Recruiting, compensation, and your SAP systems: An interview with Jeremy Masters

by Kristine Erickson

November 5, 2010

A speaker at many SAPinsider events and author of numerous HR books, including E-Recruiting with SAP ERP HCM and Enterprise Compensation Management with SAP ERP HCM, Jeremy Masters recently took time to speak with Amy Thistle of SAPinsider’s HR 2010 conference ahead of the 9-12 November event in Barcelona

p align="center" style="text-align: left;">He shared his insights into some of the key functionality of SAP’s HR solution that often gets overlooked, overcoming the challenges of compensation, and preparing for SAP ERP HCM implementations. 
p align="center" style="text-align: left;">Listen to the complete podcast, or read the excerpted interview here:

Amy Thistle:  This is Amy Thistle with SAPinsider, and producer of the HR 2010 conference, bringing you a special podcast on recruiting, compensation, and your SAP systems. I'm speaking today with Jeremy Masters, an expert on SAP Human Capital Management, and co‑founder and managing editor of Worklogix, which provides SAP HR professional services and software solutions.

Jeremy is also the author of a number of books, including "E-recruiting with SAP ERP HCM" and "Enterprise Compensation Management with SAP ERP HCM," as well as a featured speaker at our upcoming HR 2010 conference in Barcelona.

Hi Jeremy, it's great to speak with you today. How are you?

Jeremy Masters:  I'm great, thanks Amy.

Amy:  Well to get started, perhaps you could tell us about yourself and your experiences with HR and SAP systems.

Jeremy:  Sure thing. I've worked in the SAP HCM space for over 12 years, and have focused on much of the talent management functionalities, including Compensation Management, Performance Management, E‑recruiting and Succession Planning.

I also have a lot of experience with Employee/Manager Self-Services and the SAP portal. I actually started back when SAP didn't have a self-service offering. We built our own ESS and MSS capabilities. But nowadays, this is pretty much unheard of. Most HR and IT teams are implementing SAP's latest and greatest self-service offerings, since there's so much available.

Amy:  Let’s look at the first topic of one of your most recent books with Christos Kotsakis, "Enterprise Compensation Management." Right now, what of the biggest concerns you're seeing in the market is around Enterprise Compensation Management -- especially at a time when compensation is under greater scrutiny, and compensation strategies are increasingly complex?

Jeremy:  I've learned the most important challenge for companies continues to be how to effectively and fairly pay for performance. You would be surprised at how many global Fortune 100 customers still struggle with this basic principle.

Now to be fair, linking pay with performance is easier said than done. For example, for diverse global companies, equating goals and objectives across varying geographic markets and economies is complex and very much a noble task.

I’m not sure if this compensation nirvana will ever be truly achieved at any company, but many SAP customers are seeing opportunities to get there.

Amy:  When companies choose SAP's Enterprise Compensation Management module to manage their personnel budget, is there any benefit or feature of SAP ECM software that typically is overlooked?

Jeremy:  Not within the ECM module itself, but there is another module that integrates with ECM, called Personnel Cost Planning. Personnel Cost Planning has been around for many years, but few customers leverage it or even know it exists. Within this module you can create budgets bottom-up, based on selected employee-level key components such as salary, bonus and other compensation elements. You can then use this data, collected from this module, for your personnel budget in ECM.

Amy:  For companies not yet using Compensation Management, what are some of the most important things you'll address in your session in Barcelona that they need to know before getting started, from a business and a technical standpoint?

Jeremy:  Well, one of my biggest mantras is "Master data is king." Be prepared to uncover many data issues that you may have been previously unaware of. The customers are always surprised to discover how dirty their master data is in production when implementing ECM. In Barcelona, I will discuss a few of the more common data elements that typically need cleansing, including employee grade, their base pay, working time percentage, key dates such as hire date and rehire date, as well as an employee's chief manager and HR generalist assignments. Of course, all of these components can have huge impact on compensation calculations, so it's critical to have this data cleansed before you go live with the compensation module.

Amy:  Before we can get to compensation, of course there is the hiring process. Do you have any advice on how technology can help HR in their recruiting efforts?

Jeremy:  Absolutely. The great thing about SAP is its capability to offer every aspect of the hire-to-retire philosophy. From a hiring perspective, compensation offers a critical piece to attract and then retain skilled individuals in the workplace. Becoming an employer of choice includes ensuring that the compensation processes are not only fair, but also making understood that rewards are given based on the delivery of individual team and company goals achieved.

I cover all of these topics and more in my book, and as well in Barcelona.

Amy:  Great. As a longstanding speaker at our events, do you have any recommendations for customers who are considering attending the HR 2010 conference?

Jeremy:  Come and network with other customers facing similar problems you may be having. You definitely will be amazed how many customers have faced -- or are facing, currently -- similar challenges to you own. Learn what they've done  or are doing to address them.

Amy:  Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. We look forward to seeing you at HR 2010 in Barcelona.

Jeremy:  Thanks, Amy. See you then.


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