Over the past decade, digital transformation has swept through industries and companies of all sizes, changing the way people work. Although professionals in most departments have been equipped with cloud-based software solutions that streamline their workflows and give them instant access to actionable data, human resources (HR) departments in most small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) have continued to rely on tools from decades past.
Nir Leibovich, CEO and co-founder of GoCo, came to this realization in 2014 when he was the chief business officer at a biotech firm with around 100 employees.
“Most every department was accelerating in terms of digital innovation,” Leibovich recalls. “My sales team had CRM tools, my marketing team got marketing analytics, my finance team got cloud-based accounting software. They were all automating and streamlining their processes. But my HR admin Josie was surrounded by filing cabinets, stacks of paper and a fax machine. Walking into her office was like stepping into a time machine.”
Leibovich, a serial entrepreneur and enthusiastic problem-solver, knew HR admins like Josie needed better tools. So, he reunited with his old business partners to create GoCo — a modern human resources platform with flexible onboarding, time-tracking benefits and payroll capabilities that users can access anytime, from anywhere, using any internet-connected device.
Getting the gang back together
GoCo was the third successful business venture for Leibovich and his partners, Jason Wang and Michael Gugel. The first was a gaming analytics platform that was acquired in 2011 by Zynga, maker of Words with Friends and other popular mobile app games.
“Right after Zynga acquired us, they went public in 2011, and we got to work with some of the smartest guys in Silicon Valley and learned a lot very fast about how to build much more scalable solutions because we were dealing with 300,000,000 monthly active users. We also learned how to build an engaging user experience.”
A couple of years later, the trio started a biotech informatics firm that created algorithms to refine DNA testing results, helping physicians easily make sense of the data to tailor diagnoses and care. It was then that they decided to modernize human resources — for two reasons:
“First, the old approach to HR was inefficient. I wanted it to be streamlined with all the data in one place and digitized so I could derive insights from the data. But more importantly, the old approach was embarrassing. We had this hot biotech firm and were hiring really amazing talent. In the interview process, we’d wow them with our technology and our mission, but then on their first day, they’d walk into our HR department and spend three hours filling out a pile of paperwork with a pen.”
Leibovich looked for a better HR solution, and when he couldn’t find one suitable for small businesses, he and his business partners built one.
How GoCo works
GoCo combines three essential HR information systems: an HRIS database, a robust benefits administration module and an embedded payroll solution. Leibovich describes it as an “employee management platform” designed to follow employees throughout their life cycle with the company — from the initial offer letter to the final W-2.
Consider the example of Tara — a new salesperson hired by ABC Company. Instead of sending Tara’s offer via email or snail mail, ABC’s HR admin (we’ll call her Josie) logs into GoCo and starts a new profile for Tara. She enters Tara’s name and contact info, along with details from the hiring manager about Tara’s starting pay structure and where to report on her first day of work. With a few clicks from Josie, the system automatically generates the offer letter and sends Tara a link to the document as well as onboarding resources.
Tara opens the email on her smartphone, clicks on the link, reviews the details and uses GoCo’s built-in e-signature tool to accept the job. She can immediately start completing new hire paperwork, review the employee handbook and sign up for health insurance. On her first day, she doesn’t need to report to HR (or mail paperwork to HR if the new job is remote). She’s ready to start work immediately.
More importantly, ABC Company is ready for her to start. As soon as Tara accepts the offer, her manager gets a notification about her start date and calls to welcome her to the team. IT also receives a notification, requesting a laptop and CRM login for Tara. The office manager receives a notification to find Tara a desk and order her business cards (or ship business cards to her if she’s joining a dispersed team).
Using the GoCo mobile app, Tara tracks her time, expenses and commission, and when payday rolls around, the system automatically generates her check or direct deposit using GoCo’s embedded payroll solution or an integrated third-party solution. And when ABC Company’s open enrollment period starts, Tara can update her health insurance plan in the GoCo app.
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“GoCo automates all the manual, paper-based processes in HR,” says Leibovich. “In some cases, the system does things that HR isn’t allowed to do, like help people fill out W-9 forms, or doesn’t have the time or expertise to do, like help employees select a benefits plan.”
6 benefits of GoCo
What are the advantages of swapping paper-based HR processes for the GoCo app?
1. Improved productivity
By automating HR tasks, GoCo saves the average small business up to seven hours of HR time per new hire and up to 15 hours per employee — leading to a 10 percent reduction in HR admin overtasks. That gives HR more time to focus on meaningful tasks, such as enhancing employee retention strategies.
2. Lower HR costs
On average, a 75-employee company using GoCo saves:
- $30,600 in reduced turnover
- $14,200 in reduced admin costs
- $25,900 in employee productivity
That’s a total annual return on investment (ROI) of $70,700.
3. Remote capabilities
GoCo is a cloud-based solution that works on any smartphone, tablet or computer, so HR can manage people and processes from anywhere, and employees can log in from any device — whether they’re in the office, on the road or working from home.
“Very small businesses tend to have people wearing a lot of hats, so they want an HR solution that just streamlines and automates the whole thing and they don’t have to think about it,” Leibovich says. “Our solution does that, but it also has this robust configuration power, so companies can customize it to their own liking and add deeper integrations and more functionality, as their businesses grow and their HR departments grow.”
5. HR compliance
Leibovich says small businesses aren’t always aware of all the federal and state HR requirements, but GoCo’s platform is.
“Small businesses often make mistakes that can cost them big — such as misclassifying their employees or not accurately tracking their time or not collecting I-9 eligibility according to compliance or not having the document retention process. GoCo lets you rest easier knowing you’re compliant.”
6. Support with customization
GoCo is a self-service platform with video tutorials and other online resources, but new customers get hands-on support during the initial deployment.
“Typically, as soon as a customer purchases the solution, one of our client success specialists reaches out to find out about their company and goals. They help the client configure the software to meet their unique needs, and quickly map their processes to features in our software that automate and streamline workflows. Then the system sends every employee a login, and they’re ready to start using the software.”
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