Oracle’s Asia-Pacific, HR Leader John Hansen Gets Candid about the HR Transformation Witnessed by APAC in the Digital Era

February 1, 20168:23 am3611 views

The digital marketplace has revolutionized the way HR works and how organizations interact with its customers. In a candid chat with John Hansen, Vice President, HCM Product Management, Oracle APAC, HR in ASIA explores recent HR industry trends, use of big data and predictive analytics in talent retention and management, best practices in HCM and key steps towards modernizing HR. Read on to know more…

  1. What should an ideal HR digital strategy look like? What will be the key components of a successful digital strategy?

Today, we thrive in a digital world.  The digital marketplace has totally revolutionized the way organizations interact with their customers.  It comes as a matter of no surprise that employees want a similar experience when they go to work.

The digital world requires HR practitioners to implement their own unique digital strategy, to engage with and improve the productivity of the workforce. An ideal HR Digital strategy incorporates technology that is personalized, connected, insightful, mobile, purposeful, secure, talent-centric, social and agile.

A comprehensive HR Digital strategy allows organizations to hire the best talent, engage them more effectively and increase their productivity, innovation and tenure of the entire workforce. By doing so, HR professionals can address one of the greatest challenges facing organizations today – the challenge of talent scarcity, engagement and productivity.

  1. How can digital improve talent acquisition initiatives?

We all know how competitive the job market currently is, so employers need to do all they can to attract and retain the best talent. A digital strategy is a key enabler for identifying, attracting, engaging and retaining an organization’s talent pool.

The key to success is using technology that is talent-centric, leveraging the unique attributes and characteristics of an organization’s workforce.

These technologies allow organizations to identify and attract not only qualified job-seekers actively pursuing job roles within their organization, but more importantly identify passive talent who are not on active lookout, but open to exploring opportunities as they emerge and those which present a compelling reason for them to leave their current job role.

Key to this aspect of talent acquisition is tapping into the passive candidate pool. This is where sophisticated social sourcing, job distribution and candidate engagement technologies can be employed to leverage the social connections of your own workforce, and provide access to a qualified candidate pool that has not been available to organizations in the past.

  1. Tell us more about Oracle’s HCM solutions for HR professionals in the APAC markets.

Research by PwC reveals that 62% of Asia-Pacific CEOs believe that a shift in workforce demographics will transform their business in the next 5 years.

This shift in demographics would require HR professionals to rethink workforce optimization and talent management, and to adopt and deploy HCM solutions to cater for a vastly different workforce and business environment.

Organizations must rethink the HR function, as digital technologies are changing every aspect of how a company engages with its workforce. To embrace these changes and create real business value, HR organizations need modern HR and talent strategy that can meet ever-increasing employee expectations.

Modern HR technologies can support this transition by enabling collaboration, optimizing talent management, providing complete workforce insights, increasing operational efficiency, and making it easy for everyone to connect on any device.

Of critical importance for HR is the ability to gain and utilize deep insight into the workforce.  Oracle HCM Cloud adds the ability to combine HR-related data from multiple data sources into a comprehensive view, which can be shared across the company for coordinated workforce assessment and planning.

This insight can be used in the traditional reporting areas, dashboards and embedded analytics, and more importantly in as correlated and predictive analytics, the leading-edge capabilities are now available for use by HR practitioners.

Oracle is also extending its commitment by helping organizations embrace modern HR. New work-life applications, including My Reputation, MyWellness, and My Competitions, go beyond traditional HR applications to increase employee engagement, by bringing process, innovation, and the employee community together.

  1. How is the digital revolution in HR transforming performance management?

Communication is the key to improved performance management. Within many organizations, the communication is poor, this presents HR managers with an opportunity to champion and improve employee engagement.

As such, collaboration is and will become increasingly important. ‘Social’ tools are now pervasive in our leisure time and are becoming increasing powerful within the domain of work. The ability to readily facilitate conversations and discussions among small, empowered teams will likely improve organizational innovation, dramatically in the years to come.

While performance management is on the top-of-mind, current trends suggest that significant changes might be underway in this area. Most notably, there is a movement towards informal feedback systems and regular workplace ‘check-ins’, moving away from the traditional annual performance appraisal model.

John Hansen, Vice President, HCM Product Management, Oracle APAC

John Hansen, Vice President, HCM Product Management, Oracle APAC

Technology has a role to play. Smartphones are now ubiquitous, and for many individuals, the channel of choice to meet a wide range of needs. There is implied growing expectation among employers being able to offer the same kind of user experience to employees at work, as they already receive at home – for example, enabling staff learning through YouTube-style tutorials.

Such services will prove crucial in winning the war for talent, leveraging employees’ skills, keeping them engaged, and helping top talent to continue developing their careers.

See: Transforming HR to Create Strategic Value

  1. What are your views on the use of social media recruiting tools and its success rate?

For HR departments and recruiters seeking congruence, social sourcing is a critical capability to utilize. This is also because social media doesn’t just allow recruiters to advertise on a broader scale, but it also enables them to channelize campaigns through employees’ networks.

According to Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014, it reveals 56% of HR leaders state their capability in leveraging social media is weak. This could be attributed to the lack of experience in implementing the right social media tools. However, organizations should not let their lack of experience hold back the use of social media for recruiting.

Why is this important? Most people’s networks are networks of like-minded people. Recruiting through your number one sales representative’s LinkedIn network is likely to increase your chances of hiring a new employee of similar ability. Moreover, this will help save money on recruitment fees.

Oracle’s Social Sourcing solutions are designed to increase the number and consistency of referral candidates. It further allows organizations to create go-to talent communities to source from. The fully branded service provides rich registration and community management features suitable for branding, new business development, and recruiting.

If a company with over 15,000 employees were to invest in intelligent referral practices such as social networking, it could increase its referrals from 10 to 15 percent of all hires, a 50% improvement.

Despite the potential to save time and money, and attract more qualified candidates, recruiters have been slow to implement such referral programs, because of several internal obstacles and challenges such as lack of proper communication, the right motivation and complex processes. These obstacles can be easily addressed with the right solutions.

  1. How can the potential of predictive analytics and big data be harnessed in talent management, acquisition and retention?

HR should create a single, shareable view of the workforce that provides instant insights into workforce productivity, behaviours, concerns and issues, and those which can deliver measurable analysis of the success of new initiatives, training and retention measures.

HR must be able to show credible data relating to factors such as productivity, engagement, and performance.  The ability to access, interrogate and leverage this type of data builds significant credibility for the HR practitioners in an organization.

Three key areas:

  • Operational reporting
  • Regular monitoring and tracking of performance
  • Modeling the future of the organization
  • With insights gathered from data, the organization is better placed to make informed decisions on what needs to be done to achieve corporate objectives.
  • Predicting what will happen
  • Business intelligence in the form of predictive analytics gives organizations a view into future trends and this helps better align feasible objectives
  • More importantly, Oracle’s Workforce Predictions capability allows modeling on possible actions relating to the predictions, and then implementation of the favored actions, once determined.
  1. What are the expected benefits of embracing cloud for HR professionals? How far has the industry in APAC markets embraced cloud for increasing efficiency and responsiveness?

Several key benefits have motivated HR professionals to embrace the cloud:

  • Winning the war for talent: Finding, developing and retaining the brightest talent requires fast access to new capabilities that traditional on-premise solutions struggle to deliver.
  • A better user experience: Greater usability and web-based self-service tools increase employee engagement with HR applications.
  • New ways of working: The cloud allows organizations to provide advanced collaboration and social tools to enable new, modern ways of working that help make employees more productive and motivated.
  • Empowering the mobile workforce: Providing anytime, anywhere access to applications and services helps HR organizations reduce costs while improving service quality and accessibility.
  1. List some of the best practices in Human Capital Management – to include workforce and payroll management? How can HCM applications assist HR managers to ease the hiring and retention process?

Modern best practice does more than just improve efficiency; it transforms entire HR operations. For instance, you must ensure that you pay your workforce, on time and according to global and local compensation rules, while remaining compliant with tax liabilities, filings, and deposits.

You must also ensure global payroll processes distribute payments on time. Best practices include taking advantage of mobile, social, analytics, and big data to proactively monitor global payroll status with interactive dashboards.

On the talent acquisition front, modern best practice enablers of mobile, social, analytics, and big data have led to tremendous advances in the ability to plan your workforce, create vacancies, source and screen candidates, generate offers, and bring your best assets—your people—onboard.

With Oracle HCM Cloud, organizations can find, grow, and retain the best talent, enable collaboration, provide complete workforce insights, increase operational efficiency and make it easy for everyone to connect on any device. This also helps to ease the hiring and retention process.

For instance, if you are managing the HR department of a global company, you can align common HR processes to leverage a single global person and local employment model to drive operational excellence. You can also have complete view of your team and your organization, to take immediate necessary actions and initiate HR processes.

  1. How do you think organizations today can catch up with the dynamically changing demands and design a well-integrated recruitment framework to harness the potentials of social media to boost recruitment efforts?

Organizations need to scale up referrals and leverage trusted social connections to repeat one-to-one communications across networks until the right candidate’s emerge. The ideal referral solution should meet four key success criteria:

  • Maintain online communication with employees and alumni. An intelligent social networking solution connects your people, mines their networks and suggests connections that drive referrals with an automated referral process.
  • Support motivation efforts. Track and pay referral bonuses accurately—or lose credibility. Manage bonus eligibility and accuracy throughout the referral process— even when openings “go viral” by making application pass among several people in the referral chain. Track how many people passed the job along and determine the rewards everyone should receive without any extra efforts by your recruiters or accountants.
  • Make the process easy, fast, fun and rewarding. Automate the referral process and enable your employees and alumni to participate by clicking a button. It’ll just take seconds for them to pass along a job to a contact recommended by the system. Participation will increase when your process is easy.
  • Keep communication lines open. Employees are more likely to adopt a referral program if it’s simple and easy to communicate. Build out your process such that people can check or receive alerts on the status of a referral, and recognize them when a successful referral is made. Accolades and acknowledgements can motivate employee engagement.
  1. What are some of the key steps to modernize HR to be in sync with technology?

Modern HR is talent-centric, collaborative, insightful, engaging and mobile. This means using data and analytics not just to understand what’s happening now but also to predict what’s going to happen next; focusing on finding, developing, and retaining the best talent; learning how social can empower modern workforce; and leveraging technology that is easy to use, insightful, inspired by consumer applications, and built to meet the needs of all key HR stakeholders.

  1. From an operations perspective, emphasize on the role of today’s CEOs and CTOs towards modernizing HR in the industry?

Modernizing HR shouldn’t be solely held within the HR department. CEOs, CTOs and CIOs also act as catalysts to this transformation.

Building a positive and lively work environment where employees thrive and grow together within the company should be the key objective of CEOs. Many at times, this boils down to whether you can find, hire, develop and retain the best talent.

A modernized HR department provides a complete talent solution—that’s social and collaborative, mobile and engaging, which allows you to understand the best sources of internal and external talent such that you can respond quickly to talent needs and execute a forward-looking talent strategy.

For CTOs, by utilizing big data, predictive and embedded analytics solutions, a modernized HR department can help answer complex workforce questions, forecast performance and empower the HR department to make decisions based on real-time data.

  1. How can businesses benefit by promoting employee well-being and work life balance as an integral part of the organizational culture?

There are three primary ways by which organizations can benefit by promoting employee well-being, they are:

Firstly, individuals should better understand their work habits, so, for example, they should not push themselves too hard such that they risk burnout or don’t pay enough attention to other facets of their lives.

Secondly, these solutions should send a powerful signal to the workforce – by indicating a company’s genuine interest in their employees that goes beyond their professional contributions. Many employees will appreciate that their company is paying attention to their personal as well as professional needs.

Third, there could be a dollars-and-cents payoff. If the information collected from one of the solutions encourages more employees to participate in wellness programs, then their healthcare costs may start to decrease through rebates from carriers or from reduced claims.

  1. What should be the strategies implemented by HR professionals for better employee engagement and retention of the talented workforce?

HR is a vital function but it needs to challenge the perception of being company gatekeepers and establish itself as the heart beat of the business. To do this, HR must get the fundamentals right and implement lean yet productive processes; ones that delivers a better quality of service to the business.

Once achieved, it can look at tackling board level business issues that will help improve its standing further.

By adding social to the HR tasks that your employees do, you get them involved in the processes and engaged in the business. By analyzing relationships and interactions among the employees and work groups in the enterprise, a social Human Capital Management (HCM) technology solution can provide greater insight into:

  • How work actually gets done
  • How processes are executed (or stalled)
  • How knowledge flows into, through, and out of the organization
  • How opportunities are captured (or missed)

The right social HCM solution also looks at interactions in the extended enterprise – vendors, customers, service providers, contractors – so your organization can get a better understanding of these relationships.

Also read: Top 10 Predictions for 2016: HR Leaders Need to Focus on Bold, Inventive HR Strategies

Image credit: LinkedIn



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