Case study:

Recruit and retain top tech talent.

Pluralsight is the benefit that technical and creative employees love.

Chicago-area based Paylocity, a powerful payroll and human capital management software, helps thousands of human resource departments coast to coast reduce administrative burden and increase insight into data analytics. By delivering intuitive cloud technology with a mobile-first philosophy, Paylocity helps elevate payroll and HR professionals from the backroom to the boardroom. Of course, Paylocity uses their tools in-house, helping keep their own employees engaged and informed. And they offer another not-so-secret benefit to help technical and creative employees grow their careers— Pluralsight’s online training. 

Pluralsight is the tech recruiter’s not-so-secret weapon.

Competition for employees with the right technical skills is fierce. Making matters more difficult, Paylocity doesn’t settle for just any programmer. It hires remote engineers from across the United States. 

“The number one thing we look for in candidates is the continued desire to learn,” says Chelsey Madsen, a technical recruiter at Paylocity. 

To show job applicants the company is serious about learning, they offer each new employee a Pluralsight account so they can explore, learn and grow. Providing employees with the right tools to learn and the time to use them is a key recruiting tactic. 

“It’s a huge selling tool for us to be able to talk about employee access to Pluralsight and our dedication to having them use the training to learn new skills,” says Laura Durfee, Technical Recruiting Manager. 

Many of the candidates interviewing are already familiar with Pluralsight. 

“Mentioning Pluralsight during the recruiting process usually gets an ‘Oh wow!’ reaction,” says Senior Technical Recruiter Sam Rizvi. “For most developers, it’s their number one resource for increasing their knowledge base and keeping themselves up-to-date with technology and new tools.” 

Sam also tells us demonstrating the company’s commitment to growing employees’ careers during the hiring process has reduced turnover. 

“Retention has been very good. It’s been amazing.” 

Pluralsight helps increase interest from the right job seekers. 

Does offering a benefit that costs less than $50 per month per employee really make a significant difference in choosing an employer? We asked two of Paylocity’s recent hires to find out. Quality Assurance Engineer Amelio Wright told us, “They actually introduced it to me during the recruitment process. So the first phone call I had with the recruiter, he went over the benefits Paylocity offered and Pluralsight was one of them. I thought, ‘that sounds pretty awesome.’ It just made the decision to switch that much easier.” 

Potential employees don’t think of Pluralsight as an inexpensive benefit or a tool most of them can afford on their own. Rather, they see the massive library of training and immediately understand that learning these skills from books and in-person training would cost thousands of dollars. 

Pluralsight’s library of more than 5,000 courses provides an opportunity for personal and career growth that employees truly value. 

“Having access to Pluralsight actually wasn’t on my radar when I was looking for a job, but when Paylocity offered it, I thought it was amazing,” says Software Engineer Sharde Antonio. 

“There aren’t a lot of companies that really invest in the education of their employees, so it was a big reason why they stood out to me. It just shows that they really care when they’re investing the time and money to get me the tools and education I need to learn new technology.” 

Pluralsight gets employees up to speed quickly. 

Access to Pluralsight is a bit like having an expert technology trainer on staff. No matter what programming language or platform you need to understand better, there are in-depth courses on it. As a company develops new software in emerging technologies, employees use Pluralsight to learn new skills and build cutting-edge products. 

Paylocity recently launched a new development effort that required the engineering team to use Angular. 

“We just started using Angular on a project this year and I had no idea,” says Antonio. “I didn’t know anything about it, so I watched a whole bunch of videos on Pluralsight and they were super helpful. It’s a really good tool. The variety of training that they have— almost anything that I’ve ever had a question about or wanted to learn, I just type it in to the search and up pops a bunch of videos with answers.” 

Dave Schmalz, Developer Lead on the Web Benefits Team offered another example. 

“We had some pretty big concerns about security around ASP.NET and web API,” says Schmalz. “We did some research using Pluralsight. There were a couple courses on that and a security model around it. It helped us develop the security model that we’re using today in some of our products.” 

Employees turn to Pluralsight to both learn new technologies and sharpen their existing skills. 

“I leaned on Pluralsight a lot to help me through understanding JavaScript and jQuery, to really up my game and make sure that I was delivering the quality that was needed for the role that I had,” says Product Team Lead Brett McCarty. 

“It helped propel me to become a more senior developer.” 

Bite-size training makes it easy to learn new skills as needed. 

One of the biggest challenges for organizations with training needs is finding the time for already busy employees to learn. But because Pluralsight’s training is set up in short segments, it can be consumed whenever an employee needs it, even during short breaks. Dan Hassenplug, Paylocity’s Director of User Experience says, 

“Much of the training is shorter, so knowing that you can get a bite-sized chunk done and there’s value at the end of it, even though it’s only 30 minutes long, is a good thing.” 

But that isn’t always the best way to get up to speed with a new skill. In other cases, access to Pluralsight allows the Paylocity team to schedule a day of training—just like an in-house seminar. 

Hassenplug shares an example: “My team needed to transition to Git, but they’re not full-stack developers, they’re typically from a design background. As we started getting into Git, they were intimidated by it. So I told them, why don’t you guys take two days, we’ll order in pizza, and you spend the time going through Pluralsight’s training on Git. After that, they felt so much more comfortable tackling that. Three months later we’re fully operating on Git.” 

Always-available training makes employees “promotable.” 

In today’s competitive environment, growing companies often find it difficult to attract the skilled talent they need for more experienced positions. Paylocity’s learning culture helps solve that problem by enabling employees to move into better career opportunities. The technical recruiting team reports that Pluralsight not only attracts new employees, but it helps retain those same employees as they grow out of lower-level jobs. 

“We’re showing genuine interest in furthering their careers and helping them out with more than just moving from one position to another,” Rizvi says. “There’ve been a lot of folks [using Pluralsight] that have realized their goals and objectives fairly quickly. They’re already moving into other positions, leading teams and getting into management. We are very willing to provide folks with all the tools they require, not only to get the job done, but also to realize their dreams from a career standpoint.” 

What about the risk that they’ll take these newly acquired skills to another employer? That’s not really a consideration, according to Durfee. Even if improving skills makes employees more attractive to other employers, she says, “We’d rather have people at Paylocity learning and growing and moving up within the organization than have them standing still.”

Paylocity at a glance:
  • Paylocity provides a customizable SaaS solution for managing a company’s payroll and human capital management needs for mid-sized organizations.
  • Paylocity has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois five different times. The company has also been ranked on the INC 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America 11 times since 2003.
  • If you’re a fan of the PGA, Paylocity is proud to sponsor PGA up-and-comer Patton Kizzire and PGA legend Kenny Perry.

Empower the people who power your business.