Wunderkind (formerly BounceX) is a leading performance marketing engine that delivers tailored experiences at scale. Digital businesses use Wunderkind to recognize their customers when they’re on their website better than ever before. This allows clients like Uniqlo, Sonos, and HelloFresh to deliver high-converting, one-to-one messages on websites, through emails and texts, and in ads at a scale that’s not otherwise possible.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Kristin decided to dive into the HR field.
“My major in college was Retail and Consumer Science, which ran concentrically with Human Resources and enabled me to take several HR courses. When it was time to make a decision about my career path, I accepted an HR position at a startup in New York City.
Since I was the startup’s only HR employee, I wore a bunch of different hats, which solidified my love for all things people-related. That was many years ago, and the HR field has really evolved since then. HR used to be perceived as a company’s police force but is now completely employee centric. One of the things I’ve loved most about HR has been watching its relationship with employees transform into a supportive partnership, which has been a fascinating thing to observe over the years.”
In 2018, Kristin joined Wunderkind (formerly BounceX) as the HR Business Partner.
“Wunderkind just had this great buzz, and it continues to be that way for me two and a half years later. I think the thing that Wunderkind does best besides selling top-notch software is hiring the smartest and kindest people. Our employee population consists of incredibly good human beings all around. It makes coming to work every day extremely fun.”
Within two years, Kristin was promoted to Wunderkind’s Vice President of HR.
Before transitioning to Namely, Wunderkind (formerly BounceX) was using TriNet, a PEO solution.
“I had used TriNet at previous companies and actually moved all of those companies off of the solution and onto other PEOs. If they were larger companies, I would have considered transitioning them onto HRIS solutions because PEOs become limited once you hit a certain company size. Generally the rule of thumb is once you hit 100 employees, you should transition off of a PEO.”
Since TriNet historically markets to specific industries, like manufacturing, the PEO’s interface is not user-friendly and doesn’t have the modern feel that our employee population gravitates towards. Because of that, we couldn’t get any of our employees to utilize the solution and when they did, it was difficult for them to do simple things like change their home address. For a while TriNet didn’t have a mobile app either, and even when they created one, it was terrible.”
Kristin’s search for a new HR solution began with the need for a more customizable performance review software.
“From a performance review standpoint, TriNet has some true limitations—which prompted us to start looking for a new HR solution in the first place. We only vetted performance review platforms in the beginning. However, none of the performance review vendors that we evaluated, like 15Five, Lattice, and Culture Amp, were customizable in a way that mattered. At Wunderkind, we needed software that was customizable from the ground up. We wanted to make sure we could edit templates by adding questions that were specific to Wunderkind’s core values, and none of those performance review platforms would let us do that.”
“I was searching for a new HR solution with our CFO at the time. One of his top priorities was to find a platform that was easy to use on the back-end from a reporting standpoint so we could tie compensation to performance in a meaningful way. At that point, we were only looking at performance review softwares, and none of them could do that. So we decided to broaden our search and look at more streamlined HR solutions.
As for other HR processes, we wanted to track time and attendance for our interns, co-ops, and hourly employees all in one place. We also wanted to have other features, like an org chart. With TriNet, those features were all additional costs. After realizing this, we decided it made more sense to move everything over from our PEO to an HRIS.”
When looking for an HRIS, Kristin struggled to find a one-stop-shop solution.
“We wanted a solution that had both internal brokerage and payroll services, which is actually really hard to find. Some companies like BambooHR, for instance, will be your broker but not provide you with payroll services. Having multiple HR solutions is complicated—especially for your accounting team who then has to make payments to several different vendors as opposed to one.”
“Namely had been on my radar for years. Being in the HR space, I constantly saw advertisements for Namely events and webinars, so the company had always been in my peripheral vision. Since we were looking for a centralized HRIS that integrated with Greenhouse, our Applicant Tracking System, and had internal payroll and brokerage services, Namely easily became a front runner for us.”
As she narrowed down her search, Kristin was considering Zenefits, BambooHR, and Namely.
“Zenefits and BambooHR’s performance review platforms were nice but weren’t as customizable as Namely’s. Additionally, since Zenefits and BambooHR don’t streamline all HR processes, if we chose either of them we would have also had to find another payroll provider, which was not ideal.”
Eventually it came down to Zenefits and Namely.
“After reviewing Zenefits’ software, we started seeking feedback and heard a lot of horror stories. We heard one horror story that someone couldn’t get their employees’ benefits turned on for four months. When we started seeking feedback about Namely, all the reviews we heard were so positive.
At the end, we sat down with our CEO, CFO, CCO, and COO and confidently chose Namely because it was the only option if we wanted an intuitive platform that was truly a one-stop-shop.”
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Kristin loves how easy it is to create custom reviews through Namely.
“Since implementation, we have loved using Namely’s performance review platform. It has been phenomenal to have our employees set goals for themselves and view each other’s goals. It keeps them engaged in what they’re doing. We have a good cadence of mid-year goal check-ins, where managers sit down with their employees and look at each of their yearly goals to make sure everyone is aligned. At the end of the year we also have 360 degree reviews, which consists of 3 types of reviews: self, peer, and manager. From a creation standpoint, it’s incredible that I can create separate self, peer, and manager reviews for all of my employees. Conducting these different types of reviews allows us to collect feedback that is actually meaningful and important to Wunderkind, which we wouldn’t be able to do by using a generic review template.”
A huge part of Kristin’s role is creating stories with data, which is why she loves that Namely’s reporting and analytics dashboards are so intuitive.
“Personally, I find Namely’s reporting dashboard to be absolutely one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. Whenever we wanted to run a report on TriNet, we had to ask them for it, and it would take up to 72 hours to pull the data. Our CEO particularly hated how cumbersome TriNet’s reporting feature was. Ever since I showed him how easy it was to run reports through Namely, he has loved going into the system and pulling data on his own.
Since we implemented the platform, it’s incredible how many workflows we’ve added to our back-end and how many reports we’ve pulled from them. These reports help us tell a story with data, and that’s extra helpful when we’re putting together executive reports.
I also love the analytics dashboard, especially the Diversity and Inclusion piece. Wunderkind is a very D & I focused company, so being able to pull charts and graphs easily from those reports and use them in decks that we present to our executive team helps us tell a story. We’re able to show our executives what areas we’ve done a great job in and what areas we can still improve in. For instance, we have made the gender split of Wunderkind equitable, and that is much easier to explain with numbers, charts, and graphs rather than just reporting it. Being able to show them the progress we’ve made as a company is so much more powerful that way, especially when we’re trying to get support for initiatives, like D & I recruiting and campus efforts.”
Since TriNet wasn’t user-friendly, Wunderkind’s employees rarely even used the system.
“As a tech company, using Namely’s intuitive, modern solution resonates with our employee population. Our employees have never a hard time navigating through Namely’s platform or mobile app because they are so user-friendly. They frequently view our org chart, which is something we’ve never had before.
They also love using Namely’s time off feature. When I started working at Wunderkind, employees couldn’t view their PTO. Before we implemented Namely, we still tracked PTO on excel spreadsheets because TriNet didn’t offer a free version of that. That was especially cumbersome because Wunderkind had about 250 employees at that point.
With Namely, our employees love being able to view their PTO and see how many vacation days they have left at the touch of a button. The mobile app has been huge for us, too. Managers are able to approve PTO on the go, and we have much more accurate numbers on how many people are taking off when, since they can do it all from the app.
Overall, we’ve seen employee engagement increase tremendously since implementing Namely. We conduct biannual culture and benefits surveys, and we’ve seen the results increase year over year. I think that is attributed to the fact that our employees can easily navigate through Namely and access their own information instead of constantly coming to HR with questions.”
When using TriNet, Kristin found it frustrating that she couldn’t access her employees’ information easily.
“If I had questions about an employee’s benefits, I would have to contact TriNet because I couldn’t go into the system and access them by myself. With Namely’s intuitive platform, I can find all of my employees’ information, without even having to look hard. In TriNet, the system couldn’t track certain employee data like title changes, which means that if an employee was promoted, I couldn’t access any of their information prior to their promotion. Being able to track employees’ career progressions in Namely has been amazing.”
Since partnering with Namely’s Managed Benefits Team, Kristin has established a close relationship with her Benefits Advisor that is built on trust.
“Our Managed Benefits Advisor has been absolutely phenomenal. This year we had a pretty significant increase in our premiums due to reasons not related to Namely, and our Benefits Advisor came in with so many creative solutions for how we could decrease them. In fact, she helped us decrease those premium costs from 13% to 7%. It was truly incredible to watch her work, and I can’t express how on top of it she was from a communication standpoint. She constantly came up with new ideas and kept us updated throughout the whole process. This instantly laid down a solid foundation of trust between us.
Since we trust her expertise, our Benefits Advisor’s recommendations go a really long way now. I don’t even ask her ‘what else can we do’ anymore because I know that whatever it is, she’s already gone the extra mile and looked into it. Overall, she’s been an absolute pleasure to work with. It’s extremely unique to have a Benefits Advisor who goes above and beyond to help you create a package that not only saves you money, but also offers your employees the benefits they deserve.”
“Namely saves me about 20 hours a week easily. When we used TriNet, we wasted so much time because we constantly had to contact them for information. If we had a question about our employees’ benefits or needed to run a report, it would take TriNet 42 to 72 hours to give us a response. With Namely, we’re able to go into the system and access all of that information ourselves. And when we have a question or can’t access certain information, Namely’s support team gets back to us instantly. The time Namely has saved me is invaluable.
I always recommend Namely to other HR leaders because they’re usually searching for a solution that is fully customizable. When you use some of the other big HRIS systems, you don’t have that kind of flexibility. Every company has a different employee population, and that’s why being able to customize your HR solution is so crucial. Yes, it’s important to have a solution that supports other HR pieces like compliance, but you also need to be able to customize things from the ground up. Luckily for us, Namely has both.”
Wunderkind (formerly BounceX) is one of more than 1,400 companies that use Namely to streamline people operations, payroll, benefits, and time & attendance needs.