Spotlighting Women in HR: Conquering Hiring Paperwork

When running HR is just one of your many hats, freedom from paperwork and cumbersome processes is an absolute must. Lori Guerra took on the HR duties at The Training Associates while she was already senior executive assistant to the CEO, Maria Melfa. She was only meant to be an interim solution, but her fearlessness and passion for HR turned it into a permanent part of her role. With the help of BambooHR®, she’s made the piles of hiring paperwork disappear, freeing herself and others at TTA to do great work.

The Pied Piper of Paperwork

When TTA’s HR manager retired, Lori’s previous HR experience got her drafted into the role to help out until another HR manager could be found. Based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, TTA provides learning and development services by pairing companies with experts and trainers in a wide variety of fields, and while they contract with an extensive network of independent trainers, their core staff consists of 40 full-time employees.

When Lori dove into her new responsibilities, she found two big problems. “When I went in to look at the HR side of it,” she explains, “it was pretty much the employee’s date of hire, address—very basic information—and everything was paperwork.” This paper-based system meant that gathering information was time-consuming and intensely manual, and because of this, it created hours of work for Lori, especially with hiring and onboarding.

“At the time, we [had a lot of] candidates coming in. And I just said, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to manage!’” Lori remembers. On top of her regular responsibilities as senior executive assistant, she found herself shepherding piles of paperwork between candidates, managers, and new hires. During hiring, “the [candidate’s] folder would go in with the resume and the assessments, and I would have to move it along to seven or eight managers. When a new hire would come on, I would hand them a packet of paperwork they would have to sign, and then I’d have to scan and upload it.”

There had to be a better way. While Lori felt that she could handle the HR load for TTA’s 40 employees and that the company didn’t need a full-time HR manager, she also saw the need to drastically simplify these HR processes. After all, her number one priority is to be the CEO’s assistant, so she turned to BambooHR® to handle employee data storage and processing.

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Improving Communication and Collaboration During Hiring

With the help of the BambooHR® Applicant Tracking System and BambooHR® Onboarding, Lori has streamlined her hiring and onboarding processes. She doesn’t have to chase down every piece of paper anymore, and managers have easy access to the information they need. BambooHR keeps relevant information together, keeps everything moving along quickly, and helps TTA snag the best candidates that fit their unique business model.

“From the time we start interviewing a candidate, get [the] data in, reach out to [the candidate], set up the interview, collaborate with the other managers or people that need to be involved, I’m handsfree,” she says. “If they mention me in a comment in the notes system, I see the note, I reach out, I put it back in. There’s no separate emails.” If managers do reach out to her with questions, she can confidently point them back to BambooHR because she knows the information is there, and she’s trained them all “that we live in Bamboo[HR].” Rather than relying entirely on Lori, they can rely on the HRIS, and she has more time for her other tasks.

Having a single system has been key to transforming TTA’s hiring processes. “Now, when we hire somebody,” Lori notes, “there’s literally not one piece of paperwork. None. We don’t have a paper folder. Everything is completely stored in Bamboo[HR].”

Shifting to Remote Work During a Pandemic

Like many businesses, TTA had to make overnight adjustments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their business model changed from in-person to virtual training, and the in-office staff has had to work remotely. As a result, Lori’s hands have been full with coordinating information, keeping everyone connected despite working remotely, and preparing for returning to the office.

As Lori’s role and the company change and evolve, it’s important they have a reliable, effective HR system to grow along with them. “I continue to make Bamboo[HR] grow as we have new HR requirements come up, which include all of the COVID-19 protocols that I need to stay on top of and share with our team members so that we all adhere to these as we return to the office. There’s just no way [I] could manage this and, more importantly, continue to stay on top of other priorities and support our CEO.”

Specifically with hiring, having BambooHR keeps everything on the same efficient track.

“Once it’s set up in Bamboo[HR], the managers know what to do,” Lori explains. “They don’t need me to direct them, guide them, or schedule them…so it’s freed me to help out” with all the additional administrative tasks brought on by the pandemic.

Supporting Great Work with the Right Tools

With BambooHR, Lori has been able to do more of what she loves. “My first love is my assistant role; that’s what I love,” she says. “My second passion is HR.” But it would be impossible for her to do both with the paper-based system she originally inherited, especially in the current work conditions. “If I didn’t have [BambooHR], I’m not sure what I would do. Scan a piece of paper and send it to the person? [Tell them,] ‘Fill out this application and fax it back to me?’ Those days are gone.”

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