What’s New in the 1H 2020 SAP SuccessFactors Career Development Release

Want to know what’s changed from the first Half (1H) 2020 SAP SuccessFactors release for Career Development? Let’s take a look!

There are two new universal features within Career Development and three universal enhancements in Mentoring. We will wrap up by seeing the new Career Explorer tool that is only available in an Early Adopter Care (EAC) program at this time.

We will begin with the new universal feature in Career Worksheet.

Creating a Deep Link to “My Current Roles” in Career Worksheet

It is now possible for an employee to use a deep link to go directly to the “My Current Roles” tab in Career Worksheet.

So what exactly is a deep link? For our purposes, it is a hyperlink that links to a specific page in the SAP SuccessFactors application. For example, a custom tile on the home page may contain a deep link. This acts as a shortcut to reduce the number of clicks to move to another page in SuccessFactors.

In prior releases, it would take several clicks for an employee to get to their current role on Career Worksheet. From the home page the path would be Development>Career Worksheet>My Current Roles tab.

With the latest release, an employee can open a deep link to go directly the Career Worksheet “My Current Roles” tab by using the new URL “sf/careerworksheet?currentrole=true“.

In order to take advantage of this new feature, a little set up is needed. For our example, we will add a link to the “Quick Links” tile on the Home page.

First let’s set up the URL so it will be ready when we need to reference it. To use the deep link, add it to the base URL of your SuccessFactors instance. To find your base URL, look at the URL for your login page. An example is shown below.

https://performancemanager4.successfactors.com/login#/companyEntry

Remove “login#/companyEntry” and add “/sf/careerworksheet?currentrole=true”  as seen in the example below.

https://performancemanager4.successfactors.com/sf/careerworksheet?currentrole=true

Now we can set up our deep link. Go to “Manage Home Page” and find the “Quick Links” tile as seen below.

Manage Links

Click on “Manage Links” in order to add the URL. Click the plus sign seen in the top right corner of the page. You will then be able to add a new entry. Provide a name for the link label, turn the link on by default, enter the newly created URL and save. An example is seen below.

Create Deep Link

Now go to your home page. The new deep link will now be available in the “Quick Links” tile as seen in the example below.

Quick Links Tile

Clicking on this tile, the user will see all of the quick links available to them. In the example seen below, the user has added this link to their favorites.

Link to Current Role

Clinking the link will take the user to the “My Current Role” tab on Career Worksheet as seen below.

My Current Role Tab of Career Worksheet

That wraps up what is new for Career Worksheet. Next we will move on to the Development Plan.

Development Plan

The final “what’s new” for Career Development Planning is the availability of the Buddhist calendar in Development Plans. This enhancement is specific to customers in Thailand.  The Buddhist calendar will now display in:

  • Development Plan – add and edit learning activity
  • Development Plan – add and edit goals
  • Learning Activity within Development Plan – create and edit new learning activity
  • Learning Activity Group within Development Plan – group definition,  edit assigned learning activities for groups

We have now seen the new features for Career Worksheet and Development Plan. Now let’s see the enhancements for Mentoring.

Mentoring

There are no new features in Mentoring but there are a few universal updates to existing functionality:

  • Enhanced Matching Rules
  • Reduced number of recommended mentors
  • Email notifications for changes in mentor availability

We will look at each one.

Enhanced Matching Rules

When an admin creates a mentoring program, the program signup form is configured.  The admin creates a series of questions that mentors and mentees must answer when joining a mentoring program. Now matching rules are defined for each question.  The system determines the best match for a mentor and mentee based on the responses and the matching rules for each question.

When creating the signup form in prior releases, there were only four columns to complete as seen below.  

Prior Version of Signup Form

The fields to complete were: “Answer Type“, “Selection Values“, “Questions to Mentor” and “Questions to Mentee“.

The admin would create questions for the mentors and mentees.  Each question would need to have the answer type defined: free text or a picklist.  If the answer would come from a picklist, the picklist would be identified in the “Selection Values” column.

The latest version of Mentoring has a much more robust method for matching program participants. 

The new signup form is displayed below.

New Signup Form

Like the previous releases, a matching rule is created for each question that appears on the signup sheet.  Now there are additional criteria defined in order to find the best match:

  • Question Category
  • Matching Based On
  • Key Question
  • Matching Type
  • Weight

The “Answer Type” and “Selection Values” columns from previous releases have been combined into the “Question Category”.  An example of the selections for this field is shown below.

Question Category

If the question may be answered by a picklist, the picklist is identified in this field otherwise the question category value would be “Free Text”.

In order for mentors to be matched to mentees, all of the questions cannot be free text.

Just a few things to keep in mind about picklists.

  • The picklists that may be used for each question are: competency, department, division, location, gender, job family, job role, job code, job level, job title and skill.  You may also use custom picklists.   The picklists need to be defined in the data model and permissions must be granted.
  • The same picklist (standard and custom) may be used in multiple questions. 
  • Custom picklists may only be used when matching is based on preference, not with mentee or mentor preference or profiles.

New is the “Matching Based On” column.  For each question, matching may be based on:

  • Preferences.  Mentors and mentees are matched based on their answer to the question.
  • Mentee’s Preference. Using this match type, there is only a question for the mentee.  The mentor will not get the question on their signup form. Matching is based on the mentee’s answers and the mentor’s employee profile.
  • Mentor’s Preference. Using this match type, the question is only for the mentor.  The mentee will not get the question on their signup form. Matching is based on the mentor’s answers and the mentee’s employee profile.
  • Profiles.  This match type does not use a question. Matching is done based on the picklist value for the question on the mentor and mentee employee profiles.

Also new is “Key Question”.  When a question is identified as “key”, and the mentee and mentor don’t satisfy the matching criteria for the question, they won’t match. Key questions cannot be weighted.

Matching type.  Options are “Matched” or “Not Matched“.  Matching depends on the answers or the profile to determine if they are a match on each question. If the answer is defined as “Not Matched”, the answer to the question by the mentor and mentee cannot be the same in order to match on the question.

Weight.  If used, the sum of the weights must equal 100. If this column is left blank, equal weight will be given to each question.  If you wish to omit a question from matching, you may leave its weight blank but have the weight for the remaining questions to add up to 100. Responses to key questions and free text questions cannot be weighted.

The table shown below identifies which fields are available for each “question category”/”matching based on” combinations.  The fields that the admin will be able to enter for each question on the signup form will differ based on the matching options.

Question CategoryMatching Based OnQuestion to MentorQuestion to MenteeKey questionMatching TypeWeight
Free textN/AXXN/AN/AN/A
PicklistPreferencesXXXXN/A
Picklist PreferencesXXXX
PicklistProfilesN/AN/AXXN/A
PicklistProfilesN/AN/AXX
PicklistMentee’s PreferenceN/AXXXN/A
PicklistMentee’s PreferenceN/AX XX
PicklistMentor’s PreferenceXN/AXXN/A
PicklistMentor’s PreferenceXN/AXX
Field Availability Based on Question Category/Matching Based On

For example, if you are using employee profile as the matching type, there will be no questions for the mentee or mentor because matching is based on the picklist value on the mentor and mentee employee profiles. For all cases where a question is identified as “key”, the weight field will not be active.

Matching Rules

The matching between mentors and mentees is based on the rules set up for the signup form questions. Matching rules determine the recommended matches.  The system compares data from the mentee to the mentor.

The matching program looks at the key questions first. If the matching rule is not satisfied for any of the questions, the mentor/mentee are not considered a match. If there is a match based on the rule of a key question, the system keeps matching based on additional question matching rules. For non-key questions, preferences or employee profiles are compared to calculate the mentor’s match score.

Skill and competency questions calculate a match score based (0 to 100) on the number of picklist values matched for a question. The number of mentor’s competencies/skills that match with the mentee is divided by the total number of competencies/skills that the mentee selected in their signup form. This number is then multiplied by 100 to arrive at the match score for this question. So the more competencies/skills that match, the higher the matching score. The match score for any other standard or custom picklist will be 0 or 100. If a question does not have at least one picklist value in common between mentor and mentor, the match score is zero.

After the system calculates the mentor’s match score for each question, the scores are summed. Weights used on a question are also used in the calculation of the final match score. Based on the results, the top ten matches become the recommended mentors for a mentee.

Matching Program for Supervised Mentoring Programs

Supervised mentoring programs use a backend matching program to calculate match scores. This program uses a star system with four matching levels.

  1. Preferred (four stars) match based on preferred mentor selected during sign up
  2. Excellent match (three stars) based on 75% or higher match score
  3. Good match (two stars) based on 50 – 74.99% match score
  4. Average match (one star) based on 49.99% or lower match score

Recommended Mentors Cap

Another enhancement involves reducing the number of recommended mentors. In prior releases, when a mentee completed the questions on their signup form and then saw the recommended mentors, up to 100 recommended matches would display.   Now the mentee will only see ten recommended mentors. This limits the mentee’s time scrolling though all matched mentors to make a selection and instead can focus on the ten with the best fit.

Recommended Successors

We will now look at the final enhancement for Mentoring.

Email Notifications for Unavailable Mentors

The final enhancement involves email notifications for mentor availability status changes.

When the availability status of a mentor changes, their mentees and their pending mentees will receive an email notification.   This is very helpful information for mentees to be made aware of so they may select another mentor. In prior releases, only the mentor received notification when their availability status changed.

Going forward, the mentor will only receive a notification if the admin changed their availability. In other words, if the mentor changed his own availability status, he would not be notified. In either case, the mentee will receive the availiabilty change notification.

Let’s look at what happens when the admin goes into a mentoring program and makes a mentor unavailable as seen in the example below.

Admin Makes Mentor Unavailable

The mentor will not be available until July 24, 2020 so both the mentor and the mentee will receive an email notification.

The mentor notification is seen below. The email contains the date the mentor will be available again. It also explains that the mentor cannot be selected by a mentee when in this unavailable status.

Unavailable Notification to Mentor

When the mentor is no longer available, the mentee receives an email notification as well. Any mentee that has a pending mentor request with this person will also get the email. A sample email is shown below.

Unavailable Mentor Notification to Mentee

In the email, the mentor’s availability date is supplied. The mentee also is prompted to select a new mentor.

Now we will see what happens when mentor makes himself unavailable as seen below. The mentor changed his availability and entered the date when their availability date.

Mentor Makes Himself Unavailable

In this case, only the mentee will receive the availability notification.

Next, if the admin goes into the program and makes the mentor available again, both the mentee and mentor will be notified.

Here is a sample email notification received by the mentor.

Mentor Notification of Availability

The mentor is made aware that they are available again so the mentor may expect to see some mentoring requests coming his way again. The email also explains that they may go into the program to change the availability or status.

The mentee is notified of the mentor’s availability as well. Shown below is a sample notification.

Mentee Receives Mentor Available Notification

If mentor makes himself available again, only the mentee receives notification.

We have now seen what’s new and enhanced for Career Development. Now we will take a brief look at the limited release for a new feature.

Career Explorer

A new component of Career Development is Career Explorer. It uses a machine learning algorithm to make recommendations for future job roles based on users “like me”. Career Explorer recommends career opportunities based on the career paths of people who are similar to the user in the organization. An employee can see the career path taken by others that used to have the same job role or who have similar skills, previous roles or education. This give the employee some additional future job roles to consider that may not be within their regular career path. This tool provides personalized guidance over the predefined career paths to determine the possible next role.

Career Explorer helps an employee find possible future roles outside of traditional career paths or even discover an unexpected fit for a role. These roles may be set as targets for career development. ​Based on the recommended roles, the user can also see a future career path in a lineage chart.

A sample view of Career Explorer is shown below.

Career Explorer

Competencies, skills and other job profile details may be viewed for each role. The employee may see how well they meet the job role requirements. If the role is added to their Career Worksheet, the employee may identify competency deficiencies and then create development goals and learning activities to help fill those gaps.

Prerequisites

Career Explorer is currently available only to those in the Early Adapters Care program (EAC).  In order to apply, you must be have a minimum of 1000 employees all associated with job roles. Additional requirement include using:

  • Employee Central
  • Job Profile Builder using job code, job classifications and competencies
  • Succession Management
  • Career Development Planning, preferably with Career Worksheet enabled

Registration ends November 1, 2020.

Wrap Up

We have now seen what’s new and improved within the Career Development module. And we have seen what is coming with the new Career Explorer. Check out my blog on what’s new for SAP SuccessFactors Succession for 1H 2020 as well.

Do you need help with integrating or setting up your SuccessFactors Development Implementation? Contact us at: info@worklogix.com

One thought on “What’s New in the 1H 2020 SAP SuccessFactors Career Development Release

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.