Anton Kolodnitskiy

Implementing HRMS, staff training and certification in Bitrix24

Human Resource Management is a big part of every company. It is important that employees share the principles of the company. That they see and understand the goals of the company, and play their part in its achievement (direct their ideas, effort and thoughts towards the goal). This state of harmony in goals helps people work better. 

Achieving this for 20 employees is easy. For 50 employees, it becomes a bit challenging. With 500 or several thousand, it not only becomes a challenge, but a pain.

It is like a garden. When it is small and there are a few crops, it can be managed by a small group of people who only need to water and weed. But when the land mass is bigger, there are many crops of different species, more effort is needed. 

The tools needed for tending a “large garden” is what we will be discussing below.


To unite employees in the common goals of a company, you need to get them in one location(not necessarily physically of course), train, motivate, assign responsibilities, reward them and carry out a dozen more HR management tasks. 

Using a different Human Resource management system for each task is bad practice for several reasons. It is a lot more expensive to use and maintain. 

To get the full benefits of using HR systems, you need to have ONLY one HR management system with the features your company needs, as well as the possibility to implement any other HR features you may need in future as your company scales and expands. Correctly implemented, a Bitrix24 HRMS grows (in functionality, sophistication) and helps the company grow too. 

These are not just words. Our results from several HR management systems implementations in Bitrix24 have proven this.

Today, we want to share our experience and ideas on implementing a HRMS in Bitrix24.


How does a Bitrix24 HRMS differ from the regular Bitrix24?

Out of the box, Bitrix24 is a collaboration software with tools for collaboration, tasks, communication, business processes.

The available design templates are general, and there're are no special features like gamification for instance, to make work more interesting.

A HR management system focuses on HR components - making work as easy as possible, making access to internal services convenient, portraying the company's image, values and goals to the employees. 


Why implement a HRMS in Bitrix24?

Developing a HR management system on Bitrix24 has several significant advantages:

  1. Bitrix24 is affordable.

    The cost of a Bitrix24 On-premise Business license for 500 users per year is $14 990.
    This means that for each user you pay $30/year or $2.5/month! 

    The cost of setting up a HRMS is nothing compared to the benefits it adds - 

    • employees are more efficient in their work, including the HR employees

    • working in the system is more pleasant,

    • fewer human actions are required for things to run smoothly

    • Staff training can be organised regularly - Your employees constantly improve their skills and have the certifications to prove their newly acquired competencies.


    In comparison with other systems where you can achieve similar functionalities, MS CRM Dynamics for example, the cost of a license is $65 per user/month.

    This makes the purchase of Bitrix24 profitable - the price-to-performance ratio is decent.


  2. There are many competent Bitrix24 development teams 
    Bitrix has thousands of official partners around the world. This number doesn’t include the thousands of small teams without partner status. Finding a reliable team with experience, a rich portfolio and good reputation is easy. The average hour rate for development is quite affordable.


  3. Bitrix24 enforces security

    • Developers must comply with the regulations of the vendor to carry out development on any Bitrix24 product. 

    • The proactive protection module must be enabled and properly configured before anything else can be done.

    These two rules are enough for your portal to be protected from major threats.



Features that can be implemented in Bitrix24 HRMS

  1. A custom corporate design
  2. Custom functions in news, events, company life
  3. Employee onboarding automation
  4. Internal services - booking conference rooms, application for a vacation, purchase of new equipment, etc.
  5. Employee development and training
  6. Development management


  1. A custom corporate design

A HRMS in Bitrix24 is not just a work tool. It’s a tool for reflecting the image of the company. Therefore, it needs to have the company's corporate design.

There are two methods of bringing your Bitrix24 HRMS closer to your corporate identity:

  1. Cosmetic redesign - Your Bitrix24 is “repainted” using the colour palette of your company.

  2. Full "renovation" with redevelopment.


In the first method, the “skeleton” of your Bitrix24 remains unchanged - the location of elements and their behaviours also do not change. We change the colour palette and add branded details.
In the second method, there is a complete redesign. A new design is created from scratch, and uploaded in Bitrix24. In other words, we “throw away” the entire standard design and layout and replace it with a new one.

The pros and cons of each Bitrix24 redesign method are obvious.

The first method is faster and cheaper. Your Bitrix24 also retains the ability to receive Bitrix24 updates without any extra work.

The second method gives you a more individual result. It is more expensive and takes a longer time. Creating and implementing a design and layout can take from 3 months of work upward. Your developer will also need to carry out extra work to ensure that your Bitrix24 keeps receiving updates.

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2. News, events, company life

The main goal of a HRMS implementation is to keep employees informed on what’s going on in the company at every point in time. News, events and company life sections are not difficult to implement. Their success in achieving the goal of a HRMS depends on the quality of the content you upload. We have identified some good ideas for implementation below.

News

Before designing this section, here are some questions you must consider:

  1. What news would your employees be interested in?

  2. Who will publish the news? And where will they get it from? 

Our recommendation is to make the news structure as simple as possible. During the first few weeks to months of using a HRMS, you won't have much news to post. So, there’s no need creating categories, topics or regions, yet. You can do this when you have enough news to fill different categories.

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New employees

When a company recruits new employees, it means the company is growing and everything is in order. This is a controversial statement, but usually employees perceive hiring new colleagues this way.

Create a mini event or post on Bitrix24 to inform employees about the new addition. The mini event should include a photograph of the new employee, their hobbies, and job description. People generally respond well to such messages, and the new employee will be absorbed into the team a lot faster.


Birthdays

Everyone loves birthdays!
Notify your employees about who to congratulate today. If the company has several hundred employees, you can do it on the feed. But if there are several thousand employees, you need to consider creating separate sections and access permissions so that congratulations do not interfere with the main work.

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Company results

Employees should be updated constantly on how their contribution to the company helps it reach its goals. To do this, share the achievements and results of the company often. For example, how many houses the company has set up solar panels in, the launch of a new product, or a successful launch into space. Every achievement of the company is every employee’s achievement.  Just make sure not to be too formal.

Use infographics - they give a full picture at a glance. If your indicators are expressed in numbers, ask a designer to prepare a banner in the company’s colours.


3. Onboarding

Integrating a new employee into a company is not an easy process. New recruits are required to get acquainted with large amounts of information within a short period of time - regulations, important contacts, rules of conduct, official documents.

There are two main approaches to this task. 

  1. The first is to create a knowledge base for new employees - one location for all the information they will need. This knowledge base will help both new and existing employees. The only task here is to ensure that the information is always up to date and relevant.
    Technically, this could be a group in Bitrix24, with its own feed. Important files can be saved on the group drive.
    You could also create a separate page with its own design.

  2. The second approach is more modern and produces better results. It involves a step by step employee onboarding process through gamification. First, you need to show the user the basic capabilities of the system - how to use business processes, where important information is located, etc. One of our clients used a video guide here. Information is absorbed better in video format.

    As new recruits begin the onboarding process, each step or material they go through is marked as “completed”.

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    It is important to strike a balance between convenience and technical complexity. For example, although you can actually track whether a user watched a video or not, and you can register when a video has been launched, we suggest you keep things simple.

    You can refine, add features and make the system more complicated when people are comfortable using the portal, and the company can see the benefits of having a HR portal.

4. Services

Although HR-portal is not only the life of the company and the knowledge base. An important part is the automation of business processes (BP). This is the forte of Bitrix24. The developed BP designer allows even without programming to increase efficiency.

We will look at the most basic processes, with a focus on HR:

  1. Booking conference rooms;

  2. Application for a business trip;

  3. Purchase of equipment.

  4. Application for vacation.

Booking conference rooms

Everyone wants to discuss important matters in a comfortable meeting room, with a projector and other “buns”. In order not to encounter during negotiations with colleagues, negotiation rooms must be booked in advance.

In small companies, a separate calendar is enough for this - the event is simply entered into the calendar and the meeting room is considered booked.

In large companies, this process is regulated. Plus, there are often several negotiation rooms, and the assistance of a secretary or technician may be needed to prepare for the discussion.

BP can help again.

It is important that the information on booking negotiation is often duplicated in other systems. There will need integration.

Approximate plan for BP reservation negotiation:

  1. The initiator starts the BP, selects the negotiation, date and time, leaves a comment. If you need the help of a technician or secretary, notes these options. He can also add participants so that information about the event appears in their personal calendars.

  2. BP checks the employment negotiation on the selected date. If the meeting room is busy, the initiator is invited to choose another date.

  3. If your organization requires someone to agree on a reservation negotiation, then such a step is needed.

  4. If the negotiation is free, an event is created, a negotiation is reserved. After you need to synchronize with other systems, where users follow the events. For example, a frequent request is to synchronize booking information with MS Exchange.

  5. If you selected options for the assistance of a secretary or technician (for example, set up a video conference), then these employees should receive alerts. If necessary, they leave comments, which will then be shown to the initiator.

  6. You can then send the initiator a notice of successful booking and complete the business process. For a certain time before the event (for example, 1 hour), all participants will receive a reminder.

After the implementation of this BP, the chance of overlays when booking negotiation rooms is greatly reduced.

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Travel request

Organising a business trip is not an easy task. You need to issue a travel allowance, book a flight, book a hotel, and issue all the necessary documents before the trip.

So as not to miss any step, you need a Business Process (Workflow).

A travel request workflow is very similar to a vacation application workflow. In both situations, an entry needs to be made in the employee absence schedule. 

Below, we describe a common travel request workflow

  1. The workflow initiator starts the workflow by entering the date, purpose, destination of the business trip and other information required by HR. You can also attach documents to the workflow. 

  2. The work flow is initiated and sent for approval.

  3. After approval, the HR manager prepares a travel order.

  4. The Accountant is assigned the task of making financial provisions for the trip. In some cases, someone is assigned to book and pay for tickets, hotels, etc.

  5. When everyone involved in the process marks their tasks as completed, The initiator receives a “success” notification.

  6. One day before the trip, the initiator receives a reminder.

  7. When the employee returns from the business trip, they receive a task about the need to attach scans (or photos) of documents confirming their expenditure during the business trip (if this is accepted in your company).

  8. After the initiator completes this task, a task is set for the accountant - to check the documents, save them and end the workflow.

Let’s say the business trip went well, your company was awarded the contract. It's time to get to work. But before that, there are formalities to be carried out. 

With workflows, it is easy to organise these formalities, and carry out document approval. We have two articles on what these workflows look like, and how you can implement them:

  • MicroEDA document approval automation;

  • Contract negotiation workflow.


Application for the purchase of equipment

From time to time, staff need new hardware or software for work. To receive their new work equipment, they need to make a request. This process requires approval coordination and the participation of several employees. So to speed up the process, you should use a workflow.

A workflow for a purchase request will be something like this:

  1. The employee who needs the equipment creates an application for the purchase of equipment or software. In the application, he indicates what exactly he needs. Usually, a link to an online store is attached, so that the approvers can see the exact item in question and its price. 

  2. The application is sent to the employees supervisor or department head for approval.

  3. Next, it goes to the accountant, who places an order and pays.

  4. When the item is delivered to the employee who requested it, the workflow is completed. 

Such workflows are easy and inexpensive to implement, yet they make such a huge difference.

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Vacation application

You have completed all your projects and done all your work. It’s time for a vacation!

When an employee is going on vacation, it’s important for everyone who works with them to be informed about it on time. It is also convenient if there is a public schedule of absences.

A vacation workflow can be automated. Here’s an example:

  1. A colleague makes a request for a vacation, indicating the start and end dates. If necessary, you can add a field for “the reason for the leave request”. 

  2. The employee’s supervisor receives a notification, with the required information. The supervisor is also notified if  the vacation request intersects with another employee’s vacation request with similar responsibilities. This helps to ensure that at every point in time, each department has enough people for work to go on smoothly.

  3. If everything is okay, the supervisor approves the leave application.

  4. Next, a leave event is created in the absence calendar.

  5. The accountant is notified to issue a vacation pay X days before the vacation.

  6. If an employee needs to prepare any documents, he is notified of this.

With a vacation workflow, we reduce disorderliness and the need for employees to go from office to office to get their vacation approved. And thanks to the absence schedule, everyone knows when colleagues will not be available.

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As you can see, with the help of several simple workflows, it is possible to automate a substantial part of the company's activities. This will make the HR portal not only beautiful, easy and interesting to work with, but also a useful tool.



Employee development and training

Automation alone is not enough. Employees contribute greatly to a company's performance and success. Therefore, they need to undergo constant training and development.

Implementing an employee development centre consists of a lot of tasks. We won’t be able to talk about all of them, so we will consider the most popular requests - training, development management and various motivation programmes.

Employee training

Bitrix24 On-Premise edition has an e-learning module. The module allows you to organise employee training in the form of courses. The courses can be across several topics, and each one has a tree structure with multiple nesting levels.

After completing a course, you can take tests. There could be several tests for one course. Bitrix24 records the number of attempts an employee makes before passing a test. You can restrict course students from proceeding to the next lesson or course, if they have not passed the tests of the previous.

The courses themselves are utilitarian - Bitrix24 focused on its functionality, practicality and usefulness rather than on beauty. The tool works wll. Bitrix itself uses these courses to train partners and certify developers. 

We have implemented employee training modules in both public and private companies. Here are some examples 

  1. Pharmaceutical firm Grand Capital

  2. Construction :

  3. Brightway

If necessary, the appearance can be customised to suit your corporate colour palette.

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Employee development management

Feedback

Constant feedback from employees to management should be encouraged in every possible way. Feedback helps the company notice problems or opportunities. Below are two popular and simple ways to organise and encourage such communication.

“A chat with the CEO”

In large companies, there are five or more ranks between the average employee and senior management. This means that the urgency of matters can be lost. Issues that should happen 

A good practice is to encourage every employee to write a message to senior management anonymously or not, based on their preference. Usually when an employee writes "to the very top", it implies the problem is really serious. This practice must be promoted in every way possible. If it ever happens that there are too many messages, then, you can also solve this problem in different ways :

  1. The CEO’s secretary can also conduct initial filtering.

  2. If you need a filtering mechanism or some kind of logic to process a message (for example, distribute messages to managers in different departments), then you can create a workflow.

If no filtering or distribution is required, an ordinary feedback form is enough.

It is important to save and respond to all the messages received by management. One way to do this is to create a separate page where all the questions and the managers’ answers to them will be published. This will increase the transparency.

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Suggestions for improvement

The goal here is to collect proposals, and to assess the reaction of the team to them. You want to provoke a discussion, and get each employee to share their ideas.

The simplest solution is to create a separate group in Bitrix24, where everyone can leave their suggestions. The suggestions are visible to all the members of the group and anyone can "like" and comment on suggestions they support.

To motivate active employee participation, you can reward the employees who have the suggestion with the most likes in the month. For example, you can give them some of the company's products for free (if you do not produce oil or coal, of course :)).

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The cost of implementing a HR portal in Bitrix24

Above, we have shared why it’s important to have a HR portal, what features you can implement, and how you can implement them in Bitrix24.
Your question now may be : How do I start? 


The correct sequence of actions:

  1. Decide on your goals - what do you want to achieve with the help of the HR portal. Write out three main goals, and think about what functions you will need to have for those goals to be achieved.

  2. Find good Bitrix24 experts  - an expert is one who is ready not only to talk about technology, but also help you analyse the impact of any implementation on your business. We are such experts!

  3. Think (together with the Bitrix24 expert)over the scope of work.

  4. Determine your MVP(minimum valuable product). This is important. Do not try to implement all the features you need at once. The main task when implementing a HR system is to quickly launch a minimum product and get employees to use it. When they do, they themselves will tell you what is lacking, and you can schedule future development.

  5. Prepare a Technical Specification for the MVP. This will allow you to get a predictable result, and give accurate estimation in terms of time and cost.

  6. Implement. 

As you can see, nothing is too complicated to be solved. 

INTERVOLGA is ready to collaborate with you at any stage and help you achieve your goals. We have vast experience and competent hands.

Another question may be: how much does it cost?

In our experience, a cosmetic redesign, creating custom pages and simple integrations, usually takes 200 hours of work. All other features and development depend on your appetite.

INTERVOLGA has also developed the first complete ready-made HR platform for Bitrix24 - RAE. RAE automates recruiting, Adaptation (Onboarding) and Education( staff training and development).
Price - $2500.00 

Send us an email to request a demo.



  • 09.12.2022