SAP showcases new feedback system by inviting three customers to air complaints

LAS VEGAS – Showing off your shortcomings isn’t typically considered a smart advertising move, but to emphasize how closely it will listen to comments collected by its new feedback service, German enterprise software firm SAP SE invited three users of its signature human capital management (HCM) platform, SuccessFactors, to share their number-one gripes with hundreds of peers at its SuccessConnect 2016 conference on Wednesday.

Announced on Aug. 31, the new Community Roadmapping tool invites SuccessFactors customers and partners to submit a complaint and receive a response – including the occasional new feature – from SAP developers.

It was the company’s willingness to design new, customized solutions that SAP TV senior creative director Jon Leiberman emphasized while unveiling the service on Aug. 31.

“You spoke, and we listened,” Leiberman said. “You told us a number of things, but among the things that you told us was that you needed more transparency regarding the idea submission process.”

While consumer feedback has always been a key component of SuccessFactors, the Community Roadmapping tool is designed to give users and designers alike more context when proposing or considering new features, in addition to giving customers and partners a clearer glimpse of what happens to the ideas they suggest.

With the tool, once users identify a shortcoming in SuccessFactors they can share it with other customers or partners, similar to social media. Their peers can then vote on whether they would like to see a solution developed, much as the SuccessConnect audience did using their mobile devices after hearing their three peers present their complaints on Aug. 31.

Even the ideas presented at SuccessConnect had been reviewed beforehand, with SAP conducting an exhaustive review of submitted ideas between late June and mid-August.

Before each disgruntled customer stated her case, Leiberman reminded them of the question they needed to answer: “What is the biggest business problem we need to solve, and how?”

The complaint which received the most votes, he promised, would be corrected before next year’s SuccessFactors update.

Identifying (and eliminating) duplicate candidates

Advocate Health Care system administrator Dorell Michalowski complained about the difficulty faced by recruiters who receive multiple profiles from individual job seekers hoping to increase their odds of securing an interview.

“I have over 40 recruiters and sourcers that find duplicate candidates daily, and then they call me to ask what to do with them,” she said. “When I contact SuccessFactors, the process is rather difficult. I can only search by having both of the e-mail addresses used to create these profiles, which I don’t often have.”

“We need a better way… to get these candidates out of the system instead of doing them one at a time,” she said.

Like her peers, Michalowski presented a potential solution alongside her complaint: creating a single list of all candidates, or an alpha search.

“We also need to have multiple people working on this at the same time, otherwise it’s just one person going click, click, click,” she said.

Leiberman admitted that when applying for his present position with SAP he submitted 17 profiles before landing the job.

“That must have really pissed off the HR people, didn’t it?” he asked.

“Yes, yes it did,” Michalowski replied.

Keeping profiles up to date

AT&T’s associate director of HR technology, Kristi Johnston, asked her peers how many were using SuccessFactors’ recruiting modules, performance modules, or people profiles, then asked how many of those profiles were up to date.

The number of raised hands went down.

“Our biggest business problem… is that we need to make it easier for our employees to update their competencies within the platform,” she said.

Her team’s idea was that users and businesses alike should be able to launch a competency assessment form listing the skills they previously evaluated themselves for, and update them as easily as if they were accessing music on their smartphone.

“What will all this do for you?” Johnston said. “In the end it will ensure… that your succession module is up to date with your employee information.”

Rating candidates more than once

The team of senior HR consultants Jennifer Price and Kimberly Ratliff spoke for Carolinas HealthCare System, whose staff believe they should be able to rate candidates more than once whenever they’re interviewed more than once.

“Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience – all of those things are important when selecting talent,” Ratliff said. “But culture fit is also very important, and our process – and I’m sure the process in many organizations – is to bring candidates back and interview them in different settings, to get a fuller picture of their knowledge, skills, experience, and culture fit.”

Presently, Carolinas HealthCare System will often invite candidates to meet a hiring leader during their first interview, then with members of the organization’s frontline team during subsequent interviews, leading to a wider range of feedback.

“But if the hiring leader is in both settings, they can only apply one rating for that candidate,” she said.

Also, with Carolinas conducting thousands of interviews per year, it’s important for the organization to have a correct, complete candidate interview record, Price said.

“It’s not only for our documentation purposes, but also so that we can provide actionable feedback to candidates who may not have been selected,” she added.

And the winner?

Dorell Michalowski’s proposal on behalf of Advocate Health Care to identify and eliminate duplicate candidates received the grand prize of SAP vowing to fix the problem.

Check back with us next year to find out whether SAP manages to keep its promise.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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