KnowledgePlanet Becomes First to Offer One Price, Bundled Training Back Office Solution

KnowledgePlanet Training Back Office offers on-demand technology and ongoing administration and operations management in one solution 

MECHANICSBURG, PA (Jun 14, 2005) – KnowledgePlanet has further integrated its Training Back Office components to become the first learning solutions provider to offer a one-price, bundled service of on-demand technology and ongoing administration and operations management. The consolidated suite advances KnowledgePlanet’s strategy to focus learning technologies on significantly increasing customers’  competitiveness and profitability

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Drivers for WLM Solutions

How workforce realignment forces strategic thinking in HR organizations.

by Phil Fersht, Jason Corsello

The massive workforce expansion of the 90s has dramatically reversed with the combined forces of economic recession and global outsourcing. HR leaders are challenged to ensure that the workforce delivers on the corporate business strategy. At the same time, the dynamic economic environment is constantly forcing organizations to reshape the workforce. Many organizations that have traditionally focused on driving down costs by automating or outsourcing non-strategic, transaction processes are now looking at new approaches to create a flexible, sustainable workforce. Workforce lifecycle management (WLM) solutions are being deployed to extend internal mobility, improve the quality and timeliness of new hires, and increase the performance of the workforce.



With workforce reductions in place, leading organizations are creating a performance-driven culture based on measurable results that are aligned with corporate goals. The aggressive recruitment of high-performing talent will intensify, making competition tough for organizations that dont excel in WLM. Key areas of interest for performance- driven organizations include pay-for-performance programs and succession planning initiatives that accelerate the performance and growth of employees. Organizations are migrating HR BPO vendors in pursuit of cost reduction and to enable HR to think more strategically about their human capital. Recent case studies show that high-performance organizations consistently outsource administrative HR functions. Organizations of all sizes have adopted global outsourcing strategies to maintain initiatives in cost reduction and margin improvement. Self-service is a key enabler driving WLM adoption. As workforce mobility increases, organizations are empowering employees to be more self-sufficient. Using employee selfservice applications has lessened dependency on HR to provide administrative support. Self-service applications provide a single destination for all HR issues, consequently increasing the use of WLM solutions. In addition, self-service applications enable employees and managers to track career development and progress, further enhancing the performance of the organization. As M&A activity continues to pick up, organizations continue to implement processes that accelerate integration. WLM solutions can help organizations define their internal hierarchy, making it easier to analyze workforce requirements. WLM solutions can also enable integration by quickly identifying the right candidates for the merged entity. In addition, WLM can rapidly eliminate redundancy in the workforce and create a more cohesive and progressive organization.




Understand your organizations key performance indicators (KPIs).

Organizations must understand the key attributes that drive their financial success and link those drivers with their WLM strategy. For example, highturnover organizations should define a strategy for talent management and improving workforce quality. Lowturnover organizations should center on performance management and improving employee development, pay-for-performance, and succession planning.


Assign an executive sponsor.

A vision for human capital that is sponsored from the highest levels within an organization is key to transformation and leading strategic initiatives. Take inventory of past technology investments in workforce and learning management and identify the future strategic fit toward a closely aligned, integrated approach. Build integrated WLM capabilities incrementally.


Combine your WLM strategy with your HR BPO strategy.

If your organization is currently considering HR BPO or is an early adopter, this is an opportunity to establish a WLM solution with minimal or no additional cash investment. Todays leading providers offer WLM functionality within their platforms. Some are building their own proprietary tools, whereas others are offering best-ofbreed solutions integrated with their own platform. Ensure the BPO supplier can establish an effective program that provides you with the tools and support you need to manage these solutions.


Get started.

Adopting a WLM solution will not cure bad internal processes. Start by getting executive sponsorship that will spearhead the transformation process. Then begin due diligence immediately. Best-practice methodologies from HR service providers must be combined with technology and business transformation expertise. A WLM strategy should consider where an organization would like to be in several years. Although the integrated WLM approach is still in the development stage, it provides a great opportunity to create a leadership position for workforce excellence. [HRO]   

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An Outsourcing Insiders View of HRO World

We are all learning as we grow.

by Matt DeLuca

Jay Whitehead did it again at this years HRO World Conference. Always ready to push the edge, he boldly reminded all within earshot of the late Pope John Paul IIs message do not be afraid and fondly attached it to a major need for those of us in the HRO spacelearning. Learning is especially important at a time when we are constantly seeking new ways to be effective, while constantly delving further into outsourcing.

Ironically, Jays bold reminder was just before Susan Olivers presentation. She is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Wal-Mart. Intrigued by her prepared keynote presentation that not even once included the O word, I first wondered about her abilities and those of the leadership at Wal-Mart. From Olivers speech, it is clear that she represents a model that Wal-Mart wants for HR that recalls the traditional line/staff support approach. While this seems the antithesis of the direction that most companies are moving, it is their company and they do employ 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce, so they must be doing something right. However, the success must be coming from other areas, as I am hard pressed to see where it is coming from their proposed HR model.

Taking a completely opposite approach, another attendee at HRO World and head of HR for another big retailer was Randy Ross, SVP Human Resources from Best Buy. Entering the Best Buy suite was an otherworldly event. People were buzzing and Randy greeted everyone who caught his eye. It seemed he was going to explode with ideas and excitement if the session did not immediately commence. And what a session it was!

Here is the future of HR. Ross is a bright strategic thinker with a strong action orientation. He quickly took charge of the session while sharing the podium with COO Diane Shelgren from Accenture HR Services. She had been the senior person responsible for the completion of the outsourcing agreement. It was clear that Best Buy and Accenture are still learning after a full year of implementation already behind them. Both Randy and Diane were articulate and extremely informative. They challenged the audience to ask demanding questions and they were quick with brief and insightful responses. This is the model that offers a glimpse of the future of HR outsourcing one that includes the challenges that need to be addressed and the rewards to follow.

If these two events werent memorable enough, on Wednesday, along came Andy Stern, head of the largest U.S. union, SEIU, with a rousing keynote that was thought provoking for a variety of reasons. In case you are wondering, he did mention the O wordin fact, he mentioned it many, many times. He is the one who has challenged the second generation leadership of the AFL-CIO to think as they have never thought before, and he is the one who continues to encourage them to expand and threatened them with the possibility of a walkout by the SEIU. To think he agreed to attend the conference and to do so after appearing on the cover of HRO Today magazine led to heightened expectations from those who rose early to hear his address in person. His suggestion that employers consider outsourcing to unions is certainly a radical way of thinking and even worth considering, until one realizes that a major systemic problem facing the unions continues to be redundancies within their own ranks. The problem starts with the traditional and current union model that has always considered the basic organization to be the union local with its benefits and training functions. Union locals are basically small businesses that refuse to consolidate themselves in the interest of eliminating redundancies and gaining expertise that, in fact, HR outsourcers provide. As bright as Andy Stern is, he has yet to recognize what HRO could provide to his organization.

How to sum up this barrage of messages gleaned from HRO World 2005? Do not be afraid to learnespecially when the experts themselves are still seeking the appropriate, relevant, and effective answers.

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Human Capital Institute and MENTTIUM Corporation Announce Agreement

Washington D.C. – May 26, 2005 – The Human Capital Institute (HCI), a non-profit think tank, association, and educator in talent management strategies, and MENTTIUM Corporation, the global leader in corporate mentoring, announced today that MENTTIUM will sponsor HCI’s Mentorship Strategies learning and research track.

“This alliance is the first step to building a panel of thought leaders for this key track within HCI’s Talent Development community,” said Allan Schweyer, HCI’s Executive Director, “Mentorship, while not a new concept, is becoming a talent management strategy for which organizations are seeking new approaches and technologies

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Duke Energy Inks HRO Contract with Hewitt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy today announced that Hewitt Associates, a global human resources services firm, has been selected to provide comprehensive HR back-office administrative services to the companys U

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HRO and the Coming Labor Shortage

The time to think about the future is now.

by Matt DeLuca

Hype or dire prediction, HR professionals everywhere should always be on the lookout for state-of-the-art opportunities to find great employees not only for the HR department but also for the entire organization. You may recall a reference in previous columns to HR Management in the Knowledge Economy and its identification of the four major roles of the HR professional. Here I will ask you to keep two rolesrelationship builder and rapid deployment specialistin mind.  


Robert J. Grossman, a professor at Marist College (a bastion of quantitative research), published an article in the March 2005 issue of HR Magazine that separates the hype from the dire predictions of the looming disparity between the demand and supply of the U.S. workforce. The research concludes that the media hype asserting that by 2012 there will be 10 million more jobs than people to fill them should not be a concern. Although he does conclude with a hypothesis that has already been haunting usdo we have enough talent for an increasingly demanding workplace? The answer is a resounding NO!


Do you recall how, during the late 1990s, people were hired by all kinds of fast-growth firms just because we need bodies? I do. I witnessed unsolicited resumes without interviews turned into hires just because they need to be hired now. I also recall organizations unable to get products to market because they could not find people with the skills required. After reading Grossmans article and reviewing the Bureau of Labor Statistics research upon which that article heavily relied, I am convinced that the talent pool respite we have had of late is sooner or later going to be replaced by a long brutal global war for talent. There is already pressure on the lowest level jobs.


The Wall Street Journal recently had a front page article about lettuce pickers in Arizonathere arent any. For one simple reason: The workers who used to do it have moved on to better paying jobs. This, to me, is a first link in the food chain (no pun intended). The ripple effect has already started.


So what does this have to do with HRO? As a relationship builder and rapid deployment specialist, the HR professional should be anticipating the scarcity of talentnot only in HR but also in the rest of the organization. Ongoing review of core versus commoditized activities should become part of the organizations DNA. External alternative sources to accomplish tasks, activities, and even entire functions should be on your radar screen so that they are continuously being evaluated in light of your organizations current and anticipated demands. Internally, you need to work closely with various key players to determine the climate and readiness for moving one or more additional activities to outside providers (or alternatively, determining if any should be brought back in-house.)


To test any and all assumptions, HR needs to be ever vigilant for opportunities to do the following:

* Enhance current service levels and relationships

*Identify additional potential avenues, including offshoring, for further exploration

*Ensure comprehensive due diligence and demonstrate your state-of-the-art knowledge about todays products and services

*Build a familiarity of best practices

*Identify the leading buyers and players (as well as those less so) in this ever-changing marketplace to determine who is doing what. Compare this years leading deals with last years. Recall last years players and major buyers. How are those deals doing? What has been learned? Are there any warning signs?


If we don’t find out what is and what isnt working, we are more likely to repeat the problems of these earlier adaptersbuyers and providers alike. If you spent some time at the 2005 HRO World conference in New York, you were able, in just a few hours, to test and update your knowledge base. Dont stop there. Feel guilty if you arent spending time weekly surveying the internal and external marketplace for contacts, information, relationships, and solutions. As Grossman warns, this process is not a quick turnaround andlet me addthe process is as important, if not more so, than any future, specific result. Besides, it is much more exciting to be part of the process, so why delay? Your organizations very survival is at stake.  

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RWD Technologies and SkillsNET Form Partnership

Human Performance Solutions Weds Ability Expertise

BALTIMORE, MD April 26, 2005 RWD Technologies, Inc. (RWD), a Company that develops, implements, and supports products and services in the areas of training, consulting, and organizational performance, announced today that it has formed a partnership with  SkillsNET, a consulting company that identifies the best qualities of top workers and advises companies about ways to replicate those qualities throughout their supply chain

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NY HR Week 2005 Trumps Expectations – Up 32% to 3710 Registered Attendees

HR Executives In Record Numbers Attend HR Conference —

Top Issues Include Outsourcing, Diversity, Benefits & Technology

Milford, CT,April 20, 2005 NY HR Weeks conference directors today released recordattendee totals for the 2005 NY HR Week held April 12-14, 2005 at the New YorkHilton, making it the nations second largest HR event. Registered attendeestotaled 3,710, with conference attendees numbering 706.  The totals represented a 32% increase overthe 2004 totals, and included a record 106 media attendees.

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PwC: Almost All Fast-Growth Companies Outsourcing HR Functions

PricewaterhouseCoopers Trendsetter Barometer interviewed CEOs of 360 privately held product and service companies identified in the media as being among the fastest growing U

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Hewitt Associates to Provide HR BPO Services to PepsiCo

Firm Continues Growth of HR BPO Business, Signing Eighth Deal Since Close of Hewitt and Exult Merger

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW), a global human resources services firm, announced today that it will provide comprehensive HR business process outsourcing (BPO) services to PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), a world leader in convenient foods and beverages. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under a ten-year agreement, Hewitt will provide HR BPO services in the U

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