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How all the SAP/Successfactors HR future discussions make sense for me: Right time experiences

The HR-world is undergoing changes at a tremendous speed at the moment. You can read a lot of very good information about Successfactors and other HR solutions on SCN. But there is another discussion going on at the same time and sometimes connected with the first one: What are the future directions for HR applications from a business point of view. Or in other words: How can HR become a equal partner at the board table of every company and organization which is rated as business relevant? The discussion was already an ongoing one when I started my career as SAP consultant more than a decade ago. But with HR departments able to bypass the IT and HR department via cloud solutions the discussion is heating up.

Ray Rivera pointed to a very good reference point here on SCN when he made the connection between HR analytics and the use of analytic capabilities to build up a successful baseball team with very limited resources (“Money ball”).

But I was still missing a framework how to structure all the changes which are becoming more and more visible in the HR world, until…. Until I read the blog about Right Time Experiences by Milja Gillespie.

In her words: “Right time experiences are experiences that are specific, relevant, and based on context…” For me this is an excellent summary of the future of HR. With hr Employee Self Services we began a journey to deliver such experiences to employees but to a limited degree and if we are honest: Only a small fraction of employees in companies would describe the HR department as an enabler of right time experiences.

Just think of two possible examples of such right time experiences and compare them with the reality in your company today:

A sales rep has over delivered her figures again and again over the years and is rated as . This year she is struggling for the first time due to an unexpected cost-cutting program by her key customer. The HR business partner of her area is informed by the analytic applications that the company is in danger of losing one of her key sales persons. They are calling her manager and are developing a plan how to give the sales rep a career perspective within the company. In the end the sales rep gets a discussion with her manager offering her new career perspectives in order to ensure her retention.

A high teach company has developed a growth strategy. Growing revenues are expected in the area of medical devices across all countries. The HR department is actively monitoring the development of the sales figures across the regions. Based on this analysis they are offering the responsible managers in the underperforming subsidiaries targeted training courses for their sales people and are proposing applicant profiles based on the experiences in the high performing countries.

In my view such ideas are not new. But now we have a combination of technology available which enable us to “surprise employees and managers” with right time HR experiences.

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