Paul Rose, Product Center of Excellence Manager, Employee Central
“Position management essentially separates the “people structure” of the organization from the job roles, job definitions and specific individuals in these positions” (Bersin by Deloitte, 2015)
The glut of global enterprises shifting to one master HR technology platform requires organizations to streamline their job and position structures. A job fundamentally is a generic role that denotes a collection of tasks that can be performed by a number of employees. A position as described by Boston University is “a more detailed summary of the duties specific to the individual employee”. (http://www.bu.edu/hr/manager-resources/compensation/jobs-vs-positions/) A position commonly outlasts its holder with subsequently a new employee allocated the position as the new holder.
This article will highlight five critical considerations for corporations to reflect on before embarking on a core HCM implementation with position management enabled.
A comprehensive global job catalogue should be established is required as a solid structure will provide the building blocks for an efficient position management function. A precise job configuration will mean that up between 50- 60% of your job attributes will flow onto the position object. Examples of these attributes would be job level, pay grade and supervisor level. It is my recommendation not to support position management unless the above criteria has been fulfilled. Also, positions characteristics will include organizational attributes like department, division and function.
Position management must work in conjunction with the recruitment function. Core HR positions need to be integrated with recruitment requisitions. The slicker HCM technologies will have this inherent functionality. The HR function can enforce position control per department, function, division to control spiraling recruitment costs and require managers to become more quantifiable in their pursuit of extra resources. Line managers should only be interviewing open positions when the recruitment requisition has been approved by the pertinent HR business partner.
Effective position management serves as a platform to secure more accurate, consistent data across any HCM suite. Position data will flow to employee record automatically once the user is hired or changes position during his organizational tenure. This reduces the amount of data maintenance that managers or local HR admins action on each employee record. Innovative mass change features mean that wholesale position alterations can automate to the employee record also.
Concise headcount reporting will be attainable with position management. The C Level will be able to complete rigorous analysis on staffing shortages or overflows in particular areas of the business. A basic level example would be having more doctors than nurses assigned in a particular hospital department. If the optimal resource levels or position count were not defined, this would not be as straightforward.
Relationship to person/employee level
For the optimum position structure, it is good practice to assign one person per position. Realistically there may be exceptions with job share arrangements and concurrent employment where employees can hold two positions but these will be the exception not the rule for the majority of global organizations. Headcount reporting could potentially be flawed if the above occurrences are facilitated within the position set up. Often, limited employee fields can sync back to position if there automation is not possible so if the one to one relationship is not adhered to, the position data may become skewed in this instance also.
Position Management with the necessary ancillary HCM structures can improve data precision and provide powerful insights into an organization’s resource efficiency across the globe. It should only be leveraged at the time when a business has a solid HRIS infrastructure already established and key resources understand the required supporting conditions.