Five minutes with Donna Baeza - The Blytheco Blog

Five minutes with Donna Baeza


We spent a few minutes with Blytheco’s Director of HR and HRMS Sales Support discussing some upcoming events that her team is attending.

Donna: Blytheco will be attending three Human Resources Conferences / Tradeshows in 2009. The first one is will be held in June and is the Society of Human Resources National Conference (SHRM). This year the conference will be held in New Orleans. SHRM’s national conference is an opportunity for Human Resources (HR) professionals to come from all over the country to learn from industry leaders and to view industry offerings at the conference’s tradeshow. SHRM national attendees are primarily comprised of HR decision makers. This year the conference will be for 4 days, staring on June 28th and ending on July 1st. The tradeshow exhibition will be held June 28th – June 30th. The exhibition is exciting for attendees as there are hundreds of exhibitors that provide goods and services for all aspects of the people management industry. It is also a great way for HR professionals to gain exposure to the trends happening in HR related to areas such as technology, staffing, benefits, learning management, employee retention, employee rewards and recognition, background checks, personality profiles, wellness – you name it! Exciting stuff.

For attendees, SHRM focuses its session content to reinforce its certification approach. Those disciplines are general HR topics and strategic management. If an attendees hold a certification from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), which could be a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), or a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) they are able to obtain continuing education units by attending the sessions provided at the conference. This year, as no surprise, the hot topic is the economy. Topics such as how the economy is affecting employers, how employers can save money while remaining compliant and keep employee morale high are peppered throughout the conference. Vendors will also have a strong focus on effective solutions for employers during tough times.

For Blytheco, Sage Abra HRMS remains an affordable solution that assists employers in remaining compliant while providing them with the data they need in order to make the challenging business decisions that face so many businesses today. Effectively understanding the cost impacts of their labor force is a major consideration for employers in this economy. The type of effective reporting tools that Abra can provide allows employers to access to that information quickly.

As both an attendees and an exhibitor at SHRM national this year, we do not anticipate as high participation due to the economy – but we are encouraged that attendance will still be great! If there was one show to attend for the HR professional – this would be it.

Blytheco will also be exhibiting at the local SHRM Chapter in Southern California called the Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) meeting in September 2009. This year the conference / exhibition will be held in Palm Springs. I am honored to have been selected as a content presenter for the conference. I will be speaking at two sessions, the first September 13th at 3:15 pm – Conducting an Effective Human Resources / HRMS Audit and the second, September 16th at 9:15 am on the same topic. The PIHRA Conference starts on September 13th and ends on September 16th. The exhibition will be held September 15th and 16th.

In addition to SHRM national and the local SHRM Southern California Chapter, we will also be exhibiting at the SHRM Minnesota State Council Conference. The conference is scheduled for October 12th and 13th at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota. I am honored to have also been selected as a content presenter for this conference as well.

The local chapters have themes as well. This year they seem to be focused around the economic situation and how to make HR more strategic to what is impacting their organization and how to add value in those specific areas. It is about making HR more effective in the business. It’s not about planning a picnic or a company event. How is HR engaged in the business to make it better and more valuable? HRMS helps a business do that, keeps employee data organized, and provides reporting needed for management decisions, like “Do we need to do a layoff to remain profitable?” For that, management will need to know employee info by salary, hire date, benefits costs, by department. In most cases today, post termination, most employers are now paying 65% of Cobra benefits so those numbers need to be analyzed when hiring. What if an employer removes a 401(k) match – what is the savings? What are the cost impacts of change? Those are the kinds of cost analysis scenarios employers need to look at to figure out how to save money while limiting a negative impact on morale. HRMS data helps HR provide management with the information they need to make good business decisions.

Blytheco has two big things to offer along these lines. First, we create complete solutions for a business. Abra ties into most existing payroll and time collection applications, so an employer doesn’t have to wipe out their entire infrastructure to get an HRMS. Abra is really easy to use! Some HR systems can be highly technical, so it’s not uncommon for an organization with 500 employees or more to have an HRMS specialist dedicated to analysis, pulling information for managers, etc. – the reason is because the systems can be complicated. Abra keeps is simple. HR professionals are by and large not highly technically savvy. Please keep in mind there is a difference between proficient and savvy. Abra is easy to use, reports are easy to produce, so you don’t need a dedicated HRMS person. Ease of use is huge thing, employee turnover hits HR too – and good luck if you lose someone who does payroll! There’s a saying in HR – you don’t mess around with people’s pay and don’t mess around with people’s benefits. Anything else, people wll forgive and forget. No so much when it comes to pay and benefits : ) It’s very critical that an HRMS system is easy to use. New HR staff need to know within a couple of hours how to perform the basics – how to search for an employee, add an employee, make changes and pull basic reporting. Try achieving that with ADP, Ultimate or SAP – not so easy – not so user friendly.

Another thing Blytheco brings to the table is that we have consultants with an HR background – they understand what employers are trying to achieve. This is different from a lot of partners, who know technology but not HR. It would be like a consultant that does not know accounting implementing an accounting solution. They don’t get it. Blytheco understands HR needs – we are not accountants implementing HR systems.

Blytheco also provides HR consulting. We provide Human Resources consulting to small and mid-size businesses on a retained service or project basis. Our areas of specialization include: government compliance, employee handbook review and development, policy and procedure review and development, training and development, leadership training for managing HR/organizational compliance, employee relations, employee benefits management, merger and acquisition readiness, recruiting and staffing, change management and communications, and HR strategy development aligned to organizational objectives.

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