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How Scholastica Laid the Groundwork for Sustained Growth

Additional HR support and infrastructure enabled Scholastica to efficiently double its sales and product development teams while expanding its client base in just a few months.

 
 

FAST FACTS

 

Background

Founded in 2012 by Brian Cody, Rob Walsh, and Cory Schires, Scholastica provides software that lets academic journals streamline the peer review process and easily publish an open access journal.

As their staff grew, so did the demands on the founders’ time as they juggled new employee on-boarding, payroll, and employment compliance. The team knew they wanted to offer benefits as well, but understood that researching providers, negotiating prices, and administrating benefit enrollments would time-intensive.

 

Challenge:

Transition Away from DIY Everything

The founders’ first priority was to provide a company healthcare plan for their employees.

“As CEO, I feel a responsibility to provide good healthcare benefits to our employees, especially in an environment where the future of healthcare is very unclear,” says Cody.

In addition to researching health insurance options, Cody and his co-founders started putting together a diversity and inclusion policy to guide their future hiring.

Before long, they realized that they wouldn’t have enough time to take on additional employee management tasks and continue to focus on strategic growth projects.

“There are a lot of important but not strategic things that have to get done in a business,” Cody says. “But as the founder, if you want to grow, you have to focus on what’s important and strategic.”

The team wanted the ability to meet employee needs and create a culture that matched their values while still having enough time to focus on product development and sales.

 

Solution:

Partner with a PEO

After some research, Cody, Walsh, and Schires learned about offering benefits through a PEO (professional employer organization). Because PEO’s are able to bundle their clients’ employees under their name, they have significant group buying power which allows them to offer more competitive health insurance rates to small businesses.

In addition to getting access to group healthcare, Scholastica also wanted an HR partner that was familiar with the needs of startups and growing businesses.  

“We were impressed with the quality of their offerings for the price,” Cody says of CognosHR. “But what sealed the deal for us was their relationship with Catapult Chicago, the co-working space and community we’ve been a part of.”  

Today, CognosHR supports Scholastica by handling the following:

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Outcome:

More Time, More Employees, More Clients

By outsourcing key HR functions, Scholastica’s leaders were able to focus on improving their product at the same time they improved their employee benefits. In the months since working with CognosHR, they’ve hired several new employees and grew to serve more than 750 academic journals.

Cody also saved time on other tasks that used to take up too much real estate on his calendar. Now, handling tasks like payroll and new hire paperwork take him a matter of minutes and give him the peace of mind that it’s being done right.

“It gives me additional mind space,” he says. “I’m literally seeing more time on my calendar.”

 

RESULTS:

With CognosHR handling important HR functions, Scholastica Can:

  1. Attract and retain top talent: In a low-unemployment economy, offering benefits is a must to keep the best employees on board. With CognosHR, doing that is easy and affordable.

  2. Scale: Growing a company requires laser focus. Now that CognosHR is handling otherwise distracting HR matters, Scholastica’s founders are free to dedicate that focus to their product and strategy.

  3. Create the culture they want: Scholastica’s founders have vision; CognosHR has the resources to translate that vision into a reality in the office.

“There are always things you know you need to do, but can technically wait another day,” says Cody. HR tasks can often falls in this category – but they don’t have to.

 

If you’ve been procrastinating HR related projects because you can’t seem to find the time, get in touch. We’d love to help!