From Administrator to Strategic Partner
Industry: Nonprofit Sector
About the company: UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe e.V. is the national partner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The nonprofit organisation, headquartered in Bonn, has been promoting projects for refugees in Germany since 1980. It raises awareness by informing people about refugees and mobilises people in Germany to financially support the worldwide, life-saving work of the UNHCR. Currently, the team comprises 60 employees.
The HR department of UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe has traditionally dealt with a classic mix of HR tasks and has high expectations of its own work. When it comes to administrative tasks, they view themselves as a “reliable service partner who aims to exceed the usual standard”.
Above all, they are also a “sparring partner and advisor for team leaders and the organisation’s management for strategic questions” Julia Pohl, HR Manager at UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe says of the organisation's daily work.
When Julia started working at UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe in February 2021, there was one colleague in HR and a digital tool to capture basic personnel data, time tracking and absence management.
“The employees were using this tool but everything that went beyond that was happening through a multitude of individual mini-processes that frequently had to be tidied manually. Maintaining the birthday calendar by hand – that alone took up a significant amount of time,” Julia recalls. “We barely had any time but really wanted to work more strategically.”
There was a multitude of small manual processes that took up a significant amount of time.
The final trigger to look for a new and stronger HR software was the old tool which couldn’t handle the heterogeneous work time models. “This is exactly what a new tool must be able to do. Thereby, all data should be captured in a uniform manner as well,” says Julia.
No holistic HR system
Employee documents not digitalised
Multiple manual mini-processes
I can finally turn my attention to strategic questions around the future of our work.
Working together with their internal IT department and test users from the agency’s workforce, HR tested several tools – from isolated solutions to holistic software applications. This all had to happen under immense time pressure, as important aspects of the old tool were no longer available.
The team then decided on Personio, because the software was highly customisable and able to be adapted to meet the specific requirements of UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe. “There were three key points that the tool definitely had to be able to do – intuitive time tracking, easy handling of our individual part-time models and last but not least, superior data protection features,” Julia explains.
Once the decision had been made, things moved quickly. “The Personio team was very accommodating. From offering nonprofit pricing which perfectly suits our donation-based organisation, to a high level of understanding of our company’s needs. All our dealings were characterised by a lot of trust because our main contact person immediately understood what I as an HR manager needed,” says Julia.
A Successful Implementation
There were just four weeks left to implement the new tool. “We had to switch from the old tool to Personio very quickly. We didn’t want to go through a transition phase.” For this reason, many personnel files were still being digitalised during and after the implementation.
“All in all, everything went smoothly – also thanks to our own dedicated implementation manager. We were able to clarify any open points directly in calls and also made use of the Personio Community. When we created the roles and worked on settings in the software, the support was great,” Julia remembers.
“Since the software has been in use, our processes are a lot more structured. Personio has taken over the to-do list from my head. Doing things manually is prone to errors, and that is now history,” Julia sums up. She continues: “Since we implemented Personio, we have this wonderful mix of automated administrative processes in a single system, which we can optimise through our strategic work and make the whole thing even better.”
Thanks to Personio, we were able to automate several small processes. I can finally turn my attention to strategic questions around the future of our work.
Finally, the team is able to focus on recruiting, which wasn’t going optimally before Personio, due to manual processes and filing systems. “We’ve grown a lot – so we are looking to standardise the recruiting process more to strengthen experience and our employer branding.” Nothing is overlooked or forgotten, and you always know at which step of the process you are, at any given time.”
Furthermore, Julia now takes care of highly strategic tasks such as organisational development. Developing a hybrid work model is thereby at the top of the agenda. In the next step, the HR team wants to use Personio to take the topics of performance management and feedback processes to a new level. The respective modules will be implemented soon. Integration with DATEV is also being discussed.
More time for organisational development
Holistic HR work now possible
What do you appreciate most about Personio?
What is Personio’s greatest strength for the organisation’s HR work? “It’s this exciting combination of the holistic nature of the system on the one hand and its modularity on the other. Many of the details are customisable, so that I can exactly reach my goals. You can tell that a lot of love has gone into this system. We have had the biggest feedback from our employees: No more complaints.”
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