Customer Story

Solvus offers users greater insight into their coaching programmes, thanks to Cornerstone

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How do you find the best talent with the right, future-proof skills? Many organisations are currently struggling with this challenge. Belgian company Solvus supports organisations in their search and helps them resolve their talent needs. Solvus doesn’t just look for the right match, it also looks for (undiscovered) talent already present in the organisation. The company focuses on total talent management (TTM) and integrates an array of strategies for developing existing employees and attracting permanent and flexible talent.

Solvus is a Belgian HR service provider, established in 2014 under the RGF Staffing umbrella, which was formerly known in the Netherlands as USG People. The organisation offers HR support such as recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), managed service provider (MSP) programmes, redeployment and outplacement, assessments, and development centres. But Solvus is mainly known as a pioneer in the Belgian market for its TTM solutions. These are integrated and complementary HR solutions designed to make companies more efficient, more resilient, and more flexible in all HR areas. In other words: Solvus focuses on people’s potential rather than checking whether they already have the skills requested for a particular vacancy.

Digitalisation as a must-have

For some time now, Solvus has been looking to further digitalise its services. The coronavirus pandemic reinforced this desire: digitalisation was no longer a nice-to-have but had become a must-have. Franz Hegemann, Operational Excellence Manager at Solvus, outlines the need to modernise the job coaching programmes: “We were facing a range of problems. First of all, the workflow involved a lot of manual work. In these programmes, we work with many different coaches and it was very difficult to implement a uniform way of working. Furthermore, the individual projects were tracked in Excel – a classic solution, but not a very practical one if you’re working with many people at the same time. A third issue was reporting: it was extremely hard to create an overview of what exactly was going on and see the status of each coaching programme.”

According to Hegemann, it was quite clear to Solvus what the new solution should be capable of. “We were looking for a tool that would give us an overview of all the different active coaching programmes and their status – all in one place. The result should be a complete, uniform, and transparent process, which we could monitor and follow up where necessary. Another important point was privacy and GDPR compliance. Our ultimate objective was to provide even higher quality services and at the same time, increase our efficiency.”

VDAB coaching

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the VDAB (Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training) was looking to outsource the provisioning of proactive and preventative mediation to job seekers with recent work experience, ensuring a smooth return to the labour market. The main difference between this and previous projects Solvus had carried out for the VDAB was that this was to be a voluntary programme. Hegemann explains: “This meant that we had to have something attractive to offer: a modern and professional-looking user interface which would be appealing for potential users.”

Solvus started looking for a suitable solution internally. Hegemann continues, “We looked within RGF Staffing to see if there was anything we could reuse. But because of the specific needs of the service we wanted to offer, there was nothing suitable.” The search continued outside of the organisation, where the option to modify the configuration played a significant role. “We were looking for an SaaS solution where we wouldn’t be dependent on the developer to make changes to the system. And that had an impact on our own organisation, because we had to train people to work this way. However, we have also experienced other solutions where you have to generate a ticket for even the smallest issue and wait until someone has time to tackle your problem. That’s not very flexible, nor is it the dynamic way of working we have come to expect.”

Too many options

After discussions with a number of LMS suppliers, Solvus chose Cornerstone. It was a considerable challenge to implement the Cornerstone solution, explains Anjuli Devuyst, team leader at Solvus and responsible for VDAB’s projects: “Cornerstone is built for the interaction between manager and employee. We had to adapt that to coach/coachee, which was quite a challenge. The Cornerstone software can do a great deal, but we also had to work with the MLP system that VDAB was already using. VDAB requires all its partners to use this system to ensure all actions are properly followed up. An important issue to consider was where we would register what data, and how we could avoid duplicate data. So the main question for us was: what functionality is essential and what can we leave out?”

After a three-month implementation period, the system was ready for use. Devuyst is very happy with Cornerstone: “Our administration has become a lot simpler. In the past, our documentation was stored in various locations – now everything is in one place. We only have to look at two systems: Cornerstone and the client’s system. This means our employees don’t have to switch between so many systems, leaving less room for error. What’s more, we can easily get useful reports from the system. Thanks to Cornerstone, we can now work more efficiently. That’s the biggest advantage for us.”

Taking control

People in the VDAB programme are also very positive about Cornerstone. Devuyst reports, “Clients can take the initiative and immediately see what’s going on in their own programme. Cornerstone also enables us to link to e-learning modules and videos produced by our own clients and suppliers, so the entire product offering – our own and what is produced by third parties – is available in the same place. We’re currently expanding our e-learning offering so the options will soon be even greater.”

The next step for Solvus is to add more projects to the Cornerstone platform. Some of these projects will be similar to the current one, so the implementation will not be entirely new. But Solvus is also looking further ahead. For example, they are investigating the option of using Cornerstone for assessment centres, where companies can determine whether an employee is ready for the next career step, and whether a candidate is suitable for a particular job.

Interface with internal systems

Another item on Solvus’s wishlist was interfacing some of their other systems with Cornerstone. Hegemann explains, “We have an enormous talent pool that we have built from our coaching programmes. These candidates are potential matches to vacancies that Solvus is trying to fill for organisations on the other side of the business. We have not yet realised this interface between Cornerstone and other platforms, but it’s certainly something we want to build towards. Our objective is to always help coachees find a new job. And considering we have a large pool of vacancies and job openings, this mapping would be a win-win for all involved.”

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