Items filtered by date: December 2015

Over the years, the relationship between HR and Finance departments has suffered from misconceptions of the role and impact each plays in an organization; limited understanding of administrative pressures (Sarbanes-Oxley or Safe Harbor), and general mistrust of one another. Look at what Shari Caudron had to say in a 1996 (that’s 20 years ago!) article written for the Business Finance magazine:

“In far too many organizations, warring adversaries is exactly what the [Finance and HR] departments have become. Separated by sky-high functional silos, finance people typically think HR folks take up space that should be reserved for more valuable professionals….Human resources specialists, on the other hand, think the finance department is filled with a bunch of pencil-necked bean counters whose sole enjoyment in life comes from saying “no” to every requested project.”

Think about your organization. When a manager asks the question below, do you get two completely different perspectives?


Is this how the HR and Finance relationship will continue in perpetuity? What can be done to bring the two functions closer together? To learn more about what steps to take next, consider registering for Wednesday’s IHRIM webinar, “A Marriage Made in Heaven: Enabling the Partnership between HR and Finance” presented by Catherine Honey, Executive Director of People Advisory Services at Ernst & Young.

In theory, the HR and Finance functions should share a common goal, that of driving business outcomes (financial improvement, competitive advantage, risk minimization, etc.) by optimizing how investments are made in sourcing, developing, and retaining talent. The CFO may wear many hats in pursuing that goal, from devising budgets to advising on strategy and measuring the results of those investments. From my experience, HR leaders rarely lead headcount budgeting and planning but are responsible for setting, executing, and evaluating the talent strategy.

Wednesday’s webinar will illustrate whether we are making progress towards strong collaboration. Citing the results of a global survey of 550 CFOs and CHROs in 26 countries, and supplemented by in-depth interviews with leaders in both functions, highlights of the research that Catherine will cover include:

  • Why CFOs and CHROs have better relationships at high-performing companies than those at organizations falling behind
  • The organizational characteristics (size, global reach) and talent issues that influence the likelihood of stronger partnerships
  • Business metrics most commonly influenced by closer ties

Diving into these topics in more depth, Catherine will also share the four attributes that set high-performing companies – those with strong HR/Finance relationships – apart.

While I am not in a position to give away the answers here, I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the attributes relates to the wider adoption, and greater use, of workforce analytics as a tool to rigorously assess talent performance and productivity. Better collaboration can also feed the strategic workforce planning process, with CFOs actively engaging in discussions of talent supply and demand.

The webinar concludes with ten steps that both CFOs and CHROs can take to improve their relationship.

Registration closes on Tuesday night, so please sign up now to join the webcast.

Published in General

The Workforce Analytics Forum has ended and I was delighted with the quality of presentations, audience interaction, and enthusiasm for HR’s role in using data to inform talent management decisions.

Let’s start with the Data Heroes Analyst Challenge…we kicked off the morning with a Mixed Martial Arts “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” introduction (I highly recommend that you search for a video of it) before launching into the challenge.

We had three data/software/visualization experts (Alan Bainbridge of Intermountain Healthcare, Nery Castillo McIntyre of San Disk, and Michael Grimm of Intengis) spend all of half an hour crafting algorithms, images, and stories based on a 37,000+ person dataset. What they did in 30 minutes I couldn’t do in 30 days!

The audience had the opportunity to witness how the three pivoted the data, determined what issues to focus upon, built graphics and, in turn, presented their results. Questions came thick and fast – on the tools being used, the choice of storyboards, and what would happen if only 35, rather than 30, minutes were on the clock.

In a photo-finish, the winner was….Nery Castillo McIntyre. He raised the Belt of Champions (again, search for the video) and will enjoy the fruits of his labor for all time (or at least until IHRIM’s Annual Conference in 2017). Thank you to all of the participants, who were very graceful in accepting my limitations in transitioning visuals from laptops to big screens.

Other comments of reference in the subsequent thought leader presentations:

  • Let’s feed our leaders some questions to consider – don’t expect they know where to go next
  • Data is the price of admission – if we bring data, we get the opportunity to ask questions about future priorities
  • If you tell me [insert urban legend], I can myth-bust that for you
  • I don’t know what to do with this data (said the manager)
  • If there is no burning platform, how do you make the case for analytics?

Thank you to everyone involved in the Forum. Am signing off and heading overnight to Detroit....

Written by Mick Collins

Published in General

Today, IHRIM hosted its second Workforce Analytics Forum of 2016. For those not familiar with the events, they offer:

  1. Collaborative Networking: Rather than your typical 1-to-many mega-conferences, they purposefully keep the audience small, offering attendees the opportunity to interact with each other, meet the presenters, and get solutions to their own challenges.
  2. Real-World Examples Bolstered by Academic Research: Case study presentations from some of the world's leading experts on workforce analytics supplemented by academic thought-leaders (consistent with IHRIM's rich heritage of university partnerships).
  3. New Technologies: Innovative thinking in analytics is often driven by technology vendors and consultants. For example, the Data Hero Analyst challenge features analysts and vendors using modern technologies (plus Excel) to visualize workforce data in front of the audience.
  4. Content for Beginners and Seasoned Practitioners: New to workforce analytics or in it for the long haul? The Forum features a mix of simple frameworks for attendees to adopt while going deep on statistical modeling.

Today featured presentations from several top-notch analytics experts (specific names can be found in the program). Some of the most interesting comments by presenters included:

Analytics Strategy

  • Leaders pay me for good (HR) intuition – I want to make sure that intuition is backed by data
  • Any firm can buy the data analysis they need; what’s important is that HR connect the data to the internal consumer’s question
  • In choosing between improving our analytics sophistication or our alignment with the business, we chose the latter – it’s a bigger bang for the buck
  • We avoid high cost/low impact analytics projects “like the plague”
  • Analytics will become commoditized over time – attrition models are increasingly the same, from company to company
  • Our job (as analysts) is to put leaders in a position to raise their batting average

Analytics Execution

  • HR analytics is one of the top 3 capability gaps in HR (the others are Leadership and Culture/Engagement)
  • With a small team, we need to democratize analytics and deliver self-service to the front lines
  • Change management is under-utilized as a role in my analytics team
  • Approaching analytics with a glass half-full mentality helps smooth its adoption (optimizing success>reducing unfavorable outcomes)
  • Selecting the right methodology (decision trees, random forests) is important
  • When visualizing data, eliminate as much clutter as possible
  • There is almost no variable that, when changed in real-time, will change the leader’s decision
  • Turnover rates don’t matter – turnover pain does

The Forum continues tomorrow with the Data Hero Analyst Challenge and several more presentations…

Written by Mick Collins

Published in General

The role of the HR Information Management professional is changing. CEOs are demanding more intelligence regarding their talent investments. CIOs are struggling to maintain data privacy, security, and availability.  Now more than ever, HR technology leaders are thinking strategically about the flow of talent data: how, where, and to whom.

These are important questions, ones that IHRIM is committed to addressing in 2016. First, we tackled the issue of data transfers between the U.S. and Europe in our webinar entitled “Setting the Stage: A Chat on the Safe Harbor Framework.”  If you missed it, check out the recording.

Then, kicking off 2016’s expanded program of analytics education, IHRIM hosts its ninth Workforce Analytics Forum, in Chicago on March 1-3.

10 Reasons to Attend IHRIM’s Workforce Analytics Forum

Location. It is Chicago’s first conference on workforce analytics this year – what a great opportunity to set the standard for analytics content in the Windy City!

Competition. The Forum hosts the inaugural “Data Heroes Analyst Challenge” – you can cast a vote for the analyst that creates the most compelling visuals and stories out of a workforce in the room. There can be only one winner…

Real-world Examples. We’ll have case study presentations from some of the world’s leading brand names (and analytics experts) including Caterpillar, Kellogg Company, and Sears.

Authority. Consistent with IHRIM’s rich heritage of university partnerships, two presentations will feature academics – Derrick McIver from Western Michigan and Virginia Tech’s Kevin Carlson (a past IHRIM chair).

Partners. Innovative thinking in analytics is often driven by technology vendors and consultants; Visier and 3D Results will share their collective customer wisdom on how analytics gets done in the real world.

Something for Everyone. New to workforce analytics or in it for the long-haul? The Forum features a mix of simple frameworks for you to use and expert-level data visualization.

Ideas. If you’re simply looking for concepts for your next analytics project, you’ll hear about the value of data analysis in quantifying leadership development, survival risk, and employee engagement.

People. With extensive breaks and a networking reception, the Forum offers plenty of face-to-face networking opportunities in a relaxed, collaborative, environment.

Venue. There are no early-bird limitations on accommodations – you can still book an amazing room rate of just $99 at our host venue, the Doubletree Magnificent Mile.

Membership.  If you’re already an IHRIM member, this is your opportunity to support the association – which enters its 35th year - and your fellow HR Information Management leaders.

We hope to see you at IHRIM’s Workforce Analytics Forum.  Register Today.

Published in General
Monday, 04 January 2016 10:36

All Your HR Technology Questions Answered


But not here. Though I'm sure such places do exist. Rather, six questions that I would like to answer and for which I actually have a response. Let me explain....

Last week, I participated in a webinar roundtable hosted by IHRIM entitled "HR Technology Trends: Myths, Surprises, and Forecasts". Joining me were facilitator Jim Pettit (Halyard Health) and fellow panelists Nov Omana (Collective HR Solutions), and Steve Secora (IGT).

To increase the likelihood that I could keep up with these HR technology experts, I wrote the panel questions myself. Smart move, Mick. Below, you'll find the questions and my brief responses.

Published in General

lynn turnerIHRIM shines the Volunteer Spotlight on Dr. Lynn Turner, HRIP, Professor Emeritus in Management and Human Resources at Cal Poly Pomona and a new member of the IHRIM Education Committee.

Please tell us a little about your professional life. 
Currently, I am a Professor Emeritus in Management and Human Resources at Cal Poly Pomona. I teach Human Resource Information Management several times a year. I continue to be on a task force that is integrating enterprise systems into the curriculum. I also continue to do research on the use of HR metrics and analytics by line managers.

Published in General

Three IHRIM members were challenged to “kick the tires” at the  2014 HR Technology® Conference and Exposition and here are the results!   

By Lynne E. Mealy, HRIP

IHRIM has long believed that the expo hall at the IHRIM annual conference is a natural extension of the education program. Through the demos and conversations with the various system and service providers, conference attendees are provided with a better understanding of the solutions available now and in the future to help them manage HR information. A constant reminder to attendee goers is - even if you are not looking to buy today, you never know what may happen in the next 3, 6 or 12 months. So you need to walk the trade show floor to see what is offered.

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TStewart 1 IHRIM is pleased to feature Tim Stewart in our current Volunteer Spotlight.  Tim, HRMS Director, XO Communications, LLC., has been an IHRIM member since 2011. 

Please tell us a little about your professional life such as what your job entails; how you got involved with HR technology; major accomplishments; current projects or challenges.

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#HRISchat Session 21
Deciding on the Right HR Technology Path
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In case you missed it, findings from the CedarCrestone 2013–2014 HR Systems Survey noted a big shift was underway: more organizations are replacing their core HR technology products instead of upgrading their existing systems. SHL’s 2013 Global Assessment Trends report noted that fewer than 1 in 5 HR professionals are satisfied with their information systems’ ability to manage talent data; and research from McKinsey & Company cited that the average technology investment delivers less than half of its anticipated value. With all that, it is easy to see why the development of a smart HR Technology plan is vital to the growth of an organization.

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#HRISchat Session 20
Driving Globally Strategic Payroll
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GlobalU.S. government statistics cite that a majority (approximately 75%) of the world’s purchasing power is situated outside of our nation. One survey from NFIB found that nearly three-fourths of small business owners would like to expand their workforce worldwide. While global expansion offers the promise of increased business, it also presents a number of payroll challenges. One key to keeping your company on course when implementing a global business strategy is to maintain a globally strategic payroll program.

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