Discovery Automates and Improves HR Interface for Employees and Candidates


How Discovery Ltd., a South African financial services and insurance provider, improved the HR interface and experience for employees, candidates, and HR staff through digitalization and automation.

It’s common for employees to inquire about HR information such as their personal time off (PTO) balance, their sick-day balance, benefits, pay stubs, and tax withholding. (Heck, I do that all the time.) It’s also necessary for a company to perform background checks on prospective employees before extending an offer.

When HR staff manages employee information requests and candidate background checks manually, it distracts HR staff from more valuable tasks such as training and upskilling employees and spending the most time possible matching candidates with open positions. Manually replying to employee information requests and performing candidate background checks places a high administrative burden on HR staff, and takes much more time than employees, candidates, and HR staff would like.

It’s also important to have visibility of employee inquiries and candidate background checks to avoid duplication of efforts, improve processes and efficiency, and distribute work fairly. Without such visibility, it’s difficult to make informed HR management decisions.

Challenges faced

Discovery Ltd., a South African global financial services and insurance provider with 12,000 employees, was facing all the above issues. The HR staff fielded employee inquiries by email and phone, didn’t have an employee inquiry tracking process, and performed candidate background checks by email and phone. That whole universe – HR staff, employees, and candidates – felt the processes took too long. This frustrated all parties and left them hoping for a better experience. HR managers felt they could improve overall operations and productivity if they had sufficient visibility of HR staff’s tasks and status.

Solutions discovered

Fortunately, Discovery improved the HR interface and experience for employees, candidates, and HR staff through digitalization and automation. Working with SAP SuccessFactors solutions, the company created a portal for immediate access to standard HR inquiries, and automated candidate background checks with robotics. Discovery also automated company-wide reporting of HR staff’s tasks and status, to shed light on operations and help improve employee satisfaction by reducing administrative tasks and duplication, balancing workloads, and repurposing roles.

Elegant portal design

To bring the portal to life, Discovery reimagined 12 processes, automated 37 processes, and created 110 links to 53 employee policies for self-service platforms. In addition to direct access to self-services, Discovery included chat-assisted services and a tool to rate quality of resolution.

Stellar results

The employee portal satisfies employees with immediate responses, and the automated candidate background checks ensure candidates move as quickly as possible through the evaluation process. Both solutions free HR staff to focus on employee development, candidate recruiting, and onboarding.

The results included a 25% reduction in the time to hire candidates, and 45% of HR staff freed from manual tasks to develop the workforce and recruit. With no HR interaction required in many cases, an employee accesses the portal and retrieves the desired information in one session. Service levels for employee request resolution increased from 80% to 93%. Eighty percent of Discovery employees use the portal and rated it with a satisfaction score of 2.5 out of 3.

The results also included saving 10% of budget through centralization, process automation, and redeployment of highly skilled capacity back into the business; and reduction of HR generalist headcount by 32% and HR admin effort by 41% through repurposing roles and reskilling employees.

All these stellar results were accomplished because of Discovery’s creative solutions – which earned them a finalist’s spot in the 2022 SAP Innovation Awards.

“Working with SAP solutions has enabled HR to create a differentiated shared-services function enabled through digitalization and automation, enhancing the people experience and improving productivity,” said Kammy Sing, Group Head of People Operations, Discovery Ltd.

To learn more about Discovery’s award-winning solution, check out their SAP Innovation Awards pitch deck.

This article first appeared on CIO.com.