June 16, 2022

By John J.

When someone asks you what ServiceNow does, what do you tell them? If you’re like most people, you tell them it’s an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform, or you might say it’s a trouble ticketing system used by the service desk to track incidents, problems and changes. If this is your answer, you’re right and you’re wrong. While ServiceNow has it’s origins in ITSM, the capabilities of the platform have been expanded into so much more.

ServiceNow has evolved the focus of the platform from purely IT processes to a focus on business workflows. In fact, they’ve changed how they reference their products, now grouping them in terms of workflows rather than specific products or processes. They are now grouped into workflow focus areas such as IT, Employee, Customer, and Creator. Today we’re going to look deeper at Employee workflows, specifically Human Capital Management.

What is Human Capital Management?

Human Capital Management (HCM) refers to the entirety of investing in people and talent management to enable organizations to manage the full lifecycle of an employee from onboarding, management of skills and time, and eventual off boarding. HCM focuses on the strategic level of human management, whereas the more common Human Resource Management (HRM) focuses on the administrative activities of maintaining records and overseeing benefits.

HCM as a practice covers:

  • Performance and Talent Management – Manage performance processes and data, competencies, and contingent workforce management
  • HR and People Analytics – Gather and aggregate information to drive business decisions and address the employee experience
  • Talent Acquisition – Recruiting, hiring, and workforce planning
  • People Management – Onboarding and training
  • Attendance and Leave Management – Time and attendance tracking
  • Payroll, Compensation and Benefits – Payroll, benefits, expense management, and compensation planning

All companies have to manage HCM processes, no matter how large or small. While startup companies might be able to manage this manually or use spreadsheets, it can quickly get overwhelming to try to manage these functions without using some kind of software. This is where ServiceNow comes in.

Enter ServiceNow HR Service Delivery

Leveraging their cloud hosted, FedRAMP approved platform that consists of a powerful workflow engine and flexible, extensible database schema, ServiceNow has created a set of out of the box capabilities for addressing a variety of HR workflows. Building on existing platform functionality such as mobile access, Single Sign On, virtual agent, performance analytics, and integrations, the HRSD application is easy to introduce to your workforce, since they are already familiar with the interface and navigation of a ServiceNow environment.

Designed to provide an easy to use interface for both employees as well as HR service professionals, ServiceNow can be leveraged to provide a unified portal for HR services for employees to access information about benefits, submit service requests and find FAQs and knowledge articles, enabling a self-servicing workforce to find information quickly and efficiently. This also enables a hybrid workforce by providing web-based access to employees regardless of location. Another employee-centric feature is the ability to create an Anonymous Report Center, allowing employees to submit issues and concerns in a safe space.

Building upon the workflow capabilities of the platform, employee journeys can be created to help guide them to the information they need based on factors such as role, location, or job type. Processes can be automated to create and fulfill requests as part of these journeys to speed the onboarding process and free up typically constrained management and HR resources to focus on more human centered tasks as opposed to rote, repetitive, system-based tasks. Employees receive a more consistent HR experience and receive services quickly, reducing lost work time.

Expanding upon the concept of workspaces recently introduced by ServiceNow, there is an HR workspace enabling HR teams to access, in a single interface, cases and service requests, dashboards, and other pertinent information to enable them to address employee needs more efficiently.

ServiceNow is of course not the first software package to play in the HR Service Delivery space. There are a host of other tools in use by HR departments, and any new tool must be integrated with them to provide HR professionals with the ability to serve employees seamlessly. The ServiceNow platform is purpose built with integration capabilities utilizing standards-based methodologies such as SOAP/REST and JDBC while also having capability for custom integration methods. An advantage of the wide adoption of ServiceNow is that many integrations with common HR platforms have already been built and are available for easy implementation into your existing ServiceNow instance. A list of these integrations is provided in the ServiceNow Store.


HR Service Delivery can be a complex combination of people, process, and technology, and the stakes are high due to the impact that they can have on the employee experience and their lives. It is a challenge that every employer, regardless of size, must address and those that can provide a superior employee experience have a significant advantage in the market, particularly given the current shift in employee expectations. Leveraging existing investments in ServiceNow can provide employers with an easy to use, familiar employee interface, and help them to realize significant increases in employee engagement, reduced costs, and greater flexibility to meet the demands of a varied hybrid workforce.

If you still think ServiceNow is only for IT, can only address technical processes, and doesn’t have a place outside of technical support areas, it’s time for you to learn more about the advances ServiceNow has made in areas such as HR Service Delivery. ActioNet, as a Premier partner, can help you learn more about how ServiceNow can be leveraged to solve your business problems, whether they be in the traditional IT areas of ITSM, ITOM, and ITBM, or the continually updated and evolving areas of Employee and Customer workflows.

For more information on how ActioNet can provide Human Capital Management solutions leveraging our best practices, experience and ServiceNow platform, please reach out to us at Email: [email protected].

To learn more about ServiceNow’s Human Capital Management and Human Resource Management Service Delivery applications, go to https://www.servicenow.com/products/hr-service-delivery.html#overview.