Talent Cookbook

Published on February 06, 2018

How to be Successful with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent - recipes for success in the world of Talent and HR Management for Microsoft employees & Dynamics Partners.

Dynamics 365 for Talent, Hubdrive, Office 365 and LinkedIn together offer a unique HR Management solution. Like selecting ingredients for a recipe, customers can choose from an extensive box of features and applications to create an HR Management solution that perfectly suits their requirements.

The competition between the players in the global HR software market is huge. Well-known providers such as Workday and SAP SuccessFactors are joined in the market by a range of smaller, local players. The volume of the global HR software market is expected to grow to $ 9.2 billion (source market analysis).

Meeting Customer Expectations

What needs to be done to win HR customers and grab a share of this exciting market? First, we need to understand the customer, their requirements and their expectations. Did you know, for instance, that an average HR department uses seven different software applications to organize their HR? The motivating force for most companies to invest in HR is the replacement of a range of IT islands with one holistic solution and with this, the digitalization of their HR department.

Many start small with the aim to solve a large, current pain-point, but they want the perspective of being able to integrate all areas of HR into one seamless solution.

Their ideal HR Management solution covers standard HR tasks and processes, from recruitment and staff administration, to time management and employee self-service through to talent management and training, using job portals and office suites:

A solution that meets the expectations of customers must also be end-user friendly, flexible in terms of customization, and able to integrate with other systems and solutions. Alongside good customer service and a fair price, customers want a quick implementation phase without long, costly and risky IT projects.

Based on: Roland Berger "The HR software market looks to 2020. Reach for the cloud"

Does Microsoft offer a Competitive HR Management Solution?

Is there an HR Management solution in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem that can disrupt the market in the way in which Microsoft is accustomed? A solution that upends the HR Management software market, rather than just nibbling at the edges?

The answer is short and simple: yes, if you can cook!

Imagine cooking a meal for your family. First, you decide what you want to make, then you select the ingredients, and you rely on a recipe to help you put the meal together. Putting together an HR Management solution in the Microsoft Ecosystem is similar. And for those who haven't done a lot of cooking, we are here to help!

The Ingredient List of Typical HR Customer Expectations

We know what we want to make - an HR Management solution! But what do we need in order to make this? Let's take a look at what our customers want from a new HR Management solution.

This list shows customer expectations in a holistic HR solution from the point of view of various employees and management levels, based on interviews with over 100 customers worldwide, from Executives and Supervisors, to HR Managers and employees.

What does the Microsoft Ecosystem Offer?

Let´s go through the Microsoft ecosystem and check the available offers.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent

Dynamics 365 for Talent is an excellent contribution to meet customer expectations. It offers a selection of apps in the areas of recruitment, onboarding and other necessary HR features.

With Attract, customers can hire the right people faster. The integration with LinkedIn helps hiring managers to find great candidates, and to connect to recruiters. The Onboard app helps new hires hit the ground running with tailored trainings, enables them to make key connections to colleagues in cross-departmental teams and to enjoy their new position from day one.

The first expectations of our customer have already been met with these powerful apps in Microsoft Talent. This is a great start, but to fully meet and even exceed customer expectations, we need to add more.

Microsoft Office 365

An office suite is a standard requirement in HR departments around the world. HR Managers need to create documents such as employment contracts, send emails to applicants and produce reports for management. Most employees are already familiar with Office 365, and even learned how to use Outlook, Word and Excel in school. This means that they already work very efficiently with the program but many are unaware of the other amazing tools that Office 365 has to offer in addition.

When the HR Manager wishes to meet the applicant via video conference, they can connect easily via Microsoft Skype for Business. For the exchange of training and development materials with an external coach, HR Managers can use OneDrive, also part of the Office 365 suite.

And then, we come to a whole host of new and exciting HR related apps to aid communication such as Microsoft Teams and the staff organization app StaffHub. Many customers don't even know what they are missing!

We've got the Dynamics Talent apps and those from Office 365, and already our HR department is looking good. We are on the right track!

Hubdrives HR apps

To complete the holistic HR Management solution that customers expect, additional features are required. Hubdrive steps in to provide a suite of the missing Human Resource Apps.

Here are just some examples of the standard requirements of HR that Hubdrive covers:

  • the HR Manager creates a new employment contract from a template
  • a 360 degree view of the employee
  • the digital employee file with all the relevant information about each staff member
  • storage of documents, e.g. CVs, surveys, letters of reference
  • the arrangement of performance reviews and trainings with multiple review options, e.g. 360 degree feedback, evaluation and targets

All Hubdrive apps are connected and integrate seamlessly with Office 365 and Talent. Fantastic! What else can we add?

Hubdrives Country & Industry Templates

But, wait. Didn't we talk about the ease of implementation earlier? That graphic from Roland Berger revealed that customers don't want to spend time and money on expensive IT implementation projects. Ideally, their new software works out-of-the-box.

Experience from hundreds of customers has led to a set of successful processes and procedures that can be delivered out-of-the-box - the Hubdrive Best Practices. Despite the fact that the basic functions of the HR departments are covered, there is still something missing. The standard solution is not yet customized to their needs. Here's where the Country and Industry templates come in.

Every country has their own specific requirements with regard to labor laws, e.g. family leave, vacation entitlement, health checks and vaccinations. These need to be included as standard, in a Country Template. When a customer in the USA thinks about a standard HR software, they expect to find a US military report, while a German customer would be surprised if the integration to the "Bundesanstalt für Arbeit" (German Unemployment Agency) was missing.

Even within the same country, each industry has different requirements of HR. The Industry Templates provide the answer to this dilemma. With master data, processes and workflows designed specifically for the needs of the industry, the templates enable usage out-of-the-box. All that remains is the refinement of the actual customer-specific features and processes. The requirements of an HR department in an insurance company are not the same as those in a hospital. They both need recruitment, talent management and vacation management but only the hospital needs to organize employees on a 24/7 schedule. The insurance company, on the other hand, pays monthly commissions and yearly bonuses to their sales staff, so they need special features in addition to the standard in the system.

No other HR solution in the world offers such an extensive library of features and templates for usage out-of-the-box. But, we are not quite finished. Microsoft has another couple of surprises for our HR Manager!

Microsoft LinkedIn

With 500 million people worldwide using LinkedIn, the advantages of a close integration with an HR solution in Dynamics 365 is clear - not only does this give recruiters access to a massive talent pool, it also enables them to connect to what LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner described as "passive candidate recruiting". These are people who aren't actively searching for a job but could be enticed by the right job, if recruiters could find them and craft the right message to attract them.

LinkedIn is THE social networking portal for recruiters. There just isn't any other portal that comes close. Does this mean that we are finally satisfied with our HR solution? Almost, but not quite.

Microsoft Azure

The icing on the cake is the integration with Microsoft Azure, the only consistent hybrid cloud on the market. The huge range of services powered by Azure provide a solution to many customer challenges, e.g. PowerBI for reporting.

The result: HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Now we've answered all our customers' wishes, we turn to the expectations that they didn’t even ask for - or even know that they existed. Each of the features and applications described above are incredible in their own right. Combined, they offer a disruptive HR Management solution. HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the most disruptive HR Management solution on the planet.

I'm convinced that HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 will secure a spot in the upper right corner of the Garnter Magic Quadrant, with no other competitor coming even close.

A Unique HR Software

Looking back to the customer expectations, we can see that the combination of HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one that no other vendor can equal.

Most customers haven't even dreamed of the range of features and applications included in HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365. When we talk about a 'holistic' solution, we mean that the whole is more than a sum of its parts. Individually, the components of HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 are powerful. Together, they are unbeatable.

Usability is hugely important for organizations. They don't want to spend months training staff to work with new software and they can forget Change Management. Their staff can choose to use the solution in their browser or on a mobile device, or they can do their entire HR work in their familiar Microsoft Outlook.

The solution is fully customizable. With drag and drop technology, Microsoft Partners and customers can easily customize the solution, and add in new fields, processes and functions. Partners with experience in Dynamics 365 will feel right at home in HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Integration is a thing of the past. Gone are the days of eternal IT projects with complicated interfaces that often cost more than the software they connect. The modern, platform-based work environment includes integration out-of-the-box.

Which software company can offer a larger and better trained partner network than Microsoft? With certified Microsoft Partners in every corner of the world, customers are sure to be well-supported during the implementation and customization process and beyond.

The modular system enables companies to pay as they grow. Starting with one or two applications, and adding on capabilities as and when needed. No need to invest in apps that aren't required for your specific requirements.

No more year-long IT projects, with uncertain results. Out-of-the-box implementation of Best Practices plus Country and Industry templates provide a solid base. Customers then work with their Microsoft Partner to decide on organization-specific refinements that are needed to suit the processes and working practices in the company. For Microsoft Partners, this means a quick win with drastically reduced customer churn.

How Does HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fit Together?

Now that we've identified the massive range of applications and features and how well they fit together, we need to select the specific options that our specific customer needs in order to meet their requirements. How do we know which applications and features we need so that the customer has the HR Management solution they need?

As I said at the beginning of this article - think of it like making a delicious meal. We have all these ingredients in our garden, but how do we work out which of the ingredients we need? And how do we put our meal together?

Don’t worry. You won't be left alone with this task. It may sound challenging but we have a secret weapon. Our cookbook, filled with recipes!

Just like following a recipe, we can show you how to select the right ingredients, put them together in the right order and create something wonderful.

Let's take the process of recruitment as an example. Our HR Manager wishes to use HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for the recruitment process.

The position request comes from one of the department heads, via Microsoft Talent. In the Hubdrive Recruitment app, the vacancy request is enriched, the publication of the request is prepared and carried out, both on the company website and to other channels. Microsoft Talent comes back into play with the candidate interaction app Attract. Once the interview process is completed, Hubdrive Staff Administration is used to create the contract, using Microsoft Office. Finally, Talent app Onboard is used for the onboarding process.

The ingredients used are Microsoft Talent, Office 365 and the Recruitment app of Hubdrive, alongside the Country and Industry templates.

For each process in HR, we have a different recipe in our cookbook. And our Dynamics HR Hub is on hand to help assist you to choose which is the right one for the needs of your customer.

The View of the User

At the end of the day, the user only sees HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 - a holistic solution where everything is seamlessly integrated in one fantastic user experience. They won't notice that they are using different applications.

Can you tell where Dynamics 365 stops and Hubdrive begin? Or which part of this solution is Microsoft Talent?

Working Hand in Hand with Dynamics 365 for Talent

The following webinar excerpt explains how HR Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 compliments and extends Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent.

Customer Wins - Partner Wins - Microsoft Wins

The final result is a product that is a win for everyone involved.

The HR Customers

Customers benefit from the holistic HR Management solution, a high degree of usability in a flexible solution that increases productivity even while raising employee satisfaction. After starting out-of-the-box, they can grow their HR Management solution with their business, adding on new functions as needed. They can rely on Microsoft for continuity, conformity and security and on the trusted network of trained Microsoft Partners for refinement and services.

Our Partners

Dynamics partners see a rise in sales of Dynamics 365 licenses as every single employee in every single industry wants a Dynamics 365 license, as well as an increase in Office 365 and Azure consumption. Instead of long-term, risky and complicated implementation projects, modern Microsoft partners provide SaaS, customization and refinement of the solutions, maintenance and on-going support contracts. In addition, the fast implementation with Best Practice processes boosts customer satisfaction and reduces customer churn in licenses.


Customers who are not yet Dynamics 365 users are convinced by the power of the platform and the holistic HR solution it enables, and are eager to join the Dynamics community.

Organizations that already use Dynamics 365 generally add more licenses in order to enable every employee to use the software. With a holistic HR solution, Microsoft can disrupt the HR market in business software. As Jean-Philippe Courtois (Executive Vice President, Microsoft) said to me at our last $100 Million ISV meeting 'Let's win the HR market together!'

If you are thinking about working more intensively in HR in the Microsoft ecosystem, feel free to get in touch with me. I'd be happy to share my experiences as an inspiration for you.

Franziskus Lorey
CEO Hubdrive