Suttons Motors Group is a family-owned automotive company with operations across the greater Sydney area. They currently own 24 car and truck dealerships (including full service centres) and operate a motor vehicle auction house, a vehicle logistics centre and a parts distribution warehouse.

In 2019 Suttons sold over 40,000 cars and trucks and serviced over 250,000 vehicles. With approximately 1,400 employees, Suttons has experienced steady growth and a revving up of hiring efforts in recent years. But despite stable growth and an increase in new hires, 2018 staff turnover was high (35.2%). With three HR Business Partners each supporting up to seven different dealerships, Suttons’ HR challenges were unique – with onboarding identified as a key area of concern and a potential contributing factor to the high staff turnover.

In our latest webinar, ‘Suttons Motors Group and HRO Virtual Onboarding Meet Up’, Group HR and WHS Manager, Erik Lucis, revealed how HROnboard helped the company to drive hiring efficiencies, reduce staff turnover and take Suttons’ onboarding experience from subpar to superb!

Suttons’ onboarding challenges

Having joined the company in 2018, Lucis set out on a mission to improve the company’s existing HR processes. A key focus area was onboarding, which was thought to be harming productivity and negatively impacting the employee experience.

Suttons reported:

  • Complex processes (having to cater to multiple employers or ABNs): Suttons encompasses nine employers so needed an onboarding solution that could cater for different employer groups.
  • Slow time to productivity: On average, it was taking the company up to three weeks to onboard a new hire – from the time the contract went out to the time it came back and the new employee started on the job. One member of the HR team was dedicated full time to the onboarding process.
  • New hire risk: In 2018, one in two new hires did not have a signed employment agreement by the time they started at the company – presenting a major risk to the organisation.
  • An element of tech scepticism: There was an attitude of, “we sell cars – we don’t need technology to help us with people”.

How HROnboard came to the rescue

On his quest to find the HR technology solution to meet Suttons’ requirements, Lucis worked his way through several vendors before finding HROnboard. From its go-live date of July 2019, HROnboard was able to:

  • Meet Suttons’ unique onboarding requirements: HROnboard was able to cater for multiple employer groups.
  • Offer process efficiencies and reduce risks: HROnboard was able to provide customisable contract templates for the various employee categories.
  • Enhance the employee experience: The time to hire was improved (from up to 3 weeks to no more than 48 hours) by allowing candidates to accept job offers and complete contracts using a mobile phone device. New employees were also able to electronically sign and lodge WHS agreements, TFNs and superannuation forms.
  • Provide seamless integration: HROnboard’s solution was able to integrate with Suttons’ payroll operations – automating the usual manual interaction between the two functions.

The results

The results speak for themselves. The HROnboard solution drastically improved efficiencies and the employee experience, with new hires saying, “I can’t believe that was so quick!” and “this is the best onboarding experience I’ve ever had!”

Key results:

  • The onboarding timeframe reduced from three weeks to 48 hours, drastically improving the employee experience and time to productivity for new hires.
  • HR resources needed for onboarding were dramatically reduced, negating the need for a dedicated person solely responsible for contracts.
  • The HR team had a better user experience. Lucis’ team jokingly tell him: “The day we get rid of HROnboard is the day we will walk out.”
  • Employee turnover reduced: Staff turnover dropped by a third, going from 35.3% in 2018 to 23.6% in October 2020.
  • Compliance practices improved: HROnboard went live in July 2019. By July 20, no new hire started without successfully completing the onboarding process.
  • The standing of technology in the business was bolstered: Thanks in part to HROnboard, Suttons has now seen the benefit of adopting technologies for other aspects of work, including WHS and contractor management.

What these results mean for Suttons Motors Group

All the efficiencies brought by HROnboard’s technology have meant time freed up and money saved that the Suttons HR team has been able to invest in more value-adding HR initiatives, which also keep the HR team better engaged. As a result of saved time and costs, Suttons Motors Group has established:

  • Stronger focus on Apprenticeship recruitment and engagement
  • New HR metrics that allows the business to measure the impact of its people initiatives
  • Its first company wide employee survey where 72% of respondents said that “Suttons was a great place to work at”
  • An increased focus on WHS compliance and processes.
Take a look at the customer webinar with Erik Lucis and HROnboard’s Natalie Hart (Nov, 2020)

HROnboard, an ELMO company, offers a best-in-class software solution that reduces the amount of time HR teams and leaders spend securing the best candidates and undertaking the critical onboarding process for new hires. Our solution also helps manage internal employee role changes and can create a smooth and seamless process for exiting employees.

ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll offers end-to-end solutions for the entire employee lifecycle, from ‘hire to retire’. This includes recruitment, learning, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, and more. For further information, contact us.

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