Episode 14: Using OnBase for Human Resources

Managing employee growth at a company, along with onboarding and regular employee support, can put quite a strain on its human resources department. How can one department oversee everything from hiring to performance reviews to exit interviews and more, without losing its mind? Listen in as ImageSoft’s human resources manager Leanne Eastman and OnBase administrator Nathan Armaly discuss how implementing OnBase for our own HR department has allowed ImageSoft to more than triple in size without stressing out its two-person (yes, two!) HR team.

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Kate Storey: Welcome to the Paperless Productivity podcast, where we give you the tips, tricks and know how to solve your biggest workflow challenges, and bring great productivity into your workplace every day.

Many of us remember the old Hair Club for men commercials, where the CEO boldly looks into the camera and says, “I’m not only the president, I’m also a client.” That bold claim instilled consumer confidence in the product they sold. By saying that the people who ran the company believed so much in what they were selling, that they were willing to use it themselves.

Signal to customers that they weren’t just trying to make some money, it was the real deal. At ImageSoft, we’ve had that same experience, not with hair replacement products, but with Hyland’s human resources software. ImageSoft has long been a reseller for Hyland’s OnBase technology solutions, and after implementing OnBase to manage our fast growing company, we’ve been able to see firsthand just how beneficial these solutions are for our customers. Here to tell us that story and the company wide benefits ImageSoft has reaped in the process, are Leanne Eastman ImageSoft’s Human Resources Manager and Nathan Armaly, OnBase Administrator here at ImageSoft. Welcome to the podcast Leanna and Nathan.

Leanne Eastman: Thank you.
Nathan Armaly: Good to be here.
Kate: Okay. So before we start, tell me a little bit about yourselves and your roles at ImageSoft?

Leanne: So this year I’ll be celebrating my 10th year with ImageSoft as their HR manager so ….
Kate: Congratulations.

Leanne: Thank you. Excited. So over the years I’ve seen the company grow from around 40 employees to present day where we’re at 138. I have a great perspective and experience in leveraging OnBase because we’ve grown over those 10 years and from where OnBase was before to where it is now. So yeah, I have a great perspective.
Kate: Nice.
Nathan: I’ve been here for seven years as of today actually I just remembered-
Kate: Oh Nice. Congratulations.
Nathan: Yeah, as of today.
Leanne: Happy anniversary.
Kate: That’s great.
Nathan: So I’ve been all over the place. I had quite a few roles. I started in professional services, so implementing these solutions for our customers and then I made the transition to essentially doing the same thing, but doing it for the internal solutions at ImageSoft.
Kate: All right. So has ImageSoft been using OnBase as it’s HR solution since day one?
Leanne: Yes, definitely from the first day 10 years ago, I’ve been using OnBase from starting out and establishing an employee file management document system, to over time leveraging the OnBase functionality and applying it to address our HR challenges. Some of those challenges of course were addressing the quantity of paper that we used every day. I know we’re a paperless company, but we did use paper. So we had to change our mindset to, “Paper’s not my friend.” And let that guide us in letting go of how we previously completed our work, and whether that was the simplest task to the most complex.

There was no differentiation. We looked at everything from top to bottom. Nothing really was off the table. And we had to also address the challenge of synchronizing our efficiency and our effectiveness on a day to day basis as we were growing at a tremendous pace. Once we created those processes, we needed a way to have visibility in every step, and then once the process was completed, the ability to create some sort of metrics or to analyze and or present data to our executives as they made operational decisions.

So I guess it has to start somewhere, but over time we’ve just incrementally added functionality with OnBase to provide us with the tools to accomplish our HR work in a timely and efficient and professional way and honestly, we really haven’t looked back at all.

Kate: Nice. I know Nathan, you were telling a story about what it was like that you said about paper, it’s still being central even though you’re a paperless company, it happens. And it’s a transition that every company has to make at some point. You don’t start off necessarily digital, especially if you’ve been in business for a little while. So Nathan, you mentioned something … What your onboarding process was like with a paper document.
Nathan: Yeah, it’s a lot different now than it was seven years ago. Even with the stuff Leanne just mentioned, we may have used it 10 years ago, but it was, “I’m going to scan my document on a scanner and then it’s going to go into a digital file cabinet.” And that was basically it. Now it’s link and click a button and you’ll start onboarding and it informs 10 different people in five different departments that they’ve got to do things. So it’s grown a lot. I don’t think we can emphasize that enough how much it’s grown in the last 10 years.
Leanne: But it was still a great onboarding process, right Nathan?
Nathan: It was okay. It was all right.
Leanne: Hey.
Kate: Nice. So I’m sure many people listening have been in the position of managing employee growth like that at a company, and it can really ramp up quickly, right? So we know how important onboarding is, and that can bring a lot of different challenges and frankly, frustrations on both sides. So how can a technology solution helps support that growth while keeping some of those problems at bay?
Leanne: Yeah, you’re absolutely correct. Onboarding is a very important event because you obviously you want to make it a positive experience that’s organized and professional, so the new employee can acclimate quickly to the company and to their role. You really want them to be able to hit the ground running, so that they can get through these onboarding things that would quickly help. That’s what I call … It’s what I described … It’s like the front end experience, the employee’s side of it. But we don’t stop to take a look back at the backend side of how the onboarding process works.

Like how do all those synchronized task and activities somehow come together to make it a memorable and positive experience for the employee? So I’ve heard many stories from employees who’ve been through our onboarding process over the 10 years at ImageSoft where one seasoned professional said to me, he says, “This is the best onboarding experience in my career.” And I was blown away.

Kate: Nice.
Leanne: Yeah, it was super nice. And he went through and just talked about it and it was really great to hear that feedback. And then of course there’s the other side of it where employees come in, they’re like, “I was blown away that I came to ImageSoft, I had a desk, a name plate, computer, an orientation document. Everything I needed on day one, my business cards.” Whereas the previous company I was at, I sat at a car table for weeks-
Kate: Oh my God.
Leanne: … and had to make my own name plate, and I had to wait a week to get my computer … And those stories are real and they’re true. Because I’ve heard him over the last 10 years. But that doesn’t happen here in ImageSoft because we have our technology OnBase to help us synchronize everything to effectively address the challenge. So in using OnBase and creating our HR events application, we were able to coordinate this process and the tasks for about five to 10 people across multiple departments. And we’re able … Just keeps everyone accountable so that everything gets done so we can consistently deliver that first rate onboarding experience every time.

We also use HR events to handle our promotions and transfers and off-boarding and we don’t like to talk about off-boarding but it’s the reality. It’s the same application that we use that just apply to any other event that we have, and it’s what HR has asked to perform in coordinate. And it’s been a game changer, and it’s allowed us to efficiently, really and effectively handle our company’s growth over the years. So we’ve gotten a lot better at it.

Nathan: A good onboarding has that hidden effect of letting that person do their normal day-to-day activities right away.
Kate: What they were hired for, right?
Nathan: Exactly what they’re hired for. You get a lot of scenarios where somebody is hired on, they might twiddle their thumbs for a week because they’re not really sure what they’re supposed to do with onboarding. What forms do I fill out? What training am I supposed to be taking? That stuff. But when this stuff’s handled right away and they’ve got their computer, they have, “Okay, I’ve got these orientations set up Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.” Then they really can start doing their job a lot more quickly than they could at a different place.
Kate: Yeah, it’s leveraging, I imagine it’s leveraging that talent that you hired for in the first place, as well as making sure that the productivity remains and giving them that good experience, that way they know that they’ve made the right decision by choosing that company, by choosing you guys to work with. So now that’s great. So obviously HR management doesn’t end after 90 days. It doesn’t end after that onboarding process. Right?
Leanne: That’s the goal.
Kate: Right.
Leanne: It extends beyond 90 days.
Kate: Exactly. So there’s a lot of ongoing support that this department provides over the employee’s time with the company. And that includes managing performance reviews. So how did OnBase help ImageSoft in this area?
Leanne: Yeah, performance reviews is very important process at ImageSoft, because we do a couple different types of review processes over the course of the year. So we have a quarterly conversation, and we also have a formal annual review process for a total of four. You can see this as an important process because we do it four times a year. I think it’s important for me to give a background of … Get a complete understanding of where we were at, to where we are today and how we leveraged OnBase. Just to show you the transformation.

So I will say over the many years we’ve struggled and attempted several iterations to create a sustainable performance review process, but we could not get over several hurdles to get to 100% paperless. A couple of these hurdles were the fact that we had unique ImageSoft review form and rating system, and we wanted the process 100% from start to finish in OnBase to include certifiable signatures that would pass the legal test. So that’s important from an HR perspective. And because we were growing at a fast pace and cannot continue with our manual processes and working additional hours and weekends to scan, upload, Index all signed paper reviews and OnBase every quarter, something had to done.

We were at the breaking point right? Where we had to really up our game. So we created the OnBase review application, and I’m happy to say for several years now we’ve been 100% in OnBase and really haven’t looked back. It’s an amazing process that addresses the hurdles and the time it took for HR to efficiently and effectively complete this process four times a year. I got some of my weekend time back.

Kate: Nice.
Leanne: Yeah.
Kate: It’s important.
Leanne: And we’ve just created some additional functionality after getting feedback from our managers, that allows them to have visibility and access into the all the previous reviews of their team members. So when they’re completing the current review, they can go back and look and so they can think about the things that happened over time, and that’s important. Employees need that appropriate feedback. So it really helps them focus on those reviews, and then for the employee, we provided an electronic signature process that allows them to write their own comments on the form and also just to have a copy of an electronic copy of it sent to them automatically with a click of a button.

It’s really been amazing. It’s been simple, easy to use, our managers love it. so yeah, it’s been good. It’s been really good. A fair time saver.

Nathan: It’s a big win when you can create something that makes multiple people in multiple departments happy at the same time.
Kate: Yeah, that’s true.
Leanne: And another thing … I think about the HR side of it is that, there’s a dashboard that we have in performance review application that, I can click on the dashboard and I can easily see where we’re at in the entire review process, who’s done it? Who hasn’t done it. I can look at ratings and then I can export that data and give our executives some data insights and some analytics to see where maybe they need to focus their attentions on some employees who are having some performance concerns, so it has been really good for them as well. I’m able to provide that just to the click of a button. It’s really good.
Leanne: Yeah, that sounds very easy to do. Probably one of the most fun parts of an HR manager’s job is telling someone, “Guess what, you’re getting a raise, or you’re getting a bonus.” But when you have hundreds or even thousands of employees for even larger organizations, each of those have different salary reviews and considerations, all those things that you just mentioned. I can imagine the fun of sharing that news can be pretty quickly overshadowed by the tediousness of the process. So how does ImageSoft manage this part?

And then I had a spreadsheet and then I would get approval and then I’d go home on the weekend and I would combine the spreadsheet into a word document, copy the letters, put them in a secure folder for the managers to distribute to their employees, and if you have 10 to 15 people, that’s a pretty manual process for them. So it took them a lot of time away from them and then at the backend side of it, I was taking those letters and indexing them all into OnBase, every single one individually every quarter.

It was very time consuming. I know it was an important process and because obviously we love to give money out. But fast forward to today, the process is 100% in OnBase. Just so easy. It’s been amazing. We just drop a CSV [comma separated file] file into a location and OnBase picks it up, and creates the letters and I can quickly review them and to see if there’s any errors and there’s workflows that there’s an error, and I can flip it right back into the process. Just to the click of a button. And then there’s a secure distribution for the managers, and they can do it all electronically and paperlessly.

Where they type in, they click distribute, they type in a personal note to the employee, which is really nice to give that personal feedback. Like, “Hey, great 2019, you rocked it out of the park this quarter.” You can add those personal notes and you click a button and it sends an email with their bonus letter attached, and then the employee gets that feedback, and they get the letter. So it’s been really simple. It’s been amazing to see that transformation, a process that’s just before it took hours and weekends to really just minutes. So it’s been good.

Nathan: It’s a lot of, “Set it, forget it.” If you remember those old infomercials now. Instead of you doing all that work. So that’s been pretty nice.
Kate: Yeah. What really struck me when you were talking about that Leanne, is that we’re talking about making things as simple as possible for the employees and everything. But look at how difficult it was for you. I mean, you’re an employee as well, and it’s just interesting to me that process, while you’re trying to make things easier for others, created such a difficulty and such a long tedious process for you. So to be able to increased your productivity and to make sure you’re leveraging your talents in the proper way instead of having to do all of that paper shuffling all of that manual entry, I would imagine that’s a benefit for you personally, but it’s also a benefit for the company, because they’re able to leverage your talents much more easily, instead of having you stuck in these tedious tasks that …
Leanne: And it’s for confidentiality. I was the only one to do it. You can’t just shop that out to somebody else to do all of that process. And I look at it as just a win-win for everybody. And that’s what I love about OnBase is that, it was flexible to handle our processes, our unique forms, how we do business, and that’s what I love about it and the functionality. So win-win for everybody. It really was.
Nathan: Leanne mentioned a while back that we’re over 130 employees now. There’s still one HR manager, we have one recruiter.
Kate: That’s incredible…
Nathan: But in 10 years, we’ve increased the HR department by one only to handle recruiting. And a lot of that’s because, even almost all of it is because of the processes we’ve put in with OnBase. It just makes her job a heck of a lot easier that we don’t have to bring in other people to do those tedious things.
Kate: That’s good.
Leanne: I love telling Nathan, “Give me a button so this can just do this.”
Nathan: I have so many enhancement requests from you. So many.
Leanne: Yeah. I’m a number one. There’s a competition internally about who can put it in the most enhancement requests and …
Nathan: Yeah, I have a chart of people who submit the most tickets.
Leanne: He has a dashboard, and I’m his dashboard.
Nathan: And after a certain number, their name, highlights and red, and Leanne is in red every single quarter.
Kate: Right.
Leanne: Because it’s addicting. It’s really addicting because you’re like, “Oh, I bet you Nathan can create a button for me on this one and I can just do it and it would just do everything, and I don’t have to do all these many processes.” So …
Kate: And I bet she’s a tech as she just said, she hands out the bonus letters.
Nathan: Yes.
Kate: Just kidding.
Nathan: My internal priority Leanne’s near the top.
Leanne: What? Oh my gosh. The secret’s revealed.
Kate: Nice. So another area of HR management at ImageSoft going off of the strictly employee internal side is industry compliance. So in our case, it’s the Criminal Justice Information Security or CJIS Compliance that is administered by the FBI. So it’s not a onetime project, but something that has to happen every two years in addition to the initial certification for new employees. So how did ImageSoft make this process paperless and maybe a little more painless?
Leanne: Yeah, I’m sure we’re not alone in having to be compliant with some form of government requirement and ImageSoft had to have the CJIS Compliance. And I know we’re paperless, but initially we did everything on paper and to quickly get up and running and then we tracked it on an Excel spreadsheet. So the goal was first to make it a paperless process, so it’s efficient and effective, and the ability to be synchronized to ride, like secure visibility for those people who needed to see the information. And OnBase was able to provide that functionality and it’s some of [it as at] the end right now, the paper and the spreadsheets are completely gone.

I think that this application can be customized for any type of compliance and everything is in one spot in OnBase and, we are now in compliance. And so … Can I just say bring on the audits because honestly … No, just kidding. Don’t bring on the audits. But we’re ready. We really are ready. We have everything at the touch of a fingertip, and Nathan probably can explain a little more because he created the process. But I’m very happy that he did.

Kate: Right.
Nathan: Yeah, we didn’t always have to do this compliance. It’s a recent thing within the last couple of years based on some of the projects and initiatives we’ve been taking at ImageSoft. So it all came to a head where some of the people who were managing this were like, “Oh no, we’ve got to actually track this and then report on it and we may get audited.” So it quickly became this mess with paper like Leanne was saying. So they came to me like, “This is so unmanageable.” And OnBase is so simple. It makes things so efficient that we went from nothing, to a full solution in probably two business days.
Kate: Oh my gosh.
Nathan: Is when I had it up.
Leanne: Yeah that’s no joke.
Kate: That’s really quick.
Nathan: Yeah. And it’s crazy automated. It’s one of the more automated processes that I’ve created where, all you have to do is add something into OnBase and it’s going to set up reminders and check boxes to say, “Hey, this training’s been done.” And it’ll set up alerts to say, “In two years you need to renew this certificate.” That kind of stuff. So …
Kate: It’s very powerful.
Nathan: Yeah.
Leanne: I don’t have to think about it all the time. I don’t have to have a post-it note, “Hey so and so needs CJIS Compliance re-certification.” I don’t have to do any of that. I get an email reminder and so it just keeps me on track and I just don’t have to think about it every day-
Kate: That’s amazing.
Leanne: … and worry about it, because I worry about my peoples.
Kate: Well of course.
Nathan: Yeah.
Kate: Yeah.
Nathan: And again it makes you more efficient in other ways when you can turn something into a routine or turn it over to, “Hey, let the machine handle it for me. The computer handle it for me.” I don’t have to worry about it. I can go do other stuff and we don’t have to hire somebody just to manage compliance.
Kate: Yeah the reminder function sounds like that’s really powerful too, because you do need to have that certification renewed. So being able to set a reminder ahead of time right? When you’re doing the current certification. So that way if there’s anything that needs to be prepared ahead of time, it’s not a mad rush. It’s not this scramble at the end, “Oh no.” Before they’re out of compliance again. So-
Leanne: Right.
Kate: … yeah, that’s pretty powerful.
Leanne: And there was three people doing it, the process in the beginning, and now I just handle it and it doesn’t take me as much time at all.
Kate: That’s amazing. So. Are there any other cool ways that ImageSoft is taking the HR department and its processes paperless?
Leanne: Yes, definitely. We have a roadmap. It’s getting longer and longer. Some job security for Nathan. I’m just kidding. We’re looking to leverage ShareBase which is another form of a product on OnBase product and to handle it-
Nathan: It’s like a Dropbox.
Leanne: … yeah. It’s like a Dropbox and to handle our onboarding forms. We are paperless in the onboarding forms, majority of the time. But this process is going to make it a lot easier. We’re looking to do like a organizational training, tracking and documentation, where every department has different training requirements. So you have all the uniqueness of every department, but it’s in one solution. So we’re looking to do that. And then a big one is that, we have applicant tracking in OnBase.

So we’re looking to upgrade that to 2.0 and to give more functionality and to have that … I don’t know, just take it to the next level. And so we have a lot of different ideas. So we’re going to do that all in one. And then it’s more functionality in the performance review process. We’re working to do a self employee feedback as part of our performance review. So it allow the employee to give feedback on how they think they’re doing, which is really nice. And then the big one that is on the … For me personally is something called HR Incident.

It’s an application that … OnBase basically application that’s going to allow me to help track FMLA, short term disabilities, performance reviews monitoring for those that are struggling. And then also to help me with HR incidents, like harassment or violence or somebody notices somebody’s violating a rule or something like that, that they can report it, and it creates an incident and it’s all in OnBase. It’s all documented and it helps me track it. So I’m super excited about that one.

That one’s almost live right now, but we’re doing some testing, but that’s something that we’re really looking … It’s going to be probably a couple more quarters of work. So …

Kate: Okay. Nice.
Leanne: Yeah.
Kate: All right.
Nathan: One thing you’ll notice is, all of these different … I don’t know if disparate is the right word, but HR processes that don’t necessarily link together, are all being handled by one solution. So I’m speaking more from the admin’s perspective here, but it’s not like, “Okay, we have to go get an applicant tracking software and we have to go get an HR incident software and a compliance software.” It’s all the same software. It’s just doing all of it and we can customize it. And then if we decide in a year like with APP tracking that we really don’t like how it’s working, we can totally change it around and make it work more efficiently so-
Kate: Without having to get a whole new solution?
Nathan: … right.
Kate: Scrap it and re-deploy and all that. So yeah.
Nathan: Yeah. It’s very nice and job security.
Kate: Yeah.
Nathan: It’s nice.
Leanne: Is HR supposed to say that? We joke all the time. So yeah, working relationship and he’s really helped us this whole department internal, the staff there and everything. So it’s been really great. So I feel a lot of weight lifted off of me having all these processes in place. So …
Kate: That’s important.
Leanne: Yes, definitely.
Kate: All right. Well, this was really interesting hearing about how this all came together and how an enterprise content management solution, can manage some of those internal company processes. It’s not just the technical side, it’s some of those software skills of a company and how it operates along with those client facing ones. So I think it’s pretty obvious that ImageSoft is a believer in the effectiveness of Hyland solutions. So much so that we’re not just a reseller, we’re also a client.
Leanne: That’s right.
Kate: All right, well thank you both so much for being here today and for sharing all this with us.
Leanne: Thank you.
Nathan: That was a pleasure.
Leanne: Yup.
Kate: Yeah. Well thank you everyone for joining us today, and if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Paperless Productivity where we tackle some of the biggest paper-based pain points facing organizations today. We’ll see you next time. Thanks again for joining us today for this episode of Paperless Productivity. This podcast is sponsored by ImageSoft, the paperless process people. Which you can learn more about an ImageSoftinc.com. That’s ImageSoftinc.com. Join us next time where you’ll learn how to harness the power of technology, supercharged efficiency, and accomplish your organization’s goals.

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