While large companies often have the financial resources and personnel to address the task of handling staffing, benefits administration, raises, and other human resource tasks, smaller companies often don't have a dedicated department to deal with these responsibilities. Enter ThinkHR, at 5976 W. Las Positas Blvd., a company that offers to take on all or part of the obligations of human resources on a contractual basis to allow companies to focus on their core business rather than their HR needs.
"We provide human resource assistance for small to medium sized companies," says John Bobincheck, VP of marketing for ThinkHR. "If you have a company that ranges from five employees to around 250 employees, we can do a number of different things for you. We can be your total outsourced HR department or provide senior advice assistance and counsel." Often, a small company doesn't have an HR department and needs help in tasks ranging from filing and legal compliance to strategy. In that case, ThinkHR provides a full-service solution, acting as the company's entire HR department. As a company gets bigger, they may hire someone who is able to handle certain aspects of HR. However, depending on the size of the company, it's rare that a single person can handle whole job. In that case, ThinkHR fills out the departmental voids to make sure the necessary human resource issues are addressed.
ThinkHR was founded in November 2004 and has been a Hacienda tenant since March of this year. The company was started when ThinkHR CEO Peter Yozzo and his co-owner at a benefits brokerage firm called Mindshare Group found that a lot of their clients were looking for HR help. At that time, they decided to provide that service in addition to their benefits services. After about a year, the HR component progressed to the point where it was a viable business opportunity on its own and ThinkHR was born, with Yozzo at the helm. The company currently has 12 employees and expects to double in size this year.
"There are three levels of HR support that a company needs," Bobincheck says. "The first is the administrative level, where tasks such as maintaining employee files are done. The second is the tactical level, which includes day-to-day issues, such as employee time off, hiring, terminations, and raises. The third is senior HR, which is a very strategic position for a company. A senior HR person communicates with the senior management and works with them to develop a workforce that is optimized to their business plan." At each of these levels, ThinkHR has its own staff available on a contractual basis to help businesses take care their most valuable resource: personnel.
ThinkHR's services are sold exclusively through benefits brokers and marketed to small and mid-sized companies. The reasoning behind this strategy is that those who offer benefits packages to smaller companies are often the first to hear of HR problems in administering the benefits they sell. The potential market for outsourced HR services such as those offered by ThinkHR is sizeable. The state of California Employment Development Department reports that approximately 41,000 companies in the San Francisco Bay Area employ between ten and one hundred employees.
Bobincheck believes that a Human Resources department is just as important to a company's success as any other department. "You can hire an IT department that will make sure that your computers are running optimally but you wouldn't just want someone who knows how to fix them. You'd also want someone who knows how to keep the entire system up-to-date and growing with the company's needs. HR presents a similar situation. You need people to handle administrative and tactical tasks but you also want a senior HR person who can develop a strategy that goes along with the company's future plans. There are a number of aspects of HR that are a field unto themselves."
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