When Laura Novello, People Operations Manager, joined Fonoa in June 2022, she had a sense that the growing startup was on the cusp of taking off. The global tax automation technology company had just successfully raised its Series B round, and from a hiring perspective, it was all things go.

As the team looked to scale, Laura was faced with the challenge of implementing the People processes that could cope with this new phase of growth.

As an organisation, one of Fonoa’s core mission statements is to eliminate manual work by leveraging software. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Laura took a leaf out of the company’s philosophy to build scalable, repeatable processes across the People function.

“Humaans is the glue that holds our People processes together.”

— Laura Novello, People Operations Manager, Fonoa


Fonoa at a glance:

  • Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
  • Additional locations: Distributed across 25+ countries, including the UK, the US, Croatia, Spain and the Netherlands
  • Sector: Fintech (Taxtech)
  • HR tech stack: Greenhouse, Notion, plus travel, coworking, and home office service providers

Key results:

  • Created scalable onboarding processes across 25+ global locations
  • A single source of data to manage complexity and compliance
  • Positive employee feedback on the onboarding experience — from day one

Standardising People processes for a fully remote, growing team

As a remote-first company operating in over 25 countries, Fonoa knew that they needed a standardised way to collect and store their People data — not only from a compliance perspective, but to increase visibility across the whole organisation.

“Fonoa has created its core employee base in a fully-remote way,” Laura explains. “We’ve always been location-agnostic in how we hire. We have been using Employer of Record partners to achieve this from a compliance perspective — but this created complexity in our People data management. We had employee data spread across different platforms and providers.

“Humaans is exactly what I need for HR data management — it’s the glue that holds our People processes together.”

“In my experience, I’ve found that all-in-one legacy systems can’t flex to the changing needs of a scaling startup,” she says. “When you’re in a growth phase, you need software that can adapt and respond to your changing processes and setup.

“In comparison, Humaans is so quick and intuitive. We can upload, share, and update employee data in minutes. I can run a salary review and update salaries with a few clicks, and use the sheets feature to make this process quick and seamless.

“Humaans is exactly what I need for HR data management — it’s the glue that holds our People processes together.”

Streamlining the onboarding process with workflows and seamless integration

As Fonoa has tripled its headcount over the course of the year, Laura’s top priority has been growth and onboarding.

“A core part of my role is to make sure that everyone has a great experience at Fonoa,” Laura says. “That goes from the compliance side of things right through how people work, and feel while working with us.

“The first few weeks at any company are essential for employees to learn basic processes and ways of working. If employees can’t complete basic HR processes easily, it lengthens their ramp to success, and negatively impacts their experience with the company.”

“Onboarding is a critical part of creating that experience. The shorter an employee takes to become successful in their role, the better it is for the company from every single perspective.

“The first few weeks at any company are essential for employees to learn basic processes and ways of working. If employees can’t complete basic HR processes easily, it not only lengthens their ramp to success, but harms their initial experience of our company.”

After integrating their ATS in a few clicks, Fonoa was able to create workflows that automated their preboarding and onboarding processes, increasing visibility and scalability. And when the time came to switch talent platforms, the integration process went off without a hitch thanks to Humaans’ modular build.

“Humaans interfaces really easily with our ATS,” Laura says. “It took us literally a second to click a button, and make sure that the data from new hires in our ATS was being pulled into our onboarding queue in Humaans. When we switched out our ATS for another provider, we were able to onboard new hires super quickly without having to clean or retype any of the data.

“Our onboarding workflows in Humaans give key stakeholders in the process visibility over what they need to do. For us, they’re simple, seamless and repeatable — cutting down on manual work. And for our team members, it means they can contribute, right from day one.”

Scaling whole-organisation ownership of core HR processes

Embedding repeatable, scalable, and sustainable People processes continue to be a top priority as the company grows. For Laura, a key part of this process is around increasing access, visibility, and ownership across the whole organisation.

“Humaans enables everyone to be an owner,” she says. “Our senior leaders have customised access across the platform, meaning they have visibility of our People data. They love how seamless the organisation chart feature is — it’s one of the best we’ve ever seen.

“As we scale, we’ll need to make our managers process owners. Building automated, repeatable onboarding workflows gives me the confidence that we’ll be able to hand over this critical process seamlessly, ensuring employee success from day one.”

“Humaans’ support is so responsive that we feel like a partner, not a customer.”

This visibility and ownership extends to how Laura reports on Fonoa’s People data, too.

“There isn’t a day that I don’t run a report on Humaans,” Laura laughs. “Humaans just works. It meets our needs for reporting without any time wasted manipulating or treating data.

“The HR reporting interfaces I’ve used in the past have always required specialist knowledge just to generate a simple report. But in Humaans, the user experience is so easy and intuitive. I can build custom reports and save them, meaning I can work faster next time. Critically for our team, it means we’re all using a single source of truth on our data and reporting.”

As Fonoa continues to scale, Laura sees Humaans as an essential partner to helping them create scalable, repeatable processes that dovetail into a great employee experience.

“Humaans’ support is so responsive and receptive that we feel like a partner, not a customer. The team listens to our feedback and takes action — and they’re always on hand to offer top-notch support. That, for us, has made all the difference.”


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