Solar Reduces the Time Spent on HR Administrative Work by 15% per Year
"Since implementing Penneo, we don’t have any sensitive information such as employeees' CPRs floating around in the email system. The entire HR process is now digitized and automized by Penneo and meets the highest security standards."
Britt Andersen, HR Director at Solar
Solar is a leading European sourcing and services company with over 100 years' experience, mainly within electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, climate, and energy solutions. They focus on several CSR initiatives within energy consumption, responsible supplier management, and human rights.
Solar is always trying to reduce its environmental footprint and be conscious of resource consumption. When it comes to their HR department, the resource that Solar is particularly mindful of is paper. With more than 3300 employees, Solar’s HR department is very busy, and paper consumption is fairly significant, provided that each new hire is required to sign 5 different employment documents. What's more, the analog way of printing, signing, and scanning documents drives both productivity and efficiency down.
Too much paper, not enough time
Solar is experiencing an increasing amount of paper contracts, employee agreements, and keeping track of all of them is a significant burden. Recent studies show that Solar is not alone: a typical employee spends 30-40% of his time looking for information locked in emails and filing cabinets. Not to mention that at $30/hour, knowledge workers waste $4,500/year working with paper.
Another big problem for Solar was the time it took for a document to be created, sent for signature, and returned. This process took up to a week and would significantly slow down the company’s efficiency.
Solar soon realized that the outdated method of manually handling paper documents bottlenecked the document’s lifecycle, took too much of the employee’s time that they could have allocated to a more value-creating task, and slowed down their onboarding process.
Ensuring GDPR and data security compliance
Data protection is a crucial part of effective HR administration as it holds personal information that should be stored safely and accurately. In HR and recruiting, all the information collected or requested from a candidate in the hiring process falls in the concept of personal data. Hence, any activity of requesting information from that same candidate qualifies as data processing activity under GDPR.
GDPR recently made changes to the concept of what constitutes personal data in several ways. It now includes online identifiers and location data, which now means IP addresses, mobile device IDs, etc. are now officially classified as personal data, even if they have been encrypted. This new regulation impacts HR departments the most.
Before implementing Penneo, all sensitive data that Solar requested was either collected through email or internal communication devices. This analog way hides many risks, like missing an email, exposing sensitive information, hurting the brand image, or forgetting to delete the data after a specific amount of time. Data deletion requires data to be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes only, and Solar is required to delete all data if this is no longer the case.
To ensure full compliance, Solar needed to make sure that all data transferred is end-to-end encrypted, securely stored, and deleted upon request. Achieving that goal would make Solar’s employees feel safe, and the company wouldn’t need to worry about GDPR anymore.
Penneo's solution to these challenges
Solar left manual paper document handling behind
Since implementing Penneo last year, Solar has seen a significant change in the time it takes for documents to be signed and returned. The time frame shifted from a week to receiving the signatures in 2-3 days. HR is happy to share that they could onboard a recruit in the last few days of the month because, with Penneo, the employee can sign the contract from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Signing the contract over the weekend allowed both the HR team and the new employee to sort everything out before the work week even started.
Solar not only digitized but also automated the entire signature workflow. They created a custom signature flow that each different document type follows. Signatures can be collected from the right people in the correct order without typing them in each time. Besides, once the signed contracts are received back at Solar, they are now organized and digitally stored in folders so that that information can be readily available.
I think the workflow that we have created saves us a lot of time. Our custom flow is simple. First, the documents go to the manager who then approves whatever he has agreed with the new employee, and then it goes to another colleague in the HR department or me to send the contract over for signature with the employee. - Britt Andersen, HR Director at Solar
Solar becomes fully GDPR-compliant and secures sensitive data
Since implementing Penneo, Solar was able to add our advanced cryptographic signature and ensure that critical information, such as the signer’s identity, is secure. Solar can now safely send documents containing sensitive information. With Penneo, when the HR professional creates a case, she can validate the individual case, so the assigned signer signs the document. Penneo’s high level of security ensures that no one else can access and/or sign the document.
Solar can now create forms for sensitive data collection, store them securely, and set automatic deletion time. Identity management enables Solar to manage access to services and resources securely. Using Penneo,the HR professional can now create and manage users and groups and use permissions to allow or deny their access to resources.
Tamper-sealed Penneo protection ensures that if anyone tries to change parts of the employment contract or any other document, there will be evidence of the fraud. With Penneo, an audit trail can be added along with cryptographic signature proof from the moment the document is created. Also, each newly generated digital signature by Solar is stamped by a time-stamping authority so that the timing of the reliable signature can be identified.
What did Solar achieve with Penneo?
The time that Solar saved by digitizing and automating the signature collection workflow resulted in increased efficiency and productivity and more time allocated for quality conversations with candidates. Additionally:
500 pieces of paper are now saved for every 100 new hires.
90% of all employee contracts are now signed digitally.
15% reduction in the time spent on dealing with manual administrative work for 12 months.
Full GDPR-compliance is achieved and security of sensitive data ensured.