Ratingen, Interaktiv gGmbH, Nattler Architekten, Axel Hartmann Fotografie

interaktiv gGmbH

Becoming the Most Innovative Provider Thanks to Digital HR

Industry: Social Services

About the company: As a social services provider, interaktiv focuses on three specialist areas: full days at school, competitive and popular sports as well as social welfare and social integration assistance. The sports- and exercise-oriented provider in the social services sector sees itself as an organization to support children and young adults with a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds and talents in the best possible way. 

Robin Seidel-Doetsch

Robin Seidel-Doetsch
HR Manager


The Challenge

Up to 2020, digital HR was virgin territory for interaktiv gGmbH. Work contracts were stored in binders, and recruitment was done manually, in an impromptu fashion. This led to extremely time-consuming, manual administrative work for HR, which ended up riddled with errors. This was a no-go for the new HR manager, Robin, who was specifically looking for a holistic digital solution to professionalize HR work at the company. As well as employee management for 850 employees, it needed to be able to cope with all the higher-level processes such as recruitment, on- and offboarding, and digital employee files and also be scalable. “There was a huge gap between aspiration and reality – to become the most innovative social services provider, we needed a functional HR department,” explains Robin.

We did not even have standard email addresses for applications. That was not sustainable.

The plan to grow from being a regional provider in North Rhine-Westphalia to a nationwide operator by 2025 was another reason to take action. Robin adds: “We want to have up to 3,000 employees by then – considering the skills shortage in the social sector, this is a mammoth task that we can only tackle with a strategic, digitally focused recruitment process. Only then will we be perceived as a future-oriented provider. We wanted to make a digital impact – but in the right way.”

Work contracts only available as hard copies

Up-to-date digital recruitment strategy not possible

Many different billing models

Lack of onboarding processes

current employees

school locations

new employees planned

The only way for us to step into the digital future was with a holistic and digital HR solution. Otherwise we would have been standing in the way of our own progress.

The Decision

I knew about Personio from a previous job and got in touch with them for the first time at the Zukunft Personal trade fair in Cologne. Of course, we took a close look at several candidates. It was very important to me to find a holistic HR solution – one system that could offer everything from classic employee files and attendance tracking to HR processes.” Deciding in favor of Personio was contingent on the software being able to communicate with DATEV – which Personio could.

“Above all, it was Personio’s level of personal communication that won us over. Our CEO, Bastian Schlierkamp, and I immediately sensed that the discussions were not just about selling us a product. There was always a very constructive focus on our targets and requirements,” says Robin. Personio’s professional experience with other social services providers was also decisive. The level playing field that Robin had sensed continues to this day. “It was not just the content and technical side of the product that persuaded us. I can simply say that Personio as a company is a great fit for us and, for me, that is what makes it work at the end of the day.”

Ratingen, Interaktiv gGmbH, Nattler Architekten, Axel Hartmann Fotografie

A Successful Implementation

Personio has been in use at interaktiv since May 2021. The implementation process involved overcoming some tricky issues. As interaktiv had previously worked on an analog basis, there was in effect no digital database. Documents had to be complied and then digitalized. This may at first seem to be a very time-consuming process, but Robin believes it will pay off over the medium term. It was also essential to convince managers and employees of the software’s advantages, make them aware of what digitalization could offer, and get them on board. Internal communication campaigns paved the way – with information on Personio provided during the working day, individual sessions with managers, and targeted training for the workforce.

Of course, this kind of software has a price – but it is money well spent.

Even after the implementation, Robin has remained in regular contact with his customer success manager in order to continuously optimize the existing HR processes. They analyzed the data generated and usage behavior together to discover potentials and identify strategies.

The Result

How has day-to-day business in interaktiv’s HR department changed? “We now work in a much more structured and organized way,” reports Robin. “All the data is now finally in the system – from attendance tracking for the different employee roles and absence requests to sick notes and the application process. We can now send managers automated reminders to carry out performance reviews or engage with candidates. All of HR’s day-to-day operations are now much simpler and are clear for us all. I am now very relaxed about the increase in employee numbers that is on the horizon. With this software, everything can easily be scaled up.” Robin also sees it as an important achievement that HR processes can be dealt with remotely, from any location, now that the HR Team has been equipped with laptops. This shows how agile and mobile the contemporary world of work can be. In addition, the feedback from employees and managers has been positive – the former have noticed that working with HR has become simpler and the latter are now able to control HR development in their teams at different locations easily and efficiently, at the touch of a button.

Robin and his team are using the working time they have gained to optimize existing processes. “Personio helps us reflect on our own workflows – because digitally mapped processes are unforgiving. They make it clear that things had previously been unnecessarily complex. Personio’s flexibility allows us to quickly readjust and optimize our processes. This offers great insights for us in HR.”

Although the system has only been in use for a few months, Robin is pleased to confirm that Personio is already making a strategic impact as a digital solution. “We want to be a truly innovative provider. Personio is the perfect digital solution to help with our further development. It allows us to present ourselves as a much more individual and professional social services brand in what is an extremely competitive candidate market.

Hourly automated payroll

Job openings go up to 6 times faster

Saving on paper costs

Significantly more applications received

The Most Popular Feature

“I can think of two right away. I am blown away by the “Digital documents” that allow digital work contracts to be automatically filled out using the saved profiles and then signed digitally. That has a real wow factor,” says Robin. “And secondly, the whole recruitment process has worked perfectly from day one. This is exactly the area that is crucial to our future growth as a business.”

Overall, interaktiv’s HR manager sees himself as being well on the way to becoming a “numbers-oriented HR manager,” and this is all thanks to his intensive involvement with Personio. In addition to the headcount, the full-time equivalents (FTE) are particularly important to him, and he can calculate and view these at the touch of a button. This is also the case for the development of candidate numbers, information on the different application channels and the ROI of his recruitment campaigns. “We are just starting to work intensively on our reporting. And that is something I expect will provide a great deal of momentum for the future of our company.”

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