Performance Management – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:05:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Ultimate Unveils New Ways to “Elevate” Employee Experiences at Connections 2017 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2017-new-products/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2017-new-products/#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:00:05 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=953 Last month marked Ultimate Software’s largest-ever Connections customer conference, with more than 3,000 HR professionals, analysts, and leaders gathering in Las Vegas for the four-day event. Connections 2017 centered on the theme of “Elevate” and featured a dual keynote presentation by Ultimate’s Chief Technology Officer, Adam Rogers, and VP of Products, Martin Hartshorne, who showcased […]

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connections 2017Last month marked Ultimate Software’s largest-ever Connections customer conference, with more than 3,000 HR professionals, analysts, and leaders gathering in Las Vegas for the four-day event. Connections 2017 centered on the theme of “Elevate” and featured a dual keynote presentation by Ultimate’s Chief Technology Officer, Adam Rogers, and VP of Products, Martin Hartshorne, who showcased Ultimate’s latest human capital management solutions designed to elevate the employee experience.

Here’s a special look at how Ultimate plans to help organizations better understand their people, support their development, and increase their productivity in 2017, and in the years ahead.

Improving Understanding with Smarter Surveys, Advanced AI

Because understanding employees starts with good listening—and 75% of American workers say they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed—Ultimate is excited to introduce UltiPro Perception™. Using advanced natural language processing (NLP) and machine-learning algorithms, UltiPro Perception delivers a smarter employee survey with sentiment analysis to uncover how people truly feel about work. Perception interprets open-ended responses in real time and delivers instant insights to managers and leaders, so organizations can better listen, understand, and act on employee feedback to improve satisfaction and increase retention.

Taking the power of Perception and UltiPro’s suite of analytics even farther is Xander, Ultimate’s “People First” artificial intelligence (AI) platform and its next step in HCM data science. This portfolio of advanced AI technologies combines analytical intelligence and emotional intelligence to support organizations in every aspect of HR. Built on NLP and machine learning, Xander will enable Ultimate’s solutions to automatically understand, predict, prescribe, and act on all relevant HCM data.

Supporting Development with Modern Learning Experiences

Three out of four people in the workforce say professional development is necessary to remain satisfied at work, according to The Center for Generational Kinetics. To help organizations shift from offering employees one-time training to providing continuous professional development, Ultimate introduces UltiPro Learning. This solution delivers a modern learning experience and a compelling, person-centric approach to development, in which people learn in ways they find most convenient and helpful—from traditional courses to short, user-generated content. With the ability to conveniently share knowledge among teams and communities, users are empowered to become educators, teaching their peers while learning from one another.

Through UltiPro Learning, organizations can provide employees with consumable, on-demand content, social and collaborative tools, and mobile access to educational resources—so learning and professional development can continue to take place, even in workplaces where desktop computers aren’t always available, such as in retail stores and restaurants.

Increasing Productivity with a New Native Mobile App

Soon, employees will be able to do much more than learn on their preferred devices. This summer, Ultimate officially launches UltiPro’s new mobile app. Natively available in the Apple and Android app stores at no extra cost, this mobile app puts the most frequently used and relevant UltiPro functionality in people’s hands, elevating employee productivity with better notifications, easier collaboration, and enhanced interaction. Employees can sign in with a simple touch ID or pin code, clock in and out of shifts, view schedules, request time off, and more.

Another standout feature of UltiPro’s mobile app is its Pay Insights feature. Organizations on average receive 1,150 calls and emails from employees about their pay annually, according to Bloomberg BNA. Pay Insights helps prevent pay-related confusion and distractions by breaking down an employee’s paycheck, so they can better understand how earnings and deductions will affect their pay.

With convenient access to critical information and tools, UltiPro’s enhanced mobile app will help employees stay productive at work, in the field, and on the go.

For more Connections 2017 coverage, follow #UltiConnect on social media, and visit Ultimate’s Facebook and Instagram pages for exclusive photos, videos, and insight from the event.

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More Employees are Voluntarily Leaving Jobs – What it Means for HR http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-retention/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-retention/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:00:31 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=882 The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for December 2016, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in February, reported there were 1.4 million more quits than layoffs and discharges for the month. These numbers mirror the November 2016 report, which also determined that the difference in number of quits—defined by the BLS […]

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The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for December 2016, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in February, reported there were 1.4 million more quits than layoffs and discharges for the month. These numbers mirror the November 2016 report, which also determined that the difference in number of quits—defined by the BLS as “generally voluntary separations initiated by employees”—and number of layoffs and discharges has increased since April 2010.

employee feedback Said another way: more and more people are feeling more and more comfortable about voluntarily leaving their jobs. While this development shows signs of a strengthening economy, it also spells fresh challenges for HR professionals and business leaders.

Fortunately, the number of technological tools and resources available for preventing turnover—that is, forecasting flight risk, measuring workplace happiness, and taking meaningful action to enhance the employee experience—also has increased in recent years.

Advances in predictive and prescriptive analytics have given HR the ability to easily analyze millions of data points to uncover workforce trends and, even more importantly, act upon the results. Assisted by unbiased metrics, today’s managers have increased insight into their teams’ performance and can better determine which individuals might be thinking about leaving. Maybe one employee feels undervalued, and another overworked. A third, meanwhile, craves more responsibility. All three employees could benefit from leadership stepping in and having that all-important, two-way conversation—before it’s too late.

But, as with any productive conversation, the key is to listen.

New employee feedback software is empowering organizations to do just that. These solutions not only help managers collect valuable employee feedback, they also measure how people truly feel about their jobs, teams, leaders, and organization as a whole. The latest offering in this realm revolutionizes the staff-engagement survey, drawing upon machine learning and natural language processing to analyze open-ended responses and gauge individuals’ perception of the organization.

Survey results are even delivered in real time. Because time is of the essence.

These new numbers from the BLS suggest it’s perhaps now more important than ever for organizations to renew their focus on the employee. After all, people drive business, and retaining top talent is crucial for continued success.

A recent study by The Center for Generational Kinetics found that three-quarters of American workers reported they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed. By listening to and acting upon employee feedback, companies of all sizes can help ensure their people choose to grow their careers with their organization, instead of deciding to develop their skills elsewhere.

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The Future of Employee Feedback – #12DaysofHCM http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/get-employee-feedback-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/get-employee-feedback-12daysofhcm/#respond Thu, 22 Dec 2016 13:00:06 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=779 Employees everywhere are talking, but are we listening? The need for organizations to actively listen to their people is at an all-time high, with three-quarters of American workers saying they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed, according to a study this year by The Center for […]

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get employee feedback. 75% of employees say they are more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed. Learn more on the #12DaysofHCM series.

Employees everywhere are talking, but are we listening?

The need for organizations to actively listen to their people is at an all-time high, with three-quarters of American workers saying they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed, according to a study this year by The Center for Generational Kinetics.

The good news? Advances in employee-survey solutions now make it easier to collect, analyze, and act upon employee feedback—including open-ended responses—efficiently and effectively. Technology that combines natural language processing and machine-learning algorithms can analyze text-based feedback, enabling organizations to not only hear what employees are saying, but also measure how they truly feel about work.

We can learn a lot from our people. Organizations that take active steps in 2017 to get employee feedback, hear, and address concerns could see positive impacts on culture, performance, and retention.

 

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The Evolving Performance Review – #12DaysofHCM http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/performance-appraisals-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/performance-appraisals-12daysofhcm/#respond Sun, 18 Dec 2016 13:00:14 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=765 One topic of continued discussion in 2016 was performance appraisals — mainly, what to do about them. Perhaps the key to implementing engaging and effective performance reviews is starting with a process that’s convenient and productive for all people involved. Instead of a once-annual, one-way talk, have a meaningful, two-way conversation throughout the year. Start […]

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effective performance appraisals by Ultimate Software on the #12DaysofHCM blog series.

71% of employees say open communication with their manager contributes significantly to job fulfillment. See more on the #12DaysofHCM blog series.

One topic of continued discussion in 2016 was performance appraisals — mainly, what to do about them.

Perhaps the key to implementing engaging and effective performance reviews is starting with a process that’s convenient and productive for all people involved.

Instead of a once-annual, one-way talk, have a meaningful, two-way conversation throughout the year. Start with goal setting, and then plan for routine check-ins and interactive chats on progress. Empowering employees with the ability to track goals, share accomplishments, give feedback, and complete reviews via their preferred devices also helps keep the conversation flowing while providing a more dynamic—and convenient—process.

When it comes to impactful performance reviews in 2017, and in the years ahead, success means keeping the conversation going.

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Learning, Growing – #12DaysofHCM http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/professional-development-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/professional-development-12daysofhcm/#respond Sat, 17 Dec 2016 13:00:29 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=763 This past August, Ultimate Software partnered with The Center for Generational Kinetics and surveyed more than 1,000 American workers across generations and industries about key factors influencing employee satisfaction and engagement at work. Among the notable findings, the survey revealed that 73 percent of employees think the opportunity for professional development is necessary to feel […]

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professional development through UltiPro Learning on the #12DaysofHCM blog series

73% of employees think the opportunity for professional development is necessary to feel satisfied at work. See more on the #12DaysofHCM blog series.

This past August, Ultimate Software partnered with The Center for Generational Kinetics and surveyed more than 1,000 American workers across generations and industries about key factors influencing employee satisfaction and engagement at work.

Among the notable findings, the survey revealed that 73 percent of employees think the opportunity for professional development is necessary to feel satisfied at work. Today’s professionals want to continue learning, and they expect full support in their quest for knowledge.

For organizations, that means thinking beyond basic job training. It means offering employees flexible opportunities for learning, such as consumable, on-demand courses that can be completed from mobile devices, as well as technology that facilitates collaborative learning practices and communities.

By providing a person-centric approach to learning, organizations stand to not only develop their people, but also grow their business.

 

Related:

Jay Kuhns: “Try”

 

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Leading into 2017 – #12DaysofHCM http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/leadership-manager-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/leadership-manager-12daysofhcm/#respond Thu, 15 Dec 2016 14:36:31 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=776 In their best-selling book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman write, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” It’s simple, it’s true, and it highlights the importance of ensuring managers have the insights and support they need to be effective leaders within your organization. […]

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a manager must be a good leader “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.”—Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. See more in the #12DaysofHCM series.

“People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.”—Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. See more in the #12DaysofHCM series.

In their best-selling book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman write, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” It’s simple, it’s true, and it highlights the importance of ensuring managers have the insights and support they need to be effective leaders within your organization.

When mapping out your plan for a successful 2017, consider the role today’s technology can play in building tomorrow’s leaders. If 2016 was the year you embraced predictive analytics, go a step farther in 2017 with prescriptive analytics.

Maybe a manager has identified a future top performer who has the potential, but needs an engagement boost. Prescriptive analytics help managers answer the all-important question of “what next?” and then take the right actions to better connect with—that is, better lead—employees.

In a true win-win for your organization and your people, both manager and employee benefit from this renewed focus on development and engagement.

 

Related:

#PeopleFirstPodcast – Helping Managers Become Better Leaders

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Help Managers Become Better Leaders – #PeopleFirstPodcast Episode 2 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/performance-management-helping-managers-become-better-peoplefirstpodcast-episode-2/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/performance-management-helping-managers-become-better-peoplefirstpodcast-episode-2/#respond Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:32:11 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=618 “As senior leaders in the HR and business community, what should human resources professionals know about developing managers into better leaders?” asks podcast moderator, Sharlyn Lauby. “HR needs to learn how to make the business case for what is needed,” says Jennifer McClure of Unbridled Talent. Rather than saying, “We really need to improve, HR needs […]

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“As senior leaders in the HR and business community, what should human resources professionals know about developing managers into better leaders?” asks podcast moderator, Sharlyn Lauby. “HR needs to learn how to make the business case for what is needed,” says Jennifer McClure of Unbridled Talent. Rather than saying, “We really need to improve, HR needs to say, ‘This is important to our organization because … and here are the benefits we’ll see.’ Here’s the cost if we don’t and here’s the cost if we do,” she continues.

Ultimate HCM Podcast – Help Managers Become Better Leaders

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about high employee turnover in today’s candidate market and how organizations can reduce turnover and related costs. We realize that most people who quit jobs actually leave because they dislike their boss. In Episode 2 of Ultimate Software’s #PeopleFirstPodcast, we address what HR leaders need to do to share these concerns and solutions in order to get the tools they need to improve management and leadership development in businesses. 

Joining Jennifer on this episode is Pat Pickren, Senior Director of Product Strategy for Ultimate. Both share how recent advances to human capital management can significantly improve management and leadership development by considering what Pat calls “talent drivers”—what motivates individuals to engage in their work every day. Jennifer recommends conversations about “strategic thinking” rather than “daily planning” may help employees learn more about how their role fits in with the business. She believes that employees’ understanding of business needs is essential to enhancing the organization. Pat mentions that technology like UltiPro®’s new Leadership Actions feature can suggest specific ways managers can help improve the performance of individual employees.

Listen in to this exclusive discussion between Jennifer and Pat at www.ultimatesoftware.com/podcast, and share it with friends with the hashtag #PeopleFirstPodcast. Tell us what you think by tweeting @UltimateHCM with the hashtag #PeopleFirstPodcast or by emailing us at socialmedia@ultimatesoftware.com. Ask about our VIP Podcast Community today.

 

Related Articles:

What It’s Like to Work for a Gen X’er

Plan for Tomorrow

 

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Vow to Wow New Hires http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/new-employee-engagement/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/new-employee-engagement/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 10:41:03 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=293 We need to chat about our engagement. No, not the kind announced on Facebook. Employee engagement in the workplace. Only about a third of American workers consider themselves engaged, according to Gallup, and an alarming number (17.5%) have decided to spend their working hours actively disengaged. That’s the bad news. The good news is these […]

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We need to chat about our engagement. No, not the kind announced on Facebook. Employee engagement in the workplace.

Only about a third of American workers consider themselves engaged, according to Gallup, and an alarming number (17.5%) have decided to spend their working hours actively disengaged. That’s the bad news. The good news is these numbers have actually improved. The better news is we can continue to spark positive change, if we band together.

A major way to improve employee engagement is by vowing to wow new hires. That means focusing on providing a pleasant—dare I say, even enjoyable—onboarding experience. An employee’s initial impression ultimately influences your future together. It’s akin to how first dates can make or break a relationship.

Just like some people believe in love at first sight, some employees form opinions about employers within the first week. Thus, a great onboarding experience can mean Wow Your New Hiresthe difference between new hires feeling like they’ve found their “career soulmate” and deciding they’re “just not that into you.”

Now, upholding this vow to wow new hires takes work. It’s a commitment. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. After all, a hallmark of workplace engagement is creating
an inviting, fun, and productive environment that people want to be a part of. So, when your new hire finally arrives:

Provide a warm welcome. Use social media to instantly connect with your newest employees. No, you don’t have to befriend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter (that can actually come off as too creepy, and may drive new hires away). Rather, invite team members to say hello through internal social media platforms built into your company’s HCM solution.

Get to know them. As with any relationship, communication is key—and it should be a two-way street. Don’t just spend hours telling them all about yourself while they sit there, slumped over with glazed eyes or zoned out, checking their phone. Ask them open-ended questions. Learn more about their interests, hobbies, or unique skills. Have a system in place that uncovers these talents and positions them to impact projects within your organization.

Plan for the future. Employees want to know how they fit into the big picture, and they want to know you’ve envisioned a long-term path for mutual success. Involve them in the planning process. Spend some time together mapping out tasks and goals. Talk about your exciting future together. It’s never too early to create a succession plan. Indeed, nearly 50% of Millennials say they’d quit a company if they didn’t see a fulfilling career path.

Be honest. Don’t try to impress your new hire by making promises you can’t keep or by presenting a puffed-up image of yourself. Eventually, employees will see through the façade, fall out of love, and move on to a company they find more genuine. Instead, flaunt your true personality. Display your best qualities. Tell them a joke to help lighten the mood. You already know you were meant for each other, so show them they’ve found “the one.”

These are just a few ideas for creating an engaging onboarding experience, but there are plenty more to consider. I invite you to join me on Tuesday, June 9 at 2:00 P.M. for a free, live webcast. My colleague Jim Collins and I will share “10 Ways to Wow Your New Hire” and discuss the HR technology capable of implementing these actions. Spend an hour of your day with us, and you’ll learn techniques that can yield a lifetime of benefits for you and your employees.

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Fresh Perspective: Consumer Experience Applied to Recruiting Strategy http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/consumer-experience-applied-to-recruiting-strategy/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/consumer-experience-applied-to-recruiting-strategy/#respond Tue, 19 May 2015 09:29:41 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=284 Wherever you are right now reading this, I’d like you to take a minute and put on your consumer cap. Forget about your current role—manager, employee, parent, partner, friend—for a few moments and picture yourself in customer mode. Imagine you’re at your favorite coffee shop (you may actually be there right now). You just parted […]

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Wherever you are right now reading this, I’d like you to take a minute and put on your consumer cap. Forget about your current role—manager, employee, parent, partner, friend—for a few moments and picture yourself in customer mode.

Imagine you’re at your favorite coffee shop (you may actually be there right now). You just parted with some time and money in exchange for a refreshing beverage. Think about the preceding experience: Did you have to wait in line? Was your order fulfilled promptly, and to your liking? Did the service exceed your expectations?

We have many expectations as customers, and with whom we do business depends a whole lot on how well those expectations are met. A satisfying experience means you’re likely to return, and maybe even build a long-term relationship with the company or become an advocate of that brand. A less-than-stellar experience, however, can mark the end of your relationship as fast as it begins.

By the way, you can keep your consumer cap on. Though our little thought exercise has ended, the fact is, we’re almost always in customer mode. That’s especially true today in the workplace. And it’s imperative for companies to realize this, and to start better meeting the needs and expectations of their employees like they do their customers.

When companies think about employees like they do customers, it opens up countless opportunities for improving the employee experience. Just as that first customer experience can define the relationship, the same holds true for the employee-employer relationship. We’ve all heard adages about the power of first impressions. Companies invest a lot of thought and money into creating and delivering effective advertising. Much like pleasing or offensive ads can steer us toward or away from a company, so too can an application process for job candidates.

Do your job descriptions rival War and Peace? About 40% of Millennials say they won’t spend more than a minute reading a description online. And lest you rush to judge a generation as too impatient, don’t we all believe our time is valuable? Would you wait five minutes for your coffee if it only takes two to brew?

Let’s say your job descriptions are abridged. Good. How about the application process? Do candidates have to enter the same information multiple times, or can they import it from their LinkedIn profiles? Moreover, are those details stored for future access and use?

Consumers love one-click shopping online. It’s fast and convenient. It works for customers and stores alike. Have you ever canceled an order because of a lengthy or frustrating checkout process? It happens in the job market, too. Think of how many potential top performers you may have lost because they gave up long before reaching the “submit” button.

Retailers love providing recommendations, lists generated by clever algorithms. It’s a great way for customers to discover new products. Do you offer recommendations to your candidates? Maybe they applied for one job, but their skill set best fits a job they never even knew existed. Don’t miss out on acquiring a future star just because they were browsing a different department.

Note that this is all before candidates ever walk into your office for their first interview. But these customer-employee parallels extend to every stage of the employee lifecycle, and each is as important as the next. An enjoyable onboarding experience, for instance, can determine whether a new hire sticks around long enough for a review. Almost two-thirds of Millennials say they decide to stay or go after one month. How many bad lattes does it take before you try a new coffee shop?

The answer for providing these great user experiences is comprehensive HR technology that’s designed to meet employee needs and expectations, much like that of a consumer-based solution. Some important features to consider include:

  • Integration with popular social media platforms (you can import information from LinkedIn)
  • Intuitive user interface (applying for a job is as easy as online ordering)
  • Access anytime and anywhere via mobile devices, with responsive design (optimized for use on smartphones, tablets, etc.)
  • Collaboration through built-in messaging tools (similar to live chats with customer-service reps)
  • Single-click signing for required documents (fast and convenient, like one-click shopping)
  • Insight into the status of an application/the hiring process (don’t you just love tracking orders?)
  • Personalized experienced based on user information (if you like this job, you may also like…)

When companies think about employees like they do customers, it opens up countless opportunities for improving the employee experience. It creates a positive, productive environment where your people—and your business—thrive. It results in better products for your customers.

So, feel free to keep your consumer cap on for a little while longer.

For additional ideas on this topic check out Russ Banham’s article, “Why Treating Employees Like Customers Is the Right Thing to Do.”

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Ultimate Software’s Connections Conference 2015 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-softwares-connections-conference-2015/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-softwares-connections-conference-2015/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:43:31 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=230 For more than a quarter-century, Ultimate Software has been doing whatever it takes to help you put your people first. From the very first release of our product to our leap into the cloud and across the globe, we’ve never taken our eyes off the prize: delivering the tools you need to empower your employees […]

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For more than a quarter-century, Ultimate Software has been doing whatever it takes to help you put your people first. From the very first release of our product to our leap into the cloud and across the globe, we’ve never taken our eyes off the prize: delivering the tools you need to empower your employees every day of the year.

Connections Conference 2015Tuesday, March 24th marks the start of our annual customer and partner forum in Las Vegas, Connections. This year, however, is something special. 2015 marks a true milestone: Ultimate’s 25th anniversary. More than 1,800 payroll, HR and talent professionals from across North America will be joining us at the Bellagio to connect and network with their peers, hear from inspiring and motivational figures, gain new insights into UltiPro and the future of our solutions… and have a good time while they’re at it.

Throughout our 25 years, we’ve stayed true to the fundamental belief that people—their strength, resilience, creativity, and determination—are the core drivers of business success. To that end, the theme of Connections 2015 is “Unlock Your People Potential.” We’re celebrating the power of people with more options and opportunities than ever. Throughout the four-day conference, we’ll offer breakout sessions on a huge variety of topics through 11 special-interest tracks including industry best practices, getting the most out of UltiPro, and maximizing employee effectiveness. Based on popular demand, we’re even adding 500 more seats for our optional UltiPro Hands-on Learning sessions.

Our outstanding keynote speakers for Connections 2015 will amaze, inspire and inform. You’ll hear first from one of my personal heroes, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr.—a legendary NBA star and hall-of-famer as well as entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose company has become the #1 brand in urban America. Simon Sinek, one of the true visionary thinkers of his time, will be there to share his remarkable research on insight into how leaders, think, act and communicate, as well as how this translates into a fulfilling work environment. Simon is a trained ethnographer and the author of two best-selling books, including Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Finally, on Friday, renowned corporate speaker, businessman and artist Erik Wahl will demonstrate his inspiring technique using on-stage painting as a powerful visual metaphor for his message of innovation and business success. And at our Customer Appreciation Party in the evening, we’re thrilled to host Michael Bublé, one of the most beloved singer-songwriters in the world.

Of course, I’m also excited to show off our product roadmap for the coming year and share some of the things my team have been passionate about lately. And whether you’re a first time attendee or a Connections vet, you might just encounter some 25th anniversary surprises that we don’t want to spoil. As always, be sure to follow all the action on Twitter at #UltiConnect even if you can’t join us in person. See you in Vegas!

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