Epicor ERP Software
Human Capital Management Blog
Small Business, Growth and Human Capital Management
With the ending of National Small Business Week—this being the 51st year the United States has celebrated the nation’s top entrepreneurs—we are reminded of how significantly small business drives the nation’s economic growth.
 
A Forbes article notes that small business accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs, and produces 13 times the patents that large businesses do. So ensuring that small businesses get the resources they need to grow and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace is essential.
 
One tool for this development is Epicor Express HCM, an entry-level option for human capital management available via the Web. The solution is not only an entry point to automating human capital management, but also can be a strong foundation for future HR systems, allowing small businesses to add more functionality as their HR needs change. HCM Express is easily upgradable, meaning that a customer can simply change the license key to unlock new functionality. Though the functionality may not be set up and ready to use, it will not affect the operation of the core product. For example, if a customer wants to add timesheets to HCM Express, once the timesheets are active, they will not interfere with any parts of the product that are currently running.
 
The core functionality of HCM Express provides the means for tracking employees (e.g., candidate management, employee management, employee development, health and safety, compensation, and performance). The solution includes connectors to Epicor Payroll and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as well as other third-party systems. In addition, HCM Express offers basic reporting, workflow, and routing, as well as some self-service portals.
In today’s increasingly global competition, HCM Express facilitates global expansion of small business with functionality including:
  • Standard languages (English, French Canadian, and Spanish)
  • A location-specific option (displaying country-specific policies and procedures, look and feel, etc.)
  • The option to add country-specific functionality, if needed

As noted on Ideas Lab, being small and going global is a growing trend:

The costs of doing international business have never been as low; the opportunity never so great. Small businesses hold enormous latent export and growth potential for economies. This is decidedly the case in America: U.S. products and services are competitive and desired in international markets, yet only one percent of America’s 30 million small- and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) export.
 
Recent surveys indicate that record numbers of SMEs are looking to start exporting or expanding their exports. The target of executives in these globalizing companies is the growing consumer wallet space and infrastructure spending in the emerging markets, growth in the frontier economies of Africa, Latin America and Asia, and recoveries in advanced markets in Europe and Japan.

As small businesses continue to make this move, they will need to manage their increasingly far-flung human resources. Epicor Express HCM provides them with an efficient and effective means to do so why still at an early stage of development.

Posted by Lisa Rickard, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Epicor HCM
Data-Driven Decision-Making Is Transforming HR
 
A recent post on the Management Concepts blog addressed the impact of data-driven analytics on the nature of human resources staffing. The focus on analytics and rising expectations about the potential benefits of big data is ratcheting up pressure on chief human capital officers (CHCOs) to expand the ability of HR to apply quantitative analysis to support decision-making. In terms of HR staffing, it’s likely to be transformative:
Introducing analytics to the Human Resources Line of Business (HRLOB) will require HR personnel with a set of skills that has not traditionally been part of the human resources function.
The post cites five key skillsets that increasingly will be sought in HR personnel:
  • Business acumen
  • Research/hypothesis design
  • Statistical analysis
  • Data reduction
  • Evaluating and presenting results of analysis

The ability to tie HR data and study results to core organizational performance metrics will be critical for successful implementation of HR analytics. While it’s one thing to design a research study, gather data, and analyze the results, making those results compelling by linking them to key performance indicators that are of interest to senior executives has not typically been in HR’s area of expertise. This skill requires business acumen.
 
Effectively using analytics to drive decision-making requires carefully formulated questions and a specifically designed data collection and analysis strategy that will yield actionable information. Therefore, HR practitioners need to understand how to design research studies to explain events within their organization. Additionally, the ability to calculate and appropriately interpret key statistical metrics such as measures of central tendency, as well as more advanced analyses such as correlations, t-tests, and analysis of variance, will be essential in correctly interpreting the results of analytic efforts. While there are countless tools available for managing large data sets, some effort and skill are still required to clean and filter noisy data streams so that analysis can focus on the best set of available data. Consequently, data reduction skills will be increasingly valued.
 
Along with performing the studies, HR personnel will need to be able to review the analyses performed by others and translate the results into useful and useable visual displays. This presentation skillset will be especially important for HR leaders who may not actually perform analyses, but will be the first-line consumer of analytic studies.
 
On another front, Human Resources Executive Online notes that one area strongly emerging from use of analytics is talent forecasting. Talent forecasting is a growing field where data-rich software is leveraged to help HR leaders better understand and address the supply-and-demand challenges within their organizations. The article cites five ways that talent forecasting is transforming recruiting:

  • Predictive analytics proactively pinpoint problems.
  • Recruitment must become part of integrated talent management.
  • Faster speed means quicker hires and less wasted time and resources.
  • Increasingly, big data will inform strategic workforce planning.
  • Talent acquisition is the single most important factor for revenue growth and profit. 

The author Lisa Hartley concludes: “These five advantages showcase how talent forecasting can provide human resources with data that will make long-term planning and the allocation of resources easier. Clearly, talent forecasting is much more than counting the number of employees—it's about understanding the business you want to be and using the technology we have today to find and deliver an effective workforce.”
 
This is data-driven food for serious thought.

Posted by Lisa Rickard, Senior Manager, Product Marketing for HCM at Epicor
For HR, Eight Questions to Ask of Your Data
In a recent post, we discussed the emergence of data-driven insight as a priority for Human Resources. A common theme among commentators on the subject is the importance of asking the right questions to elicit the appropriate information from the data. In his recent Forbes column on talent analytics, Josh Bersin lists eight questions that span a range of HR-related applications that can be explored profitably. They’re certainly worth posing, and worth repeating here:
  1. What creates high levels of engagement and retention?
  2. What factors drive high-performing sales professionals?
  3. What factors and which people are likely to create accidents and submit claims?
  4. Who are the most successful leaders and why are some being developed and others not?
  5. Why are some locations more prone to theft and loss and what causes the variation?
  6. What talent factors drive high levels of customer satisfaction and retention?
  7. Where are the current talent gaps in the organization, and which ones can be predicted in the years ahead?
  8. What is the quality of the candidate pipeline and how do you better attract and select people who will succeed in the organization?

There’s a wealth of actionable knowledge residing in the data stores of HR; asking questions like these is essential to extracting it.

Posted by Epicor Social Media Team
Data-Backed Insight Coming to the Forefront in HR
A recent article on hrmagazine.co.uk addresses the rising expectations for data-backed insight in human resources. The upshot: investors and senior management are more interested in talent data than ever before. If HR departments aren’t primed to deliver, they had better prepare for it.
 
“Strategic use of data probably doesn’t take more effort than you’re doing now, but it requires new skills from HR,” says Jeremy Shapiro, executive director at Morgan Stanley. According to Shapiro, a trend toward more integrated reporting (i.e., where companies report on elements such as sustainability and talent management as well as financials) plus a rising awareness of how engagement links to performance means that senior executives are starting to expect more out of their HR data.
 
An article in Forbes further underscores why these expectations are rising:
 
How well do organizations truly understand what drives performance among their workforce? The answer: not really very well. Do we know why one sales person outperforms his peers? Do we understand why certain leaders thrive and others flame out? Can we accurately predict whether a candidate will really perform well in our organization? The answer to most of these questions is no. The vast majority of hiring, management, promotion, and rewards decisions are made on gut feel, personal experience, and corporate belief systems. This is like the vice-president of marketing spending millions of dollars on a new marketing campaign because he or she “always does it this way.” It’s an obsolete way to make decisions.
 
The Forbes piece cites an excellent example of how this pattern can work against HR success: a large company had operated under the belief that employees with good grades from highly ranked colleges would make good performers. Therefore, their recruitment, selection, and promotion processes were based on these academic drivers. An analyst within the firm did a statistical analysis of sales productivity and turnover, correlating total performance and retention rates against a range of demographic factors. The results were astonishing and contrary to long-held beliefs. Six factors were highly correlated with success:
  • No typos, errors, or grammatical mistakes on resumes
  • No quitting school before achieving a degree
  • Experience selling high-ticket commodities
  • Demonstrated success in prior positions
  • Ability to succeed with vague instruction
  • Experience managing time and multi-tasking
However, three stood out as not mattering at all:
  • Where they went to school
  • What grades they had
  • The quality of their references
Once this data was integrated into the recruiting process, the company saw more than $4 million in revenue improvement the next fiscal period.
 
Not surprisingly, leading enterprises are pioneering data-driven HR management. An article on TLNT.com highlights how HR is a data-driven function at Google, where the traditional HR function is called “people operations,” and an analytics team drives all HR decisions. A couple of tenets from that team show how removed their process is from the old HR world of relationships and gut feelings:
  • All people decisions at Google are based on data and analytics.
  • The goal is to bring the same level of rigor to people decisions that they do to engineering decisions.

This approach has resulted in Google producing amazing workforce productivity results that few can match (on average, each employee generates nearly $1 million in revenue and $200,000 in profit each year).

Quoted in the hrmagazine.co.uk article, Matthew Hanwell, business consulting lead for social media at NorthgateArinso, says that HR departments must get a better handle on big data and understand that any analysis must be connected to business strategy. "HR reporting is like an x-ray right now, black and white and in 2D," he says. "It should be an MRI scan, allowing you to plot, scan, and drill. This requires a different set of skills to interpret."
 
Hanwell and Shapiro agree that “data scientist” is a role that will be emerging in HR departments, especially considering their pressing need for data-driven insight.
 
Posted by Epicor Social Media Team
HCM Going Mobile

It’s no surprise mobile devices continue to increase adoption. Surprising fact that by the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth (Source: Cisco, 2013).

 

To address customer needs, we announced availability of HCM Mobile Connect in our latest human capital management (HCM) solution, Epicor HCM version 5.7.1. HCM Mobile Connect provides access to users for daily tasks via Apple® iPad®, iPhone® or Android® devices. Users can easily login through a device’s web browser with no application installation required, so no need for HR or IT to support various versions of device applications.

 

Employees can simply bookmark the URL in the web browser to provide direct entry for the login page. Highlights of the new mobile feature include:

  • Managers have the ability to respond to time-off requests or balances, approve any workflow routes, manage contacts and take any action that needs approval.
  • Employees can access pertinent insurance data, update their personal information, submit time-off or leave of absence requests and click-to-call while searching the company directory.
  • Create and update To-Do lists on-the-go.
  • Offered on-demand as software as a service (SaaS) subscription, hosted or on-premise license.

For more information, visit:

http://blog.technologyevaluation.com/blog/2013/03/08/epicor-hcm-going-mobile-and-more-international/.

 

 

Posted by Diana Van Blaricom, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Epicor HCM

30-minute Sanity Check

When Steven Covey wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he probably never imagined that years later people would still be looking to this guide for direction.  But how do you really put those practices into place when our lives are so crazy?

I vowed never to make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I made one for me.  I call it my “30-minutes to Sanity.”  I have spent the last 15 years traveling a grueling schedule, meetings all day, sometimes with hundreds of people in the room all at once.  Noise, and lots of it.  Airports, traffic, conference calls.  So, I decided that 2013 was my year to do one thing for myself each day.  One quiet thing.  While it doesn’t always work out that way because sometimes life, work or whatever gets in the way, it still remains a commitment.  So put it on your calendar.  Why do it? It gives our brains a rest.  And with laptops, mobile devices and trying to keep up with social media . . .our brains (and bodies) never really get a chance to rest.  You might do it in the morning before work, over lunch or to end your evening.  It doesn’t matter when, it just matters that you do it.  Here are some things that I do to take advantage of a 30-minute sanity check:

  • Play with the dog:  Studies show that the simple act of playing with your dog can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and calm nerves.  And, it’s good for Fido, too.
  • Step outside:  Sunshine, fresh air and flowers provide sensory stimulation that help calm the body. (Unless it’s winter, then you’re burning calories to keep warm so it’s a cardio exercise!)
  • Make a cup of tea:  The British already grasped this idea years ago.  The simple act of getting up from your desk, brewing a cup of tea and sipping it quietly can be rejuvenating.
  • Organize something:  Being just a little OCD, messes make me crazy.  So sometimes, my 30 minutes is cleaning out a drawer, organizing my suitcase for my next trip or simply scanning documents so there is not so much paper on my desk.

You get the idea.  And to make it even more fun, buy yourself a fun, funky kitchen timer.  Set it, forget it and go relax.  Thirty minutes from now, you’ll feel better.  Thirty years from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

Posted by Diana Van Blaricom, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Epicor HCM

Survey: The Most Productive Day of the Workweek

Did you know that Tuesday is the most productive day of the week? According to a survey by Menlo Park-based Accountemps, nearly half of executives surveyed said employees reach their zenith performance on Tuesday. Followed by Wednesday, Thursday, and then Monday - not surprisingly – Friday is the least productive day.

Are you a morning or afternoon person? If you combine your personal work energy peaks with the high energy workdays, you'll get more done, conquer difficult tasks with ease and have a greater sense of accomplishment. It's true! (Well, it must be true because I saw it on the internet!)

But seriously, the research has proven it. So how will you rearrange your tasks to be more productive, make a bigger contribution and have a greater sense of satisfaction come Friday?


Posted by Diana Van Blaricom, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Epicor HCM

Amid Tough Questions, Talent Moves to the Fore

In the event brochure for Gartner’s 2012 Supply Chain Executive Conference, “Survive or Thrive in an Age of Uncertainty,” Talent Management is listed prominently under the heading, “Hot Topics.” We agree. Diana Van Blaricom, senior product marketing manager, Epicor Human Capital Management, took note of what she termed the creation of a “new normal” in terms of talent management in the workplace:

Employees want to feel that they have a career path. Managers want the best people on their team. Executives need to know where their next leaders are coming from and there is an added importance on retaining intellectual capital. But without a cohesive way to track incumbent versus required competencies, executing on talent management initiatives becomes an elusive pursuit.

Thankfully, there are technologies to assist in the pursuit of talent optimization; but it requires knowing how to “listen” to your HR data. The pertinent question is, are you merely managing your employee data or are you managing your talent?

In a post on CareerCurve™, the conversation about talent management and optimization is linked to the vicissitudes of the economy. Businesses want to staff up so they can support recovery, but they don’t want to be overstaffed if the recovery slows down even more.  Ultimately, this means that talent optimization is not only a cost-effective solution to this conundrum, but also the safest one.

In broadest terms, talent optimization means making the most of the talent you have. But what does it mean in a practical sense? How do you achieve it? How do you know you’ve achieved it when you do?                                                                                                             

A Software Solution

Today’s economy demands a more proactive, strategic role for the HR function in managing and optimizing talent. Managers and employees need direct access to human resource systems and information.

Epicor HCM automates everything related to HR in a single software system, enabling you to track, manage, and analyze all data for your employees, from application to retirement. Through automated workflow, you improve your efficiency. With powerful reporting and analytical tools, you gain a complete picture of your company’s workforce for better strategic planning. With seamless integration to Epicor ERP or an alternative solution, you gain a complete view of your employees. That holistic view is the beginning of talent management and optimization.

For more information on how Epicor HCM can support your business’ talent optimization strategy, visit us on epicor.com.

 

Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team

Disaster Recovery and HR

June marked the official beginning of the hurricane season in the Atlantic—a good reason to check your kits to ensure that adequate supplies are on hand in case of a major storm.

But what about your company? What kits need to be in order to prepare it for the possibility of a major event?

What is needed is an effective disaster-recovery plan, a set of guidelines and procedures used by an organization for the recovery of data lost due to severe forces of nature like earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. The effect of such disasters is fresh in our minds, from Japan’s quake and tsunami to Thailand’s massive flooding—both of which caused severe dislocations in the global supply chains.

Strategic HR leaders will prepare by working through scenarios to deal with issues that may arise in the wake of a disaster that affects both personnel and systems.

A series of recent articles point to the cloud as a means of improving business continuity in the face of catastrophic risk.

The Business Continuity Blog asks how the cloud can help with business continuity planning and comes up with a trio of significant reasons:

  • People and Location
  • Technology
  • Information

The blog notes: “For businesses, the Internet and availability of broadband has increased the prevalence of distributed staff across different geographical locations. With a distributed workforce and cloud-based solutions these two are items of less concern. In a business continuity scenario, the practical option would be to have staff work from home (or temporary office) in the event of a disaster, accessing systems running in the cloud.”

Software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) provide compelling technology as part of business continuity planning, while trusted cloud-based services can support businesses by ensuring that current data is stored confidentially and is readily available in the event of a disaster.

Other elements cited include improved data availability, reliability and security, and the ability to leverage expertise beyond the enterprise per se.

According to Forrester Research, heightened awareness and increased regulation have been driving business continuity and disaster recovery prioritization, making it a top IT priority at the outset of the decade and the top IT priority for small and mid-sized businesses.

This is particularly important for HR, because of the critical role it plays as a “first responder” in the case of a disaster, as Todd Bavol notes in his HR Ninja blog. Another post extends this by pointing out that HR’s responsibility extends to the business per se:

“Even in cases where the nature of a disaster only affects the business, as opposed to a whole region or community, HR needs to be prepared to handle issues such as alterations to work schedules, providing contact information, dealing with absence and payroll issues, ensuring that employees receive funding for additional expenses and filling business-critical roles which may have been left vacant as a direct result of the emergency situation.”

As HR departments increasingly incorporate software solutions as core elements in their day-to-day business operations, those using cloud-based solutions can feel good about disaster recovery readiness, leaving them more time and resources for preparing to support personnel and the business should a major event prove problematic.

 

Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team

Disaster Recovery and HR

June marked the official beginning of the hurricane season in the Atlantic—a good reason to check your kits to ensure that adequate supplies are on hand in case of a major storm.

But what about your company? What kits need to be in order to prepare it for the possibility of a major event?

What is needed is an effective disaster-recovery plan, a set of guidelines and procedures used by an organization for the recovery of data lost due to severe forces of nature like earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. The effect of such disasters is fresh in our minds, from Japan’s quake and tsunami to Thailand’s massive flooding—both of which caused severe dislocations in the global supply chains.

Strategic HR leaders will prepare by working through scenarios to deal with issues that may arise in the wake of a disaster that affects both personnel and systems.

A series of recent articles point to the cloud as a means of improving business continuity in the face of catastrophic risk.

The Business Continuity Blog asks how the cloud can help with business continuity planning and comes up with a trio of significant reasons:

  • People and Location
  • Technology
  • Information

The blog notes: “For businesses, the Internet and availability of broadband has increased the prevalence of distributed staff across different geographical locations. With a distributed workforce and cloud-based solutions these two are items of less concern. In a business continuity scenario, the practical option would be to have staff work from home (or temporary office) in the event of a disaster, accessing systems running in the cloud.”

Software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) provide compelling technology as part of business continuity planning, while trusted cloud-based services can support businesses by ensuring that current data is stored confidentially and is readily available in the event of a disaster.

Other elements cited include improved data availability, reliability and security, and the ability to leverage expertise beyond the enterprise per se.

According to Forrester Research, heightened awareness and increased regulation have been driving business continuity and disaster recovery prioritization, making it a top IT priority at the outset of the decade and the top IT priority for small and mid-sized businesses.

This is particularly important for HR, because of the critical role it plays as a “first responder” in the case of a disaster, as Todd Bavol notes in his HR Ninja blog. Another post extends this by pointing out that HR’s responsibility extends to the business per se:

“Even in cases where the nature of a disaster only affects the business, as opposed to a whole region or community, HR needs to be prepared to handle issues such as alterations to work schedules, providing contact information, dealing with absence and payroll issues, ensuring that employees receive funding for additional expenses and filling business-critical roles which may have been left vacant as a direct result of the emergency situation.”

As HR departments increasingly incorporate software solutions as core elements in their day-to-day business operations, those using cloud-based solutions can feel good about disaster recovery readiness, leaving them more time and resources for preparing to support personnel and the business should a major event prove problematic.

 

Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team

1 - 10Next

 



HCM RSS Feed




Network with Epicor customers, employees, industry experts, and more.
Facebook Facebook
Connect with your peers and discuss best practices.
Twitter Twitter
Tweet, re-tweet, and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings with Epicor.
LinkedIn LinkedIn
Connect with your peers and discuss best practices.


© Epicor Software Corporation Home |  Investors |  Partners |  Privacy
Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy Industries |  Solutions |  Products |  Company |  Customers |  Services |  Careers