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Interview scheduling integration with Microsoft Outlook was introduced by successFactors in their Q3 2015 upgrade.

This was an Admin Opt-In feature. This integration was applicable for clients using Microsoft Outlook Exchange 2010, 2013

or Office 365.


Integration between various tools and applications will be always challenging and exciting. Following proper guidelines

to setup an integration is must and therefore I would suggest to get familiarize with procedures documented in

RCM implementation guide and RCM_User Guide_Interview_Scheduling_v3.1 (Available in SAP Jam).


This write up should have been posted as blog a while ago since this feature was delivered in older release.

I hope info here will be useful for reference point for customers who are freshly implementing Recruiting module

or would like to add interview central feature to their existing SF recruiting system. This write up has steps to

implement Outlook Integration steps (Interview Scheduling and Outlook Integration) and the project level activities

and also various teams involved. 

Introduction:

Outlook integration:

Enables organizers to fetch availability of the interviewer from their outlook calendar

Sends meeting invite to interviewer when they are booked for interviewing candidate

Response of interviewers can be viewed in successFactors. When Outlook Integration is enabled,

Interview schedules, invites, and meetings appear directly on the user’s Outlook calendar.

Preparation

Various prerequisites and the team/person responsible:

Recruiting Admin:

  • Online/Personal Interview Locations, Email Templates preparation
  • Insure unique email addresses for Interviewers. Email ID entered in BizX user data must be same as Outlook email
  • Set Interviewers time zones

IT Team:

  • Must be using Outlook versions 2007 On-premise/2010 On-premise/2013 On-premise/Office 365 On-Demand

IT Mail Exchange

  • Establish service account in Exchange.
  • Exchange URL, service account credentials must be provided to SF Admin
  • Must allow access to the service account for “Free/Busy Time permissions or greater
  • Requests from Recruiting Customer Facing App server to Client Microsoft Exchange Web Services should not be

       restricted by Client’s network firewall.

  • Facilitate Port http, https
  • Auto Discover Service should be running and published outside of Client’s network firewall, in public-internet domain.

Implementation Stages

Stage 1

Details

Enable Outlook Integration feature

Enable Outlook Integration in Provisioning

Add Picklists for Interview Locations

Admin Center > Picklist Management.

Picklist values are needed to be created with online and offline interview location list and maintain in Admin Center.

Enable Interview Scheduling in instance

Admin Center > Manage Recruiting Settings > Interview Central > Enable Interview Scheduling > Select the Picklist

Interview Sch 1.jpg

Stage 2

Details

Manage E-Mail Templates

Admin Tools > Manage Recruiting E-Mail Templates

Assign Templates to E-Mail triggers

Admin Tools > Recruiting E-Mail Triggers

 

Stage 3

Details

Permission to Recruiting Admin to Set Up Outlook Integration

Admin Center > Set User Permission > Manage Permission Roles >  Role > Permissions > Manage Recruiting > Set up Interview Scheduling Outlook Integration

Create a Permission Group of Organizers and give access to calendar

Admin Center > Set User Permission > Manage Permission Roles > Role > Permissions > Recruiting Permissions >

  • Enable Calendar
  • Enable Interview Scheduling Permission

Stage 4

Details

Recruiter to see candidates in interview status

Admin Center > Manage Recruiting > Edit Applicant Status Configuration

Setup Outlook Integration

Admin Tools > Setup Interview Scheduling Outlook Integration

Interview Sch 2.jpg

Further Upgrades:

  • In Q1 2016 couple of upgrades for outlook integration were introduced:
    • E-Mail Trigger to Organizer when Interviewers respond
    • Scheduled job to retrieve interviewer and room statuses periodically
    • Another upgrade for outlook worth noticing is “Room Booking”

Note:  You may want to follow release upgrades consistently to check new features and upgrades as SF RCM is continuously evolving. 


Key Learnings:

  • Configure all E-Mail Templates:
    • As per “RCM_User Guide_Interview Scheduling_v3.1”, if only “Required” Email templates are configured,

               functionality should work but it was observed that until required and recommended Email templates are not

               configured, it does not work.

  • You may need to be Patient on RBP front:
      • It may happen that even after enabling interview scheduling, permission of calendar and Interview Scheduling

                      may not be visible in permissions. You may have to wait up to 3 to 4 hours approx.

  • Check Service Account by logging in manually:
        • Usually service account provided by IT Exchange of your client requires password reset on first login,

                              if that is not done manually outlook integration will not work.

  • Why some clients may say NO to this functionality?
        • It has been observed that clients who say NO to implement this functionality, are concerned about the

                              Service Account settings in e-mail exchange keeping IT Security in mind.

  • Timeline to Implement
        • While providing timelines to client, please ensure to calculate sufficient time for testing this functionality

                              because there are many scenarios which needs to be tested.


Make sure to explain the pre-requisites related to E-Mail Exchange server to client before proceeding towards implementation

as that is considered to be a bottle neck, although none of the clients who have implemented Outlook integration have reported

any IT Security breach as per SF.


Conclusion: Interview scheduling is a very useful feature . Coupled with outlook integration will  increase the efficiency of the

overall recruiting process.  Currently SuccessFactors supports only Microsoft Outlook integration.

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