Gusto helps rapidly growing startup YellowBird simplify onboarding and build employee trust

With Gusto, YellowBird has been able to offer new employees a more efficient onboarding experience, manage a distributed workforce while remaining compliant and boost team engagement by implementing a system for employee feedback that has resulted in positive change.

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With Gusto, YellowBird has:

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Saved 75 hours of onboarding time over the last year

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Increased employee satisfaction due to implementing monthly surveys with an average 70% response rate

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Reduced tax-related administrative work by 60 hours per year

About YellowBird

Where: Phoenix, AZ
Industry: Technology, EHS & Risk Marketplace 
Employees: 25+
Joined Gusto: January 2020

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, YellowBird is a data-driven professional matching platform that connects certified environmental, health, safety, and risk professionals to job opportunities on demand. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, YellowBird leveraged the increased demand for health and safety experts to expand its professional user base, accelerate company growth, and become a go-to choice for customers across the country. 

YellowBird started working with Gusto in 2020 to streamline its onboarding, benefits enrollment, and employee feedback processes. With Gusto, YellowBird significantly reduced the amount of time needed to onboard new employees, remain compliant across states and implement new policies based on feedback gathered from employee surveys. 

Gusto has helped YellowBird streamline onboarding, increase employee engagement, and stay compliant

Faster onboarding for a growing employee base

Having grown by 440% since 2020, YellowBird needed an HR software that could quickly and efficiently onboard new employees who were ready to hit the ground running. 

When a new employee is scheduled to start, Gusto’s onboarding tools automatically work to enroll them in benefits and sort out payroll processes. To ensure nothing is missed, Gusto flags overdue tasks in one place and even engages the office manager to get ahead of tasks like creating business cards and signing up the new team member on Zoom. Using Gusto, YellowBird has saved approximately 75 hours in the last year. 

“The visual nature of the dashboard makes the onboarding process easy to track and doesn’t require constant oversight from management, which greatly consolidates all processes and makes everything seamless,” says Michelle Tinsley, Co-Founder and President at YellowBird. 

“Running a startup means I have a lot of different responsibilities, from finance to operations to partnerships,” explains Tinsley. “I don’t usually have the bandwidth to focus on every aspect of HR, so Gusto’s platform is a really easy and structured way to ensure that we are onboarding new employees in the most efficient way possible.”

Saving 60 hours a year on compliance for a distributed workforce

During the pandemic, YellowBird realized that it needed to expand its talent search to other states to stay competitive. However, complying with local tax regulations in a remote work environment can be a challenge. With Gusto, YellowBird was able to stay up-to-date on tax procedures for each employee, regardless of their location.

“It can become difficult keeping up with state unemployment, state withholding, and federal withholding regulations,” says Tinsley. “The thing I value most with Gusto is that it keeps us legal. When we extended an offer to a candidate based out of Massachusetts, we were able to learn through Gusto how to become a registered employer in that state. Right from the get-go, Gusto directed me to the correct forms that needed to be filled out to stay compliant.”  

On average, Gusto has saved YellowBird five hours a month (equating to 60 hours annually) on administrative time related to compliance. Because Gusto consolidates all tax processes in one place, the platform provides a more flexible working policy—and far less stress related to employee location changes.  

“We had a team member relocate to Washington and quickly learned that it was one of the most difficult states to get registered in,” states Tinsley. “Washington requires that you use a registered agent, so Gusto provided us a recommendation for someone who could help us through the process. I could have spent hours doing manual research on compliance regulation, but I didn’t have to because Gusto handles all of that.” 

Pulse surveys lead to 70% response rate, boosting worker satisfaction

YellowBird strives to create a welcoming and collaborative environment for its employees. To continually improve company culture and increase employee satisfaction, YellowBird administers monthly feedback surveys through Gusto. The Gusto platform generates different survey topics to help management get a quick pulse point on various aspects of the company. 

YellowBird started using the Gusto monthly employee surveys in January 2020. Now that they are 18+ months in on the journey they have three to four data points on key themes like accountability, management and goal setting. Feedback has prompted changes within the company, including improved benefits such as adding a 401(k) in 2022.

“Surveys are short and sweet, which means people are engaged,” says Tinsley. “The quick turnaround time and predetermined topics give management time to act on the results of the survey. We generally make one to two positive changes a month based on feedback, which is both digestible on the management and employee side and allows a steady flow of improvements to happen.” 

Surveys are short and sweet, which means people are engaged…The quick turnaround time and predetermined topics give management time to act on the results of the survey.
Co-Founder & President

Providing competitive benefits for a healthier and happier workforce

To ensure employees are well taken care of during a stage of rapid growth, YellowBird offers health, dental, and vision insurance, as well as a 401(k), paid time off, and sick leave. Gusto’s platform makes it easy for employees to select the benefits that best suit their needs.  Employees can see the differences in what is covered under each plan as well as their out of pocket monthly contribution- so they can choose the plan that is best for them. Additionally, YellowBird uses feedback from surveys to find out how it can continually improve its benefit offerings.

“Twice a year, we use the surveys administered through Gusto to find out which benefits employees would like us to add,” states Tinsley. “Right now, we’re looking into adding an HSA, commuter benefits, maternity leave, and paternity leave. Gusto will be especially helpful to ensure we are FMLA compliant if we decide to add parental leave.” 

Expanding with adaptable HR tools

With all of these powerful tools and features, Gusto has made a big impact on YellowBird’s growth trajectory. Says Tinsley, “Our goal is to grow our employee base by 270% by the end of 2023, so we need an HR platform that can scale to support a growing headcount, provide competitive benefits, and support a flexible working environment, regardless of location.”

With such ambitious aspirations, it’s no wonder YellowBird teamed up with Gusto. Success stories like these fuel everyone at Gusto to continue building a stronger platform to support growing businesses of today and tomorrow.

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