How Arcoro’s HR Tech Tools Supported KC Company’s HR Success

Just because a company is great at what it does, whether that’s construction, technology or healthcare, doesn’t mean it’s great at HR. But understanding the talent needs of your company is essential to its success. The solution lies in having the right HR tech tools that make HR easy and accessible for every company.

Superior Bowen, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is one of the largest asphalt paving and construction companies in the Midwest. It’s been in business for 70 years and has grown to employ more than 400 workers, many of whom are union crew members who work on a variety of projects, from federal contracts, earthwork, asphalt production and site preparation, to design and planning. Despite its success, the company has never had an internal HR department. Taylor Flory, an HR Generalist with Superior Bowen, says the longstanding lack of a dedicated HR team resulted in several challenges including:

  • Inefficient and expensive recruiting through a fee-based staffing firm.
  • No clear company-wide system of protocols including an employee handbook, job descriptions and inconsistent performance reviews. “Some people had worked here for 20 years and never had a performance review,” she says.
  • Compliance wasn’t a focus.
  • Too little time to manage all the HR responsibilities for a small HR team.

In 2018, the company hired Jenna Henderson as its vice president of Human Resources. Henderson brought Flory over from operations to help build up the HR department. The company was ready to address their challenges but knew there could be some pushback. “We had 250 employees who were pretty set in their ways,” admits Flory.

The newly developed HR department nevertheless knew changes had to be made and implemented Arcoro’s HR solution as its first HRIS. Immediately the company saw success in terms of recruitment, having a centralized system of record, compliance and onboarding crew members, says Flory.

Recruiting Moved to Internal HR

Superior Bowen implemented Arcoro’s applicant tracking system (ATS) to help recruit new crew members. “We were able to post open positions on multiple job boards and it connected the careers page on the Superior Bowen website to our applicant tracking system,” says Flory.

Previously, there was no way to officially apply for a job. Anyone interested in working for Superior Bowen had to physically walk into the office and staff simply jotted down their name. “But this wasn’t efficient or compliant,” notes Flory. “Now we were able to customize our applications. We can ask applicants for their experience, if they are in the union, if they have a commercial driver’s license and so on. Not only did this help those who wanted to work for us get their foot in the door, but it helped our supervisors when they had a position they needed to fill. We were able to find the right person, with the right experience, much more quickly.”

A huge benefit to implementing the ATS was the amount of money it saved the company. Flory says they saved, on average, $5,000 per position by avoiding external recruiter fees.

A Centralized System of Record Was Created

Another result of implementing Arcoro’s HR tools was that Superior Bowen now had all of their employee data stored virtually in the cloud, making them safe and accessible to anyone. “Previously all of the files were paper which was unorganized and not secure,” Flory admits.

Arcoro’s system allowed the paper files to be scanned and uploaded into a central system of record which made things a lot easier, especially with compliance, which Superior Bowen found out firsthand soon after implementing the system.

In 2018, the company faced a Kansas Department of Transportation audit. “The department required a lot of things from us, specifically reports on recruitment information, new hire statistics, minority and female percentages and training reports. Previously, none of this information had been properly tracked, but luckily we did have Arcoro in place and it made it simple and easy to pull these reports and get it organized quickly. We were able to pass the audit which was a really good success.”

Increased Efficiency with Crew Member Onboarding

As a seasonal employer, Superior Bowen frequently will onboard groups of employees in the spring for both new and returning employees. The large onboarding sessions are called, Crew Bring Back Orientations. “We’re given a few days’ notice to prepare to onboard over 200 crew members so they can get back to work as quickly as possible. The onboarding module made it incredibly easy to prep for our 2019 crew onboarding sessions.”

With the Arcoro onboarding module, Superior Bowen was able to ditch large piles of paperwork, which Flory says were unorganized and caused chaos because things got missed or lost. The virtual system allowed the company to customize each person’s onboarding experience. “If they worked for us previously, we would just have them update tax forms and personal information. But if they were new, they could fill out the entire new hire packet. Being able to complete this virtually created a one-stop-shop for all crew members to get onboarded, trained and back to work as soon as possible.”

Using a virtual onboarding module has allowed Superior Bowen to accurately onboard big groups of workers or those one at a time. “Previously with paper forms we couldn’t read their handwriting or sometimes they’d skip steps on forms, but with virtual onboarding, everything was clear and it had to be entered before they could move on to the next step.”

Flory says the virtual solution also eliminated the double entry of information into HR and payroll, reducing the risks of mistakes.

Overcoming COVID Concerns

Implementing Arcoro’s HRIS helped Superior Bowen overcome its HR challenges, even the ones they weren’t expecting. “COVID-19 presented a lot of challenges, but with our HRIS in place, onboarding really wasn’t one of them. Our crews continued to work during the shutdowns because they were considered essential. Virtual applicant tracking and onboarding allowed us to keep hiring during the shutdown and therefore kept our crews working efficiently. The HR team could access employee files from home, or even out on jobs which helped keep our operations smooth. No one planned for COVID to interrupt our business practices, but having that HRIS in place helped immensely.”

Looking towards the future, now that the onboarding process is seamless, the company plans to keep leveraging Arcoro solutions to increase efficiency and maintain compliance. Flory says they started doing performance reviews as well. With a streamlined recruiting and onboarding process, HR can now focus on strategic initiatives.

Taylor Flory shared the story of how Superior Bowen used HR tech to modernize its strategy. View Next-Level Employee Onboarding: 5 Ways to Modernize Your Strategy to learn more about how you can transform your onboarding experience and empower your workforce.