I want to admit something that might be a bit silly. A few years ago I had my first opportunity to attend the HR Technology Conference, and I didn’t take it seriously. Most of the sessions were not “typical” HR sessions and were focused on case studies of how organizations solved their problems. At the time, I just didn’t see how that was worth my time.

Fast forward a few years, and I actually work on publishing case studies as a part of my daily work. I can see the value of these tools for solving business problems. I understand why they are used at high levels to help frame issues and lay out solutions.

And this is not just about justifying what I spend my time on. :-)

When I’m talking with company leadership, teaching classes, or speaking at events, I have the opportunity to pull from some of the insightful things other organizations are doing around talent, learning, marketing, etc. I’m an “example” kind of learner, and I pick up new concepts and ideas from seeing how other organizations tackle their problems.

If you’re wondering where I’m going with this (other than to convince you, if you believe like I originally did), I’m talking about the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Conference next January. The sessions at our conference are going to be geared around how some of these award-winning companies are facing and conquering their talent problems, and personally I’m excited to see how it plays out. .

This is a high level conference for high level HR and business leaders. If you or someone you know might be a good fit for attending, be sure to use the coupon code BHConfBen to get $200 off of the standard registration. I will be leading an unconference session with Trish McFarlane in addition to the other strategic sessions we’ll be holding, so we have a great agenda already laid out.

I’d love to see some of you there! Let me know if you have questions.
brandon hall excellence conference

So after reading an interesting post by my friend Tim Sackett recently, I stopped to think about the “ideal” length of the recruiting process. Here’s Tim:

People won’t read a 700 page book, they want 300.  No one wants to watch a three hour movie, make it two.  Why do we have to have an hour meeting, make it thirty minutes. Being too long is not a weakness you want to have in today’s world.  Being too long is now a sign that you probably don’t really know what you’re doing.  If you can’t be short and concise, you’re looked at as ‘old fashioned’. That’s what your candidates are thinking of your selection process.  You try and tell yourself, and your leadership, that we ‘take our time’ because we want to ‘make the right decision’. But your competition is making those same decisions in half the time.  You’re old fashion. You’re broken.  You’re taking too long. Source: http://www.timsackett.com/2014/08/21/its-too-long/

Here’s a short video where I give both sides of the issue (subscribers click through to view):

So, what’s the right answer for you and your organization? Read the rest of my thoughts on the subject in my post on Talent Acquisition Process Length at the Brandon Hall Group blog.

brandon hall groupLater today (1p EST, to be exact) we’re going to host a free webinar on our new DataNow tool.

In a nutshell, DataNow pulls from almost-real-time data to give users the opportunity to find out what companies are doing in terms of talent acquisition, talent management, workforce management, HR, etc. Instead of pushing out data that is a year or more old, this will allow us to share our latest data from surveys almost immediately.

It’s been a great process watching the team build it, and personally I’m excited about how companies are going to use it. It has always been my thought that while we at Brandon Hall have ways we think companies and practitioners will use the data, we’ll be surprised at some of the ways people find to leverage the information to make their businesses better. That’s the fun of new, innovative products!

Here’s an example of how a company might use this tool. Imagine you’re developing a plan to implement a new talent management system. Currently you’ll probably have to rely on data that is anywhere from a few months up to a year or so old (at least if you’re working with Brandon Hall Group–I can’t speak for other research firms).

Now you’ll be able to access data shortly after a survey closes. Having the latest information at your fingertips will help you to make a more informed decision and potentially help you avoid issues that other organizations report as problematic.

This aligns with what I’ve been saying for a while: data isn’t about the collection, it’s about the application. I’ll have a blog post on that coming pretty soon, because with all the pushing of “big data” these days, I think it’s worth the reminder.

If you’d like to check out the webinar, here’s the link. If not, I’ll have more good content for you later this week. Thanks!

If I told you that 76% of your employees were stressed about something, wouldn’t you want to know what was going on? I mean, after all, when I’m stressed about something, I am usually not very “together” when it comes to critical thinking and other complex tasks.

employee financial stressYou know where I’m going with this, right?

Research says that 76% of your employees are dealing with varying degrees of financial stress. That can be as simple as “we need to eat out less so we can save for our child’s college fund” to something serious like “I’m not sure how I’m going to pay the light bill this week.”

According to the Washington Post, approximately one-third of your employees are living paycheck-to-paycheck. The first response for many leaders is, “Yeah, so what?” However, this can be an opportunity to impact the productivity and engagement of your staff, so there’s value in learning more about this issue.

Whatever the case, the problem is real, and there’s something you can do about it. Click through to read my post on the Brandon Hall Group blog and learn what to do when your employees need financial help.

So it’s been a few months since I started working at Brandon Hall Group, and some of you have been asking me what I’ve been up to. Today I’ll talk a bit about what kind of work I’m doing and some of the things we have going on that are noteworthy.

What I dojames bond hr analyst

So I’m an HR analyst.

If you’re in the trenches, that probably doesn’t really mean a lot.

I’d like for you to think I’m the HR version of James Bond, but in reality there’s a lot more computing than handguns in this field.

My daily work is involved in doing research and capturing best practices and concepts to share with the clients of Brandon Hall Group. Some of the items are shard out publicly in blogs and other formats, but a good bit of it is reserved for members.

Over the past few months I’ve been helping with our awards case studies, and we’re gearing up for our 20th awards ceremony, which is pretty amazing. There’s more to share (probably in a future blog post), but I wanted to take a moment to look at two of the big upcoming items that I’ll be supporting at BHG–the 20th annual Excellence Awards Program and the first annual Excellence Conference. Plus we have a big announcement coming soon that is going to rock the world of talent research–I’m pumped about that one!

The conference

I’ll be in beautiful Fort Lauderdale January 28-30 to kick off the first ever HCM Excellence Conference. We’re working on the agenda, sponsors, etc. and it’s going to be a killer event. My friend and coworker, Trish McFarlane, will be working with me to present an “unconference” session during the event, so that’s certainly going to be fun. We’re also pulling in award winners (see details below on the awards) to lead sessions on how to do that “HR thing” well.

For more information on the HCM Excellence Conference, click here.

The awards

What hits me about these awards as a practitioner is that so many of you out there are doing some innovative things, whether in learning and development, performance coaching, leadership development, mentoring, or other areas. I’d encourage you to check out the awards to see if anything you’ve worked on recently might be a candidate for one of the awards we give. I’d love to have some of you participate!

Here’s the marketing copy:

Brandon Hall Group’s Excellence Awards Program, now entering its 20th year, is the most prestigious awards program in the industry.  Often times called the “Academy Awards” by Learning, Talent and Business Executives, the program was one of the first of its kind in the learning industry, which was pioneered in 1994.

The Excellence in Technology Awards Program receives applications from leading organizations within Human Capital Management from around the world and recognizes the ‘best of the best.’    You can select from forty-nine categories within Human Capital Management technologies.

Winners Receive

  • Recognition at Brandon Hall Group’s Annual Excellence Conference
  • Discounted Excellence Conference Pass Rates
  • One plaque per winning entry
  • A digital logo that you may use in any way you wish
  • A Brandon Hall Group issued press release announcing the winners
  • Live online announcement event and inclusion in promotional mailings
  • Recognition on Brandon Hall Group’s web site
  • Recognition on Brandon Hall Group’s social communities – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Entries may be included in Brandon Hall Group’s blogs
  • Feedback and scoring on your entry at the request of the organization
  • Entries may be included in Brandon Hall Group’s publications when appropriate and with approval
  • Opportunities to be highlighted in industry webinars

More details of the entering process are located on our website here: http://go.brandonhall.com/excellence_in_technology

The entry deadline is September 12th, so if you think your company has what it takes, I’d definitely encourage you to get involved. If you have further questions about applying please reach out to awards@brandonhall.com or join the upcoming webinar on August 6th at 1:00 pm EST:  http://go.brandonhall.com/technology-trends-and-excellence-awards

Thanks for sticking with me. Talk with you soon!

I can still remember sitting at home watching a movie as part of my change management class. The movie?

change managementLean On Me, featuring Morgan Freeman.

Freeman plays the character of the “turnaround principal” of a failing school. His job was to step into the school and reverse the negative trends that were plaguing the students and teachers. He wasn’t always nice and friendly, but he got the job done and in the end, people respected him and the work he accomplished. Check out this short clip for a glimpse of his management style:

Thinking about change management is something I do fairly often. Most of what we do in the HR profession revolves around initiating, communicating, and managing change. That’s probably why I was so surprised when I looked at the results of the Brandon Hall Group 2014 Talent Management Systems Study.

According to the data 23% of respondents did not create any type of change management plan to assist with implementing a new talent management system. Wow. In this Brandon Hall Group blog I write about some of the ways to approach change management with a “people” focus as well as some essential elements of a good change plan. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on the topic!

Decision making isn’t always a process of identifying and communicating facts. There’s often an underlying foundation of history, preferences, and other elements that add a layer to the decision making process. Recently I talked about how even something as seemingly simple as a policy decision can be affected by the organization’s culture.

culture policy decisionThe corporate culture influences the determination from the initial consideration through to the final steps of implementation. Over at the Brandon Hall Group blog, we’ll look at some of those underlying factors and how you can leverage them to make policy decisions stick.

Check out Culture Drives Policy Implementation at Human Resources Today to learn more