Human Resources | March 20, 2018

Spring Update of Oracle HCM Cloud Aims to 'Make Work More Human'

By: Rob Preston


Amid all the economic banter about taxes, regulations, and national debt levels, the underlying reason for stalled productivity growth worldwide comes down to one main factor: Companies aren’t getting the most from their people.

Why is that? Employees in this day and age often are disconnected from business goals. They must deal with rigid, cumbersome work processes. And they’re forever being asked to shift gears amid the torrent pace of business change.

Meanwhile, the tech tools people use at work, some of them leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, haven’t kept up with the ones people use in their personal lives. Most employees still don’t have the data-based insights they need to make impactful decisions. And in general, they don’t have the support they need to be successful.

There’s no silver bullet, of course. But with the end goal of enhancing employee engagement and organizational productivity, Oracle—in its 2018 Spring Update of Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud—focused on making work “more human.” Key innovations, to be discussed during the afternoon keynote session at Oracle HCM World in Dallas on March 21, are in three primary areas: making work more enjoyable, working smarter, and creating a more supportive workplace.

1. Help Make Work More Enjoyable

In terms of helping make work interactions more enjoyable—or at least not as intimidating—Oracle started with a new design of the Oracle HCM Cloud web pages. An example is the new home page that every employee, manager, executive, and HR pro logs onto to begin his or her day. Oracle simplified the navigation of that page, giving it a newsfeed style. As such, the home page makes it easier for users to:

  • Find what they need using a simplified search
  • Know what they need to do right away, through notifications
  • Take quick actions, using simplified navigation
  • Personalize regular and priority tasks, such as approving expense reports, reassigning directs, and managing team compensation
  • Finish HR tasks wherever they left off   
  • Stay in-the-know broadly, through a News and Announcements section
  • Inform recruitment, hiring, promotion, and other decisions via an analytics dashboard

Oracle HCM Cloud’s responsive mobile design provides a consistent user experience across multiple devices.

One key is the mobile enablement of the cloud application’s goals and anytime feedback capabilities, encouraging employees to have continuous performance conversations with their reports and/or managers. Managers on the go can, for instance, create and update simple documents for regular one-on-one check-in meetings with their reports.

2. Work Smarter

Here, the Spring Update to Oracle HCM Cloud delivers innovations in three main areas: a new, data-driven recruiting/hiring experience, smart onboarding of new hires, and a self-driving promotion process.

Instead of requiring job candidates to seek employment information, Oracle HCM Cloud helps hiring managers engage candidates when they need to take action or become aware of updates. Candidates also have the option of engaging employers through a digital assistant. “The experience the candidate has is that the job found me, not that I found the job,” says Gretchen Alarcon, Oracle group vice president of product strategy.

The Spring Update of Oracle HCM Cloud also uses machine learning algorithms to recommend best-fit job candidates. It augments selection, interview, and offer data with other HR data to identify candidates similar to those who have succeeded in related roles. Choices are limited based on business rules.

A new candidate onboarding feature in Oracle HCM Cloud helps employees complete pre- and new-hire activities while providing visibility to HR and employee managers.

The update also enhances the promotion process, letting managers select up front what they want to include in the process—for example, whether to include a salary change or reassign other direct reports—so that the process becomes self-driving. The system automatically populates a list of values and limits choices.

3. Create a More Supportive Workplace

The Spring Update of Oracle HCM Cloud includes HR Help Desk in the Cloud, giving HR managers access to a robust knowledge base to find answers to their most pressing questions quickly. Workforce Health and Safety Incident Management helps reduce health and safety incidents to provide a safer workplace and support compliance with regulations.

The suite’s Advanced HCM Controls Cloud service strengthens security and data privacy by detecting anomalies. It’s designed to help stop unauthorized access to sensitive HR data, manage exceptions and policy violations, and access security dashboards to lower the cost of regulatory compliance.

Rob Preston is editorial director in Oracle's Content Central organization, where he provides insights and analysis on a range of issues important to CIOs and other business technology executives. Rob was previously editor in chief of InformationWeek. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @robpreston.

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