I’ve raised this question because in my experience there are clients who regularly re-use their position numbers in Chris21 but at the same time there are many who will create a new position number whenever they have a new starter.

So is there a right or wrong, is one way better than the other? It’s really a matter of preference. There will always be occasions when you will need to create a new position. This would be the case if the position role is new and none of your existing positions match. In this case a new position number is warranted. However, there are plenty of occasions where a new starter will fit into an existing position. When this happens you have the choice of using the existing position or creating a new one.

If you do create a new position number for each new starter then this means each employee will have a unique position number. If you choose instead to re-use your position numbers you could very well have multiple employees sharing one position number. In most cases both of these scenarios are fine. You just need to be aware of workflow when sharing position numbers. I will expand on this later in this article.

A good way to approach this question is the look at the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

Advantages of creating new position numbers in Chri21

  • Every employee will have their own position number. This helps if employees performing the same role work in a different organisation level or need a different leave group;
  • A different position number for each employee can allow for better reporting. Each employee number/position number combination will be unique;
  • Changing position number details won’t affect any other employee. For instance, an employee may change from full time to part time.

Disadvantages of creating new position numbers in Chris21

  • You will very quickly grow the number of positions you have in Chris21 and many of these will be closed and possibly never re-used;
  • There might be many position incumbents who perform a similar role. If you need to make a change it could mean changing all of their individual positions;
  • Reporting can be more difficult when trying to identify specific employee groups.

These are just some of the points that come to mind. You may very well have other reasons why your system of position management works best for your organisation.

While sharing position numbers is appropriate in many cases, bear in mind that it can cause issues if manager positions are shared. This will be a particular problem when it comes to HR21 and workflow. For instance, the system needs to know who the manager is when an employee requests leave. If managers are sharing a position then the workflow will be directed to the first manager found alphabetically. This of course may not be the correct manager!

Ultimately there is no definitive right or wrong way to assign position numbers in Chris21. It will be a matter of what works best for you. I would be interested to hear what you think and the pros and cons of your methods. It might also give an insight into which is the most popular method.