Is Your Human Resources A Zoo?

Written by: Brady Drake

Pro Resources provides the solution!

HR compliance, payroll, benefits, safety; if you’re a business owner, Executive Director or a C-level executive, you simply don’t have time for all of it.

Or at least it makes doing the real work – strategic planning, operations, managing people, fundraising, recruiting – much more difficult. That’s why after seven years with the Red River Zoo, Sally Jacobson finally made a move to change things last year. That’s why she now works with PRO Resources, an outsourced HR solution that offers expertise in Human Resources, Payroll, Benefits Administration, Workers’ Compensation, Safety Compliance, Employee Assistance Programs, Wellness and so much more. PRO has all the tools, and a team of professionals to make managing your people easy. From streamlined onboarding, easy PTO tracking, viewing your pay stubs, performance reviews, and other customized solutions.

It was a lot on me. I was responsible for all the HR, time management, payroll, safety and everything related to employment. It was a lot of extra work that I had to fit into my day. I used to think that being the CEO of a small organization just came with those responsibilities. Being able to use PRO has really helped save me a lot of time so I can focus on what I need to do and my area of expertise, business profitability and growth. Sally Jacobson, Red River Zoo CEO

The “job” that Jacobson is now more free to do, is an important one. Not only is the Red River Zoo a place of employment for over two dozen of our citizens, but it is also a pillar of the community and a beacon of hope for a number of endangered species.

“Our zoo is really a space of community,” said Jacobson. “When people are considering moving to the area, they’ll look around and really try to see what the community is all about and what it has to offer. The zoo is a huge part of the community with all of our events, hosting of birthday parties and just being a place for people to come to see the animals and enjoy the scenery.”

Conservation Work At The Red River Zoo

The Zoo is a protected haven where breeding and caring for threatened animals can help protect them from extinction. The Red River Zoo is known around the world for its work with Chinese Red Pandas, Sichuan Takin, and Pallas Cats, all of which are endangered species. “We are dedicated to helping the animals that we can,” said Jacobson.

Pallas Cat
A Pallas Cat at the Red River Zoo.

Prior to working with PRO Resources, Jacobson and her team were managing everything through a series of “home-made” spreadsheets and manual processes. Anyone who has done this knows that it is less than ideal and very time-consuming. Jacobson was aware that there was a better way of doing things and that their organization could benefit from outside help. As a non-profit, she didn’t think the Red River Zoo was in a place financially to change the way it was doing things. She found out she was wrong.

“Our income and how we spend our money is so critical,” said Jacobson. “However, after meeting with PRO, I was really surprised at how affordable their services are and that a business like ours could take advantage of something like that. It was a lot less than hiring a person to do it all. It was a no-brainer.”

Which service has been most impactful for your business?

“I think the HR management has been really key for us. They know the answers to all of our questions and are able to give us updates when employment and HR laws are changed. We have best practices always in place. They also provide these fabulous trainings and everything is tracked through the portal,” said Sally Jacobson.

Sally Jacobson

Since onboarding with PRO Resources, which included a discovery meeting
to determine the Zoo’s specific needs, a proposal of their services and a quote, Jacobson and her team at the Red River Zoo have been the beneficiaries of PRO’s seamless technology. Their system can be used for all new employment paperwork, time and attendance, PTO tracking, training, document access, benefit election, reports and they have a team of professionals that support them at PRO Resources.

“They have a fabulous portal where we can track all of our employees’ timesheets and progress on training,” said Jacobson. “It’s sort of a one-stop-shop to go to for questions on safety to questions on training or benefits. I can email one person and have that person help me with everything. It’s really the perfect mix of technology and personal touch. I feel really comforted working with someone and knowing that their job is to assist us, answer questions and keep us in compliance. I sleep a little better at night now.”

Working with PRO Resources has also allowed the Zoo to offer employee benefits to its staff. Something they weren’t able to provide previously.

“It’s also very difficult to recruit people to come live and work in our area,” said Jacobson “It’s a highly competitive market in our industry, so to be able to offer benefits to the employees coming in to join our team, has been an excellent way for us to attract and retain our top talent.”

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.