Enterprise Recruiting, Part 2: Adding Web 2.0 Spice
Recruiting and what has more broadly come to be known as "human capital management" is an area rife with IT activity, as was seen in Part 1 of this series.
Database vendors, as well as human resources (HR), customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and specialist recruitment management systems (RMS) developers are all working with organizations to improve their recruiting and personnel management capabilities -- and they're taking advantage of Web 2.0 technology in doing so.
The use of Web 2.0 tools is the latest in a long line of technological efforts aimed at improving the fusion of organizational human knowledge, experience and processes, as well as organization-wide and local business requirements, by better capturing, representing and making use of them in IT systems.
Database, CRM, ERP and HR IT platform providers emphasize the advantages and benefits -- even the necessity -- of seamlessly integrating information from employee recruitment processes and systems with broader HR and other organizational systems, such as compliance, accounting, payroll and performance measurement.
"The best HRMS (human resource management systems) solutions have integrated functionality for HR, training management, employee self-service, benefits enrollment, recruiting management and payroll. They also help speed the reporting process and are backed by superior customer support, providing certified technical expertise, tax and legislative updates, and ongoing product and service enhancements," opined Tom Tillman, director of product marketing for Sage Abra HRMS and Sage TimeSheet.
According to Michelle Newell, Oracle's senior director of Human Capital Management solutions, a successful HCM product meets an organization's present needs and has the ability to grow and expand along with it. Key components of a comprehensive system include:
- The global management of human resources administrative processes such as payroll, benefits administration and time and attendance tracking. This drives best practice processing of HR activities and ensures compliance;
- Workforce service delivery processes that include the usage of secure, role-based access to an HR portal, manager and employee self-service automation, and the usage of the helpdesk concept in human resources. This reduces time and costs associated with workforce management;
- An end-to-end talent management solution that includes recruiting, on-boarding, performance and goal management, employee development, learning, compensation management and career planning. This solution should leverage employee profiles and competency information. An end-to-end practice can ensure seamless management of talent related activities as well as deliver insight into the process itself.
Global to Local and Back
Recruitment needs and requirements vary across industries, economic sectors, geographical location and job type.
"HR practices, including those of recruiting, are very much dictated by regional and industry customs and requirements. It is important that recruiting applications are both global and configurable so that an organization can have a single global solution and practice around recruiting and hiring people, yet are also compliant and sensitive to regional or industry standards," Newell noted.
Recruitment needs are indeed very distinctive across industries and job types, agreed Darren Revell, CEO of U.K.-based Attract HR. "Global banking has the best of everything; healthcare has just enough to get by. The same extremes we see in normal terms apply here. Cash-rich industries buy the best-in-breed; the cash-strapped industries buy what they can afford."
Seamless systems integration is the key to making an RMS truly great or truly poor. "Integration is vital to whole success of the solution," Revell maintained.
While acknowledging the critical importance of broader systems integration, recruitment management systems developers stress recruiting's distinctive attributes, and the advantages customized, purpose-built recruiting applications and IT systems provide, however.
"People want products which are fully featured but flexible to be made to work in bespoke configurations, without the hassle of to much extra software programming," Revell continued. "RMS systems allow you to accurately pinpoint your cost per hire, and then reduce it."
The Twain Meet?
Advances in the standardization of Web application services, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and on-demand platforms are drawing these two closer, bringing the goal of combining organization-wide and geographically and functionally specific recruiting, HR and IT needs and requirements closer to realization.
"In terms of on-demand solutions, the move has already been made as most organizations use some type of on-demand offering within their HRIT infrastructure. Such technologies are predominantly used today as point applications addressing applicant tracking, on-boarding or performance management requirements. Other technologies (talent platforms) are also available, which can support these individual components, as well as a much broader feature scope without having to integrate multiple external components," Adam Feigenbaum, director of marketing and sales at iCIMS told CRM Buyer.
Salesforce.com has been a pioneer in developing and proving that software-as-a-service (SaaS) could succeed in the enterprise both technologically and economically, in terms of a new business model.
"The SaaS model has a number of benefits -- it is easy to use, lower cost, does not have the maintenance and upgrade hassles of traditional software, and does not require the large up-front investment in software and hardware and is therefore lower risk. This formula gets our customers up and running quickly," asserted Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy.
Ensuring overall end user adoption is the key to success for SaaS providers, according to Francis. "Our customers pay by subscription so we want to make sure our customers are successful. This is a big break from the old client-server model, in which the vendor got paid even if the software stayed on the shelf, which it often did."
Rolling Your Own
The latest generation of standardized and open source Web application services technology offers organizations a greater potential to leverage modular components, extend and customize them as required, and then integrate them within broader organizational and IT systems environments.
Salesforce.com offers a recruiting application on its AppExchange that allows recruiters to attach resumes to open positions and track the interviewing process, all the way through to the position being filled, Francis pointed out. Customers have also used the Force.com development platform to build their own recruiting applications.
"Electronic Arts, one of the world's leading independent developers and publishers of interactive entertainment software, built an award-winning global talent acquisition application on Force.com," Francis continued.
"It consists of 10 applications, including campaign/marketing management, social network sourcing (from places like LinkedIn), internal candidate tracking, global employee referrals, and event management, all in 12 languages."