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HR rising up to the demand of the millenials

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The always online, new age talent entering the workforce is pushing the HR function to adopt consumer social networking features. Abhishek Raval talks to Anand Subbaraman, VP, HCM Product Strategy, Oracle USA on how a cloud based HCM solution fits well both to HR as a function and the new age employee.

Why HR on the cloud. How is it being handled currently and why should companies move to the cloud?

There are two forces working here. The users and the availability of a suitable technology platform.

Cloud enables rapid deployment and consumption of software requirements to roll out the features demanded by the enterprise users. The new age employee or the millennial workforce is demanding for HR the same features they experience on their mobile device while scrolling through consumer social networks like Facebook Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter etc. The cloud technology makes it extremely easy to deploy these functionalities.

The most important- career development. Right on the first day, as soon as the new joinee logs in to the HR system, he probably has the same amount of information about other employees as about them on any other social networks. Because I know everybody’s profile in the organization, I can actually explore, find friends, build mentors. Hitherto, these features were unavailable. I can upload my own learning and check what others are learning and engage in peer-to-peer learning. Thus they feel empowered from the basics to the high end.

The onboarding process is automated to the extent the new joinee doesn’t have to engage in any paperwork on the day of joining. There are self service based features too for e.g. The very fact that I don’t have to call HR to change my address or add my spouse as a dependent to our insurance plan. It’s a huge time saving. In the earlier days, in order to do my PPF, I had to fill up the long form. Now, I can do it online on my mobile device while traveling to work.

Secondly, Human Capital Management (HCM) itself has undergone changes. In the nineties, it was all about payroll software, then it became employee self service. Today, it has become more about employee experience, employee reputation;About How HR can help employees grow in the organisation. It involves identifying the unknown skillsets of the existing workforce and accordingly grooming them; hiring talent by using consumer social platforms. The HR is about the employee and not just the regular HR chores. The cloud platform enables HR to focus and speed up the front end of the HR job.

How can HR as a function leverage Oracle HCM cloud’s consumer social networking features?

Linkedin is a cloud solution. Most of the professionals are on Linkedin. There is more information on Linkedin than the company’s HR system. HR has in a way restricted itself to having the employee ID, grade and salary. But unfortunately for HR as a function, to understand the employee history, career trail, strengths, likes, past achievements, friends and recommendations, they have to go on Linkedin. So, it has transformed the way how HR people and practitioners think.

The Oracle HCM solution after getting the necessary privacy consent from the employees can access the information about employees from these consumer networks.

Likewise with Twitter, people tweet about their company, what they do, opinions etc. Again if the employee permits the HR to access his account, they can actually get information back and can find out what are employees good at. This is what HR wants to be, identifying the skills of the employees to develop their careers. Hence the cloud is very important from a business standpoint. The cloud essentially helps the employee feel empowered.

We have a module called reputation management, which creates a reputation scorecard of the employees. It charts the result of the influence the employee has acquired on social media networks. The criteria can be set by the companies on the basis of the functional requirements.

Explain this with the help of customer case studies

One of the top publishing houses is our customer. They have a large marketing team. The company wanted to identify their best marketing talent. For them, the easiest source is twitter because the whole of marketing is moving to digital marketing on Twitter and Facebook. So, the HR is looking for ways to find out, which marketing professional is the most followed, who has the highest influence. Our software can get data on the influence garnered by the marketing professionals and give the information back to the business leader or the HR manager to decide on who should be promoted.

A big internet company wanted to find out, who is their best source of hire. They used our social sourcing software, which is essentially sourcing through all social media networks. The company found ’employee referrals’ to be their best source of hire.

They have made employee referrals the only way candidates can apply for jobs in the organisation now. They are enforcing that as a complete close loop process.

Companies are using the HCM solution for different processes. A company is using it for learning and development. Rather than compliance based learning, they want peer to peer social learning. It’s fast, employees watch something interesting, they videograph it and share it with the network. They are moving to very closed peer to peer method of sharing and learning.

HCM in the healthcare space is very critical. Apollo Hospitals has been on the Oracle cloud HCM for quite some time.

The healthcare provider wanted a centralised HR system. Every hospital had their respective system. Healthcare being a highly regulated business, the hospital chain wanted a clean source of data. While there are multiple benefits, I would like to focus on a critical benefit of the cloud system.

They wanted to categorise the nurse information in terms of the skills they had for e.g. At 2.00 AM, if a nurse needs an urgent leave and if she has to attend to a surgery at 3.00 AM, the system should give information on who are the other nurses with similar skillsets available in the same shift. That’s a very basic HR problem. They need to have extremely accurate tracking of the basics because it impacts every single aspect of their customer supply chain.

If a particular doctor is on leave, how can they reschedule patients, the impact downstream is very critical. Surgeries, patients get rescheduled. It’s much more critical in a hospital environment than in other business environment. If a heart surgeon goes on leave, surgeries get rescheduled and an immediate replacement has to be found. Our system makes it possible.

The hospitals in the chain have been able to get the employees to use the solution. Hyderabad, the biggest hospital in the chain and with the highest number of employees has clocked eighty percent usage from its employees. The power to use the HR solution for themselves has worked in favour as against before when the HR had all the usage rights. It’s a liberating experience.

Number of Indian customers on cloud?

We have 35 Indian customers till date. There are 125 more MNCs, whose Indian subsidiaries using Oracles’s HCM solution include UBS, Oracle, Schneider Electric, British telecom, Dun & Bradstreet.

New age companies include PVR theaters, Jabong and Kotak Bank. The bank has replaced their Oracle and PeopleSoft solution to the current HCM solution.

About security features of the Oracle HCM Cloud. Is it a layered approach?

Yes. There are security and bastion controls at the cloud operations level. The security is built into the application through role based access control and we have governance in place.

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