Primed For Success
SAP SuccessFactors is a leader in cloud Human Capital Management (HCM). It compares favorably with it’s competitors Workday and Oracle in core HR functions, as well as talent management, employee experience and analytics, but SAP is conscious that it needs to work hard to maintain its leading position.
SAP has made many investments and acquisitions over the last five years to enhance and develop SuccessFactors. Most notably: Qualtrics experience management in 2018, Contextor RPA and Askdata analytics in 2021, also Taulia working capital management for payroll financing and Varicent compensation management in 2022.
In 2023 its evolution has continued with enhancements in performance, compensation, learning, recruiting, onboarding and analytics capabilities.
Josh Bersin, global HR industry analyst said recently that:
“SAP continues to be a leader in the HR tech market. Leveraging SAP’s worldwide footprint and industry depth, the company’s next-generation AI offerings help organizations hire, develop and upskill employees at scale”
SuccessConnect Virtual is taking place on October 4-5, with presentations on the use of AI in recruiting and how it can improve user experiences, and IgniteSAP expects more big announcements about the roadmap for SuccessFactors, so now is an ideal time to review the development of the platform through 2023.
Early releases of SuccessFactors focused heavily on core HR functions like performance management, goals, compensation planning and learning, but the 2023 roadmap aims to round out end-to-end HCM capabilities.
A new onboarding module guides and automates all aspects of employee onboarding including “pre-boarding”, manager enablement, task workflows.
SuccessFactors has introduced a new employee onboarding experience that is designed to be more engaging and efficient. The new experience includes a personalized onboarding portal, a series of interactive tasks and activities, and the ability for new hires to connect with other employees and mentors.
Enhanced candidate management now models candidates’ skills, communication history and pipeline status for deeper recruiting insight. SuccessFactors has also added new talent management tools for talent acquisition, succession planning, and tools to help organizations develop and retain their top talent.
Mentoring management facilitates structured mentoring programs by matching mentors, tracking progress and enabling social collaboration.
SAP SuccessFactors has also made improvements to its performance management capabilities for goal-setting and tracking with new performance review templates, insights and analytics to help managers make better decisions about their employees’ performance and their company’s HR strategy.
Employee learning and development features have been enhanced with a new learning management system, a new social learning platform, and tools to help organizations create and deliver personalized learning experiences.
Security and compliance features have also been improved to help organizations to protect their employee data and ensure that they are compliant with new data regulations.
SuccessFactors has expanded its integration with other SAP solutions as well, making it easier for organizations to use SAP SuccessFactors to manage their entire HR operation.
In addition to the new features and functionality listed above, SAP has also made a number of recent announcements about SuccessFactors.
SuccessFactors has a new user interface with a more modern and user-friendly design, making it easier for employees to access the information and tools they need. Employees can now also manage their HR needs more easily with new features for its mobile app.
New support features have been added for global businesses in 2023, including new localization functions, and new global reporting capabilities. Support for small and medium-sized businesses has been enhanced with new pricing options, implementation tools, and resources to help SMBs get the most out of their investment in SuccessFactors.
Smart HCM Tools Leverage AI
SAP has embedded intelligence and automation throughout SuccessFactors modules.
SAP’s new generative AI copilot Joule is now being used with SuccessFactors to improve employee experience by making it easier to get information and complete HR tasks. Announcements about more capabilities are expected at SuccessConnect 2023, including automated help to make sure job descriptions are unbiased, clocking in and out, and viewing pay statements.
Aaron Green, SAP’s Chief Marketing & Solutions Officer for SuccessFactors solutions said:
“The AI capabilities within SAP SuccessFactors solutions will enable organizations to put people and their experiences first. The collective power of our AI capabilities will help unlock new possibilities for people and for organizations by tapping into new levels of potential, performance and operational efficiency.”
Other new AI and machine learning features have been introduced through 2023. These new features will help organizations to automate tasks, improve decision-making, and provide more personalized experiences for their employees.
Now AI matching in recruiting recommends optimal job candidates based on skills, experience and cultural fit, expanding pools of potential candidates. Hiring managers can use AI-generated prompts for unbiased and relevant interview questions, improving the candidate experience.
Employee profiles are automatically enriched with skills, achievements and expertise based on activity.
The Talent Intelligence Hub in SuccessFactors HXM Suite is a centralized talent model to drive everything from recruiting and onboarding to learning and development to performance and succession. Delta Airlines is an early adopter of the Talent Intelligence hub. Tim Gregory, Managing Director for HR Innovation and Workforce Technology for Delta Airlines explained how the Talent Intelligence Hub is helping them manage their workforce:
“We can say which skills are most important to Delta Air Lines and the employee can easily combine those with their current capabilities, strengths and styles, and aspirations to create a personal career path. All of the content is based on Delta-specific skills and personalized to each employee’s career goals.”
Intelligent workflows like offer approval and new hire provisioning can now be automated in SuccessFactors, and chatbots can answer common questions from candidates and employees to improve experience.
Predictive analytics capabilities model anticipated performance and retention risk to guide proactive interventions, and embedded natural language processing can now extract information from text to identify trends and provide sentiment analysis.
Focus on Continuous Performance Management
Traditional HR activities like annual performance reviews are being replaced by continuous coaching, feedback and development to maximize the value of employees for corporations.
SuccessFactors has added comprehensive performance management features to enable these processes.
For example, ongoing feedback allows managers track progress continually and recognize achievements in real-time directly in the employee profile, and anonymous praise can be submitted by anyone across the organization to fuel engagement.
Peer feedback tools let colleagues recognize each other and provide cross-functional input, and check-in forms allow managers to gather quick feedback when they need it.
Key Investments in UX
With renewed focus on user-centric design, SuccessFactors UX is getting a major overhaul to optimize user experience.
The new Fiori 3 interface provides a consumer-grade, responsive experience across desktop and mobile apps.
Object pages combine all context and actions for an employee, goal, or job intuitively in one place, and in-line editing allows making updates seamless without jumping between screens.
Virtual assistants guide users through processes and find answers, and catalog-based self-service makes it easy for employees to access HR services.
The importance of high quality user experience should not be underestimated. By investing in improved user experience functions companies benefit from higher user engagement, productivity, and employee satisfaction.
The Road Ahead
SAP has bold plans to continue SuccessFactors’ rapid rate of innovation. Expected enhancements of HR analytics and benchmarking will leverage SAP Analytics Cloud for enriched reporting, and closer integration of SuccessFactors with SAP S/4HANA will provide greater access to data and yet more improved functions.
Support for flexible work models for tracking remote employees, gig workers and alternative organizational structures will be extended to improve productivity and employee retention.
More embedded intelligence functions like computer vision for video interview analysis, speech analytics and predictive retention are expected, along with more advanced accessibility features and inclusive design principles.
With SuccessFactors’ brisk pace of development, SAP aims to continue to lead into the future of cloud HCM. The innovation roadmap ensures customers will continuously gain greater value from their investment.
By staying up-to-date on the latest changes to SAP SuccessFactors, SAP consultants can position themselves as experts in the field and command higher salaries. They can also help their clients to get the most out of SAP SuccessFactors and improve their HR operations.
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