It is imperative to get hands on experience doing what you seek to learn. Make sure it brings you joy before investing time, energy, and dedicating your life to it. Enjoy the journey and be prepared to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support you, but also do not patronize you. Understanding what you are up against, or what might not be working, is as important to building a successful business as knowing what is working. Remember, even if it gets harder, or takes longer, stay diligent. Anything you love will be worth it.
This is the philosophy by which Nicole Martin lives and operates her giant conglomerate HRBoost®. As the CEO, she has led a virtual team for 10 years. “We have always been virtual to some degree. However, we have always served our clients in person,” says Nicole. In March 2020, the company’s revenue was hit like everyone else’s. Immediately, business paused across industry and size. By May 2020 something unique happened. Businesses that did not care for HR or failed to recognize HR strategy was essential to their success are now realizing they in fact need it.
“We have always stated, Strategic HR day one, employee one,” states the team of HRBoost®. Nicole has always been grateful for not just surviving the pandemic but thriving amidst it. She and her team are thrilled to help small business compete for talent at a time when skilled talent will choose where it works. Open-sourced talent is the opportunity and culture, and the new organizational structure.
Boosting the Workforce
“We have experienced tremendous growth and proudly, nearly every client has been sourced via word of mouth. Results matter and we measure to our own standard of excellence which keeps HR making a tangible impact on the businesses we serve,” says Nicole. HRBoost® offers a full range of services on both a consulting and outsourced basis. Its solutions are based on strategic HR leadership and the latest thinking in the field of human resource management.
Whether one is simply looking for guidance on a particular human resources matter or to implement a complete human resources support solution, HRBoost® can add value to their business. The team focuses its practice between the two fundamental constructs – efficiency and effectiveness. It aims to be proactive not just responsive. Internally, its core values are what its team lives in practice. Through peer-based recognition, the company’s values become tangible and are understood in a common language.
HRBoost® has served businesses spanning various industry sectors. Its clients have included professional services, non-profit, high-tech, manufacturing, staffing firms, hospitality, and healthcare environments to name a few. Its clients are typically high growth businesses with 50 to 250 employees though the company has served smaller and larger businesses with up to 500 employees on a project basis.
“We specialize in building HR departments from scratch and we are proudly recognized as a 2017 Annual Awardees for Business Excellence (AABE) by the Daily Herald Business ® Ledger,” informs Nicole. HRBoost ’s team have provided much of its offering in a digital way. There is content, training and culture resources and the team makes it all accessible right from the website. Furthermore, the company has partnered with another service provider to take its HR experts servicing phone client program to the handheld device in anyone’s hand.
One of the more exciting developments of the company is resourcing the small business with a (HCM) Human Capital Management system when no one offers that in the middle market. It has been a dream to at least make HCM available when small businesses are used to HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems), not HCM. “As we say, they deserve ‘it’ too!” Nicole addresses.
The HR Booster
Nicole joined the workforce immediately after graduating high school. She always worked full time and attended university in the evening. Nicole was promoted into HR at a time when she did not even know what it was. Her first job was a receptionist for a global company in the financial services industry. Pre Y2K, there were many H1-B engineers and analysts brought into the US to program the software systems through the next century. It was before she knew about politics and bureaucracy.
Nicole got an A in a training class she was taking in college and she confidently presented a program that she created to her reporting personnel. When she was finished with her presentation, he said, “You are my receptionist! You belong to HR,” to which Nicole replied, “What is that?” There started Nicole’s journey in the world of HR. She learned about the HR space in a big corporate HR environment. She transitioned into management and the middle market at the age of 21.
“Fifteen years later, HRBoost® was created from the tenacity to do my work but on my terms,” Nicole opines. In 2009, Nicole worked in management and her last ‘in house’ role was for her then employer. She was employed through downsizing during the last recession. Nicole converted her boss at the time into her first client in 2010. She essentially became a Consultant. Nicole was on a mission, to find the next CEO that desired to create a Best and Brightest® company to work for.
“In 2013, I stood before a room of professionals that worked for me and I asked them all, Why? Why do you work for HRBoost®? It was amazing and humbling to realize that my playground, in fact, became theirs,” states Nicole. And to no surprise, the company has a highly qualified team with bench strength that like Nicole, demanded work to accommodate their lives versus the other way around. HRBoost® work environment is virtual, now more than ever and some of its talent works inside the company’s client’s businesses. “We are a highly collaborative team,” describes the team of HRBoost®.
Nicole Outside the HR World
Nicole points much of her gratitude to God. In recent years, it became evident that she began to share beliefs and tools she learned long ago. She met a friend when he was in seminary who later went on to become a priest. “I carry with me something he once said to me – ‘Su corazón conoce al Señor y eso es suficiente’ which translates to, ‘her heart knows the Lord and that is enough,’” Nicole conveys.
She practices faith daily, sometimes moment to moment and with presence, Nicole chooses to serve the greater good. Through all the challenges she has experienced, Nicole derives the gratitude to serve through her work and thus, her motivation is workplace ministry. According to her, everyone deserves work they love. It should never be drudgery.
“The biggest challenge I had come when I had to make a choice to either grow my business beyond me or say, ‘No’ to a client. I never said ‘No’ when I knew I could help and as a result, I have continually been personally and professionally challenged to grow as a business owner,” describes Nicole.
Nicole has reinvested in the business and continue to innovate with her team. She feels that her team has always done what they are best at and now the company strives to make it better as cohesive unit. “Now, we have talent in our industry calling upon us and that has made our growth even more interesting. I have learned, we do not just preach talent pipelining, we live it,” concludes Nicole.