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Driving the employee-centric transformation in HR Services

HR services are increasingly being digitized. Traditional payroll service providers need to add other HR-related services geared at employees. HRTech in general and Identity and Access Management (IAM) in particular, play a key role in facilitating and accelerating this Copernican revolution.


Digital maturity model

Each HR services company is digitizing, but not all are moving at the same pace. TrustBuilder developed a digital maturity model of which the different stages reflect the digitization phase each company finds itself in.

Digital Developers

A few years back, HR service companies still sent out pay slips to employees by snail mail. Over the last 10 years, these processes have been digitized and most providers are now making those formal documents available through a portal, accessible through the web or from a mobile device, together with other HR-related information for employees and employers.

Experience experts

The end-users of HR services expect the same level of convenience from their HR portal as they do from web shops or their banking apps. That’s why Experience Experts are investing in employee centricity and user experience. They will allow employees to bring their identity of choice to onboard to applications such as leave requests, time reporting… Once onboarded, employees can use Single Sign-on to access different applications. IAM will secure all necessary connections to the backend applications that contain the information requested by the user.

Connected Companies

Connected Companies go further than offering customers access to their own applications. They allow software from third parties to interface with their applications, e.g. time recording systems and expense management software. Through this integration, they allow other organizations to add these applications to their portfolio of services. End-users of that organization can make use of the applications only after proper authentication.

Ecosystem extenders

By adding third-party services to their own apps and turning it into an HRTech application, HR services companies become a one-stop shop for their customers. Just like retail banks are building digital ecosystems to cater to all financial needs of their consumers, HR service providers can position themselves as the unique source when it comes to HR-related matters and anything connected to work-life balance. Being a one-stop shop will attract more customers and increase client loyalty. Examples of integrated applications: services for meal vouchers, expense claims, mobility solutions,…

Monetizing masters

The financial model for HR services companies is changing. Being able to make a margin on third-party products offered through an ecosystem of services is a welcome consideration for these organizations. HR service brokers can become a reseller of third-party applications, or bundle them together with other services and sell the bundle at a premium price. Applying an as-a-service model guarantees these HR service brokers a recurring source of revenue.     


Identify your roadblocks

At each stage of digital maturity, other security levels apply, additional needs have to be met – even needs that are not solved by traditional IAM – and different roadblocks may prevent organizations from moving to the next level. TrustBuilder’s Maturity Assessment provides company with insights into these blocking factors and provides advice on what measures are needed to reach the next phase. The Maturity Assessment is a good basis for an action plan that includes both business and technical steps.

HR Services, driven by technical and societal change

Although the HR services industry was not among the first sectors to undergo digital transformation, it has taken great strides over the last few years. These changes are driven both by technological and by societal factors.

Increasing customer experience

Traditionally, the HR service customer was the HR manager of organizations. Nowadays, the employee is gaining a central spot. These end-users want to get access to information and documents regardless of place, time or device and want to take control of their own career. This requires HR service companies to adopt a multi-channel strategy, opening legacy systems to both web and mobile applications.

Increasing number of users

HR applications are not only used by HR managers and employees, but also by a growing number of external parties, e.g. accounting firms the companies work with, recruitment agencies or external auditors. All these users need secure fast access to data and resources. This requires a combination of airtight security with an openness to different identification and authentication options.

Protecting privacy

HRTech applications give access to some of the most confidential information about people: salary level, fringe benefits, personal data,… It goes without saying that this data needs to be properly protected. Hence the need to enforce strong customer authentication, for instance by using multi-factor authentication (MFA). European HR services leader SD Worx uses TrustBuilder Mobile Authenticator to combine strong customer authentication with ultimate ease of use.

Changing employment options

Companies no longer work with full-time employees who are loyal throughout their career. Modern organizations employ a broad range of external contractors, freelance agents and part-time staffers. One individual can be known to different HRTech systems wearing different hats: self-employed, part-time employee,… That individual needs to access his or her information using different identities.

Becoming an HR Service Broker

As HRTech systems are becoming more employee-centric, they need to cater to the different needs of employees. For instance, by offering mobility services in combination with expense reimbursement when a person is traveling on behalf of the company. So-called flexible income plans (FIP) are gaining popularity as they let employees make a mix and match of fringe benefits. HR service companies cannot build all these applications themselves. Instead, they connect securely and seamlessly with third parties that specialize in specific areas.

Drive for efficiency

Competition is heating up in the HR services market and tradition revenue models are coming under pressure. HRTech needs to be faster than the competition and drive down internal cost. Purpose-build homegrown systems have proven to require expensive maintenance and lack the flexibility of as-a-service software. Companies are now no longer building their own software stack, but are buying standard components from specialized companies, for instance IAM vendors.

TrustBuilder powers digitization in HR Services industry

As a leading European IAM player, TrustBuilder is uniquely positioned to assist HR service brokers make the transition from a simple payroll engine to the focal point of intelligence and applications of any employee.

IAM is key to employee centricity

The modern worker takes on a number of different roles: part-time employee, founder of a small side business, freelance consultant, board member of different companies. Modern HRTech systems can no longer be based on a unique Employee Number, as one person can have different Employee Numbers at different companies. They now require another type of identifier. That’s why IAM is the keystone in driving employee centricity.

Derived attributes for ultimate security

With sensitive data such as personnel records, access cannot simply be given to anyone. There are strict rules as to who is mandated to view or change data. Authorization through TrustBuilder works with Attribute-based Access Control (ABAC), but we also go beyond that: TrustBuilder also works with derived attributes, checking authoritative sources such as government sources for additional security. As a European leader in IAM, TrustBuilder offers connections to a multitude of external sources and tools through our in-build support for social identity providers such as Trulius, itsme, iDIN, e-Herkenning, France Connect and many others.

Service catalog to build ecosystems quickly

When building marketplaces of services, organizations cannot be bothered with building all the connections themselves. Programming APIs to link apps, and maintaining them is both time-consuming and expensive. TrustBuilder’s Service Catalog delivers easy connectivity to Identity Providers (IdPs) and a broad range of applications. Our customers can deploy new IdPs and applications quickly, reliably and securely. As the Service Catalog is delivered as a service, updates and changes happen automatically.

TrustBuilder hides complexity and rigidity of legacy systems

Most HR Services companies traditionally rely on legacy IT applications, often on mainframes that excel in making salary calculations. TrustBuilder helps unlock these legacy systems by hiding the complexity and making the connection between the new employee-focused channels and the application layer that sits on top of the legacy systems. When new channels are added, TrustBuilder takes care of translations between the disparate systems. What’s more, TrustBuilder can also design the right workflows to make different internal systems work together securely.

Future forward

The evolutions described above are only the starting-points for the future transition of HR Services. IAM will continue to play a key role in supporting these evolutions.

Towards a PSD2 for HR Services?

Financial services companies have been forced to open up their data to other companies by regulations such as PSD2. Now that many workers are no longer an employee of one company, a free exchange of data between different HRTech apps may be a good idea. This will make it all the more important to be able to rely on a solid IAM system that can handle the security of these exchanges.


HR tools independent of employer

Through the same evolution, future HRTech apps will focus more on the individual worker than on the company or companies they work for. In that sense, they will evolve to become the central app that the working population will use to manage all work-related issues, just like the banking app is becoming the center of gravity for anything financial. 

This will open even more possibilities for HR services companies to monetize their own and third-party apps, for instance helping The evolutions described above are only the starting-points for the future transition of HR Services. IAM will continue to play a key role in supporting these evolutions.