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.

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SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting: Question Library – Why Bother?

SAP SuccessFactors has a Question Library feature which can be useful for recruiting.  

SuccessFactors has a section on requisitions to add screening questions.  This is separate from the questions or fields the candidates complete on the application.  The application fields are purely informational and do not automatically cause an action on the candidate. But screening questions can be used to perform actions on candidates or provide information to help the recruiter quickly assess and/or eliminate candidates.  Screening questions are added by the recruiter on each requisition and can be used as “knock out” questions to automatically disqualify candidates, score candidates, and weight answers.  If you use screening questions on requisitions, consider having a requisition Question Library.

“Questions” section on requisition

Recruiters can add questions to requisitions manually by creating questions within the requisition ad hoc.   

The recruiters can also create the questions in Preferences => My Saved Questions to have access to use as needed.  This is by recruiter and the questions cannot be shared with other recruiters.  Each recruiter creates their own saved set of questions.  

Recruiter saved questions – only accessible by the recruiter
Questions from “My Saved Questions”

Question Library – Why bother?

The Question Library is a shared library and contains questions which recruiters can choose to add to requisitions.  Questions from the Question Library can also be used to disqualify, score and weight candidates.  But why bother setting up a Questions Library when recruiters can create their own personal set of questions?

A few reasons for setting up a Question Library for recruiting:

  • Company policy on questions
  • Consistency
  • Category grouping  
  • Cascading questions
  • Turnover 
  • Maintenance

COMPANY POLICY ON QUESTIONS

Make sure the questions do not put the company at a risk.  Having recruiters only use questions from a Question Library gives control to the administrator as to the content of the questions.  The questions can be reviewed by the company’s legal team before being added to the library to ensure the company is comfortable with what is being asked of a candidate.

CONSISTENCY

The same style of phrasing and wording leads to consistency.  Some items to consider include:

  • How the company name is worded – is a shortened version/nickname allowed?
  • The way the questions are asked – length, wording, style, etc.
  • Answers to questions – do they all need to be multiple choice, is free text allowed?
  • Abbreviations – make sure they are meaningful and not confusing to the candidates.
  • The candidate experience when answering questions

CATEGORY GROUPING

This is a good feature that breaks down the questions by type of role, especially if you use only one requisition template but have a variety of roles within the company.  Categorize the questions by type of role to easily add specific questions to the requisition depending on what is needed for the position.  

For example, having separate categories for sales positions, accounting, driver, warehouse, manufacturing, finance, etc.  Whatever the role, a category can be created.  A “General” category can be used across roles.

The Question Library “Requisition” is located after “My Saved Questions” in the requisition’s Question section

The Question Library “Requisition” has numerous categories under it

CASCADING QUESTIONS

Cascading Questions are questions that can lead to other questions depending on the answer to the original question. Cascading questions help eliminate the number of questions that are seen by every candidate.  The cascaded question(s) only appear depending on the candidate’s answer to the original question.  

Original question:

“Do you have a Pilot’s license?” Answers available: Yes/No

Only if the candidate answers “Yes”, will a new question will appear:

“How many hours have you flown?” 

Opening the Category “Delivery Driver Helper”, the question “Have you previously been in a role where you were required to lift up to 50 lbs on a repetitive basis?” has the icon indicating it is a Cascading Question

When added to the requisition, the cascade icon is to the right of the question. Clicking the arrow to the left of the question reveals the cascaded questions:

The cascaded question(s) appear below the main question.

Cascading questions need to be added through a question library file and imported to the question library by the business partner or support team.  Recruiters cannot create ad-hoc cascading questions.

TURNOVER OF RECRUITERS

If a recruiter leaves the role and a new recruiter takes over any outstanding requisitions, the new recruiter will have access to the Question Library.  If the questions were stored in the personal preferences of the original recruiter, then the new recruiter would not have access to the questions in order to update the req or add the same questions to new requisitions for similar roles.  The new recruiter would have to create their own My Saved Questions library and add the questions. This can lead to the similar questions being worded differently or not being created and added to the requisition. See “Consistency” above. 

MAINTENANCE

If a new question is needed, add it once to the Question Library and all recruiters have access. If a question needs to be updated, update it in the Question Library.  Any requisitions currently using the question will not automatically get updated, saving the integrity of the question the candidate originally answered.  But recruiters adding the question going forward will have the updated version.

If you decide to start using the Question Library, work with your business partner or support team to create the Question Library.

Question Library for Requisitions – Take Note:

  • The questions will appear in alphabetical order by Category then alphabetically under each Category no matter how they are input to the Question Library.
  • Questions will appear on the application for both internal and external candidates.
  • For the applicant, screening questions appear at the very end of the application and cannot be moved from that position.
  • For the recruiter view of the candidate application, the questions will appear in SCREENING DETAILS section after the application information and before the candidate profile information.
Recruiter view of Screening Details section on the candidate’s
application
  • Any questions in this section are not reportable.  
  • The Screening Details does not move with the candidate application if the application is forwarded to another requisition, even if the same questions are on the other requisition.  The candidate will need to be invited to apply to answer the questions on the forwarded to requisition.  The same is true for Late Stage Application candidates.
Same questions added to two requisitions
Candidate applies to one requisition and answers the questions
FORWARD screen 2019-03-08_09-07-48
Candidate Forwarded to another requisition to New Application (Default) status
Candidate has been forwarded but not applied to the requisition.
The application data is intact but not the Screening Details questions