Customer Story
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Aclara: Powering the new hire experience with Sapling and Workday

The Challenge 

Aclara’s HR team has project locations all over the United States, however, most of the HR onboarding processes were being handled from their headquarters in St. Louis. Without the right technology, the Aclara team wasn’t able to efficiently track the completion of their new hires onboarding and this became a cumbersome challenge.

The Solution

Following a comprehensive RFP process, Sapling provided an ideal technology and partnership for Aclara’s manual onboarding process because it worked in tandem with Greenhouse as their ATS, and was easy to interface with Workday and Paycom. Aclara was able to progress from their antiquated, paper-based new hire packets, to Sapling’s digital, red-carpet onboarding platform, saving hours for their People team, Managers and new hires.

The Results

With the roll-out of Sapling, Aclara’s HR team is better positioned to support their team’s onboarding nationwide. What previously consumed two hours of new hire onboarding paperwork is now completed in 15 mins on mobile devices, saving upwards of 1,800 hours each year. Sapling’s automation tools save Aclara’s HR team 500 hours a year. The platform overall streamlines and tailors the onboarding process and improves the employee experience.

Before

Aclara needed to find a way to streamline their onboarding. Lizzy Mann, Aclara’s Talent Acquisition Operations Lead, wanted to update their outdated, manual onboarding processes to reflect Aclara’s sleek, cutting-edge technology; keeping in mind that onboarding is Aclara’s first impression new-hires have of their team and company.

The cumbersome onboarding program meant time and productivity suffered. Before investing in Sapling to power onboarding, offboarding, and other employee lifecycle programs, Aclara relied on physical paperwork packets for their staff (many of which were installers, a high volume position at Aclara). Lizzy and the field supervisors found it challenging to handle a high volume of onboarding tasks over email, and it led to the mismanagement of paperwork, increasing HR compliance risk and perpetuating HR’s focus on People Admin instead of People Strategy. It also placed many of the onboarding responsibilities on the field supervisors to handle new hire onboarding, while their primary responsibility was typically to train and deploy employees to the project site.

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What is Aclara?
Aclara, now part of the Hubbell Power Systems family of brands, is a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) and services to more than 1,000 water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Aclara SIS offerings include smart meters and other field devices, advanced metering infrastructure and software and services that enable utilities to predict and respond to conditions, leverage their distribution networks effectively, and engage with their customers.

Aclara has scaled at hyper-growth over the past 2 years, increasing from 900 to 1800 employees across the US.

Where do they work?
Headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Cleveland, Boston, Somersworth, NH & outside of D.C, Spain, Chile and the UK.

How big is the company?
1,800 employees

Where can I learn more?
www.aclara.com

 

Solution

Lizzy evaluated different onboarding solutions and decided Sapling was the best choice for Aclara because of its functionalities, usability, and customer success centricity. Most importantly, Aclara wanted a solution that would tailor and streamline each employee’s onboarding across the country, and reference calls with existing Sapling customer (and online community feedback) confirmed this

Within two weeks, Sapling was able to be implemented. For Lizzy, Sapling’s workflows and paperwork engine immediately increased her level of visibility and productivity, providing an overview of which employees were starting when and where, and what paperwork had been filled out. Administrative tasks which previously consumed several hours were now being completed in 15 minutes. Sapling’s ability to provide customizable onboarding experiences to different positions across Aclara’s workforce streamlined a process that prior was time-consuming for Lizzy was a game changer. 

We onboard new-hires from thousands of miles away and each team member has a different journey, but no matter what the employee’s title, level, and department they all need to be consistent.

Delivering a consistent employee experience in Sapling was super easy, user-friendly, and didn’t take too much time to build out workflows. It helps my team make a stellar first impression.

Plus, I love the reports and how easy it was to track and measure any team member’s onboarding.”

“[Sapling has a] simplified onboarding process that is professional - looks great, saves time and is cost-efficient. It’s a great way to have a consistent & easy onboarding process without a lot of back-end set up for your HR team. It’s great for companies that are geographically dispersed to ensure they effectively manage all new hires.”

Elisabeth Mann
Talent Acquisition Operations Lead at Aclara

After

With Sapling, Aclara’s HR team no longer requires a designated team member to manage onboarding nationwide. The people team are able to leverage Sapling’s automated emails and provide new hires all the information they need before the first day. Their distributed new hire population now have a personalized and consistent onboarding that improves on the overall employee experience. The customized and tailored workflows also make Aclara’s collection of state-specific tax forms much more efficient.

Sapling’s design is an intuitive experience for Aclara’s new hires so much so that they can complete 2 hours worth of paperwork in 15 mins on their phones from the comfort of their home. Increased productivity and a positive initial experience with new hires aids in Aclara’s employee retention which is another win for their HR and Executive team.

While Sapling isn’t directly integrated with Workday, that hasn’t limited Lizzy and her team.

“Every Thursday, I easily download my reports from Sapling and then upload them into our HRIS Systems for Monday’s new hires; it only takes an hour. All the information is easily accessible - with the at-a-glance function. Because of the streamlined onboarding process of Sapling, it makes it 10x easier to upload into Workday.”

 

Lastly, Lizzy highlights the benefit Sapling provides to HR and Finance leadership, by providing a clear Return-on-Investment and lowering the cost-of-ownership by consolidating several fragmented tools into one platform.  “[Sapling has a] simplified onboarding process that is professional - looks great, saves time and is cost-efficient. It’s a great way to have a consistent & easy onboarding process without a lot of back-end set up for your HR team. It’s great for companies that are geographically dispersed to ensure they effectively manage all new hires.”

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