Canadian HR Reporter

April 2019 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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CANADIAN HR REPORTER APRIL 2019 2 NEWS Disability management: Finding workers help in a clogged health-care system Our exclusive roundtable of experts, sponsored by Sun Life, looks at what employers and workers can do to navigate Canada's health-care system Technology has broken recruitment So what's the solution? More technology, of course Should workplace learning ever be 'edutainment'? Learning and development should be engaging, but avoid too much entertainment Mass terminations Ontario case highlights need to pay attention to details in termination process Liberals promise tax credit, EI benefit to help workers Budget includes $250 refundable tax credit for workers to offset costs of learning new job skills Women face greater threat from job automation than men Fields dominated by females more prone to being replaced by technology: Study BLOGS BRIEFS NEWS FEATURED VIDEO BLOGS BRIEFS NEWS FEATURED VIDEO BLOGS BRIEFS NEWS FEATURED VIDEO Recent videos, stories and blogs posted on Check the website daily for updates from Canada and around the world. HR departments staying busy with focus on recruitment, L&D But profession falls short when it comes to talent analytics, career advancement and succession planning: Survey BY SARAH DOBSON IN THE past year, HR depart- ments were nearly twice as likely to grow rather than shrink, ac- cording to a survey of HR profes- sionals in several countries. ere are a variety of possible reasons for the growth, such as a stronger economy, changing technologies or the new world of work. It could also be because recruitment and learning and development (L&D) are keeping HR busy as top priorities, accord- ing to the HR Talent Manage- ment and Benchmarking Report 2019 from Most respondents (66 per cent) said their HR department's size remained about the same, while 22 per cent said their departments grew. Just 12 per cent said theirs shrank. In the coming year, HR depart- ments are three times more likely to grow than to shrink, found the survey of 629 HR professionals. With the stronger economy, companies can afford to maintain their staff fairly well as there's a lot of growth within organizations, said Mark Vickers, research co- ordinator and data wrangler at in St. Petersburg, Fla. "It's also due to the growing number of roles HR people are expected to fill these days... more is expected from HR," he said. "(HR) used to be more adminis- trative, and now it's more strategic in many ways." "A lot of resources are being put into recruitment of people because companies are finding it really hard. It takes longer to re- cruit people than it used to... So companies are throwing more re- sources at that in order to get bet- ter people, considering how tight the labour market is right now." And although there has been considerable advances, HR is not nearly as automated as people may think, said Vickers. Organizations have really start- ed to transform in anticipation of the new world of work. And there's going to be a predominant focus on scalability, said Lisa Sterling, chief people and culture officer at Ceridian in Minneapolis, Minn., which sponsored the survey. "e team is going to evolve in terms of what types of skill sets and behaviours are going to be necessary to be highly successful and to be able to be much more impactful in organizations," she said. "I don't think there's going to be significant growth in terms of size; I think where you're going to see significant growth is in terms of upskilling and kind of evolv- ing what the persona looks like of successful HR leaders, as well as those people who are filling in under them." ere's a drive to look at the mix of what is in the human resources department, instead of just the traditional roles of recruitment and selection, L&D and compen- sation, according to Rodney Mill- er, president and CEO of CPHR Alberta in Calgary. "Even if HR departments tend to stay the same size, the ranks of who is in those departments is going to differ, and we're going to see more opportunity for HR analysts (and) data scientists that are going to be able to tap into in- formation that this department has... and use that data in terms of how they're going to meet challenges in the future." Talent analytics challenges HR has yet to master talent analyt- ics, according to the report. Just 25 per cent of respondents regularly use data to describe and assess basic HR performance, and only 16 per cent use data to pre- dict talent outcomes. Part of the issue is the skill sets aren't very strong in this area, said Vickers. "People often get into HR be- cause they're people-focused rather than number-focused. And so sometimes it's a matter of inter- nal skill sets and internal comfort with analytics. Sometimes, the tools are hard to use, like most of the information systems — you can get some analytics out of it, but they're not always incredibly user-friendly." Having said that, it's an area that a lot of people are struggling with, he said. "If you really want to do sophis- ticated predictive analytics, you need to get into machine learning and some of those things. And this tends to be over the head of a lot of people — not just HR." However, HR should be do- ing much better than it is at the basics, such as time-to-hire or completion of training, according to Vickers. "ey know they're not good at it, and they want to be better at it. It's a fairly high priority, but most companies just haven't completely nailed this yet." Many human resources depart- ments lack the sophistication to understand what the data is telling them, and they need a robust hu- man capital management (HCM) solution to present the numbers, said Sterling. Others may have the data but aren't sure what to do with it, she said. "e data is not prescriptive in nature. And so we spin our wheels looking at this and saying, 'OK, what's this telling us?' e next question always is 'OK, so what do we do with this?' We've got to get better at our sophistica- tion (with) our technology and the ability to become more predictive and prescriptive… You've got to bring people into the organiza- tion who have a strong analytical background who can take data and make sense of it but, most importantly, translate that into people and business outcomes that are actionable," said Sterling. Ceridian, for example, looks at regrettable versus non-regrettable turnover, she said. "We've now started to have indicators that we've focused on, that allow us to see in ad- vance when there might be at- trition issues. So, as we know, as engagement goes down and billable hours go up, we start to have some issues that we need to look at. By bringing all of that data together, we now are able to be more proactive in the types of decisions that we're making." e benefits of data analytics within the HR space are not yet known, nor is the framework in terms of dealing with what's nec- essary to measure the HR space, said Miller. "at's an opportunity for con- tinued growth and study," he said. "Ideally, if you can get to the point where you can look at HR behaviour and be able to use predictive analytics, or you look at business models and show change, and how those are incor- porated within an organization to predict the kind of skill sets you're going to need, that gives HR and the organization an extraordinary amount of information to build a plan for (the) future." Recruitment, L&D For the second straight year, hu- man resources practitioners iden- tified L&D and talent recruitment as their top areas of focus. ey were tied for first place at 38 per cent each, found the survey. With the rapid pace of move- ment in organizations and skill sets quickly becoming outdated due to technology's advance- ment, it's a necessity for employ- ers to provide opportunities for individuals to receive educational elements, said Sterling. "It's becoming kind of a non- starter in some organizations. Like, if there's not a good strong growth and learning and develop- ment experience in organizations, employees are making their deci- sions with their feet, so to speak." There's also a heightened awareness around talent acquisi- tion, she said. "We've looked at augmenting our overall recruiting process and taking out some of the — what I would consider — high-touch ele- ments upfront. For instance, using things like chatbots to do some of the upfront screening to move a person through the cycle faster." at approach has been very successful, said Sterling. "We've actually shortened our time to fill pretty significantly and our overall… candidates' NPS or net promoter score has con- tinued to rise because of those types of things. We're looking at augmenting the experiences be- cause we know we're competing against the Amazons, Facebooks, the Googles for the same talent. We've got to get those people in and through the process effec- tively — yet much more efficiently than ever before." It's more difficult to recruit peo- ple than it used to be — and it's also expensive, said Vickers. "It's difficult because people are already employed, so you have to go out there, and you have to find the passive jobseekers rather than the active jobseekers, especially if you want highly skilled people because most of them are already employed." Because of that, employers are spending more dollars and time on L&D, including the various systems available, he said. "You need people that under- stand these systems and you also need people to manage those systems and to figure out which ones are right for the company. You have to build a whole learn- ing architecture rather than just putting together an LMS (learning management system) and hoping people will learn via the e-learning or whatever." ere's a lot going on around reskilling, said Miller. "Rather than going out to the market and finding hires, it all ties back into succession planning and development of leadership," he said. "If you can reskill people to take on those new opportunities, there's a huge amount of evidence that suggests it improves engage- ment, which obviously improves productivity, which will also im- prove the succession planning." Hiring internally And when a company hires peo- ple internally, it's got that auto- matic organizational knowledge, said Miller. "ere's also a productivity ar- gument there as well — if you can find people internally and ensure that they're skilled to take on the role, they can be more produc- tive and more effective for the organization." However, most respondents continue to fill vacancies from outside their organization as two- thirds find external candidates to replace up to 80 per cent of their open positions. EMPLOYERS > pg. 14 "If you can reskill people to take on those new opportunities, there's a huge amount of evidence that suggests it improves engagement."

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