Electro Scientific Industries (ESI) is both old and new. Founded in 1944, the global leader of innovative, laser-based manufacturing solutions has been in business for 75 years. Today, it provides state-of-the-art precision laser processing to customers in the consumer electronics supply chain – put simply, they make lasers that help to build compact electronic components that go into cell phones, tablets, and other small devices.
In 2017, ESI made a significant investment in its future, refreshing and modernizing its business with a new, dynamic management team. At the same time, the company globalized its workforce, moving manufacturing operations to Singapore and distributing sales, service, and application engineers around the world to be closer to customers.
These changes have helped transform ESI’s culture into a fun, engaging workplace that attracts top engineering talent. Fired up by ESI’s new winning attitude, the company’s workforce is excited and inspired – and it’s making a positive impact on the company’s business results.
Keeping a workforce focused on a winning strategy is always a challenging task. However, when 60% of that workforce is distributed across 10 countries and multiple time zones, it’s even more challenging to keep people communicating and aligned.
Most employees at the company agreed – ESI’s old approach to talent management needed a refresh to match the new direction the company was taking.
“It was a nightmare,” says Josie Jarnagin, ESI’s HR Operations Manager. “Everything was paper-based. Each performance review required multiple signatures. We have 650 employees worldwide. We were shipping forms all over the globe, and at the end of the day, we’d have to file all this paper manually. It was painful.”
Three years ago, Jarnagin and her VP of HR, Tracey Jerijervi decided enough was enough. The growing company needed to find a more progressive, transparent, and collaborative way to recruit, onboard talent, and manage staff performance reviews.
“The focus of our business has changed over the last few years. We’ve moved our manufacturing facilities to be closer to our customers and supply chain and we’ve put together a phenomenal new management team that has inspired people to re-engage and be excited about our future,” says Jerijervi. “And yet, our HR team spent an incredible amount of time pushing paper around. We weren’t presenting ourselves as a modern company. We needed a talent management solution that was more futuristic, more aligned with the way we want to work, and more efficient.”
ESI had been a long-time Ceridian customer, having used a legacy platform for U.S. payroll, staffing, and recruiting. Three years ago, Jerijervi and her team were introduced to Dayforce Talent Management.
"We became very excited," says Jerijervi. "We could immediately see how our recruiting and performance management would be improved. Dayforce is a much more modern way to do business. It allows us to efficiently recruit and onboard new employees, and dynamically align our people's performance to organization goals through year-round coaching."
After going live with Dayforce, ESI’s HR team immediately began realizing a return on investment. Within its recruiting process, ESI was able to save an hour and a half per hire through the consolidation of multiple points of data entry and the introduction of a self-service candidate portal.
“We hire 80 to 100 employees worldwide each year, so that was a huge amount of time saved,” says Jerijervi. Dayforce also shaved valuable time off the offer management process, saving ESI’s recruiters 45 minutes per offer, and allowing them to focus more of their time on strategic recruiting activity.
Not only was the company able to save time on recruiting, but it also streamlined performance management. It used to take the entire HR team a couple of months to prepare for performance reviews and another eight weeks for staff and managers to get through the review process. With Dayforce, ESI’s HR team has been able to cut weeks off the company’s performance review schedule. It now takes just one week to configure and six weeks for employees and managers to complete the entire process.
“We don’t push paper anymore," says Jarnagin. "We just send out reminders to employees and managers through Dayforce and use reporting to tell us where they are in the process. Dayforce has saved our HR team time and made us more efficient. Performance reviews are now a non-issue, and easy to get through.”
John Williams is ESI’s VP of Marketing. As a frequent world traveller for business, he sees firsthand how Dayforce has made his job of managing and aligning employees to goals easier. “Future planning is really the crux of the business,” he says. “Our culture now is one of winning. Our people are focused and it’s showing in our business results.”
Williams finds having performance reviews managed through Dayforce particularly helpful. “Because I travel extensively, I primarily use Dayforce on my mobile phone. It allows me to keep up with my management responsibilities when I’m on the road, and it improves my productivity immensely.”
One of the things ESI's managers, such as Williams, appreciate most is that Dayforce allows performance management to be an ongoing conversation, rather than an annual exercise. This helps managers easily check in on staff progress against goals throughout the year and provide incremental feedback and course corrections.
“There’s never been a year here where things didn’t turn out differently than we thought they would,” says Jerijervi. “In the past, things were written down once a year. Now, Dayforce allows managers and employees to make changes and update things throughout the year. It has enabled us to be more efficient and effective.”
Dayforce has also allowed ESI to separate performance reviews and ongoing feedback from pay decisions. “When everything happened at the same time, we found managers were hesitant to give ongoing constructive feedback because they thought it was going to impact pay decisions,” says Jerijervi. “Now we have decoupled performance reviews from pay reviews and we use the conversation tool to update goals on a frequent basis, to close out completed goals, and suggest new goals.”
Jerijervi also loves the reporting she’s able to pull from Dayforce, turning to the system to track analytics such as turnover by length of service or by department. “It gives us indications of where we might need to monitor or adjust our practices,” she says.
While Dayforce reporting hasn’t yet been rolled out to ESI managers, the HR team is able to quickly provide them with information in near real-time, satisfying their information requirements.
For Williams, a simple, easy way to manage the performance of a global workforce translates to better business results. It’s helped ESI evolve into a modern tech company where it’s fun to work.
“Having a modern, easy way to communicate with my employees about their performance throughout the year helps me make my people better and find out where they are struggling so they can crush it," he says. "And with Dayforce’s help, we’re crushing it.”