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Overview of SuccessFactors Center of Capabilities

Here's how SuccessFactors Center of Capabilities can help identify employee abilities, employees who should be upskilled and the projects that have attracted employee interest.

Employee skills are the foundation of many of SAP's SuccessFactors HR and talent management tools. Now SAP's Center of Capabilities aims to help users incorporate employee skills and other attributes across their processes.

The Center of Capabilities is a framework and foundational set of functionalities for defining, collecting and storing workforce information. While traditional workplace thinking previously defined this employee information as only skills and competencies, the Center of Capabilities allows storage of any employee characteristic.

These employee capabilities drive various processes, initiatives and programs across the system, and workers can use their stored capabilities to find new roles, dynamic teams, and learning and development opportunities.

The Center of Capabilities supports SAP's employee concept, titled the Whole Self Model. According to SAP, the Model is composed of employee information like aspirations, motivations and work styles as well as skills and competencies.

The Center of Capabilities Capability Portfolio displays an employee's skills, competencies and other characteristics, and a manager can rate an employee's proficiency with each. SAP's goal for the Capability Portfolio is the centralization of holistic employee information like education, certifications and other workforce data. Managers can reference this data when making growth opportunity recommendations.

The Center of Capabilities can also help identify employees who should be upskilled and the teams and projects that have attracted employee interest.

Be aware that many of the capabilities described here will become available during 2022 and beyond.


The Center of Capabilities consists of new features and some older SAP SuccessFactors tools. It uses and supports SuccessFactors applications and features such as Job Profile Builder, Learning and Recruiting.

In Recruiting, capabilities flow into job requisitions and users can assign capabilities to a job profile if desired. The software can generate interview questions based on the job profile's capabilities.

In Learning, users can link courses with capabilities so a capability appears on an employee's Capability Portfolio once they've completed a particular course.

Meanwhile, Capabilities Libraries provide a granular way to organize capabilities based on different groupings, such as functional areas or job families. A Capability Library is similar to a traditional Job Architecture structure, which defines capabilities across an organization and can display up to four hierarchy levels.

A Capability Library consists of one or more Categories, which can itself contain capabilities or be subdivided into one or more Groups that contain capabilities. Here's an example of a Capability Library structure:

  • Capability Library: Manufacturing
    • Category: Automotive parts
      • Group: Metalwork
        • Competency: Casting
        • Competency: Forgery
        • Competency: Cutting
      • Group: Assembly line
        • Competency: Precision welding
        • Competency: Shaft assembly
        • Competency: Quality assurance

Users can upload Capabilities Libraries or create them manually, and the software supports third-party library integration. In the future, SAP intends machine learning (ML) to create Capabilities Libraries by inferring capabilities from internal SuccessFactors and external data.

The Capability Portfolio displays an employee's capabilities and a proficiency rating for each. The proficiency rating scale can consist of a three-, four- or five-point range, and each proficiency rating on the scale can include a default label and description like "proficient" or "expert proficiency." Users can also create customized capability level descriptions. Workflows are planned for capability adding, editing and rating.

Attached to each capability are previous ratings and further details if needed. Users can navigate to the Opportunity Marketplace from a Capability Portfolio to find opportunities that match an employee's capabilities.

How organizations can use it

The Center of Capabilities fills a large gap in SAP SuccessFactors' talent management features. Leaders will likely be able to utilize a workforce's abilities more effectively when they can reference a capabilities collection to find the right employee for a particular task, view career development and progression data, and match candidates -- both internally and externally -- to open positions.

The Center of Capabilities ties together various talent management processes and could improve outcomes. Here are some other ways the Center of Capabilities enhances particular tools:

  • Talent Search. Users can search for employees within the Center of Capabilities and learn whether they possess a certain skill or would be a good fit for a particular job.
  • Job Profile Builder. Capabilities appearing on job profiles could help candidates better understand the job requirements, among other benefits.
  • Recruiting. In the future, ML will identify candidates' capabilities based on their resumes and match them to open requisitions.
  • Onboarding. Employees can add capabilities to their Capabilities Portfolio during onboarding. In the future, the system will also infer capabilities based on onboarding activities and add them to the Capabilities Portfolio.
  • Learning. Learning administrators can create capability-based learning paths, making it easier to compile structured education plans for employees.
  • Career Development Planning.
    • An employee's proficiency in a particular capability appears in their Portfolio after they complete a goal, if goals and capabilities are linked.
    • The Center of Capabilities creates a visual representation of an employee's proficiency gaps for target roles. Referencing it could help employees and managers identify potential development areas and enable personal growth.
    • The Center of Capabilities can infer employee capabilities based on target roles and goal language.
  • Performance Management. Users can map Continuous Performance Achievement activities and achievements to their capabilities. In addition, a manager can add capabilities to a performance evaluation form ad hoc or based on the employee's job and performance.
  • Opportunity Marketplace. Users can create recommendations for an employee's project assignments, career moves, learning courses and mentors based on Capabilities Portfolio data.

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