How HR Technology can Help us Write a Better Future
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How HR Technology can Help us Write a Better Future

Eddy Van Der Weerd, Head of People Operations at Stuff
Eddy Van Der Weerd, Head of People Operations at Stuff

Eddy Van Der Weerd, Head of People Operations at Stuff

Media organizations locally and around the world must work hard to attract and retain talent, improve operational efficiencies, and provide the very best data and insights to meet the needs of their business and customers. Where possible, we lean on the power of technology to help us make that happen.

Stuff owns New Zealand’s number one news site Stuff.co.nz, along with a suite of magazines, newspapers and online community platform Neighbourly. We leverage our trust and scale to deliver quality news, content and experiences that help make New Zealand a better place. We have around 880 staff spread right across the country.

The People team at Stuff is tasked with enabling our people to deliver on the strategic aspirations for our business. We are focused on making the employee experience simple and seamless, attracting and retaining New Zealand’s best talent, and building a productive, engaged and safety-conscious workforce.

Our goal is for our staff to know their work is important and helps to make the lives of all New Zealanders better.

The Stuff team includes salespeople, production managers, editors, marketers, accountants, event managers, lawyers, developers, photographers, videographers, podcasters, librarians, print plant operators and a whole lot more. 

At the core of that are our 400 journalists right around the country who create around 100,000 pieces of journalism every year that help inform, educate and entertain our audiences. Our work reaches 3.5 million Kiwis every month and we also help 30,000 advertisers reach their customers.

We’re working hard to ensure our workforce, just like our journalism, represents all of the vibrant cultures and communities that make Aotearoa New Zealand a great place to live and work.

The People team deals with a high volume of requests, and these include anything from requests for information, issue resolution or general queries from multiple sources. They may come from the public, job candidates, current or former employees, or business vendors. Stuff also recently became B Corp certified, making us a leader in the global movement towards an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy. This too has resulted in a larger number of requests from the public and our employees and it’s important that we respond to these in an efficient and helpful way.

HR technology enables us to achieve operational efficiencies that streamline the employee experience and often deliver cost savings by increasing productivity and freeing our team up to do work that adds more value.

 HR technology enables us to achieve operational efficiencies that streamline the employee experience and often deliver cost savings by increasing productivity and freeing our team up to do work that adds more value 

Automation is a key driver of our success. Many businesses still need to get to the point where they apply the same quality technology that is provided for their external customers to their internal customers. The employee experience needs to be as valued (and invested in) as the customer experience. Digital transformation helps create a positive employee experience and increased job satisfaction that in turn drives engagement, retention, productivity and ultimately revenue.

A couple of the tools we use include Enboarder to support our recruitment and induction, and Qualtrics to provide us with timely data and insights that support us in making good business decisions.

Enboarder enables us to automate the process around our staff recruitment and induction. It supports employers by taking the manual tasks off people's plates and helps turn what can be a long drawn-out process into something that’s efficient and engaging. Using tools like this enables us to focus on more strategic work that adds value to our business and our people.

Data and insights are also essential to a modern HR function. We use a programme called Qualtrics for employee surveys, employee net promoter surveys, onboarding surveys and exit surveys. It provides us with an amazing dashboard of insights that can be used to help support decision-making. All HR people need to have data and analytics at their fingertips and Qualtrics has enabled us to get real-time information that is useful for us.

Our managers and employees have more time to focus on their core roles and the People team is freed up to do strategic work that adds significant value. That’s better for us, our people and our customers.

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