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From startup to Inc. 5000 honoree, Creo makes a splash in the consulting world

From startup to supergrowth

When the consulting firm Creo was founded in 2015, they anticipated growing their staff. Company leaders also wanted HR support to relieve their administrative burden so that they could focus on building the business. Enter Insperity.

The Challenge
  • Growing the business
  • Attracting and retaining top talent
The Solution
  • Full-service HR support to power growth at scale
The Result
  • Outsourcing tactical and strategic HR to enable business growth
  • Ensuring that employees have reliable HR support

Building on a foundation of values and results

In Latin, “creo” translates to “to make grow”; in Spanish, “yo creo” is “I believe.” So, when Mike Townley and Susan Acker-Walsh were looking for a name for their new consulting firm in 2015, the word seemed like a perfect fit.

Townley and Acker-Walsh had worked together in various businesses over the course of 20 years. They also shared a common goal: to create a values-centric, results-focused company dedicated to helping businesses that are making a difference in the world. Townley says that they strived to build a culture where the values weren’t simply displayed on a wall poster; they wanted them to be built into their team’s daily actions.

Today, Creo strives to help businesses in the life sciences, health care and technology sectors grow and operate better. “We’re not medical doctors, and we’re not scientists,” Townley says. “But we’re really good at helping companies run more efficiently.” Some of their consulting services include growth management, people development and digital transformation.

“You need to find a partner like Insperity that comes alongside you to help grow the business with you.”

Mike Townley

Support for fast growth

Although Creo started small in 2015 with only three employees, the founders always aimed to expand the business and help as many difference-making companies as possible.

Now with 40-plus employees, Inc. has also recognized Creo for its rapid growth. Creo was No. 1,120 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list with an impressive 403% growth over the prior three years, a testament to its desire to grow the company. But with that rapid expansion came a need for additional highly skilled and experienced employees. Townley adds that other big challenges include managing their supply and demand, cultivating new business opportunities, and managing their people pipeline, especially new talent.

“(The Insperity relationship) is a way to have the kind of services in the company that I think we ought to have for the type of talent that we want to attract.”

Mike Townley

Wanted: great benefits and top talent

The need to attract top talent drove Creo to seek out a PEO in 2016, despite never having worked with one. Townley said they also knew from the beginning that they would benefit from a PEO that offered full-service HR. They believed this would allow them to focus on growing their company.

“We knew that we were going to have to attract really senior people and having a platform like Insperity’s – with the benefits package, training and other services – was something that we thought was important,” Townley says. “At the time there weren’t maybe as many PEOs out there, but certainly we felt like Insperity was the Cadillac of the PEOs – that’s why we went with Insperity.”

Insperity has supported Creo’s growth by providing the company with full-service HR support, payroll and employee administration, HR-related compliance services, paperless onboarding, retirement services, including 401(k), and employee insurance. Additionally, Insperity provides Creo employees with access to big-company benefits. “There’s always a challenge to solve, a curveball that’s thrown your way as you’re launching and growing a business,” Townley says. “The Insperity part of that equation has been one of the easiest things.”

A partner you can count on

Creo’s relationship with Insperity has evolved since 2016. As Creo scaled up, Insperity was there to help them through the transition. The HR focus was more tactical when Creo first hired Insperity. As Creo moved forward in its business life cycle, Insperity has provided even more strategic guidance to keep the momentum going. “We got what we needed, when we needed it,” Townley says.

When asked what he might tell someone who was considering a relationship with Insperity, he notes that the PEO is highly responsive, super reliable and offers a great range of services. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a hiccup or an issue with anything,” he says.

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