Allan Jones got his start in the tech industry when he was 19, and by the time he was 26, he was chief marketing officer at ZipRecruiter, a leading online employment platform.
Through his experience as an executive at companies like Docstoc over the course of 15 years, Jones discovered a gap in the marketplace that led him to start Bambee, a company focused on solving human resources problems for small businesses.
“Growing up in a family that ran a small business, I have a high level of empathy for small businesses in general,” said Jones, who founded Bambee in 2016. “Throughout my career working for different places, I noticed that a lot of small-business owners lacked infrastructure and were left to their own devices to solve complex problems, particularly those relating to employment. I’ve known for a long time about the aches and pains that exist in small businesses and wanted to offer them solutions they previously didn’t have access to.”
Ninety-eight percent of the companies that Bambee works with have less than 50 employees. Starting at $99 a month, it provides clients with dedicated HR managers, who help each company navigate the complex regulatory world of compliance, HR policy, employee relations, and HR strategy, which includes everything from hires and furloughs to internal investigations. Additional services include assistance with crafting internal HR policies, staff training and development, employee onboarding and terminations, a comprehensive HR audit, and more.
In addition to earning a five-star rating on Trustpilot, Bambee has amassed thousands of positive reviews from active clients and small businesses around the country.
“Our clients are over the moon for our services,” Jones said. “They get to build a one-on-one connection with their HR manager and receive an overwhelming amount of help at an affordable price point. We’re easy to access and always available when they need us.”
Recently, Bambee was named by Forbes as the No. 1 startup employer in Los Angeles. To rank companies, Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to identify and evaluate 2,500 businesses across the United States based on three criteria: employer reputation, employee satisfaction, and growth.
“We’ve been in the top 50 for two years in a row, then this year we were No. 1,” Jones said. “There are a lot of goals that I have as an entrepreneur, but the most important is to create a workplace where people can feel appreciated. There are thousands of startups in LA, and to receive this high honor is incredible.”
Prior to the pandemic, Bambee was previously headquartered at the historic Bradbury Building in DTLA, but when COVID-19 occurred, Jones and his team had to quickly shift to a remote working model while maintaining the company’s close-knit culture.
“It was difficult, and there was a bit of shock when everyone went home because we were an extremely culture-centric office,” Jones said. “One of the questions we had to ask ourselves was, ‘Can we still have all of those cultural elements digitally?’ We started using different kinds of collaboration software, and we created a virtual office space on Zoom as well as open conference rooms where employees could interact with each other any time of the day. We’ve also continued to host cultural events that we typically had in our office, like trivia night, but virtually.”
Despite a few setbacks brought on by the pandemic, Bambee grew 300% from 2019 to 2020 and recently raised $15 million in funding. The company will double its workforce this year and pass the 100-employee mark this month.
“We still had an amazing year,” Jones pointed out. “While COVID-19 was devastating to many because of its unpredictability, it was beneficial in the sense that it brought awareness around the need for our product to the market. We remain committed to our mission, which is to fearlessly solve even the most complex PR problems that small businesses face.”
Later this year, Bambee is planning to launch additional workplace training, in addition to several other products and services that will be announced at a later date.