An HR Strategy for Scholastica

How Scholastica Laid the Groundwork for Sustained Growth


As their staff grew, so did the demands on the founders’ time as they juggled new employee on-boarding, payroll, and employment compliance. The team knew they wanted to offer benefits as well, but understood that researching providers, negotiating prices, and administrating benefit enrollments would time-intensive. The founders’ first priority was to provide a company healthcare plan for their employees. The team wanted the ability to meet employee needs and create a culture that matched their values while still having enough time to focus on product development and sales.


After some research, they learned about offering benefits through a PEO (professional employer organization). Because PEOs are able to bundle their clients’ employees under their name, they have significant group buying power which allows them to offer more competitive health insurance rates to small businesses. In addition to getting access to group healthcare, Scholastica also wanted an HR partner that was familiar with the needs of startups and growing businesses. Today, CognosHR supports Scholastica by handling the following: health insurance, payroll, transit benefits, onboarding and offboarding, development of internal policies and compliance with state laws and policies.

Founded in 2012 by Brian Cody, Rob Walsh, and Cory Schires, Scholastica provides software that lets academic journals streamline the peer review process and easily publish an open access journal.

By outsourcing key HR functions, Scholastica’s leaders were able to focus on improving their product at the same time they improved their employee benefits. In the months since working with CognosHR, they’ve hired several new employees and grew to serve more than 750 academic journals.

  1. With CognosHR handling important HR functions, Scholastica can:
    Attract and retain top talent: In a low-unemployment economy, offering benefits is a must to keep the best employees on board. With CognosHR, doing that is easy and affordable.
  2. Scale: Growing a company requires laser focus. Now that CognosHR is handling otherwise distracting HR matters, Scholastica’s founders are free to dedicate that focus to their product and strategy.
  3. Create the culture they want: Scholastica’s founders have vision; CognosHR has the resources to translate that vision into a reality in the office.


“We were impressed with the quality of their offerings for the price,” Cody says of CognosHR. “But what sealed the deal for us was their relationship with Catapult Chicago, the co-working space and community we’ve been a part of.” - Brian Cody