PeopleSoft HRMS

Learn about the products that make PeopleSoft one of the largest and best-known enterprise resource planning software companies in the world.

PeopleSoft HRMS - eRecruit and eRecruit Manager Desktop

In a time when many ERP vendors are struggling, PeopleSoft is enjoying unprecedented growth and success. It s first quarter results this year were the best in company history - a 34% improvement over the same period last year.

PeopleSoft is among the best-known enterprise resource planning software companies in the world. With 8,000 employees in dozens of countries, it is also one of the largest - competing with industry giants like Oracle, JD Edwards, and SAP. PeopleSoft  was originally a vendor of human resources technology solutions but it has expanded to offer eCRM, financial, and supply chain management (SCM) solutions for the enterprise.

Despite developing a wider spectrum of solutions, PeopleSoft has remained at the top of the human capital technology marketplace with thousands of clients around the world. HRMS 8 is a key component of the recently launched PeopleSoft 8 platform, which is entirely web-based. The solution was launched in September 2000 after two years and $500 million in development. It appears to be a hit with customers - according to PeopleSoft, over 1200 orders for the software have been logged since its release eight months ago.

PeopleSoft´sdecision to deploy a totally web-based solution might appear to be passé. After all, smaller vendors have been delivering their products that way for years. Among the big players, however, PeopleSoft is at the forefront - and their timing might be perfect. According to InternetWeek Online, "more than 75 percent of companies plan to implement Web self-service applications by 2003 for checking benefits, updating employee information and posting job requisitions".  The reasons for this are many but ROI is probably at the top of most company´s minds. PeopleSoft claims its customers have reduced hiring costs by 60 percent and the time it takes to fill open positions by 30 to 40 percent using its Web-based software.

By making its tools available via the web, PeopleSoft offers its clients 24/7 access from any web-enabled computer. Customers can install PeopleSoft 8 HRMS at their own site as their customers have done for years, or they can choose to have PeopleSoft host their application through the eCenter, PeopleSoft''s ASP offering. Either way, no proprietary hardware or software is required by clients to access their accounts from web-enabled computers anywhere in the world.

PeopleSoft´s typical customer is a fortune 500 company with annual revenues in the billions of dollars. In fact PeopleSoft counts two-thirds of the fortune 500 as clients and has over 3100 HRMS customers in total. As for smaller companies, PeopleSoft has had a mid-market offering for some time, but its new platform may make the solution more affordable for smaller companies. Web-enabled solutions are usually less expensive than those that must be fully installed on your network, and easier to maintain.

If not having the software on your servers concerns you, PeopleSoft has an install option as well. Either way, with a vendor like PeopleSoft, you needn´t worry much about the company going out of business and leaving you with no solution and lost data.

In addition to recruiting and staffing, the new PeopleSoft HRMS includes modules for benefits and compensation, training and development, equity, diversity, payroll, succession planning, and metrics - nineteen products in total make up the HRMS 8 system.

The ´Workforce Analytics´ tool is a separate product that is integrated with the HRMS. It includes extensive data capture and a reporting module to give you various views on your enterprise-wide HR activities. It uses the balanced scorecard methodology (see recent HR.com interviews with David Norton and Robert Kaplan) to help you evaluate success in meeting your objectives. PeopleSoft´s relationships with the Saratoga Institute, Towers Perrin and the Hay Consulting Group can help you get the expertise you need quickly if you want to establish benchmarking procedures and fully capture the impact HRMS 8 has on your organization.

Peoplesoft´s HRMS is too large and diverse to do justice in one product review. Instead, I´ll focus the remainder of this review on the recruiting, staffing and retention aspects of HRMS8.

PeopleSoft HRMS8

Recruiting and staffing on HRMS8 is done through the eRecruit and eRecruit Manager Desktop modules as well as through Resume Processing and the Recruit Workforce Module within the HR product. As you might expect, these tools are integrated within the HRMS solution and are not available or advisable as stand-alone products.

Using eRecruit Manager Desktop you can build and keyword search a candidate database of internal and/or external job seekers The search can be free form or based on specific job requests. PeopleSoft uses Verity search technology, which, among other things, lets you search in multiple languages.

At this time, you cannot search external resumes database. However, PeopleSoft is working with AIRS (www.airsdirectory.com) to bring eRecruit users the popular AIRS Search Station functionality. Search Station is a powerful tool that allows you to search resume databases, newsgroups, job boards - essentially the entire web for candidates. This enhancement to eRecruit is scheduled for release soon after the Q4 2001 release.

eRecruit Manager Desktop lets you build your requisitions online. You define the position, which organization it belongs to, the location, job code and title, hours, salary, etc. and post them internally or to your corporate website. PeopleSoft has joined with RecruitUSA so that starting next month, you´ll be able to "blast" your job postings to over 700 external job boards, should you wish (billing is consolidated by PeopleSoft).

In their Q4 release PeopleSoft will add tools that allow you to save, retrieve, edit and reuse your requisitions. In June of this year, new technology will let customers process most types of resumes (email, letter, fax, etc.) into a common searchable database.

For applicant tracking, eRecruit lets you follow a promising candidate through the process. You can send resumes to hiring managers or others for review, and to schedule interviews and track the results. For candidate screening, you can build and attach questionnares to any of your postings. Your screening questions can be weighted separately and the tool will tabulate the responses and rank the candidates accordingly.

PeopleSoft is in the process of integrating HRMS 8 with HireRight for background and reference checks, drug tests and behavioral assessments. According to PeopleSoft, HireRight, AIRS Search Station and RecruitUSA will be accessible from the eRecruit Manager Desktop application. There will be single login access to everything and seamless transfer of information.

HRMS8 helps you to keep all parties to the job opening informed of its progress throughout using its "workflow technology". Hiring managers can do things such as request offers online and have the offers reviewed and approved by appropriate staff. Interviews can be booked with all necessary personnel as well. The workflow tool distributes notices to appropriate staff throughout the hiring cycle. When a candidate is hired, for instance, the system notifies payroll, facilities, IT and any other department that needs to know.

Candidates are able to use eRecruit to create and update their resumes online. Your staff can maintain their resumes and view and apply for positions from their desktops. Internal and external candidates can measure their competencies against the requirements of a job, complete any attached questionnaires and apply.

Recruiters within the company get their own secure ´home page´ access to eRecruit. The information present on their pages is unique to them and the files they are working on. PeopleSoft believes that this level of personalization will improve workflows and efficiency since recruiters do not have to wade through extraneous material.

By the end of the year, PeopleSoft plans to introduce a tool to automate their customers´ employee referral programs (ERP). This tool would also be fully integrated into eRecruit and the HRMS8 system as a whole, includeing Payroll to facilitate quick payment of any reward.

The analytics tool that comes with HRMS 8 is particularly powerful. PeopleSoft is now reputed to be among the best providers of metrics and reporting tools. The system allows you to determine your most successful sources for recruits, the length of time your hiring cycles take, along with more typical statistics about number of employees, size of your candidate pool, etc.

On the retention side, PeopleSoft offers eBenefits, an employee self-service solution that lets staff choose benefits packages. Also included are modules around succession and career planning and total compensation management. PeopleSoft recently extended its eBenefits capabilities through a partnership with BeyondWork and Rewards Plus for Internet-based work/life benefits and employee retention solutions systems as well as with eBenX for enrollment distribution, Talx for employment and salary verification, Intuit Turbo Tax to import W2 information, Authoria for knowledgebase content, and Geoaccess for physician finding.

Differentiation:

PeopleSoft competes with SAP, Oracle and other large ERP vendors. It believes it has superior solutions because it has been offering leading HR solutions longer (more than ten years) than Oracle and SAP. In the HR space it has many more customers than its closest rivals. Its web-based system is easier to integrate and PeopleSoft believes its "global architecture" better enables it to introduce new features faster and with service in more languages than the competition.

Customer Service:

PeopleSoft offers extensive support for its clients. The first level is an account manager who is your main contact point within the company. Customers also have 1-800 telephone support and a "customer portal" website where extensive documentation, white papers, code patches and other helpful material can be found.

Implementation:

There is no typical implementation time for HRMS8. Large customers who choose several or most of the nineteen components will likely take several months. Those with less extensive needs can expect to be operational in as little as 40-50 days. Training is done through PeopleSoft´s "University" and can be done on your site or theirs

Price:

PeopleSoft solutions don´t come cheap and they were not willing to divulge any price ranges for this review. Extremely large companies can spend millions of dollars on a solution. Mid-sized companies with $20-$200 million in revenues will spend less but should call PeopleSoft to arrange for estimates.

HRComments:

Two of the main issues HR departments have with HMS systems are their cost and complexity. PeopleSoft may have made little to no progress on the first but considerable gains with the second.

Simply by web-enabling their solution, they have likely reduced the learning curve for users significantly since most white collar workers today are familiar with web browsers, search tool functionality and navigating the web in general.

The new solution also makes it simpler to maintain the tools and distribute their use throughout the enterprise. No special software is required on users´ computers and all of the add-ons, including third party components are integrated. Moreover, the tool works with Microsoft Outlook, the most common corporate email tool.

As for justifying the cost, a case based on ROI may be difficult because HRIS8 is undoubtedly an expensive solution. Depending on your operation, it will probably save considerable HR staff time and streamline your processes. How much time is saved by employee and manager self-service, for instance? What about automated notifications to departments throughout the recruiting cycle? Not to mention benefits administration and other non-recruiting aspects of HRMS8. You need to make good estimates of time savings and reduced transaction costs to know for sure. The smaller your organization, the less attractive PeopleSoft´s HRMS8 will probably look to you.

As for functionality, PeopleSoft is lining up partners to cover most of the electronic recruiting spectrum. As it stands, however, the toolset is on the weak side. Depending on your priorities, you may want to wait until the end of the year to implement HRMS8.  The Q4 release appears to include several major enhancements to the recruiting functionality.

Finally, in a time when choosing a vendor can be a risky proposition, PeopleSoft gives you rare piece of mind. With thousands of customers and coming off it best quarter ever, you can be fairly certain your investment is safe and you won´t be abandoned anytime soon.

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