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Did you know that user’s online HR task completion is high once they find their way to the right place? It’s finding the way that often is the challenge. Especially if it is a task they don’t do on a regular basis such as adding a goal, signing up for a training or viewing vacation balance, there is not much of a sense of where to navigate to in the HR system.

A new navigation paradigm in the SuccessFactors suite: action search

This capability, which we introduced with the 1411 release, allows users to find actions with a more intuitive and efficient search-based navigation. They can use natural language to initiate actions and complete them without fuss.

Action search lets users navigate to any task from any page they are in the SuccessFactors system just by typing in a keyword pertaining to the kind of action they want to perform in the search field. A variety of choices are presented based on that keyword. Once the user selects the action the system can either bring up a dialog box where the action can be executed right away or it deeplinks to the site in the SuccessFactors suite where it can be executed.

For example if an employee wants to see the goals that are assigned to him he types in “goals” in the search. A list of possible actions appears such as “view my goals”, “view my goals status report” and “enter development goals”. He chooses “view my goals” and is lead to the page in Performance and Goals Management where he can see the list of the goals assigned to him with detailed descriptions.

Also managers benefit from consumer grade search behavior in HR

There is one thing we know managers usually don’t have: time. They need to be able to find what they are looking for fast and get it done swiftly.

Let’s say a manager wants to give a high performing employee a spot bonus. He can type in “spot bonus” or just “bonus”. Since this action applies to someone else, the manager is prompted to select an employee they have jurisdiction over in the search box. In the next step details are entered regarding the spot bonus and that concludes the action. This is a big gain in efficiency over having to search through menus or even calling the HR business partner.

Of course the menus are still available when people don’t really know what they are looking for and need a logical structure to navigate through. Action search is configurable so customers can create their own company specific actions such as linking to important documents with search terms and navigation links.

If you want to find out how to activate and manage action search read the very informative and detailed blog published by Purav Mehta.

A more intuitive search-based navigation helps people to find what they are looking for fast and be more efficient when they execute HR activities. For HR that means increased user adoption of services and processes and reduced effort for support.

It’s often small improvements that make a big difference!

If you are curious, here is a short video where you can see action search and hear from SuccessFactors experts how it was designed, validated and developed.