Daniel Fulmer has felt the pain and frustration of headcount management at a growing company. He’s also experienced the weight being lifted, thanks to improved collaboration, visibility, and control into the process.
Daniel is the Finance Director at Invoca, a conversation intelligence and call tracking platform for marketing, contact center, and digital experience leaders. He’s been with the company for almost seven years and helped them grow headcount by 4X and annual recurring revenue to over $100 million during that time.
Today, his Finance team has five people. But when he joined, it was just him and CEO Gregg Johnson crunching numbers together. That also meant he sat squarely in the middle of their headcount planning and management processes. Today, he still does.
In January 2023, Daniel and his team implemented TeamOhana’s headcount management platform. So far, they’ve seen impressive results.
- 50% productivity gains
- 50% reduction in low-value work managing headcount
- 100% of budget-impacting headcount changes are approved by Finance
- And more.
This Q&A post will highlight why Daniel chose to implement a headcount management tool, what his new process looks like, and how much time Invoca is saving with an integrated platform.
Check out the full conversation from The Headcount People podcast ->
Q: What was your headcount management process before TeamOhana?
At a high level, there was a lot of information flowing between a lot of different people and systems.
We had our master spreadsheet that had every role that we approved in our plan. It was dynamic, so as a new employee was hired, or someone left the company, we added their information, created backfills, closed out roles – that kind of thing.
To get the information we needed, we were exporting current employee data from Namely (HRIS) and hiring information from our applicant tracking system (ATS), Greenhouse. For some employee changes, like terminations, some of that information came through email, some through Slack, because they wouldn’t have been updated in Namely yet but it affected our numbers.
Then we were trying to meet with the recruiters and HR team just to keep track of all that was happening and try to maintain accuracy. Plus we had separate spreadsheets for the business owners, so that they could have visibility into their department’s hiring without seeing the data of other departments.
Then, we had to digest the master spreadsheet and get it into our budgeting tool, Planful, so that we could reconcile the budget and forecast.
While all this is happening, there might be promotions or other employee changes going on, and all of those are handled in different ways.
All in all, we had dedicated one full time employee, a Finance analyst, completely to headcount management just because of how much manual work it was.
Q: Invoca is using many tools – Namely, Greenhouse, Planful, Netsuite, and spreadsheets as the connective tissue. Why implement a specialized tool for headcount management?
The team's time is the most restricted asset we have. If you can find a tool that automates manual work you do on a regular basis, our CFO Mike DiFilippo wants to invest in it so you can put your time elsewhere.
At the same time, the person we had managing headcount was leaving and we had always wanted a tool but could never quite find the right tool that fit all our needs. When we found something that seemed to solve all of our challenges, we jumped at the chance.
The tool can integrate with our HRIS and ATS and give us real-time headcount and spend forecast information.
The tool can integrate with our HRIS and ATS and give us real-time headcount and spend forecast information. This is a huge benefit. We used to spend hours and hours a month trying to do that, and still not even getting it quite right.
We can also get real-time information without needing to check multiple systems and update a spreadsheet. The data is just there: in sync and up to date.
For us, it was almost like a no-brainer, and so far it has been a great investment.
Q: What does your new process look like with TeamOhana’s headcount management tool?
When we implemented TeamOhana, the first thing we did was get the headcount plan into the tool. Going forward, we’ll be able to run our entire headcount planning cycle, along with requests and approvals and all the other workflows, directly in TeamOhana.
For now, I am still meeting with the recruiting team once a month just to check in and make sure we’re all on the same page. We had an hour booked, but the meetings are over in about 4 or 5 minutes. We’ll keep the meeting as we get comfortable with the tool, but it’s not really necessary anymore.
For all the approved hires in the plan, we can assign recruiters in TeamOhana. Each recruiter gets their own dashboard where they can view the approved roles and open them in Greenhouse with one click. They can then see job status as hiring progresses Greenhouse.
The Finance team can track hiring progress, offer dates, and start dates, which are all valuable as we run our forecasts. The biggest thing is that we have confidence in the start dates in TeamOhana.
For hiring managers, they get access to a lot of information they’ve never had before. For example, if a manager wanted to check on their team’s compensation, they would’ve had to go one by one in Namely, or ask Finance for a report, which would take my team away from high value work that drives the business forward.
With TeamOhana, hiring managers now have the power to see not just the compensation of their current team, but also the forecast for their future team. They can view it individually or comprehensively and slice the data however they want.
All of the data is available in an org chart view, as well, so they can think about org design and do more effective planning. These capabilities save so much time for them and us.
We expect it will be super handy for merit cycles, promotions, and org planning as well.
Q: What’s been the business impact of the headcount management platform?
- Single source of truth for all current and future headcount data
- 100% compliance in budget-impacting changes going through TeamOhana Approval Desk
- 50% productivity gains through standardized workflows and a single source of truth for headcount
- 50% reduction in low-value work managing headcount
- Fully automated budget and forecast for finance and budget owners
- Real-time hiring plan status for budget owners
- 100% reduction in manual reporting on budget vs. actuals
It has saved us a ton of time and made our planning process a lot smoother, especially coming into a new fiscal year in February.
We're basically using it to get all the right headcount information, and it has added a lot of confidence going into our plan that we weren't missing anything.
Right now, I’m managing everything related to headcount, but it’s a pretty small amount of time for me to keep things organized and up to date. I’ve been in the approval process for a long time, so having a tool I can trust is accurate when approvals come through is really valuable. It has saved me a lot of time and made me confident in those approvals.
The new analyst we brought in to backfill the person who used to manage headcount is actually spending zero time on headcount now. He's doing completely other things.
It's been a big help for our talent team, too. I think it was a little frustrating for them when hiring managers would say one thing, but it wasn't on our approved sheet, or maybe it was and it just didn't get updated correctly. There was a lot of friction playing this telephone game between hiring manager, Recruiting, and Finance. Now, by having this tool, everyone can be on the same page.
“TeamOhana has eliminated the mess of hiring managers submitting requisition requests before Finance has approved the role. This has prevented a lot of unnecessary back and forth.”
– Sr. Sourcing & Recruitment Specialist at Invoca
There's also the audit history for tracking changes so we can follow headcount if it changed roles throughout its hiring cycle and have a better picture than what we had before.
Our next step, which I'm excited about, is to roll it out to the hiring managers themselves. We've had it out with our Head of Engineering for the last few weeks and he's been loving it.
He's been using the dashboard and getting org chart insights that were really painful in Namely before. We're rolling it out to the rest of our hiring managers next week and I'm expecting it to be received well.
It's always been a black hole for hiring managers to understand their approved headcount, budget, start dates, etc. Now they’ll have visibility into all of these important details with TeamOhana, which will give them more time back to spend building products, selling, hitting goals, and managing their teams.
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