“We knew we needed help to make the right decision for long term and we needed it from an expert who knows these systems”

Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) has been providing world class service to Washington residents for more than 60 years. As the second largest credit union in Washington state, WSECU employs more than 600 people. When tasked with finding a new Human Capital Management (HCM) system to replace its aging solution, WSECU leadership set out to find someone who could help them cut through the clutter of the numerous HCM system providers on the markets and uncover the best path.

WSECU’s move to a new HCM system was welcomed by all employees but was also forced on them through the sunsetting of their current system. Leadership initiated investigations and inquiries into new HCM system solutions but found the process to be a bit cumbersome and overwhelming to accomplish in the timeframe that best served the organization.

As an organization focused on providing excellent care to its own customers, WSECU expected the same service from its HCM provider. The legacy system’s support team was not providing WSECU what it needed, ruling out an upgrade to the more current system from the vendor.

And so WSECU set out to find help with evaluating and selecting an HCM system and many roads, including recommendations from SHRM, led them to Willory. “We knew we needed help to make the right decision for long term and we needed it from an expert who knows these systems” explains Denise Hagen, WSECU’s Vice President, People & Culture Services.

“We call ourselves a caregiver brand,” says Lauren Lopp, WSECU’s Director, People & Culture Services. “The stories we heard about Willory showed us that their service would meet our own standards and provide exemplary personalized care.”

Despite distance, the interview process revealed to WSECU that Willory would be able to provide them with excellent service. This process also included understanding who will be on the project team, their roles, and who would serve as a backup if that specific member was unavailable. Knowing and trusting the project team was imperative for WSECU to move forward.

Once awarded the vendor selection project, Willory kicked off a proprietary and customized discovery process which included an in-person strategic goal setting session. Through these sessions WSECU’s needs were evaluated, analyzed, and solidified in order to proceed with Request for Proposals (RFP) from the vendors in contention. More importantly, it was here where the overarching strategy for the project was developed, partly informed by WSECU’s needs, wants, and culture. With the proposals from their selected vendors in hand, WSECU and Willory were prepared to advance to the selection stage.

During the selection process, Willory’s proprietary HCM System Scorecard was used to help WSECU not only define what was important upfront, but also to keep track of vendor differences along the interview process.

Without the scorecard, explains Lopp, “It would have been an overwhelming process to collect and analyze correctly each vendor. Being able to use something like the scorecard that worked well was immensely positive for us.”

Another aspect of the scorecard was an additional peer evaluation group. This took employer and manager testing scores of the final proposed system and included those in the final report. Hagen explained that the scorecard helped when getting a more expensive solution approved for purchase. “The scorecard was able to reflect what was important to our employees and our organization.”

Lopp explains that the project plan Willory brought to the process “Kept us on track and organized in a manner that we would not have been able to bring to the selection process on our own.”

The expertise the Willory team brought to this project was invaluable, explains Lopp. “We’ve been on our legacy system for so long, we didn’t necessarily know what to look for or even what we were not aware of in the space.”

Throughout the entire process – from product demos to contract negotiation, Hagen explained that Willory “Brought in expertise we knew we needed as well as HCM knowledge about things we didn’t know existed. They brought everything we need and were always available to us.”

Initially, WSECU solely wanted to pursue a unified HCM system, but as they began the process they wondered if they needed a standalone Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to handle their unique recruiting needs. While the strategic goal session identified the importance of a single system, a “wait-and-see” approach was determined. Willory and WSECU evaluated both potential paths as part of analyzing the “whole system architecture,” and ultimately a unified HCM system was selected that provided the improved recruiting capabilities WSECU needed.

The selected HCM system will be implemented in 2018 bringing with it multiple enhancements foreseen by WSECU. These include increased efficiencies with business processes, improved transparency and system visibility, and integrating all systems in one place.

“Basically, this HCM system will provide WSECU with everything we need, from hire to retired. We’re excited to be able to both provide our employees a better solution and serve our employees better,” explains Hagen.

Both Hagen and Lopp agreed that without Willory’s assistance, they’d still be mired in the selection process. “Not only did they save us time, we ended up with a better option,” says Lopp.

Adds Hagen, “The investment in Willory as a vendor selection partner paid off. With Willory’s assistance in negotiations we saw savings that offset our investment in a selection partner. In other words, Willory paid for themselves!”