Blogs by Marc S. Miller


  1. Recruiting and retaining knowledge workers – attracting the new workforce
  2. Leveraging HR technology to gain strategic “CLOUT” and senior level influence
  3. Obtaining a “Total Compensation” quantification and using it to retain and recruit seasoned executive staff and newer generation workers
  4. Aligning the HR function with overall company business strategies
  5. Implementing business process improvements utilizing workflows that incorporate employee and manager self service over the web
  6. Outsourcing what is not in HR’s core competencies and that which makes economic sense
  7. Incorporating on-boarding and employee engagement programs – built and utilized even prior to the first day on the job.

1. Recruiting and retaining Knowledge Workers – especially the last 2 Generations – Millennial’s and Gen X

  • The workforce is the one component that competitors cannot easily duplicate quickly. 
  • Recruiting and Talent management are the two areas of most interest by HR executives. 
  • Taking advantage of the Boomer workforce – creating flexible job schedules, telecommute, part time positions, and the ability to be a mentor will provide strong benefits for retaining not seeking to replace, the Aging Boomer workforce. 
  • Have a website – employee and manager portal that incorporates and delivers such functionality as: Employee and Manager Self Service, Performance Reviews, Appraisals, 360 degree feedback, team interactions (twitterlike), team relate-ability, template based workflows, email triggered by events,  etc, that is intuitive and common to at least 2 workforce Generations.
  • Take care in making sure that any delivered HR related functionality must be able to be accessed by any device.

2. Leveraging HR Technology and related systems to provide Strategic, value added “information” to the Board of Directors”, move from “Data Management” to “Information Craftsmanship

  • Use the power of technology to generate metrics and dashboards to provide forecasts and other models of strategic importance to the C-level executives, especially the CHRO, and potentially the Board of Directors.
  • Provide information not data: seek to build or take advantage of top tier HRMS vendors who have already built, dashboards of workforce metrics. Just start with 10 or so, and gauge the reception.
  • Chose metrics that make sense for your industry, and that would seemingly add value by leading to actionable initiatives spearheaded by HR.
  • Consider your organization’s willingness to embrace “Predictive Analytics” from your HR functions. Go at a considered pace in formulating and distributing your findings. Make sure your underlying data and assumptions are accurate.

3. Obtaining a “Total Compensation” quantification and using it in a retainment strategy

  • “Employers are giving up rigid wage scales in favor of flexible compensation. They are learning to live with high turnover and abolishing seniority-based pay” – BusinessWeek Magazine, The Wild New Workforce, December 2005.
  • HR Technology and systems must be able to produce an accurate picture of total compensation for each of the organization’s employees.
  • Boomers and aging workforce care less about base salary than all the other characteristics of the total compensation – time off, benefits coverage, flexible work schedule etc.  

4. Aligning the HR function with overall corporate business strategies

  • The traditional HR function has often been perceived by the organization it supports as both paternalistic and obsessed with legal compliance and bureaucratic trivia; the unfortunate result has been, at times, a strained relationship between HR and the rest of the organization. 
  • The new HR must change and become the enabling force that helps the organization realize its business goals and objectives.
  • HR must be proactive in its ability to provide the Board of Directors of the organization the Information (not data) they need to strategically guide the organization.
  • Always think “VALUE” showing how the end result of any HR initiative adds VALUE and impacts the business in a positive way. HR must remove itself from the “Silo” view of HR activities, and must understand the “company” – its plus and minuses, its direction, its competitors, etc.

5. Implementing business process improvements that incorporate employee and manager self-service.

  • Today’s HR Technology applications provide templates for best practice workflows for many life cycle events, including email triggers, alerts and notifications with built in approval processing.
  • Most, if not all, HRMS solutions include workflow, some standard metrics on a template dashboard, built in ESS/MSS etc. If using a selected HRMS provider – seek to use what they provide.

     Examples of Opportunities for Cost Savings:

  • Information Week Magazine provides the statistics that the cost of routine HR transactions  typically falls from as much as $17 to just $2.40 when self-service technology is employed.
  • The self service solution introduced by a Major US Oil Company with 9,000 employees to handle the distribution of Benefits statements and electronic pay stubs saved $370k in the first year alone, due to reduced paperwork, postage, and staff time.
  • Sony significantly reduced its headcount (12%) and expects future cost savings of 25-30%; in addition, service levels and quality / timeliness of information have improved, average cycle time of existing HR processes has been reduced by 28%, and HR services are more aligned with the overall business strategy.

6. Outsourcing what is NOT in HR’s core competencies and that which makes  economic sense

  • Many organizations have identified Outsourcing as a strategy to reduce costs. 
  • Executives and boards of directors have narrowed their respective focus to increasing market share and creating products and services to meet customer demand; the HR function has been called on more than ever to be the enabling force that helps the organization reach its goals and objectives.
  • Largest growth segment in HRO is for small business, less than 1000 employees
  • There are many newer HR System vendors offering comprehensive HR/Benefits/payroll applications with ESS and MSS over the cloud – for company’s with as few as 50 employees.
  • Most HRMS providers pricing range from $10.00 to $25.00 per employee per month (PEPM) depending on functional modules in play, most with an integrated HR, Benefits  and Payroll masterfile.   

7. Incorporating on-boarding and employee engagement programs – supported now by many HRMS providers

  • On-boarding utilizes HR Technology to provide candidates who have accepted your company’s letter of offer, or signed a contract, and have identified their first day of work (Date of Hire). Typically it might work thusly, a “pin” number is provided to the soon to be “on-board” person. They use it  to gain access to your organizations home page or similar (set up just for them) . Then they can be walked thru the process of entering additional data for purposes of setting up the payroll, enrolling in benefits, reading company mandated privacy and other policies, and even seeing a welcome video from senior management . All very impressive, and using the best possible User Experience and design. The goal, to reduce number of hours or days of orientation in order to get the new hire exposed to corporate culture ASAP. Seek to make the new hire immediately productive on day ONE.
  • Employee Engagement is a current hot topic. It is a well-documented initiative and many HR folks chime in as to its importance. Research has shown that companies with a strongly engaged workforce perform better overall – revenue trends and stock values seem to increase.  The goal, to build a workforce that “goes the extra mile” that willingly puts in extra effort, that displays excitement and embraces the organization.  That type of outcome translates into strong Customer Service scores, and then customer loyalty, and then more desire for your organization’s services and products.
  • HR Technology could support this with metrics mapping year to year changes – attitude surveys, “pop up” surveys, more extensive employee feedback regarding rewards and recognition, etc. 
  • And once again, if you are in “partnership” with a proven HRMS provider, seek to utilize what they may have already built and can deliver regarding On-boarding and various Employee Engagement factors.

Marc Miller
April 8, 2016

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