Monday, July 6, 2015

Disabling "Apply" functionality in Taleo career sections

Quick tip of the day
A number of customers I've worked with have requested to disable the option to apply for internal jobs in a Taleo career section. Most often these customers have unique internal mobility processes that they prefer to retain in existing systems/processes. Yet, they want to use the internal career section feature of Taleo to post jobs and drive employee referrals. 
Another user case is industries where employees do not readily have access to computers or in certain cases do not even have a company e-mail address. In such scenarios, organisations just want to use the Taleo internal career section as a job board to let employees know of the available opportunities and do not want to drive electronic self-service application by employees.

So, how do we achieve this requirement of being able to refer friends on the internal career site without the capability for employees to apply for jobs?

Do not attach any application flow to the Job specific application flow configuration of a career section. If no job specific application flow is attached to a career section, the "Apply" button will not be displayed.
The below figure illustrates the career section configuration to achieve the above requirement.
Leave Job specific application flow blank to remove the "Apply" capability in a career section

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fusion HCM R10 Release Highlights

Fusion HCM Release 10 documents are available now on the Release Readiness site. Check it out here for a preview of the upcoming features.
And bookmark the Release Readiness site as it's an extremely useful site.

Monday, June 29, 2015

On Oracle Taleo Career Sections

Career Sections is one of the most powerful features of Oracle Talent Acquisition cloud service (formerly known as Taleo). Career Sections are nothing but portals where open jobs are listed, allowing candidates to apply for jobs or refer friends to jobs (similar to the Candidate Gateway concept in PeopleSoft Recruitment module). Career Sections can be designed for internal and external candidates, as well as other participants in the recruitment process like staffing agencies. The flexibility of this feature lies in the fact that customers can design an unlimited number of career sections to cater to specific business scenarios. For eg. customers can have career sections for graduate and professional hires, for career fairs, recruitment events, for internal applications, for different subsidiaries etc.
Career Sections primarily control two aspects of the candidate experience: 

(1) Steps in the application process: This is called as "Application Flow" in Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud terminology. The Application Flow controls the fields that need to be filled by a candidate during the application process. Every career site offers the capability to have up to 4 application flows: (a) Flow shown to candidates while applying for a job (b) Flow shown to candidates while referring friends to a job (c) Flow shown to candidates while depositing resume or creating a general profile (d) Flow shown to candidates while referring a friend's general profile
Different steps can be attached in the application flow for each of the above business cases. It is to be noted that the Application Flow is highly configurable and has a huge impact on the overall candidate experience. It is possible for us to design a lengthy application process or keep it simple by collecting critical information that will be helpful for screening candidates. Oracle Talent Acquisition cloud also provides the flexibility to break down the application process, where data from the candidate can be collected at different points in time during the selection process. For eg. it is possible to design an initial application form that collects basic candidate data and a supplementary form that collects additional data, which is sent out only to candidates who have cleared interviews. This level of flexibility provided by the product can be used to carefully tailor the overall candidate experience.
Given below are 2 examples of contrasting application flows that can be designed. The first example shows a short application flow which has only 3 steps, while the second application flow has 10 steps collecting most of the information upfront from candidates. 
While designing your application flow, consider the industry, competitive situation of your organisation and characteristics of your potential candidate pool to come up with the optimum application process. For eg. if you are in the technology space competing for millenial talent, it would be prudent to keep the application process short and collect only the most critical information upfront. On the other hand if you are targeting blue collar workers in a region with limited internet connectivity, collecting most information upfront will be a better strategy.

Example of a short application flow

Example of a long application flow


(2) Corporate branding of the career site: Each career section can have specific corporate branding applied. The branding feature can control the header, footer, background, colour, fonts, styles of different elements on the career section like buttons, hover effects etc. Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud offers the ability for customers to upload branding files with customer specific cascading style sheets (CSS). In a number of implementations, career site branding is an area that is not given the time and importance it should be. The custom branding capabilities offered by the product is immense and can be utilised to provide a superior candidate experience. Given below are some selected examples of career sites running on Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud, with excellent custom branding:
Additional Points:
  • The standard career section URL will be starting with zonename.taleo.net. Oracle offers a service (called Vanity URL service) which can be used to display a customer specific domain name in the career section URL, so as to eliminate reference to taleo.net
  • Career Sections also offer the capability to generate filtered URLs based on fields within the Oracle Taleo Acquisition suite. This eliminates the need to have multiple career sites for different locations or business units. For eg. let us take a requirement where you need to show jobs specific to a location, business unit or even job family to candidates. Instead of creating separate career sections for each of these categories, Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud has the capability to generate filtered URLs for these parameters from the same career site.


Oracle Taleo Taleo Recruiting

The Unlearning Times and New Beginnings


After a long hiatus I am back to my blogging desk. The last two years has been a time of new learning and more importantly unlearning for me. The Software as a Service (SaaS) movement turned mainstream over the last two years and it's been an exhilarating experience riding the cloud wave. 
It has been a disruptive period for me; moving from a focus on PeopleSoft HCM to Oracle HCM Cloud suite of products, from projects delivered in years to delivery in weeks, from working on one or two projects at a time to handling multiple projects and more importantly adopting a cloud mindset in delivery. This period of unlearning has left me with little time and quality content to share with you all. I've always believed that it's important for me to write posts that matter, posts that give insights deeper than what the user guides provide. That comes only from experience. Two years into the new product suite and after being part of most of the initial Oracle HCM Cloud wins and implementations in the ASEAN region, I feel it's time for me to start sharing my learning and experience on the journey so far. And to all my PeopleSoft HCM friends - it's important to realise that the shift in HR Technology business and more importantly, the shift in customer preference for HR technology is REAL. Have an open mind and embrace the change!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

On Oracle delivered PeopleSoft HCM - Taleo Recruitment Integration

Oracle has recently released pre-built integrations between PeopleSoft HCM and Taleo Enterprise Edition (TEE). These integrations will be available for new Taleo Recruitment customers who are on PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 and Peopletool 8.53+.
The following integration touchpoints are covered by this new feature:

1. Import of Organsations and Locations into Taleo from PeopleSoft.
2. Import of Requisition Templates into Taleo from PeopleSoft.
3. Import of Employee information into Taleo from PeopleSoft.
4. Export of 'Ready to Hire' candidates from Taleo to PeopleSoft.




Additionally, a new pagelet is also delivered in PeopleSoft, that will display open requisitions and candidate information from Taleo in PeopleSoft Manager Dashboard.

These integrations have been built on Taleo's SOAP based Web Service APIs and PeopleSoft's Integration Broker. Two new services at PeopleSoft, called -  TI_NEWHIR_CAND_DATA and TI_SETUP_EMPLOYEE_OB will handle the above integrations. 

Key Takeaways:
  • This integration is available for new Taleo customers, though Oracle will be considering controlled availability for existing Taleo customers.
  • The organisation and location structures in Taleo need to follow a specific hierarchy for this integration to work. Organisation structure has to be of 3 levels, namely Company, Business Unit and Department. Location structure has to be Country, State, City and Work Location. This rigidity in terms of the OLF structure in Taleo, may not suit a lot of customers and would be a key point in the evaluation of this functionality.
  • Customers can choose to turn on any of the available integrations in PeopleSoft. A new folder for Taleo Integration setup will be available under Setup HRMS > Common Definitions in PeopleSoft.
  • Requistion Templates in Taleo will be primarily driven out of Job Codes in PeopleSoft. Every valid combination of Company, BU, Department, Location and Job Code in PeopleSoft, that is included in the Taleo integration, will create a Requisition Template in Taleo.
  • 'Ready to Hire' candidates who are pulled from Taleo, will be populated in the 'Manage Hires' component in PeopleSoft. Creation of Personal/Job Data/Employment Instance can be carried out from the Manage Hires component.
  • PeopleSoft Candidate Gateway has the functionality to create requisitions from open positions in PeopleSoft. I did not see a mention of a corresponding functionality, where an open position in PeopleSoft triggers the creation of a requisition in Taleo. Hopefully, this should be in the roadmap!
  • This feature highlights the rich web service and file based integration capabilities of Taleo. Almost every object is exposed as a service in Taleo using SOAP based or CSV based integrations, thus greatly extending the functional capabilities of the product.
  • Considering that Taleo will be the recruitment module of Fusion Apps, a similar integration of Taleo Recruitment with EBS and Fusion HCM is also in the product roadmap.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Oracle Cloud Marketplace: The App Store for Oracle Cloud and On Premise Applications

I have toyed around with the idea of an enterprise app store for PeopleSoft in the past. Succeed Consultancy in the UK has even built out a dedicated PeopleSoft app store.
Now, Oracle has come out with a dedicated App Store for Oracle applications, specifically targeted towards Oracle cloud applications.


In my opinion, an app eco-system is critical for cloud software vendors and it is heartening to see Oracle take an early plunge in this direction. As we stand at the cusp of a transition from traditional on-premise consulting models to rapid SaaS based implementations, the app marketplace provides an avenue for consulting SIs to tap into an alternate revenue stream.
All in all, the customer will come out as the clear winner, with an elaborate menu of features to choose from.
Let the appification of Oracle cloud begin!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

SAP does a major leadership rejig - Lars Dalgaard leaves SAP

SAP announced significant changes to its organisation and leadership structure as reported here. In a move touted to simplify it's organisational structure, SAP has consolidated all technology division leaders to report to it's CTO, Vishal Sikka. The press release also announced the departure of Lars Dalgaard from SAP. Lars Dalgaard is the head of cloud applications at SAP and founder of Successfactors, which was acquired by SAP in December 2011. Bob Calderoni, CEO of Ariba (acquired by SAP in May 2012) will take over from Lars as the head of cloud applications at SAP.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Workday 19 released - Greater focus on Financials and Mobile

Workday unvelied release 19 few days back. It is mentioned that the new release comes with 170 odd new features. Here are the main improvements that were noted from the press release given out by Workday:

1. Workday 19 comes with the capability to add custom fields and change labels of fields. This has been projected as a major enhancement in release 19. While I totally understand the need for this from customers, it is surprising that it took 19 releases for Workday to bring this out. From my understanding of Oracle Fusion applications, these capabilities are native to Fusion apps. You can read more here on the various 'composers' of Fusion, which can be used to 'configure' the application to change page field labels, page layout etc. globally or for a targeted population.

2. Workday has traditionally had a 'mobile-first' strategy and the user friendliness of their iPad and iPhone apps are legendary. Continuing with that focus, Workday 19 embraces Android with a workday app available for Android.

3. Workday has stated that it's Financials Suite will be a major area of focus in 2013. True to that, Workday 19 has close to 40 new features delivered for Financials. Another focus I have seen is a push to present HR and Financial data together.

Here is a picture gallery of Workday 19 released by Workday. It is interesting to note that Workday is working on a greenfield recruitment module which is expected to release in early 2014.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Business Value Proposition of PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.2

Why should you consider an upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2 for Time and Labor? How does the new features impact business indicators? The following presentation summarises the business value proposition of PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.2



If you are interested in discussing further on this, write into jiju@hroiconsulting.com

PeopleSoft 9.2 - T&L Feature summary by role

I had detailed most of the new features in Time and Labor in PeopleSoft 9.2 in previous posts. While we can find information on standalone features through Peoplebooks, Oracle Cumulative Feature Overview tool and other blog posts, I think it is extremely useful to present these features from an alternative point of view to help analyse the feature in the context of an organisation.
So, here is a short presentation on the new T&L features classified by impact to different roles in an organisation - Employees, Managers, Time/Pay Administrators, HRIS and Implementation consultants.



Hope you find this insightful. Next in our series will be an analysis of the new features based on the value proposition to an organisation.

If you are looking to evaluate the features of PeopleSoft HCM 9.2 and want an indepth, under the skin discussion on this topic, reach out to me at jiju@hroiconsulting.com

Sunday, April 7, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - T&L WorkCenter - A high impact feature

The Time and Labor WorkCenter introduced in PeopleSoft 9.2, is probably one of the top features of the module in the new release. WorkCenters themselves have been part of previous Peopletools releases and one could argue that customers on an application release prior to 9.2 could easily create new workcenters for Time and Labor without having to move to 9.2. This is a valid argument, but from a practical perspective, I believe that a delivered workcenter for a module like Time and Labor will greatly help drive down the total cost of ownership and benefit a larger number of PeopleSoft T&L customers.
To truly understand the value of a workcenter in T&L, I think it is imperative to look at the tasks carried out by someone managing employees using Time and Labor in PeopleSoft. Given below is a generic list of period-end activities that a T&L manager would have to carry out in PeopleSoft:

1. Check if there is time and absence pending  approval.
2. Check if there are exceptions requiring attention and clear them.
3. Manipulate the timesheet of employees on an on-demand basis - correcting missing punches, incorrect punch order errors etc.
5. Make changes to work schedules as required.
4. Run certain time consolidation and audit reports to ensure that there are no discrepancies in the time generated for the pay period.

There are two important characteristics about the above tasks that have to be highlighted:
  • The above tasks have to be ideally carried out in a specific order.
  • The above tasks have to be repeated, every pay period.
When sequential tasks have to be carried out repetitively, it is important that:
  • The steps to do the tasks are kept to a minimum.
  • The sequence of steps to be carried out are clearly articulated.
  • The marginal investment on new user training is kept to a minimum.
Page navigation design plays a very important role in helping organisations meet the above goals. The navigation structure in PeopleSoft has traditionally been limited to individual transaction pages, with hyperlinks in a page leading to other pages related to the current page. A good example of such a navigation design is the Time and Labor launchpad. True to it's name, the Time and Labor launchpad provides a common entry-page for employees and managers and contains links to related T&L pages.
Given below is an example of a Time and Labor launchpad for a Manager, with links to different transactions.

While the above design helps to collate related links, it is rarely helpful in guiding the users through an end-to-end business process they have to carry out.

The T&L WorkCenter is designed to specifically address the above needs. The T&L WorkCenter can be utilised as the 'go-to' page within T&L (and even Absence Management, as the workcenter definition can be easily extended through configuration) for Managers and Administrators to carry out their routine tasks. It integrates most of the navigations used within the module, displays pending work items (like approvals, alerts etc.), gives a list of links with sequential activities, provides a list of reports/queries to run etc. In summary, it brings together most of the information and pages that a T&L Manager or Administrator would require. A sample of the Time and Labor WorkCenter is given below:

The delivered Time and Labor WorkCenter page contains a new landing page that summarises most of the commonly used pages with T&L for a manager or administrator. The tabs and pages within each tab can be easily configured using the 'Manage Tabs' functionality that has been newly introduced in the Setup of Time and Labor. One could say that this is pretty similar to the related content functionality - but I think that from a navigation perspective, this layout is superior to that offered by  related content framework.
The WorkCenter utilises the standard WorkCenter pagelets like 'My Work', 'Links', 'Reports/Processes' and 'Queries'. These pagelets are highly configurable and can be modified from: Enterprise Components > WorkCenter/Dashboards > Configure Pagelets
The 'My Work' pagelet (this is a Peopletools feature per se and is common to the WorkCenter framework and not specific to Time and Labor) is conceptualised really well as it gives a snapshot of pending approvals and alerts for a certain user.
Note: There is also an 'Approval Pagelet' that is delivered as part of the 'Manager Dashboard' functionality introduced in PeopleSoft HCM9.1 Feature Pack 2. The Approval Pagelet and the My Work pagelet are similar in functionality - both of them are designed to display pending approvals to a user. I would suggest to evaluate both these pagelets during your implementation/upgrade and deploy the pagelet that is most appropriate for your use (my personal preference is the My Work pagelet as it is more elegant and flexible that the Approval Pagelet).
The 'Reports/Processes' pagelet provides an effective way to enable end-users (especially managers) to run PS Queries and other reports without the need to access a tool like Query Manager. This is important from a Time and Attendance point of view as typically there will be audit and time/absence analysis reports that will need to be executed by those managing time of employees.

Overall, I opine that the Time and Labor WorkCenter can be utilised as the 'landing page' for all Time and Labor transactions for a T&L Manager or Administrator. The simplification that this brings to the overall navigational requirements, training and communication is immense. Imagine telling your managers to just go to one single page to do everything related to T&L, rather than training them to remember individual page navigation. The T&L WorkCenter functionality should be thoroughly examined and rolled-out in any upgrade or implementation involving Time and Labor 9.2 - the operational improvements that this feature can bring in is immense.

For more in-depth review of PeopleSoft T&L 9.2 features, click here.
If you want to discuss more on the new features in PeopleSoft 9.2 or want an in-depth system demonstration, write into jiju@hroiconsulting.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Enhancement to Monthly Schedule page in ESS

The Monthly Schedule page in PeopleSoft Time and Labor Employee Self Service, provides a calendar based view of the work schedule of the employee for a certain month. Details of absences and/or trainings (if integrated with PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management suite) are also displayed for each day of the month. A sample of the page is given below:

In PeopleSoft 9.2, I have noticed that there is a slight enhancement to the Monthly Schedule page. The T&L product team has added a grid on the page with daily breakdown of the employee's work schedule for the selected month. The new grid on the page is shown below:


As seen above, the grid gives a day by day break-down of the scheduled hours (and with indication of whether there is an absence/training or holiday on a certain day) for the selected month. While this looks like a duplication of the data shown in the calendar format in the same page, employees will be able to download the schedule information from this grid.
Point of View:
  • This is a minor enhancement that duplicates the data that is already present in the same page.
  • This feature will give employees the ability to download their work schedules into an excel sheet.
  • If the purpose of adding this grid was to enable downloading schedule data - wouldn't a 'Print Schedule' link, similar to the 'Print Timesheet' link, served the requirement better?