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Created: October 24, 2001.
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HR-XML Consortium Approves New Standards for Human Resources E-commerce.

A posting from Chuck Allen (Director, HR-XML Consortium, Inc.) announces the publication of six (6) new approved specifications from the HR-XML Consortium. The 128-member HR-XML Consortium held its quarterly meeting on October 15-16, 2001 at London's Copthorne Tara Hotel, ratifying the new draft standards and affirming an expanded work agenda. The HR-XML Consortium is an "independent, non-profit association dedicated to the development and promotion of a standard suite of XML specifications to enable e-commerce and the automation of human resources-related data exchanges." The newly approved specifications govern Benefits Enrollment, Time Expense Reporting, Competencies, DateTime Data Types, PersonName, and PostalAddress. HR-XML standards working groups are designing HR-related specifications for Benefits Enrollment, Cross-Process Objects, Competencies, Payroll, Recruiting and Staffing, Staffing Industry Data Exchange Standards (SIDES), and Time Expense Reporting. The mission of the HR-XML Consortium is to "spare employers and vendors the risk and expense of having to negotiate and agree upon data interchange mechanisms on an ad-hoc basis. By developing and publishing open data exchange standards based on Extensible Markup Language, the Consortium can provide the means for any company to transact with other companies without having to establish, engineer, and implement many separate interchange mechanisms." The proceedings from the London Meeting documenting activities of the HR-XML consortium are available online.

New HR-XML specifications:

Benefits Enrollment. The Benefits Enrollment 1.0 specification [2001-10-16, 87 pages] "supports the transfer of benefits enrollment data among U.S.-based employers, third-party administrators, benefit suppliers/vendors, and other parties involved in the administration or provision of employee benefits... The Benefit Enrollment Workgroup is developing a universal schema for communicating employee enrollment information between employers and insurance carriers, managed care organizations, and third party administrators. Some of the workgroup's specific goals are: (1) Developing a specification supporting the enrollment in health, dental, vision, life, defined contribution, and most other types of group employee benefit programs. (2) Ensuring that the HR-XML benefits enrollment specification is able to map to the electronic data interchage (EDI) transaction sets mandated by the federal Health Insurance Portability Protection Act." See the documentation, XML Schema, and .ZIP archive.

Time Expense Reporting. The Time Expense Reporting 1.0 specification [2001-10-16, 41 pages] designed for an 'XML timecard' supports the reporting of time worked as well as certain expenses that might be reported by contract or temporary staff... The Time Expense Workgroup is developing a simple, but complete, electronic version of a timecard. The Time Reporting Protocol will define message interaction between employees/contractors and employers/staffing companies. The specification is expected to be robust enough for a wide cross section of the HR community to embrace it. The workgroup also plans to tackle the complexities of expense reporting." See the documentation, XML Schema, graphic, and .ZIP archive.

Competencies [Measurable Characteristics]. The 23-page Competencies 1.0 specification [schema] of 2001-Oct-16 "allows the capture of information about evidence used to substantiate a competency and ratings and weights that can be used to rank, compare, and otherwise evaluate of the sufficiency or desirability of a competency... The objective of the HR-XML Competencies project is the creation of an XML Schema that provides trading partners a standardized and practical means to exchange information about competencies within a variety of business contexts. The competency schema delivered by this workgroup is intended as a fragment that will be used within broader, process-specific schema developed by the HR-XML Consortium and other organizations. For example, the HR-XML competencies schema is intended to be part of a future version of HR-XML's Staffing Exchange Protocol." See the documentation, XML Schema, and .ZIP archive.

DateTime Data Types. The DateTime Data Types 1.1 specification [2001-Oct-16, 27 pages] "sets out an approach for HR-XML Schema designers to require or prohibit the Time Zone designation for date, time and dateTime values in a consistent manner." DateTime datatypes are part of the HR-XML design governed by the Cross-Process Objects (CPO) Workgroup. The CPO's current projects: (1) The Glossary project is focused on developing a common HR vocabulary and model for use by other Consortium workgroups. (2) The CPO oversees teams that work on models and schemas for common HR objects, such as the many attributes of the Person object that must be handled consistently by different HR processes. The first two objects defined by the CPO and approved by the HR-XML Consortium's membership are PersonName and PostalAddress. (3) The CPO's Job/Position project is in the process of developing generalized, reusable models for the Job and Position objects. (4) The CPO recently developed guidelines for effective dating as well as data types for consistent description of date or time information within other HR-XML specifications. (5) The CPO also is grappling with how to describe personal contact information. This specification will wrap together an existing postal address with on-line communication, such as e-mail addresses, as well as telecommunications contacts, such as phone and fax numbers. (6) The Personal Identifier project involves the development of a schema for 'personal identifiers,' which are identifiers for individuals who are the subject of, or referenced in, HR transactions." See the documentation, XML Schema and .ZIP archive.

PersonName. The PersonName specification [2001-Oct-16, 25 pages] "prescribes the form of the Person Name object used in HR-XML specifications. This update provides a version in XML Schema as well as in DTD." Models for PersonName are being developed within the HR-XML Cross-Process Objects (CPO) Workgroup. See the documentation, XML Schema, XML DTD, and .ZIP archive.

PostalAddress. The HR-XML PostalAddress specification 1.2 [2001-Oct-16, 27 pages] "prescribes the form of the PostalAddress object used in HR-XML specifications. This update provides a version in XML Schema as well as in DTD." Models for PostalAddress are being developed within the HR-XML Cross-Process Objects (CPO) Workgroup. See the documentation, XML Schema, XML DTD, and .ZIP archive.

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