Information Management Leader Transforms HR into a Strategic FunctionSeptember 15, 2023
Read how VRC is leveraging Paylocity to break away from legacy processes and grow their business.
When you operate nationwide, things can get pretty complex for your HR team. Fostering a cohesive culture across multiple locations and gaining fine-grained insight into workforce performance and retention can be highly demanding. And if your HR and payroll systems aren’t up to scratch, it can quickly become an uphill struggle involving stacks of onerous manual work.
Danielle Newson, Vice President of HR at Vital Records Control (VRC), explains: “In recent years, we’ve expanded through several acquisitions to become a coast-to-coast leader in information management and document storage services, especially for finance, healthcare, and government clients. Growth is great, but it comes with challenges too.”
While VRC now has 2,000 employees, the HR team still numbers just six people: Danielle, plus two generalists, a payroll manager, and a Director and Executive Vice President of HR. As the business scaled up, pressure on the team increased—and their previous Human Resources Information System (HRIS) began showing its limitations.
“Our HRIS was designed for a much smaller company, and we were running into several operational issues,” adds Danielle. “For example, we regularly discovered limitations within the system, which could impact our work assisting our Operations. We struggled to get accurate headcount figures or track which employees were working at which locations.”
Soon after arriving at VRC, Danielle made it a priority to adopt a more advanced HR and payroll platform that was purpose-built for enterprise-scale operations. After an in-depth assessment of solutions on the market, one name stood out: Paylocity.
“With Paylocity, we have gone from fragmented systems and processes to an agile and highly productive HR team. Where we spent so much time working around limitations, we now focus on supporting the business.”
Legacy Processes Miss the Mark
Relying on the past HRIS solution left the HR team at VRC weighed down by labor- intensive work, and unable to offer high-level insight to executives.
Manual Workflows Drag Down HR Productivity
Alongside the past HRIS, VRC used a host of separate systems to manage different benefits plans. The team also had a basic recruitment tool, but it lacked the functionality of a full applicant tracking system (ATS). And minimal integration between these systems meant the HR team spent days performing laborious and error-prone manual data entry.
For example, onboarding involved multiple HR team members collating and uploading documents, while new employees had to enter the same information into several systems. And during open enrollments, VRC received huge spreadsheets of data for its benefits plans for all 2,000 employees, which the HR team had to painstakingly check and key into its legacy HRIS.
Limited Communication Leaves Employees Disconnected
VRC also lacked a reliable and effective method for communicating with its growing employee base. “Nearly 70 percent of our workforce is hourly, with no company email address. We relied on business managers to relay HR news, but they are so busy that things could get overlooked,” adds Danielle. The impact was twofold: employees could miss out on benefits plans if they didn’t hear about upcoming enrollments, and it was difficult to create a unified culture across the company.
Lack of Insight Hampers Strategic Planning
Incomplete data and limited reporting capabilities in the old HRIS solution also left VRC with limited visibility into key HR trends. “Reporting wasn’t automated, and it took a lot of time and effort to pull basic reports on things such as weekly onboarding numbers. If we tried to create a larger report, the system would often time-out or crash. And if we wanted a customized report, such as a 401(k) census, it would take up to six weeks going back and forth with the provider.”
“This was my fourth implementation of a new HR platform. The organization and expertise shown by Paylocity made this the smoothest I have gone through by far. With other vendors, the onus was on me to manage things; with Paylocity, they took the reins and led things brilliantly.”
An Enterprise Solution for a Growing Company
After sailing through its implementation of Paylocity, VRC now uses the platform to automate and optimize key processes for recruiting, managing, and engaging with its talent.
During the evaluation, Danielle consulted users of several leading HR solutions. “We found inconsistencies between what most vendors promised and what their users said. Paylocity was the exception. We also liked the comprehensive functionality and integrations, and responsive support. I interact with our HR partner daily, so this is important,” notes Danielle.
Next came a potentially complex implementation: “Our data was flawed, so I worried that it would be a heavy lift,” explains Danielle. “But Paylocity were fantastic: the project managers and data extraction team offered clear communications throughout. They cleaned up our data, loaded it into the platform, and helped us improve our compliance strategy.”
Streamlining Core HR Operations
By adopting Paylocity’s Payroll module, VRC has reduced pay errors and time-consuming remedial work. Benefits Administration streamlines open enrollments and will eliminate cumbersome spreadsheets and manual data entry. The Recruiting module provides VRC with full applicant tracking capabilities to manage the recruitment pipeline, while Onboarding replaces complex processes with more efficient and user-friendly workflows.
“One benefit of Onboarding is the document storage. It gives our managers in the field quick access to info about new hires, such as photos for their access badge,” notes Danielle. “So now they don’t have to trawl through a shared drive with different folders for all 130 locations.”
Enhancing the Employee Experience
With the Community module, VRC can communicate with every employee, bringing them announcements and allowing them to connect with one another. The company also uses Employee Self-Service and the Paylocity Mobile App to enable users to manage pay stubs and paid time off (PTO) remotely. “Everyone is excited about self-service,” confirms Danielle. “Requesting PTO used to mean printing a form, finding a manager to sign off, then sending a copy to payroll. Now, you just log into the app. Even our C-level executives love it.”
Reclaiming Time and Reducing Costs
With Paylocity, the HR team at VRC spends less time on low-value, repetitive work and focuses on becoming a more valuable partner to the rest of the business.
Smarter Processes Drive Greater Efficiency
By streamlining workflows across the board, VRC is unlocking valuable time and cost savings, and easing the burden on its HR team. For example, where onboarding involved multiple manual steps, the company can now get new hires on board in a quarter of the time. Danielle adds: “Open enrollment meant three of us spent two weeks transferring data from spreadsheet to our past HRIS. With Paylocity, it’s so much faster and simpler, so we have more time for strategic work.”
Harnessing Data to Make Better Decisions
The Insights & Recommendations module has transformed analytics at VRC. For example, Danielle can pull reports in an instant to uncover turnover trends by location. VRC also uses Surveys to explore the reasons behind employee exits. “In the past, we were unable to dig into the ‘why’ behind HR trends,” notes Danielle. “Now, we are a more data-driven operation, which empowers us to make smarter decisions. Our next step will be creating customized dashboards.”
Creating a Stronger and More Unified Culture
The impact of Community is being felt across VRC, helping to foster a more cohesive work environment. “It is always a challenge to integrate employees from newly acquired companies into a single culture,” notes Danielle. “Through Community, we are building affinity groups, planning events, and finding ways to bring people together. Initially, I didn’t realize how valuable it would be, but we quickly had people using peer recognition to applaud each other’s work.”
For VRC the journey with Paylocity is just starting. The company plans to use the Learning Management System to offer leadership training, and will also introduce the Market Pay module. “With Market Pay, we will be able to benchmark our compensation levels against our competitors to ensure we remain an attractive option for talented candidates,” concludes Danielle.
“When we started using Paylocity’s Recruiting module, we noticed our job advertisements automatically posted to LinkedIn. In the past, we had a quote for $60,000 for specialist LinkedIn licenses, so we have avoided that cost while still enjoying many of the benefits.”