Greg Rodríguez and Sophie Hughes like to describe the history of Rentals United as a Silicon Valley story but in Barcelona. The company started in the CEO’s house and now they have grown to almost 100 employees in only a few years. Rentals United is a wonderful example of a company which managed to scale their Human Resources department and improve internal communication, both quickly and successfully thanks to internal communication tools.
Greg Rodriguez, Head of Talent and Development, and Sophie Hughes, HR Business Partner, of Rentals United, explain how they manage to have a connected employee workforce and an organized HR department, whatever the circumstances.
Rentals United is a SaaS company within the vacation rental industry, offering a platform known as a channel manager. The goal of this is to help the owners of accommodations with everything related to the distribution of their properties. What the software does is synchronize in real-time all those fundamental variables such as price, availability and more on channels like Airbnb or Booking.com. What do you get with a channel manager? More bookings with less work!
Sophie explains how the team started out as four people in late 2014 and early 2015; four founders and, later, a single salesperson. Today, there are 96 employees and are based in Barcelona with offices in Warsaw, Poland.
“We are happy because we have always grown in a very natural way”
Challenge w/ Internal Communication
Greg tells us that they have had many challenges, and that obviously others continue to appear, but from his point of view, the greatest has been growth. In HR they are a team of two only. Together, they take care of everything; talent acquisition, office management, professional employee development and much more, including maintaining company culture. For Rentals United the most important thing is its people!
“It’s relatively easy to manage a small team. However, the moment you exceed 20 employees, you need a tool that allows you to optimize all HR processes”
Sophie remembers the moment in the Human Resources team when suddenly there was a lot of paperwork, a lot of people asking for documents and reviewing vacations and so on. There were a lot of confusion and people were expecting a quick response from Human Resources which they weren’t able to provide then.
“Any change was difficult and confusing”
Sophie describes the methods they used at the time as “old school” or too outdated.
Solution: Finding the Right Intercommunication Tools
At Rentals United they soon found a solution that began by solving a portion of their needs. Implementing Factorial was something that affected the entire Human Resources department, for the better. By using the right intercommunication tools, Rentals United was able to improve its processes, save time, and had a quicker response time,
“At first we implement factorial for holidays, and now it has become a tool that we use for many more things. In addition, at the same time as we grow, we can take advantage of more and more functionalities”
Greg explains that one of his mantras is “connectivity”, both for his clients and the team and employees.
“Being able to access the platform not only HR managers, but also our managers to see everything their team members record gives us a unique opportunity to connect, and that’s very interesting!”
Being able to see who’s on vacation, if it’s an employee’s birthday, if someone’s been in the company for three years, etc. makes Factorial’s values very close to Rentals United’s: Connectivity, Transparency, and Opportunity.
What they like most about Factorial
Greg and Sophie consider Factorial much more than just a tool for Human Resources.
“It facilitates the lives of managers, but also employees; makes everyone connected either to ask something about their vacation or congratulate them on their birthday”
They ensure that Factorial helps them to be a more organized start-up.
“It may seem like a simple task, but it’s not, and it’s the basis of any well-cohesive team”
Why Factorial and Not Another Human Resources Software?
For starters, Greg and Sophie tell us that Factorial is very intuitive and “user friendly”.
“Being a software company, we are proactive and listen to feedback from our customers continuously. And what I like most about Factorial is that they do too! They are always open to listening and evolving to remain a complete human resources solution.”
Results of Adopting an Intercommunication Strategy
Sophie claims there has been a very big change since the company started using Factorial. In addition, Rentals United has recently launched a policy with which they want to provide greater flexibility with time control, the possibility of teleworking (all week, if workers want), etc.
“We need our tool to be easy to use, visual and transparent, that everyone can use in the same way and anywhere. That’s why we believe Factorial will help us meet the challenges of the future.”
The Covid-19 Crisis
From February and March especially, Rentals United launched many initiatives to ensure that its teams remained connected even from home. Weekly games, workshops, Zoom cafes, morning applause, afterworks on Fridays, and more!
“Like many companies in Barcelona and especially in our sector, because of the Covid-19 crisis, we had to apply ERTEs. However, this did not turn out to be chaos. It was quite easy to organize with Factorial during that period, especially with regard to the time control and mass sending of documents needed to carry out those files.”
Thank you very much to Greg Rodriguez and Sophie Hughes, and Rentals United for sharing their experience of using Factorial.
This post is also available in: Español