Internet Archive powers smart, digital staffing support with Zenefits

Internet Archive

Industry Non Profit
Location San Francisco
Customer since 2016
Employees 51-150
Zenefits solutions
Certified Broker Partner, Payroll, Onboarding, Time And Scheduling, Core HR, Compliance, Benefits

BZ Petroff says she “fell into” HR after stints as an entrepreneur and a member of an Oscar-award winning film team. Motivated by her use of Internet Archive to find Grateful Dead concert recordings, when BZ’s friend suggested she apply for a role there as HR and Administration leader, she jumped on it.

Internet Archive—best known for its “Wayback Machine” featuring images from 300 billion websites dating back to 1996—had an HR infrastructure that needed to find its way forward to more easily and efficiently support its team of more than 190 people across 19 states and 5 countries.

Business issue

“When I joined, HR was messy: paid time off was logged in an Excel spreadsheet, benefits enrollment was done on paper forms and payroll reporting was unwieldy. If all you do is track PTO on a spreadsheet, perhaps it is manageable. But who has the time—or the interest—to do that?”


BZ had used Zenefits in a prior role where she was responsible for hiring up to 300 people a year, so it was an easy decision once she assessed the needs at Internet Archive. “Zenefits helps me deliver on efficiency and cost containment, and frankly, makes me look great. I can get a request for new hire paperwork and can get it all back in two minutes: from my phone, and while I’m in a meeting.”

Digital tools for a digital team

The nearly 200 roles within Internet Archive range from the development teams to those tagging 8,000 hours of TV every week to the teams that scan books, magazines, yearbooks and public records and more. The organization’s mission of “Universal Access to all Knowledge” captures the best—and worst—of our culture; film, music, literature, games. All digitally.

“Our people have different schedules, different priorities and time zones: all with competing needs. Time-sensitive stuff happens in HR all the time. It’s hard with a distributed workforce. On top of that, I’m also Director of Administration and we put on 35 events per year. I needed technology to help me manage all those details, fast.”

For HR, one of the first things BZ did was to replace an outdated insurance broker with Zenefits.

“Today, with Zenefits and OneDigital I have both easy-touse technology and technically adept brokers. Our old brokers were flummoxed by all things tech, which was a nightmare. I probably had 10-15 systems to do benefits. Now I only have one: and even better, we came in 50% less on insurance costs than I’d expected.”

HR was also an easy decision.“For hiring new employees across the country, I had been drowning in paper. Zenefits making onboarding wicked fast, and paperless. Brilliant!”

As a non profit, we survive on average $30 donations. We saved $60,000 by moving to Zenefits payroll alone. That is a lot of $30 donations.

BZ Petroff
Director of Administration & HR

And for the most recent addition, payroll, BZ wanted to replace Paychex: “Their process was weird, expensive and I couldn’t run the reports we needed to prepare for grants needed to support our non-profit’s funding. We did our first pay run with Zenefits in early January. I felt so comfortable with the process, that I got on a plane to Barcelona the afternoon we hit the payroll button with Zenefits the first time.”

“Our use of Zenefits has been immensely satisfying. We were losing substantial money on people (nearly 20% of the time) not putting in PTO properly, which meant I had to try to chase them down to get this registered. Because PTO is managed in Zenefits and linked to payroll, I no longer have to chase down PTO. That was the final selling point to my boss!”

In addition to helping streamline process and paperwork for BZ, she says that the “ah-ha’ from her investment was having access to Zenefits’ HR Library, and using it as a great educational tool for one of her colleagues who is brand new to HR.

This veteran of Hollywood made a final, fitting analogy: “Ideally, using software is like having a good soundtrack in a movie; It’s in the flow. You don’t typically notice it until there is a bad fit. When the soundtrack is bad, you no longer believe in it, and you disconnect. I believe in Zenefits. In fact, I’m a fangirl.”