Paycor Sweats the Small Stuff So the Zoo Can Dream Big

Paycor Sweats the Small Stuff So the Zoo Can Dream Big

What happens when a zoo decides it wants to be more than a zoo? Driven by a desire to never settle for the status quo, the Cincinnati Zoo asked that question, and they continue to answer it, every day. What would a zoo be like if 600+ employees were fully invested? Could a zoo help save endangered species? Since 2009, Paycor has helped the Cincinnati Zoo ask and answer the kinds of questions that make a difference. See the results for yourself.


Video Transcription

Mark Fisher: If I could summarize 12 years ago, one phrase that kinda summed up our zoos culture and mentality, it would be the status quo – the love of the status quo, because the status quo is very comfortable and safe. That’s why we were struggling so much. Today the culture is 180 degrees the other way.

Thane Maynard: Change came quickly at the Cincinnati zoo about a dozen years ago. We had been running in the red for a number of years, and of course the board was very clear that had to stop. So that focused us a lot, and we really did say we need to do a strategic plan that says, what’s the way forward so we can grow?

Mark Fisher: From employee moral to the progressive mindset of pushing the envelope, that culture of being allowed to make mistakes as long as we are being smart about it and pushing things forward and doing things that have never been done before, that’s the culture here at the zoo. And that’s why we have done so many things here that other zoos, other organizations, profit or nonprofit alike look at us and they’re like: How did you guys pull that off?

Jeff Walton: Employee experience is everything here, we have been fortunate enough now to win the top work places to work for 6 years in a row, but it’s not necessarily about winning the award it’s about the feedback we get from our team. It was a commitment from Thane and Dave, our Director and COO, when they came on to their roles here at the zoo that we needed to change how we did business here at the zoo but we also needed to focus on our people cause we are not going to accomplish anything without focusing on our people. We will hire anywhere from three to four hundred seasonal employees each year. We are a staff of two and a half. When we started with Paycor we were a staff of two. HR can often times be buried in a pile of paper. So onboarding helped us in two ways; one it helped get all those documents online, and two it actually allows us to get all those documents completed before the employee actually starts on their first day. So it allowed us to be much more efficient in our use of time, and actually increase our service level for the employees coming in and for our managers as they are trying to bring people onto the team.

Rhiannon Hoeweler: For every job, we are getting a lot of applicants, a lot of people want to work at the zoo. Paycor has really helped us to really take away all of that double checking and it just does it for you which is so beautiful and it makes the process so much easier for us, and it saves us a lot of time and me a lot of anxiety. So that’s a really big benefit to what its brought to our table.

Jeff Walton: Life before Paycor was process oriented with a lot of complaining. When we added the applicant tracking program that was a game changer for us. That has been one of the programs that managers have just been really kinda glowing about, giving them that control and that kind of power over their process they feel like they are not waiting for someone else to move on it, the power is in their hands.

Dr. Terri Roth: There is very few opportunities to do this, work in a facility like this, work with wildlife conservation and apply the science that I love to help save endangered animals. So, I think most of the staff that work here feel very very fortunate to be a part of this program.

Jeff Walton: Here at the Cincinnati zoo we have a lot of fun. Our working motto is we’re here to inspire every visitor with wildlife everyday.

Thane Maynard: We work hard to get everybody from kids working in the parking lot part time to keepers taking care of baby Fiona to really embrace that. We don’t want to be a passive zoo where you walk through and say: oh there’s a sleeping rhino, there’s a sleeping cheetah. We wanna be a zoo where when you leave your kids say: man lets go there again that was a lot of fun.


Subscribe to Our Resource Center Digest

Enter your email below to receive a weekly recap of the latest articles from Paycor's Resource Center.

Check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription. Enjoy!

More to Discover

Active Shooter Policy: What Employers Need to Know in 2020

Active Shooter Policy: What Employers Need to Know in 2020

Always Be Prepared for Emergency Situations in the Workplace It’s a sad reality that many people have a looming fear of active shooters in the workplace. Unfortunately, their fears aren’t misguided. According to the FBI, 60% of active shooter incidents occur in businesses. However, as an employer there are actionable steps you can take to prevent an active shooting, ease employee concerns and protect your people. Step 1: Form a Planning Team It’s important that your planning team has representation from departments across the business, as well as first responders. In the same breath, the planning team should be small enough to encourage close collaboration, yet large enough that it doesn’t put the burden on any one person. The planning...

How to Review Resumes

How to Review Resumes

Reviewing Resumes the Modern Way For recruiting professionals and human resources teams today, reviewing resumes is an overwhelming project. The job market is particularly hot and the digital revolution means that more resumes flood in every day. When a job is posted and recruiters receive hundreds of resumes after posting just one job - the task of thoughtfully reviewing each applicant seems impossible. Where do you start? How do you narrow it down? For overworked recruiters and talent pros, resumes begin to look and read the same as decision fatigue sets in. Luckily, with the help of today’s technology and strategic advancements, there are solutions to managing a mountain of resumes. There are several quick and simple ways to weed out...

How to Retain Seasonal Employees

How to Retain Seasonal Employees

Does your business experience an increase in sales during the holiday season? Do you consistently need extra hands during tax time? Or maybe you’re always looking for additional staff to help fill orders during the long days of summer. Whenever you need to hire seasonal workers, it’s important to give them an experience that leaves them feeling appreciated and valuable—and eager to come back to work next season.In today’s tight labor market, it’s hard enough to recruit and hire a full-time employee. To find top-notch temporary workers, companies need to offer robust compensation plans, perks and really invest in retention tactics to engage new employees.Here are some of the top strategies to attract and retain seasonal employees.Pay...

How to Conduct Exit Interviews

How to Conduct Exit Interviews

Fully Capitalize on This Underutilized HR Practice The Often-Overlooked Exit Interview In the world of human resources, the focus is always on a strong start. From finding that perfect candidate to conducting a spot-on interview, it’s all about the beginning. However, strong HR practices are not just about the first phase or hiring.Inevitably employees quit, which kicks off the process of wrapping things up and conducting an exit interview. For many companies, the employee exit interview is an afterthought.However, the exit interview is a powerful tool to consistently evolve and optimize company performance and culture. The exit interview is a rare opportunity to get honest and raw feedback about an organization’s effectiveness in many...