In my travels as a consultant, one of the cool features of SAP I’ve found (but also one of its biggest potential pain points) is vacancy processing. A vacancy is stored on a position in Organizational Management and indicates whether or not the position is open or filled. This gives HR administrators visibility into the organizational structure to know if they have positions that are open and perhaps need to be posted through their recruitment process.
THE VACANCY REPORTING DILEMMA
The difficulty some people find with vacancies is that it they are not programmatic. The user is required – when hiring, transferring or terminating an employee in or out of a position – to mark the position as vacant or open. This leaves some users to wonder that if no one is in the position, then why doesn’t SAP just mark it as open? The business reason behind that is in SAP you can have multiple people in a position at one time. This allows for ease of maintenance because, for example, if you have 3 HR analysts in the department and they all have the same payscale, it might make sense to some organizations to just have just one position instead of three. The debate over whether or not to allow multiple holders of a position, however, is one better suited for a different forum than this blog.
In practice I’ve found that most companies do not use a ‘many-to-one’ position relationship. They have a one-to-one position relationship, meaning only one employee holds a position at a time. This requires the HR staff performing the hiring, transfers and terminations to accurately record if the position is vacant or not. It is also affected by the human factor of maintaining the data. Users (myself included) sometimes press the wrong button and vacancies get out of sync. If you forgot to mark the position as vacant when you terminated the employee, the position may indicate that it is filled even though there is no one in it.
To monitor this, users can create an audit of this data, but it’s not easy. To do this with standard SAP functionality, you could pull one report that shows all the positions and their vacancy status and also pull a report of all people currently occupying positions. If you wanted the descriptions of the positions and the status, that adds a few more steps to the process. Once you merged the output from each of those lists together, you can tell if a vacant position is in fact vacant or if a filled position does in fact have an employee in it. I use to have to build this report a lot, and each time I did it I would have to download multiple reports, merge the output in Excel and map out which vacancies were correct or not.
SAVING TIME AND IMPROVING DATA ACCURACY
With Easy Reporter, however, I no longer have to go through that process. I can build the report once and run it as often as I like without having to go outside of SAP to validate the records. Easy Reporter not only has access the Organizational Management objects such as the position, but it also has access to the infotypes assigned to those objects, such as vacancy, as well as the relationships. In one report, I can pull in all the positions, their vacancy status and whether or not an employee is currently in the position. With these pieces of data I can map out whether a vacancy has been marked correctly on a position by looking at the vacancy status to see if someone is currently holding the position.
The report in the screenshot above was created using Easy Reporter. In it, you can see that if a position is marked as filled but actually has no one occupying it, the validity of the vacancy is shown to be invalid in the righthand column. If the position is marked as filled and someone is in it, it is shown to be valid. Finally, if the position has someone in it but is currently marked as open, it is classified as invalid. This report, of course, was created with the assumption that you are using a one person per position OM setup.
The ROI on this report is fairly easy to see. If you run it each month as I did in my previous job, you can save at least 30 minutes each time you run it. 30 minutes times 12 months is 6 hours per year. If just one vacancy report can save that much time, think about how much time you can save with Easy Reporter across the rest of your organization’s SAP HR and Payroll reporting and how easily you can improve the quality of your data. Happy Reporting!