How myFlex Benefits is helping this HR consulting firm meet the needs of its clients – and its employees
Early in her career, when Carly Holm was in HR with a large company in Toronto, she worked alongside an independent consultant whom she admired. Not only was Holm inspired by the woman’s HR expertise, but also the flexibility she had achieved in her career.
“She had a young family and she just seemed to have this balance in her life that the others on the team didn’t,” says Holm. “I remember thinking, ‘I want that.’”
Eight years later, Holm left her job and started her own HR consulting firm. She picked up a few projects with small companies and soon noticed a gap. Many of her clients needed strategic HR support but were too small to have their own in-house HR professional.
Recognizing a good opportunity, she founded Humani HR, a boutique consulting firm that provides HR support and consulting services to small- and mid-sized employers across Canada.
Her instincts proved right and Humani HR has seen tremendous growth. She hired her first employee in 2019 and now has a team of 15 people. Her staff is made up entirely of women, many with young children. As an employer, her mission is to provide the flexible and supportive workplace she longed for when she started her career.
“One of our core values is taking a flexible approach to everything we do,” says Holm. “I think that’s the future. It’s absolutely important.”
Taking a flexible approach to benefits
As the company grew and it was time to upgrade the benefits plan from a health care spending account, Holm knew it needed to be flexible.
“A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work for everyone,” she says.
She first discovered myFlex Benefits, a cafeteria-style plan offered by Equitable Life, when she was researching solutions for a client in 2019. The client was a tech start-up with a young demographic, but they had a really expensive “old-school” plan. And no one was using it, says Holm.
Holm recognized that myFlex Benefits would be a good fit. It provides flexibility for both the plan sponsor and the plan member. The plan sponsor selects coverage options that fit their budget and plan members use “flex dollars” to make selections from those options. The plan sponsor also gets price stability with a two-year renewal cycle. The client loved it, so Holm started recommending it to her other clients.
When it came time to choose a benefits plan for her own team, it was a “no brainer.”
“We knew right away we’d be going with myFlex Benefits,” she says. “It gives employees the freedom to choose the plan that they want. If they have three kids who need braces, they can increase their dental coverage. If they’re a single young person, they can put more in the health care spending account.”
So far, the response has been really positive.
“The team loves it,” says Holm, adding she’s received a lot of appreciation from her staff since making the change. “They enjoyed selecting their benefits and being able to choose what works for them.”
And with tight competition for talented HR professionals, she says it’s been a great recruitment tool.
“It helps us be competitive no matter who we’re hiring,” says Holm. “Whether it’s a single young person or someone with a growing family, they can choose the benefits that meet their needs.”