Emory Report

June 8, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 33

Recruitment and applicant tracking phase of PeopleSoft HR/Payroll system goes online early

Current job applicants will be putting the University's new human resources management system to the test in upcoming months. The first phase of the ongoing LEO project (Linking Emory Online) using the PeopleSoft system began April 28-one week earlier than originally scheduled. The recruitment and applicant tracking system is being used at the hospitals and the University to keep tabs on the approximately 500 individuals who apply to Emory every day. Eventually, Emory Clinic also will join the fold.

Records of Emory job seekers had been kept on a separate mainframe system from employee data, explained Del King, director of employment. When applicants were given jobs, the task then fell to another set of Human Resources employees to re-input information on the new employee. "Now, once we hire much of that initial data will already be set up," King said. "However, the new system doesn't affect the process of tracking applicants or dealing with departments. Because of that, the transition actually has appeared seamless to the Emory community."

Mostly it makes the job easier for HR employees, said Katherine Foster, communications and training coordinator for the project. "PeopleSoft is a relational database allowing people to operate in 'real time,'" she explained. "With mainframes you enter data, wait for it to feed overnight and see results the next morning. As soon as PeopleSoft changes are saved, another person can see them."

The LEO project has lots of behind-the-scenes workers, most of them temporarily housed at University Apartments. Their tasks will continue long after Emory Clinic goes live in January 2000. Their work will help to consolidate the many different types of systems used to maintain departmental employee records. "The majority of these 'legacy' systems are going away and we'll all be using the same information, depending on security," Foster said. The departmental "HR managers" who use these systems will be trained on the new system closer to the implementation date.

The more user-friendly system will also be easier to maintain and adapt as needed. Mainframes require computer programmers to make changes or create new data fields, and that usually meant a request to ITD and a wait behind other Emory customers. The PeopleSoft system allows users to "do things as they need to," said Foster. "You don't need to wait for someone else to do them or go through a long process."

Phase 2 of the project, which will "go live" Oct. 1, will include the remainder of the HR modules-benefits, payroll and other employee data-for Emory hospitals and phase 3, which will go online Jan. 1, 1999, will incorporate University employees. The clinic switches to the system a year later.

The LEO project will not end after all entities are up and running on PeopleSoft. "This system lives and evolves over time," Foster said. The project team will continue working on upgrades to future releases and exploring a time and attendance system, among other tasks.

-Stacey Jones

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