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Jennifer and her partner created Organize Your People when they noticed a need for simple tools in the HR industry. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in the HR field, and specializes in the technology sector. In addition to Organize Your People she is also the President of TechBent, an HR and recruiting firm that focuses on the tech sector. Outside of her industry Jennifer is interested the growing technology sector as well ashealth and life balance. Jennifer enjoys good food and a running trail that makes her feel alive.
OrganizeYourPeople is led by and comprised of HR and technology professionals who recognized a need for a simple HR tool, tailor-made for small and medium sized businesses. The tool had to be accessed online from anywhere, for employees to check vacation times, prove certain certifications, and arrange meetings and events. It had to empower managers to retain employee information securely and centrally, and ensure they were not spending their limited time on administrative busywork.
MO: Why do you think that small and medium sized businesses struggle with organizing their employees and how are you helping them with this issue?
Jennifer: When you’re a small company, under 20 employees, you are so busy working five different jobs that no one even thinks about keeping people information organized. When you’re in that 20 to 40 employee count range, someone, typically the head finance person thinks maybe we should get our people organized BUT they don’t have the time to deal with it. Then the office manager tries to organize the personnel information but they can’t access confidential documentation so they can’t impact a lot of change. All of a sudden your company is over 40 employees and documents, vacation requests
MO: What are some tips for finding and attracting and keeping the right talent?
Jennifer: Finding and attracting talent, that is very time consuming so if you can’t have a designated company representative find a great recruiter, they do exist. Find a recruiter to honestly understands your environment and your offering, they need to sell your culture to the great talent and vice versa. Also a great recruiter will always be on the look out for you as they spend so much of their time networking and meeting people. Something that is very important to find out right away about your potential new talent is what their currency is, what motivates them, it’s not always money.
Be genuine and show the company’s true colours for starters, there is nothing worse than new talent joining a team under false promises. A close second to that is as management be as transparent as possible to all levels, employees feel empowered when they feel they know what is going on and what the direction of the company is. And third challenge your employees, at all levels, push them and mentor them, the majority of your talent will rise to the occasion and likely surprise you.
MO: Can you talk about the inspiration behind OrganizeYourPeople? What influenced the design and what kind of challenges did you encounter during the development process?
Jennifer: Having worked with so many SMB’s over the years I quickly realized that there weren’t very many tools at their disposal to organize their people. These companies use word and excel in unsecure network drives or even storing these docs on their desktop. I would always chuckle when a VP would call me asking for the reference checks I did on a Director 9 months ago because they had no idea where the document was or overhearing an employee ask for the third time how much vacation time they had left. The people that should have this information can’t get it fast enough, they spend hours digging up the requested information.
When we started doing the analysis on the design we kept going back to the KISS principle, when scope creep happened we would back away and rethink that part of the application. The most important thing to us was and is to keep the application as straightforward as possible. Our biggest design challenge is around the metrics/performance piece and we are working hard to rectify that piece. We listen to our customers and respect their feedback, they are the ones using the application day in and day out.
MO: What’s one marketing strategy that’s really worked for you so far?
Jennifer: We’re still trying to define our marketing strategy, what we thought would work isn’t working so we’ve regrouped and we now have more momentum. We’ve just changed up a few things around our SEO strategy and that has helped. Also we’ve hired an amazing sales person with a lot of great experience, we are definitely seeing traction and it’s only been two weeks.
MO: If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what business related advice would you give yourself?
Jennifer: I would have jumped into it faster, my partner and I took our time getting started. I think we were both afraid of the commitment, but we quickly realized how committed we wanted to be and we haven’t looked back.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
Jennifer: That’s really a loaded question, I absolutely love doing what I do and feel so fortunate to be doing what I love. I have a technical recruiting company as well, hence the recruitment statements above, that I am now bringing a partner into as it’s continuing to grow and we want to keep that trajectory. As for OYP I am definitely in this for as long as it takes, as an entrepreneur you’re never satisfied so you keep going and keep trying to win, at this point I don’t know what the end looks like. Eventually I would like to work with young entrepreneurs and help them realize their dreams. As for personally, I will continue to strive for balance and lately balance means running a trail or two.
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