The Beauty of Seamless HR
About the company: Phorest’s salon software is used by 155,000+ hair, beauty and clinic professionals worldwide, across 9,000+ businesses. Their mission is to empower and inspire salon, spa and clinic owners to grow fantastic businesses while attracting and delighting loyal clients and talented staff.
Head of People Operations
The Problem: Admin Chaos With Limited Support
“HR before Personio was definitely a bit more chaotic”, laughs Alex Quinn, Head of People Operations at Phorest. Their main challenge at the time was to establish a really robust source of truth for all of their people data. But their HR processes needed significant streamlining too.
As a software company, Phorest’s success is heavily dependent on having the right developers on board, a category that is notoriously difficult to hire for (although here are some quick tips to do it): “Recruitment and sourcing talent is always a challenge, especially in the last few years” Alex shares.
Onboarding, too, was a bulky and difficult process for the HR team at Phorest: “Our onboarding process was just not really fitting together. Our team was quite small at the time — we were only a few people so we didn't have that much time to spend on admin. Any additional work was a waste of time for us. It was detracting from us being able to really add value to the business.”
Being able to automate daily HR processes such as onboarding was something that drew Alex and her team to Personio: “That was a huge part of moving to Personio — you're trying to really cut down on any admin tasks that could have been automated.”
Their previous HR software was “a big company that a lot of people use”. However, as Alex explains: “We found it extremely hard to get decent support. Being able to get support or feedback from our provider was really important to us, so that was definitely one of the main challenges.”
You're trying to really cut down on any admin tasks that could have been automated.
Gaining access to clean, reliable data was also a real issue for their HR function at at the time: “The other thing was the cleanliness and accuracy of the data in the system. It was a real challenge to keep things clean, which is obviously a big no-no for any HR software. What was also particularly hard was access levels and roles. Even after two years, it got really messy and hard to manage so nothing ever worked well.”
No single source of truth
Slow recruiting and onboarding processes
Lack of clean data and complex access rights
“We decided on Personio because it fitted all the requirements that we needed such as automation and a lot of customisation.”
Making the Choice
Phorest’s main requirements for their new software were a) for it to be really simple to use for their employees and b) something that connected well to the tools they already had: “The integration between Slack and Personio calendars was really important to us — it’s something we use everyday and it integrates so well into our culture and how we use our technology. I love it — people are creatures of habit and obviously they spend a lot of time on Slack so not having to leave that platform [to input HR requests] is amazing.” But this integration was only part of what clarified the decision to choose Personio. The real reason is that it ticked all their boxes, shares Alex: “We were also looking for scalability, so in Personio we can add a lot of custom fields as we need them. We saw it as a system that can grow with us.”
The Implementation Process
Once the decision was made, getting the right level of support was easy: “The implementation process with Personio was really great — we got so much help. It was pretty seamless, obviously it’s a big change but we felt really supported”, explains Alex. “We worked with a dedicated onboarder and I really enjoyed the structure. It was a proper project plan: we knew all the milestones and when it was going to be ready. We got a lot of support communicating the change to our team and making sure that they're really well educated. We felt supported to ask questions and it was really fast as well.”
Since then, they have had regular, scheduled support to ensure any questions are tackled right away: “We started working with our Customer Success Manager, Julia and it's been an absolutely amazing experience.” They meet every two weeks. In-between that they are in regular contact. It’s been easy to ensure they are able to get the full benefit of Personio: “Our CSM helped us set up the system in a way that works specifically for how we do HR. We're able to mould the system into our way of working. She knows everything about the system. We know we can always go to her, she’s a fantastic resource to have.”
Reduced admin workload on fixing access/permissions issues
Less time spent on communication outside the system
Seamless onboarding and improved employee experience
Enjoying the Results
Since implementing Personio, their onboarding process has been transformed, shares Alex: “Onboarding is really easy now that we have Personio.” Previously, it was difficult to make sure that new employees, their managers, the office team and the IT team were all working within the same workflow.
In particular, these shared workflows and Personio’s reminders have eliminated a lot of messaging back and forth: “It has cut down on endless Slack messages. We can be sure that if the employee needs to complete a few steps, the system will remind them. We don't have to chase them or constantly check on their progress, so it's definitely cut down on that admin.” And the feature they use most? It’s probably everyone’s favourite HR process — booking holidays. As heavy Slack users, Phorest employees simply open a chat with the Personio integration within their Slack to automatically request their days off.
It’s also a personal favourite of Alex’s: “I love it! Just the fact that people can book their holidays without having to log onto a different app is super useful. It doesn’t take a lot of time out of their day and it is really seamless. It’s something that is used every day in Phorest.”
Most importantly, by automating their processes, the team has minimised its admin and the process of reactively fixing issues for people — something every HR professional reading this will inevitably relate to. It’s really showcased the team’s value in the business, says Alex: “By having automated processes that just run in the background, we can concentrate on the value-add rather than on administrative work that is a waste of our time. We've moved a bit closer to that goal of being a value-add function rather than an admin-heavy one.”
What Do You Appreciate Most About Personio?
Alex’s interaction with Personio has been so positive that she has actually joined our Customer Advisory Board: “One of the things that really sparked my interest in Personio was that the company is very aligned with community-building.” In its time in business, Phorest has created a set of awards that celebrates salon owners the world over.
It was a recognition that both companies put their customers’ needs first: “Every company says that they listen to their customers but I genuinely feel that that's true in Personio. Being part of the Customer Advisory Board is amazing — we get to work with product development teams in Personio to actually impact the development of the product.”
She adds: “This is a prime example of how Personio listens to the needs of the industry. Any time I give feedback on something or we figure out a small niggle or something that doesn't quite work for us, our CSM Julia is always there to take that feedback to the product teams working on that part of Personio, and I really feel like it is taken on board.”
It’s not just her relationship with the company that she’s happy with, but of course the product itself and the impact that it has on Alex’s daily work: “Personio is a really amazing all-round system that is simple to use. You don't need a lot of manpower on your team to be able to have great success with it. It really does cut down on the amount of admin you have to invest.” She adds: “You're able to concentrate on all the things that you want to do as a people team. There's just a lot more time that we can put into different projects like working on engagement.”
Customer Success Story: Phorest & Personio
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