[Customer Spotlight]: How the Oasis Center is Helping Nashville's Youth Thrive

The Oasis Center is committed to helping Nashville’s youth thrive. See how the non-profit uses HR software to power their mission.

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HR software powers the Oasis Center

For the past 48 years, Oasis Center has been committed to helping young people move into a happy, healthy, and productive adulthood. Offering safety and support to Nashville’s most vulnerable and disconnected youth, Oasis Center teaches young people how to transform the conditions that create problems, and offers a place where ideas come to life and where creativity and dreams are met with a commitment to act.
“We really do everything A-Z for young people,” says Shanda Hampton, Vice President of Human Resources at Oasis Center. “From having a crisis shelter in place for young people needing a break from a family situation all the way to helping first generation prospective college students navigate the application and decision-making process, we are here to empower these 13-24 year olds and teach them how to help themselves.”
Being a growing and in-demand nonprofit, resources and time are scarce. That’s one of the many reasons that Shanda turned to Zenefits as her HR Software system. “I’ve been at the center for over 20 years. We have 64 full-time employees and 46 part-time employees and I’m the only HR person. Zenefits helps me spend less time on paperwork and more time on the strategic areas that help impact our community.”
Shanda estimates that she is saving 15-25% of her time on HR tasks after implementing Zenefits. This time saved is applied to helping Oasis make progress on other important things for their business and community.

Program Development

“At the center, we don’t want to put Band-Aids on problems, we want to drive systemic change. We want to build programs that develop our youth and drive measurable, sustainable improvements.”
With the time saved from administrative work, Shanda can solve more complex problems for their business. For example, Oasis Center has 21 programs to manage and making sure these are the right programs to offer is important.
“At Oasis Center, we want to base what services and programs we offer on data – what has worked and what hasn’t. We can also apply this data to how we work with young people and families”. Using the Zenefits Business Intelligence tool, it’s easy for Shanda to gather data,analyze results, and share that with her leadership team. “We want to build a culture of inquiry at Oasis Center. Being able to quickly see where we’re having turnover or where we’re having active engagement helps us make better decisions”.  

People Development

Being an HR team of one, recruiting and hiring can be a challenge – especially in a competitive market.
“We want the top talent, but as a nonprofit, we know we can’t afford to pay the top dollar.” That’s why Oasis Center provides an extensive training and development program for their staff. “We get a lot of professionals just starting in their career. We offer them focused training and a career trajectory either here at Oasis Center or elsewhere in their career.” With the time Shanda saves by using Zenefits, she can invest in this program.
Zenefits has also made onboarding new hires at Oasis Center easier.
“Now I can start the onboarding process well before the new-hire’s first day. And the online dashboard and documents app make it so much easier to gather their paperwork and store it safely.” But it’s not just the new-hire process that Zenefits helps with. “Being a non profit, we have regulations and compliance checks, such as I-9’s licenses, etc. With Zenefits, our leadership can quickly view and confirm that we have all the paperwork we need to remain in compliance.”
In addition to hiring, onboarding, and staff training and development, they have time for a little fun, too.
“Now that I have more time, I can plan things like staff retreat days. At our previous retreat, we made movies based on impact areas for the business, shared them with each other and had an award session. We want our staff to be creative and inspired, and this helped drive teamwork. It’s part of the culture we’re building here and helps us bring fresh ideas and thinking into the community”.

Community Development

Oasis Center is really about giving more to Nashville’s youth.
“We want to see all the amazing and positive things happen for all our youth. We want to help them get into college, find jobs, and be successful in the workplace. They just need someone there to support them. So many are missing that adult figure to help and empower them – so we want to show the world that our youth has a voice, and there is so much more to them.”
As the Oasis Center continues to push their mission and develop the community, Shanda is glad that Zenefits is along for the ride.
“Zenefits is really the HR system for us. It fits in our budget and helps us do everything we need, we can connect our payroll into it, we can run reports, and we love that everything is online, easy to use, all in one platform.”

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