Artisan Talent is a digital, creative, and marketing staffing agency that does things a little differently. They take a unique approach to making the right connections by realizing that they are humans helping humans – companies and talent alike. From small agencies to major corporations, this boutique staffing agency is in the business of connecting people – and they never forget it. That’s what makes them Artisan.
Bejan Douraghy founded Artisan Talent in Chicago in 1988 and the business has grown rapidly ever since. It tripled in size in the first five years and has now expanded outside of Illinois with offices in eight cities including New York, Denver, and San Francisco.
But that rapid growth has come with compliance and benefits challenges, with legislative changes and differences in requirements between states. And Artisan Talent has provided a full-scope benefits package for its freelance talent since 1995, so they have to manage benefits and compliance for their freelancers as well as the employees in their multiple offices.
Bejan first approached Launchways in 2016 after it became clear that new legislation threatened to cause compliance issues. He knew that Artisan Talent would have to adapt to meet the legislation, but did not have a clear idea of what the exact compliance challenges were or how to address them. As Bejan explained,
“We went to Launchways and they came back to us with a strategic solution to help us with ACA compliance issues. It was very helpful to us because we didn’t know what exactly it all meant and going through the audit with Launchways gave us the top priorities of what we had to do to maintain compliance.”
As Artisan Talent expanded to cities outside of Illinois, they also came up against the challenge of meeting the compliance requirements set by each state. Once again, Launchways helped Bejan and his team get a clear sense of what was required and developed strategies to bring the company into compliance efficiently and effectively.
“Launchways has supported us through our growth. Compliance requirements and available benefits vary widely between states. Launchways has been invaluable in letting us know what we need to do in each state.”
The initial compliance audit also led to a conversation about how Launchways could support Artisan Talent’s broader HR and benefits functions. After the revelations from the audit, Artisan Talent decided to conduct the Launchways Human Resources Best Practices Assessment to get instant insight into how to streamline the way they managed expenses across their human resources, employee benefits, and business insurance operations. The assessment and strategies Launchways put forward allowed Artisan Talent to reduce their overall insurance costs by 15%.
One of the key parts of this initiative was streamlining Artisan Talent’s benefits enrollment process. Launchways implemented new enrollment software that simplified the process for the Artisan HR team and resulted in a better experience for their talent. Bejan had this to say about the enrollment project:
“Before Launchways, we were doing everything in-house which obviously took us a lot of time, Launchways implemented an automated system that made it much more cost-effective. Not only is it easier for us, but the platform serves as a one-stop-shop for our employees, letting them review the plan options and enroll in the plan that works best for them.”
Launchways will continue to help Artisan Talent improve its processes and benefits offerings, as well as maintain compliance as the company expands to even more cities around the country. Beyond recommending and implementing new systems and strategies, the Launchways team also serves as an on-call resource for Bejan as he navigates HR, benefits, and compliance issues. As he says,
“As a CEO I don’t have time to research all of the issues, I need to be able to go to the experts and get what I need from them. The Launchways team members are experts in the HR and benefits field, which is highly complex, and they always come back to me with a solution which is technology-driven and which I can easily understand and implement.”