Clarity Service Management


By Michael Lentini posted 01-06-2020 02:40 PM


Welcome to this discussion of ITSM in Non-IT use – today’s focal point is ‘Human Resources’. Earlier, we have discussed how service management can expand into enterprise management in general (you can read it here), and listen to the recording of our ITSM – The View Beyond IT webcast for more details. The last session “A Zoom into Facilities Management” is where we started on specific topics (and the webcast recording is here). Thanks to your responses and feedback.  Today we talk about how ITSM can help Human Resources (HR) establish their goals in a very effective way.

HR Challenges and Goals

The HR Department typically has stringent processes and procedures when it comes to daily activities, be it complex processes like employee on-boarding/off-boarding consisting of several sub-processes or simple HR requests. These have their own challenges and their goals to meet.

Today, any organization must be agile to maintain a healthy growth, nurture an innovative spirit and a competitive corporate culture within the organization. So, sustainability is one of the biggest challenges. With globalization on the rise in this competitive market, there is a race to adopt modern technology, efficient practices and implement innovative techniques to stay ahead of the game. The essence here is change but the natural tendency is resistance to change which becomes an uphill task for the HR team to motivate employees to maintain highest productivity. On top of that you are faced with aging workforce, employee engagement, support to leadership team and many more.

These challenges drive the main goals set by the HR team. Finding common solutions is not easy. So, HR uses both tactical approach and strategic goals to combat them. This requires implementation of new practices and procedures, constant review and flexibility to change, thereby supporting the business transformation and its outcomes without discounting employee satisfaction. Not an easy task.

Can we alleviate some of these challenges? Yes, of course – this is where ITSM comes in handy. Here ITSM takes the expanded role of Enterprise Service Management (or ESM).

Where is HR with respect to the industry when it comes to ESM adoption?

Traditionally, HR Information Systems has played an important role in the strategic planning and operations. Today, you must reach beyond the HRIS domain and embrace new technologies and practices to meet the demands. Most HR organizations have realized this truth. In fact, HR has been one of the areas where customers have already started expanding ITSM use. The adoption of service management within the HR organization boomed mostly during the last five years. Industry statistics show an increase in adoption from 38% of the organizations to around 52% lately. This clearly shows that the HR organization is realizing the values and the benefits out of the ITSM adoption initiatives - a very good reason to consider using ITSM capabilities in the HR scenario. Many organizations have even started with analytics using quantitative metrics to measure cost savings, employee satisfaction, performance, etc. to drive continuous improvements.  

The Starting Point – HR Service Desk

As a starting point, expand your ITSM solution already deployed in the organization. You will possibly save on investments due to existing infrastructure and software - a nice incentive to the start with. The best way here is to team up with your IT organization and identify both the tactical and strategic items to deal with. Next, get to the nuts and bolts. Capture and address typical issues to start with – the low hanging fruits. These may be manual ticket records, lack of centralized knowledge base and proactive communications, process automation are just some of them. Here are a few important things you may want to consider in your approach.

Things to Consider 

Some of the common HR processes to consider are – Employee Self-Service, On-Boarding/Off-Boarding, payroll issues, benefits issues, employee transfers, mergers and acquisition handling, recruitment process, labor relations and issues, temporary workforce management, regular and managed surveys, grievance tracking – to name a few. There are other aspects to consider, also.

  • Information Input Channels – ITSM Web interface, phone, email, in-person, etc.
  • Security Considerations – access restrictions based on data sensitivity
  • Service Levels – mean time to resolve any issue, and response metrics
  • Automation – with respect to approvals, process flows, notification, announcements
  • Integrations – data exchange between other systems like HRIS, Email, IVR/CTI
  • Reporting – Dashboards, Status reports, Performance Reports, Organization Analytics, etc.

Implementation Model

Adopting a model plays a key role, and fundamentally depends on which maturity level you would like to start with; most typical models have a three-layer approach:

Self-Service. The first comes the Self-Service. This requires a strong knowledge base and self-help capabilities. Today’s technologies provide auto suggestions, virtual agents, relevant document search features, to assist here. HR service requests are also configured at this layer so that employees can submit their requests on their own. In general, about 60% of the cases may be resolved at this layer.

HR L1 Support. Next is the HR L1-Support layer. Any issue that remains unresolved in the self-service layer would escalate to this layer in the form of HR trouble ticket. This is addressed by the HR first level support. Around 30% of the cases typically get resolved here.

Complex/Complicated Issues. The rest of it are in most cases sensitive or complicated and require expert help. These may sometimes go up to the HR managers. Now many organizations go with external HR Business Partners. In such a case, the Layer-2 may be managed by such resources. This is completely up to the organization and its policies on how to distribute the model.


As you have realized by now, use of ITSM can provide immense benefits for HR: Improved employee experience, organization enablement, better utilization of the talented HR resource, quick adoption to change, consistency and accuracy in support of employee queries and support to the leadership team for organization growth.

What’s Next?

In our next article, we will venture into another area where service management can help. As before, relate more use cases you would like to explore and share your experiences, comments and valuable feedback. What’s your story of how extending ITSM has helped in the HR management scenario in your organization?

About the Author

Indrajit Banerjee brings more than thirty years of IT expertise to his role as a Senior Services Architect for Enterprise Studio by HCL Technologies, the preferred services partner for Broadcom enterprise software. He has focused on ITSM for most of his 20 years working with Broadcom and former-CA Technologies software solutions. Indrajit’s passion is working directly with people to listen and understand their problems and challenges, and providing solutions that bring not just results – but smiles of satisfaction from the teams he works with.