World-famous performing arts and technology school chooses CIPHR to provide its first HR system
The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology – a world-famous, free-to-attend school for students aged between 14 and 19 – has chosen UK software provider CIPHR to deliver and implement its first specialist HR system.
HR director Suzie Leveson, who has worked at The BRIT School for eight years and developed its HR function, says there was a gradual “realisation that we needed to consolidate our people data in one place, and that we needed to streamline the way we do things, and make our operations even more professional than they already are.” Together with a part-time HR assistant, Leveson supports 150 staff at the school. “That’s a lot of people for a small team,” she adds. “We’d just come to the point where we really needed some HR software to keep all our people data in one place.”
Top of Leveson’s requirements list was a well-designed system that could be easily used by employees, managers and HR staff. “Employee and manager self-service felt quite important to us,” she says. “We wanted the responsibility for tasks such as absence and holiday to rest more with managers and staff, and less so with HR. We also wanted software that would take the manual labour out of tasks that we didn’t really need to do; automated reminders, for example, will mean that we as the HR team don’t have to spend time chasing people to complete actions such as probation reviews.”
Leveson was also looking for an HR system that could quickly and easily produce management reporting information. “I’m not the most technical of people, so having a system where you could create reports quite simply – using a drag-and-drop tool – really appealed. CIPHR as an entire system felt friendly: it didn’t feel offputting, as if you needed a lot of technical knowledge to get a lot out of it.”
She adds: “When you start out looking for HR software, you end up thinking: ‘all these systems look the same and do the same thing’. So for me, it came down to: is the system user friendly? Is it visually appealing? And can anyone – even the technophobes – use it?
Another key reason for selecting CIPHR was the sales team, says Leveson. “Everybody I have spoken to and dealt with has been really friendly, really helpful, and not pushy. Often with these sorts of projects, the sales side of things can get a bit much, with people contacting you constantly. But CIPHR struck the right balance, which I really appreciated.
“Ultimately, we narrowed down our choice to two options. I preferred the user-friendliness of CIPHR, and the friendliness of the people who worked there. The other provider was cheaper, but for me it wasn’t the better option.”
Leveson has high hopes for CIPHR’s ability to transform The BRIT School’s HR team. “As HR director, my job is both operational and strategic, which can be hard to juggle. I’m hoping CIPHR will free my assistant, Lisa, from a lot of the day-to-day admin and chasing elements of her role, so she is released to take on some of the other things that I do, so then in turn I’m released to do more strategic work.
“I’m hoping CIPHR will support our HR department as it continues to grow, develop and professionalise. It’ll give us more confidence in our people data: we’ll know it’s all there and correct. We’re very excited to introduce CIPHR in a few months’ time.”
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