How to Connect HR Processes to Identity Management, Part 1

August 15, 2018

In our previous blog Connecting Human Resource Process and Data to Identity Management, we outlined the fundamental principles of creating a smooth on/off-boarding process for employees and contractors.

Wasteful and inefficient on-boarding processes cost companies time, effort, and money. They also cost employee goodwill; employees come to despise processes that don’t work or that don’t have the necessary access and assets in place when they are needed. For large organizations, lost productivity as a result of bad processes can cost more than $1M annually.

So how can your organization keep this from happening? There are two fundamental principles that can make the onboarding experience work for everyone.


  1. Single owner for the entire process: Given the sheer scale and complexity of the on-boarding business process, there should be one single owner of the entire process, end to end. But many companies have too many people involved, with all of them trying to carry out a variety of poorly connected objectives. There should be a single person or team that owns the entire end-to-end process. The process owner should understand—and have the clout to corral—all the moving parts of the system, and provide guidance and control that drive standardization and adoption across the entire organization.
  2. Process and business rules must agree: The process owner must work closely with each department or group that has a stake in the process. There should be no “loose cannons” or “backdoors,” because fragmented processes create chaos and high support costs. Instead, all process stakeholders should be aligned on both data rules and business rules, which should have similar levels of control and centralization. The best process is one that relies on data from one authoritative source to ensure that employees and contractors are ready and able to work on day one and throughout their employment.


Beyond the Basics

Once these basics are in place, the next step is to ensure that the process is efficient enough to be automated. Companies spend millions of dollars a year manually plugging holes in broken processes.

One global company struggled with process gaps that required manual fixes. The process was time and labor-intensive and generally disliked by employees and contractors. When the company decided to implement a new Human Capital Management (HCM) system, it also made the decision to redesign the entire onboarding process. By aligning technology and business processes, the deployment of a state-of-the-art HCM gave the organization an opportunity to reexamine its processes and “get it right.”

Building the onboarding of the future takes real discipline and a willingness to change what isn’t working. Too often organizations deploying new systems choose instead to do a “lift and shift,” retaining old process with the new system. If your company is heading in this direction, it's not too late to correct course! One global organization was heading down this path, but it took a step back and decided to design a new process from scratch, one that met the needs of new employees and contractors. The goal was to ensure that everything was ready for the new worker on their first day of work. This is how you build the on-boarding process of the future - intentionally aligning HR business processes to technology to achieve business goals.

This article was co-written by Jeff Luther and Hanno Ekdahl

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