Mighty Hook is the largest manufacturer of hanging solutions
and masking products for industrial finishing and powder coating processes.
Mighty Hook has on-site engineers to improve efficiency through custom
solutions. Their mission is to provide customers with high-quality, innovative,
cost-effective products to improve their hanging efficiency and productivity in
paint, powder, and e-coat processes.
Mighty Hook relies on its highly-skilled employees to
innovate customized solutions for its clients, so the company takes employee
compensation and engagement extremely seriously. For Scott Rampala, Mighty Hook
President and CEO, it’s all about balancing offering competitive employee
compensation and competitive rates for customers. The key to meeting the needs
of employees and clients alike is to minimize human resources overhead,
optimize employee compensation packages, and reduce business insurance costs so
he can allocate resources where they matter most.
Scott first turned to Launchways when he decided to conduct
an employee compensation audit eight years ago to better compete for talent
while keeping costs low. The Launchways team facilitated the audit by ensuring
that the auditor had the payroll information they needed to accurately assess
Mighty Hook’s employee compensation. This included payroll data and
departmental allocation to guide the auditor in determining the correct total
payroll investment and compensation for individual employees depending on their
The audit successfully aligned Mighty Hook’s compensation
strategy with their talent acquisition and business goals. Scott also decided
to bring in Launchways to manage the company’s payroll processing so he could
be sure that his employees were being taken care of without draining valuable
internal resources. As he describes the value of Launchways’ payroll services,
“Payroll can be a touchy subject and Launchways does a great job of tracking the vital sensitive information and limiting access to key stakeholders. Best of all, I can rely on Launchways to make sure our employees are paid on time, which is a huge peace of mind for me and my team. It means that I can focus on reaching our business goals rather than the details of employee compensation.”
But the most lasting effect of Mighty Hook’s partnership
with Launchways has been the reduction of business insurance costs across the
board year after year. Before working with Launchways, Mighty Hook tended to
renew their plans with their existing business insurance providers. Launchways
brought a new approach to Mighty Hook’s insurance, taking the plans to the open
market each year to find the best deals. This approach allows Mighty Hook to be
much more flexible, as Scott explains,
“Every year our Launchways representative comes in and takes our worker’s comp, general liability, and property and casualty and moves it to the open market. In some instances, we’ve sourced our plans from a range of providers, although most recently we discovered that shopping our entire business insurance operation to a single provider generated the biggest savings.”
This flexibility has paid off for Mighty Hook year after
year. As Scott describes, Launchways’ proactive approach to reevaluating
insurance carriers annually has helped him cut costs so he can provide greater
value for his customers while providing competitive employee compensation.
“The approach to taking our insurance to the open market every year is far preferable to our old model of just renewing with our existing carriers. It allows us to remain competitive and get the best value year after year. On average, we’ve probably seen a 4-5% decrease in costs each year and in the last year alone we saw an impressive 10% decrease in our insurance costs. Those savings are good for our bottom-line, our clients, and our employees.”
Beyond the concrete savings that Launchways has delivered
for Mighty Hook, Scott values Launchways’ role as HR consultants. No matter
what payroll, benefits, insurance, or HR challenges Mighty Hook faces,
Launchways provides streamlined and cost-effective solutions without the Mighty
Hook team having to dedicate valuable resources to addressing the challenges
internally. This matters because the less time they spend on business insurance
or human resources, the more time they can spend on their business.
Performance management and assessment are fundamental to
running a successful business at any scale. When you know who is creating organizational
gains and who is causing challenges, you can lead much more effectively.
Unfortunately, however, most organizations still assess performance
on a yearly basis. That means formalized feedback for employees only comes at
the end of long terms, and any discussions about performance in between are
seen as scary or punitive.
If your organization is still using the traditional annual
appraisal model, you’re missing out on the opportunity to have better, more
productive conversations with your employees and create a more data-driven
approach to performance and talent management.
Moving forward, we’ll explore:
Why a continuous feedback system is better than
What a continuous feedback system actually looks
How to build buy-in for the transition toward
Why Continuous Feedback is So Powerful
In general, continuous performance assessment is the best
way to support your employees and keep your organization healthy. When you’re
constantly deepening your understanding of not just what’s working but why it’s
working and how you can extend that success to new arenas, you have the power
to transform your organization into its best self.
Transform Managers into True Leaders, Not Just Bosses
Much of the strife surrounding performance assessment (and
talent management in general) is rooted in the fact that the average worker and
manager don’t have a strong, productive enough relationship to meaningfully
The yearly appraisal model simply perpetuates that
disconnect, as team members rarely sit down with their immediate supervisors to
discuss goals, performance, achievement, and so on. When those conversations
are so spread out, it’s difficult for them to feel authentic – both for the
assessor and the worker. Everybody grits their teeth to get through it; nobody
actually gains anything.
When you encourage your supervisors to lead ongoing conversations
about strengths, areas for improvement, and achievement with each of their team
members, you’re creating an environment where assessment can be both less
stressful and more useful.
Continuous performance assessment takes that nebulous role
of “boss” and defines it in a way that fosters better, more productive
relationships and the kind of mentorship and coaching that drives everyone to
Become More Responsive to Talent Needs & Create Opportunity for
If you’re assessing employees on a yearly or even quarterly
basis, you’re leaving yourself open to disaster. The wrong employee or team
underachieving in the incorrect position for months at a time can lead to
financial disaster. On the other hand, if your best talent is laboring for 11
months at a time without recognition, they’re probably looking for somewhere
else to work.
By embracing continuous assessment, you create an agile
culture in which it’s easier to:
Recognize problems or challenges in their early
Strategize adjustments or corrections
Design actionable improvement plans much more
quickly, creating opportunities for employee turnaround.
That responsiveness makes assessment feel more supportive
and less punitive. In this way, you can set underperforming talent up to save
themselves, rather than letting them go in December because they struggled for an
How to Design and Anchor a Constant Assessment System
It’s important to start by saying that any business’
performance management and assessment system should be custom-built to address
the company’s specific organizational system, goals, and employee culture. With
that said, there’s a few pillars that should inform any approach.
Identify Goals, Competencies, and KPIs for Each Position
For your continuous assessment system to be successful, it
needs to be grounded in structure, objectivity, and a deep understanding of how
you want to do business. That means working with HR and department-level
leaders to create a profile of each individual role on your organizational
For each position within the organization, you should have a
clear sense of:
What skills and knowledge someone needs to be
highly successful in that role
How their job success will be gauged or measured
(projects completed, revenue generated, etc.)
Which tools or applications will provide
assessors with the data they need to assess that person
What the professional journey might look like
for someone in that position (i.e. “If this person is highly successful in this
role for two years, what might be next?” or “How long can we afford for someone
to underperform in this position?”)
How that person’s direct supervisor or team
leader can guide their professional development to build success for all
Allow Employees to Grow in Ways Most Relevant to Them & Their Work
That strong understanding of your depth chart is crucial to
great performance management, but it’s only half the puzzle. Your team members
are individuals, and that means you can’t manage them like numbers in a
When a continuous assessment system accounts for employees’
individual needs, strengths, and quirks, it greatly increases buy-in and builds
better business results.
A great continuous feedback loop isn’t just standardized for
company use; it’s also personalized to maximize its value for each worker. Upon
hire or the completion of each identified assessment term, employees should
work with their direct supervisors, coaches, and other relevant professionals
Individual knowledge and skill goals (“What can
you do in the next six months to become even more knowledgeable or talented in
this role, and how can we support you in that?”)
Workplace engagement and employee cultural goals
(“What can you do over the next term to increase or maintain your participation
in or maintenance of our great team, and how can we support that work?”)
To maintain two-way accountability, it’s important to always
think about and discuss how work toward these goals will be measured, how success
will be assessed, and what success or failure means in terms of next steps.
Foster Two-Way Communication and Reflection
One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when it comes
to performance management is making it an entirely one-way system where
supervisors review their team members individually. That just perpetuates old
fears about the workplace power dynamic and makes employees feel voiceless.
An excellent performance management system ensures each
employee has a strong voice that’s heard and richly documented throughout their
professional journey. Managers should encourage each worker to reflect on their
own work and provide self-assessments to accompany supervisor feedback.
At the same time, each worker should have a voice in
assessing the functionality of their teams or departments and the success of
their manager or supervisor. That way, everybody is empowered with a voice and
everybody is kept honest.
Focus on Data
Qualitative feedback about people’s impressions, personal
experiences, and reactions is an important part of any assessment, but it can’t
be the whole emphasis. In order to win buy-in with your discerning employees
and stand up as fair and objective in court, your continuous feedback system
must be data-centric.
Thanks to the incredible variety of tech tools and software
applications we use on a daily basis, supervisors actually have access to more
workflow data than ever – they just have to know how to get it and how to
analyze it. With a little training from IT and assessment experts, your
supervisors can guide conversations about performance by discussing data points
Job or task completion rates
Ticket turnaround times
Success of accounts managed
Impact on team-based or departmental goals
When you build your assessment system around data, you’re
creating something that’s actually gauging employee success, not just providing
observations about work style or personality. That means you’re creating
something more authentic, more useful, and more resistant to criticism.
Setting Your Employees Up to Embrace Change
Continuous performance assessment and management are best
for business, but they can still be a tough sell at first. That’s because when
people hear “continuous assessment,” they think that means more work and more
In order to dispel those fears and build buy-in for your
assessment system, you need to provide your workers and their
supervisors/assessors with the support they need to see the value in the new
approach and make a smooth transition.
Provide Clarity & Employee Education from Day One
From the day you make the decision to transition towards an
ongoing feedback loop, you need to be transparent with your employees about
what that means and what they system is going to look like.
You need to provide your ground-level workers with employee
education that helps them understand the philosophy of the model as well as how
it will affect what they do from day to day or week to week.
For managers, supervisors, and other assessors, you need to
bring in talent and performance assessment experts to teach them how to be
impactful coaches, use the system right, and get the most out of it.
If you drop ongoing performance assessment into your
employees’ laps, you risk significant damage to morale and company culture. If
you create a well-explained, well-scaffolded transition, however, you’ll gain
the buy-in you need to make such a drastic change.
Make Strong Performance a Core Value Organization Wide
For any initiative to truly change a business and its
culture of work, it has to be baked into daily life within the organization. If
you want employees to reflect honestly, improve earnestly, and dedicate
themselves to maximizing performance, it’s fundamental that you make great
performance a highly visible organizational value.
That requires crafting messaging for display around the
office, bringing in the right presenters to get your team motivated about
performance, and even revisiting things like meeting protocols to make sure
that discussions about performance are voiced in every context.
When performance and achievement are key daily values in
your workplace, you greatly increase the chances that your employees will
engage deeply in the process, strive for excellence, and work to better the
environment on the whole.
Honor Your System Through Promotions & Raises
There needs to be an endgame anytime you’re assessing or
judging something. If employees don’t understand how your continuous assessment
system can be of benefit to them, it’s simply an externalized structure that
they’ll engage with exactly as much as they need to in order to keep their
For people to really honor and value your assessment system
in a way that leads to workforce maximization, you need to make it real for
them. That means there must be real benefits and real rewards for those who
exhibit high performance and take their role as part of the overall evaluation
Raises and promotions are the most obvious and classic ways
to make that happen.
At the same time, however, it’s important to honor the
improvement aspects of your system. For example, if an under-performing
employee exhibits a great turnaround, there should be some recognition that
motivates them to continue growing.
When you have a strong, continuous feedback loop for every
member of your team and each of those team members values and cares about the
process, you have the power to maximize your workforce for business and
Continuous feedback is more powerful for
Management gains a better understanding of
Struggling or under-performing workers gain the
time, structure, and clarity they need to improve in a timely manner
All-star talent gains access to a system that
helps them feel appreciated and build a documentation trail to support
promotions, raises, and so on
Any constant assessment system must be rooted in
Qualitative observations are never enough
Embracing data analysis significantly reduces
assessment workload for managers
Emphasis on data shows that everything is fair
You need buy-in from employees at all levels for
a continuous assessment system to work
Be sure you demonstrate the value of the system
and clarify expectations across the board
This free webinar from Launchways
will be packed with actionable insights about emerging best practices for
performance assessment including…
How to assess the impact of your current
performance management program and get started on building something even
How to recognize the common pitfalls of
How to replace an annual assessment system with
a continuous feedback loop
How to deliver actionable, powerful feedback,
even when it’s difficult
How to build a step-by-step procedure for
handling employee underperformance
The hour-long learning experience will feature presentations
and Q&A time with an all-star panel of veteran business leaders who know
what it takes to build, manage, and continuously improve a great team.
Presenters will include…
Pellman, CEO of Kazoo, who
specializes in creating employee engagement and performance management
strategies that build purpose and success in the workplace.
Jodi Wellman, Co-Founder of Spectacular at Work, a
leading executive coach who specializes in helping business leaders maximize
their teams to build success and balance.
Adam Radulovic, President at XL.net, an experienced entrepreneur and
small business leader with a track record building and managing profit-driving
teams at many different scales.
Jon B. Howaniec, SHRM Certified Professional
and VP at Clark Dietz, who
oversees talent acquisition, staff development, and employee compensation at a
multi-state engineering firm and specializes in strategic planning.
Payroll is a key driver of your business, so it’s important to get it right. Organizations with proper payroll processes in place are free to thrive, while companies with flawed payroll systems can be susceptible to significant legal risks, fines, and employee relations issues.
However, payroll and regulations are extremely complex. With payroll rules and regulations constantly changing, it’s almost impossible for the average business to keep up.
There are upwards of 10,000 federal, state, and local tax regulations that affect the way employers process payroll. And failing to follow these properly can result in large fines from the IRS. According to the IRS, more than 1.8 million tax returns were audited in 2016 for businesses with income between $200,000 and $1 million. In 2016, 978,564 businesses of all sizes were assessed civil penalties.
Growing businesses want to avoid these potential risks but find it nearly impossible to keep up with the wide range of laws pertaining to employment. This is why more and more businesses are turning to outsourced payroll companies to bridge this gap in expertise. Recent research by Robert Half indicates that 39% of U.S. companies outsource payroll services.
Outsourcing Payroll: Three Reasons Why Businesses Should
Save time (time that can then be used to focus on growing your business)
Gain access to the technology and expertise to perform payroll (management services) well
Reduce costs and risks associated with failing to follow tax and employment regulations
Ultimately, as your business evolves and grows, your team will become larger and your payroll (management processes) will become increasingly complex. As an employer, you’re expected to understand all hour, wage, and employment laws. Mistakes in these key areas can lead to audits and penalties, something a growing business simply doesn’t need.
For many growing businesses, outsourcing payroll prevents a good opportunity to streamline operations and reduce risk. However, each company must decide if (the benefits of outsourcing payroll) is right for them. We put together this ultimate guide to help you explore the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll, so you can make an informed decision about how to handle your business’s payroll.
This Outsourcing Payroll Guide Will Teach You:
Advantages of outsourcing payroll
Disadvantages of outsourcing payroll
What to look for in payroll outsourcing companies
Why leverage a payroll provider’s HRIS
Questions to ask a potential payroll outsourcing provider
Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll
Payroll is a time-consuming process. From keeping track of benefits deductions, wage garnishments, new hires, terminations, PTO, and state and federal regulations can be challenging. Outsourcing payroll allows you and your team to focus on core business functions that drive revenue and help you grow.
Penalties for errors, omissions, or late payroll tax filings can be very costly. The IRS estimates that 40% of small businesses pay annual penalties for incorrect filings. Beyond tax risks, your organization must also comply with all state and federal wage and employment laws. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to audits and fines. However, working with a payroll outsourcing provider can ensure that your business has all compliance bases covered. This will give you the peace of mind knowing your business won’t be susceptible to these risks and fines.
Access to Experts
As your business continues to grow, you’ll have to comply with more and more state and federal regulations. Have a team of HR and compliance experts by your side to help you navigate these complex changes can be invaluable for your organization.
Payroll outsourcing services use secure online portals to store and protect your employees’ sensitive information.
Reduced Payroll Costs
For many small-to-mid-sized businesses, completing payroll in-house can be a money burner. Of course, actual cost is company-specific, but you can calculate how much time your team currently spends calculating payroll, preparing w-2’s, onboarding new-hires, producing reports for accounting, etc. Paying a salaried team member (or doing it yourself) can end up costing your organization a lot more than working with a payroll outsourcing company. For most growing businesses, working with a payroll outsourcing provider is a cost-effective option.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing Payroll
While outsourcing payroll to payroll experts affords your organization many benefits, there can be some negative effects of outsourcing.
Difficulty Obtaining Employee Data
For your payroll provider to process employees, they’ll need W-4s and direct deposit information. Tracking down and collecting physical documentation of these assets can be challenging. However, some payroll providers operate entirely digitally. If your payroll outsourcing provider offers a system where employees can upload their own information, this can eliminate these challenges.
When working with an outsourced payroll provider it can sometimes take longer to fix payroll errors. However, if your provider leverages proactive communication which includes a review and editing processes then this can help significantly reduce the number of potential errors.
Outsourcing Payroll Cost
There will be an added cost to your business for outsourcing payroll. To determine if outsourced payroll is a cost-effective solution for your business, you should aim to quantify the current costs associated with your payroll practices. In most cases, outsourced payroll ultimately ends up being cheaper than an in-house team member handling it.
What to Look For In a Payroll Outsourcing Company:
Experience Serving Businesses Like Yours
Research if the payroll provider has worked with organizations of an industry or size like yours. Explore their website for customer stories and ask for case studies about the value they’ve provided clients. Does the payroll provider have a strong track record of serving businesses your size? Is the provider experienced in your industry?
Additional Resources & Complimentary Adds-on
Some payroll providers go above and beyond to extend additional value to their clients. These add-ons might include guidance on HR best-practices, access to employee handbook and policy templates, or support for safety compliance.
Other Service Offerings
When looking at a payroll outsourcing provider, consider the other products and services they offer and how those align with your future plans. As you grow, you’ll require additional support in scaling your human resource practices. Does your payroll provider offer additional services such as human resources consulting, technology, employee benefits, or worker’s compensation coverage?
Regulatory Compliance Capabilities
Is the potential payroll outsourcing provider up-to-date on changing laws, compliance regulations, health care considerations, and tax rules? Are they a thought-leader in the space? You should aim to establish a clear track record of your payroll provider helping their customers meet federal and state compliance regulations.
You should evaluate and determine the quality of payroll technology your potential provider leverages. Consider if they use modern technology and have the technology infrastructure to support your organization as you grow.
Accountant Interfaces & Integrations
Consider how easily your team can retrieve necessary payroll records for tax and reconciliation purposes.
You should aim to understand the level of service your payroll outsourcing provider provides. Will you have a dedicated account manager you can call anytime with questions? Or will you be left with an automated inbox or queue without answers? Payroll is a complex, essential component of your business. Having a high level of service is important.
When it comes to finding a (third party) payroll provider, stability is essential. You should determine how many years a potential provider has been in business. Also, consider how many clients they have and the caliber of their client portfolio.
Ultimately, your goal is to grow your company. Therefore, you shouldn’t pick a payroll outsourcing provider whose infrastructure cannot support your growth. Instead, you should select a provider that offers robust solutions that can integrate time and attendance, retirement plans, and benefits administration as you grow.
Scope of Services
Your payroll (outsourcing) provider should provide the highest level of service, freeing up your time to focus on other more important tasks. Some payroll (outsourcing companies) expect the client to onboard new-hires, track time and attendance, and handle other administrative tasks. In an ideal scenario, your payroll outsourcing provider should be taking on your entire payroll process, end-to-end.
Implementation & Onboarding
Uncover the process the potential payroll provider will use to get your organization onto their system. They should provide a quick, seamless transition to avoid interruptions to your employees.
Partners & Integration
You should ensure that your payroll provider’s systems will seamlessly integrate into your team’s existing workflows.
The Importance of HRIS
An additional value-add of working with an outsourced payroll provider is gaining access to their Human Resource Information System (HRIS). An HRIS system allows employers to easily provide their employees access to online statements and direct deposit. In today’s market, many job seekers expect an employer to provide these. An HRIS system can provide your employees several benefits including:
Online benefits enrollment
Review benefits information
Access corporate documents
Beyond the benefits it affords your employees, HRIS helps create a centralized hub for all your team’s sensitive information. This means better organization and better security for your business. Some additional benefits employers can get from a HIRS include:
View invoices and payroll reports
View and update employee information
Digitally onboard new hires
Collect time-off information
Offer online benefits enrollment
Total compensation reports
Upload an employee handbook and other files
While you may not have the resources or manpower to administrate your own HRIS, leveraging a payroll partner’s system is a great option.
What to Look For in A Payroll Outsourcing Company
Questions to ask a payroll (outsourcing) provider you’re considering:
How long have you been in business?
How do I know you are paying all payroll taxes?
How much of the responsibility of payroll processing do you handle?
How secure is the information?
Can I call and talk to a real person without going into a queue for several minutes?
If there are corrections on the payroll, how long will it take to make the correction?
What technology platform do you use and how reliable is it?
What are your fees for processing payroll?
Payroll is a complex, constantly changing function that many small teams struggle to manage. If your organization is spending too many resources managing your payroll in-house, outsourcing payroll can be a great option. In today’s guide, we covered the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll, how to leverage HRIS technology, and how to vet a potential payroll partner. Some key takeaways are:
Outsourcing payroll affords many benefits including saved time, reduced risk, and cost-savings
Working with a payroll provider can help you leverage modern HRIS software
When considering a payroll outsourcing provider, there are several factors to look out for including service level, technology, proven track record, and more
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Tandem is a trusted strategy, design, and technology
partner. They deliver custom software that inspires people and drives business
forward. Their unique process brings every voice to the table. Their
human-centered design process brings in customers, researchers, engineers, and
designers to approach every problem with a broad set of perspectives. And they
partner with their clients to solve their most meaningful challenges – for
their customers, employees, and the community.
As a human-centered business, employee benefits have always
been important to Tandem. The company recently partnered with Launchways to
take its already competitive benefits package to the next level. We spoke to
Tandem CEO, JC Grubbs, to learn more about his experience with Launchways.
Before working with Launchways, Tandem already offered a
robust benefits package. The talent market for tech companies like Tandem is
extremely competitive, and Tandem sees its benefits as a key part of the
strategy to win over top talent. Working with Launchways, Tandem sought to
offer a benefits package that only took care of its team, but also offered
unique, impactful benefits that would help set Tandem apart in the pursuit for
top talent to join their team.
As he looked for a new broker to help him in this effort, JC
Grubbs said he was attracted to Launchways because of our hands-on approach to
benefits and HR,
“Our previous broker was just a broker, there was very little education with our team. I liked the Launchways approach of combining team education and HR consulting to support us as managers, in addition to the brokerage aspect of the partnership.”
Another thing about the Launchways approach that stood out
to him was the fact that unlike most brokers, Launchways understood the fact
that he wanted to improve Tandem’s benefits, not just cut costs at the expense
of employee happiness,
“Benefits are a big part of how we compete in the market for talent and Launchways prioritized improving our benefits to make us even more competitive while at the same time saving us money.”
So what did this new package look like? The Launchways team
negotiated a BlueChoice PPO that cost Tandem less than their previous base-plan
while offering significantly more comprehensive coverage for employees.
Launchways also educated employees about the plan changes during open
enrollment. As a result, many employees switched from the previously offered
plan to the newly rolled out plan.
Education was key to the success of these efforts, as JC
“Launchways has also done a great job of giving our employees access to benefits information. The Employee Navigator platform lets our team members find out what they need to know about their benefits and choose the right plans for their needs.”
Now, Tandem is spending less on its benefits, employees are
spending less, and team members have better coverage than ever. At the same
time, Launchways worked with Tandem to expand dental, vision, and ancillary
insurance while reducing the costs of these plans.
Another major win from the partnership was the successful
launch of Tandem’s HealthiestYou telemedicine implementation. As JC Grubbs
commented, the telemedicine platform has been a huge hit with his team,
“As a company that is fairly young and tech-savvy, we’ve seen a lot of engagement with telemedicine. It makes a big difference to our team members who have new families. It has been very well received and is a competitive advantage to us in the hiring process. Launchways consistently brings in new ideas around benefits, suggesting solutions like telemedicine that we would not even have known existed without such an active benefits partner.”
Launchways was just as impressed by the success of the
Tandem telemedicine implementation. Launchways benefits consultants on the
Tandem project noted Tandem has the highest telemedicine utilization rate of
any Launchways client. This success shows the potential for telemedicine to
have a significant impact for companies looking to care for and attract young,
We asked JC Grubbs if he had any advice for other business
owners who are considering working with Launchways. Once again, the value of
Launchways’ hands-on, personal approach shined through.
“It’s all about people, get to know as much of the Launchways team as you can. The Launchways team is super responsive, engaged, and passionate about benefits. Build some rapport and trust, which I think will come very quickly, and make your decision based on that. Because in my experience, Launchways just delivers.”
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
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
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.”