One key lesson from China is that the U.S. team should have made sure the Chinese team was more “hands on” with Taleo, said Tom LaMarre, vice president of Taleo Implementation Services for HRchitect, the implementation partner for Mary Kay.
He said the U.S. leaders should have pushed for more feedback from the Chinese team to ensure they understood Taleo as much as they needed, but language and cultural differences limited communication. “We did not have China in the system enough. We did not have them in the system early enough.”
The implementation team from Mary Kay carried that lesson over to Brazil, where the local team received more hands-on practice to gain experience with Taleo, he said.
Another early lesson came when a new project leader took over for the Chinese implementation team, he said.
In hindsight, the U.S. team should have taken a step back, re-evaluated all decisions and made sure the new project leader was onboard, he said. Instead, near the end of the project, the Chinese leader questioned decisions and said some would not work. That caused extra work, confusion and delays that could have probably been avoided by validating early decisions with the new leader.
China is also reluctant to change, at least in one area. The Chinese operation still relies heavily on agencies to fill positions, though one reason for Taleo is to cut costs by reducing dependence on agencies. Agencies are, however, becoming more efficient by using the agency portal in Taleo, instead of email, he said.
When configuring the Taleo cloud software in the two nations, LaMarre said, Mary Kay decided against “recreating the wheel” overseas and instead used the U.S. system as a starting point. In Brazil, the team used U.S. configurations as a baseline but also China for comparison purposes.
Before traveling overseas, LaMarre said, it was also critical to obtain as much information as possible about the requisition forms, application data, new hire requirements, correspondences such as offer letters and recruiting, and onboarding processes used in China and Brazil.
During implementations, the teams worked together to identify the differences and similarities in the processes in order to deploy products that met specific regional needs for recruiting and onboarding, he said.
About 4,000 of Mary Kay’s 5,500 employees now can use Taleo cloud recruitment software and the project is continuing. Implementation in Mexico is set to start later this year or next, meaning Spanish will be a fourth language.
Mary Kay gets facelift from Taleo cloud recruitment software