Timo Scholten

Synergy in HR management: the interplay of SAP Fieldglass and SAP SuccessFactors

Recognizable? You hire an external employee to handle the large amount of work, but the integration between the external employee and the internal staff sometimes entails major challenges, both organizationally and technically. How do you, as an organization, ensure that you properly integrate your permanent workforce with a flexible workforce?

In the Netherlands we are still faced with a shortage on the labor market In the third quarter of 2023, there were still 114 vacancies open for 100 unemployed people. Finding and retaining the best talent remains difficult for organizations, which is why companies continue to turn to external workers. This trend, also called Total Workforce Management, focuses on a core of permanent employees supplemented by external hiring.

Collaborating? But how?!

A Total Workforce Management strategy is essential to properly align the interests of the Purchasing and HR departments. A successful Total Workforce Management strategy focuses on the integration between Human Experience Management (HXM) and Vendor Management System (VMS). In many organizations, Purchasing and HR often still work in loose, separate systems. This can lead to duplicate entries or even data loss. Another consequence is that it takes longer to collect and analyze data, leading to delayed decision-making. While HR focuses predominantly on permanent employees, Purchasing often focuses on external hiring. To establish a Total Workforce Management strategy, an HXM solution, such as SAP SuccessFactors, in combination with a VMS such as SAP Fieldglass is the key to success.

Different interest, but shared objectives

Both departments often have shared objectives, which means that collaboration can offer many benefits to an organization, such as:

  • Improved efficiency by streamlining processes

  • Improved supplier management by tracking and evaluating supplier performance

  • Better compliance with Legislation and Regulations by integrating both systems

  • Increased flexibility in personnel management, allowing a better response to changing personnel needs in the organization

There are several shared objectives for Purchasing and HR to focus on Total Workforce Management. Some of these objectives are:

  • Integrated Total Workforce Management

  • Risk, cost management and compliance

  • Data-driven decision making

Reduce distance between departments with Total Workforce Management

I hear you thinking, integrated Total Workforce Management sounds very interesting, but what can I do with it in concrete terms and what results does it produce? The core of an organization usually consists of employees with a full- or part-time contract. These permanent employees need the attention of HR. The HR policy and HR processes are designed for this purpose. Outside this core there is a flexible shell of external hires. Depending on the type of employee, the distance from the core increases. The further you go from the core, the looser the relationship with HR becomes and the less attention it receives from HR.

Purchasing predominantly plays a larger role in this flexible shell. Different policies and processes usually apply to this group of employees. The aim of both departments should be to provide the right talents and skills that the organization needs.

By properly aligning and integrating both policy types and processes, an organization gains a complete overview of the entire employee population. Both internally and externally.

Reducing risks with Total Workforce Management

Eliminating or minimizing risks associated with hiring personnel is very important for an organization. Organizations are focused on ensuring compliance with employment laws, diversity and inclusion regulations, data protection rules and other legal requirements related to HR.

For the group of external employees, the focus will often be on finding the right person for the job at the right price. Purchasing plays an important role, especially on the price. It is not always about the lowest price, but about the combination of a good and competitive rate in combination with the required knowledge and experience. In addition, it is also important that regulations on the hiring of external staff are taken into account.


Total Workforce Management also means that an organization must have the right dashboards to provide a complete overview of the entire employee population.

Based on these dashboards, strategic decisions can be made and opportunities for improvement identified. For example, it will be important for an HR employee to have the right insights into personnel-related data and trends, while a Purchasing employee will focus more on evaluating suppliers and negotiating contracts.

Too often we see in projects that Purchasing and HR do not know enough about each other when it comes to Total Workforce Management and still work in separate and unconnected systems that are not integrated and therefore lack synergy.

This is a shame, because organizations that do focus on Total Workforce Management can take in fundamental information for strategic planning in order to grow as an organization.

Embrace the power of Total Workforce Management. Do you want to know how SAP Fieldglass combined with SAP Successfactors can help your organization with making the next step? Get in touch with Timo Scholten Timo Scholten or Iljo van Gogh.