We’re officially in an economy where there are more job openings than available workers, and the competition for high-quality talent is fierce. Today’s recruiters must work to entice qualified workers to leave their current jobs for (hopefully) greener pastures.

Recruiting and Retention as HR Priorities

Those who work in human resources (HR) now have to play both sides of the fence: They’re trying to poach the talent they need while nurturing their own workforce to give them compelling reasons to stay. We’ve already shared how companies like Corning are rethinking their employee experience and motivating their employees to stay engaged.

SAP SuccessFactors is working to help give companies as much of an edge as possible in both the recruiting race and best-in-class employee experience. At the 2018 SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, we sat down with Greg Tomb, president of SAP SuccessFactors, and James Harvey, SVP of cloud engineering and operations at SAP SuccessFactors, to learn how they’re helping keep these two activities in balance.

How SAP HANA Changes Candidate Sourcing

Harvey explained that the rapid deployment of SAP HANA by the SAP SuccessFactors customer base gives those in HR more than just speed. “Most people think of HANA as an in-memory database, and that means speed and fantastic computational power because the application is running in memory,” said Harvey. “But what they don’t know is that the real power of HANA is in the analytic services it provides on very large data sets in real time.”

“So, you might take all of your candidate data, including structured data like in an application where candidates have filled out fields online, as well as unstructured data. We can take that entire data set, which likely could include hundreds of thousands or millions of people, and apply services from HANA at lightning speed to understand it.”

This type of analysis allows SAP HANA to do things like cluster candidates within a specific geography and organize them by factors like education, skills, and interests. SAP HANA could then provide a geographic map of the clusters based on patterns it finds. This will give SAP customers a competitive edge in recruiting as soon as SAP SuccessFactors finishes its full implementation of SAP Analytics Cloud by the end of 2018.

Master Employee Data Across Applications

SAP SuccessFactors has also been building integrations with other SAP products like SAP Fieldglass to maximize the entire employer and employee experience. With the recent focus on master data alignment from SAP in areas like SAP C/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors is ready to address the data needs from the employer and employee side.

“We’re no longer talking point-to-point integration. We’re talking about actually pushing down into the shared master data model,” explained Harvey. “So for instance, we won’t have a person that we copy from SAP Fieldglass to SAP SuccessFactors. There will be one definition of that person in SAP Cloud Platform, and all of the applications will be able to get information about that person. That’s going to reduce the setup and configuration for customers, it will make the user experience consistent, and will offer a single reporting experience.”

SAP SuccessFactors is also streamlining its data model, allowing some of its modules to talk to each other more easily. One such example is the Onboarding module, which has moved from its own platform onto the core SAP SuccessFactors stack, meaning that it shares the same objects and technology structure as the Recruiting and Employee Central modules. Now the data no longer must be moved from one module to the next. Instead, each module dips into the shared master data for the information on the employee that it needs.

An Employee-Centered User Experience

One of the areas SAP SuccessFactors has struggled with historically is weak customer support. Tomb acknowledged this, but he believes his team has done a complete 180-degree turn. And it starts with an improved user experience. “We’re moving down a path where we have zero downtime when it comes to all of the maintenance that we need to do. We are re-architecting so a customer can continue running a majority of the time when we do patches.”

Tomb also detailed how the focus of the SAP SuccessFactors application has changed to make it more user-friendly. “If you take a look at the way the application was designed in the past, it was always about the manager. How do I make that HR manager or the business manager the most successful they can be, working from a laptop or PC?"

Mobile Services that Work for Employees

“Today it’s about how do I take every employee in that company and make it so easy for them with a mobile device that they never even have to use a PC to use the application. It’s a user experience that works the way people are used to working today.”

With this new user experience in place, SAP SuccessFactors has seen customer satisfaction skyrocket and customer support issues reduced to a minimum. Mobile-friendly organizational charts and streamlined employee profiles are some of the features SAP believes that will be a competitive advantage for its customers.

Happy Employees Across the Intelligent Enterprise

Struggles with using an HR application would simply add fuel to the fire of a dissatisfied employee. Having a strong user experience like the one SAP SuccessFactors is offering may not attract or retain talent on its own, but it can add to a positive employee experience. Through its ongoing integrations, SAP SuccessFactors is working hard to bring benefits to a company’s workforce as a whole. The master data sharing between SAP SuccessFactors and other SAP products, as well as the insights that SAP Analytics Cloud may give in recruiting, make it easier for customers to bring the benefits of total workforce management to their organizations.

Join us in October in Toronto for the ASUG Experience in Human Resources & Payroll to learn from other practitioners and innovators who are working to improve the employee experience. Or meet us in September in Las Vegas for the SuccessConnect conference.