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Evolve BioSystems supports its growing team by outsourcing its human resources burden


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Here’s how a life sciences startup attracts and retains brilliant minds

A scientist’s time is probably not best spent doing payroll. So, Evolve BioSystems supports its growing team of scientists, researchers and sales professionals by outsourcing its human resources burden to Insperity.

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The Challenge
  • Attracting and retaining the right people
  • Time spent by leadership on HR-related tasks
The Solution
  • Outsourcing its human resources burden to Insperity
The Result
  • Competitive benefits
  • Improved HR-related processes
  • Development of a supportive culture

The company

Evolve is on a mission to improve human and animal health by developing products to establish, restore and maintain newborns’ healthy gut microbiome. A spin-off from the University of California, Davis, Evolve reflects more than a decade of research on the relationship between breast milk and infant gut microbiome. Its infant product, Evivo, is the only clinically proven probiotic for babies. It helps restore good bacteria that many babies are missing and reduce bad bacteria linked to health risks. Its animal product, GlycoGuard, improves gut microbiome for foals and baby pigs.

In the early days, when they were a team of just five, one of the founders handled HR processes. In 2015, the company received funding to commercialize its products. The team knew their plans for growing depended on attracting and retaining the right people. So, they sought an HR partner that offered employees access to competitive benefits and could also help them improve their HR-related processes and develop a supportive culture – while affording the leadership team more time to focus on its core business.

Competitive benefits and stress-free compliance

After speaking to a few professional employer organizations (PEOs), Evolve chose Insperity. Patrick Cormier, the company’s controller, says they chose Insperity because of its comprehensive HR resources and competitive benefit packages. Based in Davis, California – just an hour-and-change drive from San Francisco – Evolve competes with some of the most innovative companies in the world for talent. As a result, benefits are crucial.

Insperity also helps Evolve stay on top of HR-related state statutes and regulations, which has proved critical as the sales team enters new markets. For example, New York recently changed its paid family leave program, which affects Evolve’s employees in that state. The company could have missed this change if it wasn’t for Insperity, Cormier explains.

“Insperity takes care of so many HR processes, so we are free to focus on the job at hand – the things we do well.”


Eliminating distractions to improve productivity

Evolve’s mission to improve public health attracts brilliant minds. But there is inherent risk in working for a startup. Evolve CEO Tim Brown says it is paramount HR processes like payroll and benefits run smoothly, so employees feel secure.

People can’t focus on the task at hand if they are constantly dealing with other issues – issues an experienced HR firm could handle quickly and efficiently. In fact, that HR firm has probably dealt with those same issues in the past and already has processes or systems in place for proactively addressing them, explains Brown. Outsourcing HR services mitigates distractions, which contributes to a more productive workforce.

It also saves the management team time. Prior to Evolve, Brown led a team of several thousand. “We ‘insourced’ (as opposed to outsourced) many HR systems, and it took up a lot of my time,” he explains.

But that’s not the case with Insperity. Brown can’t recall having a single hiccup with payroll. “Insperity takes care of so many HR processes, so we are free to focus on the job at hand – the things we do well,” he says.

Insperity supports big-picture initiatives, too, like training and development. Cormier says the R&D team still references the workshop Insperity ran in 2018 to help people work better with different personality types. Insperity also counsels Evolve on HR benefits trends and how they relate to creating a positive culture.

Retaining the talent needed to scale

Evolve recently announced its expansion into Asia. Brown predicts more international growth for both the human and animal health sides of the business. Continuing to work with an HR services provider, particularly one that can refer them to organizations with expertise in dealing with foreign employees, will be critical to Evolve’s ability to attract and retain the people they need as they grow.

As companies get bigger, it can be challenging for leadership to make sure employees feel valued – like something more than a number, explains Brown. Partnering with an HR services provider helps businesses take care of their people, even as the workforce grows.

If you are a business owner or key influencer, consider how HR outsourcing could benefit your business by helping you attract and retain the people you need while saving you time and reducing stress.

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