Blog Post

CIOs, It's Time to Join Forces With HR

Mark Goldin

Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone

As a CIO, focusing your attention on human resources may not be the first thing on your list of priorities. But as the war for talent rages on, the role of talent management in an organization's IT strategy is increasingly important.

In the past, IT and HR departments have shared a rocky relationship. HR professionals often lacked technical understanding or awareness of the work performed in IT, which made it difficult to recruit the right candidates. On the other end, the process-oriented thinkers of IT viewed HR as a reactive — rather than a proactive and strategic — department, which diminished the business value of HR in their eyes. Both departments held preconceived notions and misunderstandings about the other.

Thanks to the growing attention to HR technology and people analytics, the divide between the two departments has been narrowing. But it's time for CIOs to help close the divide for good. As a CIO, you have the unique opportunity to empower businesses with software and data-driven talent insights that not only help employees, but also impact the bottom line.

Close the Skills Gap

At the end of the day, HR and IT share the same goal: move the business forward. And no matter the industry, the amount of progress an organization makes ultimately comes down to its people.

But as HR knows, finding and attracting top talent isn't easy. The demand for the best people is increasing and the bar for "best" is also being raised. According to PricewaterhouseCooper's 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 50 percent of organizations in the survey anticipate increasing headcount this year — and 80 percent of CEOs say they're "looking for a much broader range of skills than in the past."

Investing in talent management software that encompasses everything from recruiting to exit interviews will transform HR's knowledge into hard data that IT can analyze to help make smarter business decisions. By aligning IT's technical prowess with HR's data on the employee life cycle, your organization will have insight into what skills and experiences actually predict success, so you can close the skills gap both more efficiently and effectively.

Deliver Higher Value at a Lower Cost

In addition to closing the skills gap, working with the HR department to find the right talent management product for your company can help deliver more value while lowering costs.

The upfront cost of HR software can be returned tenfold in terms of the time and money saved on recruiting, training, turnover prevention and workforce planning. For example, the average cost of replacing a lost employee — including interviewing, hiring, training, reduced productivity, etc. — is up to 50 percent of an annual salary for entry-level workers and up to 400 percent of an annual salary for high-level employees.

However, these high costs of turnover can be avoided with intelligent tracking and analytics. HR software solutions can warn managers of at-risk employees, as well as solve a suite of talent management issues: predicting performance, identifying and solving low productivity areas, measuring retention in L&D and more.

Lead the Way in Analytics

A strong working relationship between your IT team and your CHRO's team can also help you advance your people analytics program — an area in need of more industry movers and shakers. You've heard the statistics before: three in four companies believe using people analytics is important, but a mere 8 percent report that their organization is "strong" in the area.

How can you lead the way? A unified, cloud-based talent management system allows your organization to consider workforce data across the organization, instead of occasionally answering a data request from HR and performing people analytics in a piecemeal fashion.

As Chief Talent Officer Michael Arena emphasized in a recent interview, people analytics is inherently a difficult subject: "We measure people, and that makes this field uniquely challenging because people don't behave predictably." Instead of making it harder on your organization to integrate workforce analytics, work with your HR team to find the right solution and process for success.

The old adage "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it" applies to talent management as it does to any other department. Your HR team understands your organization's most critical talent challenges better than anyone else — but they need your team's IT expertise to solve them. By joining forces, you can impact the future of your organization, your people and the work landscape as a whole.

Photo: Shutterstock

Related Resources

Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.

4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Blog Post

4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Social media is ubiquitous, and companies are using it in many different and innovative ways for enhancing their sales, marketing and customer services. So why is it then that many HR departments still fail to see social media as more than a job board? Outside of the office, the same HR people happily engage with friends on Facebook, share news and ideas on Twitter, look at pictures on Instagram and send snaps on Snapchat. But when they put their work hat on they seemingly forget why they use social in the way they (and hundreds of millions of other users) do every day, and resort back to just posting jobs (in a boring way) on social media! Of course there is nothing wrong with job posting, and it's often an effective approach to reaching an audience, but not all of the time. According to LinkedIn, only 12 percent of the working population are actively seeking new employment. So, if all you do is post jobs on your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page, you are consciously ignoring the other 88 percent of the working population who might be interested in hearing more about your company in general. Creating and sharing interesting content about your company such as employee stories or volunteer days help bring your employer brand to life. It might even trigger people to reach out to you and find out more about your job opportunities. In truth, mixing up your social media feeds with a variety of content will provide more depth and candidate engagement. Here are four ways to expand your social media strategy and engage with new potential candidates. 1) Candidate Sourcing With people using an average of more than five social networks, sourcing talent via social media makes absolute sense. Branch out from just using LinkedIn and look to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to search for and engage with prospective talent. Try search tools like Followerwonk to search Twitter bios for keywords and job titles, a clever Chrome browser extension called Intelligence Search that easily searches Facebook and using the search bar at the top of Google+. They will help you identify new talent. If you are looking to build social media pipelines then try Hello Talent. It is a great free tool that allows you to build talent pipelines from many different social networks by using a browser extension. 2) Competitor Monitoring Social media is a fantastic source of information and data. By using tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, you can monitor the social media activity of your competitors. Both of these tools allow you to set up search columns, where you can enter things like keywords, hashtags, Twitter names and track when any of these are mentioned on sites such as Twitter. You can use the interact or use the insights accordingly. 3) Resources for Candidates Consider your Facebook page (or Twitter channel) as a real-time customer services channel for you to engage and communicate with both new and existing candidates in the recruitment process. Provide links to your social media pages to candidates at all stages in the process and encourage them to visit the pages and ask questions about any part of the process. You can also share useful information about working for the company, including locations, employees and other relevant news. 4) Live Recruitment Events Not everyone can attend the many recruitment events happening every month. But by using social media like Twitter, Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat, you can easily provide live commentary for these events you attend or host. Real-time video via Facebook Live and interaction via Twitter chats are superb examples of ways to regularly engage with a live audience of potential candidates. With social media firmly established in our working lives, I question how much more evidence HR departments will need to fully embrace this "new" form of candidate engagement. Photo: Twenty20

Cartoon Coffee Break: Unconventional Recruiting

Blog Post

Cartoon Coffee Break: Unconventional Recruiting

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" series. While we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon. Missed the Recruiting Trends conference? From the state of recruiting automation adoption, to the role that the human element still plays in recruiting, our recap covers everything you need to know. Header photo: Creative Commons

The Latest Office Benefit Is Tackling Student Debt

Blog Post

The Latest Office Benefit Is Tackling Student Debt

Modern companies are more than just employers — increasingly, they are also gyms, cafeterias and even laundromats. As perks like yoga class, free lunch and complimentary dry cleaning become the norm, companies continue to push the boundaries on ways to attract and retain top talent by providing much more than a paycheck to employees. The latest in the slew of new workplace benefits? Student loan assistance. In April, Chegg partnered with to give full-time employees extra cash for student loan reduction. Then in September, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it would provide up to $1,200 to help employees pay off loans annually. As a benefit, student loan assistance programs are certainly still in their infancy— one survey found that only 3 percent of companies offer such a benefit. But experts say that may soon change as companies seek to differentiate themselves in a competitive hiring environment. "We think student loan benefits are poised to be the next big benefit; similar to what 401(k) matching was when it was first introduced," says Dana Rosenberg, who leads employer and affinity group partnerships at Earnest, a lender that offers student loan refinancing and works with companies to create loan pay-down programs. The Burden of Student Debt Such programs could be extremely attractive to debt-laden Millennials. Around 40 million Americans collectively carry $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, and the graduating class of 2015 was the most indebted class in history with an average debt of $35,000 (a superlative they won't hold for long come May 2016.) For employers looking to adjust benefits to correspond to the changing demographics of their employee base, student loan programs hit the mark. "In 2016, our employees will be 80 percent millennials, and we also hire close to 11,000 employees directly out of school each year," says Terri McClements, Washington Metro managing partner of PwC. With student debt often preventing young people from participating in 401(k) plans and reaching traditional life milestones, the benefit could potentially make a large impact on employees' financial and personal well-being. A study from the American Student Association found that 73 percent of people with student loans reported putting off saving for retirement or other investments due to their debt, 75 percent reported delaying a home purchase and 27 percent reported it was difficult to buy daily necessities. "Student loans can be a very stressful thing to deal with, so if we can give our employees peace of mind, that's great," says Caroline Gennaro, corporate communications manager at Chegg. The Allure for Employers Student debt assistance programs aren't just attractive to employees, either. Rosenberg says there are significant benefits for the organizations that offer them as well. "Employers that offer programs to help their employees get out from under their debt load are seeing big benefits: increased retention, more competitive recruiting and, perhaps most importantly, happier employees who have additional cash flow to put towards their life goals," Rosenberg explains. Rosenberg says happier employees are more engaged employees, who tend to be more productive. Studies show that companies with high employee engagement experience lower turnover and have double the rate of organizational success than their less-engaged counterparts. Student loan benefit programs may also lead to a more diverse workforce, attracting employees whose financial backgrounds meant they had to take on more debt for their education. "Diversity and inclusion are also very important to us, so the ability to offer this benefit can help minorities who come out of school with a higher debt burden," says McClements. A Promising Response Companies say the response to their student loan assistance programs have been overwhelmingly positive. Chegg has had more than 80 people sign up since they started their program this summer, and they've already eliminated roughly 86 years of collective loan repayments for their employees. Companies are also finding these programs are a way to differentiate themselves from organizations that may offer more generic benefits. "As a company in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are always looking to attract the best and brightest in the industry, and this benefit is a big draw," says Gennaro. Photo: Shutterstock

Schedule a personalized 1:1

Talk to a Cornerstone expert about how we can help with your organization’s unique people management needs.

© Cornerstone 2022