Employees and customer : one single app to manage them all ?

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Businesswoman holding telescope and reflecting in mirror. Concept business vector illustration.

There was a conclusion it was impossible not to come to at the end of the latest edition of HRTech in last october : HRIS and CRM tools are converging at a high pace.

That was unavoidable as HRIS is moving towards employee journey and lifecycle management and employee/enterprise relationship management. It’s striking (or funny) to see that most of the startups exhibiting at the event were offering products we’ve seen coming in the customer relationship field some years ago and are now being proposed to HR with a light rebranding.

Did your marketing startup fail 3 years ago ? You still have a future in HR !

One example ? Let’s take Candidate.ID. I had the opportunity to have a long discussion with them. The approach is very interesting : candidates online behaviors are analyzed, what helps to target their are of interest. Then it’s possible to nurture them by delivering relevant messages that will catch their attention either by email, on social networks or on a career site. It allows an employer to be “top of mind”, to grow the candidate interest and in fine to improve the candidate base. Interesting?  Of course since businesses have always overlooked to manage their relationship with sleeping candidates. They have a transactional approach to candidates in the process and they are nowhere with the others.

Considering how HRIS is lagging from that perspective, there’s no surprise to see that what was new on the marketing side a couple of years ago and is now mainstream appears as a bright new approach on the HR stage. And opportunities to recycle marketing concepts in the HR field are many.

HRIS is the CRM of employees

I had the opportunity to exchange with some people who, like me, were in charge of both employee and client experience and many people asked us how we could deal with both at the same time. Our answer was obvious to us : “but that’ exactly the same thing”.

Quite the same journeys, approaches that tend to become more aligned because employees bring in the workplace the expectations they have as clients. Whoever is in charge of building an employee experience roadmap will see that even if execution will be slightly different, the main strands, challenges stakes, objectives and approaches are the same. Let me also add that design both in a consistent fashion and a kind of “mirror effect” is the best way to avoid ending-up with a schizophrenic organization torn by a promise made to the client and the inability to align the internal organization.

A business recruits clients ans employees. It manages their lifecycles. It manages their journeys. It tries to engage and develop them.

Same logics but different tools ? Why ? And for how long ?

Towards a merger between the universes of the “relationship management”

Considering the Candidate.ID case, we can wonder why a business should not use a customer relationship management solution to do the same thing. And beyond some peculiarities, HRIS and CRM are nothing but solutions designed to manage a relationship, they share some foundations and approaches and are sometimes the same for some use cases.

Hence a question I heard here and there : why, in the future, won’t we use a common backbone to manage both HR and CRM. Or, in other words : if a vendor comes with a solution able to manage both, it will help HR to make huge improvement in the field of relationship management and experience and even rationalize development costs (with and expected impact on licence prices).

We’ve already seen that major vendors like IBM or Oracle “stole” parts of their marketing suite to implement it in their HR one. Until the day when both will become so close that no one will see the difference ?

Today, Salesforce has an HR solution that is far from being a reference on the market. But maybe it’s exactly because the approach I’m talking about is not mainstream yet. Of course I’m not talking about two look-alike products having their own lives but a shared backbone supporting the customer and the employee side.

On the HR side, could we expect that the next stage for a company like Workday would be CRM ?

Let’s be clear. The question is not to know if a vendor can propose a customer-oriented suite and an employee oriented one but if he can do both in a single product by mutualizing as many key functionalities and principles as possible

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