This time, Father Christmas is in attendance as a silent observer. Slowly, the conference cloud fills up with the archangels invited to the workshop and the archangels Paul and Emilia are already waiting impatiently to finally get things going. Because today is the dawn of a new era in global HR master data management: the first workshop on digitalizing global HR master data management. The goal of today’s workshop is to set out specifications with future-proof requirements and a centralized HR master data management system. The participating archangels will be split into five working groups, one for each of the phases of the employee life cycle.

The archangels’ excitement is palpable and the place is buzzing. After a brief introduction by Father Christmas, the archangels split off into five working groups. A little while later, Father Christmas cannot sit it out any longer and starts constantly going back and forth between the workshops. At the beginning, a common consensus needs to be reached, because many production plants want to stick with their usual IT systems or even spreadsheets. A little while later, most of the archangels are convinced of the advantages of centralized, web-based employee master data management. Once this first hurdle has been overcome, the next step is to work out the specific requirements. Here, things also get off to a tricky start, however, as time goes on, the discussions become calmer and more solution-oriented. At the end of the day, the specifications have been set out and the requirements have been split into a general part plus the five phases of the employee life cycle.


  • General specifications: A centralized master database in which complete, accurate employee master data is generated and stored. All-in-one software is preferred because it provides data storage, documentation, work system and reporting in a single IT system. Duplicates should be identified and processed via workflow, if need be. Due to the sensitivity of HR master data, the assignment of user-defined access and editing rights is required. These rights should also apply to the integrated workflow and editing tool. What’s more, the HR master data management system must have a user-friendly web interface and a modular, flexible no-code structure. Furthermore, the system should be independent of third-party providers and easily integrate into the existing data landscape as well as having the option to upload employee master data from various file formats.
  • Recruitment: The recruitment software available at the production plant will be kept and continue to be used. This is justified by the fact that the job portals in each country are very different and the local IT solutions often have interfaces to these job boards. When an applicant is hired, the master data, such as name, home address, qualifications, position and salary, is transferred to the centralized database for HR master data management (Enterprise Suite). From there, they are transferred to the local IT systems for HR management, if need be. Production plants with no software will use HR Master Data Management as their working system.
  • Preboarding und Onboarding: The individual preboarding and onboarding steps are carried out at all production plants in the centralized enterprise software (Enterprise Suite). A survey showed that the existing IT system was lacking a mature workflow tool with a reminder function. All employee documents and files should be stored centrally in their respective record. This applies, in particular, to the confirmation of whether hazard and safety training has been delivered or not. The Enterprise Suite transfers the employee master data and files to the local IT systems, such as the intranet and payroll, if applicable.
  • Human Resources Development: Based on the current state of knowledge, it is assumed that the centralized enterprise software and the local software for HR administration and management will be used as working systems in this phase of the employee life cycle. This is justified by the partly different technical capabilities of the IT systems used up until now. Nevertheless, it is to be ensured that all master data and files from employee surveys, appraisals and employee interviews are stored centrally in the centralized HR data management system. In this case, the centralized Enterprise Suite serves as a bi-directional data hub.
  • Employee retention: In the case of temporary and unskilled staff in particular, the aim is to reduce turnover and to go above and beyond to retain employees. With a view to ensuring optimal, personalized support for individual employees, the centralized database, with its employee-centric 360° view of the organizational structure and its complete employee master data, will be used. It should be possible to define individual measures for each specific production plant.
  • Employee resignation: There are any number of reasons why an employee would want to leave their job. In an ideal world, they leave when they reach retirement age at one of the Father Christmas industrial bakeries. In any case, it is of the utmost importance that the offboarding process is handled smoothly and professionally. As already indicated for onboarding, this last phase is carried out in the workflow tool of the centralized company HR master data management software. Due to the different regulations in the individual countries, it should be possible to create different workflows for the respective reason for terminating the employment relationship. All files and master data are to be stored centrally with the existing HR master data.


Last but not least, the project’s main goal was set out: a centralized, employee-centric database with complete, accurate and permanently high quality and uniform employee master data. With these specifications, the project moves into the next phase; to the angels in the procurement department, who are responsible for dealing with offers from suitable providers.