Shared Services

State of The Industry

The provider-practitioner disconnect has widened—and narrowed—depending on the question.

By Elizabeth Boudrie
We recently launched a short-answer research project asking HR practitioners and providers of HR outsourced services a few questions about the state of HR outsourcing, including questions about where the HR outsourcing industry is now, what works and doesn’t, and where it’s headed. As you’d expect, we found both similarities and differences in their responses. What we found most interesting, though, is the often different approaches the two groups took to answering the questions.
Our research is ongoing;click hereto tell us what you think.
Here’s what we heard.
Thriving, Surviving, or Dying
On the whole providers are more sanguine about the “health” of HR outsourcing than are practitioners, with 50 percent of providers saying HR outsourcing is thriving versus 25 percent of practitioners.

Among practitioners who say that HR outsourcing is thriving, the three most commonly cited reasons were:

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Technical Collage

A sector-by-sector review of tools and solutions.

By Brent Skinner 
Technology touches every space of the HR outsourcing and operations industry. And who better to give inside scoop on what trends are blazing the trail for the future in every sector of HRO than the top leaders in our annual Baker’s Dozen surveys? No one—that is why we tracked down a duo or trio of experts in learning, background screening, managed services programs, recruitment process outsourcing, recognition, relocation, and talent management. Insight abounds.
How are social media tools affecting the administration of on-the-job learning programs?
Raytheon Professional Services: By their very nature, social media channels typically support “informal” learning—meaning they are most often not tracked or reported in the learning management system (LMS). This creates several challenges for learning organizations. First, it makes it difficult to incorporate these channels into a blended learning solution when the topic requires tracking of completion status or is part of a certification or compliance path. Second, this lack of tracking and reporting makes it difficult to demonstrate return on investment for these types of learning channels using traditional metrics. Lastly, the user-generated content aspects of these channels are usually uncontrolled or unmonitored, which can result in the propagation of information that may contradict the messages relayed in the formal training. While these channels offer a great opportunity to extend learning beyond the formal training event, like any other blended delivery option, they have to be applied in the right way to be effective.
The Training Associates: Social media tools have earned their place as the prevalent means of informal learning. These tools (wikis, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) are often used to find quick answers to specific learning questions from subject matter experts and aren’t generally meant to replace an entire curriculum. Also, learners need to be cautious as to the validity of the data being presented through social media, as not every contributor is a subject matter expert.
The issue of social media and how they are used has become a fundamental challenge for most organizations. The amount and extent of company oversight and tracking (versus allowing employees to self-govern) are issues that companies grapple with most often. Communities of practice can be monitored, but too much corporate oversight or tracking tends to stifle participation. The best way to overcome this is by creating employee governance to help actively monitor the community so as not to feel like corporate is performing that role. Tools such as Yammer provide companies with the ability to incorporate social media while at the same time keeping it within the confines of the company’s secured IT infrastructure.
In what ways is the new technological environment for learning less dependent on the traditional LMS? Or does a conventional LMS remain central to on-the-job learning?
Raytheon Professional Services: The new technology environment for learning has to support both formal and informal training delivery. For formal training delivery—instructor-led, web-based, and virtual classroom training—the LMS continues to play the prominent role. Because these delivery options tend to focus on “training” the user, the LMS allows learning organizations to track that the training occurred, assess their learners’ comprehension of the training, and report the results. Conversely, informal learning—mobile, social media, video-on-demand—relies less on the LMS because these delivery options tend to focus on providing information to the learner at his or her “point of need” for performance support.
The Training Associates: Organizations aren’t ready to throw out the conventional LMS just yet. Learning management systems are still the best tools for organizations to effectively manage learning in relation to business objectives, and for tracking training and education and identifying skill gaps in their employees. We are continuing to see LMS functionality evolve to better address learners’ needs for quick access to learning. The best learning organizations will take a holistic approach to learning by incorporating browser-based tools and platforms such as social media, SaaS (software–as-a-service), and UGC (user-generated content), into their training and development programs and learning systems.

Given the new technological tools available for learning and training, how can organizations best ensure that they remain compliant with government regulations that apply heavily to this aspect of the employee lifecycle? Are these requirements slowing technological advancement, accelerating it, or a little bit of both?
Raytheon Professional Services: Compliance with governmental regulations requires that training results be tracked and reported.
For formal training programs, this is most often accomplished using the LMS. If organizations wish to incorporate informal learning channels into these compliance programs, they will likely have to include these results in the LMS so that they can be reported along with the formal training results. Validating competency or knowledge transfer can include various elements: choosing a mobile learning platform that synchronizes courses completion and assessment results from the mobile device to the LMS, or using a formal assessment launched from the LMS to validate knowledge comprehension gained from an informal channel. In the end, the LMS still plays a major role in compliance tracking and reporting. This requirement doesn’t necessarily slow the technical advancement of informal tools, but it can certainly slow its adoption rate as a viable component of a technology solution in heavily regulated environments, or at least for curricula that requires compliance reporting.
The Training Associates: Companies whose business relies on compliance with government regulations need to carefully monitor, update, and disseminate this information to employees, as well as provide a means to track employee acknowledgement and understanding of existing, new, or updated regulations. This can be accomplished using a variety of assessment tools that can be housed within the LMS itself and tracked on a corporate level. This also provides for a legally defensible record should litigation ever arise requiring proof that the employee did receive training.

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Full Speed Ahead

RPO accelerates talent acquisition performance at Chrysler.

By Gary Bragar 
Scalabilty is certainly something the auto industry needs. It’s been a bumpy few years for automakers in Detriot, but Chrysler is back in the fast lane. To meet the recent resurgence in the U.S., Chrysler wanted to be able to hire the best talent while scaling up and down to meet changing hiring needs on an ongoing basis

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TTA Sept

IBM to Acquire Kenexa

IBM and Kenexa Corporation announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Kenexa, a publicly held company headquartered in Wayne, Pa., in a cash transaction at a price of $46 per share, or at a net price of approximately $1.3 billion. 
Kenexa, a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions, brings a unique combination of Cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

The adoption of social business technology is supporting the growth of big data and the need for analytics in the enterprise. A recent global IBM study revealed that 57 percent of CEOs identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data.

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Aon Hewitt

RPO BD Video

Pinstripe Aligns Equity Partnership with Accel-KKR

A significant equity investment will drive the RPO’s strategic growth.
Pinstripe, Inc., a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider, today announced it has received an equity investment to support its strategic growth from Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm.
“Pinstripe’s reputation for delivering outstanding client results and having the best employees in the industry gave us the opportunity to choose from many interested financial partners,” said Sue Marks, CEO of Pinstripe

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Wilson HCB