D.W. Bobst, CEO, TrendHRD.W. Bobst, CEO
With everything going on in the business marketplace today, it is a no brainer that PEOs are an eternal boon for companies that may not have the in-house resources or expertise to run comprehensive HR functions. TrendHR, in this regard, is a PEO that has evolved over 22 years, to become a well rounded enterprise that caters to varied clients with HR functions like employee onboarding, retirement, insurance, to name a few. The company’s is on a growth journey forged by their customers’ evolving needs.

In an interview with Manage HR, DW. Bobst, CEO of TrendHR, tells us how the company continues to help its clients in various HR functions with its software platform, allowing them to focus on their business process.

Could you walk our readers through the historical background of TrendHR?

TrendHR was founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1997 as a staffing and recruiting company. Soon we had clients with requirements that went beyond staffing needs. Therefore, in 2001, Trend started what was called back then, the Staff Leasing Model, where we provide staff for our client’s needs as well as provide the required insurance and licensing. Over time, we had clients who also needed additional human resources like health benefits, a robust HR software platform, and other Human Resource needs to better serve their employees as well as oversight on labor costs. Consequently, we included that in our HR outsourcing model in 2005. Today, we handle over 10,000 worksite employees in 38 states and manage about 250 clients across the nation. We also have a lot of business on the West Coast and the Mid-West.

What do you feel are the biggest pain points that most of your clients face when running HR functions?

Every client company is unique as they all are run by individuals who have different dreams for themselves and their families. You may have one client who has issues with safety and risk. Their employees can get various injuries, and they may not know how to handle the situation. Thus, we help them with their workers’ compensation insurance and risk management to help keep their employees safe. We also have clients who do not understand how to manage high level HR and governmental issues for their employees. These owners are and should be more focused on their business and thus lack the basic understanding of how to hire, train, and motivate their employees along with complying with governmental requirements. We help them build the processes, the handbooks and benefits packages, including group health insurance, for their employees so that they can adequately focus on their business process.

Can you name some of the sectors or industries that TrendHR caters to?

TrendHR helps anyone who wants to manage, train and further their employee’s careers and well being. Trend concentrates on the Home Service, Healthcare and Manufacturing sectors. These sectors such as A/C technicians, electricians and plumbers as well as nurses and other healthcare workers. Since there are usually many potential hazards involved in that line of work, a lot of employee training and licensing is required and maintained. Therefore, these employees are difficult to find and well sought after. We also deal with a lot of companies in the Service Industries and are among the largest restaurant PEOs in the nation.

Could you tell our readers about your solutions and services portfolio?

The advantage that TrendHR has over its peers is that you get one global HR software solution that ties several functions together through one software platform. Be it an employee’s initial application and retirement package, health, life or other ancillary insurance, reviews, I-9, or W-2 forms—all are there in a single paperless platform. We are putting that information for the client, management, and ownership, as the employees themselves use the same portals with different access points such as their smart phones. Thus, it becomes much easier for the company to handle their daily requirements for success and growth. All the client will need to do is download the software into the accounting system they currently use and can now easily oversee all labor cost and management functions.

Be it employee’s retirement package, health insurance, reviews, their I-9 or W-2 forms—all are there in a single platform

How do you begin an engagement with a client? Is there a particular process in place?

Sometimes, some of our clients are so busy growing their business that they never do a true cost-benefit analysis of their employee services like their health and ancillary benefits, retirement costs, workers comp insurance, payroll and HR software and accounting costs on their own. So, we ask them to give us all the different HR information to create a cost-benefit analysis report. We then make a side-by-side comparison of what TrendHR’s products and services can do as opposed to what they are currently using. If they agree to our services, then we move into a client service agreement that shows what role each Party has. If it is acceptable looks good, then we move forward. We put the client’s information in the system, and then it’s all paperless, therefore, themselves, their managers and employees can access information anywhere, through their computers or smartphones.

Could you describe a case study where you helped a specific client with staffing issues in the past?

A good example is Milestone Electric in the Dallas Fort Worth area. They have been open for 20 years, and we brought them on as a client about 15 years ago. At first, they had around 25 employees, and we helped them grow to almost 250 employees in less than 10 years before deciding to take some of their HR functions in-house. So it’s a success story that they have been among the fastest-growing companies in America. They focused on growing their business as we took care of their HR functions. They now thrive as the No.1 home electrical company in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

What do you think differentiates TrendHR from the rest of its peers in the PEO market space?

The differentiator is that we make sure we still have the human touch while many of our competitors use technology as their first and foremost way of adding and maintaining business. We feel that talking and interacting face-to-face with employees is still warranted in the workforce today, whereas a lot of our peers prefer technology to such human interactions.

What kind of feedback do you usually receive from your clients, and how has that influenced the future direction of your company?

Our initiative has always been to take great care of our current clients and fulfill their needs, thereby, growing through word of mouth and referrals. Year over year, we grow between 10-30 percent. On average, our clients have been with us for around eight years. We measure our success with client retention and growth through word of mouth. In today’s time of COVID-19 and the resulting uncertain economic landscape, a company needs to have a sounding board. Our services are a small fraction compared to a full time HR Director or Legal team. We are cost-effective for smaller companies and can help them walk through governmental requirements such as PPP loans and manage their employees, as we strive to guide them through the ongoing crisis.