HRchitect continues to expand service offerings in all sectors through the first half of 2014

August 6, 2014

-HRchitect has seen a dramatic increase in the number of service offerings and HCM technology implementation partners across all service sectors-

HRchitect logo HiRes with HCM tag

Frisco, T.X. (August 6th, 2014) – As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) systems consulting firm, HRchitect continues to grow in all service sectors of HCM technology consulting. The first half of 2014 has brought with it an increased number of HCM technology products which HRchitect’s consultants implement and support. More and more leading HCM vendors are turning to HRchitect to ensure that implementation resources are up to speed with the latest offerings as well as able to implement these new solutions. From strategic planning and evaluation, to implementation and change management, HRchitect has expanded both in revenue and their client portfolio as leading vendors are continuously added to HRchitect’s list of service offerings as the market and clients dictate.

“It’s an exciting time at HRchitect as we add more and more service offerings around the complete suite of HCM technology solutions” said Brian Kimball, Executive Vice President, Implementation Services at HRchitect. “Our implementation teams are constantly training with new vendors from all areas of the HCM technology space including HRIS, Benefits, Workforce Management, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management and Learning Management. Our list of systems we are trained to implement is growing every quarter.”

HRchitect’s commitment to their vendor-agnostic approach to evaluation and selection services sets the company apart from many of the other consulting companies in the HCM space today. As a result of offering truly unbiased, vendor-neutral system evaluations, HRchitect’s evaluation and selection services remain one of the fastest growing practices within the company. The HRchitect selection process places all the emphasis on the client’s needs and not the interests of one solution provider over another. This allows HRchitect to be a truly impartial advocate for clients throughout the selection process and has played a major factor in recent company growth.

As all practices within HRchitect continue to grow, the company has streamlined operations to better meet the needs of clients and enhance the customer experience. “Even after 17 years in business, we continue to evaluate our internal resources, systems, policies, and procedures, just like we would when we are working on behalf of our clients.” said Matt Lafata president at HRchitect. “We are continuing to improve on what we do year in and year out…all to the benefit of our current and future clients.”

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About HRchitect: HRchitect, the leader in full life cycle Human Capital Management systems consulting services, is a name you can trust as your one-stop shop for all your HR technology related consulting services. HRchitect’s services are focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Workforce Management systems, Talent Acquisition systems, and Talent Management systems.

To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization, please visit www.HRchitect.com. HRchitect is the leader in HR systems strategic consulting.  As the premier Human Capital Management (HCM) Systems consulting firm, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation/selection, project management and implementation of HR systems, Talent Management Systems, Talent Acquisition Systems, and Workforce Management software. After more than 17 years in business working on over 2100 successful engagements for more than 950 clients across the globe, HRchitect is a name you can trust for all your organization’s HCM- technology related consulting needs.


Social Media in today’s Learning Environment- Tools for today’s Learners

August 4, 2014

nextgov-medium

Recent survey data has shown that Social Media tools are becoming more prevalent, proving to be one of the most used for relationship management, knowledge transfer and the sharing of ideas among the next generation of Learners. These tools allow users to engage with others that share the same interest and perform research within the subject matter and expertise of the issue or learning item at hand

Talent Management systems are now including the social aspect as a module since the generation in the work force today has come to realize that this is an important tool but corporations are slow in moving to adapt the social aspect. If you were to ask the workforce of today their thoughts, the answer would be that corporations must adapt and we are beginning to see movement in this area. Creating a social environment is not only useful for the learner but also a good knowledge transfer tool allowing users to interact and share multitudes of information. In the past, when there was an issue or situation that arose where you felt someone had “been there before”, you sent an email or just picked up the phone. While these are great methods of communication and are still valuable today, today’s generation of learners are more adapt to send an IM or chat with someone since they are accustomed to real time responses.

So how will Corporations deal with this from a learning perspective? First and foremost, start with a plan of how to incorporate the social aspect of learning. Designate a group to head up a discussion board that creates discussion topic categories based on the learning catalog and allow some controlled interaction to take place. Monitor the social platform and make sure that you designate fallback SMEs to answer questions that are not getting answered in a timely fashion. Assign areas of interest to folks that can respond quickly and accurately. This generation is fast moving and if they can’t find the answers with the tools you provide, they will search elsewhere.

So how will these tools allow Learners to become more efficient? Let’s face it, when we sit down to take training or work in our corporate Talent Management System, time is both our friend and our enemy. Using social as a tool can offer assistance allowing users to collaborate about learning items and supply information relevant to the Course. Another way to use this is to establish guidelines and principles. Create discussion groups, topics of interest and items that will entice participation in discussions about training items.

I recently spent some time interviewing and discussing the importance of Social Media and Collaboration tools in today’s learning environment with a group representing a Fortune 500 company. This work force group consisted of the Baby Boomers and Millennials which provided a diverse view of the social tools that are being pushed to the forefront of Talent Management Systems in the work place. They are customer facing, meaning they spent the majority of their day interacting with customers in one fashion or another; face to face or on the phone, and require both fast and accurate resolutions.

Each group had different views on the subject but both reached the agreement that having such tools incorporated inside the Learning environment added greater value allowing for easier discussions related to training items.

Everything is available and connected, all answers are out there either through searching the web, social media or just putting a question out there for an instant response. If your company isn’t out there using these channels then your organization effectively does not provide all the necessary tools for the new generation of learner to be successful.

Ray Eaton

Senior HCM Consultant at HRchitect

HRchitect

LinkedIn

 


The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten

July 28, 2014

Recently I received an e-mail with the following quote: “The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten”

As consumers, over the course of our lives, there will be a plethora of times where we must endure the mental anguish of choosing between the quality of a product or service verses the price we must pay.

We live in a culture where the budget amount is the driving force when determining the price we should pay for a product or service, however, after pondering on the above quote, I began to wonder if we could possibly be working backwards. If the ultimate goal of purchasing a product or service is quality, then creating a budget prior to knowing the amount of financial obligation is like putting the cart before the horse.

We sometimes fool ourselves to believe that we received a deal when we are able to find a product or service that fits within our budget, however, nine times out of ten this is not the case. More times than not we actually increase our budget when we are forced to accept lower quality due to budget constraints. Lower quality typically means correcting what was done incorrectly the first time or replacing or optimizing a product long before the expiration of its lifespan.

In the world of HCM Technology, a successful purchase will aid in a company becoming more innovative, however, an HCM purchase based on a low price has the strong potential to lack the quality needed for the purchase to truly be a success. Countless times I have seen millions of dollars wasted, jobs lost and frustration built due to low price and low quality decisions.

The highest price does not always mean the highest quality, therefore, assessing a purchase based on a product or service’s ability to meet business requirements and successful past performance are vital to ensuring quality takes precedence over the enticement of a low price.

A mentor of mine who was heavily involved in community service once said he had to change the way he looked at things. This mentor used to create a budget, which determined what would be given back to the community. He finally came to a realization which has stuck with me throughout the years, the realization was, looking at the needs of the community first, then based upon those needs create a budget. This was profound, because it made me realize that a budget could not be created until the need and cost of providing that need is determined.

Shauna Zenn

Director of Sales

HRchitect

LinkedIn


Benefits Administration System Selection – A strategy for tomorrow.

July 23, 2014

HRchitect-Selction-Process

Yes, it is time. You are ready to look for a new Benefits Administration system. You are ready for the vendor demonstrations. You have been giving a lot of thought to the new features your system should have. You are excited that this may be the opportunity to finally get that Health and Wellness initiative off the ground.

With the path to choosing a new Benefits Administration system comes a lot of press around the (ACA) Affordable Care Act. Where ever you sit on this topic, take the ACA as an opportunity to rethink your healthcare benefits strategy. Yes, you need to ensure that the new system will provide the reporting you require and yes, HRMS vendors are taking many different approaches in fulfilling these requirements BUT what the new system provides in tangible benefits to your corporation and its strategy is where it will become a big winner (or loser, but let’s not go there!).

Take the time to review the value of employee self-service, especially during open enrollment and how a well-designed portal will improve the workflow for your HR Team. Review the ease of enrollment for your employees at work or at home discussing options with their family. Look for the quick wins like being able to keep your company employee policies up to date and in one location where everyone can access them. Enjoy the cool videos you can add to improve communications and engage your teams. These are all important.

Then take a step back and look at your workforce, what will they be looking for tomorrow? What will help attract and retain those high performers? How can a defined contribution plan with a private exchange bring value at a manageable cost? Allowing employees to tailor their benefits to what matters most to them will bring value to both sides of this equation, the employee and the corporate strategy.

The number of features to consider in a benefits administration system number in the hundreds as do the number of vendors vying for your business. Benefits administration deals with sensitive employee information that needs to be safeguarded by the proper application design and security. Focus on your corporate goals and let HRchitect help you realize the cost benefit through thorough analysis and vendor selection, change management through to implementation including carrier set up and open enrollment support. Let’s talk about what is important in your benefits administration today and even more important what is important to your strategy in the future.

 

Cheryl Tyson 2Cheryl Tyson

Senior Implementation Consultant

HRchitect

LinkedIn


You are a rock star and it’s just a project

July 18, 2014

Awesome guitar player jumps with passion in studio

 

You are a rock star. You are the “go to” HR/Talent Acquisition Professional for your organization. You are THE girl or boy Friday. You are the favorite, you hardly ever make mistakes, you work hard and aggressively invite opportunities to grow and challenge yourself. Great job!

So when your manager walks into your office and sits down, the excitement builds. What accolades will I be receiving? What crisis will I avert, reqs will I magically fill, location’s moral will I turn around with the wave of my rock star wand? Instead, fantastic news! The HRIS/ATS you have been complaining about is finally to be replaced, enterprise wide. YOU have been so instrumental in pointing out the weaknesses  of your current system, or lack thereof, that you get to manage the entire project. It’s the opportunity you have been waiting for, and your manager knows you are going to do a great job

Your manager continues on, rattling off all those buzz words you used when you were trying to influence the executive team this was a needed change; efficiencies, optimization, end user adoption, cost containment, even the dreaded headcount reduction. Unfortunately you now can no longer hear anything he/she is saying. What you can hear is your heart beat banging like Poe’s telltale heart, and what you feel is the sweat rolling down your back.  The eminent evaporation of this same sweat gives you a chill which luckily snaps you out of your daze just in time to flash a pinched smile and thank your manager so much for the opportunity and ensure them that, as always, they will not be disappointed. Been here? Then read on and know you are not alone.

There are a few lessons I have learned as  “non-project manager” along the way which I know can save face and sanity:

 

  • Ensure there is a very clear scope. What is supposed to be achieved in this project? What is not supposed to be achieved? Why are you doing it? How do we measure that we are done? These are the most important questions you can ask as you can repeatedly come back to those answers to gut check what you are spending time on.
  • Agree on a realist target completion date and fight for it. Remember a project is temporary, but your job (hopefully) is not. Get it done, get your props and get back to your “normal” job. Factor time zones, vacations and potentially international cultures in. Summers are a hard time to get anything done for instance as are the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Pad your dates to cover all this potential and always push to stay ahead, not “on time”.
  • Who are the resources and how does the responsibility break down? This is vital because you are NOT responsible for doing everything but you ARE responsible for making sure it gets done. In addition ensure you have a clear escalation point for each resource. Hopefully you won’t need it.
  • Don’t keep it a secret if a resource is not performing or the project is at risk. It is your job to keep your eye on resource and risk, but you may not be in a position to manage those elements. Maintain weekly documentation and share it with management. Keep in mind that just like you, your resources have other responsibilities and may need assistance in managing project priorities. Maybe a quick call is all that is needed to realign your teams efforts.

 

In the end, keep in mind that some projects fail and not due to the efforts, or lack thereof, of the PM. You cannot control every element of your environment or organization. Plan for mistakes and have a mitigation plan in place for those items that you know have a high likelihood of impacting success.

Remember, you are a rock star and it’s just a project.

Elissa MontoyaElissa Montoya
Senior Consultant, Implementation Services
HRchitect

LinkedIn

 


Premise-based vs Saas – Your HCM system has left the building

July 14, 2014

ironworkers

“Build it and they will come” is an age old speculative phrase that has been thrown around when attempting to justify new retail centers, sports venues, business complexes and more.   However that same philosophy of “build” is on the wane as it relates to today’s business systems, and more specifically HCM solutions.

I have had the opportunity to visit with several HR and Project leaders over the past several months who have been confronted with the question of build versus buy as it relates to the upgrade of their existing HCM platform. Of course the actual thought here is to decide between a premise-based solution, or a SaaS (Software as a Service) model. SaaS is becoming synonymous with cloud based or hosted solutions.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with one of my HRchitect colleagues on a client scoping call. This particular client is in the market for a new HCM solution and had only envisioned a premise based solution.   Why? Because their history has been with premise based solutions only therefore familiarity was prevailing here. Well a detailed overview by my colleague of the SaaS model was a game changer. The benefits realized by the client of the SaaS model were:

-          A predictable cost of ownership

-          Easily scalable as the organization’s workforce changes

-          Fewer internal resources for system management

These aforementioned benefits were high level goals for the client therefore SaaS just happened to be the better long term solution. This is not to indicate that premise based should never be considered as there are organizations whose requirements make for a better fit. A need for ongoing customization is one thought there.

Finally as I have observed the impact of cloud based solutions in the world of HCM, I draw a parallel to another industry that has experienced a greater impact……telecommunications. Many of the benefits of cloud based solutions in telecom are beginning to be realized in HCM.   I can only image that in the near term organizations that are utilizing cloud base telephony will draw that same parallel when it comes to evaluating their HCM system.

 

Reggie Wilson3Reggie Wilson

Regional Sales Manager at HRchitect

Connect on LinkedIn

 


Same Thing, Different Word……

July 2, 2014

Regional vocabularies play a huge role in how we communicate with one another. Whether in business or personal matters, word choices and pronunciation can sometimes mean the difference between closing a sale or not, getting that promotion vs. being passed over or simply being accepted to being persona non grata.

I remember when I was working on closing a sale for my former employer, my clients from the Midwest, did not understand or appreciate the country accent in which my colleagues spoke during that meeting. They were visibly disconnected from the meeting and could not focus on the details of our negotiation because they were so turned off by the way in which it was presented to them. After that, our internal team had discussions around not using certain words in business meetings if the audience was from a different region that did not speak the same lingo.

Here’s a map that shows our nation’s regional accent and just how many different ways of speaking English that we find in our own country. Keep this in mind when you’re communicating with others over the phone, via email or in person.

Also, check out the quiz link below from the New York Times and see your personal dialect map by answering 25 short questions. Remember the way you speak says a lot about where you’re from. You want the person you are talking to focusing on what you’re saying and not the way you’re saying it.

 

Check out the New York Times accent quiz HERE

 

  May Huffer

  Regional Sales Manager at HRchitect

  LinkedIn

 

 


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