Help Polish the Crystal Ball

The HRO Today Institute has bold plans for 2013. You can make them bolder.

By Elizabeth Boudrie
As we leap into 2013, we’d like to share some of the ongoing, new, and annual research programs we’re working on—or considering—for the new year. We welcome your engagement and input on all of our research, whether you have ideas for new programs, specific questions or concepts you’d like us to address, or you simply want to share your experiences through survey and/or interview participation.
We’ve outlined current and planned research programs below, and we invite you to comment on our research, offer new research ideas, participate in our research programs, and get updates throughout the year by visiting us at
Research Program: Perspectives on Talent Acquisition and the Changing Global Workforce. Quickly shifting demographics—aging populations, economic insecurity, and population movement, among others—are making talent acquisition an increasingly difficult and troubling endeavor for practitioners responsible for engaging new talent. Because we believe accurate, up-to-date information is the most effective tool you can use to tackle these challenges, we launched the Perspectives on Talent Acquisition and the Changing Global Workforce research program.

This research program employs both quantitative and qualitative measures to address key questions in talent acquisition, including:
• Where are the current and future shortages most acute (by job
type and geographic location)?
• What are the key impacts of talent scarcity on
organizational effectiveness?
• What are the most effective ways to achieve global talent
acquisition goals?
• Which concrete actions really work (and are worth investing time
or money in), and which don’t?
This research program is currently live, and we expect to begin sharing results at our HRO Today Forums in the Philadelphia April 30 to May 2 and in Singapore May 22 and 23.
Research Program: Measuring Quality of Hire. Currently in progress, our research program For Good Measure: Measuring Quality of Hire looks at this much-discussed, but still under-appreciated aspect of talent management. According to the folks at research firm Bersin by Deloitte, U.S. employers alone spend more than $124 billion each year on recruiting. But our preliminary research shows at least 40 percent of companies don’t track quality of hire, leaving us to wonder how they know how best to spend their recruiting funds?
This global benchmarking survey of quality of hire measurement practices looks at issues such as:
• What measures are being used for different job types
• Who’s doing the measuring
• How the results are being used
• Impacts of quality of hire measurement efforts
For this program, too, we anticipate sharing early results at our HRO Today Forums in the Philadelphia April 30-May 2 and in Singapore May 22-23.
Research Program: HRprOgression. This ongoing research program, first launched in the second half of 2012, looks at the past, present, and future of HR services. Collecting inputs from both practitioners/buyers and service providers, this program offers a 360-degree view of:
• The “health” of HR outsourcing: thriving, surviving, or dying
• What’s working in HR outsourcing and what isn’t, and why
• Where HR outsourcing is headed
• How recent industry trends—M&A activity in particular—are affecting the industry
• What practitioners need from providers: the practitioner viewpoint
• What providers need to do to stay competitive: the provider viewpoint

Preliminary results were presented at the HRO Today Forum in Dublin in November 2012, and ongoing results will be presented at future HRO Today events.
Research Program: Compensation in the RPO and MSP Industries. Geared toward our provider audience, this is a traditional study of total compensation for various positions within the outsourcing provider community. We expect the first round of this research effort to be complete in the first quarter of 2013, with de-identified, consolidated results shared among study participants.
Research Program: Business Outcomes in Outsourcing. Currently being developed, the plan for this program is to explore the role of business outcomes in the design, purchase, and delivery of an outsourcing engagement. We expect the study to measure the impact of current outsourcing measurements (for example, time/cost per hire) on an organizations corporate performance. Through this study we will look to illustrate the true business impact of an outsourcing engagement, and understand which items currently measured in an outsourcing program actually support corporate missions and goals.

Potential areas of exploration include:
• Key deliverables in your current outsourcing programs
• If/how deliverables are tied to specific organizational outcomes, such as sales, retention, safety, etc.
• Operational engagement: involvement of the operations team in the development of outsourcing program goals
• Reporting: Is reporting ongoing and to what level of detail?
• The use of technology in measuring/reporting against goals

This global study will likely engage both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Research Program: The Blended Workforce. Also still in development, the concept of this study is the targeting of a definition for the “ideal workforce” for a global employer. The goal of this program is to develop an understanding of the interconnected issues of cost, quality and mobility in a globally managed workforce. This study would look to further refine the data by industry, job function, and geography.
Specific topics of study could include:
• How organizations determine the ideal blend of contingent versus permanent employee in each organization
• Balancing quality and cost in the blended workforce
• Understanding where strategic value outweighs cost concerns within the workforce
This global study will likely engage both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Research Program: Baker’s Dozens. And, of course, no list of our research would be complete without an overview our annual Baker’s Dozens research and ranking program. HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings, the recognized leader in the HR services industry for many years, are based entirely on user feedback. In fact, in 2012 alone more than 3,500 active HR services buyers participated in our surveys, providing unparalleled insights into their use of and satisfaction with the HR services they purchase.
This year we have seven Baker’s Dozen lists planned:
• Talent management technology providers, January/February issue
• Relocation providers, March issue
• Managed services providers, April issue
• Payroll providers, May issue
• Recognition services providers, July/August issue
• Recruitment process outsourcing providers, September issue
• Screening providers, November issue
We look forward to an exciting year of exploration in the ever-dynamic world of HR services. Please join us in our journey; visit us at to comment on our research, offer new research ideas, participate in our research programs and get updates throughout the year.
Elizabeth Boudrie is executive director of the HRO Today Institute and vice president of research for SharedXpertise.

Tags: Consultants & Advisors, HRO Today Global, Professional Contribution

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