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What is the impact of Intelligent Services in Onboarding?

The digital era of bots and Artificial Intelligence is making us desire things that are futureproof where automating our processes in the HR world to maximize workplace efficiency becomes a compulsion. SAP SuccessFactors Intelligent Services are the catalyst to making this a reality that empower automation of processes through anchored cross module communication within the SuccessFactors suite and also beyond.

We have heard about what Intelligent Services are capable of and in this blog series of part 1,  I will highlight how it affects the most critical part of an effective talent management strategy that is within the Onboarding process.

Who will it impact?

If only we could use technology that would comprehend the human gestures in a way that would lead to intelligent automation of the talent acquisition process. After all “Success is simply human” 🙂 .

Intelligent Services promises to bring forth a futuristic concept in the HR systems that closely monitors to mirror the recruiters’ actions to enable maximum automation and faster decision making.

Undoubtedly, the Onboarding process is about engaging the candidate to get enthused about an organization Pre-Day 1 but also making sure that the other stakeholders involved in the process including Hiring Managers, Recruiters and HR Managers utilize a smart and coherent system that makes managing this process easy.  The recruitment system that attracts talent to collect candidate information and the core HR or the system of record that stores the employee record are both the most critical ends of an Onboarding process and introducing Intelligent Services in the Onboarding space is yet another development that has led to achieving automation to a significant level and thus drastically reducing the overall time to hire.

Let us get started with the basics!

Onboarding and Recruitment both are capable of publishing certain events that demarcate certain changes which occur in the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite. This could be Hiring Manager Change or New Hires etc. When any of the significant changes occur, the following events are triggered which when subscribed to, are responsible for prompting to make intelligent decisions in the system -

We will now take a deep dive on the areas of automation that is achieved by Intelligent Services within SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding. Prerequisite to have these features working is to ofcourse having Intelligent Services enabled in Provisioning 🙂

1)  Automate data updation in Onboarding directly from Recruiting – At all times!

There is a seamless integration flow of data from Recruitment to Onboarding when Onboarding is initiated for a candidate. Quite often it so happens that when the Onboarding process is already initiated for a candidate, information in recruitment system changes on an already approved or closed Job Requisition.

The most common example of this being the start date. We extend the offer letter to a candidate with a tentative start date which is then later negotiated and confirmed by the recruiter and other stakeholders.

In such a scenario how do we ensure that data is consistent in both modules. With Intelligent Services it is possible to send the automatic updates to Onboarding when any of the integrated data changes in Recruitment.

How is it done?

Admin Center → Setup Onboarding Integration. This is usually checked by default.

An Example of this scenario

Onboarding is already initiated for candidate Justin Beiber and is currently in the initial step of the Onboarding process. As you can see below, start date is autopopulated from Offer Approval in Recruitment.

Let’s look at a scenario when the start date changes in Recruitment and how automatic updates follow in Onboarding -

Some Takeaways

  • Data updation in Onboarding applies to any field that is integrated with Recruitment (Job requisition , Offer Approval or Candidate Application) apart from Start Date

  • When start date is changed, the updated start date is reflected on New Hire Activities also

  • Standard notifications are sent from Onboarding when update occurs in Onboarding as a result of data change in Recruitment

Event published in Event Center

The HR administrator can track and monitor the Event published as a result of this change in Admin Center→ Event Center. The published event is “Approval of Offer Detail” -

 2) Automate the restart process in Onboarding

So we know how to restart a step in the Onboarding process manually by the HR administrators. What if we could automate this restart process when one of the critical data changed?

Based on the changes that occur in Recruitment, you would want to restart the steps so that this changed data in Onboarding can be revalidated by the corporate representative responsible for the step. For example, if any of the Job and Pay related details changes in Recruitment restart the Post Hire Verification step in Onboarding.

How is it done?

You need to determine the critical fields that will be the restart triggers and add them under the restart tag defined under Data Dictionary in Onboarding -

Example of this scenario

Post Hire Verification Step is completed for candidate Justin Beiber with Job Location as Boston and New Employee Step starts where a welcome email triggers to the candidate to initiate the paperwork.

After completion of Post Hire Verification Step, Candidate reaches the New Employee Step -

Welcome email triggers to candidate –

Meanwhile, the Recruiter changes the Job Location in the Job Requisition in Recruitment from Boston to New York –

We have defined the Location field under the restart tag in Onboarding –

In Onboarding, the process restarts as the candidate is now pushed back from New Employee Step to Post Hire Verification Step with the updated Location Now the assignee revalidates all of the information in Post Hire Verification Step and the process continues from hereon -

When the candidate tries to access the link to complete the paperwork in the welcome email, gets an error message indicating that “Your activity is in process of being updated. Please try again later or contact <Assignee’s Name>”. This message is customizable under the account options by the implementation partner admin in Superadmin.

Some Takeaways

  • When the restart process is triggered, standard notifications are triggered in Onboarding so the assignee of the step is notified that a restart of the step needs to be executed

  • If desired, the restart process can be avoided and would simply not add fields in the restart tags to achieve this

Event published in Event Center

With this change in the Job Requisition the HR administrator or ONB administrator can track and monitor the associated raised event which is Update of Job Requisition

3) When the boss hits the beach – Automating Reassigning activities in Onboarding

Not overlooking the fact that the Hiring Manager role in any Onboarding process is significant but what happens when your Hiring Manager is on vacation? The Hiring Manager can certainly choose to reassign the activities manually before he leaves for vacation.

But incase the Hiring Manager assignment itself changes in Recruitment and the Hiring Manager is not available to make the reassignment manually. Worry no more, with Intelligent Services, it is now possible to automatically adjust this assignment in Onboarding.

How is it done?

Though the below setting is enabled by default, however ensure the below highlighted is enabled in

Admin Center → Setup Onboarding Integration

An Example of this scenario

The below activity of candidate Justin Beiber is currently assigned to Marc Anthony as he is the Hiring Manager defined in Recruitment and Hiring Manager is the assignee of the Post Hire Verification step.

Now a change occurs in the Job Requisition in Recruitment as Marc Anthony is no longer active in the organization and the Hiring Manager changes to Ricky Martin.

Coming back to Onboarding we find the PHV step activity automatically being reassigned to the new assignee – Ricky Martin.


Some Takeaways

  • With the assignment changes, if the assignee of the step is the Hiring Manager , the MDF based New Hire Activities are also reassigned to the new assignee

  • Standard Notifications are triggered to assignees letting them know about the new reassignments

Event published in Event Center

The Onboarding or HR administrator can track and monitor the event triggered. Event triggered is Change in Manager which can be monitored in Admin Center→Event Center.

4) Time to make a call!

When you know the time is right, appropriate calls in the form of notifications can be made to external vendors or third party applications to execute the necessary steps to initiate the process of either asset management or sending the details to your third party Payroll vendor.

Leveraging advanced automation and integration capabilities, external 3rd party application can subscribe to Onboarding Step Completion event published by Intelligent Services after completion of every Onboarding Step.

How is it done?

Activate the Step Completion Events by going to Onboarding→Settings→Features

Go to Admin center→Event notification Subscription and add the details of the 3rd party application which need to subscribe to this event by configuring the Event notification Subscription and access the Subscriber tab page as below –

Mention the endpoint URL and the authentication details of the 3rd party application under the SEB External Event tab –

Some Takeaways

  • After making the calls, the 3rd party application can even attempt to extract specific Onboarding data using HRDataID (the unique key for a candidate in Onboarding) as the unique key

  • When events are published it can be validated from Onboarding audit trail of the candidate

Event Published in Event Center

The event published as a result of this activity is “Onboarding Step Complete”

Event notifications can be monitored to track all the subscribers’ status

Click on the Event Details to view the request and response details under the payload details.

Those were some of the interesting Intelligent Services applied in Onboarding where we observed how some changes in Recruitment are reciprocated to make smart updates within Onboarding and other 3rd party applications. Can’t wait to explore more of these in the upcoming releases!

Watch out for my next part of this series to unleash more about Intelligent Services in Crossboarding and Offboarding.

Would love to hear your experiences with these in the comment section below.

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