AviadoBio is a biotech organisation that is revolutionising treatment for patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Since 2019, the organisation has been operating at the cutting edge of medicine and neuroscience, pioneering research into gene therapy to transform the lives of people with debilitating conditions including frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
In late 2021, AviadoBio received a landmark $80m during its Series A funding round to progress its gene therapy platform to the next milestone: human clinical trials. Making the company’s mission a reality depends on assembling a world-class team of scientists, researchers, and field experts.
As the organisation gets set for rapid growth in the coming years, John Lavarino, Senior Director of People, needed to make sure that AviadoBio was set up to handle things from an operational perspective. That meant putting the infrastructure, processes, and workflows in place that could keep in step with hiring velocity and compliance needs for future growth.
“Humaans is fast becoming our employee bible. It’s a modern, user-friendly approach to managing our people, employee data, and processes.”
— John Lavarino, Senior Director of People, AviadoBio
AviadoBio at a glance
- Headquarters: London, UK
- Additional office locations: Remote employees distributed across the US
- Sector: Biotech
- HR tech stack: DocuSign, Workable, SharePoint, Lattice
- 1 day to implement Humaans
- Data reporting down from 3 days to minutes
- Fully compliant across multiple employee geographies
Negotiating the compliance challenges of a growing global workforce
When John joined AviadoBio back in May 2021 to helm their People function, he was employee number 14. Up until that point, AviadoBio had a manual system of record for logging newcomers. Employee data was spread across spreadsheets and Smartsheet, while time tracking was a constant challenge.
With plans to quadruple headcount in the next two years globally, John knew this approach couldn’t scale alongside hiring velocity, and it wouldn’t fly with industry regulatory requirements.
“We work in a heavily regulated industry, where we’re subject to stringent reporting guidelines,” John says. “This meant that a fully compliant HRIS that could track all of our data was not only necessary — but required.”
“We work in a heavily regulated industry. We needed a fully compliant, internationally-minded platform from the start that could drive transparency across our whole organisation.”
John needed a HRIS that was not only fully compliant to industry needs, but also location-agnostic to flex with changing compliance needs across global locations.
“I knew from experience in previous roles that a lot of the tools available were focused on the specific needs of the US market. They also didn’t have the time tracking capability we needed to perform due diligence.
“We’re building an international company. We’re hiring across a number of global locations that have their own requirements around offer letters and compliance. We needed a fully compliant, internationally-minded platform that could drive transparency across our whole organisation, as well as cater to our future growth needs. The last thing I wanted to do was navigate a system change down the line.”
Streamlining People processes while delivering a modern, simple user experience — for everyone
John had a few key criteria in mind when he was looking for a HRIS. Compliance across all employee geographies was top of the list, but he was also looking for a powerful core layer that could integrate with leading specialist tools on the market. On top of that, an intuitive user experience was a must.
He found all three with Humaans.
“One of the biggest issues I had when looking for a tool was that a lot of current tools on the market are trying to do too much,” he says. “They bundle their core HR function alongside specialist features like performance management, employee engagement and time tracking in the same platform. But if I’m looking for a performance management tool, I’d rather use a specialist product that is designed specifically for that purpose, because I know it’s going to perform far better.
When it came to evaluating the different platforms on offer, John had a very clear idea of what he didn’t want based on his prior experience.
“A lot of the tools I’ve used in the past have ended up being very clunky and slow for the employees and backend users,” he explains. “They weren’t intuitive to use — I was spending a lot of my time training employees how to do basic processes, like booking in PTO.
“Meanwhile on the backend, most tools felt like they were built by a software engineer — they weren’t written for someone who works in HR. In one tool, I had to get in touch with support and wait three days for a response before I could export data. When you’re building a fast-growing startup, that’s time you don’t have.
“We needed a tool that focused as much on the backend experience as it did on the frontend. We’re hiring a predominantly younger generation of employees now — and they expect a user-friendly platform that they can access from their phone."
“From an organisational perspective, we needed a modern solution that was simple to use, streamlined our essential workflows, and gave us more ownership over our data and People processes.”
Ultimately, Humaans’ simplicity and user experience won John over. Implementation took just over a day to complete, and employees needed minimal coaching on how to start setting up their own profiles — win-win.
Pioneering whole-organisation transparency and compliance with detail-focused reporting
“Humaans is a modern, user-friendly approach to managing our people, data, and processes,” John says. “Our employees love how user-friendly it is, and it makes my job so much easier. I recently hired a new team member based out in Arizona, and she was able to get her entire employee profile set up on her phone in no time. That simplicity, that time-saving user experience — that’s everything we’re looking for.”
That great UX for employees translates directly into a smooth experience on the backend, too. John finds it easy to track vital data, manage payroll, and report on AviadoBio’s workforce — without the need for a three-day wait.
“Onboarding workflows are seamless. Before, I had to switch between offer letters, contracts and our HRIS to get employee data uploaded. Now, I can do that in minutes. Payroll reporting takes me three clicks — and I know that the data will be correct every time.
“Humaans’ simplicity and time-saving user experience is everything we’re looking for.”
“Humaans enables us to be detail-focused on every element of our People processes and operations,” he adds. “We can track every action on our system, including paid time off, payroll reporting, and equity-related processes like vesting dates. Humaans is a central source of truth for our organisation — it’s fast becoming our employee bible.
“We use Humaans to create greater transparency across the organisation,” John says. “I can report our progress to the board in minutes with a few clicks. I can upload company documents for our employees to get a sense of how their role can grow. We have a central place where we can communicate our policies and create a great onboarding process. And I can do all of that from my phone without needing to open my laptop.
“As an organisation, we’re pioneering new treatments using gene therapy — we’re doing something that is the tip of the spear in science. Humaans is encouraging us to build that culture into our People processes too.”
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