Turning Manual Systems Into Streamlined Onboarding Workflows


Key Challenges

  • No HR system
  • HR process time consuming and manual
  • Costly onboarding process

Key improvements

  • Moving to a paperless onboarding process has conserved resources
  • Colette is now able to have employees start within 24 hours, instead of within 10 days

About Colette

With a range that values fashion trends as much as affordability, the brand has become a destination for bags, jewellery and accessories. Providing unmatched levels of style, with over 300 new bags, jewellery and accessories launching every week.

Inspired by catwalks, streetstyle and fashion capitals around the world. colette by colette hayman identifies, interprets and edits upcoming trends.

Founded in Australia in 2010, the brand has expanded to an international level. With over 180 stores across 4 countries; Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The Situation Before Flare

At Colette, Human Resources is small team, with two full-time staff working to onboard and manage the employees across each element of the retail giant’s business. The team interact with and manage staff within the head office, the warehouse and each of the 160 stores, in three different countries. With a high volume of staff and limited resources, support for the onboarding and HR processes is paramount.

In terms of the end to end process, from when the team entered a new employee’s details onto the system to the point that it was getting passed through to payroll, the process was completely manual and required constantly going in and working through a series of checks and buttons, which was a daily process. If that employee or if that potential employee was a straightforward hire and the process was able to be managed relatively quickly, it would move along but it would still take a few days to get them to the end of the process, where they were registered to go to payroll. At that point, there were still things that were required to be printed, signed, scanned, uploaded or posted to the HR team in hard copy formats, which could even lead to that waiting time being extended. As a general rule, if Colette needed a new employee to start as soon as possible, the HR team wouldn’t have been comfortable saying they would be able to start anytime within a ten day timeframe.

Outside of the Christmas period, Colette manage around 1200 employees across the three countries where they operate, but at the end of the year, more than 500 additional staff could be hired and onboarded, making that manual process even less sustainable for the HR team.


Digital And Automated Onboarding

When Lynne was introduced to the Flare team, she was ready to embrace a digital system that could take those manual issues and make them a scalable approach to onboarding her staff to reduce the pressure on the Colette HR team. Her goal was to have an end to end onboarding system that would reduce friction and increase automation, and after working through a demo of the Flare platform, she recognised it as being a win, across every requirement.

“Our search took a couple of months and we looked at pretty much everything on the market. Flare was not only the best value but it also ticked the most boxes, even a year and a half ago when it was still reasonably new - and there’s been even more development on the platform since.”

“It’s great because it’s just efficient and it’s automatic, so while the system that we had before was pretty manual, and we did have a HRIS for each stage of the process, it needed to be manually progressed by someone in HR.  It was almost like writing a list of what you’ve sent out and every day checking to see if that step has been completed and moving it onto the next step, and on top of that, having to create individual records for everyone. Flare has made it incredible easy for us with the bulk upload for new team members.”

“It’s made our life so much easier for us to be able to just bulk upload everything and know that the right contract has gone out for the right person at the right time without us having to actually do anything other than that. Then all we have to monitor, is who has not completed it yet and that’s easy enough to do when you go onto your new hires to complete onboarding page because you see that then and you know if they’re not sitting in there, they’ve completed it.”

The Benefits Of Digital Onboarding

“Every day, we’re using Flare for new starters obviously to get all their documentation, to gather information from them, but we’re also using it for existing employees. We use it for all team members from head office to warehouse and at stores for their personal leave to provide medical certificates, because that’s the only platform that’s ever been able to do that for us. For head office, we use it to manage annual leave requests and we use it for communication, whether it’s a new policy for all staff or a particular change to a contract for an individual, or a notice to a group of people – we are able to use the request function to complete that and again, it just makes life easy.”

For Lynn, the implementation and adoption process was smooth, and it was laid out in clear steps and milestones from the beginning. Colette were in a position where they needed a solution as soon as possible, and Flare were able to work with them to complete the fastest implementation with the platform ever.

Colette have been pleased with the user experience, the support, and the functionality, and with more features on the road map to accommodate their needs, their relationship with Flare has never been stronger.




“It’s just worked like a dream. It’s been really great for us, really helpful. We’ve got better visibility, and it’s more user-friendly than anything we’ve ever had before.”

Get started with Flare

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