May HRIS briefing

I attended another briefing on the HR Information Systems project today.

Alison Cross introduced the session as project sponsor.  There is also much  information available on the HRIS website and the slides are now available.


Programme plan, e-recruitment, Personnel, Questions.

Project not just about open door but also revising and streamlining HR and administration processes.

HR toolkit is about personnel administration.

HR Planning and Control looks at organisation structure and make sure structure is appropriate for HESA reporting, Working with PWC internal audit.

HR information should enhance diversity monitoring and enable much better reporting for departmental HE staff.

The Vacancies website has been revamped – maximise this to reduce advertising costs.I am still concerned about the lack of clarity on IT jobs though – it’s not clear if they are in the Support and Technical or Professional and Managerial section.  I did raise this as a question.

Equal Opps (EO)  monitoring is now working better too.


Alison then handed over to Anne Harkness.

E-recruitment user road shows have been held. Help for users includes bespoke info packs, online FAQ, sessions about creating effective adverts and JDs, online data protection training.

E-recruitment rollout is about to start and the personnel module in the HR toolkit is about to be piloted.  Rollout will happen in four waves (March, April, May, June 2011) aim to complete in July 2011. Just for academic-related support staff at this stage. 322 vacancies and 5281 applications processed already.

E-recruitment aims to improve applicant experience and make process more efficient. Job information should be better and better information about working at Oxford is available to applicants.

People must do short online Data protection course (including short test); creating effective adverts and JDs course (including new JD template); Online training called UPK (user productivity kit) from Oracle.

E-recruitment has shown the huge variety of user desktops that are in operation. In situ testing is now conducted but it’s not possible to replicate every user configuration. Core is building changes to avoid these issues wherever possible.

89% of applicants so far say it’s easy or very easy to apply online.  Much more advertising is online.  Mar 2010 was 5% online, Mar 2011 shows 33% online.  Applicants entering EO information has significantly improved quantity and quality of data.

e-recruitment is just for support and academic-related staff so far but plan to include senior and academic appointments in summer 2011.  Recruitment panel self-service will be added so panel members can view applications online.  There are some software updates in the pipeline in improve management of references, correspondence and address validation.


Aim to have a secure, shared, HR information source giving one source of the truth.  Systems will be robust and processes will be consistent to ensure compliance with various regulations.  This should reduce paper-based slowness and encourage best practice.  Staged implementation May-November 2011.

Personnel pilot aims to prove that Core can support the key HR processes at Oxford.  It will highlight the implications of process change and user roles and should identify and correct issues in time for full rollout.

Scope of pilot will be New starter (inc Transfer); Personal detialsl regrading; change in FTE/hours/funding; secondment; pay-affecting absence; leaver processes; organisational strucutre maintenance; user access and security; basic reporting; HESA module.  Out of scope will be casual staff, non-employee records and TUPE in staff.

The pilot will finally report to the HRIS project board to inform a decision on wider rollout.  Pilot will also help to improve guidance that is made available to new users.

Future additions to Personnel will include Absence Management; Staff self-service and further reporting.

When Core Payroll and Personnel are both live there will be a change for the management of casual and PAC staff.

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2 Responses to “May HRIS briefing”

  1. Brian Wright says:

    There is now so much information on the website that I cannot find when this support contract with Oracle expires – although at least this project has reached the department before that has happened. The system runs for us in a virtual machine due to the limitations of the software (no 64bit Win 7, no Office 2010 and no Chrome support – all our standard desktop), but at least it *does* run this way!

    I am not sure about the purpose of the project though. What is helped by doing this, and at what cost? We already receive more applications than can be easily processed for each post. Does putting them online make this easier? Well since even now all email applications are printed out I would doubt it. Does it get a different kind of candidate? Well possibly for IT jobs, but for a minibus driver? Does it help with compliance? Well it certainly helps monitor compliance, but as the NHS does show centralization of services, and lack of trust to smaller constituent parts just adds delay, cost and bureaucracy that could be much more easily accomplished in other ways (an analogy for Tony – would it be better for the central party to vet your choosing of local candidates for election by only allowing applications through them).

    Has the cost of this new setup been compared to the cost of outsourcing? There are so many recruitment companies out there now are we right in doing this in house? Maybe but where is the audit trail for this? What are the failure criteria for the project? Indeed I would champion a full external and independent audit of *all* central services provided within the University to ensure that each provides a good value for money compared to commercially available alternatives. An exercise that should be repeated every 5 years or so. I may be employed here, but I am also a tax payer…

  2. Brian Wright says:

    Further to my first comment – yes I am aware there is a ‘Value for Money’ committee under PRAC. But since there are no minutes, the link to the web page gives a 404 File not found error (this link in case you were wondering ), and since it isn’t obvious that it is made up of professional auditors, instead of, for instance, a Professor of Epidemiology, and a Dr of Syrian archeology or even a former Major in the armed services, I will judge by the make up of the other committees.

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