Conference Coverage

HR Technology Conference showcased analytics, cloud HCM

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Six new technology products featured at 2015 HR Tech

ADP Marketplace, Korn Ferry's Executive Assessment and SAP Intelligent Services among products recognized at the 2015 HR Tech conference in Las Vegas.

Six big vendors presented new technology products in live demonstrations at an industry event that showed some major strides in human capital management (HCM) software.

During the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, the new technology products focused on talent management and other areas such as machine learning and predictive analytics.

Workday Inc.'s retention risk analysis and recommendations as part of its Talent Insights application, Oracle's learning cloud and Korn Ferry's four-dimensional executive assessment were among the new  products recognized by HR Tech conference organizers.

The others at the awesome new technologies session were ADP Marketplace, Visier Workforce Planning and SAP's Intelligent Services, part of SuccessFactors.

The ADP Marketplace, a cloud application store developed exclusively for the HCM market and offering products by ADP and certified partners, is an example of a vendor teaming up with other vendors.

The marketplace includes 99 applications that can be purchased by employers, and come already integrated with a company's ADP system of record, or HRIS, Don Weinstein, senior vice president of product management at ADP, said at the conference.

It offers new technology products by ADP and certified partners such as SAP's Concur, LifeCare, GetHired, Parklet and Cornerstone OnDemand.

ADP also conducts security reviews with each partner and code scans the integrations to test for vulnerabilities before any data is moved, Weinstein said.

ADP receives fees on purchases of the applications available in the marketplace, said a spokesman for the company.

Only ADP customers can purchase applications from the marketplace, the spokesman said.

SAP demonstrates product with machine learning

Intelligent Services was also among the new technology products highlighted at HR Tech. Dmitri Krakovsky, then senior vice president of human capital management products at SAP, showed how Intelligent Services uses machine learning to automate a lot of processes that involve employee lifecycle management, such as leaves of absence and transfers.

He said the software can predict transactions sparked by key job changes and quickly adjust them for an employee, saving time and reducing work for HR.

He used the example of an SAP executive who is transferred to the company's base in Germany.

Typically, the company would provide a thick booklet on how to settle in a new spot, he said. Or, the manager would need to make phone calls to find a new home, uproot a family, move belongings, maybe buy a car and find a school for children, or a German tutor.

With the software, much of that work can be automated and machine learning can recommend the best choices, said Krakovsky, now vice president of products at Google.

If the manager was set to interview a job candidate, for example, the software could automatically reroute the prospect to another executive to handle the work. The software could also gather and send to the manager all the information and data about a new team. The manager could click on a team member's name and see a history of performance.

The software is smart enough to know that the manager is new and it provides the information, saving a lot of time for someone who was just transferred, he said. The system can also figure out training content for his new job and push it out to him, he said.

By learning from the experiences of past transfers, the software can recommend tutors or schools, sources for new cars or homes, language instructors and communities of other employees in similar circumstances, according to Krakovsky.

The Korn Ferry tool focuses on predictive insights for recruiting, the start of employee lifecycle management, said Dana Landis, vice president of talent research and analytics at Korn Ferry International.

The software works by generating a special profile for an open executive's position, after taking into account a company's suggestions on skills and attributes needed for the post and Korn Ferry's benchmarked data on people who do best in the role.

Landis said the profile is partly developed from the vendor's records of seven million executives and professionals and 2.5 million assessment records. Korn Ferry mined that information for patterns and predictors of success for executive performance, she said.

Contenders take a series of executive tests and are rated against the profile and other candidates on the short list. The assessment's results and predictions are boiled down into four categories: skills and behaviors, experiences, personality traits and motives. The tool generates a guide of a finalist's scores and all the places where they diverge from the top benchmarks, she said. The results are presented with visuals and charts.

Leighanne Levensaler, the senior vice president responsible for direction and strategy of applications at Workday, demonstrated the vendor's new tool for predicting flight risk and offering suggestions to keep top performers.

An HR leader, for example, could look at a Workday dashboard and see predictions of top performers at risk of leaving over the next 12 months, broken down by division or department. Risk factors for sales and marketing, for example, would be an employee's tenure, position and number of salary increases and managers, she said.

The software's algorithms and machine learning analyze an organization's data and identify the risk factors associated with each organization, she said.

Workday takes an additional step by providing prescriptive actions or recommendations, similar to the ways Netflix would recommend a movie or Amazon a book. The software can identify patterns of success with promotions and might recommend a promotion for a valued employee, Levensaler claimed.

Gretchen Alarcon, group vice president of product strategy at Oracle, explained the Oracle Learning Cloud, which includes a recommendation engine to deliver video and other personalized content to employees. The system itself can make recommendations because it "knows" the employee and learns from the actions of the employee and co-workers on the software, she said.

The Learning Cloud, offered with Oracle HCM software, also allows employees to create and share videos, articles, PDFs and PowerPoints and is inspired by the vast amount of video learning content offered over YouTube, Alarcon said.

Oracle Learning Cloud makes it easy for employees to recommend content to others in an organization, she said. Employees can discuss the content, provide feedback, share ideas and create communities.

Some topics in an enterprise cannot be easily described by a single video. In that vein, the software allows employees to create video tutorials by organizing content and putting it in an order that's best for people to learn, she said. Managers can also require training employees, put a due date on the material and track completion.

Dave Weisbeck, chief strategy officer at Visier, presented Visier Workforce Planning, which integrates with Visier Workforce Analytics and can provide current and projected workforce costs.

The tool is aimed at allowing HR to obtain real-time data and other input from business leaders, find trends and forecasts, tie needs for talent to business priorities and explore workforce scenarios, according to a Visier release on the presentation at HR Tech.

Weisbeck said the software allows HR to show who will be hired, how many and when they will be hired. It also shows the numbers of people who will leave and when they will leave, he said. This allows HR to adjust for talent and skills in an organization and see the timings of hires and departures to figure out how to be most cost efficient, he said.

If an HR leader, for example, wanted to craft a budget plan to save $30 million, the software can do that. It allows a user to establish a goal for spending on the workforce and it can project how much savings is needed period by period or month by month, he said.

Visuals can show if the plan is off target and help determine if pay should be changed or contingent workers hired, he added.

The plan can be sent to other business leaders to allow them to make changes. "It is all about connecting the right talent at the right time at the right cost to improve your business outcomes," Weisbeck said.

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Conference Coverage

HR Technology Conference showcased analytics, cloud HCM

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