Moving to the "how" and the "what."
By Elliot Clark
This month we report the launch of our new unit, the HRO Today Institute. A subscription-based network, it will allow senior HR executives to access all our customer satisfaction surveys, attend our events, receive analyst briefings, and be part of an invitation-only community. We are excited by the many chief HR officers, heads of global HR operations, and SVPs of talent who have already joined. In fact, within just five weeks of launch, we have empanelled more executives than we expected.
There are a few common themes of interest to the new HRO Today Institute participants. One is the coverage of operational components of HR. Rather than focus on the “why” of strategy (the market is teeming with organizations that will talk why “to be or not to be”), we think that once you have gotten to this level you should be pretty good at strategy or have pretty good choices. Instead, we are focusing on the hardheaded issues of “what” and “how”—where the advice, research, and peer-to-peer support is far less abundant.
We also support developing metrics on the impact of HR on the business. I am tired of hearing about how to reduce HR as a percentage of G&A; everyone from KPMG to Booz Allen to Hackett will tell you that crushing down HR costs (whether using HRO or not) is “world class.” Let’s talk about measuring impact. Let’s talk about the HR-powered enterprise. Can we go somewhere and talk about making HR big again?
We will be using the institute as the specifying and advisory body for all of the SharedXpertise research. We do dozens of research studies each year, and we will move this practice into the institute under the direction of Elizabeth Boudrie (see Upside, page 11).
The HRO Today Institute will also address the pressing issue on the mind of every attendee, the global talent pool. Every member has talked to us, with concern, about this. The global talent pool is shrinking in developed countries, and educational issues plague countries that have growing populations. In addition, demographic concerns about generational shifts in attitude with Gen Y workers are a cause for alarm. Is your HR department going to be able to compete effectively in the new gestalt? We are launching a global study of the chief HR officers around this issue. We will be announcing more details at the first Workforce Congress at the HRO Today Forum, which is open to HRO Today Institute members and senior executive invitees. The congress will be held May 1st in Washington, D.C. (www.hrotoday.com/forum). We will be announcing the results at the second Workforce Congress, on October 2, 2012, in New York at Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s Commit!Forum. In both of these sessions we will be addressing the workforce as a corporate/economic and jobs creation issue and an educational issue ripe for public private partnerships.
We see the talent issues playing out all over the HR landscape in this month’s issue, from the consolidation of the market in the Learning Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey (see page 18) to the Top RPO Deals of 2011 (see page 32). The RPO market is getting more competitive, as the pressure around technical and knowledge worker talent grows increasingly fierce and internal HR has to turn to external providers for the tools, technology, and reach they can offer. The growth of managed service programs (MSPs), as global staffing providers look at how to offer additional ways to make the contingent workforce more productive, offers HR options that go far beyond the cost containment model. That makes MSP a strategic HR product that needs to be closely examined by the chief HR officer (see “The Architect,” page 38).
The HRO Today Institute will look into all of these trends and offer a place to get data and discuss “what” and “how” with peers. It will offer members the chance to review research and gather knowledge and perspective as the pressures of change, the talent pool, and profitability are ever increasing; HR is key to any company’s success, and people are the differentiator. If you are interested in the HRO Today Institute, you may contact Vince Albergato at SharedXpertise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The (Global) War for Talent
Moving to the "how" and the "what."