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BigCommerce reaches new heights with Insperity support


Providing the right HR solution – from startup to enterprise

BigCommerce grew from 50 employees to 1,500 in 10 years. And through it all, Insperity’s HR platform and service team supported them through the many phases of growth by listening to the company’s needs and being flexible.

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The Challenge
  • Need for HR infrastructure
  • Dynamic growth
  • Competition for talent
The Solution
  • Small and midmarket solutions
  • Multistate experience
  • Competitive benefit plans
The Result
  • HR for every stage of growth
  • Trusted relationship
  • Ability to manage change

Tapping into the breadth and depth of Insperity’s team

BigCommerce knows a thing or two about growing companies. A leading platform for creating and enabling e-commerce for merchants worldwide, the company grew from 50 employees in to 1,500 over the course of 10 years.

With an eye on its booming growth, it stands to reason that this tech startup would seek the HR support that would allow it to grow – and grow rapidly – to serve its customer base of tens of thousands of merchants. Enter Robert Alvarez, BigCommerce CFO, who had previously put Insperity in place for three different employers.

“I knew the power of the (Insperity) model and the benefits it would provide to our employees and their families. We needed to get Insperity in place to help us scale,” Alvarez said.

Ten years and 1,500 employees later, Alvarez credits the Insperity platform and service team as being a great partner at each phase of its growth. In a highly competitive environment, Insperity provided a robust HR infrastructure and employee access to quality benefits, as well as payroll and HR compliance assistance.

“Insperity helped us a ton on the compliance front, on the systems front, on the process front,” Alvarez said. “You know, we did not have to spend time on those components because we just leveraged what Insperity brought to the table.”

“Venture firms love the (Insperity) model because it allows companies to scale quickly.”


Combining Insperity with in-house HR

As BigCommerce grew, its requirements of Insperity also changed. The company built its own HR team but enjoyed a high level of trust and partnership with Insperity that they didn’t want to end. And they didn’t want their employees to lose access to robust and competitive benefits. So, BigCommerce transitioned to a solution that allowed more flexibility and customization – but with the same payroll and HR compliance support they had come to trust.

“As we were building our strengths internally, there were still weaknesses that we needed to offset with Insperity as our partner,” Alvarez said. “That flexibility was huge in our ability to continue to grow and continue in our partnership.”

“Through small business, midmarket and enterprise, Insperity was always there in a way that made us feel competent, assured and cared for.”

Chief People Officer

Winning over the skeptic

Although Alvarez knew Insperity’s capabilities and trusted it would be able to provide HR support through various growth phases, not everyone was fully on board. When Chief People Officer Sherri Manning joined BigCommerce in 2017, the company had 700 employees and was building out its own HR team.

“I’ll be honest, I started as a skeptic about Insperity supporting a late-stage startup that was really growing into more of your midmarket or even enterprise-size company,” Manning said.

She voiced her concerns and “every time, our Insperity team was willing to listen to my feedback, respond and, quite to my initial chagrin, were able to come back with creative solutions that really helped me learn and grow in my perspective. The partnership was even more valuable than I could have hoped for,” Manning said.

Manning relied on the Insperity team for their experience and partnership as they offered HR guidance and support.

She cites two primary ways that Insperity stood out at that time: its breadth of HR experience (knowing there were things BigCommerce wasn’t ready to take on themselves), and Insperity’s ability to “fill the gaps” in personnel when their bench wasn’t deep.

“Insperity was there to make sure that while our growth was taking off like this, we were supported from a payroll, benefits and compliance standpoint,” Manning said.

Attracting and retaining talent

As part of the tech industry, BigCommerce competes with other tech giants for some of the same talent. Insperity worked with BigCommerce to identify and provide access to the types of employee benefits that draws top-tier job candidates.

“I think one of the ways Insperity has really brought value to BigCommerce in attracting and retaining talent is making sure that we were market competitive,” Manning said. “Because of that expertise and broader market knowledge, I feel like we were better positioned to make sure that we were attracting and retaining talent during our key growth periods.”

In addition, Insperity’s ability to help with HR compliance issues and remote workers across multiple states allowed the company to expand its hiring processes.

“It used to be really difficult for us to hire people out of the states that we were based in,” Alvarez said. “We partnered with, and leveraged, Insperity in ways to where we can really hire people across the United States.”

A venture capitalist’s dream

As companies grow and enter new markets, sometimes their HR infrastructure doesn’t keep up. The focus is on the business growth – and things like onboarding new hires, employee data and HR compliance take a back seat. With Insperity, Alvarez knew that BigCommerce had the Insperity HR infrastructure in place.

“You know, when you’re growing that fast, there’s a lot of things on the worry list,” he said. “There’s a lot of things to do. You know, taking things off that list so that we can focus on all the other things that we needed to do, allowed us to grow probably even faster than had we had to do everything on our own.”

That ability to scale quickly was attractive to BigCommerce’s investors.

“For venture firms, it’s always grow and scale as fast as you possibly can,” Alvarez said. “Venture firms love the (Insperity) model because it allows companies to scale quickly.”

The value of a true HR partner

When BigCommerce started with Insperity, it was a growing company with about 50 employees. As it grew, so did the relationship and how BigCommerce relied on Insperity’s help.

“Insperity is a trusted partner,” Alvarez said. “Even as we were tiny, all the way to where we went public and post-IPO, and have become a bigger company, (Insperity’s) been a trusted partner every step of the way.”

In addition to relying on Insperity’s products and HR infrastructure, Alvarez says the company’s service component is remarkable.

“You talk to someone in Insperity, that service factor is a wow factor,” he said. “It’s like an immediate, ‘Wow, I can work with these people. Wow, they bend over backwards.’ They prioritize what I’m asking them to do. When you combine great products with great people, you can do great things.”

BigCommerce’s business life cycle has gone from startup to enterprise, and Insperity has been there to support and witness many milestones. Once a skeptic, Manning is now an Insperity cheerleader.

“Knowing you have that personal relationship, and you always have that responsiveness and attention to quality work is something that we’ve always counted on,” Manning said. “Through small business, midmarket and enterprise, Insperity was always there in a way that made us feel competent, assured and cared for.”

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