Five months into a move from 5976 West Las Positas Boulevard to 4457 Willow Road, the 26 employees of ThinkHR are finding that their new open-office landscape creates a hospitable backdrop for the way their business functions.
"The space is about the same size as what we had previously, but the open floor plan is a completely different layout for us," observes Peter Yozzo, CEO of ThinkHR, which provides human resources consulting, outsourcing, and recruiting services. "This is the first time I've worked in this configuration, and the interaction with coworkers is a lot more natural. We've achieved our goal of an open environment where staff and executives are all shoulder to shoulder, and it is very effective."
A comfortable, collaborative setting is an important attribute for a firm in the HR business. "HR people are supposed to be about four things: Retaining great people, Attracting great people, Motivating great people, and Protecting the company. We call it RAMP," Yozzo says. In addition to playing an important role in "the motivation and retention piece," the work environment figures into recruiting. "When people come in for an interview, they respond well to a place with positive energy. This is part of the sweet spot a good HR professional is always thinking about. Along with doing all the 'blocking and tackling,' we focus on the intangible things that build a strong company with the best employees, so our clients can focus on their core business."
Pressure to streamline operations and lower costs makes ThinkHR services very attractive in the current economic climate, he reports. "It is less expensive for companies with fewer than 100 employees to outsource their human resources responsibilities than to do them in-house." Outsourcing also helps to fill in the gaps between the three HR "buckets": administrative (payroll, benefits, on-boarding and termination), generalist (employee relations, annual reviews, etc.), and strategic (growing the business, creating incentive plans). It is very difficult to find one person with expertise in all three categories, yet it takes a workforce of 500 employees to cost-justify full-time HR professionals in each area. "You can compromise by hiring a generalist, but then you lose out on the strategic component," Yozzo notes. "Our basic premise is that we cover all three areas. We also provide a high level of accuracy and accountability because of our investments in training, process, and technology."
ThinkHR's flexible approach ensures that clients get the right level of assistance for all their HR concerns. Some simply subscribe to the firm's administrative outsourcing, consulting, or recruiting areas, while others, like Mancini's Sleep World, with a workforce of more than 100 in 29 locations, rely on ThinkHR to handle all functions for them.
The model is working. The firm's low-cost products have been thriving, and recruiting and consulting are starting to make a comeback. "We tell most prospects that if we can't save them any money, we shouldn't be doing business together. We are now having our best year ever," Yozzo enthuses. For more information, visit www.thinkhr.com .
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