Why Salesforce matters to HR

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Much of the HR software industry is built on the simple fact that HR processes grow and accumulate organically, meaning no two businesses look the same when it comes to digitisation.

To find tools that cater to your unique needs, there have traditionally been two options.

You can look at layering multiple systems alongside one another. This means your unique processes can be delivered as you intend, but the cost of multiple subscriptions can quickly escalate, and there are several challenges associated with this approach.

Integrating multiple specialist tools is complex, while not integrating them results in a time-sink data consistency nightmare, with no synching between systems, and all the reporting and automation pitfalls that come along with that. Meanwhile, multiple system log-ins and interfaces create onboarding headaches and user experience grumbles. For smaller organisations it’s a workable strategy but becomes unwieldy as you grow.

The other option is to choose a generalist HRMS platform that does everything, but inflexibly (and usually, where you need granular functionality specifics, to an average standard). And because processes change and grow, this option can leave you stuck with a rigid system, potentially looking for specialist tools to fill gaps as they arise in the future – basically taking you back to square one.

It’s the specialist vs general conundrum, and there’s no definitive right answer. But now, with the rise of SaaS and the massive platforms like Salesforce – that account for an increasing percentage of the world’s business storage and data processing – there’s a new option that offers the best of both.

The new option – HR powered by Salesforce

‘Single platform strategy’ is a term bandied about in IT circles, usually with little reference to HR. But for human resourced leaders working in organisations that already use a cloud platform, it’s a notion that encapsulates a whole host of benefits. It’s why we decided to build XCD on Salesforce.

It’s a common and understandable misconception, but Salesforce is not just about sales. What began decades ago as a tool to revolutionise customer experience has evolved into one of the most sophisticated data processing, engagement and analytics engines ever built. Think of it like a highly flexible scaffold on which we can build virtually any system an organisation requires.

This is why Salesforce today is the world’s most popular and trusted business cloud. So why should HR care?


Technology should work for your organisation, not the other way around. You want software that doesn’t put you in a box, and can incorporate the unique processes that make up the fundamentals of your HR operation.

Using Salesforce to deliver HRMS makes XCD supremely flexible and configurable, allowing us to overcome specific vertical challenges on a powerful platform with a set of well-understood programming principles – not only solving your current challenges, but futureproofing.

“We were shocked by the lack of configurability on offer from most suppliers,” says Mathew Metcalfe, from manufacturer B. Braun. “Fortunately, XCD provided the flexibility we needed, a totally bespoke system, tailored to fit our specific business requirements.”

And organisations with a Salesforce stack and the in-house skills to drive it properly can do this themselves, leveraging the vast number of third-party applications in the Salesforce AppExchange ecosystem to address challenges and customising them to create their own bespoke solutions.

Data value

People who know about Salesforce know it enables organisations to leverage the value in their data. For HR, who sit on a treasure trove of people data, often with little way to mine it for insight, running reports in XCD is a game changer.

“The reporting side has been really helpful,” says Anna Haldane from CAP. “Things like gender pay gap reporting were taking a huge amount of time before. We wanted to provide better reporting functionality across the whole charity which, without the system in place, was just impossible to do.”

The platform allows you to build and share reports in minutes that would otherwise take days to put together. And crucially, the user interface is designed for normal people to use, you don’t need an advanced degree in statistical analysis.

Working with XCD has saved financial services firm Enstar more than five days a month on reporting. Previously we struggled to get a real-time view of our data globally and our processes varied between regions,” says Enstar’s Matthew Blair. “Now our regional HR teams are working together much more closely and have more timely and comprehensive HR dashboard reporting.”

Adoption and engagement

For organisations that already use Salesforce, the implementation of new, on-platform tools like XCD or Financialforce negates many of the adoption barriers commonly associated with new software. Built on a familiar scaffold, the user interface, functionality and basic architecture are already well understood.

“It was simple to get people to adopt XCD, as most of our people use Salesforce every day,” says Clare Riddiford, at Homeless Link.

Single-sign-on across all Salesforce apps means HR sits alongside all the important operational tools your people use every day. This makes engagement with HR stickier and allows completion of key tasks – like feedback surveys or compliance documents – more seamlessly.

Employee experience

Salesforce CRM was designed to supercharge data-driven customer experience, and its growing world dominance suggests that its creators did a decent job. What XCD does is leverage the same fundamental principles and focus them internally on employee experience.

This means personalised employee experiences can be delivered at a scale that would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago. CRM to ERM. Customer Relationship Management to Employee Relationship Management.


If your organisation is already a Salesforce user, XCD can elevate Human Resources by integrating HRMS with key on-platform enterprise systems, making critical people data and reporting available to stakeholders across the organisation, and enhancing HR’s ability to deliver data-led strategy.

Want to see how it works? Join us at Salesforce World Tour on June 29 – register free for the event here.