As a HR Tech World blogger I interviewed Peter Forbes of HROnboard to find out why they are bringing their solution to Europe in this year’s disruptHR startup zone.
FAYE: Who are you and what do you do?
PETER: I’m Peter Forbes, founder and CEO of HROnboard, employee onboarding software that helps organisations manage the job offer and new hire process.
With HROnboard we guarantee two things – an awesome experience for new hires and freedom from HR administrative tasks.
Being an enterprise, best of breed solution allows us to go deep in onboarding – not only looking after the compliance and paperwork, but focussing on the new hire experience, internal workflow and other associated areas like cross boarding and offboarding.
We’re based in the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne and we launched HROnboard in Jan 2013. We now have over 50 enterprise companies using our product.
FAYE: Why did you decide to take part in disruptHRTech this year and what would you like to achieve as a result of your participation?
PETER: We’re taking our onboarding service global! We’ve always planned to be a global solution, but wanted to scale here in Australia to learn as much as we could before taking on the world.
disruptHRTech was the perfect event to attend to reach a global audience outside of the US which gives us exposure, introduction to partners, new contacts, and deep immersion in the market.
FAYE: Why do you think there is a need for your solution and how do you see the market progressing in the coming years?
PETER: Employee onboarding is currently a hot topic in HR as other areas in talent acquisition have become more sophisticated and innovative.
What was often ignored was the point where you now want to offer someone a job. Putting an offer together, sending it to the candidate, and the experience that goes with filling out the paperwork, accepting it, and then turning up on Day 1 is terrible in most organisations – for both the new hire and HR.
FAYE: Is there a profile to organisations that use your solution?
PETER: It’s been really interesting trying to predict our perfect customer – our customers span a diverse set of industries including aged care, retail, higher ed, government, mining and not for profits.
Really, we cater for any company doing 50 onboards a year, through to 5000.
A lot of our customers already have systems in place for recruiting, payroll and talent management, but are missing a real, dedicated onboarding tool.
We’ve got about a 50/50 split between customers who are focussed on streamlining their admin side and those trying to improve their employer brand and candidate experience.
We’re also expanding our platform to partners – RPOs, recruitment and payroll vendors who want to bundle onboarding into their offering.
FAYE: How does your solution tackle the multi-generational issue when different hires prefer different modes of communication?
PETER: One of our brand promises is an awesome new hire experience, and we take that seriously – to the point of not charging a customers if a new hire has a bad experience with our app!
Regardless of generation, your app needs to be simple to use and intuitive. It needs to work on desktop, tablet and mobile. In HROnboard, the onboarding process is paced out into specific steps; new hires know exactly what they need to do and they never have to repeat information they’ve already given.
Also, you can’t just rely on email for communication any more. Millennials prefer SMS or in-app messages – both of which we use in HROnboard.
FAYE: As a point solution how do you make it easy to integrate?
PETER: Integration is something we’ve known would be super critical for our platform, so we’ve spent a lot of time creating multiple options.
Our integration options span from simple CSV file integration all the way through to pre-built connectors to HR systems.
We’ve created API’s to make it easy for third parties to automate job offer creation and query new hire information.
Having API’s is only half the story. Our goal is to create as many connectors to Recruitment and payroll systems as possible, making it quick and easy to “plug” us in to your existing set of systems.
FAYE: You focus very much on automating the onboarding process, what future plans do you have for development that will further differentiate you from the competition?
PETER: HROnboard is strong on the compliance side, ensuring the correct paperwork and contracts are generated in each job offer. We’ve also done a lot of work to make sure the portal new hires complete and accept the offer on is quick, simple and easy to use.
In the future, we’ll release more candidate engagement features, from acceptance of the offer through to Day 1 and beyond.
Our offboarding module is another differentiator – offboarding is as important as onboarding but is often overlooked.
With more employees only staying in jobs for 2 to 3 years, having a mature offboard process, treating departing employees well, and maintaining engagement after they leave will be a key differentiator for high performing organisations.
FAYE: What is your position on customisation vs all in one solutions in today’s overwhelmed technology market?
PETER: Always a great debate, but the reality is there’s no right answer, it depends on an organisation’s needs. Point solutions will always be more innovative and functionally richer in their niche while all in one solutions offer seamless user experience and no integrations to worry about. That’s the trade-off.
The way I feel the HR enterprise software space is going is it will look more like the consumer space, with a few dominant larger players as the main HCM “mothership” platform with the ability to easily add point solution “apps” that complement and even replace some of the core functions. With the growth in cloud software, data exchange standards and better integration technology I think we’re nearly at a maturity level in the industry to make this a reality.
What enterprise SaaS vendors need to provide is easy to use software anyone can learn and drive value from within 15 minutes. But there also needs to be the option for power users to configure the software for more complex requirements. That’s the challenge, providing this duality to suit both audiences.
We do this in HROnboard by offering two versions of the software. We have the standard version, which all the core features which you can have up and sending job offers in 20 minutes.
Our enterprise version has additional features like dynamic contract generation and more customisation options which require more consideration and configuration before deploying, but give much greater levels of customisation.
FAYE: You’ve already said you are ‘going global’ with HROnboard, so are you seeing differences across Europe? Around the globe?
PETER: I think there is a universal need for streamlining HR administration and the onboarding process. Reading the HR press, the themes at conferences are all the same no matter where they’re held. The battle for talent is the same everywhere.
The differences are from a compliance point of view. There are a lot of government and regulatory concerns organisations need to address.
Vendors also need to address localisation concerns, from options on how to handle mobile devices while at work, having the right postcode or ZIP codes available and language packs.
More about Peter
Peter Forbes is the founder and CEO of HROnboard, the app that has made a name for itself helping HR create and send beautiful job offers to new employees. Peter has 20 years’ experience in the HR Tech space as an HRIS and Payroll consultant, developer and product designer. He is also the managing director of Navigo, the experts in niche enterprise HR solutions.
For more information on HROnboard check out these links and resources