#HRTechChat: Marta Weinstock, Senior Director of Operations at Rutherford Investment Company

Marta Weinstock, my guest for this episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast, is senior director of operations at California-based Rutherford Investment Company. Part of her charter at Rutherford Investments is to get human capital management as efficient as possible. Under the aegis of her leadership and the help of isolved, the employer’s journey along the road to HCM maturity has been sweeping and inspiring. With isolved, Marta has brought order to a previously dysfunctional, disorganized HR ecosystem. Leading the charge for digital transformation from the inside, Marta has witnessed first-hand not only the excellent capabilities found in isolved’s software-as-a-service People Cloud™, but also the highly attentive approach of isolved’s HR services team.

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Brent Skinner 00:00
Well welcome everybody. To this the latest episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast. With me today is a really special guest. We’ve had a lot of time in the green room talking about stuff in previous conversations as well, Marta Weinstock, who is Senior Director of Operations at Rutherford Investment Company, whose URL is Rutherford investments, plural, dot com, Rutherfordinvestments.com. And we’re here today to talk about her, your, your experience with isolved, which has been very wide ranging and very interesting. I’m really looking forward to that. But welcome, Marta, thank you for joining us. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, like we always do on the podcast, just for our audience’s sake, would you maybe just dive into your experience just a little bit, you know, what brought you to where you are today, professionally, this sort of thing? And then we’ll get we’ll dive right into the subject matter.

Marta Weinstock 01:09
Great. Thanks so much, Brent, for having me today. Really, I’m excited about this. This opportunity. My background is, is I’ve spent time in corporate and nonprofit and, and even in venture capital and software, startup lands. And throughout all of my roles, one consistent thread has been building business systems that create efficiencies for the organizations that I’ve been a part of.

Brent Skinner 01:41
Yeah. And you know, what, the one area where where that comes in really handy is HR. I can tell you as an industry analyst, there’s so many organizations that really need help in terms of sort of just tamping down getting their operational HR under control. And that’s a big part of the of the story today. And I understand that when you joined Rutherford investment company, that, you know, I saw it was in place, but only for payroll essentially. And the rest of HR was kind of I like to call it the pay the paper with like, era, the Stone Age of HR, where there really wasn’t much in place, maybe, you know, they didn’t have Excel spreadsheets in the stone age, but it’s that’s kind of the stone age for HR today. Maybe you can kind of share with our audience what that was like, and, and how you kind of figured out okay, I saw some place for payroll, there might be a their there. How do we move forward?

Marta Weinstock 02:47
That’s a great question. Really, when I started with Rutherford, we, I was looking at, we have two different divisions of the company, and we’re looking at where they were spending their time and what, what they needed help with, right, what the Managing Directors needed, needed support with. And at the same time, I was also chartered to implement a 401 K plan to become compliant in California, by last June. And so I, we had our payroll, we had our time system through isolved. And we started exploring options for a while for our 401k implementation. And, you know, we looked at a few different options. And when I discovered that I saw had their 401 K, plan set up with, so that could be automated with our payroll, we explored that option. And it really did uncover some other opportunity for us to look at streamlining other business processes, other HR, business processes. So we were looking at what’s the right approach for all of this, and how can we create, you know, organized processes, standardized procedures, documentation, storage of employee files, you know, how can we really start to innovate in our HR processes? So?

Brent Skinner 04:23
Yeah, yeah, it’s, it is a huge task, by the way, I hear. I hear the words to be compliant in California and my mouth gets dry, you know, imagine there’s only a few other places in the country. I think we’re, we’re that is that level of sort of heart attack inducing kind of a challenge. So, I understand that there was there was a lot of planning involved and when you know and speaking with you previously about this, what I recall what comes to mind What I recall here is that you guys were very methodical about this, in terms of the amount of time that you were, you know, sort of, well, that was put it this way, the inefficiencies that were that were holding you back in HR, and what you wanted to achieve, and I know that I saw came in and, and helped you to kind of understand how to build out expand the footprint of the of them of their technology people cloud, right, yeah. So let’s talk about that first. And then maybe we can talk about some of their HR services, which I know you’ve had some real success with.

Marta Weinstock 05:45
Yeah, now, that’s, that’s okay. We, we started really, like you said, very methodical. We had an HR brainstorm Excel sheet where we are tracking all of our HR functions and who was in charge of them? And how much time each one of those were taking, right? And, and how could we really lift this off out of our Dropbox and our Google Drive and off of the email threads, you know, where all the documents the PDFs get lost, right, in the paper, lift the gear? And how could we streamline these and we worked with isolved. To understand, again, which module would be supportive of each business function? And how could we, because we didn’t really know, right, that I solved, we started off with 401k. And as we explored, you know, some of our some of our isolved people heroes on the inside of isolved, were showing us actually, this was part of the onboarding module, and this is part of the managed benefit module, and this is part of the applicant tracking module. And so we really did start with this methodical kind of staged understanding of our current HR processes from each division, and looked at what would benefit both divisions individually, but then what would benefit the company as a whole, what can we build under a consistent umbrella, and, and really improve the employee experience of our company, you know, the, the, whether it’s the files or the efficiencies of their self service access, or, you know, sign up for managed benefits when, you know, during, during a new hire, process, it just all, it all looked like it could be under one umbrella for us. And so we worked with, with also the HR services, to streamline our handbook, right, our handbook, we had like two, two different versions of our handbook, and we’ve, we’ve been trying to update it previously, and it just kind of got lost, like the project just kind of dropped, you know, as is time, you know, other things take priority, right? When HR sometimes gets a little shuffled to the side, it’s cumbersome, right? It can be very cumbersome. We looked at our leave of absence policies, we looked at our PTO policies, all of our internal policies, and again, how to build this in a consistent way that could be, you know, you can get the employee sign off on their handbook through the onboarding module, right? Sign and acknowledge that. So again, like I don’t, we, we looked at it as a team, we built it out. The HR services helped us to map out our employee journey. And then we strategically just started implementing, we put a plan in place to stage the development of our isolved modules and started with our 401k and our open enrollment. Then we went to manage benefits and onboarding, offboarding applicant tracking, performance management, and we’ve, we’ve now implemented and scaled this this beautiful tax system for Rutherford. And so as you know, we did it as a team together.

Brent Skinner 09:20
Yeah, it is a great story of collaboration and, and also really good example of how, you know, if you’re a what, let me ask you, how many how many employees does Rutherford have?

Marta Weinstock 09:34
With both with both divisions of the company, we have about 87 employees, and one of the divisions has more than half of part time employees. So we have a we have a mix of full time and part time in our company.

Brent Skinner 09:50
Yeah, it’s, it’s really interesting, you know, that is definitely characterized double as a small company, right. And, you know, just being out there in the wild, if somebody is out on the outside looking in, it might seem that oh, well, small company doesn’t have, you know, too much complexity when it comes to HR and human capital management. Hogwash, right? I mean, you know, there’s, there’s so much going on in this. And that’s what I’m really trying to get at here is it’s such a great example of, you know, a small company having a significant complexities in the management of the employment of its people, and really needing to bring order to that with, you know, and being able to do so under the under the aegis of, of one, HR HCM suite, this in this instance, isolved. So, that, to me, is a really, really big takeaway for this, another as and maybe we could get to it in a moment here. So I’m going to kind of give you a little bit of a, you know, advanced warning on my next question after this one. And next one after, as I like to talk about the employee experience a little bit more with you. But first, first, I understand that, that HR is going to be that isolved HR services arm helped you with your first, your, with your first open enrollment, using isolved. And I believe that was last summer, what was what was that like?

Marta Weinstock 11:32
Well, you know, it was it was, it was challenging, it was challenging. We, we currently, we were working with a broker who had been working with us for a long time. And it was a, you know, again, a really a long term relationship. And so we, we involved him to help us we had a also an HR consultant that we had been working with longer term for the company. And they helped to really map out how to, to work with isolved, and what information they would need. And, and a lot of it was, again, it’s it was in paper forms, right. And so we had to, we had to upload templates and the HR services team, the isolved, HR services team really jumped in where we didn’t know what to do help to, you know, take everything from the paper and put it into the system, right, we leaned on them, to guide us through these through the step work of, okay, here’s how we’re going to lift off open enrollment. And then this year, when we went through our open enrollment process, we definitely still had a few of the steps that we needed to go through. And it was easier. And I now know, after having two years under our belt with isolved in with open enrollment, you know, it’s a, it takes a lot to manage all of those pieces. And to get all of the plan data in we, we again, like you said, we’re kind of, we’re a small company, but we have complicated benefit plans, even and how much the employer contributes for the different divisions and how much the employee contributes for each division and how to stage those benefit rates, you know, in in isolved, which it became easier, and it’s getting easier again, but I think that the HR services team really did help us to, to at least take those steps forward that we were I don’t know what we were we were just not we weren’t we didn’t know how to do that. Right. They helped us.

Brent Skinner 13:54
That’s great. I, you know, I just know from my purchase as an industry analyst and speaking with folks like you out there in the wild HR in other business leaders, right. You know, when we’re working on reports that we’ve interviewed folks like you and right, we, we know, not to schedule, sort of publishing those or, or necessarily expecting to hear back from people when it’s open enrollment season. We know that that’s okay. There, everybody’s going to be basically, you know, a while for about a month and a half, two months. And that that’s just the name of the game. When you don’t have a good system in place, and a good partner to make open enrollment happen. It just it takes up HR all of his time. And so you’re in what you characterize here, it’s in no way surprising to me. And, you know, and it’s really interesting isolved DNA A sort of some of its original DNA is in. And this is, this is a little bit of an offshoot of that, but you know, Cobra, Cobra, you know, helping companies sort of comply with Cobra and this kind of stuff. So it’s not surprising to me at all, at another level to that I solved is, is so good at helping companies, you know, navigate that open enrollment process. And, you know, not for naught, but bring up the California compliance thing again, I, I, I worked for a company that was based in California, headquartered in California work from home, but there were still some issues in the past. And there was, there were still some issues that affected me and, you know, affected the types of plans that were available, and all this kind of stuff. So I understand completely, that it’s, I don’t understand the granularities, or the details, and someday, maybe I’ll teach myself, maybe not, but there’s, you know, there’s a lot, there’s a lot to navigate there, it’s really interesting. So it’s a really, you know, if you’re, you know, if you’re, you know, vendor solution providers capable of doing that, you know, they’re, they’re definitely a keeper, in my opinion,

Marta Weinstock 16:17
there’s, so even on the back end, I mean, the way that I solved and now it’s the managed benefits group, right, it’s not just HR services, it’s a managed benefits group, the way they connect to the back end of all of our carriers, and, you know, we download our plan documents and upload them into isolved. And there are so many small details that, that as a as a single HR department per, you know, like, I don’t know, all those details, and our I definitely rely on isolved to help to let me know what I need to download what I need to upload, how do we create this template? How do we, you know, how do we double check and triple check all the rate data is correct. And then how do we run reports? I mean, ultimately, it’s the auditing and reporting of all of the employee data, whether it’s managed benefits or onboarding, onboarding, new hires, right, all of the reporting, that that sometimes is the most important for small companies, right to put your arms around, you know, what’s actually what can be reported on what needs to be reported on?

Brent Skinner 17:34
Yeah, absolutely. That’s, it’s a huge sort of, you know, question mark, you know, what, what’s important, what isn’t and, and, you know, being able to have those sorts of pre think prefabricated reports, or that’s not that’s not the word that’s used, that’s not a industry term, it’s escaping me at the moment, but having these reports that are, you know, that are pre made, to be able to just get going right away, it’s a huge time saver, A and B, it really helps you sort of understand what’s happening with the workforce. And maybe this is a good segue. Because you mentioned the employee experience and improving it earlier in this conversation, and I want to get back to that. How would you say that the, this expanding relationship with isolved has, has helped with that the employee experience,

Marta Weinstock 18:33
I would say that it, we now have a streamlined approach to a process that seemed very manual. And, again, just not stored all in one place, right, as a new employee now walking through the system, what the first step is, even before the person becomes employee, just attracting the right talent, right has become even easier than it was before. I mean, I know I’m going to sound like an Eisav salesperson here, but like, you know, we were posting some of our jobs on just single job boards. And now through the attract and hire, we, we create a job template, we create a job posting, and it goes out to it can go out chapter 50, job boards, right versus just one or two. And so, and we can choose which ones that goes out to right, and we can even choose to boost to the job ad if we need to. And so working on the front end with attract and hire really has, you know, we have I think we’ve doubled, tripled. I mean, I haven’t actually I don’t have a report on this, but I think we’ve doubled or tripled. The number of candidates and even the quality of the candidates is improved on the front end for the jobs. And we’re hiring. Some of our positions are maintenance tax and, you know, property managers so it’s not that you know, they’re not there Not jobs that everyone’s out there searching for every day, they’re very specific in their job responsibilities. So on the front end, we’re attracting better talent, we’re moving them through the system with all of our offer letters and our employee agreements and anything that we need them to sign us on the front end. And I would say, having that for the beginning of an employee experience, and then walking them through the onboarding, and they complete all of their I nine and W four and all of their direct deposit, and you know, they sign their employee, they receive their employee handbook and sign their acknowledgement through the system. And, you know, again, none of those are stored in some other Dropbox or Google Drive any longer Those are, those are now part of the streamline employee process, they can, they can change their direct deposit on their own, and their employee self service portal, and they just walked through, they add their time they learn how to, you know, download the isolved app on their phone, and, you know, put their time in and, you know, when it comes to any, any other updates on their employee information, their how, you know, they’re living, you know, all of those things they can they can change on their own. And then really, it’s just from they’re going through the Manage benefits and the open enrollment annually. And, and we just implemented our performance management, which is our review module. Actually, funny enough, you’re going to like this friend, we went through our second open enrollment cycle at the same time I was implementing the performance management. Like, would you said open enrollment? Can you know, it’s like, I was like, Yes, I was, that it was definitely a very interesting spring here in California.

Brent Skinner 21:54
Hey, let’s do two things at once. Let’s, you

Marta Weinstock 21:57
I think that that’s really when you look into then having the performance management system implemented, and having all of their job description, and, and giving them a comprehensive review, that’s then linked to their employee file, you’ve got the whole employee experience a whole journey, it’s all documented, it’s organized, they can, we can pull it up, we can, you know, if we want to do 360 reviews and have peer reviews out it now we’ve got even that data added to that you get you get a full visibility into the employee experience. And you know, now, when I look at the HCM maturity chart that I solved his published and it’s, it’s, it was newer to me, that when you think about when I started, that there, we were kind of at the basic and the, the implemented part of their graph. And then now we’ve built out the automation, which is in the middle of their graph, and they’ve got development and engagement at the top end of their graph. And that’s, that’s really where I see as going as we’ve now got this automation, right, that has lifted us off in an in an HR department, right? And then now we’re looking for development and engagement and how do we continue that employee experience for Rutherford employees?

Brent Skinner 23:31
Yeah, you read my mind, I was about to mention the HCM maturity model, and how you’re sort of moving along at a brisk pace, which is great, from that sort of just getting to solving for basic, which is, which is a great milestone and in and of itself, but moving into that becoming eventually a learning organization. And, and which I understand that you’re, you’re looking into the learning piece of the puzzle. Now, recalling from our previous conversations, you mentioned the journey, you know, like the employee journey. And that’s, that’s a great way of putting it, you know, there’s, to me, it seems like there’s no, there are no real, you know, annoying hiccups, you know, it’s smooth, you know, there’s no real surprises, you know, that just that employee experience is smoother and it’s not, you know, clunky or fits and starts and a lot of this stuff that that that can be sort of an intrusion on the work day is now you know, in the background running like, like the roof, like that the home of the refrigerator and background, which is, which is great. And that people often they think about improving the employee experience, they think there has to be sort of ride or lose sort of grand overtures. Are these sorts of things but doesn’t they doesn’t have to be, it can be just fixing all the little, all the little things. And that can have a huge, you know, sort of cumulative aggregate effect impact on the employee experience, you saved a lot of time, I know that you want to tell the viewers or audience, it’s a lot of time, get rid of

Marta Weinstock 25:28
So from you know, where we started with our HR brainstorm and kind of documenting and again, just looking at each level of methodically looking at how much time somebody was spending on whatever component of the HR process, I took that same spreadsheet, and I looked at the modules that we implemented and kind of looked at the time and very conservatively, estimated how much time the implementing this full suite of isolved modules has saved us. And again, it’s been like, less than a year of that we’ve implemented all this. So very brisk pace. I have estimated that it’s been about 60 days of manpower, which is like 480 hours. So I think that’s just from implementing all of our modules so far, and creating a user friendly employee experience. And I don’t even think that saves all the emails and all the tracking of this, you know, this PDF or finding that and so, yeah, it’s been about 480 hours

Brent Skinner 26:43
Yeah, 480 divided by two is 240. Maybe it’s another 240? On top of that, who knows, with the emails or whatever? Yeah. I mean, that’s just phenomenal. And, and, and, and I know, you’re just, you’re just beginning to experience this. And so you have all this newfound time. And, you know, looking at it at this as sort of sort of a conventional accounting spreadsheet, we would say, Oh, well, that’s a newfound productivity. And then we just leave it at that. But, but, you know, there’s, there’s sort of a cornucopia of things that that HCM focused people at Rutherford can now do, or start to think about doing to be to be more productive for the organism, or to be reach higher levels of productivity to be strategic and ready, visa vie the workforce. Now, which is really exciting. And, you know, and one of those being, you know, kind of looking toward the learning and this kind of like the learning component for myself with these sorts of things. Do you have it? Do you have any other sort of ideas that you’re mulling? Now that with all this newfound time to maybe do with the workforce?

Marta Weinstock 28:10
Um, well, I think, you know, again, that’s, that’s a, that’s a great point, just the amount of productivity that we’ve saved. And, and I think that when, when I started in my role I was, I was looking at how to help the Managing Directors of these divisions really, really, really take things off their plate that was more time consuming for them. So that they can, they can manage their divisions, they were handling a lot of this HR work on their own or with their direct operations support. And so I feel like for them, my goal is to give them back some of their day, right, and so that they, as managing directors, it can ease their mind, and if they have a leave of absence issue, if they have a worker’s comp issue if they have any of these HR issues that, that they don’t need to manage them any longer. And that that I can build back efficiency into their day. As far as productivity for the employees and proud to be for us as a company. I think that I’d really like to start, you know, looking at the predictive people analytics and looking at some of the deeper analysis of how we can, how we can engage our employees, how we can retain our employees, you know, how can we build in other aspects of the employee journey and developing their learning that that will benefit Rutherford right, and make it a better employee experience and have play events along that more in play events along the way, too.

Brent Skinner 29:54
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Helping them to see it as a Rutherford. is a place where they can they can grow their careers. Yeah, because they have the tools at their disposal to do so. Really great stuff. This is looking at the time here. And we can go on for another hour, I think but, but this has been great. Thank you so much Marta for joining us for the podcast. Really exciting, uplifting, inspirational story you have.

Marta Weinstock 30:27
Thank you, Brent. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks to 3Sixty Insights.

Brent Skinner 30:31
Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Marta Weinstock 30:34
And go peoples heroes right!

Brent Skinner 30:37
We love The People’s Heroes!

Marta Weinstock 30:39
The community is just amazing. isolved is really putting something very wonderful together.

Brent Skinner 30:44
Well, maybe we’ll have you back to talk about that at some point.

Marta Weinstock 30:48
Good. All right. Thank you!

Brent Skinner 30:50
Thank you

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