Manage High-Volume Recruiting with SAP SuccessFactors Evergreen Requisitions

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Up until now, customers have been using round-about methods of adapting SuccessFactors recruiting to handle their high-volume requisitions that are always posted – commonly known as “Evergreen Requisitions”.  Recently, with the Q4 2019 release a beta version of Evergreen Requisition functionality was released.  I had the opportunity recently to work with a customer to implement this new functionality and take it for a test drive!  This article gives an overview of the functionality, its business need, key advantages to implementing the functionality, and some helpful hints in rolling it out to your instance.

Why do companies need Evergreen Requisitions?

Not every company needs Evergreen Requisitions.  Unique to some industries are so-called “high-volume” jobs where the demand for the job constantly out-weights the supply.  For example, merchandiser positions in the consumer products industry or pilots in the airline industry.  For these positions, the company is always hiring.  For recruiting systems, this often creates a problem because typically one requisition and one posting equals one position in the HRIS system.  Having multiple requisitions and postings for a multitude of positions that are all basically the same would be confusing to people looking for jobs – not to mention for recruiters to manage.  For example, one candidate could apply to essentially the same job multiple times.   To avoid this, companies use evergreen requisitions to have one long-standing posting to represent a single channel for job seekers and recruiters for several open seats of the same position in the company.

How were companies handling this situation prior to the functionality?

Prior to the release of this functionality, there was no officially agreed-upon method for creating evergreen requisitions.  In my experience a custom Evergreen Requisition solution looked like this:

  1. Requisitions would be launch for each open seat (e.g. unique position number) – typically a custom field would be used to record this position number on each requisition
  2. One requisition would be chosen to be the Evergreen and only that one requisition would be posted for candidates to apply
  3. As candidates applied to the requisition, finalized candidates (usually those reaching a finalized offer) would be moved from the Evergreen requisition to the requisition using the late-stage application functionality

While this solution “worked” in a happy path scenario, there were still many shortfalls here.

  1. There was no clear relationship between the Evergreen Requisition and the child requisitions – so often recruiters may get confused as to which requisition to transfer the candidates
  2. From a compliance and reporting standpoint, it looked as if the candidates were dispositioned off of the Evergreen Requisition even though they were qualified and furthermore did not go through all of the preliminary steps a candidate normally would on the child requisition.  This left many compliance officers feeling a uneasy about how to explain the situation in the event of an audit.
  3. With no clear guidance on an official way to take care of this situation, many companies may take alternate approaches, leaving SAP and partners at a loss for how to continue to implement and support long term

How does the new functionality work?

The process flow for the new functionality is as follows.

  1. Requisitions can be marked as “evergreen” using a new standard field that recruiters/others can see on the requisition detail screen. The Job Requisition Type field also shows if the requisition is standard, evergreen, or child:
  1. Once an Evergreen Requisition is marked as such, child requisitions can be associated to it on the requisition details screen as well:
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  1. These associations can also be seen from the requisition overview screen with the new fields shown below:
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  1. The functionality allows for a new action from the action menu when selecting candidates called “Forward as Applicant”.
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What are the key advantages with the new functionality?

There are many advantages with this new functionality!

  1. The new functionality release gives an agreed standard way to handle Evergreen Requisitions that partners and customers can more universally follow and support going forward.
  2. Previously there was no way to identify what was an evergreen, what was a child, and what was just a standard requisition.  Now there is a field dedicated to identifying this which can help recruiters as well as those creating reports to sort out what is what.
  3. Similarly, now that child requisitions are hard linked in the system with their parent Evergreen Requisition, recruiters can keep tabs on which requisitions they should move candidates to in the event one has accepted an offer.
  4. The new “Forward As Applicant” has many advantages over the other forward or late-stage application action functionality.
    1. Forward as applicant copies the entire application and only runs field checks as if the person just applied.
    1. It also copies the current application data selected whereas other methods copy whatever the latest application is (which can get very frustrating).
    1. Furthermore, candidates and recruiters can view the jobs applied in candidate profile when they use this action – the other actions do not do this.
    1. Forward as applicant also now gets its own unique email trigger
    1. Forward as applicant retains the source data (e.g. google or some career site) as well as agency ownership

Are there any helpful hints or “gotcha’s” out there I should look for?

In our implementation, we ran into a couple of common snags listed below.

  1. For implementation partners, permissions are always the culprit – make sure the right permissions are assigned to these new fields in the requisition templates for everyone!
  2. Change management: Make sure the recruiters are using the new “Forward as Applicant” action!  It is often confusing for recruiters to understand the difference in the 3 different ways to forward and also late-stage applications.

What’s ahead?

Per the latest SAP SuccessFactors roadmap, Evergreen Requisition functionality will be available for general availability in the upcoming 1H 2020 release.  While detailed documentation is still not available, you can be sure to check out the SuccessFactors Community product update blog for the documentation release.

Worklogix

Worklogix partners with clients to plan, configure, develop and integrate HR products and custom applications. We have assembled a global team with years of experience implementing HCM solutions. Our team is dedicated to understanding your business challenges, helping you leverage your technology and implement solutions that deliver results.

How Can SAP SuccessFactors Help Me with My Succession Planning Process?

I recently watched the The King on Netflix, a very well written (mostly borrowed from Shakespeare) movie which begins with the topic of Succession as a young King Henry V rises to the throne.  As my work day progressed the next morning, this got me thinking more about the topic of Succession (although a much less intense version of it).  I like to think of Succession Planning as the crowning achievement of a well-functioning Talent Management system.  In my mind, the ultimate goal of a Talent Management system is to help people grow.  This is really the core function of every component or module of Talent Management systems.  Talent Acquisition systems empower people to find a new opportunity within the company and get their foot in the door.  Goal Setting and Development plans give people a place to set the tangible targets they seek to obtain.  Performance management systems help coach people on obtaining those goals.  Learning systems give them the knowledge they need to get there.  And finally, a good Succession Planning system helps people at the top use all of the information gathered during all of these activities to see who is ready to move on up!

What’s Included?

A typical SAP SuccessFactors Succession Management module implementation covers the below processes:

  1. A Talent Review process including 9-box placement
  2. Talent Search
  3. A Succession Org Chart
  4. Presentations

There are even more features in the module, but for the sake of brevity I won’t cover them all this article.

Talent Review Process

While a formal Talent Review process is not necessary for Succession, it can be a very helpful starting point.  To me, it marks the difference between an organization that takes Succession seriously as an open part of its culture vs. one that keeps the topic of Succession completely behind closed doors.   Formalizing the process forces managers to stop and take the time to think about their direct reports, identify who is ready for advancement, and how to cultivate them for the future.

To help with formalizing the Talent Review process, SAP SuccessFactors offer an out-of-box Talent Review form.  The form consists of a 9-box placement and comments section where managers can place each of their direct reports for which a form is launched.

Sample Talent Review Form

In addition to a talent review form, calibration sessions can also be utilized to gather the “big picture” of resources from different major areas of the company and decide on 9-box placement amongst larger groups of participants in the planning sessions.  Calibration sessions can also be used to determine key flags for resources as well such as “Risk of Loss” and “Impact of Loss”.

Calibration Session 9-Box

Talent Search

Another way to search across the company for people flagged as for Risk of Loss or Impact of loss—or any other talent field for that matter, is the Talent Search.  This is the one-stop-shop for all talent info on your employees!  Things like past performance ratings, skills and languages and degrees pulled from the talent profile are all here as well.  Talent pools can also be made with the search results to help you organize your talent!  There are all sorts of practical applications for Talent Search – for example in the search query I have made below, the results would show me all of my Good to Excellent performers for this year who are also willing to relocate—great information to have on hand when you have a critical position that is empty in a hard to fill location!

Talent Search Criteria
Talent Search Results

In addition to adding resources to talent pools, from here you can also nominate them for positions and also compare how well they stack up against one another in your search (is it just me or do Francois and John look related?)

Talent Search Comparison

Succession Org Chart

The Succession Org Chart is where it all comes together!  Here you can navigate by position or by resources along the reporting chain and nominate people for positions.  Clicking on a position shows you details about what Successors are in queue for the position.  Clicking on a resource shows their “Talent Card” which can be customized to show a variety of talent information stored in the system from the various modules.  You can even nominate successors from the candidate pool in recruiting!

Succession Org Chart – Detail of Talent Card

The linage chart can also help with scenario planning, showing how a potential move could affect the downstream positions.

Lineage Chart

Presentations

Phew!  I’ve had a full year from conducting all of those talent reviews, talent searches, talent pools, and succession nominations, how about you?  Oh no, now the big boss wants a presentation with all of this new data tomorrow morning!  Luckily with the presentations feature, I won’t have to dig through all that data, throw it into spreadsheets, and copy / paste it into a power point deck!  The feature comes with several pre-build slides where you simple choose some selection criteria and you can build things like 9-boxes and team views and pull up talent cards for employees using live data in interactive slides!

Creating Slides
Detail of 9-Box Slide with Talent Card

I love it!  When is the right time to deploy?

As you might imagine from the description given in the introduction, I typically see companies get the most benefit from their Succession Planning system after all or most other components of the system have been implemented.  This is because decision making is all about having the right up-to-date relevant information to keep you well informed – and in this case it is all of the data from all of those other modules that helps tell you who your high-potentials are and when they will be ready for a move.  For example, the talent search functionality works best when resources have filled out their talent profile with things like education and skills – and the talent profile is often easiest to maintain if it has already been pre-populated when the employee was hired from the recruiting system using their candidate profile.  Logically it is also best to establish a performance/potential matrix after you have evaluated everyone’s performance in the system. Further indicating the “right time” to deploy SAP Succession Management, there comes a point in a company’s growth when the Talent Director and/or Managers have had enough of their paper or excel-based Succession planning processes.  If a Director or Manager of Talent is growth themselves, they will need to focus on strategy and growth instead of spending all night re-arranging people on excel spreadsheets.  At a certain number of employees working within the company, the process simply becomes too burdensome to do manually.  If you are at that point now, I’m sure you are eager to get started with all of the features I’ve described here

 

Worklogix Worklogix partners with clients to plan, configure, develop and integrate HR products and custom applications. We have assembled a global team with years of experience implementing HCM solutions. Our team is dedicated to understanding your business challenges, helping you leverage your technology and implement solutions that deliver results.


Actively Engage Prospective Candidates with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting CRM Features

Are you having trouble achieving your recruiting metrics?  Specifically – are you having a hard time getting enough candidates to fill out a full application on your recruiting site?  Are candidates dropping mid application or just not bothering at all?  Do you feel like people are interested in applying to jobs at your company but just don’t see the positions they want so they don’t bother?  Are you looking to keep a growing number of potential candidates warm for when those positions are available?  If you answered yes to any of these, you might try taking a look at SAP SuccessFactors’ new Recruiting Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) features!

The best news is that these features have been delivered free to all existing SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Customers as of the Q2 2018 release.

What’s included?

SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Candidate Relationship Management consist of these primary features:

  1. Data Capture Forms
  2. Talent Pools
  3. Email Campaigns

Data Capture Forms

The idea behind data capture forms is to gather information about prospective candidates without them actually applying for a specific position.  It is a great way to see who is out there that may be interested in your company and positions you typically hire (but may not have available now).  It could also be used for events like college recruiting or career fairs where prospective candidates are met that sound promising but aren’t quite a fit for a specific position or may not be able to fill out a full application at the moment.  Directing them to a landing page on your recruiting website later, or even having them fill out the form on a table or mobile phone at the event would be a great way to capture their information for later follow-up.

To create a data capture form, you will need access to the Career Site Builder (the “Manage Career Site Builder” permission).  Once the feature is active it will appear in the “Global” menu of the Career Site Builder as shown in the screenshot below.

Once your click the menu item and create a new data capture form you will come to the below screen that allows you to choose what fields to capture.  As users enter information they are really creating a recruiting candidate profile.  At a minimum you will need first and last name as well as email to create a profile.  You can add other fields by clicking the “+ Add” button as shown below.

Clicking “+ Add” will bring up a popup like the one below with just a few more fields out-of-the-boz.  Most likely you will need to add more fields than what is available in this popup (for example, a drop down that asks what types of positions interest you, or another that asks how you heard about the company).

To add more fields to this popup so you can add them to the data capture form, you will need to have access to manage object definitions.  If you are not familiar with the Metadata Framework (MDF) you might want someone familiar with this technology perform this part (I plan on writing another blog post on this, so check back soon!).  In a nutshell, you will want to add whatever fields you need to the “Candidate Profile Extension” object definition.  They will then show up in the popup above for you to add to your data capture form.  As fields are added to the object definition and filled out by your candidates, they will show up on the candidate profile as shown in the screenshot below:

Clicking the “+” button will show all the fields you have added to the “Candidate Profile Extension” object definition (and any values your candidates have filled in) as shown below:

Once you have finished editing your “Candidate Profile Extension” object definition and have added any needed fields to your data capture form, you can design a landing page that includes your form.  To create a landing page, click on the “Landing” menu item under “Pages” in the Career Site Builder.

You can create a landing page and add components to determine the page’s layout.  Unlike other pages, you can add a special “Date Capture Form” component to the page and select the data capture form you have created.  By adding the data capture form to a landing page you can now create a visually pleasing page that includes any branding, images, text, etc. you desire!

Once you have finished your page layout you can preview and/or publish your new page using the links at the top of the screen as shown below:

Talent Pools

The Talent Pools feature allows you to organize any candidates in your recruiting database such as those who have applied to positions or those who have filled out a data capture form.  This can be a very powerful tool to help you strategize how to use the pool of people in.  For example, you could create a pool of people you met at a particular event, or a group of alumni of a certain University, or people you think all have similar traits that make them qualified for a particular type of position.

Once the Talent Pools functionality is activated and permissions have been granted to use it, a “Talent Pools” menu item shows up in the navigation hierarchy under Recruiting -> Candidates -> Talent Pools as shown below:

You can create a new talent pool by clicking the “Create Talent Pool” link on the right-hand side of the screen.  You will get a popup like the one below:

Here you can see many of the features of the Talent Pools functionality.  For example, you can create a Talent Pipeline status and set a default candidate status.  These statuses can allow you to track where you are in the process of attracting each of the candidates within the pool.  You can also set the pool to be private only for your eyes or for a select group of people you choose, or make it visible to anyone with the Talent Pools permission.  Finally, you can also set the talent pool to auto-populate overnight based on saved searches you have already created (note that you will need to have created the saved search prior to creating / editing the talent pool).  To create a saved search, navigate to “Keyword and Item Search”, construct a search, and then click the “Save Search” button as shown below.  For example, in the below search we are gathering all candidates who listed French as a language skill.

If you don’t want the system to auto-populate the talent pool for you overnight, you can also directly edit the pool and add candidates as you see fit in the candidate search area as shown below.

Email Campaigns

Now that you’ve captured a good collection of potential candidates and have them organized into pools of candidates, it is time to engage them!  Email campaigns enable you to send mass emails out to select candidates from your candidate database. 

You will need to start with creating an email layout.  The layouts screen is found within the Career Site Builder as shown in the screenshot below:

The layout consists of a header, footer, and the main content area where you will compose your email.  In creating the layout, you would not add any content to the “Configurable Text Area” – this is simply a placeholder for the content you will create later for a specific campaign.  Typically, you would just create the header and footer content within the layout.  You can add rich text and images from your Career Site Builder image library within the header and footer.  Brands and multi-language are also supported.

Once you have your layout complete, you can begin to create your first email campaign!  The email campaign screen can be found by navigating to Recruiting -> Marketing -> Email Campaigns.  Just click on the “New Email Campaign” link in the upper right to get started.

The “Create Email Campaign” screen is shown below.  From here you can choose basic info like the name of the campaign and a description as well as the brand and language.  You can alo fill in the details of what the email will look like to individuals receiving it including the title, “Reply-To” the layout, and the content of the email.  There are also a limited number of tokens you can use by clicking on the “Recipient Field” link.  You can pick and choose individual candidates to send the email to or send to entire talent pools.  You can combine multiple talent pools and individual picks all in one campaign as well.

Congratulations!  You have now captured new talent, organized them, and engaged them for new opportunities! J

How Do I Activate These Features?

SAP SuccessFactors customer administrators can easily turn on the Talent Pools and Email Campaigns via the Upgrade Center.  You will find the Upgrade Center in your “Admin Center” as show in the screenshot below:

You can filter by “Recruiting” and see the items show up in the options below.  Click the “Learn More & Upgrade Now” link and follow the instructions to turn these on.

Please note that once you activate each of these options, you will receive a screen indicating next steps to take such as assigning specific role-based permissions.  Please make sure you follow these instructions or you will not be able to get to the needed screens.

To activate Data Capture forms and email campaigns, you need to make sure you are using the Career Site Builder (CSB) first.  As shown in the preceding instructions, all of the forms you will create have to be designed in the CSB and surfaced through landing pages in the CSB.  You can either request a partner turn on the data capture forms feature for you in Command Center, or open a support ticket with SAP to have them turn it on for you.

Where Can I Find Out More?

To find out more, visit the SuccessFactors Community Quarterly Release Page for Q2 2018 here (SAP login required):

https://community.successfactors.com/t5/Product-Updates-Blog/Q2-2018/ba-p/202735