HR Tech Quick Hits: New from Microsoft Viva; recruitment no-shows

Three findings—around employee productivity, workplace connection and the role of the office in a post-pandemic world—in Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index report are linked to a new set of features that the software giant added this week to its Viva HCM platform.

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Microsoft Viva now features Viva Amplify, a toolset that aims to help supervisors reach employees by creating and publishing content across multiple channels. Leadership Corner is a space for managers to invite employees to interact directly with leadership, share ideas and participate in initiatives. Finally, People in Viva uses AI to create profile cards with details on employees’ interests, knowledge and goals. This feature is designed to help colleagues discover connections, experts and insights inside their organization.

The firm’s latest report focuses on three trends that reflect challenges in the modern workforce: “productivity paranoia” or manager concerns about what employees are doing in their day, why people work in an office and the connection between skills and the bottom line. For this report, the software giant surveyed 20,000 people in 11 countries and analyzed trillions of anonymous and aggregated Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with LinkedIn labor trends and Glint People Science findings, according to a news release.

The findings were eye-opening.

For starters, the number of meetings per week has increased by 153% globally for the average Microsoft Teams user since the start of the pandemic. Employee inboxes are overflowing with meeting invites, and declines and tentative RSVPs have “soared,” in Microsoft’s words, in the past two years (84% and 216%, respectively).

The report also found a disconnect between employees’ and employers’ views of worker productivity: 87% of workers report being productive, while 85% of leaders say the hybrid work model has made it challenging to have confidence that people are putting in a full day’s work. 

Employees want a valid reason to return to the office, according to the report. A majority—82%—of business decision-makers say getting employees back to the office in person is a concern, yet 73% of employees say they need a better reason to go in than just company expectations. One reason people go to the office is to see and connect with colleagues, says the report. A reported 84% of employees would be motivated by the promise of socializing with coworkers, while 85% are motivated by rebuilding team bonds.

And if employees cannot learn, they will leave. More than half of workers say the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies, and 76% say they’d stay at their current employer longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support.

Microsoft also announced Viva Connections, a place that houses every Viva app in a single space, and Viva Sales, a role-based experience app.

Number of the Week: 63%
When recruiters say their jobs are hard, we need to believe them. According to research from talent acquisition solution provider Employ, 63% of recruiters have had new hires leave in the first 90 days after starting a new job. Also, 63% have had six or more candidates not show up for an interview in the past six months. You can see more insights from Employ’s quarterly report here.

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Funding News

Video interviewing and recruitment company Elevatus raised $10.5 million in Series A fundraising. The Saudi Arabia-based firm’s solution allows companies to recruit talent in a single tool. The cash infusion will allow the firm to build its client base and add new features to its tool. The company cites Samsung, RE/MAX, Arab Bank and Virgin Mobile as clients.

Product News

Employee experience platform provider LumApps unveiled LumApps Campaigns, an HR communication solution for disseminating information to targeted groups within a company. LumApps Campaigns enables organizations to create segmented groups based on various factors (employee roles, interests, behaviors, etc.) and implement targeted campaigns based on the needs and preferences of each employee. “Companies can easily build, measure and automate hyper-personalized campaigns across multiple channels to make meaningful connections that empower productivity and support engagement and retention efforts,” said Idriss Bentoumi, chief product officer at LumApps in a press release.
SkillsNow launched an all-in-one HR SaaS platform designed to help customers hire, train and develop digital talent. The platform allows companies to onboard and train new employees as well as develop the careers of new and current employees with relevant skills.

Workforce management provider Connecteam made its all-in-one app for managing deskless workers available for free to small businesses of up to 10 employees. The free access is valued at $4,000 per year, the company said in a news release, and comes at a “critical time” as organizations face economic uncertainty and rising prices due to inflation.

People Moves

Chris Lanier, CTO, Mineral
Chris Lanier, CTO, Mineral

HR and compliance solutions provider Mineral has hired Chris Lanier as its new chief technology officer. The former EVP of engineering at BetterWorks, Lanier is charged with growing the engineering team and helping Mineral become a “product-led growth company,” according to a news release from the company.

Matt van Geldere is the new and first chief people officer at Thunes, a global B2B payments company that currently supports 79 currencies and enables payments to 130 countries, the company announced this week. In this role, van Geldere will lead Thunes’ global human resources strategy, including talent acquisition, training and leadership development, and building and maintaining company culture, diversity and inclusion. The Singapore-based organization anticipates a period of rapid growth.

Risk service provider Sigma7 appointed Jodi Cheek as its vice president of HR, a new role for the firm. Cheek will design and implement new HR development processes and oversee a collaborative culture across Sigma7’s core companies, which include Paragon Risk Engineering, RWH Myers and Intelligence Fusion. Prior to joining Sigma7, Cheek was North American HR director at Descours & Cabaud, a French global construction materials distributor.

HRE editor Elizabeth Clarke contributed to this report.

Phil Albinus
Phil Albinus is the former HR Tech Editor for HRE. He has been covering personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and executive editor for a number of financial services, trading technology and employee benefits titles. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children.