How GoContractor Changed Contractor On-boarding at ISG

01 February 2016

For ISG, one of the world’s leading construction services companies, their ability to undertake hundreds of orientations and safely store important worker information as part of their onboarding process – during the outfitting of the new UBS headquarters in London- was poised to be a monumental task. The outfitting is one of the largest outfitting contracts ever awarded at £125 million, and is due to last for at least another year. ISG’s main job is to deliver approximately 700,000 sq ft of “high-specification commercial” including trading floors, office space and an auditorium. UBS, currently the biggest bank in Switzerland, is poised to consolidate its London trading operations within the building once work finishes. With a project this large, it obviously requires a serious amount of manpower- over 3,000 to be exact- and an onboarding process that can ensure the project goes off without any major issues.

Onboarding Process at ISG

What the team at ISG needed was a platform that could handle their safety orientations process, and more importantly, be able to manage and store the thousands of documents related to health and safety training during the course of the project. When Steve Atkins, the Project Manager for the UBS project, undertook the task of operating the project, he wondered what this platform would look like, and if it could be integrated along with their existing onboarding process. Furthermore, if an incident was to happen on site, Steve’s team needed to be able to react quickly, with instant access to medical and orientation data.

With thanks to Steve, we find out how GoContractor helped the team at ISG create health and safety orientations that are unique to their culture and environment they work in. We’ll look at how our platform was used to allow workers to complete the registration process before entering site, upload documents and pictures, and take their orientation training before day one.

The Problem

ISG’s onboarding process included a number of issues that were proving problematic for the company. Most notably;

  1. Each orientation would take 40 minutes, and could at times be even longer due to the complex nature of the required documentation.
  2. ISG relied heavily on traditional methods to gather worker information, such as paper based documents, which was expensive and time-consuming.
  3. ISG are an innovative company, and they felt that a cloud-based onboarding tool could be used to optimize their orientation and information gathering process.

An Unworkable Onboarding Process

Before ISG started the process to look for a suitable alternative to their orientation process, they had a process that wouldn’t be suitable for the UBS project. This onboarding process relied heavily on site managers and required workers to be orientated once they arrived on site, which presented a number of problems for the team, more notably, the amount of time it took for documentation to be filled out and the length of onsite verbal orientations “which would take about 35-40 minutes,” according to Steve. As well as this orientation process, ISG had to gather contractor and worker information manually, meaning all of the files were kept in physical folders on site. Due to the continuously expanding nature of the project, this process was causing significant strain.

The team began to actively seek alternatives for conducting their health and safety training. They liked the idea of approaching the orientation process from a blended perspective where both online and face-to-face methods of orientations could be intertwined. “We were looking to try to cut down the time frame of orientations , which was drawing on our resources on a daily basis,” said Steve. Although ISG had plenty of construction managers on site, their time was best spent monitoring the safety on site and managing risk, rather than delivering hours of training on a daily basis.

The Solution: New Onboarding Process

At this point, it was becoming clear that GoContractor could offer the right balance of flexibility and control for ISG. Not only could it solve the problem of health and safety orientations , it would also store worker details securely. With the UBS project about to get off the ground, it was important that the team settled on an online solution that was also reliable and cheap and a decision was made to buy our platform. “ISG is forward thinking about IT,” said Steve. “We believe it’s more efficient, that’s why we believed that GoContractor was the right fit for our company.” The company immediately began using the platform for their two main pain points, safety orientations and the gathering and storing of worker information.

The team found that, even though content is delivered online, knowledge was still retained. “Inductions can be quite long, and some people may lose attention a little bit,” said Steve. Which is why they chose to put some of the process online, given them the ability to ensure workers understood the information, and there weren’t any gaps in terms of the retention of information. This is achieved by asking three types of questions including:

  1. When should accidents be recorded?
  2. What type of dust mask should be worn as a last resort for dusty works?
  3. Hazard/ good practice related questions.

Final Result

For ISG, using GoContractor, alongside their existing orientation process, has been a very beneficial purchase. It’s a process that “reinforces” the importance of “health and safety training” at ISG, and ensures all of the contract workers on site are properly trained and safe. In one incident a worker, who had a previous medical condition, fell ill on site. The team immediately went to the platform to seek information on his medical history and passed that on to the ambulance service. This process would have taken a considerable amount of time under the old process. To date, ISG has conducted over 3,000 sessions on our platform, using the following features:

Mandatory Document Upload

This feature allows companies to request copies of documents and certificates from workers. They can also add an expiry date to them, the expiry date will then be tracked and the administrator or worker will be notified. They will also be asked to upload fresh copies of documents when applicable. The most common items to be downloaded include: A copy of CSCS cards, OSHA cards, Safe Pass, and Driver’s Licenses.

Picture Uploads

The picture upload option is another feature which allows workers to upload their pictures. This feature can be turned on, or off, by the administrator and can involve uploading instant selfies, passport size photographs, or existing pictures. The photograph will be then transferred to the user profile, and will be visible on the certificate too. This process makes it easy for your security to check the identity of workers before they come on site.

ISG still hold morning pep talks, designed to “reinforce key points”, so as not to lose the human element of their safety culture. GoContractor has helped them save thousands of hours in orientation training and administration, as well as having important data stored securely and accessible at the touch of a button. “Where before GoContractor, it would have taken half an hour to do an induction, now the actual orientation time is down to between 15 and 20 minutes,” said Steve. “Now we are more efficient in collecting worker information in advance and also store it in a better way than A4 folders.” Orientation administration now takes only 40 minutes a day and requires only one person to oversee the whole process, even though thousands of people are coming and going on a daily basis.

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Sonya Sikra

Sonya is the Brand Strategy Manager at GoContractor. She specializes in communicating how implementing tech in construction can drive productivity and profit.

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