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There’s No Place Like Rome: ServiceNow’s Latest and Greatest for HRSD

The ServiceNow platform grows more intelligent and robust with every new version, making it one of the most dynamic business solutions available today. A perfect illustration of this is the evolution of their HR suite which is being used by companies of all sizes to remove barriers between departments, create new efficiencies through workflows and automation, and make amazing employee experiences a reality.

As of mid-September, ServiceNow’s Rome release has finally moved to General Availability for new and existing customers. In this article, we’ll explore a few of the major changes to HR Service Delivery that are included with this latest version, as well as what you need to know before upgrading.

What’s new

Employee Center – HRSD Standard, Pro, and Enterprise

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In previous versions of ServiceNow, the Employee Service Center served as the one-stop portal for all things HR. In Rome, that portal is changed to Employee Center, and it serves to manage services for all employee needs; including HR, IT, legal, and any other service that your organization provides for your employees. This is all part of the ServiceNow mission to remove silos from departments, giving them a collaborative space to work together. In other words, instead of having a separate portal for each department’s services, you have one portal to cater to your employees’ needs.

While Employee Center is available on all license models, there are features that are only available to HRSD Pro and Enterprise customers. These upgraded features allow you to automate communications through targeted campaigns, provide more self-service options including AI powered Virtual Agents and chat capabilities, and additional analytics to track employee engagement on the portal.

Employee Journey Management – HRSD Enterprise only

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This package is the difference between good employee experience and a remarkable one. Employee Journey Management gives you the tools to be prepared for a variety of possible events that would require HR support for your team, such as setting up a hybrid remote workstation, transitioning job roles, preparing to safely return to the office, or other major life events. This enables your HR team to easily build workflows that connect the employee to processes and resources throughout that event and give them a single go-to location to navigate for what they need.

Employee Journey Management is made of various capabilities, such as:

  • Journey Accelerator: This feature allows HR to define templates that managers can customize to build a strategy for key employee moments such as onboarding or career development. This empowers managers to set individual trajectories for their team members, assign mentors, and monitor the progress of each employee's plan. This gives employees a better understanding of their current role, but also gives them insight into their career path options and how to accomplish them.
  • Listening Posts: Get feedback from your team instantly through automated pulse surveys. Collect data in a variety of methods, including Virtual Agent, Mobile push notifications, Microsoft Teams, or Slack. Manage the data collected with out-of-the-box reports and configure additional demographic data for more detailed insights.
  • Learning Posts: Not only can you associate training materials with specific roles but can also curate content from third-party sources using artificial intelligence. Employees can receive notifications of available training based on lifecycle events, as assigned tasks, or can access available training material via the Employee Center portal.

Integrations – HRSD Pro and Enterprise

Along will all new capabilities, HRSD for Rome comes with a number of integrations and enhancement to add value to the tools you already rely on every day.

  • MS Teams Integration Enhancement: Employees can use Microsoft Teams to submit requests, respond to tasks from notifications, and chat with virtual agents. This allows HR to link ServiceNow activity to Teams conversations and easily import Teams activity into ServiceNow.
  • Workday Advanced Integrations: For many customers, Workday serves as their system-of-record while ServiceNow manages how employees engage with that data. This integration makes it possible to access more employee facing information, such as payroll information, benefits, and event schedules using one easy portal.
  • Oracle HCM Cloud Integration: New to Rome, organizations that use Oracle HCM as their system-of-record, can now use an OOB integration with synchronize profile information between ServiceNow and Oracle making the tools work better together.
  • Ultimate Kronos Group: For customers that use Ultimate Kronos Group for workforce management, this enhanced integration further enables employees and managers to request and monitor time-off requests using the Now Mobile app. You can also use ServiceNow’s Virtual agent to access that information, including employee time-off calendars and schedule changes.

What’s Improved

Universal Request – HRSD Pro and Enterprise

This existing functionality allowed employees to initiate the request process if they’re unable to find the information they need on the portal. By simply selecting the Request Help option, they’re directed to a guided process to narrow down the support they need and filters that request to the appropriate fulfillment team. This means that if your employee has exhausted their self-service options, they can still quickly and easily access the services provided without resorting to email or calling the help desk.

In Rome, ServiceNow has added Microsoft Teams capabilities for this feature, allowing employees and HR to initiate and track Universal Requests directly from their Teams application. This also allows for advanced analytics around reporting and metrics to help manage service processes.

Employee Relations – HRSD Pro and Enterprise

Starting in Paris, ServiceNow introduced a plugin called Employee Relations that allowed the reporting and monitoring of employee misconduct and other potentially sensitive situations. This feature allows you to catalog the events, list involved parties, categorize the offense, log interviews, and record corrective actions with increased security. With the Rome release, HR can also capture data and artifacts as evidence in the investigation case and create a case timeline for easier visualization. Additionally, ServiceNow has included Accommodation Request to allow employs to ask for adjustments to their duties, schedules, or work environment based on disability-related, religious, or other personal or private considerations.

What’s Missing

ServiceNow’s mobile onboarding application – HRSD Enterprise

Don’t worry, you can still offer mobile onboarding to your employees.

In previous versions of ServiceNow, employees were required to download a specific app for the onboarding process. The ServiceNow Onboarding app was a convenient way to help employees identify to-dos, request access and equipment, and streamline the first day minutiae. However, the app is also designed to outlive its usefulness as soon as the onboarding process is completed. With Rome, all of that functionality is available using the Now Mobile app; the same app used for all ServiceNow related needs.

What does this mean?

ServiceNow’s Onboarding app will continue to be available, but ServiceNow will no longer be offering fixes or enhancements. If you’re already using Now Mobile, the process of shifting to a single app should be relatively painless with minor configuration required. However, if you’re standing up Now Mobile for the first time, expect a similar level of effort as your Mobile Onboarding implementation.

Taking the Next Step

If you’re looking to upgrade to Rome for HRSD, or if you have questions about implementing ServiceNow’s HRSD for the first time, let Thirdera’s HR experts help you create a strategy for staying connected with your employees. We specialize in helping HR teams build effective ServiceNow workflows and automations that fit the way you do HR, as well as deliver employee focused solutions for improved user experience and adoption. We also guide our customers through developing an HR roadmap and building a long-term strategy for ServiceNow maturity.
Want to learn more? Click here to contact us to kick off an introduction with our team, and we’ll provide additional information on how we’ve helped similar customers, and what we can do to help your organization reach your HR goals with ServiceNow.

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Sabrina Ethridge

Sabrina is a Principal Consultant at Thirdera. She has 20+ years of experience working with Service Management tools and processes. Sabrina configured and customized applications in ServiceNow for the past 12 years with a focus on IT Service Management and HR Service Delivery. Sabrina is a member of the Employee Experience Practice at Thirdera.