Cloud HR at Siemens

bewerbung Siemens
Photo: iStockphoto

Siemens evaluated more than 50 solutions from various vendors before finally opting for the HCM solution from SuccessFactors. “We chose SuccessFactors because it is a proven and globally deployable solution that covers all of our HR processes,” says Norbert Kleinjohann, CIO at Siemens.

This decision resulted in the global “4Success” platform, which unites all of the tools and HR processes that Siemens – as an international corporation − deploys and which is tailored precisely to the company’s requirements. The first module to be implemented – initially for 44,000 employees – was Performance Management. This module handles feedback, target-setting, and evaluation in the performance management process for employees. At Siemens, both divisional and HR managers take part in performance management sessions – known at the company as “round tables”. By the beginning of 2011, more than 120,000 employees were using the tool.

HCM software from SuccessFactors used in 90 countries

In the meantime, the other HCM software modules from SuccessFactors have also been installed. They support all of Siemens’ HR core processes in the following areas: Recruiting, Performance & Goals, Calibration, Succession & Development, Compensation Planning, and Learning. Siemens uses the system in nine languages (21 for recruiting) and in more than 90 countries. Some 400,000 subscribers have access to 4Success, with about 20,000 logging in each day. “SuccessFactors has become our global IT standard for all recruiting and employee development processes,” says CIO Kleinjohann.

Next page: SuccessFactors global standard solution optimizes HR management

“We chose SuccessFactors because it is a proven and globally deployable solution that covers all of our HR processes,” says Norbert Kleinjohann, CIO at Siemens.

The SuccessFactors solution has created the first ever global standard for all of Siemens’ HR management operations, replacing a heterogeneous landscape of HR systems that had evolved over time and that consisted of an assortment of in-house developments and products from myriad different vendors. Jürgen Siebel, Head of Employee Development, recalls some of the difficulties that he and his colleagues faced in the past: “Managers with team members in more than one country had to access several different systems to obtain the information they needed. Our processes were not standardized and there was no global overview of employee development and personnel planning.”

The main objectives in implementing the SuccessFactors solution were therefore to drive the standardization of HR management right across the company and to create a global master database that all managers with personnel responsibility could access. The new system has brought improvements in both recruitment and employee development and in compensation and talent management. And, thanks to the use of standardized terminology, the platform has also created the foundation for assimilating skills and performance assessments and thus increasing the transparency of HR processes across all of Siemens’ operations worldwide.

Intensive penetration tests ensures IT security

4Success has been in regular operation at Siemens since June 2012. The fact that the SuccessFactors solution is cloud-based is one of the reasons why the first stage of the implementation went live so fast and why, despite adjustments, the global roll-out was relatively uncomplicated. Siemens has taken extensive measures to ensure compliance with all the relevant data protection regulations that relate to cloud deployments, using intensive penetration tests right from the outset to ensure that it can guarantee IT security at all times and in all locations.

Next page: Recruiting and employee development systems more efficient

Today, all 370,000 Siemens employees have access to 4Success. In the two years since the system first went live, it has processed almost 40,000 job requisitions and one million job applications. Thanks to the new recruiting module, applications from both internal and external candidates can be processed quickly and efficiently. And the integrated system and central database make it possible to process performance management and bonus planning across national borders.

To date, employees and managers have agreed on approximately 1.8 million individual goals in the PMP (Performance Management Process) tool. Because the HR processes are now highly integrated and standardized, employees are more closely involved in performance management procedures and senior managers with personnel responsibility have the global overview they need to plan employee development and succession policies more effectively.

Siemens and 4Success: one million applications processed in two years

Thanks to its “round tables” – 14,000 of which take place every year – Siemens has laid the foundations for standardized reporting, target-setting, and performance assessment across the company. Personnel managers now have rapid access to comprehensive information and, therefore, a sound basis on which to make important decisions. The result? Siemens can promote and drive the development of talented employees all over the world much faster and more precisely than ever before.

Next page: Knowledge and skills must be diversified

The fact that Siemens has consolidated all of its HR processes on a standardized platform underlines the importance that today’s global corporations attach to attracting highly qualified employees. For a technology company like Siemens, which operates in various different fields of activity, it is vitally important to win, develop, and retain talented employees. Their knowledge and skills must be as diversified as the company itself. In an extremely competitive global market, Siemens is not the only company that is looking for the “right” employees: People with the desired set of talents and qualities are highly sought-after and much in demand everywhere.

Stronger position in the race for talented employees

By implementing 4Success, Siemens has not only improved its entire HR management system; it has also strengthened its position in the international race for talented employees. Currently, a suite of sophisticated reporting and analysis tools is under development which will make the decision-making process even easier for HR managers. This is another step forward on the journey to perceiving HR processes not “just” as transactional services but as a source of measurable added value within Siemens’ overall business strategy.