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Shana Ryan

Posted Thursday, September 22, 2022 12:00 am

By Shaun Ryan

Shana Ryan is president and CEO of Conceptual HR Solutions, which helps small business owners with human resources and payroll needs. With a desk at the link, Ryan’s company serves Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and the surrounding areas.

Tell me about your company.

Our slogan is: Giving business owners their time back. We take that HR piece off of them completely. We help them with processing payroll, onboarding, any handbooks that they need, any kind of policies. We help walk them through employee relations issues. So, it’s an unlimited, monthly retainer that they pay to us instead of hiring a fulltime HR person, so it’s a fraction of the cost. We do whatever they need from an HR perspective, except recruiting.

I know you have a new service. Tell me about that.

It’s called DIY HR. Our small business owners can go online, and they choose one of three packets and they get consultations from us and all the documentation. There will be a portal you can log into, give the documentations that you need, and then, whether it’s one, two or three calls with an HR expert to walk them through. The template is there. They just plug in their logo and their business name, and then we can give them advice on how to submit it or how to make it work for their business.

Who are your customers?

We don’t do restaurants. We don’t do a lot of super-blue-collar companies. So, we have a lot in tech and medical, advertising, just any small business of 49 employees or less.

Why 49?

When you hit 50, you have ACA [Affordable Care Act] and FMLA [Family and Medical Leave Act] requirements; it changes the ballgame a little bit. And really, at that point, I think the company has hit the place where they need somebody in-house handling all that.

What are some of the things you can help with?

We’ll help with: if they want to put a PTO [paid time off] policy together, or a holiday policy. … and then, another big thing that we do is — we’re not brokers, but we’ve got a great relationship with worker’s comp brokers, health insurance brokers, retirement specialists. We’ll talk to the owner, get a game plan of where they want their business in five years and then help coordinate it.

Just like, you would tell your internal HR person, “Hey, we want to implement benefits at the first of the year.” We would take that on. We would shop the plans and then present it to the owner. Because that’s time consuming, so we take on that burden. We’ve done it so many times, we know what to look for.

What you’re getting with us is an HR expert of at least 15 years’ experience.

How nearby must a business be for you to help them?

We can do nationwide. With the tech companies, they’re pretty much all over the place. So, we’ll set up all the tax requirements, whether it’s unemployment, income, if there’s any local tax — we set all that up for the clients, under the client’s name, of course.

How great is the need for HR services here?

There’s definitely a need in the Jacksonville market. It’s primarily dominated by small businesses.

Are there businesses that don’t have HR services?

Yes. A lot of times it’s because they haven’t had an issue, or they’ll think, “I only have 10 employees, so I don’t need HR.” So, you’re rolling the dice. …

Generally speaking — and I understand that small businesses are very mindful of their spending — so, our service, I equate it to more like insurance. You have insurance to make sure things don’t happen. … Our job is to protect the employer. It’s also to protect the employee. We have both interests at heart. It can be a balancing act, but if we see something unfair that’s being done to the employees, we will call it to the employer’s attention and vice versa.

It seems like, if you’re protecting one, you’re also protecting the other.

Yeah, if something happens to the business that’s detrimental, employees may lose their jobs. So, it’s very important to make sure that things are done correctly.

While you don’t have a traditional office, you do have a desk at the link. How do you like that?

Oh, I think it’s great. I have a home office … but sometimes, I’ve just got to get out of there. So, it’s nice. I’m probably here every week or two just to work for a few hours to get a change of scenery. … From a business perspective, I really enjoy what they’re bringing to this community.

What’s the best way for a small business to contact you?

They can call us. It’s 904-747-0877, or go to our website,

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