Beyond Record-Keeping: What Social Means for HCM

A guest post by Steve Boese, Director, Talent Strategy, Oracle

Let’s start with a few questions, shall we?

What website accounts for approximately one out of seven minutes spent online around the world?

What relatively new site recently hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history?

What professional networking site, despite being an ‘ancient-in-internet-time’ almost 10 years old is signing up new members at a rate of more than two per second?

If you answered Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, give yourself a high five.

Admittedly, the questions were not that hard, as social networking for personal and professional uses has grown in popularity, relevance, and importance; and sharing on Facebook, connecting on LinkedIn, or chatting with friends and colleagues on Twitter are now all commonplace and routine daily events. Social networking and social technologies are not so much a part of our lives that these actions, this constant sharing and connecting, has become ingrained into our thought processes, and for many, even a few hours spent offline or disconnected can make us pretty anxious - like we are missing everything that is going on in our connected world.

Just like individuals, businesses all over the world have also jumped on social networking and the social media bus, leveraging the social web for marketing and branding, customer service, market research, and connecting with their community of fans. Examples, case studies, and emerging leading practices abound to help guide organizations in their efforts to best utilize these open, transparent, and real-time platforms to engage with customers, prospects, and the world. More and more, organizations that have not embraced social are seen as behind the times or missing out on an incredible opportunity.

Along with the incredible adoption and growth of social networking by individuals and marketers, an emerging and important shift is happening within the enterprise. Organizations are quickly coming to realize that bringing the ideas, concepts, and benefits of social technologies and social networking inside the enterprise, can help solve business problems, engage, connect, and empower employees, and lead to better outcomes. We think of this emerging blend of new technology, company culture, and alignment towards solving business problems through connecting people inside the enterprise, as Social HCM.

What might Social HCM look like in practice? Here are just some of the possibilities for the enterprise:

Talent Sourcing and Recruiting ─- reaching candidates and prospects on social networks, advancing and building the employer brand, building pipelines or talent communities

Social Learning ─ learning not just from static content or coursework, but through and with connecting with colleagues to share insight, expertise, and knowledge

Internal communities ─ small groups that can form to share information, collaborate, and support project or team efforts via blogs, wikis, microblogs, video and more

Social Goals ─ have employees create and share goals with peers and colleagues, and have open conversation and collaboration around goals, leading to faster and better goal alignment and completion

Social Recognition ─ company-wide platforms that enable peer-to-peer thanks, kudos, and more formal internal recognition to be surfaced and shared across the enterprise

Expertise location ─ tools that support the creation of rich and searchable employee profiles that make finding the right person with the right skills at the needed time fast and easy

And as the organizational capability and understanding of Social HCM continues to grow, there will be many more examples and use cases where the application of social ideas and concepts will support the enterprise in meeting its objectives.

We think Human Resources leaders are uniquely positioned to advance the idea of Social HCM inside the organization, as these initiatives are about people, behavior, and leadership (the sweet spot for HR expertise) and how new and developing social technologies and capabilities can be leveraged to support these efforts. The HR leaders of tomorrow will have an almost unprecedented opportunity to work with business leaders, information technology professionals, line managers, and truly every employee in the enterprise to drive this vision.

We strongly believe that the best business outcomes will be achieved through the connection of people inside the enterprise and Oracle Fusion HCM applications have been built with these Social HCM ideas and capabilities deeply embedded in their fabric. Fusion’s innovative Network at Work, an industry leading collaborative social framework allows workers to build their own internal social network and connect with other domain experts and colleagues. And in Fusion Performance Management, Goal Management, and Talent Review, informal data and insight such as kudos and peer-to-peer social recognition can be harnessed, along with more formal data such as performance review ratings, to help managers effectively identify and assess top talent, and take action, ensuring the best talent is recognized and all talent is fairly evaluated.

We’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts and ideas about how Social HCM is impacting your organization.

To learn more about Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management, please visit this link


Fusion HCM is certainly a revolutionary product that is going to enhance the productivity of the HR users & the organization as a whole. Would like to see more reviews & feedback from the customers and oracle consulting team who implemented the 1st release of fusion aplication. Need to hear what challenges faced while addressing the customer business needs and where the customer onbtained the best ROI out of Fusion HCM.

Posted by guest on March 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM PDT #

Hi Steve.
Your post was very promising but after reviewing Performance Management data sheet and web information I could not find neither the word "social" nor a screen render that suggest any social widget.
Are these new features still in development?

Posted by Carlos Otero on March 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM PDT #

Being an ex-Oracle-ite, it is wonderful to see the thought leadership towards a Social HCM. Other than the points listed above, I see the challenge in one more area: the interaction between internal and external source of information. For e.g. the interaction between LinkedIn and Taleo, the protocols involved to assure security balanced with the open links that allow the flow of information. The problems that this will try to solve would be:
- How do HR managers effectively channelize information about a great prospective employee into their internal HR system so as to contact and follow-up during recruitment?
- How do HRs from different organizations share information about employees during referrals and background checks without the need for third party help?
- How does an HR manager transfer information from one ERP system to another - from a recruitment ERP to a HCM ERP?

I am sure there are more, but these are just off the top of my head. Today, most of the solutions are not possible. But as more and more people go into social networks and get comfortable with sharing their information, we might have an entire new generation of users drive the need for more integration between casual social interaction and serious business conversations.

Posted by Aparna Bhaduri on March 23, 2012 at 02:57 PM PDT #

Thanks very much for all the comments, much appreciated. Over time we do plan on sharing more information about customer successes as well as new product launches and features, so for now I would say to please stay tuned!

To Aparna's point, indeed it does seem likely that the new and next generations entering the workforce will drive the need for more social, interactive, and engaging solutions. At times it does seem like casual and social interactions are blending with more traditional and professional systems and communications more and more.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts with us.

Posted by Steve Boese on March 23, 2012 at 04:54 PM PDT #

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