Local councils are the backbone of Australian communities. They bring diverse communities together whilst providing the critical services we rely on every day.

Supporting these endeavours is the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ). The LGAQ is the peak representative body for the state’s 77 local governments, providing critical advice, advocacy and support to help them build more livable communities.

Onboarding talent is an essential part of the LGAQ’s mission, but it relied on legacy tools and manual processes to get important documentation signed and processed. It engaged DocuSign to help build a modern and efficient way of bringing people into the business, using eSignature to streamline the contracting process.

A small team managing a mountain of manual tasks

With a small yet brilliant team of 85 people, LGAQ manages a dynamic mix of full-time, part-time and contracted staff. Workplace policy requires all new employee contract documentation – including the contract itself, banking details, superannuation nomination forms, criminal history check consent and more – to be signed by a range of stakeholders, including the organisation’s CEO.

Before DocuSign eSignature, LGAQ had to physically print up to 30 pages of documentation, get them signed by all relevant parties and send them via express post to the candidate’s place of residence for them to sign and send back.

This cumbersome process delayed getting high-quality talent into the business and saw an unnecessary amount of time spent on administrative tasks. When COVID 19 started, it was clear something needed to change.

“We were actually getting to the point of bundling together contractual documents and driving them to our CEO’s house to get them signed, before picking them back up and posting them to the candidate,” says Julie Riddle, People and Culture Advisor at LGAQ. “With everyone working from home at that point, it became obvious that we needed a solution.”

A new solution for a new era

After investigating competitor’s electronic signature platform, LGAQ engaged DocuSign to build a new onboarding process, powered by eSignature. The organisation was drawn to eSignature because it was confident it could offer an easy-to-use solution that maintained its employment-related compliance obligations.

DocuSign provided LGAQ with a sandbox in early stages to help them learn about DocuSign, set-up templates, and test features. LGAQ’s HR team also attended some online webinars, which helped them understand how they could use the platform.

HR then took these learnings to the broader organisation. With support from DocuSign, eSignature was seamlessly integrated into day-to-day processes. LGAQ now generates all required new starter documentation electronically, using templates that can be changed and updated as requirements change.

“We were quite an immature organisation in relation to our electronic documentation, so to progress as quickly as we did during COVID was amazing,” Riddle adds. “We were able to do the implementation, get people on board and actually start using in a really short timeframe. We’ve created efficiencies that we’re still using today.”

The CEO and other stakeholders use eSignature to sign everything electronically, before sending bundles through to the candidates. The platform doesn’t allow candidates to submit documents until all required information is captured, significantly reducing errors and time.

“The process is a lot more efficient now,” says Leanne Matheson, Head of People and Culture at LGAQ. “Our team has access to all the documentation we send, with visibility over when it’s received and how it’s tracking. To be able to keep the process moving from anywhere has been a real benefit.”

With a better view of contracts, it’s allowed them to streamline the number of forms required and make changes to improve the onboarding process.

Savings and benefits across the board

DocuSign eSignature has transformed LGAQ’s employee onboarding process, saving a huge amount of time and manual effort.

The organisation has completed 446 envelopes since implementation, resulting in over $18,000 saved and eliminating express postage costs. 

The LGAQ can make verbal offers to candidates, have documentation signed off then email candidates in the matter of hours. Speeding up candidate onboarding, allowing LGAQ to secure the talent they need, whilst also giving candidates a better onboarding experience.

With DocuSign implemented, the team wants to move towards 100% paperless operations, which it has already achieved within HR departments. Overall, the platform has saved the business over 12,000 sheets of paper since 2020. 

“We had quite a significant paper load, to the point where we actually still had letterhead paper available to be printed in the office,” Riddle adds. “Now, we’re not using any paper at all.”

“DocuSign has made things so much easier,” Matheson says. “It’s easy to learn, very intuitive and it allows us to accomplish so much more with only a small team. It takes out all mundane, administrative, and unrewarding work and allows us to add more value to the business.”