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HR Tech 2009

I’m currently in Chicago for HR Tech.  Here are a few impressions from the sessions and conversations I participated in today:

  • Kronos had the biggest and busiest booth at the show – particularly at the end of the day when we began serving our signature cocktails – Guided Decisions (Screwdrivers), Instant Engagement (Cosmos) and Complete Control (Margaritas).  Suggestion for next year – how about a non-alcoholic option called Improved Labor Productivity?
  • Social media looms larger each year at this show.  There is lots of interest among the attendees about how to more effectively leverage social networks within and outside of their companies.  It seems like the fear of employees or customers going wild is steadily supplanted by success stories about the upside of new channels to engage employees and customers.
  • I had the morale building experience of overhearing multiple conversations involving Kronos customers who are happy with us, our products and our services.  Since part of my job involves diving into understanding customer feedback – good and bad – it’s always great to see happy customers sharing their enthusiasm with others.
  • New vocabulary word of the day is “socialnomics”.  I don’t know if Erik Qualman coined this term (title of his book), but it’s a good one.
  • I met one of my blog heroes – Kris Dunn, The HR Capitalist.  Kris gave a presentation on internal social networks (like ning).  We’re using Yammer at Kronos, but don’t have a lot of participants (yet).  I think we need to take Kris’s advice that pictures and video are magnets for traffic.

If you’re at HR Tech, what are you learning this week?

Announcing Kronos Retail Labor Index

The following guest blog post from Robert Yerex, chief economist at Kronos, introduces the Kronos Retail Labor Index being announced today:

The most interesting part of my job as chief economist at Kronos is working with the huge data sets made available through our hiring system. Based on application and hiring records from 69 of our retail clients, we have created a metric called the Kronos Retail Labor Index. Over the last three years, this Index has been a leading indicator of not only the retail economy but the U.S. economy overall. The Index is a measure of the relationship between the demand for, and supply of labor front-line labor in the retail sector. The jobs being filled are the front-end of the consumer-retail supply chain. Retailers can make changes at this end of the chain more easily and more quickly than anywhere else. As such these employees are figuratively the “canary in the coalmine” for the rest of the retail industry. Economists are always on the lookout for new leading indicators and this one has great potential. The Index is being made publically available for the first time today and can be accessed at: www.kronos.com/retail-labor-index. Going forward the Index will be updated on a monthly basis. I have had the chance to preview the Index with analysts and press, and the reception has been excellent.

Click here to listen to a podcast of my interview with Dr. Yerex and Steve Earl, director of product marketing at Kronos.

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