Equity Residential personalizes HR strategy using Oracle

Equity Residential, with a $35 billion portfolio of luxury apartments, chose Oracle Cloud HCM to deliver on the company’s people-centric goals.


To remain at the forefront of technology for us meant moving to Oracle Cloud. We didn’t just dip our feet into the pool. We took the plunge and put our full human resources suite into the cloud.

Mark JohnsonDirector of Human Capital Management Technology, Equity Residential

Products list

Business challenges

In the early 1960s, two guys at the University of Michigan—Sam Zell and Bob Lurie—started managing student apartment buildings. Today, Equity Residential is an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development, and management of rental apartment properties located in urban and high-density suburban markets where today’s renters want to live and work. Equity Residential owns or has investments in 304 properties consisting of 78,410 apartment units, primarily located in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California, and Denver.

With an emphasis on offering first-class service to residents, Equity Residential needed a way to attract and retain top-notch employees, as it was moving off on-premises PeopleSoft and Taleo human resources systems and into a single, modern cloud platform.

We’re extending the dashboards Oracle supplies to give our business leaders the data they need to make appropriate decisions. Are we promoting the right people? Are we paying them the right amount? Are we balanced in terms of diversity and inclusion? This is the right time to be asking ourselves the right questions and explore our employee data more.

Mark JohnsonDirector of Human Capital Management (HCM) Technology, Equity Residential

Why Equity Residential Chose Oracle

Equity Residential selected Oracle Cloud HCM due to its highly configurable capabilities that enable the company to handle complex business requirements. The company also was attracted to Oracle Cloud HCM because it would allow it to unify all its platforms for a consistent employee experience and provide business leaders with data in one place for reporting and analysis.

Also, Oracle Cloud HCM let Equity Residential personalize the user experience more than other providers that it considered. For example, the company could make its job search site reflect its brand, such as by adding photos and videos of employees working in the cities where it leases apartments. “We didn’t want you to go from a beautiful site for searching for an apartment, and then you search for a job and take a major step back. That was incredibly important for us in order to sustain a consistently high-quality user experience,” says Mark Johnson, Equity Residential director of HCM technology. In 2020, the company used the recruiting module of Oracle Cloud HCM to quickly build its new career website.

Most recently, the team rolled out Oracle Digital Assistant and Adaptive Intelligence to better support the employee experience. The company focused initially on implementing Oracle Digital Assistant to enhance the external candidate experience on its career site even further, allowing candidates to ask about open jobs in a particular location, the status of their application, or even about employee programs. With Adaptive Intelligence, Equity Residential was able to enhance the recruiter experience to streamline candidate review and provide the ability to quickly find similar prospective candidates for a job opening.


Equity Residential moved to cloud-based human resources applications for strategic reasons, and Oracle Cloud HCM is delivering on those goals.

The company can now connect its HR information to other business applications in a centralized place where employees and managers can easily access the records remotely.

Oracle Workforce Management is unified with Oracle Cloud HCM, so employees have a consistent experience and one place for reporting and analysis. Having a seamless solution with Oracle Payroll and Oracle Absence Management has helped overcome challenges of working with multiple, separate solutions where data could not connect. Now the company has a single, secure way to track, manage, and accurately pay the workforce.

 The HR and executive teams can build easy-to-understand dashboards for business unit leaders. “Data is the new currency,” Johnson says. “Why should our execs have to wait and ask HR for the information they need? Let’s get those dashboards right into their hands, so they can take a look at their workforce at any time.”


Baker Tilly, one of Oracle’s premier gold-level partners, managed the Oracle implementation. The management consulting practice provides a range of functional, technical, and industry expertise to assist organizations in solving their toughest transformational challenges.

Published:October 13, 2021