Friday, August 19, 2005

Buzzword Alert - RPO

This one really strikes my funnybone: RPO. No longer does RPO stand for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Today RPO has a grander meaning Recruitment Process Outsourcing. We used to have a simple name - Recruiting - but okay, that term was getting stale and goodness knows recruiters have always had a reputation equal to that of used car salesmen. A new name could give us all a fresh, clean start.

According to Jason Berkowitz a founding member of the RPO Alliance,
"The term RPO has only gained widespread use in the last year or two and lacks a clear definition...Everyone in the industry has their own definition of what RPO means....the RPO Alliance is developing an organizing schema and understandable terminology to describe what type of RPO a company provides and what type of RPO a buyer seeks."

Why exactly?

My favorite RPO quote is from RPO Alliance member Laura Eaton, (whose title not coincidentally is VP of RPO Solutions), "I want to make sure that what we are helping the buyers not confusing them more."

I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

CIOs and HR Directors have a lot in common

CIOs and HR Directors have a lot in common. They are both continually struggling for and talking about getting "a seat at the table." When I read CIO magazines, I'm always surprised at how I can pick any article at random and replace IT department with HR and the story still rings true. This is the case with an article in the August 1st issue of CIO magazine titled How to Build a Business-Savvy Staff.

Editor Cheryl Asselin gives the following advice:

1) Bring the business into IT (or for us let's say HR).

For example a healthcare organization hires clinicians to work in their IT department. We could do the same in HR by bringing in operations folks who have worked in the business.

2) Go on a field trip.
Sending staffers out to job shadow other workers in the field gives them a new perspective that they can bring to their own work. In HR, if we understand the business needs we are more inclined to find ways to help in the sticky compliance issues that come are way. (For more on this subject see: A Balanced Approach to HR

3) Hang out with successful business peers.
Get to know the best people in your industry and spend time with them. This can be done socially or through more formal mentoring or networking relationships.

4) Promote your relationship with the business.
This is the one I think HR is falling down on. We spend a lot of time talking to each other about how strategic we now are but we forget to tell the rest of the company of what we are capable. Not only must we educate ourselves on business strategy but we must also educate the senior leaders and operations managers on what we can bring to the table.

Reading the IT magazines I feel a little better for Human Resources. At least we are not alone in our struggle for recognition as a true and valued business partner.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Entry Level Worker Readiness

I was excited to read about a national Workforce Readiness Credential (WRC) that is being developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This credential, created in partnership with business, government and labor, is designed to validate entry level workers' readiness to enter or re-enter the workforce. The idea stems from the concern of many hiring professionals that entry level workers today often do not have the communication, interpersonal, math and learning skills necessary for the workplace.

All of this sounds good.

The part that has me scratching my head is how a multiple choice exam can assess the following as outlined in the program information:

- Speak so others can understand
- Solve problems and make decisions
- Read with understanding
- Cooperate with others
- Resolve conflicts and negotiate
- Use math to solve problems
- Observe critically
- Listen actively
- Take responsibility for learning

The program is designed to ensure that young adults can communicate and relate with others outside of Instant Messaging, Chat Rooms, Forums. I wonder how you can do that by sitting them in front of a computer and testing them online?

If anyone has more information on this program, please email me. I'd like to hear more about it.