We’re big believers in recording historical employee data – we do it on nearly every screen in the system. This means that records such as ‘Employment Contracts’, ‘Compensation’ and ‘Working & Scheduled Time’ have an ‘Effective From’ and an ‘Effective To’ date, and each change in the employee’s circumstances results in a new entry in the relevant table.
You might think this is overkill, especially on a table such as ‘Address’. But there are a number of important benefits to storing the data in this way:
- Accurate Historical Employee Records – this might seem obvious, but if you don’t store historical data, you can’t retrieve it when you need it. For example, if you employ workers from outside the US, you may need to produce a historical record of addresses for your sponsored employees for visa processes. Historical data also powers our new timeline view on the Personal Summary screen (above).
- Accurate Calculations – the system uses the effective dates on records to get the correct calculations for things such as PTO entitlement. For example, if Jill changes from Full Time 100% to Part Time 50% on April 13th , the system will recalculate her accrual for the year. If she changes to Part-Time 80% on September 3rd, it will calculate it again. And next year, if she asks why she only received 7 days vacation days last year, rather than the 10 she had the year before, all the information is there to explain it.
- Accurate Reporting – for really accurate reporting, you need to take account of historical data on multiple tables. For example, it’s a given that headcount reporting takes into account the leavers and joiners during the year. But for a really accurate figure on FTE headcount, it should also take into account the changes in people’s working patterns. So in the example above, Jill’s changes of working pattern should affect the FTE headcount of her department like this: