Insight


exaqueo's weekly blog featuring insight from our team on industry news and trends, our research, client work and lessons learned.

Comment

Recent Blog Posts

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Why HR is Important to Your Business

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Why HR is Important to Your Business

When thinking about "business," what comes to mind first is finance, selling goods and services, advertising...Human Resources is not necessarily at the top of the list. Yet it's a necessary function to keep a business running because no matter what, there are people involved in a business. And not only is it necessary, it's important. Below are some thoughtful pieces around why HR is important to your business. 

1) What Organizations Need Now From Human Resources from Forbes

"The job of Human Resources today is to make people and organizations grow, yet it has only marginally evolved since its inception around the end of the nineteenth century. Starting as 'Personnel,' to protect women and girls in industrial environments, it gradually morphed into other realms including employee hiring, firing, attendance, and compensation. Motivation, organizational behavior, and selection assessments were added to the mix in the 1960s and ’70s. Over the last decade or so, the title of H.R. Business Partner – essentially a business-focused H.R. Manager role – was introduced with little impact."

Comment

exaqueo Launches The Workforce Lab

Comment

exaqueo Launches The Workforce Lab

Lately, we've all been obsessed with big data. We love the idea of being able to analyze data patterns and better predict who to hire and how to better manage and develop the talent we already have. For organizations trying to scale, it may mean developing dashboards or analyzing existing processes to see if they're actually working.

For growing and mature organizations, it means using the latest in data science to look at existing organizational data—from employee communications to internal human resources data—and assess it for behavioral trends and patterns about how your employees get work done—individually and across the organization.

exaqueo is excited to announce our latest endeavor: The Workforce Lab.  We've partnered with RedOwl Analytics and our forward-thinking approach was covered in today's Washington Post.

We're currently looking for clients interested in exploring the latest in big data and predictive analytics. Learn more at The Workforce Lab.  

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Using LinkedIn for Recruiting

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Using LinkedIn for Recruiting

LinkedIn has transformed the recruiting community for the better. It's a tool that changed recruiting and gave recruiters access to millions of candidates and networks. Smaller or growing companies may not have access to the same information as larger firms though, so her are some tips for using LinkedIn for recruiting. 

1) Great Faux Pas in Recruiting: Plagiarizing from RecruitDC

"Usually when a recruiter contacts someone via LinkedIn, it’s because s/he saw something of interest on that person’s profile. Then there’s THIS GUY that apparently liked what he saw enough to plagiarize it. As I typically do prior to responding to any message, I clicked on the profile of the sender to gather some information. Imagine my reaction (it went something like this @#$%^&!!!!!) when I immediately recognized a specific segment of that guy’s summary section as MY OWN WORDS from my profile. That’s right. Words that I placed together to form a phrase, sentence or statement on MY very own LinkedIn profile summary section about MY very own professional situation actually appeared VERBATIM on that person’s profile."

Comment

Five Questions You're Not Asking About Your People Data

Comment

Five Questions You're Not Asking About Your People Data

Quick quiz--how many presentations have you given with percentages or pie charts?  Business has always been a numbers game.  Every proposal, every case, every request for funding--data drives decisions and we know it. And now we gone big. Big data.

Sure, big data is all the rage, but employing advanced techniques or technology won't be valuable unless you have the right foundation to begin with.  It's easy to get excited about the prospect of advanced data science, predictive analytics and algorithms.

None of that matters unless you have your data in order to begin with. Human resources teams collect buckets of metrics from numerous systems and sometimes never bother to wade through what the metrics actually mean. 

Before you go big, take a good look at your existing measures for an all-important reality check. Ask these five questions about your key people metrics.

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Creating the Best Company Culture

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Creating the Best Company Culture

Company culture is the foundation of a company. Every company has a culture even without trying. At its core, it's acceptable behavior in a given environment. What about being intentional about your culture though? Since it is so foundational, thinking about the type of culture you want to create is crucial. Here are some thoughts on creating the best company culture. 

1) Company Culture, The Engine that Fuels the Company from Your Own Brand

"A culture can generally be described as the practices and values that are shared by people within a certain group.  A company culture, then, is the shared practices and values of the employees within a certain company.  The culture within a company is very important because it can really help a company thrive, or break it down.  Companies that have good cultures that are lined up with their overall business goals will generally out perform competition.  In order to make the most of your own company’s culture, you need to figure out what culture you currently have, what you would like to have, and how you can make changes to improve it."

Comment

Creating Buy-in for Your Ideas

Comment

Creating Buy-in for Your Ideas

Have you ever been in a situation where you have said, “I told you so”? Those words include the thrill of being right (I for one live for these moments of being right!). But these words indicate that a person didn’t follow your advice. What good is that? Who cares if you were right, the person didn’t believe you enough to follow your recommended action, which resulted in the unfavorable outcome you predicted.

A mentor of mine shared this advice with me when I told him a story where I ended up being right about what would happen if someone didn’t follow my advice. He said the fault isn’t on the person for not following the advice, but rather on me for not being able to convince the person to take my advice. This really changed my mindset and approach when convincing people to believe me.

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Rethinking HR

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Rethinking HR

It's easy to get into a rut and continue doing things the way they always have been done. Every once in a while, it's helpful to take a step back and ask, "is this there a better way to do this?" Here's your opportunity to ask that question for Human Resources with some great articles around rethinking areas of HR and trying out something new. 

1) Rethinking the Review from Human Resource Executive

"After 50 years of debate, has the time finally come to chuck the performance review? Adobe Systems Inc. has long been renowned for its innovative multimedia and creativity software products, most notably Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, and the Portable Document Format that we all know as the PDF. By the fall of 2011, however, the San Jose, Calif.-based company had shifted its focus toward rich Internet-application software development -- specifically digital media and digital marketing."

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Technology Trends in HR

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Technology Trends in HR

There are new technologies popping up every day in the HR space, it's hard to keep track of what's actually worthwhile. This week's talent and HR news weekly roundup features technology trends in HR from a variety of sources. Check them out and let us know what you're seeing out there too. 

1) The Hot HR Technology Trends Of 2014 from Forbes

"The Information Services Group III, a leading technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company, recently conducted the ‘Industry Trends in Human Resources Technology and Service Delivery Survey’. Released in February 2014, the survey presents findings, which, while not surprising, should be top of mind for leaders and talent managers everywhere. The survey points to three benefits companies expect to realize from investments in HR tech (quoting from the report): an improved user and candidate experience, access to ongoing innovation and best practices to support the business, and speed of implementation to increase the value of technology to the organization."

Comment

Four Things HR Professionals Can Learn From "Ban the Box"

Comment

Four Things HR Professionals Can Learn From "Ban the Box"

It's not a new initiative, but the "ban the box" campaign is picking up steam again, as additional jurisdictions around the country consider taking action. If you're not aware, "ban the box" refers to the box job applicants often have to check admitting if they have past convictions or criminal offenses.  

Regardless of how you personally feel about "ban the box," there are key lessons for any HR or recruiting professional. Too often, it's easy to get mired in your work--heads down and focused on the task at hand.  We leave the politics and legal issues to our leaders and lawyers. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't get involved or understand when our companies take (or don't take) action.

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: New Trends in Human Resources

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: New Trends in Human Resources

Human Resources is all around us. It's more than just benefits and personnel issues too, and the field has earned a seat at the table in recent years. After all, once the recession hit, the world realized how important jobs really are to a functioning and thriving economy. As the HR function has grown, here are some new trends and thinking in the space. 

1) Why It's A 'Glorious Time' To Be in HR from Forbes

"Last month employers in the U.S. added 288,000 jobs. It marked the best five month stretch of job creation since 2008 and the U.S. economy has now officially recovered from the job losses of the last great recession. Of course this is great news for everyone. But there’s one tech industry in particular that particularly benefits when more people are working. Those are the companies that make human resources (HR) software."

Comment

Cell phone use at work: What’s acceptable?

Comment

Cell phone use at work: What’s acceptable?

They are ubiquitous. Cell phones. 61% of the global population uses mobile phones, and 25% of the population uses smartphones. Providing many different convenient ways of easy communication - through calls, text messages, emails, social media - Adults spend an average of 58 minutes on their mobile phone a day. And that number is much higher for young adults.

Remember that amount of time isn’t at one sitting, so some of this time on a cell phone is inevitably spent at work. Communicating through these channels is more discreet than on your computer screen. A text message is much more inconspicuous than a phone call which can be heard by your cube mates. This technology is convenient, but are cell phones taking away from productivity at work?

Before taking any action and creating policies around cell phone usage, here are a few things to consider:

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Recruiting and Retaining Employees

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Recruiting and Retaining Employees

Recruiting and retaining employees are topics we often talk about here on our exaqueo blog, rightfully so - these are fundamental to the talent and HR world! Since thinking in these areas are often evolving, we like to revisit them often. Here is some of the latest thinking around recruiting and retaining employees. 

1) How Mining Data About Employees Could Give You A Competitive Edge from Forbes

"It’s no secret that the world’s most successful companies all have one thing in common: They’re able to recruit —and retain — the best and brightest minds. Indeed, a global battle for top talent is heating up, and companies in industries from high tech to retail are finding big advantages in big data. As younger-generation workers continue to job-hop their way up the corporate ladder—or even strike off as entrepreneurs—job loyalty is in decline. How can companies do a better job retaining employees? According to Leerom Segal, co-author of New York Times bestselling book “The Decoded Company,” the answer could lie in big data."

Comment

Results and Impacts of Gap’s Effort to Increase Hourly Wages

Comment

Results and Impacts of Gap’s Effort to Increase Hourly Wages

In March, I wrote about Gap’s efforts to raise the minimum wage for its employees. As a former employee of Gap, I thought this was a bold move that showed how the company values its employees, especially those on the front lines. When I worked there, minimum wage was $5.25. I remember getting my paycheck after a few 4-hour shifts and feeling so defeated having put in hours of work and not seeing much payoff. But the discount was good!

It’s been a few months since Gap took this initiative, and they are already seeing results.  The company shared that “employment applications at the Gap and Old Navy chains have surged by at least 10 percent from a year earlier.” Not only have the effects impacted recruiting, they are also touching the brand as a whole: “Gap’s stock has gained 6.5 percent this year, outpacing a 5.5 percent advance by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.” While there are other factors that contribute to a rising stock price, this one certainly didn’t hurt it. Gap’s efforts have also sparked a trend. Ikea pledged to increase hourly pay by 17% in certain cities.

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Focusing on Employee Happiness

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Focusing on Employee Happiness

Summer is usually a time when people are generally happy. The weather is warm, the sun is out longer, and vacations are plentiful. These are all things that boost a person's mood. What if your employer could contribute to a person's happiness too? Here are some excellent articles focusing on employee happiness. 

And speaking of vacations, happy 4th of July to our American friends and clients! 

1. 6 Tips For Keeping Your Employees Happy from Careerealism

"Managing an office and keeping employees happy is no small task. The truth is, sometimes no matter what you do it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy at the same time. The key to minimizing employee turnover rate is to make people feel acknowledged and appreciated. As mentioned on Deputy’s blog, being an effective manager is all about communication."

Comment

Welcome to Our Newest Team Member: Wendy Timmons

Comment

Welcome to Our Newest Team Member: Wendy Timmons

110ae23.jpg

One of the benefits of working with exaqueo is access to expert consultants who didn't start out that way. Everyone on our team built their experience working in-house first.  So we understand what it's like to have to answer to internal stakeholders and balance competing interests, resources, and goals.

With that in mind, we're thrilled to welcome Wendy Timmons to our team. A seasoned HR leader, Wendy actually began her career in finance and has an MBA, so she speaks the language of business and results first. A seasoned HR leader, Wendy served in several HR leadership roles with GE in multiple locations from plants to HQ.  Her experience extends from both domestic and international assignments.

Most recently, Wendy worked with Nashville-based Asurion as the HR Leader for the Finance, Legal, Underwriting, and Business Development functions.

Wendy has a BS in Business Administration from Lander University with a concentration in Finance, and an International MBA from The University of South Carolina. She is certified Six Sigma and has a Master Black Belt in HR.

Wendy’s a native of Columbia, SC and currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and two children where she loves to cycle and practice yoga. 

Learn more about Wendy and the exaqueo team.

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Recruitment Done Right

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Recruitment Done Right

This week we are sharing the latest thinking on "Recruitment Done Right." From long-lasting trends to recruiting leaders, here are some insightful articles on the latest best practices in recruiting. 

1) 5 Trends And Buzzwords That Continue To Shape HR from Forbes

"The SHRM annual conference is a fave happening of mine, a collective (and fun-filled) eye opener that helps us all move forward, an atmosphere that’s booming with innovation and global community building. It’s always fun being in the midst of it and meeting new people. For #SHRM14, I’m taking part in a series of HR Influencer panels and events, I’m back again with the blog squad and of course I will be spending quality time meeting with clients, colleagues and friends. And of course….The parties and new and interesting connections await."

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: How to Engage and Re-engage Your Employees

Comment

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: How to Engage and Re-engage Your Employees

We always talk about engagement here at exaqueo. Studies show a correlation between an engaged employee and service, sales, quality, safety, retention, profit and total shareholder returns. So it's not something to be ignored. Yet many companies do. Here is some of the latest thinking on how to engage and re-engage your employees. 

1) The Secret To Re-Engaging Employees: It's You from Forbes

"I recently spent time with two individuals in a unique line of work: Employee Engagement Experts, Ron Hirshfeld and Irit Oz. Together they help organizations achieve the seemingly impossible: turning around employee disengagement. Research claims “disengagement” (burnout, boredom, lateness, lackluster performance and workplace conflict) affects as many as 9 in 10 employees. Turning the equation around saves millions of dollars, to the tune of perhaps as much as $50 million for a company of 500 employees. (As I recently noted, Gallup pegs the cost of lost productivity due to absence, illness and stress-related work problems in excess of $350 billion per year nationwide.)"

Comment

If You Think Big Data is All About Numbers, Think Again

Comment

If You Think Big Data is All About Numbers, Think Again

Data. Analytics. Statistics. Not the topics you’d expect to dominate human resources. But the big data conversation is not only getting louder, HR’s role is the center of the discussion.

After all, if big data is really about looking for relationships in data sets, who better to play a role?

Cutting edge analysts like John Sumser have been talking about big data since 2012. But experts and academicians are complaining that HR still isn’t taking charge.  After the recent Wharton People Analytics Conference, professor Peter Cappelli complained that the real work was happening with CIOs and in IT—not in HR:

“The big-data people aren’t reinventing the wheel. They’ve already found things that traditional HR researchers never knew and, frankly speaking, never thought to ask. One reason is because they have better data,” said Cappelli.

But do they?  Or do they just have more of the quantitative we’ve come to drown in?

As big data has gotten bigger, HR has shifted towards a metrics approach. After all, with ATS, HRIS and performance metrics, it’s easier (and cheaper) to rely on the numbers to drive decisions. And companies such as Microsoft want to take it all the way.

Wharton Magazine reported on Microsoft’s presentation at their conference:

“[During] the presentation by Dawn Klinghoffer, senior director of HR Business Insights at Microsoft, Klinghoffer delved straight into Microsoft’s end goal: to eliminate human interaction from the hiring process at Microsoft.”

Why would any organization want to eliminate the human process from anything?

Comment

Tips for Communicating to Employees During Change

Comment

Tips for Communicating to Employees During Change

We often work with companies who are going through a state of change, and I’ve experienced many of these projects during my management consulting days. Organizational change is tricky, and very few companies are successful at it. In fact, a study done by Towers Watson found that only 25% of companies see long-term success from a change. The study cites communication as part of this failure – about two-thirds of senior managers and only about half of middle managers say they receive the messages.

In so many of the projects we work on, it always comes down to communication. And this makes sense – it’s such a part of human relationships. How many times have you found yourself in an argument with a significant other because of a break in communication? Or how many times have you left a meeting and thought you were all on the same page only to find out everyone had very different takeaways?

Comment