How Save the Children saved 1,400 hours and $54,000 switching to automated HR processes

How Save the Children saved 1,400 hours and $54,000 switching to automated HR processes

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This is a guest post by Michael Lloyd of SilkRoad.

Since its foundation almost 100 years ago, Save the Children Australia has raised millions of dollars through its network of offices in Asia Pacific. The organisation employs more than 800 staff, including a handful of representatives globally and throughout the region.

Each year, the charity brings on board approximately 200 new employees, which poses a significant challenge for the HR team responsible for posting job ads, processing applications, filing paperwork, coordinating with managers and tracking progress.

Until recently, this task was processed manually, which meant a great deal of time was spent on basic administrative tasks and important documents were sent through traditional communication channels. And because several of the organisation’s offices are located in remote areas that are only accessible by an infrequent postal service, delays and uncertainty were common.

The charity needed a system that would enable them to reach talent, process applications and manage employee transitions from onboarding to transfers and finally offboarding.

Having already utilised SilkRoad’s RedCarpet and GreenLight solutions in a previous role, the HR Director turned to us for help.

Initially, Save the Children Australia purchased SilkRoad’s OpenHire and RedCarpet solutions to manage their recruitment and onboarding needs, however since the implementation of these systems they have also purchased WingSpan to better manage employee goals, compensation and succession planning. They aim to launch the new system to employees in early 2015.

What Save the Children needed

While cost was a consideration in Save The Children’s search for a suitable provider, the organisation also had other non-negotiable requirements that needed to be met.

Because many of their employees work in remote offices, their ideal solution needed to work as an online platform and had to fully integrate with their existing intranet system. It was also crucial that the systems implemented were simple and easy to use because the team varied in terms of computer literacy.

So rather than overwhelming them with unnecessary functionality, the organisation was looking for a solution that could meet their exact requirements at that time, but was sufficiently flexible to add and customise features at a later stage without too much extra effort.

SilkRoad’s Solution

Direct Recruitment

Since it’s implementation, OpenHire’s functionality has helped Save the Children stay on top of the thousands of job applications they receive each year by streamlining their old manual, paper-based process. Because applications are no longer received by email, the HR team have been able to automate the process of highlighting candidates to relevant managers all over the network.

OpenHire’s ‘Hot Matches’ feature automatically flags candidates for the immediate attention of HR, saving them the task of leafing through hundreds of resumes. Unsuccessful applicants can be saved and contacted with ease, ready to be found promptly if a suitable position opens up later.


Meanwhile, RedCarpet enabled managers to own employee transition processes, giving them access to employee information without the need to go through the HR team. This increased automation also enabled HR and management to track important paperwork that had previously arrived incomplete, incorrect, late or not at all, increasing productivity, reducing delays and improving communication.

At a simple level, this delivered a guarantee that employees were fully up to date on their transition process – something that had previously been a struggle, especially given the remote network of offices.

The implementation of RedCarpet has also saved the HR team a significant amount of time and effort, which was previously spent printing and scanning documents, and they have relegated their many checklists and Excel spreadsheets to the past, staying abreast of updates and deadlines through reminder emails and dashboards.

All in all, Save the Children estimates that 1,400 hours have been saved for each process during onboarding, employee changes and offboarding, representing a total cost saving of AUD 54,000.

People management

Save the Children is currently tweaking SilkRoad’s WingSpan solution to meet their unique people management needs, and hope to introduce the system to the business in early 2014. They are keen to raise and monitor employee satisfaction, as well as become more adept at collecting feedback moving forward.

In 2012 the charity completed less than half the formal reviews required, and they are looking to fix this from 2014 thanks to the help of WingSpan.

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