CGI provides HR desktops with smart services

The major municipalities of the Capital area of Finland are among the largest employers of the country. Consequently, they need efficient and multifunctional HR solutions to meet the needs and service levels of the modern public sector. In the City of Helsinki and the nearby City of Vantaa, new HR solutions are being created in a user-friendly and service-driven way. This involves CGI, the long-serving IT partner of both cities.

The challenge

Since the 1970s, the Cities of Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo – the three largest cities of the Capital area of Finland – have been sharing a customized payroll system. Over the years this system has been continuously enhanced.

In order to meet tough productivity and cost saving targets, the Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa decided to reduce the use of paper and re-design hierarchical and overlapping processes. The cities wanted user-friendly solutions that would meet these requirements and make the everyday life easier in each level of the organization. Electronic HR tools were to be introduced to reduce routine work.

Our solution

Manager, Employee and HR Expert were identified as key user roles for HR self-services. The laborious and high-volume processes of annual holidays, absence management and recruiting were selected as key HR areas to be re-designed. The consistent, role-specific HR desktops with electronic self-services were created based on the process development goals and requirements definition. Each user group was provided with more efficient access to data in different HR systems.

Once registered, the users have access to the HR desktop services by single-sign-on. Using the web-based services, they can log in from any computer, regardless of time and place. For instance, employees of a day care center use a private user-ID and password to access their personal data from a shared computer.

Role-based rights and responsibilities ensure that overlapping work is avoided. A streamlined and obvious operations model allows HR experts to devote their time to expertise demanding tasks and real customer service.

The Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa have long-term experience with HR development in cooperation. Therefore it was natural to set up a joint project for developing new electronic HR self-services and utilization of best practices.

A success story

The joint project for developing electronic HR services commenced in 2007 with the definition of the HR desktop. Electronic services for annual holidays and absence management were piloted in 2008. Since then the cities have continued developing electronic HR services. Also the number of users involved has expanded continually.

In 2011, the electronic HR self-services were used in a large extent in the City of Vantaa. The City of Helsinki has expanded the use gradually. By the spring of 2011, electronic HR services were being used by most departments of the city. New role-specific electronic HR services are being developed further. The HR service development plans drafted at the definition phase of the project will serve as a guideline and a basis for the joint development in the future.

Employers are happy with the new HR services’ ease of use and the guidance provided. Users can access the role-specific information and services regardless of which HR system is providing them. As a result, daily activities have become more flexible, while the quality and transparency of processes have improved.

The Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa have managed to improve staff productivity and achieved their cost-saving targets. The cost of the HR solution is based on usage volume. The joint nature of the development project, per se, gained financial benefits for both cities.

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