When Zenefits burst upon the benefits scene in 2013, Raj Singh took notice. As the head of a small business, he understood the company’s software platform offered solutions for some rising employer pain points, but he disliked the idea of abandoning the relationship with his current benefit broker, which signing up with Zenefits would require. Instead, Singh set out to offer his own tech solution — one that wouldn’t require employers to dump their broker.

“They made this software free, but at the cost of changing brokers. I knew the value of having a good broker,” Singh says.

He started talking to brokers about what employers were looking for in a tech solution, he says, and with that feedback he and his team created Flock.

See also: Why Zenefits isn't anti-broker

Flock is a technology platform for small to mid-sized businesses that helps them hire and onboard employees, as well as manage HR compliance. Flock also provides businesses and employees tools to manage benefits online “without disrupting the personalized and highly specialized services in place from existing insurance brokers,” Singh, the company’s CEO, says.

Flock’s funding was provided directly from insurance brokers and angel investors, he says. Through partnerships with advisers, Flock has already had access to a subscriber base of more than 100,000 individuals during its pre-launch and private beta stages, Singh says.

The product is now live, he says, but the company is taking a “measured approach.”

“We have live clients on the benefits and HR and we have a robust pipeline,” he says. “We’re looking at onboarding thousands of employees in the next few months.”

The HR platform is free to businesses. There is a fee for brokers who choose to also offer an employer client the benefits piece of the platform, Singh says.

Unified platform

“Flock is a unified platform that provides a paperless and automated system for the painful, but very important, administrative tasks required to onboard and continuously manage employees,” Singh says. “Flock limits risks and liability resulting from ever-changing health care legislation; we make it easier for HR and brokers/agents alike to be the strategic drivers and champions for their HR and business counterparts.”

See also: Should brokers be thanking Zenefits?

Mike Heffernan, CEO of Heffernan Insurance Brokers, a Flock broker-partner, says, “Our customers like the personalized service, insight and cost savings Heffernan provides them … but also want a suite of HR, benefits and compliance technology for convenient online access.”

His firm has reviewed other software solutions from about a dozen providers and “selected Flock’s products as the best fit for our small-to-midsized customers’ needs. We believe that the combination of Heffernan Insurance Brokers and Flock provides the perfect combination of technology and service that our customers demand.”

Flock’s platform includes tools to ease new hire onboarding; complete benefits management tools from open enrollment to plan design; tools to help with state and federal requirements, including analytics and reporting; tools to build employee engagement; time-off tracking; and e-documents.

“Our goal is to empower health insurance brokers ... unlike other HR and benefits administration offerings in the marketplace, Flock’s inclusive technology is designed to enhance — not displace — the highly valuable broker function,” the company says. 

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