Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

Now Available: A Podcast Teaser for the Blog Series "The Growing IT Labor Shortage"

by Jim Lein, Programs Management Sr. Principal, Oracle Midsize Programs

We just released an Oracle Accelerate for Midsize Companies AppCast that is a 9 minute teaser/summary of our ongoing blog series, "The Growing IT Labor Shortage: Are You Feeling It?"

I'll be wrapping up the series later this month.  It's been fun because I've had the opportunity to speak with many smart, dedicated, and impassioned professionals--partners, customers, and Oracle subject matter experts--on the subject of how to attract and retain the best talent.

Meanwhile listen to the AppCast for the gist of the thought leadership and advice in the series.

Each of the posts in the series are accessible via links on the right side of this blog.

And...to listen to more Oracle Accelerate for Midsize Companies AppCasts go here


Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

Making your Move to the Cloud

By Steve Viarengo, Vice President Product Management, Oracle Taleo Cloud Services 


While Cloud based business applications have been around for more than a decade, there have never been more options for customers. There are solutions in the Cloud for almost any area of business need, from CRM to HCM to Supply Chain to ERP. The number of vendors has grown dramatically, with thousands of small as well as large software companies selling cloud-based solutions. For small and midsize businesses, the promise of the Cloud can be very enticing because letting someone else host and manage the solution spares you the expense and burden of having to staff your own internal IT resources.

According to CedarCrestone’s 2012-2013 HR Systems Survey, deploying a Cloud solution requires 75% less staff to support than an on premise solution. Additionally, with many solutions you can subscribe and pay “by the drink,” only paying for the amount of the service you need and increasing or decreasing your subscription as your business changes. Moreover, you are also always on the latest version of the software, never having to worry about upgrades, backward compatibility or upgrading your hardware to support the latest version. Everything is managed and supported for you, just like your telecommunications or utilities.

However, the move to the Cloud understandably generates a number of questions and concerns. Common questions tend to be:

  • How do I know my data is secure with the vendor I choose?
  • Will Cloud solutions integrate and work with my existing applications and IT infrastructure?
  • How can I make sure I am getting the maximum ROI?
  • Is it better to go with a single vendor or piece together best of breed solutions?

Many, if not all, of these concerns can be addressed by selecting the right solution from the right provider. Selecting a solution from a vendor with robust and complete capabilities is crucial when moving to the Cloud.

Critical things to look for when evaluating solutions and their providers are:

  • A clear picture of the vendor’s security model and hosting capabilities which includes:
    • The physical security of the data center
    • The network security that will block hackers and malicious parties
    • The application security that ensures your data and information is separate from other users
  • The integration capability of the solution. Well developed solutions have very well defined interfaces that allow you to:
    • Easily and quickly pull information out and push information into other solutions
    • Use web services such as REST and SOAP to allow information to be easily callable via well know web standards
  • Quick, fast and easy implementation.
  • Flexible and configurable to accommodate the special needs of your business without expensive customizations or waiting for a future release
  • A vendor who can provide a broad but deep solution. Just like you are not likely to hire one gardener to mow the lawn, another to edge and another to cleanup after, you want one vendor who can provide you a complete service
  • Not required to manage many different logins, store data across different solutions, and navigate different support models

So while the leap into the Cloud can be daunting, the benefits are compelling and selecting the right partner with the right solution can make the difference between achieving your business goals and a painful crash landing!

For more information on your move into the Cloud go to http://www.oracle.com/us/solutions/cloud/overview/index.html

Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

Want to Hire and Retain the Best Talent? Leverage Your Employees’ Social Media Networks

By Steve Viarengo, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle Talent Management Cloud Service

In a recently published Oracle whitepaper, “The Shortest Path to Better Hires: Best Practices for Employee Referral Programs” we summarize research that shows companies are increasingly relying on referrals as the best source of new hires. Referrals now typically account for 24% to as high as 75% of new hires. There is also evidence that referral new hires have a significantly higher retention rate and higher job performance than candidates from other sources.

In today’s tough economy, businesses count on their work force more than ever to provide an edge over the competition and deliver the goods or services that keep customers coming back. Just as customer retention is key to a company’s survival, so is the ability to attract and retain top performers. Hiring the wrong employee or having unfilled open positions for long periods of time can be a real setback in terms of employee productivity and morale, as well as cost the company money. This is especially pronounced at growing midsize businesses.

As former CEO of a small company, I remember all too well times when the person I hired did not work out and the subsequent pain of having to repost the job, restart the search, and sheepishly explain to my employees why they once again had to cover for the open position. Hiring the right person the first time is critical. I’ve found that the best hires are ones that come from either my network or the networks of my employees. The notion that your employees are the best source of quality candidates and that they will do the best job in selling your company is not new.

However, administering and managing an employee referral program can have its challenges. How do you inform your employees of new openings or filled positions in a timely and convenient manner? How do you entice your employees to tap into their networks? How can you identify your star referrers and ensure their access to the positions they can best help you fill? And how do you make sure your employees feel recognized and rewarded for bringing your company top talent?

The answer: – a web-based social sourcing tool. With social sourcing, you can notify employees of open positions, enable your employees to seamlessly reach into their social media networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook, track referrals back into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and reward the star referrers in your company. For example, the average American has 634 ties in their overall network—including social media sites—and those who embrace technology have even larger networks. With web-based social sourcing, companies can easily tap into those connections.

When examining social sourcing tools, remember a complete social sourcing solution should cover all of the functionality necessary to harness the power of your employee’s social networks, as well as your company’s presence on Facebook and Twitter. By giving you the tools to create social media friendly candidate pages and seamlessly integrating them into your social media presence, your followers can easily apply for open positions right from your social sites. This is the best way to turn your fans into candidates and greatly enrich your applicant pipeline.

The real power of social sourcing comes when it is working hand-in-hand with your recruiting solution. The two working together will allow requisitions created in your ATS to, upon proper authorization, be sent out to your employees (or a subset) with a referral request for current openings. Employees can access the positions and share them with their network of friends, connections and followers. Then when a referral candidate applies, the referring employee’s information is tied to the application and tracked back in your ATS, providing closed loop reporting. Requisitions can also be pulled and integrated directly with your social media sites, enabling you to track applicants from their originating source. This empowers you with the knowledge of what kind of talent your social media presence is yielding.

While this may sound like it will require complex systems and a long arduous implementation period, it is possible to quickly and easily buy and implement an online sourcing tool. The power of the cloud helps make this possible. Cloud-based social sourcing tools typically don’t require any additional hardware or arduous software implementation, allowing for a very rapid and cost effective implementation that will have you reaping the benefits in days or weeks rather than months.

Companies are seeing real results from implementing social sourcing solutions. For example, a midsize software company quickly saw its referral candidate base jump from less than 10% to 32% of its candidate pool after implementing social sourcing. A midsize publishing company found that a candidate coming through its social sourcing solution was seven times more likely to get hired than one that came through a job board. As you can see, social sourcing solutions are truly a win-win for all parties involved: employers attract better candidates which result in better hires, employees are able to participate in the hiring process and reap recognition and rewards for being top referrers, and job seekers are able to more confidently apply for positions for which they know they will be successful.

Learn more about Oracle’s social sourcing solutions HERE.

And...post a comment to tell us about your social sourcing experiences or to ask a question

Friday Apr 12, 2013

The Growing IT Labor Shortage: Are You Feeling It?

By Jim Lein, Programs Management Senior Principal, Oracle Accelerate for Midsize Companies

I interviewed a number of Oracle employee and partner experts last fall for my “7 Enterprise Applications Trends for High Growth Companies in 2013.” Even though I speak with partners, customers, and Oracle experts on a daily basis, I went into these interviews with an open mind and no pre-conceived notions of what those trends might be.

With unemployment rates relatively high worldwide, I was a bit surprised to learn from many of these experts that the gap between IT skills needed and IT skills available is widening. Simply put, more and more open IT positions are going unfilled due to a lack of available candidates with the appropriate experience and skills.

People are often the scarcest resource for growing companies. Accordingly, in the coming weeks, we will be presenting a series of posts on how Oracle Accelerate Solutions, Oracle Business Accelerators, Oracle Accelerate partners, and Oracle products (such as Oracle TBE Cloud Service) are helping our growing customers utilize their existing IT resources more effectively.

Oracle’s solutions help ease the strain on resources in two ways. First, they help reduce the need to divert internal IT resources to implementation duties during the deployment. This is mission critical as your IT and business analyst staff likely doesn’t have a lot of extra time on their hands, right? Secondly, these solutions can help simplify IT functions so that you don’t need to add staff at the same rate that your business is growing. That’s a good thing since qualified people are getting harder to find and more expensive to hire.

I hope you’ll find this series interesting.

Meanwhile, here’s some food for thought:

Redesigning Knowledge Work,” The Harvard Business Review

Predictions for 2013—Corporate Talent, Leadership and HR—Nexus of Global Forces Drives New Models for Talent,” Bersin by Deloitte

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