myHR Partner’s Flexibility and Expertise Deliver Big Benefits for a Pennsylvania Arts Organization

The Lehigh Valley loves ArtsQuest. Each summer, the non-profit’s 10-day flagship event, Musikfest, draws top artists and global crowds to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Artsquest’s larger artistic, cultural, and educational experiences reach almost 2 million people annually. While more than half of its programs and events are free, the organization produces an annual regional impact of more than $136 million.

Behind the scenes, ArtsQuest navigates the same HR challenges as other non-profits, with a unique hurdle on top: heavy dependence on seasonal talent. The organization’s warm weather-skewing calendar requires some 220 seasonal employees each summer and fall – a number almost three times the organization’s 75 full-time employees. This is in addition to about 70 part-time, year-round team members. 

Stronger onboarding processes for all hires – and seasonal hires in particular – was among ArtsQuest’s top priorities in early 2022 when leadership decided to transition from a two-person internal HR department to a more robust human resources team. But first, ArtsQuest hoped to partner with an outsourced HR company to grow an HR knowledge base that could eventually be transferred to the forthcoming internal HR team. 

There was just one question: Would any reputable outsourced HR entity be willing to work with ArtsQuest in this unique manner?

Calling myHR Partner

Joann Lee, ArtsQuest’s Vice President of Administration, Risk Management, and Board Relations, called myHR Partner CEO Tina Hamilton in early 2022.  

“I’d met Tina Hamilton several years prior,” Lee remembers. “As a local business owner and community member, she was an ArtsQuest patron and donor. We were introduced by a mutual contact, hit it off, and stayed connected professionally.”

Joann wasn’t sure how myHR Partner would feel about a relationship designed to scale down over time. 

“No business wants to hear that!” she says with a laugh. “But when I sat down with Tina and myHR Partner Sales Manager Ryan Roberts, they not only understood our reasoning, they were responsive.”

Beyond affirming what ArtsQuest wanted in its quest to build a capable internal HR team, myHR Partner immediately helped ArtsQuest envision what they needed

“The rhetorical questions myHR Partner asked us in that first meeting revealed needs we hadn’t considered,” Joann continued. “It underscored the reason we’d reached out to them in the first place. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. And in human resources, oversights are liabilities.”

A partnership was set in motion. myHR Partner would manage and improve several of ArtsQuest’s HR functions while also showing them the ropes.

Scalable Services for the Win

myHR Partner began handling ArtsQuest’s payroll and benefits administration and onboarding and offboarding in full. They simultaneously educated the ArtsQuest team on the tenets of each in preparation for an eventual handoff.

“We asked a lot of questions in those early days. Whatever we asked – even if we weren’t quite sure what we were asking – myHR Partner answered, or found answers, in a way that empowered us and set us at ease,” Joann remembers.

Then, in June 2022, an unexpected hurdle.

“Looking ahead at Musikfest, we realized our internal resources for seasonal hiring weren’t as teed up as we thought,” Joann says. 

myHR Partner swept in, agreeing to partner with ArtsQuest on seasonal hiring in 2022 and in years ahead, as needed.  

“They ran with it,” Joann says, “and required little to no hand-holding.”

myHR Partner onboarded new seasonal talent in time for Musikfest while also managing the return of previous years’ seasonal employees. Ultimately, the 2022 event, with Counting Crows and Willie Nelson & Family among its headliners, was a rousing success.  

Looking Ahead

ArtsQuest continues to build a strong internal HR department. With myHR Partner’s input, they recently hired an experienced HR director. He is collaborating with myHR Partner on ArtsQuest’s custom-built human resources information system, implementing back-end functionality and entering necessary payroll and benefits information for employees spanning both exempt and nonexempt status, among a variety of other classifications. 

“We are in a much better place than we were two years ago,” Joann says. “Through myHR Partner’s guidance, we have well-defined processes and procedures for all of our HR functions, from hiring to onboarding, to offboarding, to what happens to every legal document at every point in the process.”

Once a handoff is complete, ArtsQuest will continue to lean on myHR Partner for a handful of à la carte projects. myHR Partner will also backfill the internal ArtsQuest HR team if and when needed. The sum total? Fully integrated and compliant non-profit HR – and a happy myHR Partner client.

“Beyond myHR Partner’s institutional knowledge and larger understanding of non-profits, they go above and beyond for us at every turn,” Joann says. “On our weekly calls, I am blown away by their investment in our organization, by their caliber of professionalism and insight, and the rate of speed at which they address our questions and needs. We truly feel like a priority. Anytime another non-profit brings up human resources, I tell them, ‘You have to call myHR Partner.’”

Contact us to learn if myHR is a good fit for your organization. We’d love to have a conversation.