Articles by: Carley Donovan

Can Data Analytics Help You Hire Better Candidates?

Data analytics have been growing in popularity in recent years and have become invaluable for many aspects of organizational management. Data analytics help to identify strengths and weaknesses of an organization, while assisting in solving complex business problems. As many executives have learned, poor hiring choices can be extremely costly, making high turnover an expensive challenge for HR departments today. Not only is it expensive, high turnover can also damage an organization’s culture and reputation. Luckily for HR departments, data analytics can be made useful for hiring the proper candidates.

The Recruitment Success Rate
The success rate of recruiting is based on a process that starts when the candidate first applies for a position and ends with the acceptance or declination of a job offer. Most frequently, the analytics used to measure this effectiveness are cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, turnover ratio, and quality-of-hire. Additionally, HR departments can track where people fall off in the process, whether it is during the screening interview or some other part. By identifying these gaps, an organization can improve their hiring processes. Another tool HR departments can use is HR software. HR software can prescreen candidates based on the criteria required for a specific job, which reduces time-to-fill by eliminating manual processes and certain biases. Harvard Business Review has found that these algorithms outperform human decisions by at least 25%.

Identify Job Requirements
A thorough job analysis can be utilized to identify the position requirements. These competencies can be degrees, licenses, personality traits, and more. Once these competencies have been identified, the hiring process can be built around them.

Utilizing Assessments
Depending on the job requirements, assessments can be a great tool to identify the perfect candidate. These assessments can be personality tests, cognitive exams, or interviews structured to extract answers to certain questions. Some positions may be best performed by someone with certain personality traits, which can be identified through a myriad of personality tests, the most commonly used being the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator. Cognitive exams can be administered if certain abilities are necessary to perform a job, similar to a doctoral candidate taking the boards to ensure they have the knowledge to perform their job. When choosing an assessment, be sure to pick one based off of research and theory that has the statistics to back up its predictive ability for a candidate’s success. Additionally, it is important to give all of the candidates for that position the same assessment in order to eliminate bias.

Recruiting can be a complicated task with potentially high expenses if done incorrectly. However, when used properly, data analytics can mitigate the biases and reduce expenses to ensure you hire the best candidate to suit the unique needs of your organization.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on February 10th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

HR Technology: Why a Suite is Really Sweet

When it comes to HR Technology, there are two main categories of software: suite and best-in-breed.

A suite solution is software that encompasses all of the HR processes in one system. Alternatively, the best-in-breed solution requires obtaining data from disparate systems. For example, an organization that utilizes a best-in-breed solution may have separate systems for each HR function such as Time & Attendance, Benefits, Talent Management, and more.

Today’s organizations are evolving and facing new challenges within the market. However, many continue to operate with multiple systems that reduce efficiency and overall productivity while increasing the risk of errors. With technological advances and industry research, a new breed of systems have been created that are both robust and complete or, "best-in-suite". Once organizations make the switch to best-in-suite software, the benefits realized are invaluable.

The Benefits of a Best-in-Suite Solution:

  • Single Sign-on: A suite houses all of your HR processes in one system; therefore, you only have to enter one portal to have all functions of HR at your fingertips.
  • Data Accessibility: With all of your HR processes held within one database, all of your data is accessible and unified in one place. This allows for robust reporting at a granular level, in real-time.
  • Data Accuracy: When your data is housed in one suite, there is no longer the constant worry of losing data or entering duplicate information. With multiple best of breed solutions, data must be transferred between the systems or entered multiple times, which can lead to a countless number of issues with data consistency and integration.
  • Consistent User Interface: Switching between different software with a best in breed solution can be tricky because each software has a different user experience. This means that you would need to become fluent in each different system. With one suite, the UI is consistent across all components, allowing for quick assimilation to the system.
  • System Upgrades: A suite solution will update all platforms of the software at once, leading to significantly less down time. Best in breed solutions will update at different times, meaning each system will update, then need to be synchronized individually in order to ensure the versions are working together.

By utilizing best-in-suite software, your HR department can mitigate a myriad of challenges that organizations face daily with best-in-breed solutions. It’s time to make the switch to a fully unified HR system.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on March 16th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

How to Implement a New HRIS

Once you have decided that your HR department needs a new HRIS, there are a few steps you will need to take before implementing a new system.

Step 1: Get Everyone On Board

Some people are resistant to change. In order to ensure a smooth transition, it’s critical that everyone is on board with the new HRIS before making the switch.

Step 2: Build a Project Team

The implementation process can seem long and arduous, but once completed, the results are invaluable. Put together a dedicated and capable project team to make the implementation process significantly faster and more efficient.

Step 3: Compare Different HRIS Systems

Support: Consider how much support your organization will need from the HRIS provider. Be sure the provider is able to deliver with the best training and support methods for your organization.

Approach: Depending on the HRIS provider, there are many different approaches to implementation. For example, some providers may mitigate data for you, while others may only hand out guides to assist you through the process. Another difference between approaches is that some providers will have onsite implementations, as compared to other providers who will give implementation support through web-ex presentations.

Protection: Your IT staff should analyze the proposed data migration plan from the vendor. Your HRIS will house sensitive data about your organization and its employees, and thus, the provider should utilize best practices to protect the data.

Strategy: Remain focused on your main objectives and try not to rush your “go live” date. Transferring the amount of data and training someone on a new HRIS is a lengthy process that requires time to ensure a thorough job.

Commitment: Be sure your entire organization is excited and committed to completing the implementation. This project will take the entire organization to implement and will have profound effects on your organization’s ability to propel its HR department forward.

Step 4: Implement and Train

During the implementation process, your team will go through extensive training. However, this group may not include everyone that will use the new HRIS system. Be sure to sit down with everyone at your organization who will be utilizing the new system and train them on how to use it properly. This will decrease errors made once the switch is finalized and help your employees feel more confident in using the system.

Step 5: Redefine, Reconfigure, Reinvent, and Recharge!

Redefine your HR management mantra to be more automated and use more real-time reports. Reconfigure how you will do certain HR processes in a more efficient manner. Reinvent your employee experience so you can retain your top talent.

By the end of this process you will have a recharged HR department that can increase productivity, retention, and recruitment, while allowing the organization to focus on what matters most – your clients.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on May 11th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

May 2016 FLSA Ruling

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released the final regulation changes to Part 541, which governs overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These changes will directly affect employee status, pay, and more. These changes will go into effect on December 1, 2016.

What has been changed?

  • Increased salary threshold: The new ruling doubles the salary threshold for exempt employees. The new threshold is $47,476/year. If a salaried employee falls below this threshold they will be entitled to overtime.
  • Automatic salary threshold increases: Rather than annual increases to the salary threshold mentioned above, the DOL has decreased the frequency to every three years. This will maintain the threshold at the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region.
  • Highly compensated employee threshold: The threshold for highly compensated employees (HCE) has been increased to $134,004/year. Any highly compensated employee making above this threshold is considered exempt.

What are the impacts of these changes?

The Department of Labor is estimating that this change will impact nearly 5 million employees, as their status will be changed to non-exempt, allowing them to be eligible for overtime pay. This will increase labor expenses for organizations across all industries.

How can you prepare?

  • Budgets: Review your annual budgets and prepare for the increased labor costs. Using a position-based HR and Payroll system can help adjust your budgets by position, not by employees, in order to allocate funds properly and comply with new regulations going forward.
  • Timekeeping System: Many employees that did not previously have to submit timesheets, will now need to do so in order to determine if they are logging overtime hours. Ensuring you have a timekeeping system within your HRIS is crucial to maintaining compliance with the updates.
  • People: Some positions may be reclassified from salaried to hourly. This change can make the affected employees feel as though they have been demoted. Be sure to effectively communicate the reasons for the change so employees understand and know what to expect as the changes are rolled out.
  • Adjusting Pay: Employers have options with how to deal with the change directly. One option is to keep the wages the same and make anyone that does not meet the minimum requirement of $47,476 non-exempt. The other option is to increase the salary for those positions that do not meet the required minimum threshold.
  • Re-evaluate: According to HR Times, there are a variety of ways to review and re-evaluate how you manage your payroll and workforce in order to save costs that could rise due to this change. They are as follows:
    • Adjust premiums for holidays, shift differentials, and weekends
    • Eliminate payroll leakage
    • Redistribute work or shift duties
    • Redesign shift schedules
    • Use contracted workers
    • Reduce headcount

Next, Congress is attempting to pass the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act. This act would nullify the DOL ruling and would require the DOL to complete an economic analysis.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on April 20th, 2016 and updated on May 18th, 2016, and may not be re-posted without permission.

Does Your Organizational Culture Emphasize Security?

Are you aware that our everyday decisions can have a long-term impact on the security of our systems? Security is not something that can be maintained by a computer, the Internet, or other applications. Instead, it is learned behaviors that can keep your organization’s systems secure by educating and encouraging employees to utilize best practices while using computers, phones, tablets, and other devices. By practicing poor user behavior, you can increase the possibility of cybercriminal activity occurring within your organizations systems.

Since your employees’ behavior affects the level of security your systems have, it is crucial to understand what influences their behavior. These factors can be internal or external and all have an affect on how an employee makes a decision related to organizational policy. Deloitte uses the phrase: “Every individual acts in the world” to outline the different variables that influence decision-making. Based on that sentence, these variables are: the individual, the action, and the world. In order to analyze potential employee actions, we need to look at the following characteristics:

1. Personality Traits
Every human has a distinct set of personality traits, and these traits affect our decision-making abilities. If someone has a history of breaking policies or has made other poor decisions, the chances of that happening again are higher. This type of person may be someone your organization should be weary of hiring.

2. Motivation
Motivation can be split up into two environmental factors, incentives and punishments. Incentives reward employees for good behavior, while punishments reprimand their bad behavior. The same concepts can be applied to utilizing proper security behavior.

3. Context
The context of a situation is reflective of the organizational culture. We use our knowledge of our organizational culture to make decisions everyday. Therefore, in order to practice property security behaviors, we must change our organizational culture to  that of a culture that places high value on security. A culture reflective of security is the basis to practicing proper security behavior.

There are many benefits to modifying your organizational culture, such as improving the safety of your data, promoting physical safety, and limiting fraud in order to enhance practiced security behavior. Due to the fact that people have a desire to be part of a group, new employees will learn that these behaviors are part of your culture and will learn to assimilate. They will learn it through these four dimensions: policy, mentor or peer, group, or work. Once these aspects are reinforced and internalized, you will see consistent improvement to your organizational security.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on June 8th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Freedom From Your Restrictive HR System

HR systems have a poor reputation for being restrictive and confining. Traditional HR systems own your data and require HR departments to undertake a myriad of labor-intensive processes just to complete weekly tasks, such as effort reportstimesheets and payroll processing. These manual processes paired with the dysfunction of marrying data together from different systems makes for an inefficient use of your employees’ time.

Don’t fret; there is good news. Fully unified HR and Payroll systems do exist and can provide a single source of truth for your organization’s data. How do these systems free you from the confines of a traditional system? Take a look below to learn more:

Employee Self-Service
Employee Self-Service allows your employees to update their personal information, keep track of their own credentials, submit their timesheets electronically, and more. By empowering employees with the ability to complete these self-service tasks, your HR Department is no longer bogged down with these tedious back-office duties.

Unified Data & Reporting
Many traditional HR systems take ownership of your organization’s data, restricting you to standard reports or charging extra for custom reports. This makes it both costly and time-consuming to attempt to piece together organization-wide reporting. The reporting capabilities on these traditional systems are lacking the ability to be configured and typically only provide you with backward looking analytics. Finding a system that is unified, rather than disjointed, will provide your data in a format that allows you to pair your HR data with data from your EHR and GL and configure robust, real-time reports for executive level decision-making.

Holistic Solution
According to Forbes, only 13% of organizations have a single HR system, with the average number of systems being 3-4. Utilizing multiple systems makes reporting very difficult as each system may not be fully integrated. With a single HR system your organization will have access to accurate and timely data.

Your organization has a responsibility to protect itself against compliance risk. This includes ensuring employees are properly credentialed, time and attendance is being accurately tracked, and federal regulations and requirements are being met. Having a system that can automate these processes for you will allow you to reduce the risk your organization could potentially face.

A fully unified system has a myriad of benefits and provides freedom from the restrictions of a traditional HR system. By realizing these benefits, organizations are staying ahead of the curve by harnessing the power of their data and producing better insights.

Restrictions have become a norm for the typical organization using the traditional HR system, but that no longer needs to be the case. Has your organization freed itself from these HR restrictions yet?

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on July 6th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Embracing Learning and Development

Learning and development has gone through monumental changes over the last 15 years. Around the time of the new millennium, Learning & Development teams were mainly utilized as a way to develop and distribute content to employees. Fast-forward to today, and you find the emergence of the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) and other new initiatives to enable employees to excel in their careers. Learning professionals and HR Departments are required to stay updated with new techniques to teach their employees a myriad of proficiencies.

A commonly asked question is, “what has changed so significantly to cause this shift in Learning and Development procedures?” The answer is not a simple one, as there have been changes on both the learner and organization side of the matter. HR Times Blog has identified some of the top trends driving this change, as outlined below:

On the learner’s side, we have seen huge advancements in technology. Now, with never-ending information constantly available, we have come to expect the same amount of knowledge from those within our organization, as well as external information regarding our organization. This same availability of information has given us the increase in social knowledge, which gives people the ability to seek reviews and opinions about the products and services we use everyday. This, in turn, can alter our own opinions.

Culture and Engagement
The employee experience is defined by the organizational culture and employee engagement, both of which are part of the Top 10 Human Capital Trends. We have especially noticed this paradigm-shift when the millennials started to enter the workforce en masse. Millennials want the information they need in a quick and efficient manner. They also prefer to learn through experience. Therefore, incorporating experiential learning into your curriculum can greatly benefit your employees, especially your millennial population.

The advancements in science have also driven this change. The increased understanding of the brain and our ability to learn has directed the way that learning content is developed and delivered in order to increase engagement and retention.

For organizations to stay relevant, they must be constantly changing to align with the ever-evolving landscape of learning and development. These changes can stem from technology, culture, science and more, which creates a melting pot of factors influencing the framework. It requires a holistic approach to learning management and employee development. Learning and development can be administered in a variety of different ways, which all have their own benefits. Understanding which tactic is the best approach for each type of learning situation will help you better engage your employees and enhance your organization.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on August 9th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Retaining Your Team with Career Development

Employee retention is a hot-button issue for organizations in most, if not all, industries. A recent study by Steelcase has shown that only 14% of US employees are “highly engaged” and “highly satisfied”. As these types of engagement and satisfaction surveys continue to show a decline in happy employees, many business leaders are struggling to discover how they can improve employee moral, engagement, and loyalty.

One way to combat this issue is through career development initiatives. Many employees are disengaged and ready to “jump ship” because they do not feel as if they are growing in their position, or may not have the right tools and ability in place to move up within their organization. Understanding where your employees see themselves in the coming years, and giving them guidance to achieve their goals, will increase your retention rates greatly.

The HR Blog has identified a variety of components that can help make a difference when it comes to having these career conversations:

Employee Assessments
Employee assessments come in a variety of different forms. These include 360-degree reviews, performance appraisals, self-assessments, skill assessments, personality tests, IQ tests, and EQ tests. These tools can be used to benchmark employee performance and development in order to identify areas of strength and weakness.

Building a Development Plan
Based on the information discovered with the employee assessments, employees and managers can have a conversation about the skills they may be currently missing and how they can gain them in order to take the next step. From there, long-term learning management plans can be developed and utilized to move an employee along their desired career path.

Providing The Necessary Tools
After building the growth plan, your employees will need the right tools to close the gaps in their knowledge and skills. Analyzing the weaknesses and discovering what ways the employee can improve those skills are crucial to helping them move along their career path. These solutions can be a mix of experiential learning and formal training such as: training, mentoring, rotation programs, seminars, conferences, shadowing, and more.

Create Actionable Steps
Now that you have analyzed the areas of strength and weakness, created a career path, and identified which tools your employee needs to be successful, you now need to create a timeline for the goals created. Once your employee completes each step in the process, their goal performance profile can be updated so they will easily be identified when a position becomes open that they are a viable candidate for.

These steps enable you to engage your employees with their current position, to set them up for their future position. By increasing these engagement and satisfaction ratios within your organization, you will see retention rates rise, and recruitment costs decline.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on September 13th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Regulation Updates in Massachusetts

Recently, the state of Massachusetts took an unprecedented step in an attempt to reduce the wage gap between men and women. According to the United States Census Bureau, women in the United States are paid 79 cents on the dollar as compared to men. These new regulations will go into effect in July of 2018 and may impact employers and employees working in the state.

Asking Previous/Current Salary
Starting in July of 2018, employers in Massachusetts will no longer be allowed to ask prospective employees for their previous or current salary. Instead, they will be required to give candidates a compensation figure based on what the company feels they are worth, rather than something comparable to what they are currently, or were previously, making.

Co-workers Discussing Compensation
The updated regulation also prohibits employers from disallowing co-workers to discuss their salaries amongst each other. This is in an effort to increase salary transparency and assist employees in finding pay discrepancies within the workplace.

Definition of Equal Work
The regulations have also updated the language and requirements for what is considered equal pay. Once the law goes into effect, anyone whose job requires “comparable character” or work in “comparable operations” must result in equal pay. However, employees with seniority are still able to earn higher rates of pay.

Massachusetts is not the first state to take this type of regulatory action. As early as October 2015, California passed the California Fair Pay Act, which states that employers cannot pay members of the opposite sex less for “substantially similar work” even if the job titles or job sites are different. In May of 2016, Maryland passed a law requiring equal pay for “comparable” work. Furthermore, other states including: California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont have already started to prohibit employers from barring workers to discuss pay. It appears as though this trend towards bridging the pay gap will continue, state by state, so be sure to stay abreast of regulation updates to maintain compliance.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on October 13th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Military Members in the Civilian Workforce

Military veterans and reservists make great additions to any organization and can provide positive impacts on company culture. In 2014, there were 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Not only do they make up a good portion of our population, their military training can sometimes provide a new element of versatility and discipline at an organization that aids in meeting and achieving goals. Some of the characteristics that makes them a great employee are as follows:

Service members are constantly taught leadership skills while in the military and those characteristics are engrained in their persona. They are trained to overcome adversities with control and precision. Veterans have also been trained in leadership styles such as delegation, direction, inspiration, and motivation, which makes them adaptable leaders to turn to when facing challenges as an organization.

Teamwork is a crucial piece of being a part of the military. Military members are taught to trust their colleagues and work together in high stress, life-or-death situations. Teamwork is the core to what all military operations are built on and operate safely by. The ability to work in a team at that capacity is something every organization’s workforce can benefit from.

Performance under Pressure
Military members are trained to perform under pressure with tight schedules and limited resources. This type of training allows them to stick with projects, even during high stress situations, and meet strict deadlines, all while staying focused on the organizations main objectives.

Technical Expertise
The military uses some of the most advanced technology and it is constantly adapting to new innovations. Military members are continuously trained on the newest tools and understand the need to be up-to-date. This is beneficial for organizations as we continue through the digital age and look to automate more processes in an effort to run our organizations more efficiently and effectively.

Members of the military have a high level of integrity and can help foster integrity at your organization. They work hard and understand the value of honesty, sincerity, and trustworthiness. These characteristics are something every organization strives to achieve in their culture. Creating a culture of integrity helps retain your current employees, attract new hires to your organization, and provide quality service to your clients. Military veterans can help foster integrity at your organization.

With military members in the civilian workforce, organizations can broaden their overall workforce characteristics. Military members are trained to master these characteristics and adapt to any situation, making them great employees for your organization. If you are looking to add more military veterans to your organization, use this link to find new recruits.

This DATIS Blog was written by Carley Donovan, DATIS, on November 10th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.