief diversity officer Christopher Pickett is a recipient of the Diversity & Inclusion Award from Missouri Lawyers Media. The recipients were chosen for their work to significantly advance diversity, inclusion and the dignity of all people in Missouri’s legal profession and in communities in which exceptional legal work impacts justice for all. Pickett also leads Greensfelder’s securities and financial services industry group.

moves

Julia Kellogg
North American Bancard Holdings, LLC named Julia Kellogg as chief people officer. Kellogg brings more than two decades of global experience to her new role overseeing NAB’s companywide HR operations. Kellogg leads all HR functions for NAB and its affiliates throughout North America, including: employee relations; learning and development; talent acquisition; payroll; and more.

Mary Ellen Mullins
Taco Bueno named Mary Ellen Mullins as chief people officer. Mullins joins Taco Bueno with 30 years of experience in the quick-serve restaurant industry. She was senior director of human resources for Sonic Restaurants Inc. and served in various human resources leadership roles with Yum! Brands for more than 25 years.

Tracey Grabowski
Procter & Gamble named Tracey Grabowski as chief human resources officer. Grabowski succeeds Mark Biegger, who will retire in October after 34 years of service. She will report to David Taylor, P&G’s chairman, president and CEO. Grabowski joined P&G as an HR manager in the Chicago sales office. She then went on to assignments in nearly all of P&G’s major business units, across all major aspects of HR. Most recently, she was head of HR for North America.

To be considered for People Moves, email a brief announcement and a high-resolution color photo to editors@workforce.com.
Include People Moves in the subject line.

PEOPLE moves

PEOPLE moves

Anne Buchanan
Guitar Center named Anne Buchanan as senior vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer. Buchanan will assume responsibility for leading HR strategy and enabling Guitar Center to attract, motivate, develop and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. Buchanan joins Guitar Center from Global Brands Group.

Kim Healey
English Premier League football club Everton named Kim Healey as the organization’s people director. Healey has more than 14 years’ experience in leading HR functions at football clubs, including spells at Blackburn and Wigan and has been head of HR at Everton since 2015. Healey will report directly to CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

Christopher Pickett
Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. announced that chief diversity officer Christopher Pickett is a recipient of the Diversity & Inclusion Award from Missouri Lawyers Media. The recipients were chosen for their work to significantly advance diversity, inclusion and the dignity of all people in Missouri’s legal profession and in communities in which exceptional legal work impacts justice for all. Pickett also leads Greensfelder’s securities and financial services industry group.

Julia Kellogg
North American Bancard Holdings, LLC named Julia Kellogg as chief people officer. Kellogg brings more than two decades of global experience to her new role overseeing NAB’s companywide HR operations. Kellogg leads all HR functions for NAB and its affiliates throughout North America, including: employee relations; learning and development; talent acquisition; payroll; and more.

Mary Ellen Mullins
Taco Bueno named Mary Ellen Mullins as chief people officer. Mullins joins Taco Bueno with 30 years of experience in the quick-serve restaurant industry. She was senior director of human resources for Sonic Restaurants Inc. and served in various human resources leadership roles with Yum! Brands for more than 25 years.

Tracey Grabowski
Procter & Gamble named Tracey Grabowski as chief human resources officer. Grabowski succeeds Mark Biegger, who will retire in October after 34 years of service. She will report to David Taylor, P&G’s chairman, president and CEO. Grabowski joined P&G as an HR manager in the Chicago sales office. She then went on to assignments in nearly all of P&G’s major business units, across all major aspects of HR. Most recently, she was head of HR for North America.

To be considered for People Moves, email a brief announcement and a high-resolution color photo to editors@workforce.com.
Include People Moves in the subject line.

Trending

Deep Thoughts on Tech
and Diversity

By Rick Bell

Tarsha McCormick is a long-tenured employee of ThoughtWorks, having joined the company in January 1999 as a recruiting specialist when it was a small startup of fewer than 100 staffers. McCormick, now head of diversity and inclusion for the Chicago-based software company, took the role in January 2015 and is responsible for driving the strategic thinking and work related to making ThoughtWorks more diverse and inclusive while also advocating for change in the technology industry. Born and raised in Chicago, she has called Atlanta home since 2010. Workforce Editorial Director Rick Bell caught up with McCormick via email.

Trending

Women’s Work

By Aysha Ashley Househ

T

ransitioning from one workplace to another brings its challenges. So how difficult would it be for a woman to change careers and enter a male-dominated profession like construction?

Breyen “Bree” Adams is one of 10 women who recently graduated from a partnership between Houston-based construction company TDIndustries and United Way of Greater Houston. The tradeswomen program ran for 12 weeks, recruiting, training and introducing women to the construction industry as part of the company’s solution to build a foundation of skilled workers.

“Kids coming out of high school have more options than they used to and aren’t necessarily picking construction,” said Randee Herrin, TDIndustries Houston senior vice president of new construction. “There’s also an aging workforce that is retiring.”

Trending

Management By the Leadership Book

By Kris Dunn | Work in Progress

L

et me start this column by making a disclaimer. I’m not anti-leadership book, and I’m not anti-personal development. There’s a real need for all of us to look for ways to get better at what we do professionally.

I believe enough in leadership/management skills that I actually created a training series for managers of people called the BOSS Series. What I learned in developing that series was to focus on the most important conversations managers have with their direct reports with the key being they deliver any tool in their own authentic voice.

For Your Benefit

The Ills of Too Much Tech

Diminished personal well-being and muted social connections are just two workplace effects.

By Andie Burjek

I

t’s impossible to ignore the benefits that technology plays in people’s lives, but there are also underlying negative effects. Look no further than the workplace, where employees and leaders alike may feel duty bound to respond to emails at night or be available around the clock via their digital device.

“I see this tug of war between, ‘I want to leave my phone behind’ but also looking at it from a very positive light which is, ‘Technology is truly an enabler in what you want to achieve in your health and wellness,’ ” said Swati Matta, director of member engagement and health at employee benefits company League Inc.

For Your Benefit

Association Plans Reignite Health Care Fraud Concerns

By Rita Pyrillis

A

rule finalized in June by the U.S. Department of Labor will make it easier for small business to join together to buy health insurance and sidestep some of the regulations of the Affordable Care Act.

These arrangements, called Association Health Plans, are touted as a way for small-business owners, sole proprietors and other self-employed people to buy insurance as a group, giving them greater purchasing power and lower premiums.

“President Donald J. Trump is expanding affordable health coverage options for America’s small businesses and their employees,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in a June press statement. “Many of our laws, particularly Obamacare, make health care coverage more expensive for small businesses than large companies. AHPs are about more choice, more access and more coverage. The president’s decision helps working Americans — and their families — purchase quality, affordable health coverage.”

For Your Benefit

Retirement’s Gray Area: Health Care

By Patty Kujawa

A

bout 64 percent of workers say they think they will be able to retire comfortably, but when asked specific questions about being able to pay for health care and other long-term security issues, it’s hard to understand where the confidence comes from.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s “28th Annual Retirement Confidence Survey” measured worker and retiree confidence about retirement issues. Overall, a third of the 2,042 respondents felt confident in their ability to live well in retirement. While that statistic was virtually unchanged from last year, very few workers or retirees have figured out one of retirement’s largest expenses: health care.

For Your Benefit

Help Us With Our Money!

Survey: Young workers say employers have a responsibility to improve employees’ financial well-being.

By Rita Pyrillis

W

hen it comes to financial wellness, millennials face greater challenges than previous generations, from growing wealth disparity between younger and older workers to extensive college debt.

And increasingly, they are looking to employers for help, presenting companies with an opportunity to improve not only the financial health of younger employees, but also their own.

“The collision of student loans and economic uncertainty makes conditions quite different for millennials than other generations,” said Kristin Andreski, a general manager with HR software company ADP. “It also impacts businesses. The issue is the cost of stress and the impact it has on productivity.”

For Your Benefit

Technology That Benefits Us All

By Jennifer Benz | Benefits Beat

I

spent a couple of days with a well-known high-tech company earlier this summer.

Their gorgeous campus included new, modern buildings and lots of walking paths and green space. And there was an extra treat: a very cute, round robot who glided down the sidewalks, a friendly greeter doubling as security and showing off the company’s new technology. (Yes, it was much like a scene from the HBO show “Silicon Valley.”)

After watching the robot in action, a couple of my teammates and I decided we needed a selfie, of course. When we went to take the picture, the robot stopped us. “Too close!” it said firmly.

Legal

Your Turn, U.S. Employers

It’s not just GDPR in Europe; U.S. companies under pressure to control HR data, too.

By Cheryl L. Blount and Paul Bond

I

n 2018, Europe’s data protection laws have remained in the spotlight. However, even U.S. employers not subject to GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, face increased scrutiny. Home-grown data protection expectations have ratcheted up, and those responsible for HR data need to be aware and responsive. GDPR mandates disclosures, enhanced consents, the right to access and correct information held, and the right to be forgotten. Some U.S. laws do the same, including with respect to HR data.

Legal Briefings

IDENTIFYING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
Anthony Simpkins performed carpentry, maintenance and other handiwork for the DuPage, Illinois, Housing Authority under an independent contractor agreement. Over the course of six years, DuPage gave Simpkins lists of job tasks and prioritized the order in which he needed to complete the tasks. Simpkins was paid bi-weekly but never received overtime and employee benefits. Simpkins sued the DHA, claiming it misclassified him as an independent contractor and failed to pay him overtime and disability benefits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held a jury could find Simpkins was an employee rather than an independent contractor and reversed summary judgment for DHA. A jury might conclude Simpkins was an employee rather than an independent contractor if Simpkins could prove the DHA directed the manner in which he completed assigned tasks, purchased virtually all the supplies and the job did not require specialized licenses or experience. Finally, a jury might find persuasive that Simpkins’ independent contractor agreement had a termination date, but that date was crossed out and the words “to be determined” were added. Simpkins v. DuPage Housing Authority, No. 17-2685, 2018 WL 3045280 (7th Cir. June 20, 2018).

Legal

Perils of Googling Candidates

Jon Hyman | The Practical Employer

Perils of Googling Candidates

By Jon Hyman | The Practical Employer

I

n February 2011, my son (then 2 1/2 years old) was hospitalized for 19 days. He had stopped eating three months prior, and his gastroenterologist wanted to scope him to make sure that his medicated reflux was not a silent culprit.

Unbeknownst to us, however, he also suffered from a platelet function disorder. His platelets don’t work quite right. He produces enough of them, and they clot fine, but they don’t always stick together properly. Which is why he developed a hematoma somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a baseball at the endoscope’s lowest biopsy site, blocking the entrance to his small bowel. Hence, the 19-days hospital stay.

Most employees aren’t encouraged by the idea that their boss is constantly watching them, but that doesn’t deter employers’ enthusiasm for monitoring devices. How can both sides feel secure that their interests are protected?

By Andie Burjek

I

n August 2017, Patrick McMullan and more than 50 of his employees had microchips inserted in their fingers live on NBC’s “Today Show.” McMullan, the president of Three Square Market, a Wisconsin-based company that sells self-service break room vending machines, said it was one of the most exhilarating and nerve-wracking experiences of his life.

Meet your influencers. Who are they, why are they influencers and what you should know about their objectives.

By Michelle V. Rafter

S

pring is prime time for human resources conferences.

Practitioners who went to the Unleash conference in Las Vegas in May saw HR technology analyst George LaRocque. At the annual Society for Human Resource Management conference in Chicago the next month, they could have heard ex-HR executive turned speaker and adviser Jennifer McClure and staffing firm owner and blogger Tim Sackett.

From late March to late June, McClure spoke at seven other HR industry events, in Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan. During the same time, Sackett appeared at an annual conference Greenhouse puts on for customers of its applicant tracking system and at the Sourcing Summit U.K. conference in London.

LaRocque spoke in person at three events and hosted two Facebook Live discussions. In April, Laurie Ruettimann, a corporate HR manager turned blogger and speaker, organized the WorkHuman conference in Austin. Later that month, she spoke at the Create Good Conference in Durham, North Carolina.

Meet your influencers. Who are they, why are they influencers and what you should know about their objectives.

By Michelle V. Rafter

S

pring is prime time for human resources conferences.

Practitioners who went to the Unleash conference in Las Vegas in May saw HR technology analyst George LaRocque. At the annual Society for Human Resource Management conference in Chicago the next month, they could have heard ex-HR executive turned speaker and adviser Jennifer McClure and staffing firm owner and blogger Tim Sackett.

From late March to late June, McClure spoke at seven other HR industry events, in Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan. During the same time, Sackett appeared at an annual conference Greenhouse puts on for customers of its applicant tracking system and at the Sourcing Summit U.K. conference in London.

LaRocque spoke in person at three events and hosted two Facebook Live discussions. In April, Laurie Ruettimann, a corporate HR manager turned blogger and speaker, organized the WorkHuman conference in Austin. Later that month, she spoke at the Create Good Conference in Durham, North Carolina.

Consumerization is pushing HR technology vendors to embrace customer service or risk losing business.

By Mark Feffer

hen it comes to customer service, Matt Brown wants his HR technology vendors to be proactive.

As manager of systems and technology for Psynergy Programs, a family of residential treatment centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brown is in the process of evaluating HR tech providers. As he considers each candidate, he gives a lot of weight to how much access customers have to the vendor’s developers and other technical professionals as opposed to only sales and customer service staff.

Vendors get his attention when they’re willing to help him tailor an implementation to his needs or proactively suggest how processes can be improved. And while he doesn’t expect them to provide his 125-employee business with a dedicated customer service team, he does insist on having easy access to support staffers who are familiar with his company and operations.

Consumerization is pushing HR technology vendors to embrace customer service or risk losing business.

By Mark Feffer

hen it comes to customer service, Matt Brown wants his HR technology vendors to be proactive.

As manager of systems and technology for Psynergy Programs, a family of residential treatment centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brown is in the process of evaluating HR tech providers. As he considers each candidate, he gives a lot of weight to how much access customers have to the vendor’s developers and other technical professionals as opposed to only sales and customer service staff.

Vendors get his attention when they’re willing to help him tailor an implementation to his needs or proactively suggest how processes can be improved. And while he doesn’t expect them to provide his 125-employee business with a dedicated customer service team, he does insist on having easy access to support staffers who are familiar with his company and operations.

Consumerization is pushing HR technology vendors to embrace customer service or risk losing business.

By Mark Feffer

hen it comes to customer service, Matt Brown wants his HR technology vendors to be proactive.

As manager of systems and technology for Psynergy Programs, a family of residential treatment centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brown is in the process of evaluating HR tech providers. As he considers each candidate, he gives a lot of weight to how much access customers have to the vendor’s developers and other technical professionals as opposed to only sales and customer service staff.

Vendors get his attention when they’re willing to help him tailor an implementation to his needs or proactively suggest how processes can be improved. And while he doesn’t expect them to provide his 125-employee business with a dedicated customer service team, he does insist on having easy access to support staffers who are familiar with his company and operations.

Compliance, Engagement and Forward Thinking

Yielding Better Decisions and Results with Workforce Management

By Adina Sapp

According to the latest Labor Department data, 80.4 million Americans are hourly workers. As labor laws and state regulations continue to increase to protect these vulnerable workforce members from discrimination and unfair labor practices, employers are answerable for complying with an alphabet soup of standards: FMLA, FLSA, PBJ and a host of others.

The latest developments include “fair workweek” and “predictive scheduling” regulations in a growing number of jurisdictions around the country. These laws aim to protect hourly workers by requiring that employers provide advance notice of schedules, compensation for last-minute schedule changes and more. While beneficial for vulnerable employees, these laws create substantial administrative burdens for employers.

As the technology industry scrambles to fill thousands of vacant positions, companies are turning to non-tech workers, creating a new-collar workforce.

By Aysha Ashley Househ

I

t’s no secret that scores of technology-related jobs remain unfilled — some 500,000 open tech positions in the U.S., according to recent Department of Labor statistics.

Job-search engine Indeed surveyed more than 1,000 tech-hiring managers and recruiters late last year, with almost 9 of 10 respondents saying they found it challenging to find and hire workers with tech skills. Some 83 percent said the tech-talent shortage had hurt their business through lost revenue, slower product development and increased employee burnout. Google, which puts the number of vacant IT support jobs at around 150,000, is working with a Dallas-area community college to create an IT certification program, according to published reports.

The search-engine giant isn’t alone in finding creative ways to stock its tech staff. Even deeply rooted old-guard tech firms like IBM are exploring ways to fill the vast tech employee void.

IBM says it is prioritizing “capabilities over credentials” by investing in training and development programs. To further drive home the point, CEO Ginni Rometty has coined her new, growing labor force as “new collar” jobs.

One tech industry analyst and two tech executives offered their thoughts on this workforce trend.

As the technology industry scrambles to fill thousands of vacant positions, companies are turning to non-tech workers, creating a new-collar workforce.

By Aysha Ashley Househ

I

t’s no secret that scores of technology-related jobs remain unfilled — some 500,000 open tech positions in the U.S., according to recent Department of Labor statistics.

Job-search engine Indeed surveyed more than 1,000 tech-hiring managers and recruiters late last year, with almost 9 of 10 respondents saying they found it challenging to find and hire workers with tech skills. Some 83 percent said the tech-talent shortage had hurt their business through lost revenue, slower product development and increased employee burnout. Google, which puts the number of vacant IT support jobs at around 150,000, is working with a Dallas-area community college to create an IT certification program, according to published reports.

The search-engine giant isn’t alone in finding creative ways to stock its tech staff. Even deeply rooted old-guard tech firms like IBM are exploring ways to fill the vast tech employee void.

IBM says it is prioritizing “capabilities over credentials” by investing in training and development programs. To further drive home the point, CEO Ginni Rometty has coined her new, growing labor force as “new collar” jobs.

One tech industry analyst and two tech executives offered their thoughts on this workforce trend.

HR Management Systems

The Cloud Makes Everything Better

When it rains, it pours, and tightened update schedules have companies soaking in the good fortune.

By Sarah Fister Gale

N

ow that companies have finally settled their core systems into the cloud, HR leaders need to get ready for a deluge of innovation.

The agility of the cloud means technology teams can deliver new features and interactions quickly and seamlessly. Cloud-based HR systems also mean vendors can implement new iterations faster and with a lot less hassle.

That is good news for clients, said Dan Staley, principal HR technology leader for PwC in Atlanta. “Vendors used to roll out upgrades every one to two years, now they are coming out quarterly.” That adds value for users, who get access to the latest features as soon as they are ready, and allows vendors to increase the functionality of their products.

Staffing Industry Providers

If You Can’t Find Them, Make Them

Supply and demand has staffing providers ramping up production.

By Sarah Fister Gale

T

he big story in staffing this year is the lack of qualified talent.

“We are in a full employment economy, which means there are too many orders and not enough candidates,” said Barry Asin, president of Staffing Industry Analysts headquar-tered in Mountain View, California. Even industrial and low-skilled positions are tough to fill in the current economy, he said. “It’s a good problem for a staffing agency to have, but it’s still a problem.”

And the current immigration environment will only make things worse, said Vinda Souza, vice president of marketing for Bullhorn, a staffing industry technology firm. Challenges in getting visas and the hostile environment for foreigners is making it hard to source talent she said. It’s also causing many staff firms to delay expansion plans. “For decades these firms have had evergreen plans to expand, but not anymore.”

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Back Cover

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Last Word

Rick Bell

Next-Generation Retirement Plans

Next-Generation Retirement Plans

G

etting together with old high school chums, not surprisingly, can be an eye-opening experience.

There’s bigger guts, less hair and a divorce rate approaching Tom Brady’s lifetime passer rating. There’s also bragging on our overachieving children and woebegone tales of trips in our youth that never should have happened. “How did we ever survive high school?” is an all-too-common refrain as these stories unfold, followed by a long pause, a collective shaking of heads and, “OK, who needs another beer?

September/October 2018 | Volume 97, Issue 5

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
John R. Taggart
jrtag@workforce.com

PRESIDENT
Kevin A. Simpson
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Vice President, GROUP PUBLISHER
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VICE PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF
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Editorial Director
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Managing Editor
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SENIOR EDITOR
Lauren Dixon
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ASSOCIATE EDITORS
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Ave Rio
ario@workforce.com

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jennifer Benz
Cheryl L. Blount
Paul Bond
Kris Dunn
Mark Feffer
Sarah Fister Gale
Jon Hyman
Patty Kujawa
Rita Pyrillis
Michelle V. Rafter
Daniel Saeedi
Rachel L. Schaller

WORKFORCE EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Arie Ball, Vice President, Sourcing and Talent Acquisition, Sodexo
Angela Bailey, Associate Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Kris Dunn, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kinetix, and Founder, Fistful of Talent and HR Capitalist
Curtis Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, BAE Systems
Jil Greene, Vice President, Human Resources and Community Relations, Harrah’s New Orleans
Ted Hoff, Human Resources Vice President, Global Sales and Sales Incentives, IBM
Tracy Kofski, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits, General Mills
Jon Hyman, Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis
Jim McDermid, Vice President, Human Resources, Cardiac and Vascular Group, Medtronic
Randall Moon, Vice President, International HR, Benefits and HRIS, Lowe’s Cos.
Dan Satterthwaite, Head of Human Resources, DreamWorks
Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

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CHECK OUT WHATS COMING UP!

SEPTEMBER 12

Working Together to Win at BASF: Developing and Aligning Business & Talent Strategies

NOVEMBER 7

Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation

Available live on the air date and on-demand for one year after unless otherwise specified. Check them out today and keep the education going!
www.workforce.com/wf-events/

CHECK OUT WHATS COMING UP!

SEPTEMBER 12

Working Together to Win at BASF: Developing and Aligning Business & Talent Strategies

NOVEMBER 7

Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation

Available live on the air date and on-demand for one year after unless otherwise specified. Check them out today and keep the education going!
www.workforce.com/wf-events/

Thanks for reading our September/October 2018 issue!