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Does Effective Analysis of HR Data Create a Stronger Employer Brand?
This article explores how you can use HR Data to build a stronger employer brand.

Employer branding is essential for securing top talent
When deciding on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important.

Employee retention and talent acquisition are more important than ever during times of market uncertainty. Businesses need to make sure they have the skills, quality and talent they need to stay competitive.

HR data is essential for creating an employer brand strategy that is an honest reflection of your business. Once you have defined your employer branding goals, HR data provides you with the insight you need to:

Develop candidate personas
Define employee value propositions
Measure the success of your branding
Candidate personas define recruitment approaches
Without knowing who your perfect candidate is, you won't be able to know how best to find and engage them.  60% of recruiters believe culture fit is of the highest importance when deciding whether to hire or not. You need to make sure you approach the right people.

Who are the right people? The answer will be in your candidate persona.

A candidate persona includes personal attributes as well as more esoteric issues like motivations and candidate influencers. HR data can help you identify the…

… of your current workforce. You can use this data to understand the makeup of your existing team and highlight any gaps you need to fill. If you want a diverse workforce of young and old people, your HR data will tell you which group you need.

Value propositions help you retain your talent
Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) defines why people like working for you. An EVP includes things like compensation, benefits, growth opportunities, work culture and environment. Doing a deep dive into your HR data can ensure that your EVP continues to be fit for purpose.

Because people's needs change over time. That free gym membership was great when your employees had time to use it. But now they've started families and they're busy looking after their kids. Maybe flexi-time or day-care support would be better moving forward.

This is just a simple example, but it's important. The benefits you offer your employees when you hire them must continue to deliver value throughout their time with you.

Businesses that cultivate their EVP are attractive to job applicants. 9 out of 10 candidates would apply for a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained.

Measure branding success with HR data
96% of companies believe employer brand and reputation can positively or negatively impact revenue. Yet less than half monitor that impact.

Having tools to monitor the success of your employer branding is the only way to improve your approach. The success of your employer branding can be measured in retention rates, or by rolling out an employee satisfaction survey.

But inviting and asking for feedback is just the first step in the process. You need to follow up on comments and suggestions with honesty and transparency. As the trust between your people and leaders strengthen, so too will the honesty of the feedback you’ll receive – allowing you to further improve your employer brand and working culture.

Organizations that build a strong, positive brand receive more applications from better quality candidates than those with poor brand reputations. It’s important to ensure that your efforts buy your business that advantage. Data-driven decision making gives you a roadmap for ensuring an effective employer branding strategy. This will lead to higher employee retention, happiness and productivity.

This story, by FMP Global's Communications Director Gary Webb, first appeared in Insights for Professionals  September 2019

IRIS Software Group enters definitive agreement to acquire FMP Global

14th August 2019:

IRIS Software Group, is today announcing it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MCN Global's parent company FMP Global, from Tenzing, the UK lower mid-market investor. FMP is a leading provider of payroll and HR services to international and UK based Small and Medium sized Enterprises. 

Set to be the largest acquisition by IRIS to date, FMP Global is closely aligned with the Group’s mission to be the most trusted provider of mission critical software and services. In the UK, US and internationally, FMP supports over 1,750 businesses in 135 countries, providing international HR consultancy, outsourced global payroll services, and international money transfers.

Kevin Dady, CEO of IRIS Software Group says, “As part of our acquisition strategy, we continue to identify opportunities to expand both domestically and internationally where we can apply our expertise in compliance-driven software. Bringing FMP into the Group is transformative, expanding IRIS’ footprint into the US and other international markets, while also further strengthening our position in the UK payroll and HR sectors.

“Domestically we are seeing an increased demand for fully or partially outsourced payroll management solutions and internationally, we are seeing a growing payroll requirement for businesses of all sizes. IRIS’ heritage, combined with its marketing reach, investment in cloud technology and sector expertise will help propel FMP Global to the next phase of its growth.”

Justin Cottrell, CEO of FMP Global comments, “IRIS shares our vision for the next stage of growth. Its track record for acquisition and integration of businesses into the IRIS family makes it the perfect partner. The support for management and its culture complements the next chapter of the FMP story. We are excited about IRIS investing into the business, reinforcing our commitment to service excellence for our clients and partners worldwide.”

IRIS Software Group has secured an increment to its Term Loan from Credit Suisse with an expectation that pro-forma for the acquisition leverage will remain in line with leverage at Closing of the 2018 LBO by Hg and ICG. The FMP acquisition will close before the end of September 2019.


About IRIS Software Group

IRIS Software Group is the UK’s largest privately held software company and the most trusted provider of mission-critical software and services. Using our applications, critical operational tasks are done right first time, every time, so organisations can look forward and thrive with confidence.

Over 15 million payment transactions a month are made using IRIS solutions. Over 21,000 accountancy firms use IRIS applications, including 83 of the top 100 practices. 86,000 SMEs use IRIS bookkeeping, HR and payroll solutions. Four million parents and guardians use IRIS apps to connect with their child’s school, which is used by 11,000 schools and academies. 620,000 UK employees are managed by IRIS HR solutions and 2.3 million UK employees are paid by IRIS payroll solutions.

Visit or follow IRIS Software Group on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram

MCN achieve Investors in People Accreditation
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Good people make a great business, and this is the case at the MCN Global HR, who have just secured Accredited People Management success with Investors in People as part of the FMP Global GroupBecoming an accredited people management company has been a core aim for the MCN. Justin Cottrell, CEO commented: “This is fantastic news for the group and really shows our commitment to become an employer of choice. We want to be seen as a go-to employer, a company that attracts, develops and retains the best talent in the payroll and HR industry. We’ve built our values around great communication and a drive to empower people within the business.”Gary Webb, Marketing and Communications Director, ed the project and commented: “Our approach to accredited people management under Investors in People started from a solid base. We developed plans from the start to build a solid people management process. But we’ve really worked hard to build communication and build engagement across the business. We’ve now got our own internal TV channel, and stream video briefings so colleagues know what’s going on in the business on a day to day basis. The Investors in People journey has been great so far . Colleagues are now empowered to be fully in charge of their own destiny. But there’s still more top be done. We really want this to be a great place to work.”The accreditation is based on the sixth generation Investors in People Standard, based on the features of leading organisations from across the world. The accreditation requires genuine commitment from leaders, passionate employees and everyone focussed on the ambition of the organisation. The accreditation involves an online survey of all staff understanding employees views of nine key indicators, employee interviews and observations, and submissions and interviews with senior management.MCN Global HR is part of The FMP Global group which has gone from success to success, now holding ISO 9001, 22301, 27001 and 14001 accreditations. The Group has also secured a clutch of industry awards and nominations for its comprehensive portfolio of HR and payroll services.

Ireland proposes the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill
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Understanding and going above and beyond what is legally required for in-country compensation and benefits will give you the edge over other in-country employers when you place staff overseas.

A couple of months ago, Fianna Fáil (The Republican Party in Ireland) proposed the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill. Currently, mothers are entitled to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave followed by 16 weeks unpaid, whilst fathers can take off 2 weeks. The only flexibility in this is if the mother dies.

This new Bill seeks to equalise the time that mothers and fathers can take off work to spend with their newborns. When she proposed it, Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin said, “This will be of significant benefit to families…In 2015 48% of fathers felt that they were not doing enough caring. This Bill will facilitate greater equality insofar as it allows both parents to share rearing responsibilities”.

Will it pass?

The Bill is in the early stages, but is currently unopposed by the Government. However, in 2015 the UK implemented a similar scheme entitled ‘Shared Parental Leave’. In June 2018 research revealed that the uptake of SPL was just 1% of eligible parents. This begs the question as to whether the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill in Ireland will be deemed worthy of implementing, if it is so largely unused elsewhere.

What makes my company desirable?

We believe that the key is choice. By offering employees choice, they can make their own decisions as to what they do with their time and their leave allocation. It may transpire that they do not wish to utilise the offerings available to them, but they will undoubtedly appreciate the option being there for them. This is something to bear in mind when creating your compensation and benefits package.

Going above and beyond what is legally required and what is commonplace in similar businesses to your own is what will give you the edge over other employers. It may be that most employees opt not to take advantage of a cycle to work initiative, discounted gym membership or flexible working policy – but if they are choosing between two similar job roles of similar salaries, these are the things that will nudge them to choose your job offer over another.

Thus, perhaps the importance is not on whether or not the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill is used by the masses, but rather on whether it exists as a reassuring option for people.

How to get global expansion right and achieve success
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Having a brilliant idea and the money to execute it is one thing. Having the specialized advice and knowledge behind you to make it work is another.  When it comes to expanding your company globally, the logistics, practicalities, skill and knowledge required to make it a success can make even the best and most clear idea seem daunting.

The process, albeit lengthy, is imperative. Getting strategic HR advice early on is hugely important, even before you have decided what country or countries you’d like to expand into. Cutting corners or skipping steps may save time and stress in the short term, but will inevitably return to haunt you down the line when cracks start appearing.

Crucial points to consider when expanding your company internationally include, but are not limited to:

  • Choosing which country/ies will suit your business best
  • Foreseeing potential challenges, from a general and a country-specific perspective
  • Creating employment contracts
  • Obtaining work permits
  • Learning the legal requirements of business operations in your chosen country/ies
  • Creating a compensation and benefits package that is both legal and competitive
  • Benefits and social security
  • Immigration
  • Visas
  • Planning and enforcing your employment and organizational structure
  • Recruitment and, if necessary, workforce reduction
  • Probation management
  • Creating a legally sound HR plan
  • Harmonizing your terms and conditions of employment in your chosen country and overseas
  • Plus more.

What could go wrong?

It quickly becomes apparent that underestimating the task ahead is not an option. Getting this wrong will result in your business being hit with financial and legal. The penalties can be much more than monetary; failure to work within the lines of employment contract law overseas could result in your business being blacklisted in foreign territories, seriously threatening your potential for international success.

Now’s the time

There are many reasons to take the global expansion plunge right now. Brexit is around the corner and the UK’s exodus from the EU is in just 6 months’ time. Many businesses with a UK presence are deciding to go elsewhere in the EU in the face of so much uncertainty. Companies that have already started making this move include the Bank of America, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Unilever.

Additionally, international travel is now becoming easier by the year, meaning that companies that want to go global can travel faster and more cheaply. March saw the first ever direct flights between the UK and Australia, making the world a smaller and more accessible place.

Even countries that traditionally rely on their own natives as workers are opening up to foreign employees. Japan has recently announced that they will be welcoming immigrant workers in a way they never have done before to support their economy.

Where do I start?!

Don’t panic. We know this is a big undertaking, but trust us, you can do it! Help is at hand in the form of global expansion specialists who can guide you through the process from the moment you decide that you want to go international.

You can garner expert knowledge in the following:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Organic growth
  • Global mobility
  • Expatriate management
  • Visa and immigration
  • Compensation and benefits

Today can be the day you take your company to new heights.

Time To Rebalance Your European Workforce?
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Is it time to re-balance your European workforce? US companies with a European presence will need to consider things carefully as HSBC becomes the first to jump, as a potential no-deal Brexit approaches.

The ability of businesses to understand and plan international HR strategy as part of political and regulatory developments in Europe has become more pressing following HSBC’s announcement to move seven of its European-focussed offices to Paris early next year.

The move, in advance of Brexit in March 2019  should see the start of a changing strategy for businesses internationally as no deal becomes a real possibility. HSBC, who have long said that they would leave any change to the very last minute, have obviously assessed the situation and have concluded that they can wait no longer.

More international companies may now consider moving part of their operations from the UK amid continuing concern about Brexit, as reported by International Investment.

Planning to Rebalance your European workforce?

The seven offices involved in HSBC’s move were all based in London. But the change will see them moving to Europe, with up to 1000 jobs affected, the BBC reported. The bank’s activities in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland are affected.

British rival Lloyds Banking Group is planning three such subsidiaries in Europe, Reuters reported last month, while Barclays has made its Irish unit its new European hub while also shifting jobs to Frankfurt.

Bank of America is set to move 200 jobs to Paris.

The UK market is still however a big economic market, but US companies may choose to dot some employees within Europe to maintain the best of both markets.

Moving to a new European country is not easy

If you thought all of Europe worked in the same way in terms of HR and Payroll legislation and in-country arrangements, you’d be sadly wrong.

From Declaration Nominative Annuelle (DNA) in France and Berufsgenossenschaftsmeldung in Germany to municipal business tax in Switzerland and SKAT in Denmark, placing or relocating people from the UK will be difficult, and strategically need to be planned now. Luckily there is help at hand if you decide to change your strategy, with the best Global HR and Payroll outsourcers able to help at strategic level with your next steps.

You may decide that no action is needed or that there is no need to rebalance your European workforce, or conversely that the time is ripe to start further European expansion. Either way the political and economic lines will change in March 2019 and US companies should ensure they have the right representation in Europe to maximize opportunities

California passes the USA’s toughest data privacy law to date
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It may only be July, but already it’s been a busy year in the data protection world. Back in May (and during the approaching weeks and months), GDPR dominated headlines the world over, as the EU brought in their new regulation to hand control of their personal data back to the data subjects. GDPR is designed to “harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshare the way organizations across the region approach data privacy”.

However, it’s not just Europe that wants in on the data protection action this year. Last month the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was signed into law, which will bear some remarkable similarities to GDPR when it comes into effect on January 1st 2020.

Equivalently to GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act affords residents the right to “be informed about what kinds of personal data companies have collected and why it was collected, the right to request the deletion of personal information, opt out of the sale of personal information, and access the personal information in a readily useable format”.

So, what are the implications of the new law? Businesses in a variety of sectors need to look at their models and examine whether or not they are compliant in their current state. Companies that generate revenue through targeted advertising online need to ensure that the way they have gathered the information is transparent, and that Californian residents can have theirs deleted if they so desire. Companies that gather behavioural data through customers’ usage patterns (such as web browsing) need to ensure that people are aware of the information that is being collected and what it will be used for. Companies that sell data to third parties definitely need to stop and think.

As the name suggests, the California Consumer Privacy Act is not a nationwide law – it is unique to the state of California. Therefore companies that are affected by the legislation also need to work out how they will reformat their business practises; will they reform everything, everywhere to ensure they are legally compliant in California? Or will they find a way to segment Californian residents from the rest of their customer/user base, and treat them as a separate entity?

For California, now is definitely the time for businesses to ensure that all the data they gather, hold and use is in-keeping with the new Privacy Act. But should this just apply to Californians? It certainly seems like we could be reaching a new era of data protection the world over, so there’s no harm in taking some time to audit your company’s practises, regardless of where you are located. A great start is by ensuring that your HR and payroll are secure and that everyone’s information that you hold is safe and legal.

It might seem like a slog to revise your data protection policies, but remember, these new laws are designed to suit a new online climate that previous policy did not account for. Even if you do not reside in an area with one of these new laws, such as the EU or California, every single day your data is collected and used in a whole host of ways. The new legislation we are seeing across the world puts the data subject in control of that, so it’s important you do the same for your employees.

How will MCN keep your data GDPR compliant?
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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here. If you've placed people overseas you may need to take action. Is your international business ready? 

GDPR is a challenge in many ways, and needs to be taken seriously by all organisations who operate within the EU.

Here at MCN Global HR, we deal with complex changes to legislation all the time.  We’ve applied those skills to our GDPR compliance to ensure that our data and the data we are responsible for is safe, secure and compliant. We've even created an essential GDPR HR Toolkit for international companies looking to take the first steps towards GDPR compliance.

What is GDPR?

In case you’ve been hiding under your desk for the last year, here’s the gist.

  • The regulation came into force on 25th May 2018
  • GDPR is all about how you handle people’s data and being transparent about it
  • Every UK company is affected.
  • Businesses needs to designate someone as a Data Protection Officer – make sure you liaise with them as needed regarding HR data
  • Ensure the way payroll data is handled, transmitted and retained meets the requirements of the legislation. Ensure there are robust documented procedures and processes around data.
  • Carry out “Data Protection Impact Assessments” (DPIAs) to ensure compliance with data protection obligations and employee expectations of privacy.
  • Be aware that any payroll data breaches could cost your business dearly . Fail to comply and you will be to 4% of your annual global turnover.

Make sure you have reviewed GDPR within your organisation, and get in touch with your outsourced service providers to ensure they are compliant too.

As a leading International HR consultancy, here’s how we are ensuring compliance.

MCN Global HR has a number of services and toolkits all of which can be used to assist you in meeting your statutory GDPR requirements.

MCN Global HR is part of FMP Global. FMP Global (incorporating Eurowage Ltd, FMP Payroll Services Ltd, FMP HR & Payroll Software Ltd, MCN Associates Ltd) are registered with the Data Protection Register (ZA290393/ZA290366/Z1115288/ZA024069), and also are ISO certified (9001/27001/14001/22301).

We have a dedicated Data Protection Officer, who is available to assist you with any GDPR queries you may have, as well as ensuring our compliance. We have also made changes to our flagship payroll and HR software products.

Read of statement on GDPR compliance. We've got GDPR covered. Have you?

There has never been a better time to consider expanding your company into Japan.
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Is it time to consider expanding into Japan? Not only are minds opening to investment and foreign workers, but there is now infrastructure in place to actively help those wishing to do so.

Countries all over the world continually rely on foreign workers and investment to keep industries and infrastructure not only ticking over, but thriving. According to research from 2015, 14% of the United States’ total population comprises of immigrants. It’s 17.6% for Croatia, nearly 28% for Australia, 29% for Switzerland and a huge 64% for Monaco. However, in Japan the number of foreigners amongst the population is just 2%.

But this is set to change. Currently, visas that allow foreigners to settle in Japan are only available for those who are considered ‘highly skilled’ workers, whereas less skilled foreigners are only admitted as students or trainees. However, in June the government announced that it is creating a ‘designated skills’ visa to accept 500,000 new workers by 2025 in sectors including hotels, shipbuilding, nursing, agriculture and construction. This means that ‘gaigin’ (the Japanese word for ‘foreigners’) are now descending fast.

This won’t just impact the economy and the workplace, but also attitudes to foreigners in general. It’s believed that acceptance of foreign labour is slowly growing in Japan, but sadly this has not always been the case. Sakura no Mori hospital and care home north of Tokyo hired its first foreign worker just six years ago (vastly different to NHS England, whereby 21.5% of staff are not British), and wary patients shouted ‘gaigin’ at them to get their attention whilst others didn’t want anything to do with them at all. A recent poll however revealed that 60% of 18-29 year olds now support the idea of admitting more foreign workers.

One of the reasons for the introduction of the new  ‘designated skills’ visa is that Japan’s ageing population is creating more jobs than there are people who want them. Many of these are in the care industry, highlighted by the fact that the aforementioned hospital, Sakura no Mori, now has a staff that is made up of 8% foreign workers. Additionally, the approaching 2020 Tokyo Olympics are putting pressure on hotels, farms and construction sites as preparation for the event is underway.

Mr Toshihiro Menju, Managing Director of the Japan Centre for International Exchange, is concerned, stating that, “We are reaching a point where if we don’t start thinking about immigration, then Japan’s future will be in danger”. Unfortunately, attracting enough foreign workers to satisfy this staffing discrepancy may not be easy. Language is likely to be a barrier, as only a few companies in Japan work in English. Another barrier will be business practice and ethics, as those with student and trainee visas are often subject to exploitation, whilst promoting based on seniority rather than merit, and working long hours are the norm in Japan.

Japanese businesses need to adapt, or they will likely fall behind. The good news is that many Japanese people are hopeful, including Hidenori Sakanaka, head of the Japanese Immigration Policy Institute. He believes that more exposure to foreigners is reassuring locals that they can get along with them, and that “with the right policies, we could transform ourselves from the weirdest nation in the world on immigration to a model for how to do it”.

Along a similar vein, last year the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) – leading agencies that assist foreign firms wanting to invest in Japan – opened a Tokyo location to help those wishing to establish a company in Japan with their paperwork, complete with language assistance.

All of the above means that there has never been a better time to consider expanding your company into Japan. Not only are minds opening to immigrants and foreign workers, but there is now infrastructure in place to actively help those wishing to do so. Pair that with world-class international HR support and taking your business to Japan might just be too good an opportunity to pass up.

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