1. FC Köln

HR Department Scores the Winning Goal

Industry: Sports

About the company: 1. FC Köln is not only a sporting institution with more than 120,000 members, it is also one of the most important businesses in the Rhineland area of Germany. The club is driving digitalisation forward in the field of sport, communication, marketing, and match experiences.

1. FC Köln Hero Image
Testimonial: Annette Pautasso
Annette Pautasso

HR Specialist

The New HR System: A Great Transfer for the Club

“Noticeably different”. That's how 1. FC Köln sees itself – and it is. The football club is the fourth largest in Germany, and for many, it’s far more than just a club. This sentiment also applies to its almost 1,000 employees. They keep the athletes free to focus on the game, working in administration, IT, in the fan shop, as trainers, and in the stadium’s catering. The constantly growing club needed to rethink their approach to HR: "Most HR processes ran in parallel in several different solutions," Kathrin Eckes recalls. What they needed was a holistic, digital HR system. 

Dominic Theißen, Head of IT, explains: "We wanted automated, scalable workflows, integrations with existing systems such as Teams and DATEV, and cloud hosting. Four software-as-a-service products came up for selection, and Personio turned out to be a suitable solution."

The software had to be implemented at short notice. In the early stages, some of the staff were asked to use the system before it was implemented. "We gave approximately 400 temporary staff from the catering and shops access to Personio early on so that they could record their times,” Kathrin adds. “Through the role-based access control, we were able to define which features could be viewed and used while implementation continued in the background," Kathrin explains. "It was great that we had our own Customer Success Manager from Personio. He was always available to us and helped us enormously during the implementation."

A Team Effort to Recruit New Players

Since the introduction of Personio, the HR department has been playing in a new league. This is especially true for the all-important recruiting of various employees: from temporary staff to working students, from interns to specialists in administration such as legal and IT.

The process was restructured by Personio, and the system now serves as a central tool for all stakeholders, describes HR Specialist Annette Pautasso: "After we have outlined the requirements and tasks for a position, we activate the advertisement directly in Personio.” 

“The process is transparent and convenient – we simply publish the ad across all portals using the multiposting function. This used to be time-consuming and laborious. Now it works at the push of a button." The interview planning that followed used to be a coordination marathon via telephone and email. However, the smart interview scheduling feature in Personio led to a significant reduction in workload. Available slots of interviewers are now automatically shown and candidates can choose from them with just one click.

"The selected slot then automatically appears in the interviewer's calendar, optionally with a video chat link," explains Annette. "From an IT perspective, features like this are particularly valuable because they allow us to integrate Personio with our entire tool landscape," Dominic adds. 

1. FC Köln is also exploring new approaches to job advertisements. Vacancies are advertised directly in the stadium via posters with QR codes and  via the club's social media channels. "With the tracking links generated in Personio, we can track the origin of applications and then target the most successful channels more," reports Annette. "That way, we use our resources more efficiently."

  • Cloud hosting for a modern system landscape

  • all-important recruiting needed to be optimized

  • Wish for holistic workflows across the organization

Cologne based employees
HR solution

Where we used to have to coordinate a multitude of documents and emails, today it just takes one click with Personio.

Introducing Smarter Tactics: The New Onboarding

When positions are successfully filled, Personio makes yet another process easier: Candidates become employees instantly through automatic data transfer from their candidate profile: "This saves time and resources and minimises errors. During onboarding, new employees can then complete their profiles independently. This has allowed us to streamline the onboarding process enormously," explains Annette. "We have digitally stored contractual documents such as data protection or IT guidelines in the Personio onboarding module and the new employees simply accept them in one click. This saves paper and is faster and more sustainable."

Everything that used to have to be tracked manually is now triggered with one click as many processes have been mapped in holistic workflows. For example, automated emails guarantee that two season tickets Bundesliga matches are ready for new permanent employees on their first day of work. "Thanks to the tool, we ensure that nothing is forgotten, that our new colleagues not only feel welcome, but also that all their work tools are ready on the first day," says Annette. 

Since the introduction of Personio in 2021, Dominic sees the advantages of the new system not only from an IT perspective, but also as a manager and user: "I already have a much better overview of my team's deployment times." 

Nicole Bender, Sporting Director of the women's teams, also benefits from the new HR solution: "I am responsible for squad planning and scouting for the women’s team. It is important that personnel processes run smoothly in the background. Our youth coaches enter their working hours in Personio and then I approve them. It's a big advantage that it's uncomplicated and quick.”

Finding The Perfect Coach: The Customer Success Manager

Personio’s Customer Success Manager Michael is available to the club to brainstorm new ideas."Michael already accompanied us in the implementation when we had to go live virtually overnight," Kathrin recalls. 

Annette adds: "When we add new functions or set up new processes, we work it out together. He knows our individual requirements and helps us to optimise HR processes in a targeted way." She adds that it is also an advantage that Personio connects customers with other companies, both within the sector and across sectors. This enables the exchange of information on HR topics and experiences with the system – a real team success.

Annette Pautasso concludes: "Where we used to have to coordinate a multitude of documents and emails, today it just takes one click with Personio. Communication across both departments and applicants has become so much more efficient."

Customer Success Story 1. FC Köln & Personio

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