In business, innovation is defined by creativity — and creativity is defined by doing things differently. And if there’s anyone who knows what that feels like, it’s Manyone.

Founded in 2019, Manyone is a strategy-design hybrid headquartered in Copenhagen. With ambitious growth plans on the horizon, mergers and acquisitions are key to expanding its workforce on a global scale.

But as each new team joined the fold, they all arrived with their own ways of running their People processes. Data was inconsistent, making it hard to see who joined where, let alone report on their workforce. Even worse, it was harming the employee experience.

Rasmus Møller Sørensen, Executive Partner and Head of People and Integration at Manyone, knew that they needed to get a handle on building the right People processes quickly before things got out of hand.

“Humaans is a single source of truth that we know we can trust. It just works without our employees noticing it — it’s a testament to a great system.”

— Rasmus Møller Sørensen, Executive Partner and Head of People and Integration, Manyone

Manyone at a glance

  • Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Additional office locations: London, Tel Aviv, Cologne, Frankfurt, New York, Singapore, São Paulo, Hong Kong, Aarhus, Barcelona, Oslo, Stockholm and remote teams globally
  • Sector: Strategy-design
  • HR tech stack: BreezyHR, Google, Slack, DocuSign, various local payroll solutions, and custom integrations built on the Humaans API

Key results

  • Single source of truth for a growing, decentralised team
  • Data QA and reconciliation reduced from hours to minutes
  • Custom-built integrations on the Humaans API that enable Manyone to build a bespoke solution that responds to their complex needs

Identifying People data scaling challenges amid mergers and acquisitions

“We’ve been building Manyone since 2019,” says Rasmus. “We want to be one of the biggest strategy-design hybrids in the world — we want to define our category. Our current goal is to double our headcount by 2024 to over 600 employees, and global mergers and acquisitions are a key piece of our growth strategy. We need to have our People processes in order to make that happen."

“We’re a very decentralised organisation,” he adds. “Most of our teams handle their own People processes autonomously. But everyone had their system and methodology for tracking projects and People data. We needed to bring everyone in line to the same standards.”

When things were smaller, Rasmus found it easier to stay on top of this process, manually making sure that data flowed across the organisation and updating systems of record. The problem was, it couldn’t scale as Manyone grew.

“When you’re growing and your processes don’t grow with you, your most fundamental data is no longer within your control.”

“We needed to build the processes to get new teams on board as quickly and seamlessly as possible, and help them integrate into how we operate as an organisation,” Rasmus says. “But it was also a compliance issue. Our data was in so many different spreadsheets and local team systems, and my team and I were spending most of our time reconciling data and doing QA."

“When you’re small, everyone knows how to use your spreadsheets and tools to find information. But when you’re growing and your processes don’t grow with you, your most fundamental data is no longer within your control."

“We could see that we were building the same mess we’d seen in other companies in the past. We didn’t know exactly how many people we were, or where they were. We had a basic employee directory, but our headcount was multiplying quicker than we could keep it updated. We didn’t have our latest contracts and employee agreements in one place.

“Up until that point, we’d been surviving — but we quickly hit the limit.”

The search for a modern, flexible platform to uplevel visibility across a global, fast-changing organisation

When Rasmus started the search for a HRIS, he found that most of the tools on the market felt too big, complex, and inflexible for Manyone’s unique set of needs. User experience and flexibility across multiple geographies were high on the priority list, but creating a single source of truth to support Manyone’s increasingly complex operating model was of paramount importance.

“We knew we weren’t ready to get a large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool suite, because we felt that it would harm our culture,” Rasmus says. “Our organisation has built a culture based on real needs. We had no use for a Swiss Army Knife HR product that claimed it could perform all of our core HR processes, because we knew it wouldn’t do them well."

“We also didn’t want to rely on one platform for everything, when we didn’t know how our needs would change in the next two years.”

With a constant influx of new teams, Rasmus was looking for a lightweight platform that could unite Manyone’s soaring amounts of People data. It needed to keep everyone aligned on how the company was evolving, but give teams autonomy to manage their own processes.

“We knew we needed to standardise our systems across the whole company — and that had to start with our People data. Our teams are our most important assets, and not having visibility over our People data didn’t just impact us — it directly impacted our employees and their ability to collaborate. Our biggest priority is making sure that our teams can begin working together on client projects almost immediately.

“Our teams are our most important assets, and not having visibility over our People data didn’t just impact us — it directly impacted our employees and their ability to collaborate.”

“Because we’re a decentralised organisation, our People operations has an added layer of complexity — it’s not just a single small team handling our People data for the whole organisation. We needed a platform that could enable our global teams to manage their own People processes."

“We’re also an organisation that designs services and solutions for our clients. We needed a product that felt modern and looked great — it had to be efficient and enable our teams to get the job done quickly. We needed something mobile and flexible, that wasn’t slowed down by legacy features."

“Ultimately, we wanted to work with a platform that we could grow with. We asked ourselves, ‘could we put our most valuable People data here?’ — and we knew we wouldn’t get the same experience with a bigger provider."

“Humaans delivered in a way that the other platforms simply couldn’t.”

Uniting global People processes and data with custom integrations

As Manyone continues to scale, Humaans has become firmly embedded in the organisation’s core processes and alignment effort. The platform has been a key player in uniting their distributed datasets — an achievement which Rasmus attributes as the single biggest win.

“As a company operating in so many different global locations, having a standardised way to input People data has become even more critical as we grow,” he says. “All of our local teams know exactly what data we need from them as the global team. Our local People people and team leads get value from having a single source of truth on their team members, while our legal and finance teams are happy that we have all of our employee agreements and documents under control and in one place.”

As a strategy-design organisation, the team at Manyone spend all day using their creativity to build innovative experiences for their clients — so it’s no surprise they took the same approach to their HR stack, too. Manyone used Humaans’ open API to build a custom HRIS experience that responds to their unique needs — bridging the gap between employee absence and payroll.

“We know that Humaans is a single source of truth that we can trust. It just works without our employees noticing it — it’s a testament to a great system.”

“Humaans’ open API was very important for us, because we have tools that help us with project planning and resource planning. We need visibility on who’s working on which projects.

“Previously, some of our offices logged absence information in that system, but it wasn’t connected to our payroll. Our bookkeeper would have to go through absences manually and input them into the payroll system. Creating a custom integration has enabled us to reduce this manual workload and increase visibility across our local teams.

This visibility has trickled into the employee experience, too.

“We have 60% more people now than we did a year ago. We’re moving fast, and we see new names every day — and lots of our team members have never even met. Having that directory provides a snapshot of who we are, where we are and how many of us there are.

“We know that Humaans is a single source of truth that we can trust. It just works without our employees noticing it — it’s a testament to a great system.”


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