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Companies should rethink how they manage workforce, says Oracle

Companies will need to radically re-think the way they manage their workforce, as they start recruiting the next generation of employees, the president of Oracle, Mark Hurd, said yesterday.

The people going into the workforce today were brought up on digital technology, have no brand loyalty and will not tolerate "crummy customer service", he told an industry conference.

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"The pressure that will come on you over next decade to deal with that generation will be immense," he told an audience of IT HR professionals.

"HR is going to have to lead the business in a much more complicated environment than you have ever seen before," he said.

Yet the HR technology that companies expect their workforce to use was designed 20 years ago, said Hurd. It was written before the internet, before the first search engine, before social media, and before smart phones.

"None of this stuff was even thought of, when these applications were built," he said.

Companies are going to have to introduce applications that the Facebook generation will want to use, Hurd said, speaking at the HR Tech Europe Conference in Amsterdam.

And they will have to develop smarter ways of recruiting, rewarding and developing their workforce.

A company such as Oracle employs 125,000 people, hires about 20,000 people a year, and has to manually review over 120,000 CVs.

As a business leader, Hurd said he wanted to automate the recruitment process and use analytical data to decide how to reward the people he hires.

"I want to track their performance, I want to know what [salary] I hired them at, how they performed, and I want to trace the source of where I hired them," he said.

Annual pay rises are a major investment for Oracle, Hurd told delegates. For example, awarding Oracle employees an average pay rise of 4% at the end of the year, is a $600 million commitment.

"I am not comfortable making a $600 million business decision with no data," he said.

Hurd said he would rather base his decisions on hard data about his workforce, rather than the recommendations of a consulting firm's salary survey.

"I want someone to help me run the company, with insight, and with analytics, that allow me to make business decisions, so I can spend my precious capital and resources to make the company better, " he said.

The biggest expense Oracle has are its people and the way Oracle differentiates itself from competitors is through its people, said Hurd.

"You really want the best people for your strategy, your purpose," he said.

The cool technologies of today will soon become business requirements, he told delegates.

That means companies will have to deploy HR technologies that offer a new user experience, with social networking, and access to mobile devices built in, he said.


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