Starting a small strategic services consulting firm specializing in national security meant recruiting experienced talent that was accustomed to the rich benefits offered by larger organizations.
TriNet offers a scalable platform for their early growth phase while providing access to a wide array of benefits to help the firm compete for talent with big business.
After building successful careers over decades in the military, national defense and intelligence sectors, three husband-and-wife duos yearned for more. When the small national security contractor several of them worked at was acquired by a much larger entity, it spurred them to identify a gap in the defense community. Their mission was to make a significant difference in the defense sector with a small yet agile firm; one that takes care of its greatest asset—its people. Each of the couples’ experiences dovetailed with one another, allowing them to offer unique strategic support services to customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community and other government agencies. NewBridge Partners was founded to provide these entities with engineering, analysis, acquisition, program management and human dimensions solutions to holistically address the demands necessary to deliver vital national security systems.
As they witnessed their peers struggle with HR functions in their own businesses, NewBridge co-founders, including Scott Levinson and Steve Finney, became keenly aware that they didn’t have to learn things the hard way from employment-related mistakes. After assessing several outsourced HR solutions including professional employer organizations (PEOs), “TriNet brought what we were looking for—all the advantages we were seeking in a PEO,” said Scott, Chief of Mission Operations. So immediately upon hiring their first employee, they began working with TriNet’s full-service HR solution that includes access to premium benefits, risk mitigation, payroll and real-time technology. “We were hiring a lot of high-end engineers, analysts and program managers, and they have certain expectations. If we tried to do some of the functions that TriNet provides ourselves, it would be very difficult to attract that kind of experienced talent,” acknowledged Scott. “We knew we needed to have TriNet working that piece for us if we were going to get the talent that we sought to build our company around.”
“The biggest thing is being able to focus on the customer and our employees, not on the minutia of all the Byzantine business aspects of things. As we were starting up a small company, it was very important that we spend time with customers and new employees to make sure that our whole company was meeting expectations,” Scott elaborated. By outsourcing many HR and people functions to TriNet “we were able to devote a much larger fraction of our time on the technical work and the customers. We could focus on what mattered in terms of our employees and business growth.”
Organizations in the defense sector are currently experiencing significant consolidation and as a result, many talented people become averse to working for the big companies that are acquiring smaller firms. “Our challenge is to get them away from all the downsides of big companies and attract them into a small company that's agile,” said Scott.
“TriNet is a competitive advantage. It’s a differentiator for our recruiting; there's no doubt,” emphasized Steve, Chief of Business Operations. “Normally people think they're giving up something knowing that you’re a small company and with TriNet offering access to comprehensive benefits, people don't feel that way. They feel like they've got all of the advantages of a big company. We have employees that have done their entire career at another big company, in the government or military, and they were used to a certain level of being taken care of. And we're able to offer them a smooth transition.” TriNet provides access to benefit plans from regional and national carriers, each offering multiple plans with a range of deductibles and co-pays so their team members can choose the plan that meets their needs. “Plus, if we had to administer those benefits ourselves, we would not be able to get the cost-effective selection that we get by virtue of having TriNet,” said Scott.
“TriNet is a one-stop-shop for us; the solution that gives us access to benefits is also the one that processes payroll ,” said Scott. “The payroll service is reliable, predictable and the user interface works well. It’s easy to check and make changes, so that's a great advantage.” Because NewBridge has employees located in multiple states from California to Virginia, they must comply with the various payroll tax regulations in each state. Scott acknowledges that TriNet has made this task a “non-issue” for them as TriNet calculates federal, state and local payroll taxes, in addition to electronically submitting withholdings, all through the comprehensive platform.
Similar to many small firms in the age of COVID-19, NewBridge secured a PPP loan but they didn’t need to worry about the required documentation and forgiveness process. Within the TriNet platform reporting tool, Workforce Analytics, they could use PPP-specific report templates and access a multitude of instructional videos developed by TriNet experts. One report that they can easily run provides a detailed breakout of eligible payroll costs for a selected date range as defined by the PPP loan statute. “The TriNet team understood the PPP program and built custom reports that met the need exactly, and that was fantastic,” said Steve.
“By working with TriNet, I can work on the finances and take a strategic view of where the company is going as opposed to having to spend a lot of time doing the day-to-day management of the payroll and HR functions,” said Steve. Scott adds, “we don't spend a lot of time worrying about HR challenges. And that's a good thing!”
“The key thing for us is getting top talent and top talent usually comes with some expectations. I know that I can meet those expectations when I'm talking to somebody about joining our team. Having that confidence has been instrumental in our success in getting the people that we want and need to get,” said Steve. By way of access to the extensive employee benefits provided by TriNet, “the flexibility has been huge for our employees and for retention. We've only been in business for five years, but we clearly have separated ourselves from our peers and a lot of that is by the ease of use and the value that we get through TriNet ,” said Scott.
The NewBridge team looks forward to organically growing while maintaining their values, culture of care and customer focus. Steve sums it up, “We've been really happy with the way TriNet scales with the company. TriNet grows with us.”