RealWork Labs

How Gusto Helped RealWork Labs Modernize the Employee Onboarding Experience

With Gusto, RealWork Labs increased headcount by 4x, yet dramatically cut its onboarding time, enabling it to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time focusing on business needs.

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About RealWork Labs

Where: Austin, TX
Industry: Technology, App Software
Employees: 50+
Joined Gusto: November 2020


RealWork Labs, headquartered in Austin, Texas, creates content marketing software for the home services industry. The software helps providers like plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, roofers and landscapers improve their web presence by using video testimonials, customer recommendations, and social media. 

RealWork Labs joined Gusto a few months after its founding in 2020 as it sought an all-in-one people platform to help it pay, hire, onboard, and provide benefits for its growing team. Gusto supported RealWork Labs in streamlining the new employee onboarding experiences by eliminating the mountains of paperwork associated with the previous manual onboarding process. The result: a positive experience for employees from day one.

Gusto’s HR tools helped RealWork Labs modernize workforce management

Expert HR tools for today’s startup needs

For a new startup with intentions to expand, it was crucial for Rusty Fincke, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of RealWork Labs, to use a payroll and HR platform equipped to grow alongside his business, right from inception.

“We started RealWork Labs in August 2020. We signed up for Gusto shortly after and never looked back,” explains Fincke. “I was so impressed with Gusto’s offerings, not only for small businesses, but also for growing mid-sized businesses like ourselves. For instance, seeing that Gusto could help with brokering health insurance, 401(k) benefits, and contractor hiring, we were pleased by both the accessibility and affordability Gusto offered.”

Fincke further valued Gusto’s ongoing platform enhancements, including the new products, features, and services added  since the company’s inception aimed at supporting RealWork Labs’ ever-expanding team of 40 employees.

“We love that it always feels like Gusto is hearing our feedback and implementing it by adding or upgrading features. We feel listened to and that solidified that Gusto was the right choice for us,” says Fincke.

Streamlined new hire processes for 10x faster onboarding experience

As a rapidly growing company, manually processing onboarding paperwork for each new hire was tedious. However, with Gusto’s suite of onboarding tools, including the automated filing system and a guided checklist that eliminates the guesswork, RealWork Labs was able to streamline its new hire experience from start to finish. In total, it saves the team up to five hours per employee. 

Onboarding made easyI’d say we’ve saved at least 12 hours per month when it comes to onboarding paperwork
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer,
RealWork Labs

“I’d say we’ve saved at least 12 hours per month when it comes to onboarding paperwork,” says Fincke. “I love that I can electronically file I-9 forms within the Gusto interface. I can also verify a new hire’s personal information, such as their passport, driver’s license and social security documents all in one place. It’s much more convenient than our outdated manual process.”

In addition to verifying documents, Fincke valued Gusto’s communication capabilities to efficiently relay timely and essential information to his team. 

“I love Gusto’s onboarding experience, especially uploading employee documents, because it’s seamless. For instance, when we finalized our employee handbook, we were able to easily upload it and prompt employees to sign it soon after. Employees had no issues finding, reading, and signing that handbook—all from home,” explained Fincke. 

Recordkeeping all-in-one place

The convenience of uploading documents was important, but Fincke emphasized how much he valued Gusto to keep track of key documents throughout the life of his business. Whether filing new hire paperwork or updating employee information, he appreciated that once a document was uploaded, it could be viewed by both by employees and administrators, making Gusto a reliable system of record. 

“Before Gusto, our document tracking system was unorganized with a ton of papers everywhere. Now, Gusto helps us keep track of employee paperwork and lowers the error risk as well as the chance for things to get lost,” stated Fincke. “This goes hand in hand with employee communication and transparency. If an employee needs help finding a document or an answer to a benefit question, we have a central source of truth and can double check the system. It’s the ‘trust–but verify’ approach that helps keep us honest.”

Gusto helped RealWork Labs stay compliant with nationwide remote hiring

RealWork Labs’ workforce is located in Austin, Texas, but as business needs arised, they have hired employees out of state to support their growing business. However, hiring was a challenge when it came to implementing RealWork Labs’ PTO and sick leave policies due to state-specific time-off requirements.  

“We were onboarding an employee working remotely in Arizona where the PTO law differs from Texas. As a company, we offer an unlimited PTO policy, but the state of Arizona requires a separate bank of sick time.  Every period we have to report how much sick time this employee has remaining,” says Fincke. 

As a trusted advisor, Fincke turned to Gusto to better understand how to navigate this requirement given RealWork Lab’s unlimited PTO policy.

“We reached out to Gusto and they told us exactly how to do it and it saved us so much time,” shares Fincke. “Each quarter, we have to show how much we’ve paid employees for both net and gross earnings. The five hours we’ve saved on quarterly payroll filings because we know we’re doing it right, is huge. Now if I need to do this again, I know how to go about it.”

Supportive and trusted HR partner

“When we first began with Gusto, they were fully capable at delivering on every one of our business needs,” says Fincke. “You just don’t see the innovations such as onboarding new hires with minimal intervention such as prompting them to sign the company handbook or set up ACH for payroll. For a company of its size, we love that Gusto has been able to build what we need, when we need it. But, it proves they’re in tune with what businesses need. Overall, it’s been a positive experience and we’re excited to continue to grow with them.”

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