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Enlighten – Denver

Why Enlighten?

Enlighten is an exclusive invitation to join a small group of experienced leaders in your local area.  Develop connections, discuss innovative ideas in Human Capital Management, generate conversation and share your unique perspective.  Be educated and intrigued by the latest strategy & technology to inspire meaningful change within your organization.

Enlighten may be coming to your city next!

Have an idea for an interesting topic or would you like to host an event? Email us at


Managing the New Contingent Workforce

Motivation:  Through our consulting engagements we have recognized an increased utilization of contingent workers and a need for HR to standardize processes to reduce risk.

Problem Statement:  In today’s on-demand economy, organizations are relying more heavily on an external workforce across their supply chain.  Often this worker life-cycle has limited HR involvement raising new management risks and compliance concerns.


·      Convene a small group of experienced local leaders

·      Build a network and discuss organizational approaches to a Contingent Workforce

·      Communicate our experience and viewpoint on management of a Contingent Workforce


·      Define a Contingent Workforce and identify business risks

·      Discuss key issues facing HR in managing a Contingent Workforce

·      Focus on data management concerns and downstream process integration

·      Highlight opportunities for managing a Global Contingent Workforce

·      Share real-life examples through case studies

·      Offer tips & tricks for management of the Contingent Workforce including advances in technology


For more information and an invite to the event, please contact us at

Supporting International Mobility in Recruiting Process & Solution Architecture

Posted by John Bestgen, Recruiting Practice Lead at Hula Partners



Some years ago the expat post was considered a hardship that had to be rewarded with large benefits packages and pampering. Fortunately, for both employer and employee these attitudes have shifted. Far less often these assignments are thought of as a hardship, today many consider them an immense opportunity for professional and personal development. Posts abroad are increasingly in demand and in many organizations are seen as rewards for outstanding performance in one’s current position. Apart from improving the employee’s skills, for many the assignment offers opportunity for internal promotion where none is currently available in their current location.

However, beyond the expat assignment scenario, Talent Management leaders seem to be directing greater focus on the strategic importance of international mobility, seeing it as a key component for successful global development of the organization. Millennials are becoming a critical component of many organizations’ talent pools which is changing the view of international assignments. 50% of Millennials want opportunities for international assignments and 40% of Millennials are willing to relocate to advance their careers (Boston College Center for Work & Family). That’s why companies are increasingly promoting expat culture, as this is not about where you are, but rather how you are developing your career. And of course, doing this abroad gives you lots of points.

Today, this is more apparent than ever in a globally connected world where communication between countries is real time and work relationships are increasingly flexible and rendered in many different ways. According to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce. The cultural shift this represents supports greater ability for companies to recruit and assign talent on a global scale due to this increased number of workers for whom a physical office location is no longer a requirement.

However, to leverage the benefits of international mobility to both the employee and the organization, the relevant processes and technical solutions must be architected in such a way that they both in concert support the process. Two major goals are critical. First, identifying if suitable talent must be global in nature in one searchable interface. Second, open opportunities and potential career tracks can be evaluated by the entire relevant global talent pool both within and outside the organization.

In addition, processes must be globalized or at least regionalized whenever possible outside the statutory requirements that are typically country-specific in nature. Common policies, processes, forms, and standards across national boundaries allow the organization to be more agile in focusing the most effective talent to a specific position on a global scale. “Regionalized” talent pools can be segmented representing multi-national resources who can be placed in opportunities within a group of countries most easily due to their shared process and standards structure.

In conclusion, support for international mobility is becoming increasingly important as the economy continues to become more global in nature. Organizations that take care to craft their talent acquisition strategies and corresponding solutions in such a way to facilitate a global view of available talent against available positions and future potential opportunities will be best positioned to compete and win in the coming years as globalization continues.


Interesting in learning more about how to improve your recruiting process?

You can reach John at or follow him on social!


Beginning Your Journey: Migrating from SAP On-Premise to Employee Central in the Cloud


Posted by Michael White, Technology Director at Hula Partners



As companies begin transitioning to the cloud, we are getting a lot of questions around how to migrate to Employee Central from on premise SAP system effectively. What are the key questions to address prior to making the leap to the cloud and what are the important considerations needed in the process? Throughout this blog, I will address these questions today in order to alleviate some of the mystery surrounding this process.

The first and most important question you must ask as an organization is if you plan on keeping your SAP on premise system up to date with the data from Employee Central, or will you retire it at go-live? In my experience, many customers choose to keep their legacy SAP environment due to the number of existing integrations that would need to be reproduced and signed off in Employee Central. This is a daunting task as part of the initial rollout and requires coordination with many different vendors and their individual testing requirements. Thus, the lowest risk approach is to replicate data from Employee Central back to legacy SAP and let the existing integrations and payroll processing run as they do today. You can then replace the integrations and payroll over time as separate projects, where the risk is more manageable.

Next, you must decide as an organization if you want to roll out the entire employee population in one big bang or, if you will take a phased approach.


Core Hybrid

If you plan on having everyone go live at the same time, then you are looking at a “Core Hybrid” approach to your data replication back to legacy SAP. This means that Employee Central is the system of record for all employees and the employee data only flows in one direction (EC -> SAP). This simplifies the replication process greatly as you don’t have to deal with transfers between live and non-live populations. This also means that data migration, conversion, validation, and regulatory approval must be acquired globally for go live. Switching to a phased rollout later on is not recommended as it will require a total redesign of your approach and replication process. My biggest piece of advice for this approach is to begin your mapping process as early as possible. Specifically, begin thinking through the desired future data model you want to have in EC vs. the current data model in SAP. There are a few key elements to check in this mapping and design decisions need made with conversions between the systems in mind. All of the following mappings must be able to convert seamlessly between EC and SAP. If there is ambiguity, it can cause issues later with the SAP configuration for valid dropdown values based on area/subarea and group/subgroup groupings on the SAP side.

1.   Employee Group/Subgroup to WorkAgreementAdminCategoryCode/WorkAgreementTypeCode

2.   Company Code/Personnel Area/Personnel Subarea to Company/Location

3.   Action/Reason to PersonnelEventTypeCode/ PersonnelEventReasonCode

4.   Pay component frequency in Employee Central to Payroll Area frequency in SAP

·      NOTE:  The payment frequency (Hourly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, etc.) coming from Employee Central is validated against the payroll area frequency used in SAP. We’ve encountered and created workarounds to this validation for customers where these could not be aligned.

These values must be able to convert in both directions if you are going to successfully perform data conversion and load for go-live as well as ongoing replication of data from EC back to legacy SAP. Be especially careful of a single EC event type/reason mapping to multiple SAP action/reasons based on other attributes or context. If a single event is mapped to hire, rehire, and job change for instance, it will cause replication issues with the SAP validation checks for existing employees and status changes.


Alternatively, if instead, you plan on a phased rollout with different waves of employees going live at different points then you are looking at a “Side-by-Side” approach to your replication process. This means that for the live population Employee Central is the system of record and will replicate employees down to legacy SAP (EC -> SAP). However, for the non-live population you will maintain SAP as the system of record and transfer the employees to Employee Central using either web service integration or file extracts (SAP -> EC). All of the mapping decision points referenced above will still apply to this process. If this is your approach, the recommendation is to split your population by company or country for the phases. The replication configuration allows you to specify which companies and countries to feed to legacy SAP. In addition, you can also configure the allowed countries as part of the SAP inbound logic to filter out countries that are not in scope. Any employee records that are in a non-live country/company will be dropped from the replication in this manner, however you still need a way to send the SAP data for those employees back to Employee Central. There are several ways to accomplish this, such as leveraging the standard SAP extraction templates or writing your own custom code to extract templates in CSV format for transfer via SFTP. Alternatively, you can leverage the web service integration delivered by SAP to transfer employee data. SAP is working on expanding the configuration capabilities of this interface to handle custom relationships and other data you may want to export by giving you the ability to write your own extract logic to map to an EC field. I have seen the demo of this and it will be a very powerful addition to the integration capabilities to get more real time data transfer. In either approach, you must filter the employees sent over by the inverse set of companies/countries as the live population to avoid any circular employee updates from the change pointers. Additionally, there is a more complex scenario addressing how to transfer employees from live to non-live or vice versa. I will cover this more in depth in another blog post.


In summary, you need to decide on your approach early as it affects the replication scope between Employee Central and SAP greatly. There are also impacts to your configuration and customization requirements to facilitate the selected approach. I referenced several critical mappings that you need to have ironed out early in your design process to avoid headaches later. These are the most common causes of replication related errors between the systems, so having a solid data model mapping up front will eliminate those issues later on. Finally, if you decide on a phased rollout, then you will need to break your population up by company or country in order to prevent employees from the non-live population from being sent. Hopefully this post has been informative and started the requirements gathering process for your organization. I will be posting a subsequent article on Side-by-Side integrations and some of the pitfalls to avoid in my next blog post. If you have questions or want to follow up with Hula Partners, please contact me at



Hula Partners is Exclusive Program Partner for LEAP HR Oil and Gas Conference


Hula Partners, LLC (Hula), makers of Kahuna, the first and only solution to directly address the competency management gap for all workforces, announces it is an Expertise Partner for the LEAP HR Oil and Gas Conference 2017 hosted by Hanson Wade on April 25 and 26. LEAP stands for Leadership, Engagement, Analytics, and Process and represents the “leaps” that HR leaders in the oil and gas industry must make to truly change and improve their companies from the inside out, especially today in this challenging business environment.


Hula, along with OneSubsea and the University of Houston, will present a discussion on why competencies are the key element in understanding your organization’s capabilities and how to measure those business and HR outcomes. All three organizations are committed to promoting awareness of this important strategy and will be sharing their thoughts on how to best incorporate these practices into your company’s business processes. Other speakers include senior management in human resources and talent management from companies such as Sasol, Weatherford, Parker Drilling, BHP Billiton, GE Oil & Gas, Diamond Offshore, and more.


“As the price of oil continues to climb and companies begin to hire once again, organizations are reevaluating their current people strategies around all aspects of talent management. Competencies are playing a large role in the development of new talent management programs as they are being used as the currency to connect the different aspects: recruiting, development, and retention. The LEAP HR Oil and Gas Conference is the perfect place to have these conversations with leading industry professionals about moving forward in this time as the war on talent continues to grow. “ says Tom White, Kahuna Product Manager, Hula Partners.


“Oil and gas companies in 2017 look a lot different to the way they looked in 2016 and in 2015” said Gareth Pearce, Managing Director, LEAP HR at Hanson Wade, the organizers of LEAP HR Oil & Gas. “As they adapt to a  lower for longer operating environment, they are actively looking to challenge traditional thinking about how to build a successful oil and gas business. Among other things, that means looking for partners who can help them make smarter people decisions and thrive in any operating environment. We’re thrilled to count Hula Partners among that select group.”


Hula Partners is excited to be among other exhibitors such as PwC, Arthur J Gallagher & Co, Right Management, and KellyOCG.


To register for this event, please visit



Hula Partners is a provider of HR software, strategic consultation, and SAP HCM & SuccessFactors implementation services. With customers worldwide, Hula prides itself on a rich history of creating custom solutions. Hula is the creator of the Kahuna application; the only solution on the market designed to assess competencies and track and manage performance and skill sets by the people that run day-to-day operations. Each of its consultants draw on 10 plus years experience in providing global transformation services to oil and gas, aerospace and defense, the National Football League, audio electronics, pharmaceutical, and other industries.


LEAP HR is a business which exists to create a movement of corporate heroes transforming their companies from the inside. LEAP HR forums provide industry-specific opportunities for ambitious HR leaders to surround themselves with those doing most to achieve people and culture change at the heart of their companies. If you are active in Oil & GasLife SciencesHealthcareTechnologyFinancial Services or Manufacturing, there is a ready made community just for you.

The missing “S” in SaaS: Support

Video conference meeting

Companies that sell software as a service (also known as SaaS providers) often try to make it seem as if moving to the cloud means everything will be magically taken care of for you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Cloud-based solutions—while providing many advantages—are evolving at a much faster rate than on-premise solutions ever did. It’s therefore vital to take steps to ensure that your staff doesn’t get left behind and your organization gets good return on your investment. 

1. Plan for and budget for support. There still need to be resources dedicated to ensuring cloud based applications function well. SaaS providers, of course, typically have support staff but none of these people will be familiar with the entire suite of services you’re using nor will they be as familiar with your business goals. The key is to leverage your SaaS providers’ economies of scale while dedicating enough resources on your side to ensure services are working as hard as they can for you.

2. Socialize your support. Your brand new shiny system doesn’t mean much if your employees don’t know how to use it. While old guard IT professionals tended to see themselves as unapproachable gatekeepers, today’s support experts understand their performance is measured on how well and how much the end users actually engage with a system. As a result, they not only tend to have better communication and political skills than their predecessors, they actually look at engagement as a function of how well systems are performing overall.

3. Consider working with a system service provider.  While traditional on-premise support tended to require a lot of staff (and expense) you presumably migrated to the cloud to eliminate some of this cost. Knowing you still need support, turning to a service provider may be the best way to get the most value for your cloud investment while still reducing your expenses. Often service providers can provide you access to an entire team with a broad range of skill sets for less than the cost of one internal full time employee. Service providers also make it a point to stay on top of technology and trends in a way that a more expensive internal hire may not.

4. Ensure your support mirrors qualities of the cloud itself. The people who provide your organization with support should be fast, flexible, and friendly and if it’s a service provider — that provider shouldn’t require a huge upfront expense in order to engage. Finally, much in the same way the cloud evolves more quickly than on-premise solutions, your support resources should see themselves as strategic partners who help ensure that your technology investment continues to add value as they customize it more deeply to your needs over time.

5. Take time for metrics and analytics. One of the biggest values to your business is turning data into information, so the best analysts tend to set aside at least 20% of their time simply to do this all-important research and report back. If your support resources are taking the time to close the loop on metrics and stay well versed in industry trends and best practices, your organization will get great strategic insights on an ongoing basis and have a much easier time staying competitive.

Optimize the Recruitment Process, Maximize Hiring Success



Posted by John Bestgen, Recruiting Practice Lead at Hula Partners


A fast, streamlined and consistent recruiting process is essential to any successful hiring program. If you’re unable to source talent, evaluate their skills and set up interviews quickly, the best candidates may be snatched up by the competition. And, if candidates are not kept engaged and informed throughout the process, it can impact your employer brand as well as your company’s ability to attract top talent. The best recruiting organizations, however, understand that you can learn a lot by measuring recruiting performance over long periods of time through analysis of key recruiting metrics. This is key to improving your overall recruitment strategy over time.

It is important to collect critical data required for analysis throughout the recruiting process and use this insight to continually fine-tune and optimize your company’s recruitment strategy. Doing so will enable you to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition, allowing your organization to be faster, more effective, and more efficient at recruiting top talent.

The challenge is knowing where to begin.

The best place to start is by beginning to measure the true ROI of each sourcing campaign. But rather than determining success or failure based on the number of candidates generated for each requisition, it is better to understand which sources send the highest quality candidates – that’s where you want to focus your recruiting efforts.

But how can you determine the true ROI of those sourcing channels?

Tracking each candidate from application to job offer or rejection, and calculating the ROI based on how far candidates from each source made it through the process, will help to determine the costs of your talent acquisition process and which sourcing methods are most effective. However, for a truly meaningful analysis, you must be able to track source results beyond the Recruiting life cycle and into the actual employee life cycle. Which sources provide the organization with high performing, long tenured employees. Which provide employees who leave the organization for specific reasons? Perhaps most importantly, which sources provide the organization with employees who are terminated for specific reasons (i.e. performance, policy breach, etc.) Often time, de-accentuating a source which brings troublesome employees to the organization can be just as effective, if not more so, that accentuating those which bring in high numbers of hires.

The next step is to implement a structured interview process, which will bring much-needed consistency. By ensuring candidates are asked the same questions, it will be easier to compare candidates’ skills and advance the most qualified individuals. As an additional benefit, a structured interview process will help you take a look internally at those conducting the interview and see who can use some coaching. Making sure everyone involved with interviews knows how to ask the right questions and assess candidates properly will bring you one step closer to recruiting optimization.

It is also important to continually seek ways to improve the candidate experience and ensure each candidate leaves the interview feeling excited about the company. Being late to the interview, asking questions they were already asked in the previous round or being otherwise unprepared will diminish that feeling. Instead, interviewers should prepare in advance for each meeting, and rather than trick questions or brainteasers, they should ask candidates to share their thoughts on actual company challenges to get their thoughts on real-world scenarios. Finally, it’s important not to leave candidates hanging – no one likes being rejected, but when handled professionally, in a timely manner and, if possible, explaining why they weren’t selected, will leave them with a positive impression and encourage them to apply again or refer their peers.

Overall, looking at the entire recruitment process – from sourcing to interviewing to making those final decisions – and seeing where certain things can be fixed will set you on the path toward recruitment optimization. By continually fine-tuning the process, you’ll end up with a faster, more efficient hiring process that leads to better people, higher revenues and a happier, more productive workforce.


Hula Partners is Awarded SAP Recognized Expertise in Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll

We are pleased to announce that Hula Partners has been awarded the designation of SAP Recognized Expertise in Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll.

Hula Partners has a proven track record of successful SuccessFactors implementations in all modules, in companies of all sizes and industries.  As a recognized expert and industry leader, we offer deeply knowledgeable and certified resources for your SuccessFactors landscape including; blueprint and design, implementation and remediation, and on-going support services.

For more information please reach out to us at or check us out on our website at


Hula Partners is a provider of HR software, strategic consultation, and SAP HCM & SuccessFactors implementation services. With customers worldwide, Hula prides itself on a rich history of creating custom solutions. Hula is the creator of the Kahuna application; the only solution on the market designed to assess competencies and track and manage performance and skill sets by the people that run day-to-day operations. Each of its consultants draw on 10 plus years experience in providing global transformation services to oil and gas, aerospace and defense, the National Football League, audio electronics, pharmaceutical, and other industries. 


Enlighten – Santa Monica

Why Enlighten?

Enlighten is an exclusive invitation to join a small group of experienced leaders in your local area.  Develop connections, discuss innovative ideas in Human Capital Management, generate conversation and share your unique perspective.  Be educated and intrigued by the latest strategy & technology to inspire meaningful change within your organization.


Enlighten may be coming to your city next!

Have an idea for an interesting topic or would you like to host an event? Email us at


Transitioning to a Competency First Organization

Motivation: While focusing on talent management consulting and technology we have noted a need for organizations to better assess capabilities and balance talent supply and demand.

Problem Statement: Talent shortages coupled with critical goals in reliability, safety and quality are motivating companies to adopt a more strategic view of employee development through Competency Management.


  • Define Competency Management and the relationship to Integrated Talent Management
  • Discuss Job Architecture as the foundation of a competency framework
  • Focus on the benefits of Competency Management throughout the employee life-cycle
  • Emphasize the performance results of organizations that utilize a competency framework
  • Share real-life examples through case studies
  • Offer tips & tricks for Competency Management implementation including advances in technology


For more information and an invite to the event, please email us at

HR Process Automation: The 6 Key Elements for Success

Written by: Troy Catlett, Senior Consultant at Hula Partners

Troy Catlett

Originally posted on 2/23/2016


Ever wonder why some HR departments are more efficient than others? I bet you think, “How do they get everything done so quickly and how do they get managers and employees to participate?” Chances are these HR departments are aided by efficient process automation self service solutions. Solutions that are actually used, instead of ignored leaving HR to do all the work, are often the difference in a high performing HR Service Delivery model. In this blog, we will share with you 6 key elements for achieving success with any process automation solution.


1. Optimizing the Integration of Position Management and Core HR Administration

Mana 3Position Management is a fundamental building block on an integrated human resource management system. Often, transactions are completed in multiple independent steps and integration between positions and employees is left to the subjectivity of end users. By enabling your process automation solution to seamlessly maintain this integration, you remove all of subjectivity from your position management use cases and ambiguity for managers and HR business partners. You allow technology to handle all of the business processes requirements, rules, and guidelines creating a sense of consistency and harmony. Essentially, it takes a great deal of the guess work out of all of those complex HR business processes and you are able to focus on what needs to be done rather than focusing on how to get it done.

2. An Intuitive Launch Point

In reality, managers do not interact with the HR business processes on a daily basis. Providing an intuitive launch point is essential for user experience and adoption. A “launchpad” must be easy to navigate and provide organizational structure visualization with information that is useful and easy to consume. Having an intuitive launchpad is a time saver for HR allowing managers to quickly determine possible actions and initiate the appropriate request. If users know where to go and what to do without additional support, you can drive your employees to take responsibility for all of their HR requests and activities. They will no longer dread common personnel change requests because the process is quick, easy and transparent.

3. Interactive Forms

Interactive forms guide your end users from one step to the next. Design your application to ask relevant questions based on the who the user is, the form selected, and the corresponding business scenario. Based on responses, limit the choices presented to the end user. Using smart dropdown fields, you can guarantee data accuracy and perform real time validation. The user will know immediately if they are on the right track as they progress through each step in the form without worrying about the requirements of the underlying application.

4. Use of Non-Technical Terminology

You shouldn’t expect all of your end users to be system or process experts. By using plain language and terminology that is easily understood, users avoid spending half of their time decoding crazy technical terms in a language that is seemingly foreign to them.

5. Process Transparency

Combining multiple complex processes into a single integrated process is vital to successful process automation. One of the biggest issues with these integrated processes is the lack of visibility Mana 2into the progress of individual requests. Despite automated workflow and notifications, these requests go into what many perceive as a “black hole” because there is no visibility to the status of a request or what step in the process a request currently sits. Not anymore!   By providing your end users and system administrators with the tools to track requests through all stages of the process, your process automation solution provides full workflow visibility and eliminates the dreaded “black hole”.

6. Modern Look and Feel That Works Across Devices

Mana 1User experience is the foundation for all of these elements of success. Without a positive user experience, nothing else works.   Expectations for HR applications are only increasing as end users are surrounded by intuitive applications in their daily lives. To engage your users, you must provide a user friendly modern web experience. In addition, your managers and HR professionals increasingly require access to business applications from any device at any time. This user experience is possible using HTML5 front end components that enable a modern look and feel and render across multiple devices.


All of these 6 elements work together to create the best solution for your users. They will be able to consume and understand the information, save time, and embrace their role in HR business processes.



Cameron, A Schlumberger Company implemented our Process Automation tool, Mana, in to their HRIS landscape in 2015. Winston Olleri, Senior Business Process Lead for Cameron, will be presenting their case study at HR2017 in Orlando, FL March 6-9. Be sure to check it out if you are going to be at the conference!




For more information on how Mana Process Automation can help your HR organization, please contact our team at or 844-GET-HULA.