by apprisedev | October 17, 2014

From HR Tech Conference-Las Vegas October 2014 

Talent Management Excellence: Trends and New Products for HCMAs the curtains come down on the 2014 HR Tech Expo, there’s much on the plate as far as the HR technology market is concerned. With cloud and mobile-enhanced technology going strong, and the emerging roles of social, big data, employee and user engagement and analytics trends improving continuously, the whole process of recruitment, retention, talent management and payroll platform is experiencing growth, which is good!

However, retention and employee engagement still tops the hit list of HR challenges. In that scenario, it has become inevitable to understand and address questions like: Where can we source the best talent? Who is likely to leave next? How do we improve our talent retention programs? How do we engage our employees? Who are the prospective employees ready for leadership roles? There is no doubt that HR managers are looking towards much advanced technology to help transform their processes. The good news is that today we have HR technology solutions that help the automation of HR processes, with lower costs, great user experience, quick to implement and easy to use platforms. But there is still a long way to go. We can be optimistic about 2015, which hopefully will bring about more exciting, innovative and dynamic changes to the current processes.

At the expo, met a few vendors that discussed new trends, products and enhancements in their businesses. Here is the wrap-up.

Strategic Recruitment is Vital

Recruiting the right person is one of the crucial strategies for the success of a company. The high cost of a bad hiring decision can sometimes be detrimental to the overall strategic goals of the company. Today, with the most modern recruiting systems including predictive and intelligent technologies that use big data, managers are at ease when it comes to predicting and managing the hiring experience.

Hireology, the leading provider of employee hiring and selection management technology for multi-location organizations, was at the expo to discuss their web-based platform that transforms companies’ hiring processes to help managers make the best hiring decisions. CEO Adam Robinson hinted on their big move towards improving the talent management platform for hourly workers and verticals such as auto dealerships, where bad hiring results in a huge loss of money and opportunities. Adam said that auto dealership is an industry that doesn’t have a large penetration in HR technology. Dealers are looking for a better way to hire and Hireology will play the talent platform for those dealers and dealer groups. “Leveraging our data to steer invest­ment in finding the right person, that’s what we are planning to do,” he added. Hireology’s highlight this year was their updated phone screen guide that changes the way users conduct the initial interview and identify which candidates should be interviewed in person.

Glassdoor, one of the smartest recruiting solutions in the market, with their growing database of six million company reviews, (think Trip Advisor for employment) is changing the way people find jobs, and companies recruit top talent. The company gives more power to the people by letting them search for jobs and then to find out how the jobs are aligned with what they want. It is equally beneficial to the employers. Lisa Holden, Employer Engagement Manager at says, “Glassdoor is an incredibly helpful place for an employer to showcase open jobs and their brand and include their ’why work for us’ message when a job seeker visits their page. They can also see basic analytics like who visited their profile, what the demographics are, and how the visitation is changing over time.” The company recently announced Benefits Review, a feature that helps compare benefits packages and perks at companies, and Job Explorer, an interactive data mapping tool designed to help job seekers quickly pinpoint available jobs as an individual or as a couple, and identify alternate career paths. Now, that’s something really interesting!

Workforce Planning Solutions

Human Resources is quickly becoming one of the logical busi­ness analytics software application categories to move to the cloud. Be it for employee analytics, HR performance metrics, or retention analytics, HR professionals today spot the many benefits of moving their processes online.

Visier, that focuses on workforce analytics and planning, released new enhancements to its cloud-based Workforce Analytics and Work­force Planning solutions. Josie Sutcliffe, Director, Product Marketing at Visier Inc., said that Visier now has a Total Cost of Workforce model that explains not just what your compensation costs are for all your workforce, but every component from benefits to cost of the employer overhead and so on. New features in Workforce Analytics include improved visuals and sharing capabilities to help HR develop employee strategies and turn their insights into actionable plans. Josie agrees that recruiting and retaining people are becoming more chal­lenging as the economy is thriving and Visier Insights plays a crucial role in solving the problem to a great extent. It brings in data from the recruiting system and maps it up with data from other systems that answers questions like, What is the best recruiting source for high performing employees and for people that actually stick around? Absolutely, the need of the hour! with their data-driven, cloud-based Predictive Talent Selection platform provides real information about how a prospec­tive employee will fit with both a job and a company’s culture. Greg Moran, President and CEO of, said that the company has filed a couple of patents for their new candidate-recruitment modules Hire Readiness and Impact. Hire Readiness is a technology that allows employers to penetrate the difficult-to-reach market of passive job seekers by tapping into reference providers for active job seekers. Hence, companies will actually spend less time and money while attracting better talent and growing their bottom line. Impact is designed to measure the outcomes of the candidates’ selection process by sending a series of surveys to all key stakeholders around the new hires and to the hires themselves to understand how they feel about their job and how people working with them feel about it.

This, accord­ing to Greg, will give a quick, early warning to HR mangers if there is a problem. It also helps them understand the quality of their hire!

According to Infor’s General Manager for HCM & Cloud ERP Business Tarik Taman, the discipline of HR needs to change from an art to more of a science. It has to stop being all about gut feelings and just getting compliance and payroll out the door. The path Infor is heading down is trying to change the talent management category to a talent optimization category by infusing big data analytics to all talent processes. Speaking on their recent developments, Tarik discussed Infor’s move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its cloud ERP software strategy. AWS’ broad global reach and its services compliance with local regulations in various regions are some of the reasons behind this transition. Infor has recently launched their Xi platform, which is the next generation of their HR and financial software that will be released very soon. It will be using Mobo first UI across all applica­tions providing mutli-talent in the cloud on Amazon’s infrastructure and also integrations to open source technologies.

MOVE Guides, the one-stop-shop for a full international reloca­tion, is an award-winning global mobility solution supporting moves to 100+ countries across six continents. Its unique Talent Mobility Cloud is the leading cloud solution for the multi-billion dollar talent mobility industry that involves moving talent around the world for new jobs, relocations, projects and expatriate assignments – a big relief for the new generation of employees who is always on the move! As global mobility continues to grow in volume, competition is expected to increase for skills across various job functions. MOVE Guides Founder Brynne Herbert says, “Our platform is also a boon to the HR departments as they can manage all types of employee mobility from one central location, providing a dramatically improved employee experience and millions of dollars in cost savings to companies.” The company also recently announced that it has closed $8.2 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). This definitely is a feather in the cap for the company as well as for the growing Talent Mobility industry!

Workforce Software’s flagship product, the EmpCenter suite, fully automates employee time, pay, scheduling, and leave management processes for some very diverse organizations. Employee fatigue is an alarming issue and is unfortunately on the rise. WorkForce Software’s EmpCenter Fatigue Management Suite, which works in agreement with an organization’s existing time and attendance system, is possibly a solution for the problem. It can track an individual’s time and activi­ties and other factors to create a ‘fatigue score’ that can be used to alert managers appropriately about the employee’s fitness level. Workforce solutions like this that can positively impact the lives of workers also builds a trust factor, which ultimately improves employee engagement.

Talking about the recent trends in the time and attendance space, Jonathan Corke, Director of Communications and Field Enablement at WorkForce Software said, “We are seeing a lot of change in buying behavior and there’s a lot of emphasis in the US on leaves and its role in terms of retention and attrition and understanding whether or not you can start to build up predictive models for when people might return to work late and when people might not return to work. And we are researching on leaves or absence at least as aggressively as time and attendance, because it’s a little more dynamical now.”

Employee Engagement

Understanding engagement within our organization and where the problem areas lie is very difficult. Many companies have come a long way towards achieving this goal. Recognition of achievements is a crucial factor in retaining talent components of employee engage­ment strategies.

Talking about advancing the satisfaction of the workforce, Achiev­ers with their cloud-based Employee Success Platform™ repeats their motto, we want to change the way the world works! Steven Parker, Head of Business Transformation at Achievers discussed about their new announcements that includes Results Driver for Sales and Email Recognition. The former is a first-of-its-kind, easy-to-use tool that makes it simple to communicate and showcase sales campaign progress, track and automatically reward results, and analyze success to improve future campaigns. The latter is a feature that enables employees to send recognitions without ever leaving their email application. This is just two among the 150 new features they are working on. Sounds exciting!

Vibe HCM by cfactor Works Inc is a transformative human capital management suite that delivers a complete HR, Talent Management and Payroll solution. Focused on driving systems of engagement, it is all about connecting people, creating excitement, effective com­munications, efficiency, job satisfaction and world-class HR Service delivery, says Devin Harris, Senior Marketing Manager for cfactor Works Inc. Their engaging, social, easy to use, rewarding, inspiring, rewarding approach redefines the expectations for HR technology. And aren’t we waiting for something like that?

Taking employee engagement to the next level, enters Welbe. Promoting healthy physical, social and financial decisions, Welbe, the first project by Tanner Labs (the R&D arm of O.C. Tanner) is a corporate wellness program that focuses on wellness coordinators. It pushes employees from the state of inactivity to full-toss action, if taken up seriously. The platform also motivates employees with incentives by making them participate in various healthy challenges, interactions and friendly leaderboard competitions, said Gilbert Lee, VP, Digital Design at Tanner Labs. Talking about Apple’s Healthkit, which is also based on the same idea, Gilbert said, “We’re very excited about it and when Apple decides to plant their feet in this space, we’d be interested to integrate with it.”

Leadership Development

It is important for an organization to have a strong leadership that determines the company’s success. But what is even more important is identifying, promoting and developing mid-level leaders, who are at the nexus of the company’s strategy and execution. They help transform your organization’s vision into business performance. Ryan Heinl, Product Manager of DDI, brought up the HBR report that said that 22% of the variance in revenue for most companies is coming from their mid-level leaders. But what if these leaders are not ready for the responsibilities associated with their position? DDI, with its unique assessment platform Leader3Ready (L3R), is providing the solution for that. Leader3Ready is a virtual assessment designed for guided self-discovery and online reports that empowers leaders to explore their feedback and catapult them into their own development paths. Ryan says, “With a unique measurement approach for 14 different competencies, L3R is all set to coach the mid-level leaders to the role you will need them to ascend tomorrow.”

Payroll Management

So, what’s happening in the world of global payroll?

CloudPay, one of the competitive cloud-based integrated platforms for payroll, processing and collaboration and delivery is operating across 130 countries on a single technology platform.

CEO Andrew Pearson says, “CloudPay is going very strong and we are not really spending much on sales and marketing; that’s the sign that there’s a lot of interest in what we are doing. Payroll has not seen much innovation in recent years hence the marketplace is right to be revolutionized and that’s what we are doing, we are planning to release new products in the next couple of years.” The company gives employers the tool to drill down into this data to recognize hidden costs, spot significant trends and make more effective business choices.

Mobile is the Future

The rise of mobile devices continues and mobile computing has seen tremendous growth in the recent years, enabling employees to stay productive and connected, no matter where they are. Functioning as recruiting to submitting time-off requests platform, mobile is the new HR gizmo. You can agree or disagree!

Here is an exciting new company we came across – APPrise Mobile. Its theEMPLOYEEapp™, a native app technology platform for internal and employee communications allows employers to surge engagement by establishing a direct line of communications with their employees via the mobile device. It acts as a mobile communications intranet for all types of organizations. theEMPLOYEEapp™ is available for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices and can be incorporated into a bring your own device (BYOD) program. Talking about the cost factor of the app, Jeff Corbin, founder and CEO, said that they are also currently developing a self-service model for small businesses that doesn’t really need to have an enterprise solution which can have their own app, on a per user per month basis. The highlight is theEMPLOYEEapp is cloud-based and independent of an organization’s network; no systems integration is involved and no security issues exist.

The Personal Excellence App by, which was just named the winner of the highly acclaimed Gold Stevie(R) Award in the Pro­fessional Education App category in The 11th Annual International Business Awards deserves a special mention when we talk about mobile application process, employee engagement and leadership development. The App is currently being used by F1000 companies, educational institutions and various associations for engaging people with reinforcement training, building leadership and motivating them to improve their personal and professional life. With full metrics, content administration, and custom branding, organizations can customize the App to best suit the needs of their users. In brief, the App acts as an employee engagement and communication tool that helps employees exceed their potential. It’s amazing what you can do with a mobile device.

Other vendors at the conference that provided interesting and pro­ductive solutions were QUEsocial, Match-Click, RecruitiFi, Entelo Diversity, iCIMS, Findly, TalentCircles, Jibe, Reappify, Fuel50, MySammy, Spire, and RecruitLoop, to name a few.

In brief, the 2014 HR Expo turned out to be a huge success with many innovations and visions and the HR community has already started looking forward for the “next big thing.” Let us hope 2015 brings in more vendors and even more interesting HR insights.

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