AI- and ML-based solutions drive the future of HR at Ferring.

“Workday’s single source of truth means we benefit hugely from data via strategic reports and custom dashboards.”—Nataliia Chaban, Global HRIT Project Manager

Standardized HR practices

One single source of truth

Empowered employees taking charge of career development

Enhanced ability to recruit talent, including R&D

Back in 2016, Ferring didn’t have a standardized HR organization across its global footprint. In fact, some countries had no HR systems in place at all. This created issues—a lack of consistency led to challenges in many areas, including reporting, unifying business processes, driving agility and ensuring employee engagement and well-being.

As a result, the company struggled to guarantee all decisions were focused on its single overriding priority: making sure it had enough of the right people with the right skills in the right places, all doing a great job to ensure the health of their customers. This all changed when Ferring became a Workday customer, initially implementing core Workday HCM, Workday Compensation, and reporting across more than 50 locations. Talent and performance reviews came next, followed by Workday Advanced Compensation.

Empowered to understand workforce skills and capabilities.

The next big leap forward is much more recent, when Ferring became an early adopter of Workday Skills Cloud and Workday Talent Marketplace—solutions rooted in advanced AI and machine-learning technologies that empower companies to understand and enhance the skills and capabilities of the entire workforce.

Progress has been fast and effective. As Nataliia Chaban, global HRIT project manager, puts it: “The AI and ML recommendations from Workday are really good. The technology is proving capable of beautifully matching candidates, jobs and gigs—we can only see positive outcomes.”

We’re on a change-management journey. We want to help our people understand that they have a role in their own career development.

Lynn Van Oossanen, Senior Manager IT Solution and Transformation

Upskilling, reskilling, and redeploying existing talent.

The positive impact of Ferring’s broad and evolving Workday implementation is clearly apparent in the people strategies the company can now operate. These are enabling it, better than ever before, to meet its needs through upskilling, reskilling and redeploying existing talent—all bolstered by the streamlined recruitment of new people.

In particular, it’s essential for players in the global pharmaceutical industry to have streamlined access to rare and specific skills that are not easy to find. Without full visibility across existing skills gaps, it is extremely challenging to plan and access the talent required to meet all business needs, including the requirement for cutting-edge research and development. In addition, as a business operating in a highly regulated sector, Ferring also faced challenges relating to compliance with multiple different HR legislatures across the world.

Now, with advanced AI-based Workday solutions in place, Ferring is taking employee engagement, retention, development, and acquisition to new levels, all the while integrating seamlessly with the 70+ interfaces in place to ensure its operations are always in line with global, regional and national regulation.

As Lynn Van Oossanen, senior manager IT Solution and Transformation, says: “We really count on Workday and its AI functionalities to help us with moving into the future in the right direction. By using Workday Skills Cloud, we’re now getting the best from the AI technology that’s clearly going to help us much more in the future.”

Empowering employees to work together seamlessly.

Once Ferring had successfully leveraged Workday AI-based solutions to resolve some of the key business challenges it faced, its next step was to develop a range of programs that empower employees to work together seamlessly and learn from one another.

According to Lynn Van Oossanen, “We’re on a change-management journey, in which we want to help our people understand that they have a key role to play in their own career development.”

The company is already drawing on the new capabilities enabled by Workday Skills Cloud to create a Careers Hub into which all professional growth opportunities are consolidated, improving recruitment initiatives and making it easier for employees to access support via the company’s Opportunity Marketplace, its Mentoring program, and more.

AI has a bright future with us, and Workday Skills Cloud will be an ever-evolving solution providing skills-strategy support globally.

Lynn Van Oossanen, Senior Manager IT Solution and Transformation

HR is “closer to the business than ever before.”

Further initiatives are being developed, improved and implemented all the time, under the unifying title of “Stronger Together.” This is connecting the company’s talent in ways that allows them to network together, all the while learning from one another and improving team spirit.

Examples include a “buddy program” for onboarding new recruits and networking connections suggested by Workday machine-learning technology.

As Van Oossanen continues, “All such programs, delivering meaningful value to the business and our people, are only possible because of the Workday Skills Cloud and the enriched machine-learning and seamless reporting it supports.”

More than that, Van Oossanen explains, there has also been a powerful positive impact at a strategic level. “With greater agility, clarity and easy access to data across our business units around the world, the HR organization is now operating closer to the business than ever before. As a result, we’re empowered to facilitate and make better data-driven decisions.”

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