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‘Complete Transparency’: How Star Aviation Streamlines HR and Payroll with ELMO Software

The Challenges

Inefficient recruitment using spreadsheets to recruit over 1000 roles per year

Clunky, disparate payroll system without access to quick, responsive support

Lacked a central source of truth for HR information, payroll data and timesheets

Difficulty managing complex HR needs with a fluctuating workforce across multiple locations

Beginning as a small business in Canberra just over a decade ago, Star Aviation embarked on a journey of growth with a singular, heartfelt mission – to become Australia’s most dedicated ground-handling company.

To achieve this mission, the company prioritises its people and upholds five core values: Safety, teamwork, accountability, innovation, and customer service.

And the results speak for themselves. Star Aviation now operates in every major city in Australia and had the honour of seeing its General Manager, Peter Georgiou, named Executive of the Year at the Australian Aviation Awards last year.

Star now employs 650 people across nine airports. The business has an adept team of HR and talent professionals ensuring their people operations run smoothly, which includes specialists in Talent Acquisition, Training, Workplace Relations, and a trio of HR Coordinators.

Hiring, onboarding, and training all staff fall under their responsibility, as well as initiatives designed to develop their team and foster a safe, inclusive, and rewarding work environment.

However, managing a range of roles and locations, a predominantly shift-based workforce, and fluctuating demand is no simple task and it means their HR needs are complex.

Plus, safety is a top priority for Star’s HR team. In an industry with prescribed training requirements and safety checks, there is a paramount need to ensure all employees remain safe while at work.

Mark Lulham, Star’s People and Culture Manager, said they were facing a number of different challenges before choosing to implement ELMO’s end-to-end solution.

“One of the main challenges was having payroll through a third-party provider. Not having direct access meant we always had to reach out to someone we didn’t know and wait for a response,” he says.

“Our payroll was quite a clunky process and so if we had someone who had an issue that needed to be solved right away, we simply couldn’t do it.”

Having the payroll information sitting separate from other people-related data meant there was no single source of truth for the team to rely on. If there was an issue with payroll caused by an error in a timesheet, the team would need to scour multiple sources of information to rectify the problem.

The other big pain point was hiring talent. At one point, they were using an Excel spreadsheet to hire over 1,000 people over the course of a year. Without an Applicant Tracking System, the process was messy and lacked visibility for the stakeholders involved.

The Benefits

Complete visibility of the entire employee lifecycle, helping to identify and reduce bottlenecks

Provides key metrics to improve efficiency of recruitment and HR processes

Offers one source of information for entire team with accurate, real-time data

Allows for quick and easy reporting and data visualisation to enable strategic decision-making

Now, we can track the full employee lifecycle with the data from ELMO and also then analyse it airport by airport.
Mark Lulham
People and Culture Manager at Star Aviation

With ELMO, Mark and his team have complete transparency over the employee experience – from recruitment all the way through to offboarding. And all within one piece of software.

It’s become an essential tool for the HR team, enabling them to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

“ELMO is the first thing everyone turns on when you get in each morning, even before your emails,” Mark says.

“When we log in, we can see exactly what needs to be done for any employee at any stage of the employee lifecycle. So there’s no mystery. There’s no searching for answers or getting a call from someone going, “Hey, have you done this?”

“We’ve got complete transparency and that means we can be very autonomous and prioritise our workload because we know exactly what needs to be done.”

Beyond the hours saved, making the switch to ELMO has enabled Mark and the team to take more strategic, data-led decisions.

The ease of reporting provided through HR Core + Analytics means the team can visualise their data in minutes and use the insight to optimise the way they operate.

One example is the insight into their recruitment process. With ELMO, the team can see which platform is the most effective to advertise different types of roles, allowing them to invest in the right job board for the right role.

They can also analyse the status of each open role at any time, offering better visibility over bottlenecks in the recruitment process.

For Mark, this quick and easy access to data and insights has been hugely valuable.

“Now, we can track the full employee lifecycle with the data from ELMO and also then analyse it airport by airport,” he explains.

“So for example, what’s our breakdown of male versus female employees across different ports? What are our age breakdowns?

“ELMO gives us so much data that is really easily accessible.”