Imagining Disruption

On June 27, 2013, in Analytics, Big Data, HR Trends, HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

Ideas go from imagination on implementation faster than contemporary HR Departments are able to absorb them. Tech change is moving at breakneck speeds.

Ideas go from imagination on implementation faster than contemporary HR Departments are able to absorb them. Tech change is moving at breakneck speeds.

Much of this week’s idea flow was generated by a demo of Visier‘s data toolset. Visier is the brainchild of a whole teamful of people who graduated from Business Objects (SAP). I can’t vouch for the realities of doing business with them but they are saying the right things. (If you’ve worked with them, let me know how it went/is going).

Bill Kutik loved these folks as ‘cool new technology’ last fall.

Visier is the next generation of an idea originally introduced by Infohrm. If you remember, Infohrm was a little Australian company that was one of SuccessFactors first purchases. Like most SuccessFactors purchases, the original people are long gone and the product has been absorbed into the mother ship.

Infohrm mastered the art of integrating disparate databases within an HR Department to produces analytics that were apples to apples comparisons and consistent every time you looked at them. They enabled customers to see and understand anonymized data form other customers. They were a solid decade ahead of the market.

In the Visier model, it’s not just internal data that’s whickered together. Long term readers will recall years of HRExaminer columns talking about the use of external data for a variety of purposes. Labor markets, competitive labor landscapes, regional recruiting differences all roll into the coming wave of HR analytics.

It’s coming quickly. Visier is delivering on ideas that seemed far fetched a year ago.

That’s the pace at which we are moving forward. Ideas go from imagination on implementation faster than contemporary HR Departments are able to absorb them. Tech change is moving at breakneck speeds.

It carries some risk.

Last week, I watched as Chris Hoyt (from Pepsi) wowed the audience at iRecruit with a fully integrated suite of recruiting analytics that enabled performance analysis across the recruiting life cycle. The work was the result of a collaboration between Hoyt and the remarkable team at Broadbean. (Yup, I said Broadbean)

There was a level of disbelief in the audience. For many recruiting leaders, what’s possible today looks like unimaginable feats of magic. Competitors were quick to undercut the accomplishment (saying that such a thing could only be accomplished by Pepsi). Other players mumbled that ‘you don’t really need that level of accountability to do great recruiting.”

Data and transparency are entering our world like a freight train, rolling over the status quo. Companies like Visier are moving quickly to claim first entrant benefits. But the truth is that the technology is being showered on us in ways we’ve never imagined.

Disruption happens quickly. Remember how surprised we were when the Berlin Wall fell? It happens that fast. Remember CD Stores? Hard wired telephones? The world before bluetooth?

The disruption in HR starts with data and then moves to publishing. The other departments in the organization (who often wonder about HR’s value) are hungry. They want to know all sorts of things about the employee population. Yesterday’s conclusion bears repeating:

  • All of the other departments in the organization have been waiting. They need data and insight on the employee population. They’d really like it if that included the entire ecosystem (supply chain, contractors, temps and maybe even investors).
  • Employees are never just employees. They are customers, shareholders, community members and members of every imaginable stakeholder class.
  • Contractors, temporary workers and members of key vendors or channel partners are pretty hard to distinguish from employees. They are an essential element of the organization’s Human Capital (Talent Base)
  • Workforce planning has to address all of these components.
  • HR will become a publisher of data. The function is the guardian of employee privacy and the discoverer of organizational opportunity.
  • It’s likely that HR will have to have a product.

Most incumbents have trouble imagining the next war. Try some of these ideas on for size.

  • Euthanasia benefits for multiple generations of dependents
  • Nursing home based work teams
  • A rapid change out of existing technology for single code stack solutions
  • HR taking responsibility for skills training and evaluation
  • Degree programs that include four years of school and 18 months of full time work.
  • A high momentum reverse migration as undocumented workers find better opportunity at home
  • A global financial crash within the next two years
  • Milennials treating Boomers with the same disdain as boomers treat milennials today.
  • A five year period in which the next ADP emerges by doing HR transactions
  • Accelerated growth of RPOs because of the complexity of recruiting solutions
  • The ability to trace the consequence of an HTR action on actual business outcomes.
  • HR as the primary broker of employee data resulting in employees who are cash positive from day one.
  • The company as the credit provider for most employees
  • Algorithms that select candidates
  • HR Departments that routinely make profits internally and externally.

Let’s start there. The HR operation of the future will deliver actionable insights to the rest of the organization.



 
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