This story is part of our Customer Spotlight series, focused on great companies using HR software to help power their businesses.
What do culture, data, and handbags have in common? Well, a lot actually if you ask Lauren Silvi, Director of People and Talent at Rebecca Minkoff.
“At Rebecca Minkoff, our people and culture are really important, but so is using data to drive business decisions. We spend a lot of time finding balance in discerning what’s best for the business and our employees.”
As a growing global lifestyle brand headquartered in New York City, finding the most creative, inspiring, and dynamic talent can be tough. There’s a lot of competition, and the bar at Rebecca Minkoff is pretty high.
“The two biggest components I look for in a candidate are attitude and aptitude,” Lauren explains. “A candidate’s aptitude tells you whether or not they can perform the duties the job requires, but even more important is attitude, which is something you can’t teach. The attitudes of all of our employees make up our great culture, and I look for people with positive, outgoing attitudes. Our quirks and personality make us appealing, and I think that gives us an advantage in attracting talent.”
With the breakneck pace of fashion these days, Lauren can’t sacrifice time waiting to onboard a new hire into the Rebecca Minkoff culture.
“Using HR software like Zenefits for hiring and onboarding makes my life a million times easier,” says Lauren. “Everything from the customizable welcome letters to getting all the tax information out of the way allows me to get to the important stuff when an employee arrives for their first day. We dedicate the employee’s first day to the RM culture instead of boring paperwork.”
With so much hiring and growth, Lauren was tasked with finding ways to help people stay in touch and better-communicate.
“One of my first projects when I joined the team was to improve the company-wide communication,” says Lauren. “I had used Slack at my previous job and figured it was a no-brainer here at RM. The fact that Zenefits integrates with Slack made it that much easier to get everyone on board. In my new hire orientation, our newest team members are using Slack right away because of the integration with Zenefits during their onboarding. Now, our team has a more holistic way to collaborate with each other, and I can definitely see a significant change in team communication from last year.”
While Rebecca Minkoff may be a design and fashion powerhouse, they still prioritize making data-driven decisions. One way they do this is using Zenefits’ HR software.
“Having employee data at my fingertips that I can analyze and use in making business decisions is a huge advantage I have as a one-person HR department” says Lauren. “I report to our CFO, and CEO, who are both numbers people, and who also need information in a timely manner. I can run reports in the Business Intelligence tool and get answers to the exec team in minutes, which is a lot different from how things used to be.”
But, it isn’t just data for business-decisions that helps make Rebecca Minkoff a special place to work. Lauren is also clever about using some of this information for culture.
“One time I ran a report to collect employee birthday information to determine what was the most common astrological sign out of our employees. I then shared the fun fact in a Happy Hump Day! email. Who says data can’t be fun?”
Being part of a rapidly growing global brand isn’t always easy. Employees at Rebecca Minkoff tend to work a lot of hours and travel quite a bit. But as a business, they believe in giving people more flexibility and recognize time away from home with more PTO days.
“If you work on a weekend or are traveling for work on a weekend, we’ll give you an extra PTO day for your time,” explains Lauren. “With Zenefits, it’s so easy for me to add these “comp days” to an employee’s time-off balance. I can even leave a personal note letting the person know why they’re getting the extra day. I’ve also gotten everybody on the Zenefits mobile app, which they love because they can quickly check their PTO balance from anywhere.”
But it’s not just the easy PTO balance employees love about the Zenefits mobile app.
“They love being able to quickly see the company directory with people’s photos and contact info. It all continues to help support the culture we’re building here,” says Lauren.
Open enrollment is typically a busy and somewhat stressful time for a lot of businesses. Between education, communication, and keeping up with paperwork, it can be a full-time job for a number of months.
“Our Open Enrollment experience has improved tremendously after using Zenefits. Getting 130 employees to sign up for health care in a short amount of time is not an easy task. Now, managing the benefits portion of our business is seamless. Zenefits takes care of evaluating and presenting the best healthcare plans to us, and all I have to do is pick the right plans for our business.”
Lauren also notes how great it is that people are learning more about benefits, thanks in part to Zenefits’ HR software.
“It’s astounding to me that most employees don’t know what a premium is or what a deductible is, or even what their benefit plan covers! This is because the HR/benefits management of old has been this wizard-behind-the-curtain thing. Zenefits has changed all of that. It puts the power into the employees’ hands, where they are actually educating themselves and becoming more informed about their benefits. This helps them make better decisions with the plans they select, and even cuts back on mistakes or retroactive changes I might need to make. I can’t imagine doing Open Enrollment any other way”.
With the time and effort, Lauren can save on HR paperwork, she can spend this time helping Rebecca Minkoff employees focus on what they do best; design and deliver cutting-edge apparel, handbags, accessories and more to a global audience of enthusiasts.
“The entire Zenefits platform helped get our business to a great place. My employees love it, and thanks to Zenefits (which I call my secret weapon), I love that I can contribute to the company as a strategic business partner while still being able to nurture our evolving culture.”