Leveraging HR Technology to Centralize Talent Acquisition

Donna Jennings, SVP, HR, DeVry Inc
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Best of Breed Approaches to Target Specific AreasNo two organizations are the same, and priorities change over time.  Best of breed approaches can be used to target specific areas of importance in an organization. With DeVry Education Group as an  example, we have been opening new campuses in the US and we also grow by acquisition, much of which in recent years is outside the United States. That means integration and Onboarding, are extremely important to us. We have met our strategic need by using a best of breed approach to Pre-boarding, Virtual Day One Orientation and Onboarding.

We used a vendor that was recognized at the HR Tech conference as an “Awesome New Technology” of 2013 in Onboarding.  We can measure, through surveys, both the engagement and impact of our work before the college starts, early in their first few months, and then with the general population.  Ensuring our mission, values and purpose are things we can “bring alive” to new hires with interactive technology meets a strategic need of our organization.

Centralized Model of HR Services

We have used our HCM system to leverage technology in a way that has allowed us to restructure and rethink the entire way HR services are delivered.  We have found that with great HR technology, we can provide many HR services with a much more centralized and efficient model, while delivering service to our colleagues.  We leverage that HR technology to centralize Talent Acquisition, colleague relations and to create a centralized ask HR Shared Services Centre.   Our colleague satisfaction surveys and our SLA tracking ensures we monitor the value of the services we provide around the world.

Single Global Solution for Payroll

Most important drawback in HR processes would be a true global solution for payroll.  Vendors have tried to address the concerns in various ways, but none truly provide a single global solution for payroll that is holistic and would create efficiencies in both HR and payroll processes.

 Social Media for Crowdsourcimg

Social networking inside an organization has a great ability to create crowdsourcing.  We use that to some extent with our Operational Excellence and our DeVry Group Care Service Challenge.  Allowing ideas to blossom in social communities in an HCM system, finding talented colleagues through contributions to communities and skills that can be leveraged are ways that a robust system can help an organization. We haven’t taken this as far as we need to yet, but will be in the next couple of years.

 Cut Cost but Deliver Better Services

I don’t see it changing as much as the expectations for four critical areas are really rising. Cost management, for example, has always been an important discipline, but In DeVry Group, our institutional leaders needed the Home Office functions to dramatically reduce costs to help keep college tuition affordable for our students. The HR team went first in this endeavor and transformed the way we delivered our services. At the same time, there has been an intensive focus on delivering outstanding service— so the mandate is to cut costs but do it in a way that delivers better service so that you are modeling internally the level of service we want to provide students. So that suggests having a great service delivery model with data to help constantly monitor and improve what you are doing. The third area is talent. I’ve seen a much greater focus on talent both at the senior executive level and from our Board. Our HCM solution helps make the talent management process more efficient, but we also have a lot of talent data at our fingertips. Finally, our HR function is really looked at as critical for delivering metrics. The volume of information that my HR Innovation and Analytics team generates both on how the HR team is performing but also in delivering people-related metrics to our institutional leaders in a way that is easy, convenient, impactful, and is dramatically different from just a couple of years ago.

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