A day in the life of an HR

A day in the life of an HR

All those familiar with HCM applications agree that an HCM application has a varied set of users i.e. the employees, their managers and the HR power users with different access levels.

We will peek into what an HCM solution offers its power user group in today’s post.

So today we follow Tina, an HR professional who could be employed in your organization or mine, Tina uses an HCM application at work, I will pretend her organization has implemented Workday, you can pretend she uses PeopleSoft HCM / SAP HCM / Oracle HCM.

How would Tina wants to begin her day, she would like to have a quick glance at the tasks and transactions that require her attention, tasks could include a report to be sent across the manager, a direct report to be reviewed for performance, an open job opening for which Tina has to interview candidates, transactions could include processing requests submitted by end user employees like address changes, marital status updates etc., making updates to employee data like initiating a transfer, processing a hire, termination etc. Life would be a breeze if all pending tasks and transactions be visible at once. Well it is possible and life can indeed be a breeze if Tina can sign into her HCM account in the morning and access a Dashboard (also referred to as WorkCenter or Operational Dashboard) configured for her use. The Dashboard is made of individual widgets (or pagelets as they are also referred to) which can display tasks that require attention, pending transactions, notifications from the manager, announcements from the organization at large, birthday and anniversary reminders etc. And the best part is that Tina can click on a task or transaction requiring attention and she will be transferred to the relevant page where she can proceed with further action. Now isn’t that fabulous.

Tina is a woman on the move, and so is her HCM solution. Most of the contemporary HCMs are designed with smartphone compatibility as the focus, also some even tailor their screens and pages to be rendered seamlessly on iPads.

Now what if Tina wants to run some HR Analytics, all she has to do is make use of the near to Business Intelligence reporting features offered by most HCM solutions, some HCMs like PeopleSoft have built-in Pivot Grid like reports and lets the IT team create new one as per business needs. And for more advanced HR Analytics, HCMs can be interfaced with Business Intelligence solutions. And Business Intelligence tools have the flexibility wherein Tina can create reports on her own without help from the IT team.

So a day in the life of an HR person using HCM is breezy and exciting, don’t you agree…

If you want to share this article the reference to Bhuvana Rao and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.


Ever wondered why do companies invest top dollar in HCM applications and then spend on maintaining them, what is the value it brings to an organization, why use it all?..

To tackle these questions and to understand why HCM, i.e. Human Capital Management applications, are basic blocks in the architecture of any organization’s IT landscape, let us look at the features that makes a HCM application what it is and how it empowers employees and HR personnel alike in an organization.


Ease of use: Feature rich and in some cases widget rich HCM systems come fitted with a simple user interface, imagine having to struggle to use and navigate through an application, no one wants that kind of negativity in their lives, the screens always meander towards simple, intuitive and an easy to use and navigate layout. The buzzword here is User Friendly.

Manage a global & dynamic workforce: Organizations are spread across continents with countries having varied tax regulations and rules. HCM systems provide features that support taxation, statutory deductions and year end processing of various countries. Also when employees get deputed and move on to foreign shores, a HCM system enables tracking such movements and related details.

Accommodate industry standard HR processes: Along with the obvious ability to hire employees into the organization, maintain their personal & employment data and record changes as applicable and then process termination on employee exit, HCM systems also enable calculation of periodic benefit deductions, calculation and payment of bimonthly/monthly salaries subject to the home country regulations, payouts of AdHoc bonuses. And employee data from the HCM system of an organization is published to other enterprise applications like Finance, Supply Chain Management etc.

Another group of HR processes that target employee talent management enable recording job related competencies of employees, detect gaps in the employee competency profile vis-à-vis the employee designation and track bridging of the gaps through a structured learning and certification path, HCM systems can also help map and track career plans for employees in an organization and if required create and monitor succession plans as well.

Employee work hours and In and Out times used for billing purposes can also be recorded, monitored and maintained in the HCM application.

Employees and their managers can work together on creating performance goals annually or bi-annually and track the progress and closure of the same with feedback and ratings as relevant.

Employees can also update changes in address, changes in martial changes, child birth/adoptions, view pay slips, view benefits offered by the organization and make choices and even see deductions as they happen, etc.

Anytime anywhere access: This happens to be a very important value-add, mobility is almost a way of life as evident in the past few years, people want the option to access data, approve requests and extract reports while on the go, so a HCM system is smartphone and tablet compatible has a definite edge in the market.

HR Analytics support: As your organization grows and accumulates data, analyzing this data to identify patterns and trends is an all-important activity, HCM systems provide text & chart based reports to support decision making and also ability to interface with external business intelligence tools if your organization uses them.

If you want to share this article the reference to Bhuvana Rao and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

SaaS HCM and Traditional HCM

Today we look at traditional or On Premise HCM Applications like PeopleSoft HCM and also at SaaS or On Demand HCM like Workday.

Are you wondering why I choose to name PS and Workday here from a plethora of On Premise and On Demand HCM applications available ? Well there is a reason and the reason happens to be these two inspiring and gritty gentlemen who found Workday in 2005-2006. The duo David Duffeild and Aneel Bhusri were part of the PeopleSoft leadership team who witnessed the takeover of PeopleSoft in 2004 (David was a founder of the erstwhile PeopleSoft).

And what would I do if I had to face a similar situation, maybe lick my wounds in private and turn bitter but no sir, that was not what the duo did, they created a top notch ERP again and this time it has an additional dimension to it, it was cloud enabled, in other words it was an On Demand or a SaaS application.

I salute the never say die spirit of Workday.

So what does SaaS mean?

Software as a Service simply means a software that is hosted and made available to the customers by the vendor over the Internet.

Software as a Service simply means a software that the vendor has hosted on cloud and lets you use it over the Internet, so in a way you rent a software hosted on the vendor’s infrastructure instead of buying the software and then installing and hosting it on your servers as in traditional software models. Along with you many other users/organisations also avail of the same software and use it without bumping into each other’s space, think of a mail service like Gmail or Yahoo! (but with a fee), you do not download or install anything, just type in the URL, create an account for yourself and get started. And in the case of traditional software when the vendor rolls out a new version of the application, it is up to the customer to work and upgrade to the newer version but in the case of a SaaS application, the vendor upgrades the application hosted on his cloud and the new version is rolled out to all subscribing customers.

When you implement an On Premise software application (another name for traditional software models) you buy the software license and then pay an Annual Maintenance Cost i.e. AMC to retain rights to use the software, in an On Demand software (another name for SaaS) you pay a monthly fee and a fee for any services that you may avail of from the vendor.

An On Premise software can be customised to a large extent by your development or consulting teams depending on your business needs whereas On Demand software cannot be customised by you as you are renting the software and this software is owned by the vendor and shared by many others, so the customisation route is not possible here. So you have to adapt to the functionality offered by the SaaS tool and you cannot adapt it to suit your business needs.

As you can see there are tradeoffs against both the models.

Bhuvanapriya RaoA busy productive day keeps me upbeat and happy. – Bhuvana Rao

Source: SaaS HCM and Traditional HCM – HCM SIMPLIFIED