Company-i Oracle

In
the second of a continuing series looking at how HR teams deploy technology to
improve efficiency, we profile Oracle

Oracle
is the biggest vendor of e-business software in the world with 65 per cent of Fortune
magazine’s top 100 companies using its technology. In 2000 it announced that it
would become a true

e-business
and put every aspect of its own business on the Internet. In doing so, it has
saved $1bn. Its HR management system, which features comprehensive self-service
tools and one of the most advanced online flexible benefits systems in the
world, is at the heart of its own HR operation in the UK. The

HR
vice-president for the UK and Ireland, Vance Kearney, leads a team of more than
30 people who use technology in their daily lives to streamline every aspect of
the human resources function. Here, seven members of the team talk about their
roles.

Richard
Lowther
Human resources director,  UK and
South Africa

Role:
Our job is to ensure Oracle is equipped with the human capital to enable the
company to become more competitive, to operate as efficiently as possible and
to successfully execute its business strategies.

Use
of technology HR’s use of the intranet is essential to provide our 4,000-plus
employees with the tools they need every day in order to be productive. By
using Oracle’s own technologies and applications, we are automating routine
tasks through the introduction of our self-service HR systems, and speeding up
processes in all aspects of our work. Last month we enabled our UK workforce to
elect their flexible benefits system for this year in only two weeks using our
Oracle Advanced Benefits System.

Graham
Hutchings
HR manager

Role:
I am generalist HR manager with a focus on UK compensation and benefits across
the UK.

Use
of technology Compensation and benefits is a primary focus of my role so
up-to-date HR data and effective use of technology is a must. Self-service
tools are one of the essential components, especially with constant change
being a fact of life. Technology has enabled my team to manage flexible benefit
re-elections and the annual review processes within a matter of weeks. And not
only does the system provide managers and employees with the means to view and
manage live data, but it also reduces the interruptions on the HR team’s time,
allowing us to focus on how we can add value to the business. We are also able
to focus on analysis and prompt feedback to manager recommendations.

Dawn-Marie
Clark
Senior recruiter

Role:
I am responsible for the sourcing and assessment management of candidates
across the senior consulting area in Oracle, including all recruitment and
advertising activity in this area.

Use
of technology Our worldwide external website allows us to advertise vacancies
in minutes, gives 24/7 access for candidates and provides a global reach.
Handling applications in electronic format means applicants’ personal details
are recorded automatically and they can update their own personal details once
they have joined the staff – all this reduces menial administration and frees
us to do the hiring. Use of technology also reduces lead times for filling
vacancies: following a successful search of the database, we forward CVs to
managers by internal e-mail, view their interview diaries online and, if
necessary, contact candidates by e-mail. We all have laptops, which allow us to
work away from our office with our line managers.

Val
Siddiqui
Compensation and benefits director, Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Role:
My job is to put in place a compensation strategy to enable the company to
sustain competitive advantage and attract, retain and motivate its diverse
current and future workforce.

Use
of technology I use a mixture of intranet, web-based, proprietary and
third-party technology in my daily work: internal Internet-based systems and
workflow for approval of team expenses; the intranet for obtaining information
for use by the compensation and benefits team, as well as for sharing
information on pay and benefits policy with line management (we have a
confidential website for the team where compensation and benefits policy
information is posted and accessible by managers only); and the Internet for
information on pay, benefits and employment market conditions in different
countries. We also have an HR database for obtaining management information on
attrition, pay and benefit levels and costs in various countries.

Chris
Wilson
UK compensation and benefits manager

Role:
As well as ensuring that we are competitive in our marketplace for new recruits
and for retaining people, our role is also to ensure reward and recognition
remain the embodiment of our culture.

Use
of technology Oracle’s flexible benefits system gives us one of the most
personally tailored and comprehensive in the UK and it reinforces employee
ownership of their personal data, their package and their careers. A wide range
of employee information is available to them at any time. It is our goal to
remove all data entry from the HR function, as this adds little value, and
concentrate on managing the issues that will have an impact on the business. We
want to focus more on management of exceptions rather than management of
process, and support the business decision-making process through quality
information and analysis.

Julia
Pearson
Senior management and professional development consultant, HR

Role:
I specialise in the analysis, design and delivery of professional non-technical
skills, development programmes and consultancy.

Use
of technology Not only does technology allow us to share information with
colleagues across regions, but it also provides a communication vehicle to
promote training and development activities within different countries. Our
employees can search for courses, view synopses and book themselves on to
events via the intranet. E-learning is also becoming an integral part of
development at Oracle to enable us to respond to the needs of larger numbers of
people more quickly and effectively. The Internet provides a delivery mechanism
that is relatively inexpensive, readily available to all our employees, and is
aligned with our corporate direction of becoming an e-business.

Jo
Wilson
HR systems manager

Role:
IT is the backbone of the HR model at Oracle UK and my role is to look at how
we can extract maximum advantage from all of our HR IT systems.

Use
of technology I am involved in the development of internal and external
recruitment sites, enabling Oracle to automatically match prospective
candidates with vacancy details when the career goals and roles correspond. As
part of a global organisation, it is essential to maintain standard approaches
and processes across the world. We are working to ensure that the HR business
can move towards a single HR system for the whole of the global business, which
will reduce the cost of system maintenance and will take us one step further
towards being a truly global business.

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