Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Wed, 10 Jan 2018 18:43:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 2018 HR & HCM Technology Trends: Three Forces Reshaping the Future of Work https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/2018-hcm-trends/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/2018-hcm-trends/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:58:31 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1219 Rapid advances in technology—from the distributed computing reality of the  Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI) to increasing workforce fluidity (as described in our 2017 Trends Blog)—are combining to reshape today’s workplaces. In addition, there are some broad cultural trends that are impacting HR technology, pushing us well beyond the automation of traditional […]

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2018 hcm trendsRapid advances in technology—from the distributed computing reality of the  Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI) to increasing workforce fluidity (as described in our 2017 Trends Blog)—are combining to reshape today’s workplaces.

In addition, there are some broad cultural trends that are impacting HR technology, pushing us well beyond the automation of traditional manual tasks and redesigning performance management processes, to rethinking the way we manage employees.

First, AI is everywhere, but not without its challenges (for example, machines learning from biased data)—so its newest incarnation will have to be focused on not just mastering the science of AI, but also on the art of collecting better, more accurate data. Cloud-based AI, machine learning, natural language processing, image recognition, and virtual reality experiences have already been changing the dynamic among people, work, and communication—and we’re going to see more application of these technologies in the workplace in 2018 and beyond.

Second, hyper-personalization—from designing your unique, one-of-a-kind Nikes, to M&Ms with personalized messages, to online shoppers for clothes and groceries that remember your preferences and customize recommendations for you—is coming to employee management in 2018, and HR must help its managers lead with a higher degree of personalization and understanding of each of its direct reports.

And, finally, with technological advancement comes the risk of becoming removed from the “messy” human work of fostering belonging and shared purpose for our teams. Creating and maintaining an inclusive culture requires knowing a lot about people, empathizing with them, and sustaining that commitment long term. Current diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts need to be redefined and updated to bring ongoing positive change for people organizations.

With this in mind, I believe there are three pivotal trends that must be of interest to HR and senior business leaders in 2018, each interconnecting with the others to transform the near-term future of work.

Megatrend #1: People-First Artificial Intelligence: Machine Learning and Human Intuition Combine Forces

In 2018, businesses will migrate from AI focused on automating tasks formerly performed by people to more complex AI technology that augments and amplifies human intelligence and capability. This next evolution of AI underlines the assistive role of the technology to enhance human performance, by allowing people to scale and undertake more rather than replacing human skills and experiences. The application of AI in the world of HCM reinforces the role of human intelligence in solving problems individually and collectively.

People-first AI means organizations and managers using machine learning to better understand what motivates employees, how to more effectively recruit and retain talent, and how to improve on the employee experience at work by using both their own skills and knowledge combined with the near-instantaneous analytical power of AI. This type of AI supplements the work that HR and managers already do, rather than replacing replacing them—for example, by alerting managers to increasingly negative sentiment in employee feedback from one particular office that may have a morale issue, or by suggesting ways to reword a job posting to be more inclusive.

Megatrend #2: Hyper-personalization: Individualized Leadership Replaces “One-Size-Fits-All” Management

An astonishing 95% of people want to feel whole at work—free to be their authentically unique selves. Prior corporate leadership models frequently embraced a rigid, hierarchical “command and control” structure based on an employee’s perceived skills and capabilities, or encouraged managers to manage everyone on their team in the same way in order to be perceived as fair and equitable. Today’s workers prefer a culture in which leaders seek to develop the whole person, with a deep understanding that one-size-fits-all management is not an effective approach—and that different people need different styles of management to best motivate them. Some employees prefer public recognition and others prefer a private thank you or a handwritten note. Some employees thrive in complete autonomy while other employees work best when they receive confirmation from a manager or co-worker on each step of a project.

This obligation to lead and develop the whole person at work requires that leaders understand the needs, motivations, concerns, challenges, and goals of people in many dimensions. Leaders must nurture the cognitive and emotional development of people, beyond the typical physical-wellness offerings of many organizations, to help their people achieve meaningful, purposeful, and productive work and careers. The most effective managers will be able to flex and adapt their personal management styles to the individuals they manage in order to help their employees put forth their best effort and succeed at work.

Megatrend #3: Humanizing Work: Breakthrough Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Modern Age

A workforce culture in which all people can feel they belong and be themselves—and one that taps into the most powerful combinations of talent and experience—requires a broader consideration of the tapestry of human diversity, and a mind shift from compliance-driven D&I models. Many organizations recognize that human diversity generates unique perspectives that foster greater innovation, sustainability, and cultural competence. But today’s D&I must go farther than categorizing and measuring to more broadly recruit for differences in opinion, experience, lifestyle, and background, and to also ensure concrete actions and follow-through to drive progress.

Rather than consider D&I merely as a must-do initiative or a socially responsible action to become an employer of choice, modern diversity, equity, and inclusion will apply advances in virtual technologies and neuroscience that allow organizations to move beyond the talk and numbers, to evaluate and overcome unconscious bias in the entire work experience—from recruiting to performance management to pay equity—to help companies create workplaces that are truly inclusive beyond traditional categories of diversity. Impactful diversity, equity, and inclusion effort requires attention on individual, team, and company levels—not just looking at an organization as a collective whole, but analyzing and assisting the company at all levels and providing concrete guidance beyond just static reporting—to result in better business performance.

These three Megatrends—people-first AI; individualized leadership; and  diversity, equity, and inclusion—intersect in powerful ways. For instance, people-first AI is an enabler to leadership that is tailored to every person individually, allowing leaders to break out of the one-size-fits-all approach to development, and ensuring employees remain engaged in their work, feel good about their place in the organization, are physically and emotionally healthy, and are able to collaborate freely, openly, and confidently.

People-first AI also empowers leaders and organizations to gain an entirely new understanding of people and how their diverse perspectives come together to solve business problems. This new technology is poised to help organizations create more innovative and effective teams, as well as understand and respond to the needs of their diverse customers.

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Winning the “War for Talent” in the Professional Services Industry https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/professional-services-talent/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/professional-services-talent/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:32:35 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1216 Keeping and attracting hot talent is a challenge in the professional services industry The professional services industry is highly dependent upon people as its biggest revenue driver, making it crucial for firms to retain and nurture their high performers and high-potential employees. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult for professional services HR leaders to do so. […]

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Keeping and attracting hot talent is a challenge in the professional services industry

professional services talentThe professional services industry is highly dependent upon people as its biggest revenue driver, making it crucial for firms to retain and nurture their high performers and high-potential employees. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult for professional services HR leaders to do so. But with cash flow, project staffing, and customer satisfaction on the line, HR leaders must continue finding ways to put their own people first to boost engagement, productivity, and retention.  This blog post will help you to start winning the war for talent.

Consider these statistics: The industry currently employs more than nine million Americans and has less than a 2.8% unemployment rate, yet attrition has risen to 12.9%—the highest it’s been since the Great Recession. It’s a candidate-driven market with fierce competition.

Here are several key initiatives professional services HR leaders should consider implementing to help improve the employee experience (and, therefore, the bottom line).

Ongoing Training Drives Engagement

People are the primary assets for professional business firms, and they want to know their employers are invested in them. As training and development programs continue to improve and become more available and intuitive, spending has jumped, hitting the highest growth rate in nearly a decade in 2015. And it’s not surprising, considering that effective training is a proven driver of engagement and satisfaction, combating workplace boredom, and contributing to an increased overall sense of value. Employee development is also particularly beneficial for professional services firms, who can then leverage the increased aptitudes and skill sets of individual employees.

Leadership Planning to Keep A-Players on the Team

While employees leave companies for a variety of reasons, it’s often due to the desire to move up—either in responsibility or in salary. Increases of more than 10% are not uncommon when changing jobs, compared with an overall average of just 0.8% of real hourly earnings increases from June 2016 to June 2017. Some commentators even suggest employees change jobs every two years to maximize long-term salary growth.

The best way to combat this tendency is for professional services HR leaders to commit to transparent leadership development within their firms. Creating a proactive, executable strategy for professional growth and career advancement within the organization encourages retention by outlining development opportunities while decreasing the risks of talent gaps.

Measure Employee Satisfaction

Considering the extremely high cost of replacing even a single valuable employee, it’s also imperative for HR leaders in professional services to keep an active pulse on employee sentiment, to monitor red flags and pinpoint flight risks before it’s too late.

Sophisticated survey technologies utilize advanced natural language processing (NLP) and machine-learning algorithms to uncover employee sentiment in real time. By interpreting a combination of quantitative and open-ended survey responses, these solutions can accurately pinpoint the topics most important to employees and decipher their true feelings. Specific, data-based, actionable insights are invaluable for improving satisfaction, giving professional services HR leaders a real edge when it comes to improving retention and performance.

By incorporating these initiatives and solutions, HR leaders are supported in their strategic efforts to combat industry pressure and improve their organization’s key performance indicators KPIs. Professional services firms face unusual challenges, but these tools and strategies can help nurture high achievers, develop future leaders, and boost engagement and retention, all while streamlining payroll and HR intricacies and generating accurate visibility into compliance, staffing, and analytics.

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Treating Every Day Like a Holiday – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/treating-every-day-like-holiday/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/treating-every-day-like-holiday/#respond Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:00:15 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1212 The holidays are often a time for reflection—what we’re grateful for, who we’re fortunate to have in our lives, and how we can make a greater difference in the lives of others. At Ultimate Software, we have our annual tradition of the Angel Tree, where we partner with Kids In Distress to help bring some […]

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2018 serviceThe holidays are often a time for reflection—what we’re grateful for, who we’re fortunate to have in our lives, and how we can make a greater difference in the lives of others.

At Ultimate Software, we have our annual tradition of the Angel Tree, where we partner with Kids In Distress to help bring some much-needed joy to hundreds of families. Instead of a companywide gift exchange, our employees buy toys on the children’s personal wish lists. It’s a program we love to support and look forward to participating in every year.

As you take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months, and the year ahead, consider treating every day like a holiday. Think about what you can do daily to have a positive impact on your community.

In reality, there are millions of people in need, and countless ways to help. Why limit ourselves to just one season of giving?

In 2018, I challenge all of us to make charity and community service a year-round commitment.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the past two weeks, we’ve recapped some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewed what’s ahead for 2018. We hope you’ve enjoyed the series, and have a wonderful holiday season!

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Previewing the Top-Three HR and HCM Megatrends for 2018 – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/previewing-top-three-hr-hcm-megatrends-2018/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/previewing-top-three-hr-hcm-megatrends-2018/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:00:47 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1209 As we wrap up an innovative 2017, HR technology is well on its way to expanding beyond the automation of traditional manual tasks. Cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, natural language processing, image recognition, and virtual reality experiences have already been changing the dynamic among people, work, and communication. Looking ahead, there are three pivotal […]

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artificial intelligenceAs we wrap up an innovative 2017, HR technology is well on its way to expanding beyond the automation of traditional manual tasks. Cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, natural language processing, image recognition, and virtual reality experiences have already been changing the dynamic among people, work, and communication.

Looking ahead, there are three pivotal trends I see impacting HR professionals, business leaders, and the workforce as a whole in 2018, each interconnecting with the others to transform the near-term future of work:

  • Artificial Intelligence: From AI to A2I (Augmented and Amplified Intelligence)
  • Hyper-personalization: Personalized Leadership
  • Humanizing Work: Breakthrough Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

Stay tuned for an in-depth analysis of all three, and insight into how organizations can remain ahead of these HCM trends, coming soon to Ultimate Software’s blog.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the rest of the week, we’ll continue recapping some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewing what’s ahead for 2018.

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Partnering with the Miami HEAT to Make a Difference – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-miami-heat-partnership/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-miami-heat-partnership/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:00:35 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1206 In September, Ultimate Software announced a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association’s Miami HEAT that encompasses fan experience, joint community outreach, charitable giving, and the Ultimate logo on HEAT jerseys beginning this season. Teaming up with the HEAT is a true example of “People First” in action, as our organizations share a longstanding commitment […]

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ultimate software miami heatIn September, Ultimate Software announced a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association’s Miami HEAT that encompasses fan experience, joint community outreach, charitable giving, and the Ultimate logo on HEAT jerseys beginning this season.

Teaming up with the HEAT is a true example of “People First” in action, as our organizations share a longstanding commitment to making a difference in the community. Since announcing the partnership, we’ve pledged a combined $1 million in support of Hurricane Irma relief and recovery. In honor of Veterans Day last month, working alongside members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Ultimate and HEAT employees volunteered with Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade to help renovate the homes of two local veterans.

As the official HR/payroll provider of the Miami HEAT, Ultimate is proud to support the team in being champions on the court and game-changers in the community.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the rest of this week, we’ll continue recapping some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewing what’s ahead for 2018.

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Do You Need Your Manager? Surprising Research Findings – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-manager-relationship/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-manager-relationship/#respond Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:00:54 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1203 You’ve heard the adage, “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” But what if your manager didn’t exist? In a new national survey of more than 2,000 U.S. workers, a shocking 80% said they could do their jobs without their managers. Surprisingly, employees who were managers themselves were even more likely to say this than […]

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You’ve heard the adage, “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” But what if your manager didn’t exist?

In a new national survey of more than 2,000 U.S. workers, a shocking 80% said they could do their jobs without their managers. Surprisingly, employees who were managers themselves were even more likely to say this than employees with no direct reports! This statistic echoes other research findings, revealing a striking disconnect between how well managers think they’re doing in their roles, and what their employees think.

Conducted by Ultimate Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics, this cross-generational study confirmed that the employee-manager relationship is the #1 driver of satisfaction at work, significantly impacting both performance and tenure. And, while the study verifies the detriments of poor workplace relationships, the good news is that employees recognize and appreciate great bosses—more than half said they’d turn down a 10% pay increase to stay with a great boss.

So, what does it all mean for today’s organizations? Tune in to our webcast on Tuesday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time to hear Adam Rogers, Ultimate’s chief technology officer, and Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics, discuss the surprising results of this study and effective steps managers can take to close the growing divide.

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Three 2018 Customer Service Trends – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-2018-customer-service-trends/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-2018-customer-service-trends/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 11:00:59 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1199 As rapid technological advancements continue to redefine the B2B and B2C landscape, organizations are experimenting with various strategies to optimize efficiency and cost. This has understandably carried over to customer service; machine learning and natural language processing have led to extremely advanced chatbots, and the sheer enormity of available data has made analyzing and predicting […]

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2018 customer service trendsAs rapid technological advancements continue to redefine the B2B and B2C landscape, organizations are experimenting with various strategies to optimize efficiency and cost. This has understandably carried over to customer service; machine learning and natural language processing have led to extremely advanced chatbots, and the sheer enormity of available data has made analyzing and predicting customer behavior feasible even for smaller organizations.

But despite these technologies’ panacea of possibilities, it’s crucial to remember that customer service quality is often the primary differentiator between products today. In fact, 78% of customers have abandoned a transaction because of poor service, and many customers are willing to pay more for better service. Consider opportunities to leverage both technology and high-quality, real-person service with these three 2018 customer service trends to watch for:

    • The omnichannel experience. Delivering a seamless customer experience should be a top priority for organizations, and this often takes the form of a variety of customer channels. From mobile to social to self-service, omnichannel customer service will become the expectation.
    • Personalization. Recent research suggests 72 percent of customers expect companies to predict their needs, and they want service that’s receptive to these preferences. Data is the primary key to personalizing customer experiences.
    • Optimizing tech tools. Automation, machine learning, and natural language processing are all incredibly advanced tools that will add immense value for service providers. Supported by an enhanced digital infrastructure, service agents will be able to focus on providing high-quality, personalized, human service.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the next week, we’ll continue recapping some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewing what’s ahead for 2018.

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Reducing Risk, Optimizing Productivity in the Finance/Insurance Industry – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/reducing-risk-optimizing-productivity-finance-insurance-industry/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/reducing-risk-optimizing-productivity-finance-insurance-industry/#comments Sun, 17 Dec 2017 11:00:39 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1195 For finance and insurance organizations, the past decade has ushered in a whirlwind of change. Following the subprime mortgage crisis of 2006, scrutiny over financial management, risk assessment, and security measures vastly increased, and rate changes from the Fed have made tight profit margins even tighter for U.S. banks. Additionally, innovations such as Bitcoin, PayPal, […]

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finance and insurance hcmFor finance and insurance organizations, the past decade has ushered in a whirlwind of change. Following the subprime mortgage crisis of 2006, scrutiny over financial management, risk assessment, and security measures vastly increased, and rate changes from the Fed have made tight profit margins even tighter for U.S. banks. Additionally, innovations such as Bitcoin, PayPal, LendingClub, and Kickstarter are further disrupting the industry as they become household names and trusted, viable alternatives.

To remain competitive, finance and insurance organizations are doubling down to improve efficiencies. In many cases, this involves prioritizing their people and optimizing human capital strategies. Here are four ways advanced human capital management (HCM) technology can realize business goals for finance and insurance organizations in 2018, and in the years ahead:

  1. Optimize employee productivity. With such a significant percentage of operating costs going to human capital, productivity is essential. HR-related tasks—such as onboarding, time management, and compliance training—need to be conducted as efficiently and as transparently as possible.
  2. Reduce risk and improve security. Data security is a top priority. Automated data, role-based access, and multi-factor security measures help ensure adherence to Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) compliance and significantly reduce risk factors for financial organizations.
  3. Improve compliance. Dodd-Frank reform has changed the way most organizations work with auditors to address compliance. Advanced reporting capabilities make it easy to adhere to strict regulations, and leading HCM solutions can even create specialized ad hoc compliance reports.
  4. Increase Retention. Predictive analytics can forecast everything from performance to retention, allowing leaders to take proactive steps to keep their top talent.

Discover more on how leading finance and insurance organizations are using HCM technology to better serve their people and their business.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! During these two weeks, we’ll recap some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and preview what’s ahead for 2018.

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Three Things to Consider When Applying for a Job Online – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-things-to-consider-applying-job-online/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-things-to-consider-applying-job-online/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 11:00:47 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1185 Job board sites, social media networking, and one-click application services have made it easier than ever to apply for jobs—but they’ve also significantly increased the competition. Each corporate job posting attracts an average of 250 job resumes, and if you’re not careful, your resume may never even be seen by the recruiter. Here are three […]

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things to consider when applying for a job onlineJob board sites, social media networking, and one-click application services have made it easier than ever to apply for jobs—but they’ve also significantly increased the competition. Each corporate job posting attracts an average of 250 job resumes, and if you’re not careful, your resume may never even be seen by the recruiter. Here are three things to consider when applying for a job online:

  1. Tailor each resume. Most employers use some version of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter out applicants. If your resume doesn’t feature keywords that match up with the company’s job description, it’s unlikely to reach the recruiter.
  2. Write a cover letter. While CV’s were always standard in the past, many job boards or online applications will list cover letters as “optional.” It shouldn’t be. Take the opportunity to describe exactly how your skills relate to this position and show that you’ve done your research.
  3. Beware of phishing attempts. Unfortunately, employment scams are becoming more common, where fake recruiters solicit confidential information or seek some kind of financial compensation. Recruiters should never ask for your social security number or bank account information; any confidential information will be handled by HR once you’ve officially been hired.   

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the next week, we’ll continue recapping some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewing what’s ahead for 2018.

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Honoring Hardworking Professionals by Paying it Forward – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/payroll-counts-pay-it-forward/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/payroll-counts-pay-it-forward/#respond Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:00:46 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1184 No matter the size of the company or the industry, processing accurate payroll is arguably the most crucial aspect of running a successful business. Ensuring employees are paid on time, every time, “walks the talk” in showing you value your people and their dedication to serving your customers. In celebration of National Payroll Week, and […]

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No matter the size of the company or the industry, processing accurate payroll is arguably the most crucial aspect of running a successful business. Ensuring employees are paid on time, every time, “walks the talk” in showing you value your people and their dedication to serving your customers.

In celebration of National Payroll Week, and to honor payroll professionals and the hardworking employees they support every day, Ultimate Software hosted our first-ever #PayrollCounts campaign in 2017. We asked employees everywhere to nominate a colleague they believe deserves an extra paycheck. We received so many heartfelt stories detailing the extraordinary lengths people go to help others.

Congratulations to Rita Finnegan, district manager at Offerdahl’s Café Grill in South Florida, recipient of Ultimate’s #PayItForward prize. Here’s an excerpt of her nomination, explaining why Rita deserved to win:

“She cares and loves every coworker and customer, she will do anything to help anyone. She has driven me to and from work when I had no car, helped others in so many ways. She is a true Rock Star, the most UNSELFISH human I have ever met and deserves an extra paycheck and more.”

Thanks to all who nominated their peers in 2017 and showed everyone why #PayrollCounts every day of the year.

Want to nominate a colleague who deserves an extra paycheck? Stay connected with Ultimate on social media for details on our next #PayrollCounts campaign—coming soon.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! During the next two weeks, we’ll recap some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and preview what’s ahead for 2018.

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