The Biggest Task: Centralizing HR
About the company: HORIZONT, the Munich initiative founded by actor Jutta Speidel, has so far helped around 2,800 people lead autonomous lives. At the HORIZONT refuge, homeless mothers and children can find a temporary home and holistic care under the same roof.
HR and Accounting
Since 2018, the Domagkpark HORIZONT house has offered a permanent home to mothers, children, and disadvantaged families. It functions as a meeting place offering numerous sociocultural services that are also available to the general public. As a nonprofit organization within the social sector, HORIZONT faces several specific HR challenges. One important and ongoing task for the HR team has been and continues to be recruiting in a highly contested specialist market. “For our houses, we are primarily looking for kindergarten teachers, social workers, and social education workers,” reports Sabrina Lang, an employee in the HR and Accounting department. She is well aware that she needs to keep a particular eye on employee retention as well as recruitment.
“However, our main problem before Personio was our decentralized employee management. A lot of detailed work took place within the houses. And due to the sharp increase in employee numbers since 2018, we needed and wanted more automated and centralized processes.” The lion’s share of the HR workload involved organizational and administrative work. There were of course already some clear processes in place before Personio, “but they were primarily analog. That is, the ideas were firmly embedded in our minds but did not yet exist in digital form,” explains Sabrina.
With the opening of the new house in 2018 and the increase in employee numbers this involved, we wanted to work in a more centralized and automated way.
Furthermore, there was no shared access to employee documents at the organization’s three locations. Of course, the usual files were kept at the HORIZONT office, but duplicate files were often kept at the houses, with email requests for information coming to HR. And a separate digital tool for attendance tracking did not represent progress as it was seen by the workforce as being too complicated.
No centralized or automated HR processes
Duplicate filing across multiple locations
Too little time for strategic HR work
locations in Munich
The requirements profile for potential systems prioritized the question of cost. The monthly cost of an HR tool had to be as low as possible because HORIZONT, being a charitable organization with an associated foundation, is financed primarily through donations. Additionally, the organization is planning to expand in the near future – a third house is to be established, and the workforce will grow accordingly.
The low monthly cost was a strong argument in favor of Personio. That is a key issue for nonprofits.
In addition, it was important that the tool be understandable, clear and user-friendly. “Many of our colleagues are used to working with people rather than sitting at a computer every day. We had to take this into account when choosing a system,” says Sabrina, explaining their particular situation. Furthermore, attendance tracking needed to be integrated into the tool, as did an option for customized process design. And a cloud-based system was also a requirement. “Mainly because we see ourselves as a modern organization within the social sector and we want to move with the times,” adds Sabrina.
A Successful Implementation
Sabrina was primarily responsible for the implementation process at HORIZONT, and she was able to work closely on all the details. “It was all very straightforward. I had fixed weekly appointments with my contact person, and we used them to work on the upcoming to-dos together. In addition, we had planned sufficient lead time to be able to offer our employees a great deal of support during the introduction of the new system.”
Standard processes such as on- and offboarding and recruiting are completely automated with Personio, and attendance tracking is integrated into the tool. In addition, documents can be easily created by managers using document templates. The automatic reminder function also makes a lot of processes easier. All managers and employees now have direct access to the data relevant to them via their digital employee file, which speeds up communication.
Personio is allowing Sabrina to reassess and refocus her HR work. “Right now, I really see this as a process. Of course, employee management is still part of our job because even Personio needs to be managed, but the software takes a lot of manual work off our hands and it only takes a couple of clicks to generate high-quality overview lists.”
Our HR work has really been in flux since we introduced Personio.
Sabrina enjoys investing her time in new HR processes. The HR task spectrum has expanded in terms of content, with new projects such as, for example, employee health programs, the organization of a creative employee team day, and the introduction of an intranet. “Our role is changing. Our own concept of what HR can be has expanded. Or to put it another way: HR at our organization is in a state of flux, and we are now in a position to launch wonderful projects that will be interesting and profitable for us all,” says Sabrina.
Sabrina believes that Personio has boosted the important bond between HORIZONT and its employees. “I know that many colleagues really appreciate being able to work with the new tool. The managers in particular are giving me positive feedback. They can now access important data directly and feel more closely involved than before, especially in the recruitment process.”
Organizing an employee team day
Introducing an intranet
Setting up an employee health program
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Sabrina particularly appreciates the automated on- and offboarding process. “I just like to have clear to-dos that I can work through one by one. I am a big fan of clear and unambiguous processes. In this respect, I feel secure and in good hands.”
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