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Prior to founding HR Knowledge, Inc., Jeffrey Garr spent over 20 years in the Sales/Sales Management/HR arena. Jeff’s sales and marketing experience includes starting a Fidelity Investments Company named, HR Logic, Inc. in 1998, a Human Resource outsourcing company. This experience helped to give Jeff the inspiration to start AdminaService and ultimately merge with HR Knowledge, Inc.
As one of the first Pioneers to the HR Outsourcing Industry Jeff sensed there was a strong need for small to mid-sized businesses to outsource their HR Functions as often times those companies were ignoring HR within their companies.
HR Knowledge, Inc. provides a high level of service in the HR field. They provide their services in an integrated model which includes Payroll, HR and Benefits.
MO: What influenced your decision to merge with HR Knowledge, Inc.?
Jeffrey: Both companies had unique skills and presence in the marketplace that would integrate well together as one business. For example, AdminaService was created with the understanding that service could only be provided at an optimum and controlled level if those service people were employees of the corporation and not outsourced. HR Knowledge on the other hand outsourced their entire operations to other companies. HR Knowledge had created a full-service Group Benefit Brokerage business. By combining companies both companies could share two very important elements of a successful HR Outsourcing business. This has proven to be a match made in heaven says Garr.
MO: With over 20 years of experience in the industry what’s the biggest piece of advice you could pass onto our readers?
Jeffrey: Starting a business is no easy task, and once started the next 3-5 years will test you like you have never been tested in business. There are all sorts of “land mines” that can affect you in all kinds of ways mostly negative. You have to be able to withstand the storm, think quickly and react nimbly all of the time. One example of this I believe is many times the people you start the business with are pioneers just like you. They often times do a fabulous job. My experience was that many of those employees are no longer with us as when we were just a few clients they could handle the volume of business but as we started to grow rather quickly they had a hard time growing with the business. You must have the ability to recognize who you can grow with as employees and who you cannot. This can be the difference in quality of service to your client.
MO: Do you think that exceptional service is a lost art for most companies?
Jeffrey: No question it is a lost art. Think about this can you name 3 companies you are provided with Raving/Outstanding Service? You will probably have to think long and hard. Our acceptance of service as deteriorated to the lowest level because so many companies have leveled down to “mediocrity!”
How many companies do you call that a recording answers, and you are now in the “vat of numbers” trying to get a human being on the phone. Such a simple concept but few companies want to spend the time/money to answer the phone. My thought is in the day and age where we communicate with Text/Email and other non-personal forms of communication, if a client or prospect calls your company on the phone doesn’t that mean they want to speak to a human being? I think yes!
MO: How important are integrated solutions when dealing with HR issues?
Jeffrey: Integration is one of the most important factors to providing truly effective HR Outsourcing. Payroll is the most important basic function that the HR provider must provide. Everything that occurs in a business occurs through payroll. For example, termination, hiring, COBRA, Maternity Leave, Military Leave and more… By providing the payroll service you now have the ability to provide the Benefits and HR Support to the client. Everything for the most part triggers off of payroll, without this function you don’t have integration. When you have multiple vendors handling any one of these three core service functions you get into a finger pointing match and no one takes responsibility and the reality is the issue created could be a by-product of no one company taking full and total responsibility for the HR/Payroll and Benefits functions. Integration is part of HR Outsourcing or the service model is likely not to succeed.
MO: Many companies are downsizing where as you continue to expand. What’s the secret of your success?
Jeffrey: The secret of our success is to provide a service or product to your clientele that they will “Rave” about and be passionate about. Treat that client as if they are your only client, no matter how small or how big. Hire the right people that you can train and coach to understand this 24/7 passionate commitment. Keep your base of business happy with the service you are providing to them and hopefully will be referring you business, and then bring in more new business to provide this same service to. We continue to hire new members to our team.
MO: What inspires you the most in business or in life in general?
Jeffrey: What inspires me most in life is helping others any way I can. This is one of the reasons I love our business. We get paid to help others, employees, managers, and business owners all rely on us for different reasons to help them. The employee might be trying to determine how they go out on maternity leave and keep their job and get paid while doing this. The manager might be having a difficult time with one of their employees and they need help in conveying this sensitive message. The business owner might not understand how important it is for him/her to follow various laws and regulations because if they don’t they don’t they could be risking their entire company and or net worth facing a legal claim from a disgruntled employee and put them out of business.
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