Improving the global health of HR at Worldwide Clinical Trials

Global contract research organization selects Sage Business Cloud People to manage growing, diverse workforce

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Synonymous for innovation, flexibility and specialist expertise, Worldwide Clinical Trials is a recognized global leader in the contract research industry.
Since its founding in 1986, Worldwide has experienced fast growth, today employing more than 1,700 people, across 60 countries globally.

Complex challenges for a global workforce
Working in a heavily regulated healthcare industry represents many challenges for the organization, including managing a global workforce, 90% of which are full-time and 40% of which are home-based. Additionally, consolidation of the international companies it had acquired presented additional complexities around managing multiple legacy tools and processes. Complying with one country’s regulations can be complicated- Worldwide needed to manage its employees simply and effectively across more than 60 countries, while remaining compliant, and providing a positive experience to the workforce.

Worldwide’s senior HR director, Stacie Alexander, explains: “As just one example, employees are required to complete a variety of compliance activities. When we onboard new employees, they must acknowledge their job description, upload their résumé and prepare documentation for inspections.

“When you have multiple systems, across multiple countries, it’s a complex, time-consuming burden just to get simple HR admin tasks like this done.” The rapid growth that Worldwide experienced also posed challenges in terms of accessing and managing workforce data, and business critical people metrics including employee turnover and performance.

“None of our HR systems were interoperable, and that meant that if one of our HR managers had employees in different countries, they would need to access multiple systems to do something as simple as approving time off,” comments Alexander. “That was not a good use of their time. We needed to be focussing on key strategic initiatives and allow HR to spend time with our business leaders and employees.”

Worldwide knew it needed to act. “Data integrity and intelligence about our employees was holding us back. Without having a single source of truth, we couldn’t accurately report to our executives about our biggest asset – our people,” says Alexander.

Immediate gains with Sage Business Cloud People
“We were searching for a global platform that could help us to solve these challenges: compliance, better workforce visibility, and improved HR productivity. These were all vital considerations for us. We instantly saw that Sage People provided an intuitive platform that not only helped us with these challenges, but consolidated everything into one system for our people.”

Throughout the implementation process, Sage People consultants were on hand to manage a smooth transition, ensuring that desired business outcomes were met. “We immediately saw benefits particularly around efficiency and talent, with initial reductions of 20% in administrative work,” says Alexander.

“What we really liked about Sage People was its configurability and flexibility. We have people in different geographies, different business units with different needs and processes, and Sage People’s platform allows us to configure functionality according to each employee or contractor profile whilst providing a consistent experience across the global workforce. This is fundamental in helping us to not only attract talent, but retain it as well,” comments Alexander. “That first experience as a new hire is key, and when you can do everything and more, regardless of where you are or what device you’re using, it shows we embrace the flexibility of choice,” she added.

Becoming a standout employer
Since going live, Worldwide reports they now have a system that not only exceeds their expectations but is also able to scale with the business. They’re not stopping there, though. Moving to a global cloud system is spurring the organization to innovate even further, and the team are looking at even more ways they can automate HR services to provide better experiences for their people.

Improving the onboarding experience for new joiners and overhauling the performance management system are just two of the ways Worldwide is looking to Sage People to build on their initial successes already. “Now that we have a robust HR and People system enabling us to achieve complete data accuracy, instant workforce reporting and provide better employee experiences, we want to move to the next level.”

“What’s fantastic about Sage People is that we know we’re only scratching the surface–there is so much more we can do. It means we can become a standout employer, provide instant people data to our executive leadership team so they can make faster decisions, and as a HR team, we can act as a valued, efficient resource, delivering real value back to the business. We certainly could not say that before the introduction of Sage People,” concludes Alexander.

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