“In recent years it has become clear how technology can improve the employee experience, but also the relationship between employee and employer,” says Ionuț Gherle, CEO of UCMS by AROBS, who participated in March at the most important HR conference in Romania, Working Romania, moderated by Anda Sebeși, editor-in-chief of Business Review magazine. During the conference, the CEO touched on several points related to the importance of digitalization and the implementation of HR software solutions, the adaptability of the company to the needs of employees, but also on the value of employees.
How have you managed to adapt employee needs to new trends? From the importance of flexible work schedules, working from anywhere, and acceptance of different types of collaboration?
We made a change even before the pandemic. Since July 2019, we are part of the AROBS group, and the whole pandemic area caught us very busy on 3 levels. The first tier has been about growing the team. When I joined the team, we found 26 people, and now we are 60 people. This growth has taken place over the 2 years of the pandemic. It has been difficult for us to help new colleagues in different structures, from administration to development, to adjust to working at home. We started working from home about a week before the lockdown. On the other hand, we had the technology side, which kept us extremely busy. We struggled to meet the needs of our 1,300 customers because there were so many legislative changes. It was a big effort for my colleagues to keep the solutions up to date so that all our partners could submit their documents on time. We, UCMS by AROBS, have made considerable efforts to keep up with the legislative changes. The third level has been to adapt in terms of functionalities with current needs. As far as the concept of work from anywhere is concerned, we are currently working with colleagues in 7-8 cities in Romania, even though we are based only in Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest. We have colleagues in Iași, Sighișoara, Mureș, Buzău, Bacău, Arad. We also work with people from outside the country. We have two colleagues from Chișinău and a colleague working from Brussels and we manage very well. We are starting to get into a hybrid area. We want some meetings to be face-to-face.
How important is the adaptability of digitization and the implementation of HR software solutions oriented towards people and towards streamlining administrative processes?
In recent years it has become clear how technology can improve the employee experience, but also the relationship between employee and employer. It also reduces administrative and overhead costs for organizations. But most importantly, technology contributes significantly to increased productivity. In terms of payroll or HR software solutions, technology radically improves the dynamics and work of HR departments. In addition, as technology automates processes, HR departments, employees, and management can focus their resources on strategic objectives. In this way, they no longer waste time dealing with bureaucratic tasks. We develop software solutions for HR and payroll departments and see how technology has a positive impact on the daily lives of the organizations we work with. For example, due to the pandemic context, we have been somewhat forced to develop certain functionalities. Before the pandemic, we had the idea of working from home in place, so we developed work from the office to have a record during that period and to manage epidemiological situations more easily. To a certain extent, the pandemic also brought good things. One of them was the electronic signature, which we started to develop before COVID-19 came out, but we were legally uncertain. Now, 2 years later, it is very clear. We can sign electronically without worry. We, UCMS by AROBS, have even developed the functionality to sign electronically between employee and employer, from the employment contract to any kind of qualified certificates.
What can you tell us about continuous employee development and upskilling? Let’s talk about career plans involving courses, online learning resources, and identifying employees’ HIPO potential?
Last year, we celebrated 25 years in business. We have 12 colleagues with more than 10 years in the company, even with 25 years’ seniority, which you can hardly find these days. Personally, I really appreciate all the effort of the team.
For us it was a very big increase in a fairly short time. In the coming period, we will focus a lot on the education of our colleagues, especially as there is a management team that needs to move to another level. That’s why we give them access to useful information through an online library and encourage them to borrow material whenever they need it, which can help them both professionally and personally. Our team also has access to some of the world’s most relevant e-learning platforms. We have colleagues with HIPO potential, identified within the company based on a career plan, who are already taking part or are due to take part this year in various professional development courses and leadership workshops. We have also prepared a programme of different courses that we want to implement by 2023.
Working Romania is an established bi-annual HR conference, organized by Business Review every spring and autumn since 2019. Among the guests of the spring 2022 edition were Marius Budai, Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Loredana Alexe, Service Delivery Manager, Majorel Romania, Andrei Frunză, CEO BestJobs, Roxana Abrașu, Partner, Head of Employment Practice, NNDKP and Mădălina Racovițan, Tax Partner, Head of People Services, KPMG Romania.