Getting Started with HR Partner
Congratulations! You’ve signed up with HR Partner and can look forward to saving lots of time and streamlining your HR efforts. Plus, you’ll be able to sleep easier knowing all of your employee records are in one, secure place.
But where do you go from here? What do you actually do first? Glad you asked!
HR Partner is a simple-to-use HR (human resources) management app for you and your employees. While being easy to use, there is a lot of power under the hood - which is why we created this quick guide to help you become familiar with the app in the least time possible.
Here's our guide to getting started...
You can also download our > Getting Started Checklist < so that you can check things off as you go along.
Here’s where you set up the most important parameters for your company. Of course, you can add things and change them later, but it’s generally recommended that you get the basics right first…
To do this, go to Setup > Company Info from the side menu, then work through the sections there. In particular;
- Check your Company Name
- Set the country for your Company (of the head office)
- Set your Company’s timezone (of head office)
- Upload your Company logo
- Choose your preferred name format
- Also select which Additional Modules you want to enable or disable (Hint: If you’re not going to use them initially, turn them off to keep things simple.)
Next work through the categories - you’ll find this under Setup > Configure > Categories. It’s particularly important to setup your;
- Employment Statuses
Less crucial, but you might also want to add customised;
- Termination Reasons
- News Categories (if you’re planning to use the News module)
You can always add more or edit them later, but it really helps to get the basics right.
Then, go into the Lists area and add the most relevant options for your Company. You’ll find this under Setup > Configure > Lists. Note that these can also be added “on the fly” but it’s good to get them started.
It’s most important to configure your options for;
- Absence Statuses
- Performance Review types
- Asset Types
- Renewable Document Types
- Or any other lists in this section
Custom Fields (optional)
If your company wants to track something specific for employees that is not included by default, add it in now as a Custom Field.
You’ll find this under: Setup > Configure > Custom Fields
You can add different types of fields here: text, numbers, date/time, checkbox, etc.
Time Off / Leave Settings
Before you can start using Time Off or Leave within HR Partner, you need to get your company settings right first.
Note: You can skip this section if you will not be using HR Partner to track employee leave or letting your employees enter leave requests to be approved. Don't forget that you can choose to turn this module 'off' so that your employees do not get confused!
First, go to; Setup > Time Off/Leave > Leave Settings. Here, you need to;
- Select whether you want employees to be able to request leave through the employee portal
- Select which day of the week your work week starts
- Choose the visibility your employees have of other people’s leave (everyone, just their department, etc)
- Select the default number of hours a day employees work
- Select the default working day template (for most employees). These are setup under Setup > Time Off/Leave > Work Days.
Most companies find the most of the default settings here are fine, but this is where you can get some more flexibility if you need it.
If you are the person that leave approvals will go to, you can enter this here too. Otherwise, you’ll need to come back to this once you’ve entered the other Admin Users.
Next we need to set up your leave policies. To do this, go to; Setup > Time Off/Leave > Leave Policies.
Note: You can skip this step if your HR Partner system is integrated with a payroll system.
Add each type of leave your company offers and set the parameters for each including allowance per year, whether the leave resets on an anniversary or particular date, whether unused leave carries over into the next year etc. (Note: Please contact our support team if you need more assistance in this area). We have a detailed Help Article outlining how to set up your Policies here.
The leave policies you set up here will be used to calculate the amount of time off that your employees will have. It is important that you get the ‘rules’ correct for best results in HR Partner. Only set up the policies that your company needs, and remove others that don’t apply. When setting up a policy, please carefully check the following:
- The name of the policy is easily understood by your employees
- The default annual allowance is set correctly (you can change allowances for individual employees later)
- Any rules around resetting the leave every year, and/or carrying over balances into the new year, are set correctly
- Choose an appropriate color for the policy, which will show on all the calendars in the system
- Choose the Locations that the policy applies to (or leave blank for all locations)
Next, check that the default work days are correct for your Company. To do this, go to; Setup > Time Off/Leave > Work Days. Nominate the default working days (e.g. Monday to Friday) and the default working hours per day for most employees.
Usually you only need one for Monday to Friday, but if you have part-time or contract employees who work odd days, you can set extra work day templates in here for them - these will affect their leave and time off calculations later.
This is where you can set up public holidays for your Company which will show on your calendars in the system, and be factored into the ‘days off’ calculations for your employee time off. To do this, go to; Setup > Time Off/Leave > Holidays.
You can either add them manually or import for your country (recommended!). If you have several locations, you can choose which holidays apply to each location. You can also delete any that don’t apply for your Company.
Add Other Admin Users
Other Admin Users can help your Company get everything entered and make your life a lot easier. The sooner you get others involved, the better!
To add Admin Users, go to Setup > Users, then click “Add a New User”.
Enter their name, email address, and choose whether they’re an employee already in HR Partner. Then go through and select their permissions. In particular, choose which Modules they should have access to, and decide if you want them to have access to all Departments, or just selected ones.
Once you’ve done that, you should take some time to go through HR Partner with them and explain what you want help with - usually entering data and files at this stage!
Add Your Employees
Well done! You’ve got through the basics. Now it’s time to add some employees to HR Partner.
There are actually 3 different ways you can add employees in HR Partner;
- Manually Add Employees Individually
To add employees one by one, simply go to Employees > All Employees, then click the “Add Employee” button. (There’s also a shortcut from the dashboard.)
- Import a CSV File
To import employees, go to Employees > Import > Import CSV. There you’ll find a sample spreadsheet and instructions.
- Link to a Payroll System
If you are integrating with a compatible payroll system (like Xero or KeyPay), you can use this to import your employees from that system.
First you need to set up the integration under Setup > Configure > Integrations
Then, go to Employees > Import > Integration
Many companies decide to add employees from one department or one location at a time. They will either;
- Add employees one by one and go through all modules they want to use and get as much information for each employee one at a time, or
- Get the basic information entered for employees, then gradually go through the modules and fill in more details (for example, they might first go through “Positions and Salaries” and get that section up-to-date, then go through “Performance Reviews”, etc)
If you have quite a few employees, chances are you might want to enlist some help! Here’s where it pays to enlist the support of your fellow Admin Users.
Set the Starting Leave Balances for All Employees
Although you've setup your Leave Policies, HR Partner doesn't know how much leave each employee has already taken. You don't need to add past records for this, but instead, you should update all of their starting balances.
To do this, choose a date that you will change the leave calculations over to HR Partner. Then on that date, go to Time Off / Leave > Balances, then click on the "Allow Editing" button in the top right. Then go through each employee and update their balances (current for the date you've chosen), for each type of Leave.
Don't forget, we have a detailed article that dives into this topic more here.
Create Your Company Library
The Company Library is where you store Company-wide documents that your employees can download and look at via their portal. You can set up your own hierarchical structure of categories (or ‘folders’) to store documents in, as well as set departmental level permissions for folders.
Simply go to the Library menu option, then;
- Add New Category
- Set the permissions for the category
- Upload the relevant documents
You don’t need to do everything now, but if you’ll be using the Checklists and referring to documents in those, this is where you need to upload those documents.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the core setup steps.
Once you get to this stage, you need to decide what is most important for your use case. Typically it’s either;
- Leave, or
- Checklists (usually for Onboarding)
So from here on, it’s "choose your own adventure"...
Once you’re ready to start setting up the recruitment section, there are few steps to take before you should post your first position.
Setting up for Recruitment
First, go to Recruitment > Configure > Lists. Here you should update;
- Applicant Stages - these are the various stages that a candidate will move through during the recruitment process.
- Scorecard Items - these are the criteria that you will ‘score’ the candidates on during your interview sessions.
Then, go to Recruitment > Configure > Templates. This is where you group together the individual stages and scorecards entered above. They can then be reused in the form of a template. So, here you should update;
- Applicant Stage Templates, and
- Scorecard Templates
Basically, for each type of role you’ll be recruiting for, you should have set up applicant stages (that form an Applicant Stage Template) and a set of Scorecard Items (that form the Scorecard Template).
Then go to Recruitment > Configure > Forms. Here you should create an application form for each of the types of jobs you’ll use. Of course, you can just do one now and come back to add more later.
Next, go to Recruitment > Configure > Emails. Here’s where you can write the email templates you’ll use regularly to send to applicants (at different stages).
Once you’re finished with that, go to Recruitment > Configure > Job Board. This is where you’ll set up how your job board page will look. Most organizations link to this from their website, so it’s a good idea to choose colors and messaging that will fit in with that. Set up;
- The way you want your company logo and name to appear
- Your background color and button color
- Your company description including any images
- Your company website link
- The other settings which define how much information will show on the job postings.
Then, if you’d like your jobs to be posted to external job boards (like Glass Door and Indeed), just go to; Recruitment > Configure > Integrations.
This helps increase coverage and reach for potential applicants.
Finally, set up an Auto Onboarding Message for successful job applicants. Just go to Recruitment > Configure > Onboarding. You can set up an automated email AND include an onboarding checklist (we’re getting to that next!) to be sent to new employees when you hire them via the Recruitment module.
OK - so now you’re ready to post your first job!
Post Your First Position
Go to Recruitment > Jobs, then click “Add a Job Listing”. Fill out this information and then your job will be live on your job board (provided the date is within the “Publish On” and “Until” dates that you’ve set). Be sure to set up;
- Job Title
- Choose your application form to use
- A Summary - this appears on the main page of your job board
- Select the Position, Department, Employment Status, and Location
- Add more location details if you’d like
- In the Web Content area, add all the details of the job, including headings for things like “Requirements”, “The Role”, etc. You can also add images here if you’d like.
- Choose your “Publish On” and “Until” dates (these are required by the external job boards)
- Add Admin Users and/or Employees to your selection panel for this role
- Choose the Application template
- Choose the Scorecard template
- Choose an automated email to be sent to candidates when they first apply
- If you don’t want the emails coming to you, set the reply email address
- Check the additional options (most of the time the default options will be suitable).
Well done! You’ll be able to view this by viewing your job board (you’ll see your link under Recruitment > Jobs near the top of the page).
Set Up Your Checklists
Setting up Checklists
To set up the checklists in HR Partner, you first have to set up the individual Checklist Items, which can be set up via Setup > Configure > Checklist Items.
Checklist items are the tasks that your employees will have to carry out, including:
- A simple description of a task to do
- A link to an external website or document
- A link to an internal company document
- A document that needs to be electronically signed (you’ll need to jump forward to set these up first!)
- A video clip for them to watch
- A file that needs to be uploaded by the employee.
Once you have set up the individual checklist items, you can group them together (and order them) in a Checklist Template (Note: You can re-use the same checklist item in multiple templates). To set up the Checklist Templates, go to Checklists > Configure > Templates.
If you don’t have all your checklist items set up in advance, don’t worry, because you can always add new items ‘on the fly’ while creating a checklist template.
Start Using Checklists
Now that you’ve set up your first checklist, you just need to assign it to one or more employees (or you can wait until you have new employees). To do this, go to Checklists > Assigned - then click on Assign Checklist to Employee(s). Then you simply choose the checklist and the employees you want to assign that to. Plus, you can write a little note to them so that they understand what it’s all about.
Set Up Electronic Signatures
The eSignatures module allows you to set up documents that can be electronically signed by your employees, applicants, or anyone outside your company.
- Go to eSignatures > Documents and upload the documents that will need to be signed.
- Then, edit the layout to add the signature fields.
Tip: Signable documents can be included as Checklist items, and can be sent automatically to Recruitment applicants when they apply for a job.
Get Your Team Using the Employee Portal
Entering Leave Balances
Now that you have both your leave settings configured, and your employees entered, you can start updating your employees leave balances. To do this, you need to pick a point in time, and export data (usually from your payroll system) for that date, and then enter the leave balances for each employee into HR Partner. Again, if you have a lot of employees, you may wish to do this in batches.
Once you have the data, go to; Time Off/Leave > Balances. Click on the button near the top “Allow Editing”. Then go through and update the balances for each of your employees.
If you have a lot of employees, you can also upload a CSV file to import. Just go to; Time Off/Leave > Import. There you’ll see instructions and a sample spreadsheet.
Now you’re ready for your employees to submit leave requests.
Before you invite your employees to the employee portal, it’s often a good idea to run through some information sessions and basic training with them. (Are you interested in a custom training session for you or your employees? Just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can give you more information about a custom Training Webinar for you or your employees.)
For this purpose, you may wish to set up an Example Employee so that you can log in as them and show them what to expect. You should encourage them to enter a profile about themselves, their photos, and anything else you’d like.
It’s especially important to show them how the Leave Requests work. You may also want to show them how to access documents in the company library, and how to view the employee directory.
Once your employees have had an overview, it’s time to invite them to the employee portal. To do this, just go to Employees > Self-Service and then choose which employees you want to invite. (Note that you can re-invite people and also select all employees who have never logged in.)
That’s it! You’ve made it through the setup!
Of course, there’s more to know but these are included in specific articles you’ll find in our knowledge base. But if you ever get stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team (email us or click on the chat icon in the bottom right corner of HR Partner).
Going deeper or getting help
You can learn how to perform basic (and advanced) tasks by clicking on the manual pages in our Knowledge Base here. Each part of HR Partner is broken down into sections on the left, and under each section, is a manual page detailing how to perform a specific task under that section.
You can jump back and forth between pages as much as you like - you do not have to do them in order, although we recommend that you do, so that you don't miss out on any key information.
If you cannot find out how to do something in HR Partner from this documentation site, we are always contactable email at email@example.com to answer any questions that you may have.
You can also get help from within the app when you are signed in. Simply click on the round aqua button on the lower right corner of every screen to open up a chat window and talk directly to one of our support team in real time. If we are not available, then we will respond to you via email as soon as we can.