What is Holistic & Why Does it Matter?

Written by Matt Massucci
Feb 28, 2019
Matt Massucci
Matt Massucci
Founder and Managing Partner

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I've spent most of my adult life working in the human capital industry.  It is something I didn’t know existed when I was in college, but 20+ years later I’ve learned a lot and seen even more.  Through my career at Hirewell, I’ve been fortunate to partner with some great organizations and play a part (very small one) in some amazing success stories.


But it hasn’t always been perfect.  When people are your product (and also your clients), a lot can go wrong. I’ve thought for years there is something missing in the HR space. We get asked similar questions every day by our clients:

-          Are we paying our people enough?

-          How do we make our workforce more diverse?

-          How do our benefits stack up against our competitors?

-          Should we implement new benefits, like student loan payments or WFH?

-          What does a good hiring process look like?

-          How do we attract top talent and ensure that talent stays engaged?


So much of what we do is based on anecdotal information.  Working with hundreds of companies and helping facilitate thousands of hires, we have seen a lot, but very rarely can provide meaningful data.  Big companies may have the resources to invest in the tools or technology to analyze these things. Historically it is expensive and really hard to measure.  Small companies basically have no chance. Some hires don’t work out. But why? Sometimes the recruiter(s) involved missed something. Sometimes the role wasn’t scoped well.  Sometimes the first two week’s of the employee’s experience are so poor, they go running back to their old company. Sometimes companies have people in positions of leadership have no business managing people. Oftentimes it is some combination of the above.  Long story short, this is a solvable problem, but it isn’t a simple solution.


Over 4 years ago, I met Tom Alexander through our involvement in 1871’s recruiting initiative.  Tom has been talking about Diversity & Inclusion longer than just about anyone I know. He’s also been fixated on data and trying to consider data in any sort of decision or change.  When I explained the struggle companies go through attracting and retaining talent, the light went on for both of us. How do we help companies use data (theirs plus macro data) to measure everything related to their employee experience? Let’s answer questions that they’ve been asking for years. Let’s also answer questions that they don’t know to ask.


When Tom started Holistic I saw the potential immediately for our clients and companies in general.  But before I could ever encourage a client to go through the process, I knew I needed to have my company go through it first.  As someone running a small business (~50 people), I was frustrated by a lot of the same things that frustrate our clients. I “felt” that we’d built a company that had a happy, healthy workforce.  I “thought” that our benefits were pretty decent. I “was pretty sure” our turnover was low. I “kind of figured” our workforce could be more diverse. I “thought” men and women were paid fairly – and purely based on merit.  I was definitely confused by all of the piecemeal solutions to improve the employee experience – do our employees value free breakfast more than the ability to work from home? Does a wellness program work? Now I know. I have answers that I previously didn’t.   To use Tom’s words, Hirewell showed pretty well. We aren’t perfect (no one is) – but now we have a plan to improve things over time.


Hirewell went through the full Holistic Analysis.  What does that mean? That has been the number one question of anyone that I’ve talked to.  Holistic pulled data we’d been sitting on for years and some we never thought to look at. They calculated our Holistic Index score and provided a detailed report on everything they saw.  We now have metrics and KPIs that every CEO and head of HR should have. I have a better handle on what our benefits are costing us and more importantly, what our employees think of them. We know what we do well and where we can improve.  And we’ve got an action plan to improve things over the next 6-12 months. We’ll keep measuring everything and then see how things look in six months.


Full disclosure – I liked what I saw so much, I’ve invested in the company.  I think this is the right solution, at the right time. I’d encourage every business leader or head of HR to consider using Holistic’s solutions.  Stop guessing about things you should know for sure. I’ve already put numerous clients in touch with Tom and the Holistic team. If I haven’t already – consider this your invitation.  Through our affiliation with Holistic, we are able to offer a significant discount to any Hirewell client. If you aren’t sure - consider trying one of the solutions on a trial basis. Holistic will offer any Hirewell client a free Employee Engagement Survey, Benefits Analysis, or 360 review implementation.


Want to see how we did?  Our public report is right below. Want to try Holistic @ your company?  Contact the team at info@holisticindex.com.



Hirewell Final Facing Report


Matt Massucci
Matt Massucci
Founder and Managing Partner

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