Here’s the scene: in just 14 years, you’ve become an internationally recognised brand. You operate in 10 locations across eight countries, and you’ve more than doubled your headcount in the past six years alone.
You’ve grown exponentially, but you’re still managing your people on systems you brought on when the business was much smaller and you’re urgently in need of an upgrade.
You need HR technology that can work seamlessly across multiple territories and currencies.
Tech that’s flexible enough to be configured any way you like, allowing you and your team to manage everything in-house as you head towards an even greater period of expansion.
This is exactly the challenge that faced Trustpilot.
As Amalie Lange, Head of People Operations and Systems at Trustpilot, explains: “With growth and expansion, we needed to scale up our HR and People system.
“We needed a place not only to store all of our growing data, but also to automate and streamline our processes globally.”
In this article, we talk about the challenges that Trustpilot had with its HR processes, how technology proved to be a fruitful solution, and what your business can do to follow suit.
Here’s what we cover:
What is Trustpilot and what was its challenge?
Founded in Denmark in 2007 by current CEO Peter Holten Mühlmann, Trustpilot grew at lightning-fast speed to become one of the biggest review sites on the internet.
By 2013, it had offices in New York and London. And by 2014, around 325 employees worked for the company.
Over the course of the decade, Trustpilot attracted millions of dollars in funding from a wide range of investors, and won lucrative contracts with the likes of Facebook and Google.
By 2021, it was receiving in excess of one million reviews per month and a decision was made to float on the London Stock Exchange.
As of today, the company has more than 700 members of staff, representing more than 40 nationalities.
As a growing global company, however, Trustpilot needed to operate both globally and locally from one single secure system of record.
It had to be cost effective, intuitive, flexible and able to operate seamlessly across multiple offices around the world.
It also needed to integrate its previous HR records, including headcount, employee time, reporting, onboarding and offboarding – all of which had been handled manually in the past.
Amalie says: “It took six hours a month to manually create reports for the company’s vice presidents.”
The role of technology
Enter cloud HR.
A single global cloud HR and People system enabled Trustpilot to seamlessly align its HR processes into one easy-to-use platform aligned globally and regionally
It used automated workflows to free up their HR team’s time and interactive configurable self-service dashboards to allow for better reporting and business decision-making.
This gave Trustpilot full visibility over its global workforce across all markets.
It allowed the company to make HR processes consistent globally, with reporting quicker and easier than ever before.
Amalie says: “Our reports are automatically generated and delivered each month, saving almost one day a month on reporting alone.”
One of the key benefits of a centralised system is that it allowed Trustpilot to create a single, consistent onboarding programme with global reach.
Previously, onboarding had relied on the HR and People team sending custom emails to each new joiner, meaning the average time to onboard a new joiner was around 90 minutes.
Now, with a number of those processes automated, it takes just 30 minutes.
With 170 people joining Trustpilot in the first four months of 2021, that’s a total of 10,000 hours saved.
In the past, new joiners had different experiences depending on which office they joined. Some were given company merchandise, while for others welcome emails didn’t always arrive on time.
Now every new joiner gets sent via automated workflows:
- A welcome email – always on time
- A welcome video
- A company handbook
- Starter FAQs
- HR policies
- A personalised onboarding plan.
This means employees globally get a consistent onboarding experience, no matter where they’re based – and it’s all delivered automatically.
On day one, the system automatically reminds the manager to appoint a buddy, and flags IT to supply the new starter with the necessary equipment, helping to deliver the same high standard of onboarding every time.
What’s more, every piece of communication a new joiner receives can be personalised, to add to the experience.
This is especially important to companies that are constantly expanding into new regions, like Trustpilot.
Hello automated HR
It’s not just onboarding that’s been sped up and simplified globally, due to the automation capabilities of a cloud HR system.
Trustpilot has streamlined other HR processes too, with data immediately visible to aid decision-making, including probation periods, work anniversaries, and pay – from salaries and on-target earnings, to commissions and bonuses.
Customisation has also enabled Trustpilot to provide its employees a personalised experience, tailored to their needs.
“One of the most impressive elements,” says Amalie, “is the ability to customise it and add workflows depending on the business need and region.”
And Trustpilot has started to use its system to collect and analyse data.
For instance, the company is currently exploring how its employees would like to return to the office, with the platform allowing for efficient data-gathering through surveys with customised fields and formulas.
Meanwhile, automation has streamlined processes, Amalie explains: “[It] allows us to customise so much in terms of the workflows and processes we can automate. And that makes our lives so much easier.”
A single cloud HR system: Enabling international growth
Trustpilot is hurtling into the next stage of its global expansion – and no one is enjoying the benefits more than the HR and People team.
Amalie says: “Now we have the whole job architecture library in Sage People, we can use as an internal benchmark across all our global offices.
“That would have never been possible without Sage People.”
Spending less time on admin has enabled Trustpilot’s HR and People team to focus on more strategic initiatives.
From streamlining processes to providing better employee experiences, they now play a vital role in Trustpilot’s global expansion.
As Amalie puts it: “We spend more time on valuable insights now and focus more on strategic workforce planning – things that add value to the business.
“[Having the right cloud HR system] has helped our organisation mature as we grow, and we are not done yet. We know that with the multi-functionality and the limitless customisation of the software, we can adapt, expand and try new things.”
How to enable your growth ambitions with HR tech
Are you looking to grow your business globally, just like Trustpilot?
It’s vital to choose a highly extensible, flexible and configurable HR and People system that can grow and scale with you.
While we’ve covered quite a few of these already, here’s five areas to consider when it comes to choosing an HR and People system to support international growth:
- Flexibility: Look for a system that’s highly flexible so you can manage multiple languages, and seamlessly adapt to local variations on policy and compliance, for example.
- Automation: Choose software that can automate processes across locations, so the business can scale quickly and easily, enabling your HR team to focus on more strategic tasks.
- One single source of truth: Manage local compliance with automated policy updates from one central system.
- Comprehensive reporting: Harness the power of your people data to make quick, informed and actionable decisions, at a local and global level.
- Digital employee experiences: Choose a system that can create consistent world-class employee experiences, no matter where employees are based, with a digital experience that drives productivity and retention.
If you can bring on board an HR and People system that covers these five areas, you’ll have set your HR team and organisation up well to achieve global success.
Take a self-guided interactive tour of Sage People to see how it can drive international expansion today, or read Trustpilot’s full success story to learn more.