European HR platform Akyla gains competitive edge with OneSpan

A new hire is a new relationship, and as in any relationship, partners have reciprocal expectations and responsibilities. By using e-signatures to accelerate onboarding, organizations help new hires become productive faster. The convenience and speed of e-signatures establishes an important precedent for new staff, encouraging confidence that their new employer embraces modern technologies to the benefit of all parties. In this blog, we examine these benefits in action.

The challenge: Staffing agencies can sign thousands of employment contracts; using paper was too time-consuming

A Dutch HR software provider, Akyla serves the staffing industry across the Benelux and Nordics regions. Akyla provides a white-labeled HR portal and mobile app that staffing agencies can use to communicate with their customer, the hiring company, as well as new hires.

Inside each staffing company’s HR portal, these three parties exchange a variety of sensitive HR documents—including employment contracts, employee handbooks, tax forms, insurance forms, documents related to working conditions, etc., that must be securely signed. Paper and postal mail are not a viable option: the platform manages tens of thousands of documents for tens of thousands of employees every year.

The solution: Integrated e-signature service with 2-step authentication and European data storage

In 2013, Akyla researched its e-signature options and quickly committed to OneSpan. After suffering the loss of its previous e-signature vendor to bankruptcy, Akyla needed a reputable vendor with a deep track record. Further, OneSpan offered white-labeling options—in logos and other graphical elements— so staffing agencies can promote and reinforce their brand throughout the onboarding process.

The implementation timeframe was less than a month, but OneSpan’s API made integration easy, a one-person project that took just two weeks from installation to full deployment.

It was important for Akyla that OneSpan provide flexible choices for authentication since most of the document signing is remote. Akyla is currently using the Advanced Electronic Signature (AES), with the goal to support Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) and third-party authentication in the future, where required by customers in select use cases and geographic regions. Akyla currently uses a 2-step process in which staffing consultants and employees first receive an email with a secure link to the documents, along with a password. The platform then automatically generates and sends a 4-digit PIN code to the signer’s cell phone via SMS text. Signers must apply the PIN in the portal prior to signing documents using the click-to-sign method.

Advanced notification options, including emails and push texts, remind signers that signatures are due, which saves the staffing agency the time and expense of chasing signers. And for their larger agencies, who are onboarding 200-300 new employees each week, having immediate visibility into which new employees have received and signed which documents, is a direct benefit of digitalization – something that wasn’t possible with paper.

Results: Akyla helps clients master a growing documentation workload, gains competitive edge

For the period ending December 2015, Akyla’s platform managed ~25,000 documents; in 2017, that number was expected to grow 5-fold.

According to CEO and founder Martin Schievink, “We are expanding our customer base and experiencing rapid growth, both in the form of new customers and expanded usage among existing customers. Integrating OneSpan gave us an edge on competitors. It completes the Akyla solution, and delivers a lot of efficiency for our customers – making their work easier.”


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