The Drum – UK Media Brand of the Year, UK Business Magazine of the Year and Publishing Innovator of the Year – is improving the efficiency and consistency of its people processes with the help of online solution Cezanne HR.

The company provides a wide range of products and services for brand marketers, marketing agencies, media owners and marketing industry suppliers, including The Drum magazine,, Recommended Agency Register, live events, awards, Drum Works, Drum Studios, and The Drum Network.

The business is growing significantly, with a workforce split between Glasgow and London, as well as an expanding international presence.

HR Manager Viola Lambert joined The Drum last summer to set up the HR function, and inherited an outdated and ‘clunky’ HR system which wasn’t fulfilling the company’s needs. She had used Cezanne HR to good effect in a previous role and recommended it was brought into the business to streamline HR processes and make it simpler to manage the growing workforce.

“HR information was being held in different folders on different parts of the server, in email folders or in hard copy format, which was inefficient and frustrating in the digital age,” she explained. “What we needed was a more straightforward and efficient way of working – which I knew the Cezanne HR system would provide”.

The business is already using the core Cezanne HR module, together with absence and performance management, and is looking to make use of the system’s training and development functionality and recruitment module later this year.

After some refresher training, Viola was able to set up the system herself and train employees in how to use the self-service element, which enables staff to keep their personal details up to date, check holiday entitlements and request time off – or register sick leave.  Keeping information up to date is simpler, and since the system automatically routes requests to the appropriate reviewing managers, processes are more efficient too.

HR policy documents are also gradually being uploaded to Cezanne’s integrated HR portal, which means they are easier to access, and staff are benefitting from being able to see up-to-date organisational charts and contact details for their colleagues.

Performance management is one area where the business particularly stands to benefit from centralised data and process automation. “It was all very ad hoc before with different departments managing appraisals in different ways – so I’ve worked with Cezanne to set up an appraisal form that reflects what we want to achieve. We are trialling it with one department before going live later this month,” explained Viola.

The recruitment module, which is due to come on-stream in June, will also be a real bonus. “I’m really looking forward to having it up and running because it will allow us to keep all the candidate data in one system, and manage selection more easily,” says Viola.

Feedback from staff has been extremely positive. “Employees are finding the system easy to use, and managers can now get the information they need at the drop of a hat,” says Viola. “Once it’s fully up and running they will be able see when someone started, how long they’ve been here, how much holiday they have left, and what training and development needs have been agreed for the next six months. It’s just making everything much more accessible and consistent.”

Viola adds that she is looking forward to being able to take full advantage of the reporting and analytics function. “Once we’ve built up enough data, I will be able to look at absence trends, retention rates and diversity statistics – so I will really be able to see the full picture and report back to the business,” she says.