Norma Cataneda,  Founder, HR AdvantageNorma Cataneda, Founder
Since its inception over a decade ago, HR Advantage has been driven by the mission to become the go-to HR partner for businesses. The company’s team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals goes beyond the traditional cookie-cutter approach to help visionary business leaders accelerate their individual, team, and organizational development efforts. HR Advantage has enabled several small and mid-sized businesses to elevate operational efficiency and build the right team that contributes to the larger organizational goals.

In a conversation with Manage HR, Norma Castaneda, the Founder of HR Advantage, says how the company is at the forefront of helping clients drive sustainable and accelerated improvements. Clients are discovering an outside perspective from a full cycle HR team brings incredible value to understanding and enhancing their current culture without any internal biases.

What are some of the issues that plague your clients today?

In the post-pandemic world, most business owners are puzzled by the overarching question—what will it take for their businesses to be relevant to all the stakeholders? The growing trend of remote working (and, needless to say, the resultant communication gap) has increased the demand for new management approaches and improved executive capabilities. As such, management and the HR leaders are struggling to align yesterday’s best practices with today’s requirements.

In response, we immediately shifted all our operations online and trained our consultants around all necessary COVID protocols and guidelines. Simultaneously, we launched a COVID division to resolve all queries and help clients electronically complete any paperwork.

Another hurdle that businesses face today revolves around attracting and retaining key talents. To this end, our trainers and coaches perform cultural assessments within clients’ organizations, advise them on what needs to be changed, and architect different programs to help clients address their needs.

We heavily invest in customer service workshops. Take our HR Master Class, for instance. These fun, informative sessions play a vital role in bridging the communication gap between employers and employees.

Please shed some light on the approach that HR Advantage undertakes while engaging with clients.

As an all-around HR and Business Development partner, we offer HR services ranging from executive search, payroll services, benefits, compliance, training, marketing, strategic development and revenue generation. We customize all our services to align with clients’ vision and organizational culture instead of undertaking any cookie-cutter approach.

While engaging with clients, we usually conduct a strategy meeting with clients’ executive team or their management team. The goal is to understand their corporate objectives and where they want to take their businesses. Following this, we formulate a plan for them, dubbed a work plan that can last anywhere from one to three years. This ability to understand all the intricacies of a business enables us to lead clients to the path of success by streamlining their HR operations.

What are the factors that set HR Advantage a notch over the rest?

All our consultants are 100 percent vetted to align with clients’ demands and form a core part of our team. We employ specialists in payroll law and administration, audits, investigations, benefits, multi-state compliance and business development enabling us to address diverse client requirements. The combined expertise of the team enables us to always undertake a client-centric approach, no matter how complicated the situation is. Backed by such a competent team, we today maintain a 98 percent customer retention rate—which is indeed a difficult feat to achieve, in any industry.
  • As an all-around HR partner, we offer HR services ranging from executive search, payroll services, benefits, compliance, training, marketing, and revenue generation

We also have a 24-hour emergency line to help the clients who operate 24/7/365. Even during the trying times of the pandemic, when most businesses struggled to serve their customers, our team did an exceptional job. They were responsive, handled all the queries from clients with patience and compassion, and provided expert information.

Could you share a client testimonial that showcases the unique abilities of HR Advantage?

A high-profile hospitality group was facing issues with employee retention. Despite having a high turnover and offering competitive salaries, employees were not willing to stay in the organization.

We realized that the primary issue was the lack of proper communication between the employer and its employees. We conducted an employee survey, which revealed that employees were directed by different team leaders. This lack of a single line of command deterred employees from aligning with the broader organizational vision and goal. They were also unable to find the growth trajectory for their career, and employee benefits were not at par with some of the hospitality group’s competitors. The revelation of these factors propelled the management team to change their approach and engage in better communication with the team members. Employees today are happy to be at the company and know the expectations. We have partnered with them for about four years now and are proud of how far they have traversed as an organization.