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Don’t Take the “People” out of “People Analytics”

John Austin is right. People analytics are in the process of taking off. Anyone will only have to look at last week’s HR Tech Conference in Chicago to see that the industry is in the midst of a surge. But the fact stands, 48.5% of businesses do not use HR technology in their workforce management. In this digital age where recruiters are sourcing from social media and candidates can submit their resumes on their mobile phones, why do some aspects of HR remain in the stone age?

As a people analytics company, Aspen knows firsthand how HR analytics can reinvent a business. We have real stories from our clients to prove it. But again, John is right. Most companies don’t know how HR technology can help them, and with the multitude of options out there, often don’t even know where to start.

We’re partial to a services based approach – that is our business model after all – where an HR team will use our pre-built tools to start collecting and analyzing their data. We prefer data analytics services because it provides a crucial human touch to an industry that glamorizes everything robotic, automatic, and septic. You can talk to us about how you feel about your workforce initiatives, and we can convert your words into strategic action. You won’t get the same response from a software program.

#SRSCDallas2016 – An Introduction

The time is upon us, people.

You’re probably thinking: Summer? Long weekends? Patriotic holidays?

Well – that too. But in the Recruiting and Talent Acquisition world, the time that comes second to only beach season itself. Twice a year, we get to participate in a socially-savvy-star-studded event known as the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference, or the SRSC.

With the city of Dallas as its backdrop, the SRSC kicks off July 26 with a lineup of presenters that comprises the industry’s top contributors to successful social recruiting, including the likes of Jim Schnyder of PepsiCo, Carrie Corbin of American Airlines, and Adriana Kevill of KRT Marketing, who gave an unforgettable lecture at the San Francisco SRSC back in January.

Our own Andrew Gadomski will also be spearheading a talk around the importance of data analytics in recruiting.

There is no doubt that everyone takes something valuable away from these stellar presentations, but more importantly, there is a sense of community within a community at the SRSC. Make connections, meet new people, share ideas, and gain better business insights.

Don’t be left out in the heat this summer – register for SRSC Dallas here and be #fire with us (without all the sweating).

And, as always, #TalkDataToMe. See you in Texas!

Preparing (or not) for the mobile takeover.

In October, Lewis DVorkin wrote an article in Forbes Magazine that covered the importance of being mobile accessible at all times. Businesses truly can’t survive any other way. The article posed the following question: “What happens if 75%, 90%, even 100% of our audience goes mobile. What if consumers want mobile native stories — bursts of information, not an endless string of paragraphs?” What if?

It’s hard to imagine, as we sit in front of our laptops and desktops to do work that it is more than likely these “relics” will be obsolete, taken over by handheld smart devices where employees are able to get as much work done as they could have with a big laptop. In terms of evolution, this change will occur, and it seems it is rapidly approaching.

Many businesses have taken the necessary steps to adapt to this ongoing change, Aspen included, but I am curious if anyone is truly ready for a full-blown mobile apocalypse: a time where smart phones and tablets eat laptops and desktops and turn them into other smart phones and tablets. Just kidding, but you get the idea.

I still like doing work from my laptop. Even sending emails seems more efficient and professional on a computer versus using my iPhone. Some will say it’s because I should be using a different smart phone, one that is better for work purposes, but I would disagree and say that it’s the size of the screen and keyboard that makes a laptop or desktop more work friendly.

Don’t get me wrong. I am fully aware and welcoming of the age of mobile-only business, and I am sure I will adapt as well as the next millennial. I love that my company uses modern, mobile-accessible platforms built for clients and employees alike. I am just not sure I’m ready to relinquish my laptop just yet.

Anyone else? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Is Sourcing the new Spotify?

Remember when streaming music became available? Streaming and downloads took over burning CDs because the available choices and demand overwhelmed the ability to manufacture and distribute the goods. It was no longer feasible to continuously download songs to keep up with the demand of the consumers and convert the data to a hard disc. That was easy to ascertain because only a few manufacturers and distributors were involved.

This created a new phenomenon: We stopped cataloguing. We stopped manually making compilations and storing music in categories consistently. There was too much to store, and too many ways to do it. Instead, sites and programs evaluated your listening habits using data analytics, and would make suggestions for you inbound. You would then respond as needed, or consume in a way specific to you. We needed that work to be done to actually have a better listening experience. It didn’t happen overnight. It’s still happening, but it’s clear that this is the way we consume desired information.

Think about it – do we really use playlists anymore? Maybe. But certainly not like we did when we were making compilations for our high-school sweethearts back in the day. Now we just send a link to Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” on YouTube. No purchase, no CD, no subscription. Just on–demand music captured in a moment. Nice, right?

So why are we still cataloguing in Recruiting? Why are we using talent pipelines, talent communities, and CRMs to store the precious information we found that will likely be outdated in a matter of weeks? Why are we producing two EXABYTES (the equivalent of 1 billion GB) of data a day that will likely replace that data?

We have outgrown our ability to store and search this data in our own systems. Glen Cathey was right with his article on Just In Time Recruiting, but I don’t think he realized how close he is to the truth. Inbound messaging is really all we should be focused on because we can’t actually afford to do outbound messaging anymore. Did you ever hear that story that if Bill Gates stopped to pick up a $20 bill he would actually lose money? We are reaching that point with Sourcing. There is so much data out there that of course you will see things with Tool X that you can’t with Tool Y.

Did you ever hear that story that if Bill Gates stopped to pick up a $20 bill he would actually lose money? We are reaching that point with Sourcing.

Newsflash: There is ALWAYS new stuff. There is so much new stuff that you can’t even visualize at the detailed level, but only the aggregated level.

Think about the changes you made when you moved from burning CDs to streaming music on Spotify or iTunes. How did that change the way you entertained yourself? Now apply that to Recruiting and its pending changes. It may mean that Recruiting isn’t what you knew or grew up with. Are you using the same apps you were 3 years ago? When was the last time you added more space to your hard drive?

As you plan for 2016/2017, think about streaming data, and the changes that your teams and management need to make in order to absorb this “new way.” Study up on change management techniques. Maybe this means investing in data analytics, shifting the skills sets of your recruiters, or changing what your Sourcers actually do.

One day you’ll look back on this and say, “Remember when we used to do stream-free data?” And we’ll all have a good chuckle.

Andrew’s interview with IntrepidNOW: Will the real Big Data please stand up?

The HR Tech Conference was buzzing with excitement last week.

“This is homecoming for HR,” says Andrew Gadomski, on his attendance at the Vegas conference.

IntrepidNOW sat down with Andrew to discuss HR in the present: Why some trends should be avoided, and why some should be more than just trends.  Sponsored by Dovetail Software, this candid interview by Todd Schnick and Rayanne Thorn leaves an open forum for discussion around engagement, Big Data, and technology in the HR world today.

What’s everyone buzzing about?

“Engagement. We’ve been so focused on technology, “ says Andrew. “We need to make human resources human. Wellness and engagement is about taking care of our workforce.”

But some of that buzz is electrically generated: the bright, LED lights of computer screens filled with dizzying charts, graphs, and endless data points– “eye candy” drawing in the masses to Big Data, or the promise of it.

Andrew argues that not everyone can do Big Data, but they can make it appear so.

“Anybody can make a pie chart. How’re you going to make it actionable? I’m not seeing a lot of that walking around.”

How are you going to solve that?

“We’ve got to stay vocal. We’ve got great people who are starting to proselytize the fact that we have to link to business outcomes more.”

Steer clear of data technology that promises insight into HR operations, but falls short on turning it into opportunity. Companies are too enamored with the thought of seeing data without understanding how to improve and move forward using the results of that data.

“Analytics is about data visualization, and it’s about storytelling,” says Andrew. “That’s really the message that’s missing.”

What are some good things you are seeing?

“We are bringing consulting back to technology. It’s not just about the SaaS. Companies are hiring more sophisticated solutions architects who’ve got more of a consulting background or customer service focus or orientation, and that’s really what’s been missing.”

Advice for tech newcomers?

“Let your customers really guide you. They’ve been bombarded with technology for the last 10 or 15 years. They know what they like. If you want to sell more, you really have to talk to customers a lot before you get started on architecture.

Listen to the entire interview here from intrepidNOW. Scroll to “21 Andrew Gadomski” and click for audio.