We were able to completely customize and change the forms at any point without needing to contact an IT desk or have a background in programming.
When you need to make a hire, you want that person in a seat or on the field as quickly as possible. HR and business professionals know the frustration that comes with finding the ideal candidate and then waiting for days on end before their approval is confirmed.
The Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency is a non-profit organization deeply invested into supporting the community of Detroit. Their mission is to empower low-income families and shape the communities they are a part of. It is an agency that provides programs and services in the areas of financial coaching and early childhood care.
With around 300 employees, Wayne Metro is one of the largest organizations of its kind in Detroit. Many of its employees come from the very same neighborhoods the organization is seeking to help. And as a G Suite customer, they already know the advantages of having a reliable foundation for their work.
Recently we had a chance to talk with Yvonne Herman, who is the Chief Human Resource Officer for Wayne Metro about how they have used automation in their hiring and employee onboarding process.
YH: We first started to look for an automation tool because we needed to manage personnel transactions when people would move from location to location based on where the next program was starting, or if we needed to shift resources around.
We looked at several different options to solve our workflow needs. We were getting buried in paperwork as the organization grew and knew it was time to bring in some technology. But each option had significant drawbacks. Traditional HR platforms didn’t allow us to collaborate with other departments very easily. We actually purchased another workflow software, but quickly found that it was a headache to try to implement and changes would take up to a day to reflect in the workflow. And all the options seemed like they were going to be financially out-of-reach for a community organization that has better things to spend its budget on.
YH: Kissflow was a great choice because it is quick and easy and we can tailor it to our organizational needs, and it comes at a price that makes sense, even for us.
The thing that makes the biggest difference to us is customization. We were able to completely customize and change the forms at any point without needing to contact an IT desk or have a background in programming. It is completely intuitive and can be adjusted in a moment’s notice.
We also love how Kissflow can be used across departments (connecting Finance and HR seamlessly). All users need is an email address, and they are a part of the workflow. The permission settings are important for us to maintain some privacy about certain processes, and the mobile app is also very useful for getting approvals done on the go.
YH: After creating the status change application, we created one for the hiring process as well. It’s important for us to have great people in positions on the field, so we needed something that would work well with our systems. Due to the nature of our work, Wayne Metro must do a lot of screening for applicants and a lot of approvals are necessary. Before we started using Kissflow, we averaged five working days to approve a new hire. For those on the field, five days is the difference between meeting a need and having to turn someone away from an important service.
By automating our hiring and recruiting process, we cut down the average approval time to two days, and have even had some approved within 24 hours of initiating a request!
YH: When I started, we had electronic forms, but it was still a paper-driven system. Everything had to be printed out and transported from site to site to get all the appropriate signatures. That made things run a lot slower than they do now. A single question might be a day’s delay or more.
YH: Automating the hiring and onboarding process has given us two huge benefits. The first is the ability to communicate across teams. Both cross-department and hierarchically, we have a lot of great communication. This process lets the left hand know what the right hand is doing all the time. Everyone who needs to know is made aware of the details and HR doesn’t have to spend our time trying to track people down. Communication is always happening in real time.
The second benefit is that new hires get to see that kind of organization in real time and they are impressed that we are able to have everything in order on the first day.
YH:Because we are still in the grant-funded world, every employee still has a lot of paperwork to go through. Every program is different and wants different information. There are a ton of forms and there is a great chance of human error as well. We’d love to be completely paperless – and we mostly are, internally. But these forms are still a large part of our work and create an impediment to streamlining the process.
YH:It’s very critical to attract and retain staff long-term. You don’t want people coming in and you look unorganized and don’t know what’s going on. That can feed into their psyche and make them doubt if they made the right choice. We don’t want our new hires coming in with any anxiety or angst. We want them to come in, excited to work right out of the gate. Onboarding is critical to that structure; it’s the engine that sets the structure for that platform for new hires to be engaged and happy about the decision that both of you made to work together.
Wayne Metro is doing some amazing work in Detroit and we are proud to make that work easier and more efficient through workflow automation!
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