Private Equity

Post-acquisition Payroll Transition—in Just Four Months

After one of our clients acquired partial interest in a large municipal recycling company, the newly acquired organization had to be moved to a stand-alone payroll system—in less than four months! Payroll was complicated, with hourly workers in multiple locations, union and nonunion staff, and 24/7 shifts. What's more, the existing platform had a hard shut-down date, so our go-live deadline couldn’t slip.

Creative Workforce Solutions took the lead in:

  • Payroll Transition Services: Our team managed the transition from the original payroll platform to a stand-alone ADP platform, establishing weekly status calls and managing every step of the ADP and client relationships.
  • Talent Acquisition: To further support a smooth transfer, we recruited a payroll specialist who was a great fit for the client.

After successfully launching on time, our team stayed on until all the loose ends were tied up.


Property Management

A New HR Department Gets Up and Running

This property management client, with more than 75 employees, needed to establish its first-ever human resources department. Creative Workforce Solutions provides general HR support, including:

  • HR Administration: Our team stepped in to manage payroll and benefits administration, including auditing their processes and bringing them into compliance in a number of areas.
  • Organizational Development: We identified key process improvements and established consistent SOPs across the client's four properties throughout New Jersey.
  • Organizational Development: We identified key process improvements and established consistent SOPs across the client's four properties throughout New Jersey.
  • Talent Management: Assisting with employee relations and onboarding new team members helps position them for success.


Employee Relations Response to Harassment Charges

When a client executive was alleged to be having an intimate relationship with a subordinate staff member, a major sexual harassment issue ensued. Creative Workforce Solutions was engaged for:

  • Employee Relations:After investigating, we were able to finesse the situation so the employee's reporting structure was changed and disciplinary action was taken against the executive. Residual challenges led to the employee's decision to part ways with the company, which we were able to orchestrate without any lasting repercussions.
  • Policy Development and Training: Creation of new policies, plus staff and manager training, brought the company into compliance and closure without the need for legal action.

Financial Technology Firm

Global HR Assessment and Compensation Analysis

New executive management sought a full human resources assessment for its 1,500-employee workforce. Creative Workforce Solutions provided:

  • HR Systems, Structure and Staff Assessment: Our team reviewed people, processes, programs and systems, as well as the global HR team, to identify strengths, issues and opportunities. In addition, we benchmarked salaries for US staff.
  • Organizational Development: Recommendations for next steps included establishing a new organizational structure for the HR team, connecting the company to HRIS consulting support and more.
  • Talent Acquisition: After assisting with development of a global CHRO profile, our team helped identify qualified candidates for the role.

Environmental Health and Safety Consulting

Small Business Wins with Big-Business Planning

Some people continue to adhere to the idea that small businesses don’t need strategic-level human resources. Generally speaking, small companies tend to focus on payroll and benefits administration. That’s not the case with this environmental health and safety company—this team of eight is positioning itself to expand in ways many small companies only dream about.

Recognizing the importance of a solid infrastructure and strategic human resources planning to his vision of the future, the owner was determined to begin on a solid foundation.

Creative Workforce Solutions worked with this organization to provide:

  • Business and HR Strategy Development—At our first meeting, we asked the CEO about the business strategy, as that is the first step in designing successful HR programs. Not only was the concept of aligning HR strategy to business strategy something he had never considered, the company had no formal strategy or business plan. We worked closely to craft this critical documentation, rolling them out in early 2020. Occasionally, employees wondered why HR was leading a business strategy exercise. Our response? This is HR.
  • Career Development Program—Based on the established business and HR strategies, we outlined individual goals that hold each employee accountable for contributing to business growth. This ensures that every employee understands what success looks like and keeps everyone striving toward the same group objectives.

As companies emerge from social distancing and widespread remote work arrangements, environmental health and safety experts will be leading the charge to make workplaces safer. This company is now very well positioned to rise to the challenge, easily scaling up to meet any additional demands that come their way. By coupling strategic business planning with thoughtful HR programming, they have established a solid framework for growth.


Advertising Agency

Pay-for-Performance System Delivers Efficiency, Clarity and Equity

Years of organic and acquisition-spurred growth is likely to have a big effect on how a company’s employees are evaluated and rewarded. This fast-growing advertising agency, for example, found itself with 11 locations, 750 employees and no formal employee evaluation processes in place. Some employees had outlined goals but had no metrics attached to them. Others were maintained in a performance management system used by their employer pre-acquisition. A few had not been reviewed in years. Employees were generally given merit increases every year, regardless of how well they or the company performed. As a result, labor costs were out of control and there was a clear lack of equity across the organization.

The leadership team took on the challenge of harmonizing performance management across the organization, with an eight-week deadline handed down from the CEO. The agency was hesitant—past experiences with outside resources had not delivered, but they couldn’t meet this timeframe on their own.

Ultimately, the changes have paid big dividends. Their new way of working has allowed this client to win and service significant new contracts from high-profile clients. They are nearly 200 strong and growing.

  • Salary Administration Program—One overarching platform now allows salary administration to be extended easily to new hires or newly acquired teams.
  • Performance Management System—Employees and managers now set goals and track attainment throughout the year, ensuring that increases reflect their efforts and achievements.
  • Working closely with the agency’s HR team and leadership, we had a program ready and approved by the CEO—meeting their short, eight-week deadline on time!Creative Workforce Solutions developed management and staff training as well as employee communications to help everyone seamlessly adapt to the new program. We met individually with leadership team members to guide them through their first foray into goal setting.Creative Workforce Solutions developed management and staff training as well as employee communications to help everyone seamlessly adapt to the new program. We met individually with leadership team members to guide them through their first foray into goal setting.

Working closely with the agency’s HR team and leadership, we had a program ready and approved by the CEO—meeting their short, eight-week deadline on time!


Software Development Startup

Finding Top Talent Outside the Usual Pool

Finding top talent is a challenge anywhere. But finding a whole team of top talent with backgrounds in technology—in a New York City suburb—can be next to impossible.

This software startup needed to immediately hire 35 people to staff a sales and support center well north of Manhattan in Tarrytown, New York. It was important to have everyone hired at one time so that the team could be trained and ready to go live when company’s complex software platform was launched.

The Creative Workforce Solutions team was called in to support the one-person HR department. We assigned two contract recruiters who were quickly immersed in the company culture and product via a site visit and detailed product demo. Our efforts included:

  • Talent Acquisition—We drafted job postings, sourced and screened candidates, and passed qualified candidates on to HR. We had their sales and support teams fully staffed within eight weeks at a fraction of the cost of using search firms.

By the time the client’s industry-changing platform was ready to hit the market, their sales and support teams were trained and ready. Best of all, we filled 35 positions with high-performing candidates for a fraction of the cost of using search firms.


New Jersey Food Bank

Organizational Change on a Shoestring Budget

Nonprofit management can be challenging—funds are limited, but needs are the same as for any other organization.

After 40 years in operation, this New Jersey food bank brought in a new CEO. The transition came with some challenges—systems were outdated or nonexistent, no data was available to support decision-making, and the management team had no experience working anywhere but there. In addition to operational challenges, the CEO had to navigate issues with the culture, as her management style differed greatly from the former CEO. Change was consistently met with resistance.

The CEO reached out to Creative Workforce Solutions to set things straight through:

  • Organizational Assessment and Corporate Culture—While our team was originally brought in to help guide change management efforts, we recommended an organizational assessment to get to the heart of underlying culture issues.
  • HR Assessment—We reviewed existing systems and made recommendations that would provide a roadmap for raising the bar on HR programs and services. We provided senior-level strategic insight and support to correct compliance issues, upgrade HR systems, and build and implement much-needed HR programs.
  • Interim HR Services and HR Administration—Our team immediately placed an HR coordinator to support HR efforts, and provided an interim HR generalist to run the day-to-day operations until we were able to hire a new vice president of human resources.
  • Talent Acquisition and Management—We assisted the team with hiring for positions across the Food Bank, not only in the main warehouse, but also in the Southern Branch. We also provided much-needed support when the Food Bank was tasked with hiring 35 new hires for a grant-funded SNAP Education program.

By bringing in Creative Workforce Solutions, this food bank had immediate access to a comprehensive range of consulting services, recruiting and HR support which otherwise would have necessitated hiring a team of HR professionals – from executive to administrative levels—in-house.


Healthcare Software Group

Handles Restructuring with Efficiency and Care.

In every business—no matter how solid—there may come a time when it’s necessary to restructure. For example, this client, who created digital disease and treatment information for patients, had a presence in more than 40,000 doctors’ offices, strong financial backing and a history of growth.

In 2017, however, the company made a strategic decision to shift focus from content to technology. This meant restructuring—including significant hiring as well as reductions in roles that were no longer required. With one full-time HR resource, this task was especially daunting.

Creative Workforce Solutions received a call from the CEO on a Friday, in which she walked us through the new direction and outlined long- and short-term needs. On Monday morning, we were working with the HR lead and COO, laying out the steps and support necessary to let go of 100 of their 600-person staff by the end of the week.

  • Strategic Planning—We worked quickly to determine the steps and tactics necessary to manage the restructuring in the most efficient, dignified way possible.
  • Strategic Employee Communications—Our team drafted talking points and FAQs to establish the message and tone for all communications, and provided guidance to managers who would be having these difficult conversations with their teams.
  • Management Training—Because the client had offices in two states, we provided training via conference calls before assisting with meetings face-to-face.
  • Interim HR Services—The client had just one on-staff HR resource, so the Creative Workforce team was on the ground for meetings in New York and Chicago. Not only did this allow the client to have individual discussions with each person affected, rather than letting people go in groups, we were able to handle questions about benefits, payroll, COBRA and more.

Letting people go is never easy. But with a single phone call to Creative Workforce Solutions, the client had immediate access to a full-service HR team that provided everything from high-level strategic guidance to on-site tactical support. As a result, they were able to handle meetings as efficiently and with as much care and dignity as possible.


Healthcare Advertising Agency

Growing marketing agency is prepped and ready for big wins.

After a period of belt-tightening, this multichannel healthcare creative agency was poised to take off. Unfortunately, like most small and mid-sized companies, they didn’t have executive-level human resources vision and insight on staff. Rather than hire a full-time senior employee, they brought Sue Brocaglia of Creative Workforce Solutions on board as acting HR director.

How Creative Workforce Solutions aided their success:

  • Realignment of Core Values— As the company matured, its approach needed to evolve. Sue worked with the leadership team to establish up-to-date core values, generate enthusiasm among long-term employees and properly train managers in the new way of thinking.
  • Organizational Design and Development— When Sue came to the firm, there were four separate agencies functioning in silos. Sue worked with the team to redesign the agency under one umbrella, then created and implemented a suite of management development courses to ensure that second-tier managers had the skills to lead.
  • Policy Refinement— Employee relations guidelines and compliance practices were aligned with core values and rolled out as part of the larger training effort.
  • Staffing— Over the course of a year, Sue filled 78 positions at all levels, nearly doubling the size of the agency.

Letting people go is never easy. But with a single phone call to Creative Workforce Solutions, the client had immediate access to a full-service HR team that provided everything from high-level strategic guidance to on-site tactical support. As a result, they were able to handle meetings as efficiently and with as much care and dignity as possible.


Private Label Manufacturer

Equipping Next Generation Leaders with Key Business Skills.

For over 40 years, innovation has been part of their vision and has set them apart as leaders in the contract manufacturing industry. With a diverse staff and deep commitment to client service, how do you handle the human capital in an organization that is growing so quickly that they are unable to scale effectively?

In a strategic move to support his rapidly growing company and their staff, the HR director reached out to gain the support of consultants who could partner with him to alleviate the pain points of this organic challenge. He had to do it efficiently and economically in line with business objectives already being implemented.

Creative Workforce Solutions began the engagement with Contract Recruiting and Customer Support Training exercises. A series of strategic initiatives followed which focused on the future cultural health of the organization. CWS continues to develop high potential coaching program. Coaching these self-motivated individuals has been a great opportunity for the company to advance their professional goals while providing benefit to the company in enhanced culture, succession plan for new leaders, employee retention, and operational improvements.

  • Sourcing and Screening — our recruiters worked both in-house and remotely to help source candidates for a progressively growing number of open roles as the company has grown
  • Coaching Services— High potential employees have been identified and supported with executive coaching services through CWS to help them gain awareness for themselves and reach their self-appointed professional and personal goals
  • Training—Leadership Development, Business Writing, Customer Relations, Communication, Goal Setting, Performance Management and Software Implementation trainings have been conducted on an ad hoc basis
  • Employee Relations / Mediation — Facilitated conversations to encourage managers and employees to collaborate to resolve differences

Creative Workforce continues to provide HR support, training and coaching services in this engagement


Major East Coast Printing Company

From crisis mode to a big contract.

It’s never a surprise, based on the nature of our business, when we receive a call from an organization in crisis mode. So, when a major East Coast printing company had an opportunity to be vendor of record for a $50 million printing contract—but only if they were HIPAA-compliant—we jumped in.

Fortunately, we’d been down that road a year earlier, when a printing business in South Jersey had asked us to develop and roll out HIPAA training in just three weeks (and was able to add significant business to its client roster as a result).

Our team went to work quickly, aligning everything necessary for HiTrust Certification and the opportunity to sign a master services agreement with the global insurance company.

  • Staff HIPAA Training and Procedures—In addition to training employees on HIPAA regulations, our team developed a HIPAA policy, manual, standard operating procedures, and other components necessary for navigating the complicated HIPAA landscape.
  • Business Process Development & Implementation—Our consulting team worked with the client’s staff to develop processes across every aspect of the business. We established SOPs, and managed projects that were initiated as a result of a client audit.
  • Systems Implementation—Our partner, CWS Software, provided the critical IT compliance component, including improving systems security and implementing an IT ticketing system.

Creative Workforce Solutions continues to work with the printing company on other aspects of human resources and IT, including a compliance audit, new employee handbook, and building out their business continuity and disaster recovery program. And yes, the client signed the Master Services Agreement and they are well on their way to adding a lot of new business to their pipeline

Turns out, a little help with HIPAA can go a long way.


Financial Services Technology Firm

Bringing order to fast-growing chaos.

After two years of unprecedented growth—from seven employees in New York to 110 people in seven offices nationwide—the U.S. arm of this Paris-based tech firm lacked the HR infrastructure needed to support their operations. The problem was a typical start-up growing too quickly. The result was utter chaos.

Creative Workforce Solutions stepped in with an interim HR team to take charge.

  • Strategy Development—The prior team was drowning in tactics, so the need to focus on an overarching strategy kept getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Our expert team quickly established processes for recruitment, benefits administration and immigration, began reporting on open requisitions and headcount, trained management in recruitment best practices, and built a team of contract recruiters to source and screen candidates. Streamlining process and building the infrastructure allowed us to free-up time to focus on strategic HR initiatives.
  • Talent Management—Creative Workforce Solutions filled a key executive role that had been open for nine months, as well as a variety of consulting and technical positions across the various office locations. In addition, we worked with office administration and finance to implement processes for employee onboarding and offboarding.
  • Benefit Programs—After auditing benefit packages across the organization, we implemented a pension plan in Canada, upgraded the 401(k) plan with a new provider and a streamlined plan administration, and aligned benefit programs across North America, resulting in a savings of $355,000 on their renewal.

After just four months, we were ready to find the firm the perfect HR director to begin to focus on strategy for North America. Having done the job for several months, we were able to source the perfect candidate and hand over an HR operation that was working well and poised for growth.


Food Service Industry Leader

Single-person HR department calls in the cavalry.

When a senior level, Global Head of Human Resources decides to leave Big, Corporate HR and move to a small, privately held company, the change can be dramatic. That happened to one of our clients recently, when she moved to a prominent food service company. On her third day, her Payroll Manager resigned, leaving her with no payroll staff. What’s more, having come from a much larger organization, she had no payroll experience.

After a quick phone call to her payroll provider, Creative Workforce Solutions was in there and running four payrolls the following week. In fact, we’ve been providing payroll and HR support ever since.

  • Payroll Services—Our experience with payroll processing ensured that we could work closely with the existing payroll provider to address issues and keep payroll running seamlessly.
  • Accounting Support—We have provided guidance on improving processes, including linking payroll data to the company’s GL systems, for even greater efficiency.
  • Compliance Review—The CWS team has assisted with I-9 and personnel file audits, as well as state tax payroll registration compliance.
  • Sourcing and Screening—Our experienced recruiters are helping to source candidates for hard-to-fill roles.

he client describes the start of our relationship as “calling in the cavalry,” as CWS was able to transform her one-woman HR department into a full-service HR team overnight.


Financial Services Firm

A perfect storm leads to a perfect partnership.

Every once in a while, a business can hit a perfect storm that really takes its toll. For this financial services firm, that storm hit in 2008.

The organization had everything going for it. A start-up in 1999, they had only seen rapid growth, spending multiple years on Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing firms with no end in sight. Suddenly, the founder resigned to move on to other projects, the company went public, and the market crashed—virtually all at the same time. Stock and morale plummeted. The new CEO did his best to maintain stability, but in spite of everyone’s best efforts, the lay-offs began.

In late 2012, the leadership team took aim at the top again, recognizing that there were critical HR issues that needed to be addressed first. Low morale, lack of common purpose and vision, and a loyal team who needed reassurance were key to a 2013 strategy. But with only transactional HR in-house, they knew that they would need to look outside for guidance.

Creative Workforce Solutions worked with the CEO and the management team to turn things around.

  • Core Values/Competency Survey—First, we used our proprietary, metric-based survey to determine what competencies the organization valued, and how well those competencies are manifested.
  • Core Values Program—Based on the results of the survey, we built a core values program from the ground up, culminating in the five core values that would lead the firm into the future.
  • Training—A custom training program was developed for executives, line managers and up-and-coming stars, and ultimately rolled out to the entire team, to share a roadmap for achieving the firm’s future goals.

The program’s impact is best demonstrated by the performance of the firm’s stock, which has tripled in value over the past year. This alone has improved employee morale, and has allowed for staff growth opportunities across the board.


National Employment Law Firm

Always busy serving their clients, the firm needed to turn their attention inward.

This client reminded us of the story of the shoemaker’s children who had no shoes. They were so busy serving their clients that their own HR systems and processes lagged behind. We were brought in to provide support during the Benefits Manager’s maternity leave, and expanded our role when the Employee Relations generalist went on leave as well. During that time, we were asked to provide an assessment of the HR infrastructure that ultimately led to Creative Workforce Solutions managing the entire HR function.

As part of our engagement, we implemented several firm-wide programs and provided strategic support to the COO. In just 18 months, we changed the face of HR for the firm, and saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

  • Interim HR Support—The Benefits Manager’s leave coincided with open enrollment and other benefits projects, so our team stepped in to execute these processes smoothly. In addition, we provided ongoing support for the general employee relations function.
  • Payroll Services—As part of our generalized support, the Creative Workforce team took on the payroll side of things, including a much-needed payroll software upgrade.
  • Benefits Consulting—Our team revamped the benefits program, adding new benefits across the firm, resulting in significant cost savings. We also exceeded enrollment goals, implemented a new HSA program, and assisted with ACA reporting.
  • Talent Acquisition—By streamlining non-attorney recruitment, we filled 53 positions over seven months, saving the firm more than $400,000 in fees. And working with the CFO, implemented a cost-effective, first-ever finance internship program.

Needless to say, it’s these types of improvements that make for a very happy shoemaker!


Legal Services Firm

Establishing a solid foundation for rapid expansion.

If litigation support is a “cottage” industry, this client would be considered a mansion. Already the largest player in the space, a new investment partner and a change in executive level management led to plans to triple the firm’s size.

It wasn’t long before the executive team discovered that this type of rapid, sustained growth required improving systems and processes and establishing the firm as a nationwide brand. None of this would be accomplished without first upgrading HR’s capabilities.

Creative Workforce Solutions came in to assist:

  • Evaluation and Recommendations—After reviewing the existing HR programs, processes, systems and staff, we provided detailed guidance on how to build the team.
  • Program and Provider Upgrades—To ensure that the firm was ready for growth, we completed a wide range of projects, from implementing Affirmative Action programs to consolidating benefits providers under a national plan to upgrading the 401(k) program.
  • HR Compliance Audit—A comprehensive compliance audit showed where the company stood on regulatory requirements and improved areas that posed potential risk.
  • Leadership for the Future—Included with our overview of how to best structure the team was a profile of what a successful HR leader would look like. We sourced and found the perfect Human Resources Director to come in full time and build the department, then spent a month transitioning her into the role.

Today, the firm is off and running with new leadership, a fresh brand and a bright future.


Capital Management Firm

Investment firm grows too big, too quickly.

For most business leaders, experiencing rapid growth is a dream come true. But not this firm. When a company grows too big, too quickly, it can get crushed by its own success. That’s what happened with this Westchester client who grew faster than they could get systems or infrastructure in place.

The COO was focused on fixing the SEC and compliance side of the house, but knew that once they topped 50 employees, HR compliance issues could cause the firm major headaches. Although the firm’s size did not warrant a full-time HR executive, it was clear that they needed senior-level HR expertise. The solution? Creative Workforce Solutions partnered with the COO to address HR issues as well as set the stage for long-term growth.

Creative Workforce Solutions’ Sue Brocaglia stepped in before the firm’s rapid growth could destroy it.

  • HR Compliance Audit—Sue and the Creative Workforce team audited the firm for HR compliance and presented a plan to ensure that the firm was not exposed to common HR liabilities. They audited personnel files, payroll and benefits records, and implemented training to ensure compliance with HR regulations. In addition, we wrote a handbook and policy manual, and trained the staff in new policies and procedures that ensured compliance without impacting the entrepreneurial culture of the firm.
  • Compensation Design—Sue worked with the COO to design a new compensation program for all office personnel. The new plan focused the team on competencies and core values, included a program to align performance with pay, and reinforced the values of the firm.
  • Staffing for Growth—As acting HR director, Sue was instrumental in staffing key positions, including building a team of wholesalers that will be instrumental in growing the firm’s assets over the next five years. Now that the infrastructure is in place and the organization is poised for growth, finding the right people is the final step in the plan to double the firm’s assets under management.

Working with Sue allowed the COO to bring in executive-level HR expertise and partner with a peer without assuming the financial load of an additional senior leadership team member. From training and compliance to HR operations and staffing, Creative Workforce Solutions provided a full scope of services at a fraction of the cost of an in-house team.


Management Consulting Firm

Growing firm finally gets ahead of the curve.

Due to the tight labor market for IT management consulting professionals, this enterprise project and portfolio management firm was struggling to keep pace with all of the new business they were closing. In order to get ahead of the hiring curve, the firm tried several HR solutions—including a full-time, senior-level HR manager and a talent acquisition and sourcing professional—without success.

Fortunately, the Creative Workforce Solutions team of senior-level HR and sourcing professionals was able to move them forward.

  • Recruitment Processes and Metrics—The team reviewed existing staffing processes across the firm’s nine territories and recommended improvements that made sense for the whole organization. A candidate database was built to track open roles nationwide, so—for the first time—the company would have a clear understanding of open positions and hiring progress.
  • System Implementation—Creative Workforce Solutions began tracking candidates from initial resume review through offer and hire, and quantifying success by source and by role. This data helped fine-tune recruiting strategies and drew focus to tough-to-fill roles and regions.
  • Creative Sourcing Strategies—Creative Workforce Solutions put our sourcing professionals’ expertise to work expanding sourcing channels by joining associations, pinpointing relevant job boards, working with organizations such as Upwardly Global and Hire Heroes, and more. This created a steady, new stream of talent that resulted in 20 filled positions in less than six months.

By functioning as an internal talent acquisition team, Creative Workforce Solutions was able to quickly staff roles that had been open for a long time. Not only did this recover lost revenue by filling seats with billable consultants, it also minimized reliance on contingency staffing firms, further reducing overhead. Overall, working with Creative Workforce Solutions was a more profitable staffing model for the firm.