HR Case Study

How Greenhouse Brought HR In-House with Namely

  • Industry
  • Location
    NYC & SF
  • Size
    200 Employees


Greenhouse was founded with one mission: Make companies great at hiring. Greenhouse’s recruiting software helps businesses find, interview, and hire the right talent by fostering collaboration between team members, automating administrative tasks, and creating structured hiring practices.

  • Bronze Winner of the 2016 Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Talent Management Awards
  • Glassdoor 2017 #1 Best Place to Work (Small and Medium Businesses) and Employees’ Choice Award
  • San Francisco Business Times “Best Places to Work in 2016”
Group9 ProPic GHYNYC 2016 Office GHSF 2016

Jessica Pfisterer, Director,
People Operations

After studying Communication and Political Science during her undergrad years, Jessica received a law degree from Georgetown, with a focus on employment law. She worked in the legal field for a few years, and then she made a switch back to the growing San Francisco tech scene—an industry she had worked in before law school. Hired as a jack-of-all trades at MuleSoft, she ended up starting their People Operations department and played a key role in growing the company from 100 employees to over 600 in her three years there.

In 2015, Jessica moved to Greenhouse, another fast-growing company, as the Director, People Operations. During her first year alone, Jessica saw employee headcount quadruple!


“Because we’re an HR technology company, it is important for us to have an in-house HR platform. We want to create a great employee experience.”

Prior to using Namely, Greenhouse relied on a PEO provider for their HR, payroll, and benefits management. As the company grew, the PEO technology no longer made sense from both a financial and cultural standpoint.

With a young workforce dedicated to building their own intuitive and easy-to-use HR software, employee buy-in played an important part in Jessica’s decision. She wanted to find technology that felt as modern and employee-friendly as the one they are building. “Because we’re an HR technology company, it is important for us to have HR in-house. We want to create a great employee experience.”

GREENHOUSE’S wishlist:

+ Lower benefits rates

The Greenhouse workforce skews younger, making them a great candidate for lower healthcare rates. Plus, many of their employees were interested in HSAs. By using TriNet, Greenhouse employees were pooled with others who brought the average cost up. By moving onto their own plans, Jessica knew she could get lower rates for the company and employees.

+ Better employee experience

When outsourcing HR to TriNet, employees had to call a 1-800 number whenever they had questions about HR and payroll. This meant waiting on hold, being re-directed, and then having to explain questions to strangers unaware of the employees’ personal situations. This wasn’t the high-touch experience that Greenhouse employees deserved.

+ Single Source of Truth

Knowing that the People Operations team would not be growing, it was crucial to Jessica that the system be easy to manage and include everything she needs to manage HR, payroll, and benefits. Having to learn how to use more than one system was not an option.

The Evaluation

Getting Buy-in from Employees, Not Just the C-Suite

As soon as Jessica started at Greenhouse, she hit the ground running. Knowing Greenhouse’s needs, she began an in-depth evaluation of every mid-market HR and payroll software. “As an HR Tech company, every employee, from sales to engineering, had an opinion.” To avoid any bias, Jessica set up side-by-side comparisons in Excel, evaluating features, user experience, and the partnership she would gain from the vendor.

First, Jessica narrowed it down to the highly integrated solutions. With a small People Team, having HR and payroll in one system was key. Greenhouse also required integrated time tracking, since a fraction of their workforce is hourly. From there, the user experience and vendor partnership became the real deciding factors.

Staying true to their employee-centric culture, Jessica asked her employees what they wanted in an HR system. Overwhelmingly, their response was a self-serve solution. They wanted transparency into their own payroll and benefits information, and they did not want to rely on HR every single time they needed something. That’s why Jessica was drawn to Namely’s individual employee profiles, which give everyone in the company easy access to paystubs, time off tracking, team and department information, and more. Namely’s ability to empower employees made the platform a top contender.

Want to see why employees love using Namely? Schedule a demo today!

The final point that convinced not only Jessica, but also her CEO and executive team, was the similarity in culture between Namely and Greenhouse. Namely and Greenhouse have had a long-standing partnership. Over the years, the two companies have shared clients and the stages at many HR and tech events. “We have similar outlooks on growth and how to do HR. I think we’re well-aligned.” Knowing Namely would never have their own employees use a mediocre software, she trusted that Namely was the right solution for her staff too.


The ROI of Using Namely

While an improved employee experience was an obvious benefit for Greenhouse, these other wins have maintained Jessica’s confidence in her decision to select Namely's full-service HR platform.

“We’ve had a great response from employees and no questions or confusion when using Namely.”

Jessica’s Favorite Feature: Simple HR Analytics & Reporting

Namely comes with a library of standard reports to help People Operations teams save time, along with the option to customize reports. Through Namely’s configurable reporting, Jessica has been able to set up reports that show her everything she needs to know about the company and individual employees. Reports can be saved and accessed over and over again—or created on the fly with drag-and-drop fields. For example, the Employee Experience Team pulls a weekly anniversary report so they never forget when to congratulate a team member and give them some coveted Greenhouse swag.



Not only was Jessica able to save the company and staff money by shopping for employee benefits outside of a PEO provider, but Greenhouse’s per-employee-per-month cost also dropped by moving from a PEO to Namely. By using a PEO, you are effectively paying for someone else to run your HR. But because Greenhouse had an internal People Operations team, they were essentially “paying double,” as Jessica put it. With Namely, they trained the team to take on new responsibilities and brought HR entirely in-house.


“We were looking for a system both our People team and employees would love...and then we found Namely.”


Having extensive experience with different HR systems, Jessica started her search with a strong game plan. She created a set list of requirements and then used a master Excel list to track what each system could do throughout the evaluation process. This helped Jessica easily narrow down her options and pick the finalists.

Next she had to convince finance—a common hurdle People teams face when picking HR and payroll software. Saving money is usually their biggest concern, so Jessica found ways to speak their language. Not only did her proposal call out all of the benefits to HR, she also ran the financial calculations to show her executive team just how much money Greenhouse would save. That made their sign-off an easy bet.

Finally, Jessica never stopped asking for more. With a system as configurable as Namely, the possibilities are endless. “We’ve made a lot of requests and want to use it more. We’re always thinking of other ways to use features, and Namely really listens and helps us make this possible.”

Greenhouse is one of hundreds of companies that use Namely to streamline their HR, payroll and time management needs.

Ready to see how Namely can drive engagement for your company? Request your demo today.