Business Spotlight: Beyond Human Resources
How one Small Business Builds Confidence
By Shavantay Minnis
Ivelices Thomas, owner of HR & Beyond, started her firm in 2018 after realizing the number of small business owners who lacked proper support from a human resource (HR) professional.
Thomas, a labor and employment lawyer and an HR executive, offers her clients a two-for-one combination, allowing them to keep up with the most current federal, state and local laws and have the full support from her team of HR professionals.
Yet even with more than 20 years of experience working as an attorney, and more than nine years in HR, stepping out on her own was a challenge. Pivoting from providing direct consulting services to selling her brand as a scalable outsourced HR support service was an obstacle she didn’t know how to handle, Thomas said.
Reaching out for help, she found the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and her business consultant Jazmine Loiselle.
The assistance she received from Loiselle, who specializes in strategic marketing and the online challenges of marketing brands and creating engaging digital content at the Florida SBDC at FAU, enabled her to create a website, develop a marketing strategy and build her confidence and her brand, she said.
“Jazmine has this way of reminding me of the skills and talent that I bring to the table,” Thomas said. “At first, I was nervous to network and tell people about my business, but now as soon as I start talking about what I do and how businesses need HR, I’m on a roll.”
HR & Beyond opened a month after Thomas left her previous role as the head of human resources at GardaWorld, a security firm. Prior to that, Thomas worked as an assistant general counsel for New York City's Mayor's Office of Labor Relations.
“I stopped practicing law and transitioned to HR because I wanted to have more of an impact in preventing labor and employment litigation from happening in the first place,” Thomas said. “Only my previous role as the head of HR, while I enjoyed supporting operations and the employees, the internal politics didn’t fully allow me to add the true value that I know the right human resources partner and support can provide to a business.”
With her company, she integrates her knowledge of labor and employment law and human resources. As a part of HR & Beyond’s core services, Thomas also created The HR Hotline®, which is an outsourced virtual human resources service which allows businesses to receive ongoing support where “essentially our team becomes an extension of any business, so it's as if they would have an HR person on their team that offers full support for employees and owners, yet they don’t have to carry the burden of a full-time employee on their payroll” Thomas said.
Since the inception of The HR Hotline®, and the supporting platform she said Loiselle helped her bring from thought to creation, Thomas said she has witnessed the relationship between employees and business owners strengthen and owners receive the appropriate HR compliance guidance for their size and industry.
“When you own a business it's easy to assume HR begins and ends with hiring and firing employees, and nothing else. But there is much more to it that I’ve seen many struggle to accomplish it,” she said. “And it makes me appreciate Jazmine and the Florida SBDC at FAU even more because I’m reminded that the services, I offer are so vital to the success of small businesses. Seeing them grow helps me grow.”