Exclusive Interview: Ricker’s Streamlines HR Management with New Software


In a concerted effort to modernize human resources (HR) operations, the Charleston, S.C.-based Ricker Oil Co. turned to a PeopleMatter Hire, a software platform to automate onboarding tasks such as background checks, applicant tracking, hiring assessments and onboarding paperwork.

"We have been on an applicant tracking system with separate software packages so we are excited about this next generation of technology that can capture all data and integrates with our current operating system," said Ricker’s director of human resources, Karen Mitchener.

Ricker’s president, Quinn Ricker, explained after a month long research and development period, the North Charleston, S.C.-based PeopleMatter Hire was selected for its HR technology suite of services, including ease-of-use online applications, credit checks, electronic signature capture, and employee management through virtual, social media applications. Currently in its beta stage with Rickers, the first test run is scheduled for the second week of January where the "nuts and bolts" of the platform will be evaluated followed by the integration of Ricker’s existing four HR software packages.

"We have been assured there will be no issue to be up and running by the end of February maybe sooner," said Ricker.

Mitchener explained her department and c-level executives were brought up to speed via an online demonstration prior to PeopleMatter’s team making a site visit for a more detailed explanation of services and applications. "Once it is rolled out, there will be additional training and support from them," she said.

With approximately, 600 employees to manage, Ricker’s HR department is comprised of three people including Mitchener. When the program is fully operational, Quinn estimates the service will save the department 20 percent of their current time outlay.

"What piqued my interest about this company is that they seem to have a very engaged user group and scheduled calls that bring this user community together," said Quinn.

Mitchener added: "Above that, they are always making improvements so it’s not twice a year there is a release of a half dozen or so changes to the software. Rather they continue to work behind the scenes making adjustments and improvements," she said. "They take care of the backend so we don’t have to worry."

When approaching ROI, Quinn said that while hard numbers are difficult to determine at this stage, savings will be realized. "When it came to return on our investment, we took a look at the workflow of our current process, and we looked at our labor scheduling tools and realized we could easily make significant improvement in our processes that would result in savings," he said.

Aside from making back-office operations transparent and removing redundant application processes, with this new service, applicants can virtually track the progress of their application. If there is a company-wide policy change or urgent message, notices can be automatically transferred via text message, e-mail or by telephone to employees instructing them to log onto the server and address the issue.

"They have made the layout and login feel very clean and very simple. From the applicants’ perspective, it’s not daunting but more so intuitive," said Quinn. "It takes what you used to do in the past with online applications, hiring and management and made it simpler and more efficient."

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