Top 7 Talent Management Trends for 2017

In 2017 top performers will have choices. Will they come to your company, stay or leave? If you don’t have a solid plan and process in place to attract, engage and communicate with your best employees, your company could suffer.

We’ve done the homework for you and identified seven talent management trends that are gaining momentum for 2017. Cut through the clutter and get ahead of your workforce needs with a focus on sourcing and recruiting, streamlined onboarding, real-time performance feedback, prepping Millennials to become managers and more.

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ANN TORRY: Before we get started, I did also want to tell you a little bit about BirdDogHR. We are super excited to announce that, just at the beginning of this month, we added customer number 1,000. So, more and more companies nationwide are implementing our easy-to-use and mobile-friendly solution. In 2017, we're also celebrating our 20th year in business, so those roots in recruiting and job boards are really such a strong foundation for helping organizations with both their pre-hire and post-hire challenges.

As the economy continues to grow, recruiting is very competitive right now as companies scramble to attract top talent. Savvy companies are also focusing on employee retention, too, in order to protect their original recruiting investment and manage the employees’ entire work experience. BirdDogHR offers a complete talent management software system that includes tools that can help your organization with recruitment and applicant tracking to improve the quality and quantity of applicants and build an online talent community for future opportunities.

We also offer onboarding to automate manual processes and paperwork, including I-9 and E-Verify forms. We can help you with performance management and goal setting to align employee goals with company goals, learning management to centralize and manage training and help you develop your future leaders and also succession planning so that you can view talent abilities in real time and have an automated way to identify who's ready to take the next step.

Something that is very unique to BirdDogHR is that we offer services to complement our entire software suite. You can outsource those HR functions to us, like recruiting for hard-to-fill positions, or we can also help you get a game plan together for your performance management competencies.

We have the people with the expertise that can help. As important as our software and services offering is though, our brand promise to the industry is even more important. Our brand promise to you is that we will offer you talent management solutions that are quick to implement, easy to adopt and that will deliver multiple levels of service to ensure your customer satisfaction. We're doing quite well with that too, as each year 95% of our customers stay with us. So, we're really proud of our efforts in that area and have really enjoyed working with great customers and many of them have joined us on the session today.

Now it's my pleasure to introduce today's webinar and our presenter. Chris Lennon is a talent management strategist and he's the Vice President of Product Management at BirdDogHR. He's responsible for ensuring that the BirdDogHR Talent Management System meets the needs and exceed the expectations of our customers.

Chris is an active participant in the talent management community, bringing over 18 years of experience to BirdDogHR. He has presented at numerous industry events and has been quoted as an industry expert in leading publications like Talent Management Magazine, CLO Magazine, New Talent Times, TLNT and HR Bartender. Chris has held leadership roles in product management for over 15 years and he joined our company from SilkRoad Technology and before that, he also managed products for SumTotal Systems, GeoLearning, NIIT and Gateway.

So with that introduction, I know Chris has a really great presentation for you today, so I'll turn that over to him.

CHRIS LENNON: Thanks Ann. You know, as you go through those years of experience it makes me feel really old all of sudden. Today, gang, we're going to be talking about, like Ann mentioned earlier, is the 7 Talent Management Trends for 2017. This is corresponding to a whitepaper that's also available for download at BirdDogHR.com, so ifyou want to get the whitepaper and you want to have a hands-on experience for these Top 7 Trends, you can go there and download it from BirdDogHR.com.

So, we’re going to go ahead and start out, and we're going to talk a little bit about trends versus fads. If you are following the HR industry and you know there's other vendors out there, there's HR analysts, it's pretty common, in January, for a lot of these agencies to come out with their their top trends, if you will, so that's why I wanted to put the slide in here. You know, it's really important, from my standpoint, to you, as HR practitioners, to really understand, you know, while everybody's out there telling their top trends, the top things that are going on the industry, we wanted to make sure that, from a BirdDogHR standpoint, we really looked at our customer base and what our customers are looking at and what's really going to have an impact across our potential verticals. But, in addition, all the different customers out there that are looking at all of this news and information that comes from all these analysts and these other agencies. So I wanted to make sure that you understood that there's a difference between a trend versus a fad.

A fad, for example, I think that this came out in about 1988. You’ve got the fancy jumper suits and the MC Hammer look that was a questionable taste to begin with -- so that's a fad. That's an example of something that it might seemreally cool and really popular at the time. I mean look at it, it's really shiny! Who wouldn't want something that shiny? I mean besides all of us. That's an example of a fad that certainly can come and go., There's another example of a trend that never goes out of style -- so the little black dress that came out in around the 1920s, actually, and it has stuck around for decades. Slightly different permutations as time goes on but, ultimately it's something that started trending in the ‘20s and it's something that hung around and it will never go out of style.

My point of that, is: some of the things we’re going to talk about today, it is my belief that these are trends that are going to stick around. These aren't fads that are going to go out of style. It's important that, as you look at these trends, that we want you to know that we're offering this information for you so that you can get ahead of your competition and get in front of your organization's needs.

So with that, Trend Number One: Talent Sourcing Goes High Tech. So, for talent sourcing, what we know and what we expect to have happen in 2017: Applicants, they don't have the patience anymore for outdated processes or overly manual processes -- anything that's going to require a lot of work. Now one would say, "yeah that makes them lazy." That’s not necessarily the case. We actually have a lot of customers that we start working with who, believe it or not, they're still very reliant on the paper process especially from the applicant standpoint.

All of their applications are paper-driven and they come to us and they’re looking for a better solution. It's not uncommon to have that be the case, but it gets a little bit deeper than just going from paper-based to electronic. For example, 60% of job-seekers, they will quit in the middle of filling out an online job application because of the length or the complexity. That's from Careerbuilder.

And there's certainly an argument to be said that of those people that are dropping out in middle of the process because it's too long, you, as an HR practitioner, might be, "Yeah, but those are the type of employees that we don't really want. If they can't take an extra few minutes to fill out an application, what kind of employee are they?" And I completely understand and appreciate that viewpoint and I might even say that I'm inclined to agree with that to a certain extent. But, from everything that I've read and followed from industry experts, they're all pretty much saying the same thing, which is: the longer your process is, the harder it is for your candidates to submit applications. Which means that you will in fact get fewer qualified candidates.

Think about the candidatethat is passively looking for a new opportunity, so they might be in a job, they might be a wonderful candidate opportunity, but they're not necessarily needing to get out today. If they're out there looking and they’re applying for jobs, if they find it too difficult they’ll just drop off because, “Well, frankly I don't need to do this right now. I'm not hard pressed to find a new job.” That might be an incredible candidate that you have an opportunity to bring on board, but because your process is too long, they dropped out.

So, making sure that your online presence and your online process is solid -- some statistics to help you along with that is: 54% of adults go online to look for job information ahead of time, 45% of those apply for jobs online, 79% have used online resources in their job search in the last two years and we have a 45% applicant drop-off rate when job-seekers have to create an account. That is critically important. When you have an online application process, requiring your candidates to create an account before they can fill out your application, as you see here, you get a 48% drop-off. That's a pretty significant drop-off rate just because they have to create an account.

Keep in mind a lot ofthese people are also coming from other sites such as Indeed, where they already have an account, so if they have to duplicate and create another account – just, again, adds to that process.

So also, in-line with the high technology, is thinking like a marketer and while marketing, in and of itself, as Ann will tell you, is not necessarily high tech,but you have to be able to leverage high tech in the new marketing age. We've been talking in the HR space quite a while about HR practitioners needing to think more about marketing when they're out there trying to recruit top talent.This is actually fairly significant, ‘cause my wife and I, just last night, watched the final episode of Mad Men on Netflix.

And, it dawned on me -- and I had this slide before even last night -- but it dawned on me, as I was putting this presentation together:Don Draper, the lead character in Mad Men -- and if you never watched it: he's certainly a flawed character in general, but there's one thing that he’s really good at and that is understanding what excites people and what makes people want to buy products. He was a marketing ad man.

You, as marketers, you need to tap into that. You have to understand: What is it going to take to attract top talent to your organization? Career pages – that’s going back to the high tech component -- your career pages, are they engaging? Do you have exciting information on there that makes people drive and want to come to your organization?

You want to make sure that you are selling your brand. You want to make sure that you are representing your brand appropriately. And it’s important to say “appropriately” because you might, as an HR person, say, "Here's what we want to be and here's what we aspire to be," and you can make up a lot of things about how it’s great to work for our company, but if they're not actually true and if they're not actually portraying your brand, you will be attracting the wrong type of people to come to your organization.

You want to make sure that you are accurately portraying who you are as a company and what it means to work there. But, that means also finding out what's exciting about working there, what makes people excited to come into work in the morning and then focusing on those and making that a part of your career pages, for example, and putting video testimonials from employees out there, things like that.

Sticking with the Don Draper theme and knowing that I'm talking to a bunch of HR practitioners, I couldn't help but to use this meme that I found on the internet, that, you know, sexual harassment. You always have to throw that in there in an HR presentation. But, seriously, when it comes to being in marketing, really understanding and managing your candidate relationships. So,taking your candidate relationship experience to the next level and reallystarting to retain that ongoing community with candidates so you can continue to have conversations with them.

Passive candidates, for example -- even though they might not be actively looking for a job today -- staying in touch with them, because you know that they are top talent that you want to keep bringing into the organization. Another part of the talent community, another piece of the recruiting process, is really around a deeper reliance on pre-hire data.

So, there's a lot of tools out there around taking pre-hire assessments, and this doesn't necessarily have to be part of the application process. You get them in the door, you get them to apply (we'll talk a little bit more about the concierge experience) but you can absolutely hold their hand through the assessment phase of that experience. And, using that assessment information to truly understand who's going to be a solid fit in our organization versus that gut feel. Assessments have proven to improve that fit and to reduce turnover overtime.

And we certainly cannot talk about technology with HR without talking about mobility. Mobility goes beyond just sourcing. You'll see that in my bullets on the slide there. It absolutely talks about career pages, job posting, the application process, even onboarding, but it's also training and performance.

So, all of the entire HR suite that you guys have access to -- making sure that that is entirely mobile. And I'll get back to the sourcing here in a second, but 52% of smartphone owners check their phones at least a few times hourly. 28% have used the smartphone in a job search in the last year. 53% of those that are 18 to 29 years old, which is, as you guys know, the next batch of applicants that we’re trying to bring into our organizations. Not necessarily because we are aspiring to get them, but because that's the fact of life. That is the next group that is coming on board that we're trying to actively recruit.

But yet we know that, as HR practitioners, we're not mobily savvy yet. We know that 31% of people out there are using mobile recruiting techniques.But 57% of you, you're neutral or unconcerned about mobile when it comes to HR. That is, in this day and age, in all honesty, you're behind the curve if that's your mentality. You have to think about mobile, not just from a sourcing standpoint, but from the entire HR suite.

Okay, so that was Trend Number One. Let's move on to Trend Number Two: Creating a Candidate Concierge Experience. What is a concierge experience? This top bullet really describes it to a T. It is the white glove treatment. It's really around making sure that as you have an applicant come in, and you really touch the applicantsthat you want to, that you are providing high value and respect with that first interview, that you have a dedicated contact within the company including a trusted source, a steady stream of information, easier scheduling and questions and answers, even post-hire,  before they come in on the first day. The concierge experience is a trend that we are seeing coming up in 2017.

It's really important that your leaders -- you know, as HR practitioners, those of you that are in the recruiting space -- you absolutely know that your leaders have a high focus right now on recruiting. We know that one-third of new hires quit around the six-month period. That's expensive. It costs a lot of money to bring people in, so making sure that you offer a concierge experience to try to reduce that turnover within that six-month time period is critical. We also know that you have a shrinking candidate pool, that the ratio of workers to retirees by 2025 is going to be one-to-one, so the importance of recruiting is just going to get more and more important over time.

We know know that there's a 79% shortage, or perceived shortage by your leadership, of critical skills in your talent pool. So, again, it's really around finding the top talent and making sure you don't lose them to your competitors, because I promise you if somebody's out there looking and they're good, you're not the only ones trying to recruit them. There are, more than likely, others that are going to grab them and your advantage, from a competitive standpoint, is that concierge experience.

We do see a rise in services and investments in 2017. Matter of fact, when Ann was first going over what BirdDogHR offers, one of the services that we’re offering -- or lot of the services that we’re offering -- but specifically around the concierge experience and trying to bring them in and retain them, we can help you with that if you want. Not to make this a selling webinar, but my point is: there are services available out there to help you to get to that point.

Concierge also provides a bit of transparency during the recruitment process. And, if when you are providing that transparency you're having those ongoing conversations with candidates, you have 50% more who are likely to agree that the leadership within your company cares about the workplace. If they perceive that the leaders care about the workplace, they’re going to be more incented to work there and that yields a positive feel about your culture.

And even if you don't hirea person, by having that concierge experience they are much more likely to reapply for other positions within your organization. So, if you ended up going with another person or another candidate, but this is a really strong candidate for something else, it allows you to keep in contact with that person and manage them into another role that might be a better fit.

Trend Number Three: Automating the Onboarding Process.So, 2017: that's the year that we truly see as being the year of onboarding automation. Onboarding, as software, has been around for probably a little bit more than 10 years, but it's only been the last few that it's really taken off with any sort of urgency. The main reason is onboarding software can cut your costs in half. Your onboarding costs. You can reduce clerical errors, you can reduce the time to productivity, you can increase efficiencies and, on average, it costs $3,125 for a small company to onboard a new hire. And, if you can reduce that cost at all, it pays for itself in no time.

One of the big things about onboarding is its ability to automate workflows. It allows you to streamline the onboarding process. It allows you to improve communication between the new hire, as well as HR and other people within the organization. Also, because it's automated and because it's an application that your employees have access to, it actually increases accountability -- both on the part of the new hire, on part of the hiring manager, and even others within the organization when they're a part of the onboarding process.

The processing time for new hires can be reduced from one week to a few hours. As a matter of fact, I just had a conversation with one of our customers two days ago and we were talking about their onboarding process and they're looking to get it down from 1.5 hours to minutes on day one. They come in on day one and they've already gone through the majority of the paperwork which takes me to the next slide.

The pre-hire advantage.One of the great things about an onboarding solution, if done correctly, is it gives you the opportunity to have the candidate fill out a large chunk of that paperwork before they even come to the office. So, on day one, when they come to the office, instead of coming in and sitting down with HR with a stack of papers and signing their name over and over andover again, you can go through all of that paperwork process online with e-signature capability, so that they've already done their piece. So that when they come in day one you can start doing more important things than signing paperwork.

More important things beyond the paperwork; That new hire experience. If they go through a simplified and structured onboarding experience they're 58% more likely to remain with the company for several years and that's not from us, that's from The Windhurst Group, so I wanted to make sure I shared that with you guys.

Onboarding, in and of itself, is a very large topic that I'm really excited about, so we've decided, here at BirdDogHR, we going to have an entirely separate webinar specific to onboarding. We’ll go into much more detail than I had in this specific trend. It’s on March 29th and its "The Five Ways to Update Your Onboarding Strategy." And if you go to go.birddoghr.com/marchonboarding you can register for that again. And I'll pull up that URL here at the end of the presentation as well.

Trend Number Four: Millennials are Becoming Managers. So, Millennials coming into the workforce -- let me start out by saying I'm not a big fan of trying to pigeonhole Millennials. Actually, here at BirdDogHR I work with a lot of Millennials and it makes me feel really old, but what I can tell you is that, as a whole, their expectations, their experiences, are not too dissimilar from what you and I went through. They have expectations, they have experiences, they have you know desires that they want to have. It's not different from what older generations also brought to the workforce, but there are certain underlying trends that I believe have happened, that include things like technology, that haveenabled some of those expectations and experiences that they're more couple with, that they're bringing into the workforce. So now that Millennials have entered the workforce -- and we've been talking about that for a really long time -- the trend now is that they are now entering management.

And that has an opportunity to change the way that your organization interacts with its employees and grows as an organization and evolves. One of the things that they bring in is more transparency in pay, more transparency around culture and ideas. They're much more open and wanting to communicate. Again, not something specific to Millennials, but they certainly carry that torch little bit heavier.

We talked about technology just a second ago -- they are much faster to implement and evolve technology in the workforce to a degree that we have never seen throughout time.

If you think about how long it took to bring in fax machines and photo copiers and laptop computers, and all of it took many, many years to evolve some of that technology into your organization. It's going to move much quicker moving forward because Millennials are much more quicker to adopt it.

Performance reviews. We have an entire trend focused on performance reviews, and this specific topic around constant feedback and coaching, so we’ll come back to that in a little bit. The last one isaround valuing the work achieved and not just the hours put in.That one is one that I find very intriguing. The -- again, you know, it shouldn't be anything new, specific to the Millennial age group -- but they are much more aware about making sure that people are adding the value, regardless of the amount of time that they spend in the office.

Before I go on to the next slide, I have this little tidbit, where: When developing your new Millennial leaders, it will build loyalty, not just with those as leaders, but also the rest of the organization as you're bringing them through. But to piggy-back on the whole “how many hours you bring into the office,”we know that the Millennial generation is much more focus on work-life balance. They are not going to settle for working at a job from 7 in the morning till 7 at night every single night, or even later. They're much more inclined to have an opportunity to leave work and have more time at home with their friends or with their families.

94% of Millennials have taken reduced hours or taken significant time off for their family. 88% turn down promotions or quit because they didn't have the work-life balance they wanted. 88% is a very large number that we need to pay attention to. They are very willing to get up and leave if they don't feel like they're achieving that work-life balance.

But we also know that Millennials value training. As leaders, as they become managers within your organization, you have to expect that they're going to be placing a large value on training within the organization, and not just for themselves, but for their entire team. So, as Millennials become managers they're going to be asking for additional training opportunities.

68% of them said they're willing to stay and a job for over five years if they get that support and the training that they're looking for, and that's actually a really big number because the average lifespan of an employee right now is trending around two years.

So, the amount of time that you have an employee within your organization, as a whole,right now -- think about that -- is 2 years but they're willing to stay for up to five years, or over five years, if you are supporting them and training them.

And we talked a little bit about technology, but I just wanted to reinforce that two-thirds of the Millennials in the workforce have reported using business social tools or networking apps for instantaneous collaboration. So, really it's around that adoption of technology and they're going to run rampant with comes to collaborating and using the tools that are available to them.

Trend Number Five: Real-time and Agile Performance Reviews.So, I mentioned this is one of those trends that the Millennial workforce was really interested in making sure that they're bringing more real-time conversations within themselves and their managers, but also as managers themselves, but it's not just a trend that we've seen strictly with Millennials.

I’ve got a quote that I'm actually going to read. I don't normally read text on a slide like this, but I thought it was important. This from Bersin by Deloitte: "Over the last15 years companies have shifted from a top-down driven process to a very employee-driven process where you have a much more agile, continuous and feedback-approached review process. Much of this is driven by the need to engage and empower young, demanding employees,” like I mentioned, “but it's also driven by a shift in management thinking."

I've been in this space for quite a while and I've been following this particular trend, and it really has picked up steam in the last two years more than anything.

Matter of fact, there are more large companies that have completely abandoned the annual review process than I've ever seen before, andthey've moved from this annual review process to a much more real-time, continuous feedback approach. My personal experience is most companies are not completely abandoning the annual review process, but more likely, are incorporating it into their ongoing process and keeping the annual review process.

70% of companies out there -- again, this is following up by Bersin – 70% of you are reconsidering your performance management strategy. Whether or not you get rid of that annual review: that’s going to be between you, your company and what's right for your organization. I'm certainly not encouraging you to do that, but what I am encouraging you to do is at least incorporate a more ongoing process. And it's not brain surgery. As you are in HR and you're talking about performance management, the idea of having ongoing, continuous conversations with your manager? That shouldn't be shocking. That should be: "Yes. That's what managers and employees should be doing for all of time.” But we know is that it's hard for managers to have those conversations with their employees.

You know that there are some managers they're better at it than others. You know that there are some managers that are busier than others. There are some managers that were promoted into management simply because they were good at their job and now they’ve become managers, but they don't have necessarily the skill set to be effective and strong managers.

So, yes, as we try to make them better managers we can incorporate tools and technology to help them have those conversations with their employees. Supplementing the annual performance review, like I mentioned before, having the ongoing goal measurements, having those conversations around the goals that employees have within the organization. How they're doing within their job and having that progress conversation real-time.

And with those real-time reviews, allowing the employees and the managers to correct things real-time. This is why companies get rid of the annual review process. Waiting until a year later to try to correct problems -- you're too late. Things have happened, that employee is so far gone that the opportunity to correct that behavior or the action or to turn things around, at that point, becomes unruly and almost impossible to overcome.

I can't remember this statistic off the top of my head but if it's somewhere upwards of -- there's a 30 – 40% increase in voluntary turnover during the annual review process because of that last piece that I talked about, where if you wait for the year and you confront your employee with things that they've been doing wrong for the entire last year, it really brings down employee morale and it really increases their desire to go out and find another opportunity.

We know that 68% want reviews to be more strategic and not yearly tactical events, which carries over into this this real-time conversation.

The benefits that you can have with ongoing conversations. The reassurance increases employee engagement. That ongoing "Hey, you're doing a good job," even if they're not doing a great job, it's because you're catching it early enough and giving them the opportunity to turn around quick enough that you are showing investment in them as employees, and that does increase employee engagement.

You have best-in-class businesses that are 41% more likely than others to empower employees to recognize each other for great work. Recognition makes 92% of employees feel appreciated, but it also has other benefits too.

86% of employees are prouder and happier at work, 85% are more satisfied with their job and 82% of employees have increased engagement, like mentioned before.

79% of your workforce say that they will work harder when they are recognized. So, having thatongoing continual feedback loop, giving them, your managers, the opportunity to recognize their employees on a one-on-one basis, but I also highly encourage you to take that beyond that one-on-one experience and doing some sort of employee recognition to the broader audience of the organization, whether it's just their team or within the entire company.

Trend Number Six: Integrated Talent Management.So, when it comes to integrating talent management, I wanted to start with the HR technology purchases. This is from a survey by the Human Capital Media Advisory Group, which is the research arm of Talent Management magazine. 13.9% of people were thinking about investing in recruiting or spending more money on recruiting than they currently were. 21.6% were looking at acquiring or starting or changing an HRMS. 27% -- that’s almost 30% -- were looking to invest in onboarding.

20.1% were looking to invest in learning, 24% were looking to make some sort of purchase around benefits and 24.6% around performance management.

A large chunk of that 24.6% would be investing in technology that would help you have the ongoing conversations between managers and employees that we were just talking about.But here's the kicker: 48.8% of technology purchases, that are looking to be happening, were around an entire suite solutions. So, having the integrated performance management process. I was listening to a video just the other day. Bill Kutik has a video that you can go to on YouTube. He's an old HR practitioner that's been in the workforce for years, and he was interviewing Jason Averbook. And Jason, who is very engaged and a very big part of the, for example, the HR Techevent that happens once a year, it's a very large even -- he said this statement, that: “If you are typing your employees’ names more than zero times it's too many.”

So, think about your own organization. As you bring on a new hire, you’re reviewing candidates, and you have them going into your learning management system or your performance management systems, your HRIS, your benefits. How many times are you potentially typing that employee’s name? Is it more than zero, because if it is, as Jason says, it's too many. Now, is it practical to have zero? That's between you and your organization, but think about it, you have your applicant tracking system, where the employee or candidate is entering their information. That can carry over into the other modules within your organization.

And by the way, that is not a picture of Jason. I wanted to point that out in case Jason is on the call. It is not a picture of Jason. It's us as monkeys constantly trying to enter data into our systems to try to keep up with changes that happen within the organization. Butstreamlining the employeelifecycle and having all of your systems talk to each other -- and I know that for some of you, that's easier said than done. Some of you have strong IT departments, some of you don't. I highly encourage you, even if you don't have a strong IT department or have the bandwidth within them, to try to find different ways to have your systems talk to each other.

One of the easiest ways is to buy a system that has multiple modules so that you don't have to copy and paste individuals from one module to another module. So, you’ve got the applicant tracking system, you have the onboarding system, you have learning and performance systems, and that one tool that can have that data flow seamlessly throughout. And then you also have the cloud of additional integrations that happen between your organization and different tools that you might have.

Having the opportunity to have that data go from one place to another -- and again if you don't have a strong IT staff that can help you do that, there are vendors and resources out there that can help build that for you. So, finding the right partner that can build those integrations so that you don't have to type in your employees more than zero times.

Again, quoting Bersin by Deloitte; their Talent Management Factbook. Here are some staggering statistics on the benefits of integrating talent management.

40% of organizations that have integrated talent management have lower turnover of high performers. It might not be a cause and result, but it is certainly a commonality for those organizations that have integrated talent management; they have 40% lower turnover of high performers. They have 26% higher revenue. Those top performing organizations that have integrated talent management have 87% greater chance of hiring the best talent.

92% have a greater ability to adapt to the changing and economic conditions when their data is integrated.144% greater ability to plan for future workforce needs. And 156% greater chance to develop future leaders within the organization.

So,again it's not necessarily a cause and effect but it is absolutely a direct result of those organizations that are top performers, they alsohave integrated talent management.

And, last but not least, we are going to talk about Trend Number Seven: Analytics to Improve Business Decisions. My first question: Are you drowning in spreadsheets? What does data look like to you? So Ann, I think that we have, at this point, another poll and let's see if we can do it this time with much more smoothness.

ANN: That sounds awesome. HR analytics is certainly not a one-size-fits-all initiative for organizations. Some of the HR metrics that we commonly see customers measuring might be recruitment times, staffturnover rates, workforce diversity and time to competency and even revenue per full-time employee. Organizations really need to understand that theyfirst need to think about analytics, but as they're thinking about it they need to define what business problems they want to solve with the information so that they can, you know, do something that is actionable with that information.

We do encourage you to vote so that Chris can make some comments about what were seeing in the industry versus what we're seeing from the audience today. We've gotten about -- a good majority of the folks have voted, so I'm going to go ahead and close the poll and share it out.

CHRIS: Perfect. Thanks, Ann. Okay, at this point you should see the results of the poll. We asked the question whether not you were pretty savvy when it comes to HR analytics and 17% of you said that you were pretty savvy. That isnot surprising at all to me. 47% said you were drowning in spreadsheets. That is absolutely on par with what my experiences is as well. And then 36% said, "HR analytics, what is that?"

So, that's a great question. What HR analytics is Ann touched on it a little bit. Ok, Ann mentioned it. You know,it's around being strategic it's around knowing what questions you need to answer from a business standpoint, so I wanted to talk a little bit about the business of HR. We don't specifically have this as a trend this year. It's been something that has been trending in years past and I think it's past the point of being a trend. I think this is the way life is. If you are in HR, you should be expecting to have a seat at the table -- at the business table. You should be expecting to have those hard conversations with the leadership team and with the executives around what business needs they are trying to solve and what you, as HR, can do to help them achieve those business results.

It's not anymore about just hiring top talent, it's not anymore about onboarding. learning and performance. It's around, truly, what are the company initiatives and what role does HR play inthose initiatives?

66% of professionals say that HR spending should be viewed as strategic. It's not just a cost of doing business anymore, it's around: “If I'm spending that money how is that going to add value to the organization? And, how can we increase?” If you are a for-profit organization, for example, how do you increase net revenue?HR, however, expresses anxiety around strategy. 53% of you would like HR to act more strategically, but rather you feel like you are more tactical. So, that's about half that feels that you are tactical and not strategic enough.

41%, they want a seat at the table to make the strategic business decisions. If you don't have a seat at the table, if you're not having those conversations, I highly encourage you -- again this being the trend in 2017, to have those conversations -- but to do so with data. To bring the HR analytics into that conversation.

HR analytics is going to help you have immediate access to your data. Again, going back to the the unified talent management experience, if you have a unified system it's much easier to start correlating and pulling that data in together. I will be one of the first people to tell you that, from a vendor standpoint, we are never done when it comes to building out reports that add value to you, building out graphs and dashboards, and analytic tools that help provide value.

Things change over time, and as a vendor, it is our jobto make sure that we find the easiest, best way to get you the information that you need to start making those and having those conversations with your executive team.

That's one of my favorite things actually to do as a vendor, is to meet with customers and try to find out what problems it is that you are trying to solve, so that we can go back and we can try to find the easiest and best way to help you solve those problems and give you access to the data so you can see facts, so you can see patterns of behavior, so you can see how the relationships fit together.

And all of that is really around improving the employee experience, because your employee experience -- if you can affect that, you can also affect your customer experience.

So, in conclusion, we've gone through 7 Trends. We’ll recap each one really quickly and we'll go through the high-level bullet that we want you to take away from it.

Trend Number One: Talent Sourcing Goes High Tech.We want to make sure that you are leveragingtechnology so that you can attract the best talent.

Trend Number Two: Create a Candidate Concierge Experience. Remember if you are doing this, it could be your competitive advantage to make sure that you get the top talent and not your competitor.

Trend Number Three: Automating the Onboarding Process. If you do this, onboarding technology can save your company money, but it can also increase retention. Your employees could stick around longer than they do without it.

Trend Number Four: Millennials are Becoming Managers. You want to embrace the changes that those Millennials are bringing. Those Millennials as managers, it will benefit your company.

Trend NumberFive: Real-time and Agile Performance Reviews. Ongoing feedback will increase performance of your employees and it decreases your response time to issues as they come up.

Trend Number Six: Integrated Talent Management. Top-performing companies trend toward integrated talent management.

Last but not least -- Trend Number Seven: Analytics to Improve Business Decisions. It's no longer for big business. Having access to employee data is critical to getting a seat at the table.

And last but not least, to go back to my first slide: knowing the difference between a fad and a trend. Make sure that you are leveraging trends to improve the business. And -- I don't -- what the heck was up with planking, by the way? How was that ever a thing? And if you do follow a fad, I at least hope that you're not as silly as this guy who decided to do it on top of a tiger.

I mentioned that we were going to bring up the slide that has our registration for our next webinar. You can go to go.BirdDogHr.com/marchonboarding to register for the March 29th event. I'm really excited about that event, that webinar. It will be myself and Abby Adamson, who is on our team here to talk about onboarding and the value that it adds to your strategy.

And with that, Ann, I think we are done. I think at this point we open it up to questions.

ANN: Yes, so while you are taking questions we did just want to share with you that there are plenty of resources available at no charge at BirdDogHR.com that you can download on really any topic related to talent management, so just want to make sure that you know that those resources are available.

So, we will go ahead and jump into the questions. Please go ahead and send in any that you have.

We did just have one question come in about will the presentation be sent to us? We will definitely be sending out a follow-up email that has a link to a recording of the webinar, so you'll be able to access that again, share it with colleagues and check out all of this information again.

Really the majority of the of the points, and some of the statistics, are in the whitepaper, as well. That's something that you have access to right away if you go out to BirdDogHR.com and go to the resources section you can download that whitepaper right now.

So, another question that has come in is, "I keep hearing that HR needs to be morelike marketing. Can you please explain with this means?"

CHRIS: Yes, good question. So as seen on my Don Draper slides, where we talked about HR needs to be more like marketing and that has been something that people been talking about for a long time. In terms of the trends that we talked about -- the top seven trends -- it was really focused around, you know, technology and going high tech and taking advantage of technology to become more like strategic marketers for your company.

Kind of, in a nutshell, the biggest thing that I can say whenit comes to thinking more like marketing, everything that I've gleaned over the years, it's really around your brand. Truly understanding your brand and what your company represents to its employees and having a realistic grasp on that. There is who you are today as a company and what you mean to your employees – there’s certainly where you want to go, but you can't misrepresent who you are just because you want to be something else.

You have to be honest and true to your brand for your employees.

ANN: All right, the next question is about onboarding. The question is: “Are we able to incorporate our own processes and forms into your onboarding software?”

Good question. Yes. So, make sure that you know as you are looking at onboarding solutions your own processes need to be taken into account. Every company does things a little bit different.

You have your own forms, you have your own pieces that you need your employees to fill out. Absolutely, BirdDogHR Onboarding allows you to upload your own custom forms. You can also have your own acknowledgments that you can have them sign off on as they go through the onboarding process. It's really super slick.

ANN: Alright, then the last question that we have is: “We're thinking of changing our annual appraisal process. Do you have any recommendations to help us get started?”

CHRIS: Okay, so that is a good question. You are obviously falling into that 70% statistic of people that are planning on changing their performance evaluation process. Assuming that you were thinking about whether that you want to go from an annual review process to something more frequent, the best advice I have is work within your organization Work within your management team, find out what sort of buy-in you will have from your teams. You also need to decide as an HR organization: Are you willing to completely abandon annual performance reviews? If you are, that's great.

There are tools such as BirdDogHR that can support that. If you don't want to completely abandon the process, but you want to kind of flush it out with more touch points, that's great, too. Most of our customers, that's what they're looking to do is keep the annual review, incorporate more strategic touch points throughout the year. Whether it’s monthly, weekly whatever the case may be.

To incorporate that, a strong piece of advice that I have is: Start with a group within your company that can act as early adopters, that you know will be advocates for it in the future. So, if you get a couple of managers that are excited about this opportunity, that maybe even come to you about this opportunity, bring them in and just try it with their teams.

Try to streamline the process to find what works within you and your organization and once you get it flushed out with them, it becomes a lot easier to roll it out to a broader organization because now you have cheerleaders that can help you roll it out, sing its praises of how much benefit it’s added to the company and to their teams.

ANN: Alright.

CHRIS: That was a long answer, sorry.

ANN: No, that was great. I think that probably gave her a lot of information to think about, so I think that covers all the questions we had today. So, Chris, thank you for sharing your experience. I think we'll go ahead and wrap up just a few minutes early and this will conclude today's webinar. So, thanks again for joining us today and everyone have a great day.

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