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Explora BioLabs relies on Insperity through growth and acquisition

From startup to nationwide success

Insperity’s Workforce Optimization® solution helped Explora BioLabs drive the company’s expansion and position itself for a successful acquisition.

The Challenge
  • Sustainably growing the business
  • Maintaining a cohesive culture across many locations
  • Ensuring compliance with local regulations
The Solution
  • Full-service HR support to power growth at scale
  • Access to a high-quality benefits package
  • Nationwide HR compliance support
The Result
  • Exponential company growth
  • More competitive recruiting
  • HR-related compliance across various locations
  • Prepared for a successful acquisition
  • Cohesive culture
  • Explosive growth
  • Enhanced training for managers
  • Increased HR compliance
  • Able to attract and retain good employees

Sustainable growth while maintaining compliance and culture

Explora BioLabs began as a small San Diego-based startup seeking to provide high-quality, turnkey lab space for animal research to biotechnology and pharmaceutical researchers. Having streamlined access to these labs (known as vivariums) allowed these researchers to have a greater impact on the medical field, faster. Making a difference – this was what drove the small team of about 10 employees at Explora BioLabs.

As the company expanded to new locations across the country, keeping up with HR-related compliance became more complex. Staying abreast of ever-changing HR guidelines in several states was time consuming and often exhausting.

With Insperity’s team handling these issues, “We knew that our compliance umbrella was taken care of with Insperity,” said Todd Knapp, CFO of Explora BioLabs. “When you’re in growth mode, the last thing you want to worry about is, ‘Are we compliant?’” Without having to spend the significant time, money and effort required to be compliant in 20 different locations, Explora BioLabs was free to focus on what they did best, and grow the company by leaps and bounds. And grow they did. Explora BioLabs grew to 140+ employees by the time they were acquired.

“Knowing that you have experts in your corner as you’re growing into all these different parts of the U.S., knowing that you’re growing your employee base and thus your risk is going to increase, and being able to leverage Insperity’s expertise has been invaluable.”

Todd Knapp
Chief Financial Officer
Explora BioLabs

Transitioning to a new era

Explora BioLabs’ explosive growth caught the attention of a larger life sciences company interested in acquiring the company. Knapp said that being an Insperity® Workforce Optimization® client helped streamline and enhance this process.

Insperity’s HR infrastructure was key to assuring the buyer that Explora BioLabs had solid practices in HR-related compliance, talent management and employee engagement. They could rest easy knowing there was an up-to-date employee handbook, the appropriate payroll and employee paperwork was being filed and the company was following each location’s state HR regulations.

Knapp said the buyer asked them about their HR infrastructure as talks got underway. When he told them they worked with Insperity as their professional employer organization, the buyer saw that as an advantage. Insperity’s services reduced the risk level for the buyer, which helped make Explora BioLabs a more attractive company and subsequently made the deal progress quicker.

Reflecting on Explora BioLabs’ journey with Insperity, Knapp would do it all over again, and recommends Insperity’s services to other small and medium-size growth businesses.

“It’s worth every penny,” he said. “Being able to partner with Insperity is massively important. It allows you to grow instead of focusing on compliance issues or other things that distract you from your business.”

“In very critical stages of our growth story, we probably wouldn’t have had quite the success that we did or wouldn’t been as quick as it was without Insperity’s support.”

Todd Knapp
Chief Financial Officer
Explora BioLabs

Top-notch HR services worth the peace of mind

Each year, Knapp conducted an analysis of their third-party service providers to determine whether it was still worthwhile to utilize their services.

“It was always a no-brainer to continue that partnership with Insperity because of the value that they were providing in terms of compliance, employee experience, benefits purchasing power and overall HR and payroll infrastructure,” Knapp said. “It far outweighed that cost in our mind.”

Knapp also highlighted other benefits, such as risk mitigation, that Insperity has provided as Explora BioLabs opened additional locations and acquired new companies.

“The risk mitigating aspect of our relationship and partnership with Insperity has been huge for us, especially given where we were operating, what we were doing and how we were growing,” Knapp said.

“It’s worth every penny for companies like Explora BioLabs ‒ private companies who are growing and really focusing on their business ‒ to partner with Insperity.”

Todd Knapp
Chief Financial Officer
Explora BioLabs

A cross-country cultural infusion

Another concern for a company with many employees working at different facilities spread across the U.S. was how to infuse and maintain Explora BioLabs’ culture.

“It was challenging for us to ensure that everybody felt connected,” Knapp said. “We sat down and had discussions with the Insperity team to leverage some of their guidance.”

The goal was to enhance the overall employee experience and strengthen the culture that tied employees together. With Insperity’s help, Explora BioLabs developed detailed onboarding and communications strategies, training plans and formalized career paths so employees could see how they could grow within the company. Putting together a comprehensive employee handbook was also crucial for new employees as they got to know the company, what was expected of them and how they could contribute to its mission.

The company also took advantage of the many training opportunities Insperity offered, Knapp said. Inexperienced managers now had a plethora of training materials at their fingertips, which their supervisors could assign as needed. This led to employees feeling supported and being able to contribute to Explora BioLabs’ success.

“Insperity really helped us to create some formality and infrastructure behind not only the hiring process, but the retention process, which is really key for us.”

Todd Knapp
Chief Financial Officer
Explora BioLabs

Big-company level benefits lead to better recruiting and retention

When Explora BioLabs partnered with Insperity, they were able to offer their employees access to a comprehensive benefits package that, in Knapp’s opinion, helped them to attract and retain the right employees.

“In life sciences, labor became a pretty significant constraint,” Knapp said. The company regularly faced challenges from other life sciences companies recruiting their employees. He says it was important to figure out ways to bring on great people and make sure they’re happy in their role so that they stay. “We’re only as good as our people,” Knapp said.

In addition, as Explora BioLabs opened new locations and acquired other companies, Knapp said they had the confidence that the Insperity team could get these new employees onboarded quickly. It also helped ease employees’ minds knowing that they would get their benefits on day one.

“From my perspective, I feel like our benefits are a draw now. The marketplace is getting more and more competitive as it relates to pay rates and benefits.”

Todd Knapp
Chief Financial Officer
Explora BioLabs

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