HR employee support services – help yourself

Sometimes, it’s good to make the most of the opportunity that a new challenge gives you.

For instance, a client of ours – a major multinational engineering company – was recently introducing a new site in Manila in the Philippines, at which several key internal services would be centralized. The organization decided it would be a good idea at the same time to establish a new, standardized target operating model for its HR function worldwide. This model needed to be developed at pace, because it had to be in place to support a pre-set go-live date for the Workday platform.

Changing the culture

The new model envisaged by the company ran counter to its own internal culture at the time. Employees were accustomed to making direct, person-to-person contact with members of the HR team to resolve their queries. It was an approach that was neither as efficient nor as scalable as it might be, and so the new platform our client sought needed not only to address these shortcomings, but also to be designed in such a way as to encourage staff members to change their own behavior and expectations.

ESOAR in action

The task lent itself very well to Capgemini’s enterprise models, and in particular to our ESOAR approach. For example:

  • We standardized and optimized the service loads across our client’s entire global operations
  • We also standardized and optimized the FAQs, building global and local libraries of responses, and eliminating redundant or repeated questions and answers
  • We defined and standardized the employee experience we wanted to deliver across various specialist groups, including a fast-track concierge group for employees at different levels who meet certain criteria.

In addition, we automated a shift in channel strategy. The direct-contact approach was replaced by a tiered model:

  • Level 1 is portal-based, enabling employees to self-serve, with FAQs and a search facility. This resolves most queries
  • Level 2 gives the option of live webchats with members of the help desk team
  • Level 3 is for those exceptions that can’t be resolved by the first two levels, and consists of direct emails and calls.

Right now, we and our client feel that the first four elements of ESOAR, up to and including automation, are more than sufficient to meet evolving needs, although we can also envisage future applications for robotized processes – chatbots, for example.


  • Redundant or repeated questions and answers within FAQs

  • Service loads, FAQs, and the entire employee experience

  • Service loads and FAQs

  • A three-level automation model, featuring a self-service employee portal, webchats with members of the help desk team, and direct emails and calls to resolve exceptions

  • Future potential for chatbots

The learning journey

What has emerged from our work is a unified HR helpdesk, staffed entirely by Capgemini, serving our client’s employees around the clock in 8–11 languages. The technology platform on which it is based is ServiceNow, and we contributed to its design. It’s able to answer all their questions, and to do so seamlessly, by which I mean the service feels to users as though it were being provided internally. Access to the service has now been rolled out in over 60 countries, and more will be coming on stream in the near future. So, too, will new services, including facilities to onboard new team members.

It’s often the case that the focus of success stories – and this project has indeed been successful – is on increased efficiency and control. While that’s to some extent true in this instance, with reducing numbers of calls and emails, what’s more interesting and important is that much of the value is being derived in terms of enhanced experience. An organization that has been fairly traditional in its internal communications has learned to be much more interactive. It’s engaging enthusiastically with new approaches, and people seem to be getting a buzz out of being able to take more ownership of the resolution of their own issues and queries.

And Capgemini? We’ve been learning too. We’re learning we can be comfortable with our transformation models, that they’re fit for purpose, and that we can spend time focusing, as we have done here, on their applicability in individual instances.

You might say we’ve designed and built the car, and that the main thing our client needed to do was to help us familiarize ourselves with the streets of their home town. By working together in this way, we’ve been able to take them where they need to go on their evolving HR journey.

The outcomes

From contract signing to live multinational rollout of a new HR helpdesk platform in just five months.

Anjali Pendlebury-Green is an expert in the field of HR outsourcing and transformation, specializing in delivering HR solutions that leverage global outsourcing platforms, leading edge technology, stack offers, and process standardization. Anjali has led award-winning HRO teams for large multinational companies with a special focus on the manufacturing sector.