By Jin Hian Lee
The old way of deploying a monolithic off-the-shelf HR solution and considering it “done” no longer works. Best-of-breed HR tech stacks are the future, and an Agile HR approach is key to success. Siemens is a great case study in how to continuously evolve your HR tech stack to ensure effectiveness, continuity and relevance in a constantly changing HR environment.
From HRMS Monoliths to HR Tech Stacks
The HR tech idealist’s dream is to have an end-to-end platform that solves all HR operational issues and development challenges. The reality, of course, is that such a solution does not exist for any organization of even moderate size. Traditionally, large, monolithic HRMS systems have been deployed, with significant compromises in specific areas of weakness. Even widely used, and praised, all-in-one platforms can’t replicate the entire TA process well, from screening and interview scheduling to candidate pipelining and onboarding.
Over time, HR technology practitioners have assembled a suite of “best-of-breed” technology solution providers to effectively deal with the complexities of the real world. These providers not only build, iterate and adapt; they work directly with global HR stakeholders to create fluid solutions that are flexible enough to serve different lines of business, across different regions.
This shift has driven an evolution from an HRMS to an HR tech stack, and this shift needs a new approach to HR technology. As one of our early-adopter customers, Siemens adopts an “Agile HR” approach, and serves as an excellent guide to continuously evolve your HR tech stack to ensure you can respond to volatile market changes as well as discover innovative and transformational opportunities as they arise.
Agile HR at Siemens: The Way Forward
Siemens is a complex multinational company processing 2.2 million applications and up to 35,000 hires annually, and seeking to transform from a manufacturing business to a world-leading digital company. In order to deliver hiring at scale while maintaining a great experience for all stakeholders, Siemens has adopted an “Agile HR” approach.
What is Agile HR? First and foremost, it is a mindset shift from a one-time “deploy-and-done” to a continuous “try-learn-improve” approach in partnership with solution partners in order to deliver real business value quickly. This Agile approach allows Siemens to adapt to a constantly-evolving recruitment needs while taking advantage of new capabilities delivered by the technology solution providers.
One great example is how Siemens evolved the roles of their CRM and ATS systems. Initially, a new system was brought online to handle candidate relationship management (CRM), with the goal of building a strong candidate pipeline. After the initial deployment, Siemens realized that to truly achieve that goal, they needed to consolidate their various Applicant Tracking systems into a single, standardized system that they could support globally across borders. A few years later, these two systems together were brought together into an integrated core ATS+CRM system to deliver on the promise of candidate pipelining.
Solution Providers as Partners in Product Development & Evolution
Siemens sees solution providers as partners, collaborate and build together to iterate, test, trial and adapt technologies for different business units and regions. A good example of such partnership is with Evie, from starting a pilot in the UK within a business unit and then expanding to other businesses.
“With our vendors, it's really about partnership. And it's really about doing the product development work in collaboration with each other. It wasn’t an off the shelf product. It was a product that we built based on the needs of Siemens. A brilliant example is Evie.”
Global TA Consultant, Strategy & Technologies
The success of Siemens-Evie collaboration can be attributed to the tight interaction and working truly as one team, rigorously testing, iterating and adapting to changing circumstances like the current pandemic.
The evolutionary process continues, as Siemens moves away from a monolithic, siloed system towards a flexible HR tech stack with clearly defined best-of-breed systems to support the needs of different markets, different countries and different parts of the process on a global scale while promoting innovation.
As we move into 2021, the importance of evolving core solution platforms and solutions is critical to ensure effectiveness, continuity and relevance as processes and requirements constantly evolve over time. The old way of purchasing an off-the-shelf solution and considering it “done” no longer works.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about Agile HR and how Siemens built their HR tech stack and worked together with Evie. Subscribe to stay tuned for our next post in this Agile HR tech series.
Jin Hian Lee is CEO and Founder of Evie, a leading artificially intelligent assistant for recruiters and talent acquisition (TA) professionals. It is used by Siemens and other Fortune 500 firms.