INDUSTRY

Renewable Energy

LOCATION

California, USA

CHALLENGES
  • Posting jobs manually to various job boards

  • Employee information was tracked and stored offline

  • Communication difficulties with HR department

FAVOURITE FEATURES

About SunPower

SunPower by Hooked on Solar is the largest family-owned solar company in Northern California. Started in 2010, the company specializes in designing and integrating solar electric photovoltaic (PV) systems into the utility grid. Over the last twelve years, SunPower has completed more than 6,500 solar PV installations for both residences and businesses. 

The solar power industry employs a wide range of people for various roles and SunPower is no different. We spoke to Maria Schaeuffler, Human Resources Manager at SunPower, to understand how Freshteam has transformed the way they handle their hiring and manage their employees.

 

Challenges and Roadblocks

Quality candidates are hard to come by in the solar industry. So, the hiring door is always open at SunPower. They hire for multiple positions throughout the year - starting from installers all the way up to project coordinators and project managers. It became cumbersome to source candidates manually from various job boards, maintain, and track all their information using spreadsheets.

Before using Freshteam, SunPower did not have a proper employee database. They stored and tracked all employee information offline. “When I came on board in March 2020, the department was very undeveloped. We had ten drawers of printed employee and ex-employee files,” says Maria. It didn't make sense for a company trying to make the planet green to have tons of paper stacked up.

SunPower needed a new platform that would help them effectively track not just their candidates but also their employees. In other words, a combined ATS and HRIS software would do the trick. And so, the hunt began. In Maria’s words, 

“I saw the writing on the wall and said, we need an HRIS system ASAP. So, we interviewed quite a few of them. All the big names you could think of, all the small names you could think of. And then, we stumbled upon Freshteam”

Maria Schaeuffler

HR Manager

SunPower

Reasons SunPower chose Freshteam

Ease of use

Freshteam is anything but complicated. It is an easy-to-learn, adapt and use software that comes with minimalistic UI and great product design. “You don’t have to be a super techie person to use it. You just log in, pretty much like an email, and see all your files. The ease of use, I would say, tops everything,” says Maria.

Simplified recruiting

With Freshteam, SunPower didn’t have to post the same job over and over again on different job boards. Candidate sourcing became a breeze. Freshteam helps them track all their candidates as they move through various stages of the hiring process. 

Employee Onboarding

SunPower lays a lot of emphasis on making the hiring and onboarding process fun. By providing onboarding kits, e-signatures, and alerts, Freshteam handles all the manual and mundane processes (quietly in the background). Maria says, “I can spend more time bonding with a new employee rather than asking them to go through a stack of files and sign various documents.”

Employee management and self-service

The first thing that SunPower did on purchasing Freshteam was to transfer all their employee data from the stack of paper files into the software with a single click on the import button. They are now able to manage all their employees, view organization charts, and communicate with anyone in the company from a single place. 

In addition, the employees update all their personal information and view all the documents they have signed by logging into Freshteam. “The employees need not have to spend an extra hour to come to my office because our office is in the suburbs and our main office is like downtown. It’s a lot easier for them to just go online, update their information, and upload any important files,” explains Maria. 

Extremely economical

One of the major reasons SunPower chose Freshteam was because it was highly economical for them. There are no hidden costs involved, and the monthly subscription model of Freshteam fits their bill perfectly. “What made us go with Freshteam was the fact that you guys do it month to month and we can upgrade anytime we want. We don't like any after-math surprises and it's always been pretty steady. That’s why Freshteam is a no-brainer for us,” says Maria.

Raising the bar with Freshteam

Through the seamless interface and advanced features of Freshteam, SunPower noticed significant improvements in the following areas:

  • Reduction in job posting time: It was such a drag to post the same job on multiple platforms and job boards. Freshteam reduces that time drastically by automatically posting to various job boards with a single click of a button. “Only 25% of my time is spent on recruiting now, rather than the 75% for that day,” says Maria.

  • Streamlined hiring process: With Freshteam, the hiring process has become smooth and streamlined for SunPower. Multi-channel candidate sourcing, managing candidates across the hiring process, and scheduling interviews from within Freshteam have all contributed to making the hiring process faster and more efficient. 

  • Faster employee onboarding: SunPower emphasizes making the new employees feel welcome and comfortable in their new roles. With Freshteam, the new employees don’t have to fill in endless forms, sign, and scan documents. “Three hours spent on the onboarding process slash orientation now takes less than 15 minutes,” says Maria.

“I think Freshteam is a great program to have. So, I’d definitely recommend it to everyone and anyone in the HR industry that is building their department. I think it's a great program to begin with.”

Maria Schaeuffler

HR Manager

SunPower