Entrepreneur's Delight
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Officient Makes The Workforce Management Efficient Through Its HR Solution

Human resource management is one of the most important aspects of an organisation and doing it efficiently can be one of the main reasons for an organisation's success in the long run. Officient makes managing your workforce an absolutely efficient affair and helps you build greater levels of success. Read ON!


Can we get introduced to the Founder/s of Officient?

Officient was founded on the 7th of September 2017 by the following four people: -
HR Solutions Michiel Bearelle: Chairman of the board & Sales manager

Michiel B. studied graphic design: crossmedia at the Artevelde Hogeschool. Upon completing his studies, he worked as a sales professional for different tech start- and scale-ups such as Social Express and Team leader. After experiencing first-hand the strain excessive HR administration caused hundreds of businesses, he founded Officient to offer a solution.

Willem Delbare: Backend lead

Willem studied Master in computer science at Ghent University. In his final years he founded RGBscape with friends, which would later transform into the tech scale-up Team leader, offering CRM-tooling. He was CTO for five years at team leader. After leaving the company to pursue different ventures, he ultimately came together with Michiel to found Officient.

Ilias Ismanalijev: Frontend lead

Ilias studied New Media & Communication Technology at Howest. He had worked on a variety of personal development projects, some of which turned viral. Ilias and Willem knew each other because of a shared project. When Michiel and Willem wanted to start Officient, Ilias was asked to join as founder and primary frontend developer.

Michiel Crommelinck: CEO

Michiel C. studied Master in psychology at the Ghent University. Afterwards he completed a doctorate focused on organizational psychology. After completing his doctorate, Michiel started working as an innovation partner for Securex, a large Belgian payroll provider. Seeing the hassle companies faced with handling HR administration, and the lack of corporate ability to focus on and effectuate rapid innovation, he went looking for another approach to solve this common problem, after which he met up with the other founders.

What is the Vision behind the idea? What led to its origination?

Vision:

To equip SME’s with intuitive solutions to optimize workforce management.

Origination:

HR Solutions Having been to hundreds of companies throughout his sales career, Michiel B. discovered the hassle that these companies faced in maintaining their HR administration, and the limited solutions they had at their disposal (cf. payroll tools). He pitched this problem to the two best developers he knew, Willem Delbare and Ilias Ismanalijev, after which they started developing an MVP. This MVP was a way to communicate with a couple of payroll providers, without an API, which could generate a list of the employees and their data.
Michiel C. was then introduced through a mutual connection and with his extensive HR knowledge and experience at Securex; he joined the team as the last founder. Using this MVP Michiel B. and Michiel C. sold the product to the first clients.


How did the name come into place? Does it have to do anything with the word ‘Efficient’?

As you rightly guessed, the name comes from the combination of Office and Efficient. Our product is built to more efficiently manage people working for the company, and subsequently increase productivity across the entire workforce, from employees and managers up to HR and leadership.

What have been the key challenges and bottlenecks faced in the Journey this far?

Indirect distribution model
The way we sell our product to the end customer is through two main distribution channels: direct and indirect. Direct follows the standard business flow of marketing generating leads, which sales then turns into paying customers. The Indirect model is when a payroll provider decides to use Officient as the new frontend interface for their customers to handle HR and payroll processes.

The main challenge coming from the indirect model is handling communication and adoption through intermediaries. Professionals at the payroll provider need to be taught how to sell our product to their customers and/ or how to support them if they run into problems. There is also the case of adoption, where this indirect channel has a lower adoption rate because of intermediaries, and the fact that companies in their customer base might not have the same level of product-market fit as our direct customers do. This challenge meant putting in place the right people to effectuate this communication, training intermediaries and closely following up on roll-out and adoption.

Scaling our own workforce

Due to the multitude of distribution channels with high demand for the product, the company needed to scale in a rapid way, but at the same time wanted to uphold a high level of sustainability for its people. This means having to attract many different high-level candidates, put in place leadership, streamline operational processes, whilst at the same time growing the business itself. That’s why it quickly became apparent to the founders to hire an HR professional early on, which matched well with our product and provided the ownership to scale the workforce efficiently and effectively.
Could you share what the entire concept of Officient is and what are some of its key Features?

HR Solutions Officient digitizes your HR administration and helps your company easily centralize all employee data. After you activated the integration with your payroll provider, we’ll synchronize the data stored there and you can get started immediately. With a couple of clicks you can automate and speed up multiple HR processes such as handling contracts, processing absences or managing 
onboarding. Provide your employees and managers with more transparency by inviting them to their personal employee or manager self-service. This way they’ll be able to complete HR tasks such as signing contracts or requesting vacation independently. Do you have any questions? Our experienced support team is ready to respond and help within minutes. You’ll be amazed by how intuitive the software feels and the quality of service you’ll receive.
Discover at www.officient.io how more than a 1000 SME’s are speeding up recurring HR processes, and reducing HR administration with Officient.



Main features:

1. People: a complete directory of all people working for the organization, including freelancers, internationals and interns. For each employee a digital profile is generated where all employee data for this person is centralized. This helps HR work a lot faster by having employee data be consistent and readily available.

2. Contracts - A directory of all labor contracts and related policies in the organization. With electronic signing in the self-service and smart automation tools such as bulk distribution of contracts, managing contracts costs a fraction of the time and effort in comparison to before.

3. Calendar: A calendar interface which groups all requested and approved days off (or overtime) within the organization. This provides a clear overview before wages are due to check if everything is in order, after which data is sent to payroll for wage processing.

4. Assets: a list of all employee assets, fleet, software licenses and courses which the company provided to its employees. For each asset, detailed information and important documents (insurance, related policy..) can be enclosed, and asset usage is automatically tracked

5. Integration payroll provider: We support a multitude of integrations with different Belgian and Dutch payroll providers. This integration allows wage and absence data to be transferred with a touch of a button to speed up wage calculations.
6. Employee
self-service: Upon using Officient each employee gets a personal self-service, where they can consult their employee data and handle different HR tasks such as requesting days off, signing contracts, downloading work documents, or checking performance reviews.

Other features:

1. Performance reviews - Helping you plan and organize all performance assessments.

2. Workflows
- Create standardized flows around certain employee events (on- and off boarding) or custom events (legal procedures). Our product communicates tasks and reminds HR, managers and employees of their to-do’s and deadlines.

3. Insights
- Automatically visualizing HR trends such as payroll cost evolution, absenteeism, days of distribution, gender pay gap, location distribution and more.

4. Organizational chart - A visual map of the company’s structure with role & contact info.
Why do you think it is important for Organizations to adopt a HR Management Software like Officient? What difference would it make?

Centralized employee database

With other costs getting cheaper over time, labor costs will only rise in comparison. Add to that the increased demand for highly-educated, digitally-skilled individuals, with a lacking labor market to supply them, companies are facing more and more HR challenges to keep up. Being able to attract new professionals, retain the current workforce and upskill wherever possible is a must. In order to do this multiple HR tools exist to support different HR processes, from hiring to reward programs to time tracking tools. However there needs to be a central HR database (or HRIS) which these tools are using to exchange and store essential information. This way you can keep track of your new hire and all the data related to their activities as an employee, from the moment they join your company up until the moment they leave.
Improving workforce efficiency by reducing administrative burden

Automating tasks around HR administration helps employees be more productive by having to perform less administrative tasks. It further increases efficiency for HR by reducing mistakes which occur during input of employee data. It also reduces mistakes in data transfer with third parties, such as communicating days off to payroll for wage processing.

Gain a hiring and retention advantage by offering a digital employee experience

Providing a digital employee experience gives you a competitive advantage in hiring and retaining employees. Now you can offer them a fully mobile experience through which they can handle everything related to their employment, from requesting a sick day to downloading the latest pay slip. New hires sign their contract as soon as they’re committed, after which the onboarding flow starts, reducing the time to productivity for this new team member as well.

Provide leadership and HR with real-time data and trends to form strategic HR
decisions

By centralizing all employee data in one HR system, we’re able to provide HR teams and leaders with real-time workforce insights. These metrics, which monitor things like payroll cost evolution, absenteeism or turnover rate, gives leadership and HR the data they need to base their strategic HR decisions on.

Have you managed to raise any Funding? How are you funded?

We haven’t raised any funding besides publically accessible subsidies or government grants. We always like to mention that the entire organization has been built on revenue.

Would you like to share some statistical and other achievements of Officient?

We’ve just crossed a 1000 customers, which means around 1.75 SMEs per day joined Officient since the company was legally founded. Furthermore we won the award for “coolest HR tech solution 2018” recognised by the HR industry channel hrminfo.eu


Would you like to share any testimonials of the difference Officient is making for the Organizations?

The last one we created was a testimonial with a larger it solution provider which has dedicated English subs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqdEAMQAptE&t=72s

Other testimonials can be found on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzHl-1iGL5IKy9dg5ttd-BA

HR Solutions



How do you plan to face the ever-rising competition from the other players entering the segment as well?

By using the large amount of data we have available through our direct and indirect models, to create functionality for SMEs which acts as a smart HR assistant in providing workforce optimization. This could mean being able to perform actions such as benchmarking wages across the organization, or even using predictive analytics to form recommendations such as: employee X could benefit from further training, employee Y has been abnormally absent and employee Z is likely to leave the organization. This type of functionality used to be more reserved to corporations, because of the costs and the datasets they required. We wanted to provide the SME market with the same tools, seeing as they are still the largest employer of working professionals in many different countries.
Where do you envision the brand of Officient to reach in the next 2-3 years?

In the next 3 years we aim to exceed more than half a million in recurring monthly revenue and expand our customer acquisition efforts to at least one other European market.
Which are the current operational locations of Officient? Are there any expansion plans? Currently our center of operations is located in Ghent and with no direct plans for physically expanding to other locations. We do plan on expanding our customer acquisition to European countries facing similar issues and with the potential of a high level of product-market fit.

What is your message for the other very Early-stage Startups & Entrepreneurship Enthusiasts?
Continuously test your product with customers and never stop asking the question of how your product specifically solves the problems they experience. The problems your product solves today might not be the same as the ones it solves next year, because the market is ever-changing and expectations continue to rise.


For more information about Officient, you could visit their Website

You could connect to them though their official Email Address or connect to Michiel Bearelle through his Email AddressYou can follow their updates on Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Copyrights © 2019 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine


Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 1st July 2019.

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