Adopting a New HR technology Solution? Spend a Good Year Diligently on Your Needs Assessment and Business Process Mapping

Judson Flanagan, Interim EVP HR, Catholic Relief Services
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Judson Flanagan, Interim EVP HR, Catholic Relief Services

Judson Flanagan, Interim EVP HR, Catholic Relief Services

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

AT Catholic Relief Services we launched a Talent Management Strategy in 2007. This was an ambitious, holistic strategy that required an overhaul of our HR processes and systems. This set a foundation for better data management to inform agency decision makers about talent. Following a year of just talent mapping and introducing new standards, we adopted a new HRMS system, moving from multiple data bases to one integrated system for the life cycle of an employee: from application to termination.

Using HR solutions to improve effectiveness

We have/ are deploying components of an enterprise talent management suite that enables integrated performance, learning and career information available to support management access to realtime information for talent decisionmaking. We’ve enabled systems to support strengthened accountability through performance management processes, and are linking position-based competencies to training and learning opportunities. We are integrating knowledge repositories and our learning management system to create contextualized learning programs.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier
• Recruitment module that links with social media and facilitates interactive sourcing and in-person screening
• Talent recognition solution – an easy way for employees and managers to interact on software to highlight one another’s talent through outputs and results or behaviors.
• More flexibility in working with a global workforce in things as simple as address protocols, pay conversions, etc.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

We use LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media solutions and groups to network and source talent. While we still need to get smarter and more effective at it, it is changing the way we think about people and how to find them, screen them and match them to our business needs.

My roles and responsibilities as a CHRO

The drive is still to move out of the transaction and be more strategic. The HR leadership team needs to fully understand the business and business needs of the organization. That is hard. Most managers in one part of your organization don’t know how another part functions and what its business skills are. HR needs to know  this across the entire business or organization. In addition, the HR leader needs to help shape the vision and strategy of the organization to include the talent development and support needs with a clear vision of the organization’s talent in driving results or innovation.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CHROs

For anyone planning to adopt a new HR technology solution, spend a good year doing due diligence on your needs assessment and business process mapping, both current state and future state. It will pay off exponentially during implementation and ensuring you aligned the best solution to your business needs. No system has everything. Many systems have a shelf life of 3-5 years, so be prepared to change but know your needs really well. In choosing a new technology, conduct end-user testing BEFORE selecting your final solution. Demos always look great.

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