Connections – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 23 May 2017 19:20:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Previewing Connections 2016 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/previewing-connections-2016/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/previewing-connections-2016/#respond Wed, 02 Mar 2016 13:33:28 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=481 Ultimate Software’s annual customer conference, Connections, is just around the corner. On Tuesday, March 8, more than 2,000 HR, payroll, talent, and business professionals from across North America will gather in Las Vegas at The Bellagio—to learn, grow, and, of course, connect. Our #1 priority at Ultimate is putting people first in every way. To […]

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Ultimate Software’s annual customer conference, Connections, is just around the corner. On Tuesday, March 8, more than 2,000 HR, payroll, talent, and business professionals from across North America will gather in Las Vegas at The Bellagio—to learn, grow, and, of course, connect.

Hear from HR experts, analysts, and Ultimate Software executives on how you can improve HCM within your organization at Connections 2016. Join the conversation at #UltiConnect.

Inspire employee engagement in your organization at Connections 2016. Join the conversation at #UltiConnect.

Our #1 priority at Ultimate is putting people first in every way. To that end, the four-day Connections conference is all about teaching and showing organizations how to put their own people first, no matter where they work or what they do.

This year’s theme is “Inspiring Engagement,” and we have several inspirational keynotes, more than 130 engaging breakout sessions, and a host of special events planned throughout the week for all attendees—Ultimate’s customers, our Partners for Life.

Inspiring Keynote Speakers

Mike Rowe knows a thing or two about work. As host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs and CNN’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It, Rowe has never been afraid to, quite literally, roll up his sleeves and get the job—any job—done. But he, perhaps as well as anyone, knows it’s not always easy. Rowe travels across America, speaking about the country’s dysfunctional relationship with work, challenging traditional mindsets, and aiming to change the way we view our jobs and the jobs of others.

Co-author of bestselling books All In, The Carrot Principle, and The Orange Revolution, Chester Elton is an expert on employee engagement. To truly inspire your workforce, Elton advocates for leaders to create a culture of belief—one in which employees are “engaged, enabled, and energized,” and truly believe in their work and how it contributes to the big picture. That includes coming up with creative and refreshing ways to recognize, celebrate, and reward employees’ accomplishments. Sometimes, it all starts with a simple carrot.

Engaging Breakout Sessions

In addition to hands-on learning and interactive speed-networking workshops, we’ll have breakout sessions covering a spectrum of HCM topics—61 to be exact—from benefits, ACA, payroll, and global HCM to analytics, performance management, UltiPro configuration, and integration. Led by Ultimate’s subject matter experts, these sessions are specifically designed to serve you and your people, enhance your experience with UltiPro, and better your work lives. 

In what’s probably my favorite part of Connections, I’ll have the esteemed privilege of sharing some of the exciting developments ahead for UltiPro. Our CEO, president, and founder, Scott Scherr, will also recap Ultimate’s milestone 2015 and provide insight on what’s to come at Ultimate Software in the future.

Can’t-Miss Special Events

We’re also excited to host our first-ever Code-a-Thon at Connections. Part of the Ultimate Experience, this is a special chance to go behind the scenes and see how we develop UltiPro. Witness Ultimate’s talented software engineers code all-new features for UltiPro—live and right before your eyes—implementing ideas submitted by our customers. Also be on the lookout for a special announcement at Connections, designed especially for those who code.

And don’t forget about our Customer Appreciation Party, starring rock band Journey, who’ll perform a concert of classic hits to cap off the conference.

Any way you want to look at it, Connections is sure to be an amazing four days. Whether in person or online, remember to follow all of the non-stop action on Twitter with #UltiConnect.

We’ll see you in Vegas!

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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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Letting the User Experience Drive the Decision Making Process http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/letting-the-user-experience-drive-the-decision-making-process/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/letting-the-user-experience-drive-the-decision-making-process/#respond Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:26:29 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=166 As a business, we focus on the customer. Even if you’re in government or the non-profit world, you have someone that fills the role of “customer”. We want those individuals to be happy with our product or service. We want them to have a good experience when they interact with or organization. The same philosophy […]

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As a business, we focus on the customer. Even if you’re in government or the non-profit world, you have someone that fills the role of “customer”. We want those individuals to be happy with our product or service. We want them to have a good experience when they interact with or organization.

The same philosophy holds true when we talk about software. The customer is a user and we want them to have a good user experience. Often the user experience is mistaken for how visually appealing an application looks. But the user experience is about much more than aesthetics. A great user experience enables people to perform a task efficiently and successfully, while at the same time being enjoyable.

Letting the User Experience Drive the Decision Making Process

Creating a positive user experience isn’t easy. Especially when you have a unique corporate culture. However, one company that’s allowed the user experience to drive the decision making process with excellent results is LivingSocial.

For those of you who don’t get their daily deals, LivingSocial is a marketplace to buy the “best things to do” in cities around the world. Based in Washington, D.C., LivingSocial currently operates in 11 countries worldwide and has 40 million users around the world.

As a company, LivingSocial is very aware of the importance of the user experience. Their members’ user experience drives sales. So when it comes to a human capital solution, the employees drove the process. LivingSocial included employees in the selection process for their HCM solution. Colleen Wood, vice president of human resources at LivingSocial, said they asked for employee feedback in a couple of key areas:

How would employees use the system? You can implement the fanciest solution in the whole world but, if no one uses it, it’s not really a success. An employee’s first interaction with LivingSocial is through UltiPro. Once an employee is onboarded, here are some of the things they can do:

  • Receive company information and news
  • Collaborate with managers on their career development plans and performance
  • Access paychecks and direct deposit notices
  • Request time off

What devices would employees use to access the system? When a majority of users will access the system using their mobile devices, then the system needs to be responsive. UltiPro Mobile is compatible with any HTML5-friendly smartphone or tablet browser so there’s no need to download anything. Employees are able to get company, human resources and payroll information instantly.

Now, just because LivingSocial allowed the user experience to drive their decision making, it doesn’t mean the business didn’t get the results they wanted. According to Wood, they’ve seen big results in two areas:

  • Onboarding – At LivingSocial, the employee’s first day is their most important day with the company. It needs to be perfect. UltiPro helps new employees feel connected, engaged, and productive from day one. New hires at LivingSocial are able to quickly complete and sign any required documents electronically. They can also connect with other team members through social media networks, choose a mentor, and select training opportunities.
  • Data and Reporting – The LivingSocial HR team was able to use the reporting feature to provide accurate, real-time metrics to the senior management team needed for strategic planning, compliance reporting and daily employee management. No more manual headcounts, report reconciliations, or data entry delays.

At Ultimate Software’s Connections conference, LivingSocial was recognized for their hard work in aligning their employee-centric culture with technology innovation. In announcing the award, Chief Technology Officer Adam Rogers said they demonstrated excellence in multiple categories. “With core values that include live hungry, makes strong moves, and champion good ideas, LivingSocial was a clear winner for our 2014 Innovation Award.”

Check out this video from the LivingSocial HR team about what the UltiPro solution has done for their company:

I love this video. Don’t you want to have a unicorn in your office?!

 

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Connections 2014 Summary – The New Generation of Work http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2014-summary-the-new-generation-of-work/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2014-summary-the-new-generation-of-work/#respond Thu, 01 May 2014 05:28:36 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=165 This year’s Connections conference hosted by Ultimate Software was a monumental success for everyone in attendance! The annual event in Las Vegas for UltiPro customers, technology experts, and industry analysts offers unparalleled opportunities for interacting and networking with some of the most innovative, forward-thinking people in human capital management (HCM). Customers had the chance to […]

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This year’s Connections conference hosted by Ultimate Software was a monumental success for everyone in attendance! The annual event in Las Vegas for UltiPro customers, technology experts, and industry analysts offers unparalleled opportunities for interacting and networking with some of the most innovative, forward-thinking people in human capital management (HCM). Customers had the chance to expand their knowledge of Ultimate’s solutions, experience hands-on training with experts, collaborate with peers, and get a closer look at the UltiPro product roadmap and upcoming features.

Connections 2014, themed “The New Generation of Work,” ran from April 6 to April 11 at the Bellagio hotel and drew nearly 1,600 attendees from across the U.S. and Canada. Ultimate Software experts and partners offered over 100 sessions that empowered users with a greater understanding of current technologies, industry best practices, and trends that can increase operational effectiveness in the workplace. In addition to the many breakouts and hands-on learning sessions, customers explored the Ultimate Experience, an enormous open-floor exhibition with product demos, interactive displays, and partner booths, and plenty of Ultimate staff were on hand for questions.

While learning more about Ultimate Software’s solutions and features, attendees enjoyed appearances by renowned speakers on a variety of topics. Jason Dorsey, a.k.a. The Gen Y Guy®,” was on hand to share his insights on the generation gap and how to best manage the five generations that will comprise the workforce of the near future. Best-selling author Patrick Lencioni offered his best practices for organizational health and employee engagement, then world record-setting Paralympics athlete Aimee Mullins shared her inspirational story of success in the face of overwhelming adversity. In the evenings, attendees got the chance to kick back and experience a New York City-themed customer appreciation party as well as a performance by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.

Every year, Connections is exciting for us as a unique and powerful forum for Ultimate staff and attendees to come together to exchange knowledge and feedback. We’re always grateful for the chance to share our roadmap for the upcoming year and the innovative technologies and features that can simplify our customers’ work lives. Thank you to all Connections 2014 attendees for making this conference successful. We hope that every participant had an enjoyable, positive, and rewarding experience. Please save the date for next year’s customer conference, March 24-27, 2015.

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The New Generation of Work – Connections 2014 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-new-generation-of-work-connections-2014/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-new-generation-of-work-connections-2014/#respond Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:30:41 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=161 At Ultimate, we understand that getting the most from your people is a full-time endeavor. After all, every component of our technology team is focused on putting people first in delivering our innovative HR solutions, from maintaining high availability and improving the end-user experience to all of the exciting advancements on our product roadmap. To […]

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At Ultimate, we understand that getting the most from your people is a full-time endeavor. After all, every component of our technology team is focused on putting people first in delivering our innovative HR solutions, from maintaining high availability and improving the end-user experience to all of the exciting advancements on our product roadmap.

To provide the level of service and functionality our customers deserve, we channel this focus every day of the year. But next week is special. The Connections conference is an exceptional opportunity for our team to network with the people that rely on UltiPro daily in their professional lives, connect with partners, and unveil our continuing vision for the future of human capital management.

This year, we’ll be hosting 1,500 attendees in Las Vegas for what will undoubtedly be our best conference ever. We’re offering two completely new special-interest session tracks compared to last year, for a total of 11. We’ve also expanded our popular hands-on learning sessions to encompass three days of the conference to help even more of our customers get the most from UltiPro. Additionally, you’ll notice more Ultimate team members and partners among the Connections staff available to share their knowledge and help make this year’s event an unprecedented success.
The New Generation of WorkConnections 2014 will include the chance to see some of the most exciting keynote speakers we could have hoped for. Jason Dorsey, a.k.a. The Gen Y Guy® will be bringing his generational expertise to the conference stage. He’ll share his insights in managing across the four distinct generations that comprise the workforce of the present and future, with a focus on the secrets of both managing and selling millennials. Jason is hilarious—I’d be shocked if anyone in the ballroom is able to resist laughing out loud by the end of his presentation. Patrick Lencioni is a bestselling author with more than 3 million copies sold of his work on the topics of organizational health and workforce dysfunction. His perspectives on employee engagement and passion for teamwork reflect what Ultimate is all about. Finally, we’ll be lucky enough to hear from Aimee Mullins, a truly inspirational individual who set world records in 100- and 200-meter dash events as well as the long jump despite being outfitted with prosthetic legs her entire life. She’s also the youngest person ever to hold a top-secret clearance at the Pentagon and serves on numerous boards and nonprofits, including the Women’s Sports Foundation.

As always, I’m especially eager to share what my team has in store for the coming year. We’ll be showing off some very cool new UltiPro features and functionality, and I can’t wait to hear what our customers think. Even if you can’t join us this year, be sure to follow all the action on Twitter at #UltiConnect. See you in Vegas!

 

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5 Ways to Create Sustainable Positive Change http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/5-ways-to-create-sustainable-positive-change/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/5-ways-to-create-sustainable-positive-change/#respond Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:30:14 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=156 Everyone wants to be happy at work. It’s only common sense. In all my years, I’ve never heard anyone say they wanted to be miserable at work. That being said, sometimes negativity does permeate the work place. And once it does, it can be very difficult to change. Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, shared […]

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Everyone wants to be happy at work. It’s only common sense. In all my years, I’ve never heard anyone say they wanted to be miserable at work. That being said, sometimes negativity does permeate the work place. And once it does, it can be very difficult to change.

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, shared with us the secrets to sustainable positive change during his session at this year’s Ultimate Software Connections Conference. Achor explains that happiness and success are directly linked. His research says there are 3 predictors of success:

Optimism – our behavior matters and has the ability to positively change others.
Social Connection – building positive, supportive relationships.
Stress is a Challenge – the way we view and manage stress impacts our outlook on work and life.

It’s important to note that happiness and success are not interchangeable. Achor says that success doesn’t automatically get you happiness. But, the author maintains – happiness will get you success. Each time we achieve a goal (i.e. we realize success), it will raise the bar for the next goal. That’s how happiness continues to drive our productivity and increase our successes.

Achieving happiness isn’t easy. The whole idea of “finding happiness” often gets a bad-rap for sounding unrealistic. We need to take off the rose-colored glasses and join the real world. Truth is, happiness is a choice and we have the ability to retrain our brain to see the world and process information from a positive point of view.

Achor offers 5 actions that someone can take to create positive change. He recommends choosing one and doing it every day for 21 days. After 21 days, hopefully it’s turned into a habit and you can move on to another action.

  1. Three Gratitudes – List three things every day that you’re grateful for. If you don’t want to write a list using paper and pen, find an app like Gratitude Journal 365 (iTunes, $0.99) where you can create the list online.
  2. Journaling – Take two minutes each day to document one meaningful personal or professional experience. You could do this in a notebook, using an app or possibly even create a blog.
  3. Exercise – 15 minutes of cardio. This could be a quick walk during a break or lunch. Great way to clear your thoughts and get a little activity at the same time.
  4. Meditation – For two minutes, stop the multi-tasking and focus on one thing: breathing. As much as we’ve heard multi-tasking doesn’t work…we still try to accomplish everything at the same time. Two minutes to focus on your own breathing isn’t a long time.
  5. Acts of Kindness – For two minutes, thank or praise someone else. Consider these conscious acts of kindness. Intentionally identify someone you want to thank. It might be a current co-worker or maybe someone you went to school with.

 

The first step in creating sustainable positive change lies with each of us. Achor tells us that we must change ourselves in order to change others. By adopting an optimistic attitude, we have the ability to influence others with our behavior and create a positive outcome.

If you haven’t heard Shawn Achor before, he’s definitely worth watching. Check out his TED talk on “The Happy Secret to Better Work”.

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If You Have a Global Workforce, You Need a Global System http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/if-you-have-a-global-workforce-you-need-a-global-system/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/if-you-have-a-global-workforce-you-need-a-global-system/#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:41:23 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=152 Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But how many times do business leaders talk about having a global customer base or a global reach but the reality is the company processes and systems are designed to accommodate the U.S. way of doing things. As human resources professionals, we realize that we’re managing a global workforce. There are […]

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Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But how many times do business leaders talk about having a global customer base or a global reach but the reality is the company processes and systems are designed to accommodate the U.S. way of doing things.

As human resources professionals, we realize that we’re managing a global workforce. There are many things we do to recognize different cultures, languages, religions, etc. in the workplace. But I realized during Ultimate Software’s 2013 Connections Conference that we’re really not taking our efforts full circle if we don’t consider our systems as well.

Think about it. Given how dependent our businesses are on technology, how can we not think about making sure our technology solutions are a fit throughout our workforce. Having a system that feels right for one location of the company and is a work-around for the rest of the company sends a message. And not a good one.

On the surface, it might seem very transactional but it’s those transactions that show people the company cares. It’s the start of bringing the workforce together. To connecting employees and building engagement.

Now you might be saying to yourself that this would be a huge challenge. I heard during the session that in Germany, different religions have different tax rates. And in other countries, certain positions can have their address hidden for privacy. But Ivan Chaney, product strategist at Ultimate Software, shared a few pieces of information that really surprised me.

  • The United States has the most complex payroll and benefits processes. If that’s true, then there could be an advantage to adopting a Global HCM system.
  • The cost of managing global employees is 28% lower for organizations with Global HCM processes.

This made me realize it’s not the laws that should drive our decision making. It’s being able to consistently provide a high-level of service to our workforce. Because when we do, human resources is given the ability to keep the company compliant. Managers are able to focus on the operation and not paperwork. And the C-Suite can benefit from the data and analytics.

For a lot of very good reasons, smart companies are taking a global approach to their technology and data.

 

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Hit a Home Run with Streamlined Onboarding http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hit-a-home-run-with-streamlined-onboarding/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hit-a-home-run-with-streamlined-onboarding/#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2013 05:28:59 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=149 We all know who the Texas Rangers are, right?! They’re the two-time American League Champion baseball team, of course. They’ve also had some very talented Hall of Fame players such as their current president and CEO, Nolan Ryan. But the superstars I want to share with you today aren’t on the field. They’re in the […]

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We all know who the Texas Rangers are, right?! They’re the two-time American League Champion baseball team, of course. They’ve also had some very talented Hall of Fame players such as their current president and CEO, Nolan Ryan. But the superstars I want to share with you today aren’t on the field. They’re in the human resources department.

Hit A Homerun with Streamlined Onboarding

The Texas Rangers HR team has the task of hiring over 1,800 employees for every new baseball season. These are the security, ticket office, parking, grounds crew, etc. positions that are needed during the height of baseball season. I can totally empathize with this annual event from my theme park days. You need to hire a lot of people in a short span of time. Job requisitions can’t just “stay open”. And there’s no such thing as sacrificing quality when it comes to talent.

The Rangers’ Machelle Noel realized something needed to be done to streamline the process. She admitted the disorganization was sending the wrong impression to candidates. So Noel and her team decided to implement a recruitment solution to help with the process. The results were huge.

Online application processing saved big money. Prior to implementation, the Rangers conducted job fairs to find candidates. Now, candidates apply online. Automating the application        process took the guesswork out of    hoping they received enough applications. This saved them at least $35,000 in recruiting expenses.

The application process became easier. While the Rangers still conduct a mass interview and screening day, now they schedule the interviews in advance. Candidates are happy because  they don’t have to sit around all day  waiting for an interview. The Rangers are happy because they can manage labor costs for interviewing personnel.

Rehires were processed quickly and efficiently.A major source of seasonal employees for the Rangers are people who worked the prior season. If an employee does good work, they’re invited back. The Rangers created an    automated invitation system to bring back great people from the previous season.

Candidates check on their own status. When you’re trying to hire 1,800 people, you can’t call everyone back (unfortunately). But you can make sure their questions are answered. The Rangers configured their system so    candidates could check their status at any time. A win-win for all.

Automating their recruiting system allowed the Texas Rangers to shift the focus of the application process from the recruiter to the candidate. The result? The Rangers decreased their time-to-hire metric by 70%. And they are realizing a recurring, annual labor cost savings of $20,000. All while improving the candidate experience. That’s pretty amazing!

But that’s not all. Sure, the talent acquisition system helped get their seasonal workforce hired. But we all know there’s more to the process than just hiring. In fact, the orientation paperwork for 1,800 people was ginormous. Saving paper in the recruiting process meant nothing if the Rangers didn’t also address what happened during orientation.

Mercedes Riley with the Rangers explained the challenge. “All of the employee forms were paper. Everything was manually entered. It could take up to 6 weeks to get all the data into the system.” If you’ve ever been involved in one of these mass hiring situations you know one of the biggest frustrations can be deciphering an employee’s handwriting. Been there, done that.

In addition, the Rangers implemented an onboarding solution. Not only did it process paperwork faster but it created efficiencies when it came to verifying documentation.

For example, Riley shared that during their customer service training session for all seasonal employees, they used the time to complete I-9 documentation. They used the computers at each one of their ballpark ticket office windows – about 17 stations total – to process the verifications. [Side note: this is a brilliant use of resources.] But here’s the really incredible part – they processed 300 I-9s in 90 minutes. Yep, that’s not a typo. 90 minutes.

They also used their onboarding system for all of those other requests necessary when a new hire starts. Stuff like office space, phone needs, name badges, business cards, uniforms, keys, etc. Can you imagine the volume for 1,800 new hires? Every year? Automating these requests made so much sense. Again, all about an improved experience for new hires and reduced frustration for the onboarding team. And it saved money.

Riley said that employees immediately saw the benefits of an electronic onboarding system as well. “Employees were able to do the majority of their paperwork while in the comfort of their own home. For example, it made employee selections like direct deposit more efficient. Employees were able to complete the authorization paperwork at home where they have all the information needed to sign up.”

I want to thank the Texas Rangers for sharing with me their story and congratulate them on receiving one of Ultimate Software’s Innovation Awards for their recruiting and onboarding achievements. Very well deserved.

 

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5 Best Practices When Implementing a Technology Solution http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/5-best-practices-when-implementing-a-technology-solution/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/5-best-practices-when-implementing-a-technology-solution/#respond Wed, 27 Mar 2013 15:21:40 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=147 You’ve finally made the big decision. After what can seem like an eternity of creating requests for proposals, meeting software providers, posing detailed questions, and hosting internal meetings, the organization has chosen the technology solution that will take their business to the next level. The partnership has been created. Now it’s time to focus on […]

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You’ve finally made the big decision. After what can seem like an eternity of creating requests for proposals, meeting software providers, posing detailed questions, and hosting internal meetings, the organization has chosen the technology solution that will take their business to the next level. The partnership has been created.

Now it’s time to focus on implementation.

While the process of selecting a technology solution is important, the implementation phase is critical because it’s the most visible to stakeholders. Everyone will be watching to make sure what is supposed to happen…does actually happen. Lisa Shea, assistant director of human resources at Subway, shared two essential actions for any technology roll-out:

  1. Document both the before and after processes. Karen Sones at First Horizon shared how they documented their entire recruiting and onboarding processes prior to implementation. The flow charts were used to mark which steps would be conducted in-person and which would happen online. First Horizon saw the benefit in determining their needs versus their wants.
  2. Create opportunities to be supportive. Shea said she and her team found they had to change lots of passwords during the process. They also had a period of time when employees received both paper paychecks and online info to provide a smooth transition.
  3. Look for things that you can keep the same. We all know change is hard. Loren Pofahl and Joe Johnson from Orchard Supply Hardware talked about finding ways to keep a few things the same. For example, they customized their new software with the corporate colors and used their corporate lingo. The reason? It makes people feel like the system is theirs – not someone else’s that they’ve bought or rented.
  4. Develop a communication strategy. Shea realized that each internal group within Subway needed a different message because they viewed the benefits and the challenges of the new system differently. Start with your own team. Don’t be afraid to over communicate. One tip that Shea said was very well received were one-page “how to” guides for using the system. Employees had access to answers when they needed them.
  5. Solicit feedback. First Horizon sends a 30-day new hire survey to receive feedback. Sones suggested including a new hire page on your system so employees could go to one place for all their initial needs.

All three of these companies shared that proper planning during implementation created very real results. They shared outcomes such as decreases in headcount due to paper reduction and drops in new hire turnover as much as 50%. Rolling out a new technology solution is hard work. And it can have its challenging moments. With proper planning and a great team, it will go smoothly and yield the results you’re looking for.

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Big Data http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2013 06:48:16 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=145 Last week, I was a guest at the Ultimate Software Users’ Conference. The audience was at least 1,500 strong. The customer loyalty was evident. Big Data was part of the subtext of the meeting. Ultimate is expanding its reach with “connectors” and a partnership with Informatica. Both involve making the UltiPro tool the center of […]

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Last week, I was a guest at the Ultimate Software Users’ Conference. The audience was at least 1,500 strong. The customer loyalty was evident.

Big Data was part of the subtext of the meeting. Ultimate is expanding its reach with “connectors” and a partnership with Informatica. Both involve making the UltiPro tool the center of data usage and analysis.

Ron Hanscome, the new analyst at Gartner gave a presentation about Big Data that included the usual admonishments to upskill the HR Team. He noted that most intra-system work is done with spreadsheets. He described an achievable vision of the questions involved in going towards big data.

And, Ultimate is introducing an algorithm that predicts an employee’s retention risk and embeds it directly into their Talent Card, helping leaders more proactively manage their talent.

There are a few things that most people miss about Big Data in HR.

  • HR will be a significant provider to other departments’ Big Data machinations. It will require a rapid move away from spreadsheets and towards real data integrity. This will be a new and important demand for HR’s time and resources. The political and legal issues are significant.
  • Real time performance management is another way of saying real time surveillance. As the Talent Management arena becomes real time, HR’s role is going to shift in a hurry.
  • The most significant benefits of Big Data projects will use data from outside the HR Department and from outside the organization.
  • Big Data will have a larger effect on the organization than social media. It will force departments and suppliers to collaborate in ways impossible to imagine.

IT oriented consultants view the adoption of this next wave of technology as yet another exercise in readiness and planning. It will be every bit as much of that as social media or the original web were. Meaning not at all.

As we learn to ask the right questions and learn to ask the ones we think are impossible, the magic of measuring will become clearer.

Meanwhile, tons of companies will be aggregating the data about our employees and offering to sell it back to us. They will arrive at insights we wish weren’t so public. They will spot our weaknesses before we do.

For example, what is the range of tenure in your most important department? What should it be? What is it like in other companies? What percent of your best people are close to or beyond the average retention rate? How does that compare to your industry, their industry, your region or other clusters of that type of professional.

(Note that every worker is simultaneously a member of your company’s industry and their profession’s industry. You can’t really understand your workforce unless you understand the dynamics of both.)

Just as Big Data is emerging as a force in recruiting (Indeed and all of the social data aggregators and testers). It will transform the HR Department and the rest of the organization.

I’m not so sure about the upskilling thing but do recommend that you get everyone in the HR Department a copy of Naked Statistics. (The sad thing is that the folks who really need it block content that contains the word Naked.)

 

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