Employee Onboarding In The Retail Space – A Comfort Group Story

By / July 6, 2017 / / 0 Comments

If you’ve ever gone shopping for a nice new bed, chances are you know the Comfort Group.

In fact, with distinguished brands like Sleepmaker and Dunlop Foams under their belt, there is a high possibility you’ve slept on one of their products.

Starting as a family business back in 1935, the comfort group now employs over 1200 staff across every Australian state and territory, as well as New Zealand. The Comfort Group are primarily a manufacturing/retail business, but have a corporate side to the company which looks after their Australian and New Zealand operations.

Free To Focus On Strategy

With such a geographically diverse workforce, it proved to be a challenge for the HR team to manage over 500 new onboards and offboards a year. To make matters complicated, contracts need to be specific to the six different Enterprise Bargaining Agreements that exist in Australia alone. For a relatively small HR department, this process was restricting their ability to spend time on other important facets of the business.

When we first met with the Comfort Group HR team, they were ready to move away from pushing paper, and keen to transform themselves into a more strategic business function. In trying to deal with the sheer volume of complex contracts that needed to be put together, they were sending out individual mail mergers to each candidate, often taking up to 2 weeks to get them back, processed and ready for payroll. With contracts being quite complex, this was a task that could easily eat up all their time.

‘If I had to describe HROnboard, it would be easily customisable and incredibly time saving’ – Tina Armstrong, HR Manager

HROnboard has helped set the HR department free. Utilising the customisation in HROnboard, the Comfort Group are easily able to build and send out offers that dynamically meets the needs of the new hire and the associated Enterprise Bargaining Agreement – reducing the time-sink and eliminating human error.

Candidates are able to fill in everything from their tax forms to accepting policies in an intuitive online process, drastically reducing time to hire to as little as 2 days. The days of mailing out contract after contract are now a distant memory.

Allowing Managers To Onboard – Decentralising Onboarding

Through the success of this project, the Comfort Group have completely decentralised the job offer process. Ground level managers across the Comfort Group’s business’ are now able to easily fill in a new hires information into HROnboard. The entire onboarding process is automatically managed through HROnboard, with oversight given to HR to give the final approval – freeing them up to focus on other facets of the business, and engaging the new hire from day one.

Managing Casuals Leaving The Workforce

Happy with how onboards are operating, The Comfort Group shifted their focus towards their offboarding process. With a prevalent casual workforce, there were challenges around the level of visibility HR had over the offboarding process. As HR Manager Tina Armstrong explained, ‘previously, it was a piece of paper which was done by the manager and sent to payroll. We had no visibility.

The impact of implementing HROnboard for offboards was felt immediately, with managers on the ground able to quickly offboard staff through HROnboard, which then notified HR in head office to give final approval. With easy to follow processes in place, exiting employees don’t slip through the cracks, and HR have a bird-eye view of activity across the entire company. “With HROnboard, offboards actually get done – HR now has visibility.”

The team at Comfort Group remember how challenging it was to stay focused on strategic initiatives while juggling all their process-driven responsibilities.

HROnboard’s ability to manage the entire employee lifecycle, from onboarding them for their first day, to offboarding them on their last, has given them the freedom and oversight they were looking for to focus on the add value for the business.

If you’re interested in learning more about HROnboard, you can watch a video of it in action here