Nicole Martin | Founder and CEO | HRBoost

HRBoost: Building High-Performance Cultures in Organizations Globally

Whether an organization consists of five or five thousand employees, human resource management (HRM) is crucial to the success of the organization. With the lack of good and effective HRM, businesses could face legal, financial, and productivity issues.

HRBoost is one of the most prominent HRM firms in the world. Founded by Nicole Martin, HRBoost focuses on building HR departments from scratch for businesses and align with the particular business strategy, providing with a dedicated team for the price of one person.

HRBoost offers a full range of services on both a consulting and outsourced basis. The company’s solutions are based on strategic HR leadership and the latest trend in the field of human resource management.

In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Nicole shares the story of her journey and also educates us on the dynamics of the global HR industry.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Brief us about the overall operations of your company.

We offer small and midsize businesses HR services on an ala carte, project, or retainer basis. We meet our clients wherever they are on their journey to be an employer of choice and at their pace and budget. Our shared services approach allows us to build HR departments from scratch and align them to business strategy.

While we see great value in the middle market, we do have some larger companies that augment their internal HR teams with strategic project initiatives from our team. Software is not HR. And HR is more than payroll and benefits.  Building a high-performance culture that drives innovation and profitability requires leaders at all levels.

HR infrastructure can uphold the “Culture Invitation” and once it is strategically aligned and reinforced, a company can create workforce alignment empowering leaders to innovate amidst even the toughest climate in business.

How did your company come into existence? What was the idea behind its genesis?

I left my employer back in 2010. I was on a mission to work for another CEO that desired to build a Best & Brightest® Company to Work For. When I branched out, I initially began as a consultant. As I learned what HR Outsourcing was and considered what I knew HR to be, I found a niche delivering HR as I know it.

The idea of full-service HR is something small businesses might think they do not need, but we feel they deserve it. Every person deserves joy and purpose through their work, and we feel companies that enable this will prosper and grow with a competitive advantage through their people.

Kindly elaborate on your company’s unique services.

Given we are not your broker, your attorney, or a 1-800 number. We believe HR expertise is essential to any business as they grow their enterprise. Our “Shared Services” approach allows businesses to access strategic HR at their pace and budget, all the while taking a holistic approach to integrate a culture plan that enables their strategic and/or operational plans as a business.

What makes your company stand out from the rest of its competition?

We deliver skilled talent to our clients. We also believe they need both strategic and tactical resources at the same time. One human is not ideal as there are various cognitive abilities to optimize HR strategically. We believe our shared services approach to the middle market is the PEO (professional employer organization) alternative. And yes, the middle market needs an alternative.

What kind of challenges has your company faced in its initial days of establishment and what are the struggles it is going through now?

Like any business, talent is critical to the growth and skilled talent is critical to our business. As a result, we have reinvested in our talent and our approach to not only acquire talent but enable it. We have also been careful to listen to our clients, their experience, and ways we can better serve them. Our flexibility and custom approach to how we work with clients has fueled our growth and success. The challenge will always be access to capital, both financial and human. As the business grows, those challenges just increase in scale.

Kindly describe the current industry scenario that your company is catering to.

We are providing access to HR expertise that is not typically accessible in the middle market. Most of our executive-level talent would not work for a small business full time. It is our unique shared services approach that keeps our talent engaged while providing services to our clients at their pace and budget. The convenience-approach of consumers is not lost on business owners and we feel our approach caters to our customer’s desire to want what they want, when they want it and how they can afford it.

What technological updates have been adopted by your company to enhance its operations?

We have invested in internal systems in recent years but remain system-agnostic with our clients. Even though everyone has embraced technology and enabled talent with technology, we must always remember human interaction is essential. Furthermore, the technology should strive to drive efficiency but only people can make it effective. Systems do not innovate themselves.

What advice would you like to give the young entrepreneurs and start-ups that are willing to enter the industry that you are catering to?

Looking back, I worked and attended school simultaneously. I feel it is imperative to get hands-on experience doing what you seek to learn. Make sure it brings you joy before investing time, energy, and dedicating your life to it. Enjoy the journey and be prepared to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

What does the future hold for your company in terms of growth?

We practice what we preach. This means we accept passive talent interest, and we pipeline our own talent. Usually, when we have a need, we do not have to post an ad and wait. We usually have someone ready to go and waiting for the call. This is essential to our continued growth. What has been interesting during the pandemic is the out of state interest we have received from HR talent. It has us thinking. After all, we do believe in open sourcing talent, especially now.

About the leader

Nicole Martin, CEO and Founder of HRBoost® loves what she does, and she does it remarkably well. “I’m the accidental entrepreneur,” said Nicole, “I looked back after starting my own business and said, ‘I started a business. Whoa!’”  Nicole did not set out to create HRBoost®. She simply followed her passion to help clients understand the importance human resources can play in developing a strong business.

Nicole has been building HR departments from the ground up ever since her first venture into human resources management. What makes her approach so unique, she says, is that she begins with the business’ vision and creates HR programs that are completely integrated with that vision. From the hiring process to annual reviews, the programs Nicole creates, are designed to further the business, boost productivity, and help employees understand why and how their contributions are meaningful.

Today, Nicole does her best to represent her industry, not just as a senior executive, but as a public speaker, thought leader, blogger, board member, and volunteer. As an ambassador for ‘101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™’, she is helping Chicago business to see all the benefits that a fully integrated human resources department can bring. “If you go into a business and they are a ‘101 Best and Brightest Company to Work For™’, you can feel it. You would see on the people’s faces, the authenticity, the honesty, constructive criticism (which is level of respect) not complacency where managers actually think something in silence and don’t communicate it,” explains Nicole.

But Nicole’s brand of full-service integrated HR provides more than just a corporate culture boost or a good office vibe. She links HRBoost’s services directly to profitability, time and time again and she’s got the analytics path charts and the logic models to prove it.