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The Evolution of Self Service HR


  • A self-service  HR system that reduced costs and time with improved processes, data entry and initiation
  • Average times to manage a vacancy decreased from 4-5 days to 1-2 days
  • 367% increase in self-service personal details entry over a 4-year period
  • 175% increase in self-service absence entry over a 4-year period
  • 237% increase in recruitment site visits over a 4-year period
  • 600% increase in job applications over 4 years since implementation
  • 366% increase in candidates browsing on mobile

"Claremont, along with their partner Applaud, have helped to transform our People Services. Since the Applaud implementation four years ago, the enhanced experience continues to prompt positive feedback from our staff and ROI has been delivered to our organisation.”."


Jackie Noorden 
People Operations Director


Claremont and Applaud delivered a self-service HR system that reduced costs and time with improved processes, data entry and initiation 


The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation.

Founded in 1895, over the last 125 years, they’ve grown to become Europe’s largest conservation charity, caring for historic properties and areas of beautiful countryside.

As a business, it is built on its people; from those who are within the properties to those running business functions. 




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In 2012, the National Trust introduced a new internal HR system called MYplace, to streamline current HR processes and help manage a workforce of approximately 14,000 employees.

The platform consisted of the following Oracle e-Business suite modules: 

  • Core HR 
  • iRecruitment 
  • Employee & Manager Self-Service 
  • Learning Management
  • Time & Labor 
  • Payroll

The deployment was successful, and the National Trust realised many administrative benefits of having an integrated, centrally run HCM system. 

However, they came across some common problems:

  • System wasn’t trusted by other business functions
  • Not well adopted and overly complicated
  • Feedback from staff that the system wasn’t user friendly
  • Applicant feedback that the recruitment process online was error-prone and unintuitive
  • No mobile access for the workforce comprising of people that do not have easy access to PCs
  • Complex and unintuitive screens for managers resulting in forms being filled out incorrectly, causing problems in payroll, time recording, vacancy creation and job changes

Another trouble spot was iRecruitment. This was deployed as an external job board for candidates to view National Trust vacancies and apply for jobs. 

Poor usability, errors and an unbranded experience caused candidates to abandon the ‘apply for a job’ process. It was also not possible to search for vacancies or apply for jobs using mobile devices. 

Key performance indicators like Time to Publish, Time to Offer and Time to Hire were below expectations and candidate numbers were falling. Improving the candidate experience became a critical priority, especially with the volume of seasonal recruitment.

Having invested long term in Oracle HCM, the National Trust were keen to realise their original return on investment so, as part of a larger organisational strategy focused on empowering their people, the National Trust HR team embarked on a large HR transformational project which included increasing the accessibility, usability and capability of their people systems.

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Claremont, along with its partner Applaud, the Oracle HR specialist, have been helping Oracle HCM users for many years and so understand how user’s needs have evolved.

Applaud is driven by a mission to create HR technology that focuses completely on the employee, resulting in technology that basically gives employees the same exceptional experiences at work as those outside of work. 


Back in 2015, Claremont  integrated Applaud’s modern and technologically advanced Self-Service application, enabling employees and managers to use a fresh and intuitive interface, complemented by native mobile and tablet applications. And with Applaud’s module sitting on top of an existing implementation of Oracle HCM, there was no disruption, with a seamless integration resulting in the demands of the modern HR user being adaptively met. 

The original implementation of Applaud HR required no upgrades, no interfaces and no disruption as the system used the existing setup like AME rules, flex fields, user hook validation and more to deliver a next generation experience.

Once implemented, all 14,000 National Trust employees used the self-service facility, delivering significant business benefits, such as cost and time savings. 


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Four years on from the initial implementation, staff at all levels continue to rely on the functionality and reliability of the software. 

As a result, the intuitive user interface has empowered managers and employees to be responsible for their own data, dramatically improving data quality. And with over 180% increase in logged annual leave and over 130% increase in logged sick leave over the past four years, manager’s now have much better management information.

The organisation as a whole has a clear 360-degree view of employee and absence data from an integrated HCM module that is reliable, regularly updated and has transformed National Trust’s HR function. 

Plus, with the ability to produce more accurate business intelligence, National Trust has seen an overall improvement in its operation, with a positive boost to employee engagement and a reduction in absenteeism. 

Take a look at our other Case Studies

Thumbnail for The Only Impossible Journey, Is The One You Never Begin

Claremont designed and implemented a payroll solution in under 3 months for West Midlands Railway, saving significant costs for the customer. The payroll solution was able to address the complexities of the railway employment contracts and terms at the fraction of a cost of a new system.

Thumbnail for Unite Students HR Case Study

Unite Students is the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation. Unite Students chose to work with Claremont to deliver the first stage of their Employee and Manager Self-Service project. This was part of a wider strategic programme that involved the expansion of Oracle’s R12 E-Business Suite to support a number of key business processes to provide self-service functionality to employees and managers with the ambition of providing the capability to manage much of the employee data at source. Read more here.

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