CEO and Founder
Converting a team of contractors to full-time, benefits-eligible employees warranted a sophisticated HR solution that could flex as they rapidly scale.
TriNet helps Biostrap scale by providing HR guidance on compliance with employment requirements, offering access to benefits and administrative relief for HR tasks.
A fascination with how people’s daily behaviors affect their long-term wellness led entrepreneur and software architect Sameer Sontakey to form Biostrap in 2016. Biostrap’s singular mission is to provide the most advanced, science-based platform to give people in-depth insights into their physiology. Their biometric health analytics, such as oxygen saturation, respiration rate, heart rate and more, is collected via a non-invasive wrist-worn device and uses technology that can trace precise variations in blood flow. This data gives users’ individualized and actionable insights to help them monitor sleep, recovery and activity, in addition to managing other health aspects.
Biostrap initially used a do-it-yourself approach to HR, manually managing functions such as payroll processing and employment compliance. “We didn't have anyone really doing HR well, to be honest. The fact is, we don't know what we don't know,” acknowledges Sameer. He recognized that although they were a start-up, they had to comply with many of the same rules that large companies with fully staffed HR departments do. The search for a comprehensive HR solution began when Biostrap matured to the point where they needed to hire their contractors as full-time employees. “I ended up going with TriNet for Biostrap because that was the most obvious choice for me. Fortunately, I knew about TriNet in my previous company where I was also a cofounder, so I understand how it is on the employee side of things as well,” said Sameer. “I already know TriNet works really well, so why change that?”
"Onboarding with TriNet was phenomenal,” emphasized Sameer. “The person who helped me made it really easy to get onboarded, set up video calls and made it a seamless integration for our team. Obviously, it's a big change to switch over to a new system so that was quite nice."
For Sameer, providing access to competitive benefits is not just a tool to attract the best employees, but also something he feels strongly about given a business focused on health and well-being. “I think having a variety of health benefits is super important. We wanted to make sure we keep our employees. Our company certainly has ambitious goals, so people come to us with motivation and aspiration to reach those goals. We want to be able to support them once they are employees with health benefits, which we’re able to leverage through TriNet,” said Sameer.
Access to a vast array of benefits from regional and national insurance carriers is an important recruiting and retention tool, especially as their employees are dispersed coast to coast. Sameer can tout that their benefits include access to an extensive range of benefits that go beyond health care plans, including access to dental, vision, life, disability, retirement, transit and a wide range of voluntary benefits. “TriNet probably offers access to the most benefits we've ever seen for competitive pricing. It's pretty amazing. People have a lot of choices when it comes to health, dental, vision and additional benefits that they might be seeking.”
Sameer admits that the biggest pain points that are alleviated by working with TriNet include payroll and benefits administration, in addition to complying with the employment requirements that govern those challenging HR functions. As they scale, Biostrap opens themselves up to a multitude of other employment requirements with which to comply. With TriNet’s payroll solution within the TriNet platform, “I don’t have to think about the details. Setting it up was easy. A lot of things are done in the background that we would have to do ourselves,” acknowledges Sameer. “Payroll is kind of on autopilot. The only thing we do is click a button to approve it, so there is very little manual work.”
Also included in the self-service HR software is the ability for the Biostrap team to manage their own HR information related to benefits, pay, time-off requests, W-4 changes and much more. “The TriNet platform is easy to use. What’s nice is that it's powerful for the administrative side and simple on the employee side. There’s a little bit of a learning curve on the administrative side but that's because there are a lot of functions that you could do as an administrator,” said Sameer. His employees who use the administrative view of the TriNet platform daily admit that doing tasks like setting up new employees is “a piece of cake.” Beginning on day one for a new hire, onboarding and benefits enrollment in the powerful software makes these HR processes faster and easier, which extends to a simple payroll experience for both managers and employees. Sameer also values Workforce Analytics, TriNet’s reporting and analytics tool, which includes pre-built templates developed by TriNet experts that give him important insights into his business data and spending.
"Most of our staff use the web version of the platform, but I do know that the mobile app is good for tracking their pay and tax withholding information," said Sameer. The TriNet Mobile app gives clients’ employees the flexibility to access their pay information including earnings, pay history, a detailed breakdown of taxes, deductions and more from anywhere.
"Working with TriNet allows us to focus a little less on the HR, which is important, but more on growing the business,” said Sameer. “Obviously, TriNet helps us to be compliant with employment requirements and makes it easy to stay up on employment and labor trends and laws. I don't have time to read any of that. TriNet has our back and are the industry experts. There's obviously risk that's alleviated and we know we are doing things the right way because we have a trusted HR solution that takes care of that.”
“I see Biostrap being in every aspect of health care where physiological monitoring is required, whether it's on Earth or in space. That’s our very ambitious goal. We want to keep TriNet busy, so our goal is to hire about 500 employees in the next five years. In order to scale, onboarding is so important, setting up employee handbooks, compliance with employment requirements—those are all key aspects of growing that we could never do ourselves. So, it's good to have TriNet handling that aspect of it because at that scale, you will probably not be compliant without some help. And it's important to have a solution that can hold you through the process,” concluded Sameer.
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