Shaping the Future of Sustainable Mobility with Streamlined HR

March 26, 2024

Learn how Circuit is paving the way towards a greener future with Paylocity along for the ride.

Sustainable rideshare company Circuit makes getting around easier, greener, and more affordable. With a fleet of nimble all-electric shuttle carts, the company offers short-distance rides to help connect communities and reduce urban congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

AJ Johnson, People and Culture Manager at Circuit explains how it all started: “In the summer of 2011, our founders James Mirras and Alex Esposito realized that a lack of beachside parking was contributing to congestion in East Hampton, New York. To help alleviate traffic, they launched an electric shuttle service to carry people from the town straight to the beach.”

What started as a summer job has grown rapidly, changing the way people travel through urban locations. Circuit now operates in 40 locations across eight states—and all users have to do is download the app and request a pickup, or flag a passing vehicle on a designated route.

One key component in Circuit’s success has been strategic partnerships with advertisers, city councils, business development districts, and technology companies. In the HR field, the company recently connected with Paylocity to drive recruitment and retention, and to help build a workforce motivated by a shared passion for making a positive change in the world. “When we were a startup, we relied on a third-party HR and payroll platform,” adds AJ. “We soon realized we had outgrown the system, so looked for a more scalable, enterprise-grade solution that would help us to expand into new markets. And Paylocity has proved a great choice.”

“If you’re aiming to save time, move to Paylocity, as it’s so easy to use for employees and your HR team. And they make the deployment process simple. It was like having a set of extra team members dedicated to ensuring the switchover ran smoothly”

AJ Johnson, People and Culture Manager, Circuit


The Challenge

Building a Greener Future

Circuit’s innovative electric rideshare concept was rapidly gaining popularity, but the HR team was held back by limited systems and inefficient workflows. It was time for a new direction.

Retaining Talent in a High-Turnover Sector
Around 90 percent of Circuit’s workforce consists of drivers on hourly pay. Across the rideshare sector, turnover for hourly roles is typically high, with employees often quickly departing jobs in search of higher pay elsewhere. Circuit has certain advantages in the battle for talent—for example, everyone in the company is a W-2 employee, entitled to benefits, while drivers at the likes of Uber and Lyft are only contractors. But it’s still challenging for Circuit to attract and retain talent, which makes offering a great employee experience vital, from onboarding onwards.

Overcoming Complex, Time-Consuming Workflows
Creating a great experience wasn’t easy, though, with Circuit’s previous HR platform. For example, the solution’s mobile app offered limited capabilities, while there was no help function to allow employees to solve queries. “The platform simply wasn’t user-friendly for employees or HR,” adds AJ. “People would ask their managers for help, then HR would have to contact the vendor. This took up time we could have used for more valuable tasks.” Core workflows, such as background checks and compiling onboarding documents, were overly complex and labor-intensive, too.

Keeping Employees in the Loop about Benefits
Benefits administration didn’t run smoothly, either. Keeping track of when new hires became eligible for benefits was difficult with the previous HR platform. As a result, some employees didn’t receive correct notifications on the availability of certain benefits plans. Furthermore, open enrollment could be frustrating for employees, as AJ notes: “There was no way for to track contributions needed for your chosen benefits. You could reach the end of the process, and get a real sticker shock.”

“Paylocity is always updating the platform, and thinking about what else they can do for their clients. That’s really important to us: as we continue to expand, we want to partner with companies that are always looking to scale their capabilities, too.”

AJ Johnson, People and Culture Manager, Circuit


The Solution

Hopping on Board

As Circuit searched for a more integrated, feature-rich HCM platform to help scale the business, one option quickly emerged as a favorite with HR leaders: Paylocity.

Soon after joining Circuit, AJ started to promote Paylocity. Another recommendation came from Heather Stewart, a HR partner at Culture Works who supports the Circuit team. “We both had great prior experiences with Paylocity. We set up a demo, and went from there,” adds Heather.

The implementation involved rolling out the platform to each of Circuit’s six entities and Paylocity was on hand to help. Heather notes: “Paylocity provided a project manager as well as implementation experts for each module. The support and communications were great.”

Boosting Efficiency with Integrated HR
Circuit now manages biweekly employee pay through the Paylocity Payroll module, ensuring accuracy and tax compliance. The company also uses Paylocity’s Integrations to pull timesheet data from Deputy, its scheduling platform, and to sync with the Guideline platform for 401(k) administration. And to keep a close eye on HR trends, such as turnover and retention, Circuit’s leaders use Paylocity’s Insights & Recommendations module to create in-depth reports.

Reshaping Talent Acquisition and Management
With Paylocity’s Recruiting, Circuit has overhauled its hiring processes. For example, the company uses an integration with Checkr to handle background checks on chosen candidates. Connecting with applicants and sending offer letters is also much simpler thanks to Paylocity’s SMS text and email functions. And once new hires arrive for day one on the job, Circuit uses Paylocity’s Onboarding module to make their lives easier, with all their documents ready and waiting in the system.

Offering Flexible, Intuitive Self-Service Tools
Circuit has taken big strides to revamp the employee experience, too. Using Paylocity’s Employee Self-Service and the Paylocity Mobile App, employees can access a rich set of tools to manage their paychecks, personal information, and more. Plus, the Paylocity PEAK Knowledge Base provides easy-to-follow guidance any time that they have questions about the platform.

Finally, Paylocity’s Benefits Administration module has made a big impact, helping to keep Circuit’s employees up to date on their options. “We push out notifications to every level of the company to ensure everyone understands available plans and the enrollment process,” adds AJ.


The Results

Reaching the Destination

The move to Paylocity is having a positive impact across Circuit, helping to transform the employee journey, improve culture and communications, and boost HR efficiency.

Empowering Employees to Take Control
With Paylocity, Circuit has sharpened the employee experience during every interaction. Onboarding is now quicker and more intuitive, while the self-service tools place more control in the hands of employees to manage personal information and solve problems. And benefits enrollments are now running without a hitch, as AJ explains: “Last year, employees had so many questions during open enrollment. Paylocity offers a much better experience. I really like that the platform gives users a price breakdown for each option, so you know where you stand on contributions.”

Saving Time and Lifting HR Productivity
With employees now able to self-serve, AJ and the HR team spend less time handling routine queries. “Paylocity makes the HR team’s life much easier,” adds Heather. “Streamlined workflows enable HR to focus on supporting management rather than mundane work.” Key tasks run more efficiently, too. In the case of recruitment, the Checkr integration accelerates candidate screening, as AJ explains: “We can complete the whole process without leaving Paylocity, and candidate data flows straight into Onboarding. It’s a 180-degree shift from our old system.”

Driving Engagement and Inclusivity
The move to Paylocity is also helping Circuit build a diverse, inclusive culture. For example, senior leaders are using the reporting tools in the platform to collect data and track compliance with Equal Employment Opportunities Commission guidelines. And the company uses Paylocity’s social collaboration hub Community to boost engagement, pushing out notifications and pulse surveys to employees. “Community is a really helpful tool and we’re looking to expand our use,” says AJ.

James Mirras, CEO and Co-Founder, Circuit concludes: “We’re on a mission to bring eco-friendly, low-cost electric mobility to more locations nationwide. Paylocity gives a comprehensive HR platform that will help us build a great team to take things to the next level.”

“One of the biggest advantages is that Paylocity builds an end-to-end platform with a consistent user experience across all modules, unlike a lot of HR solutions that feel more like a set of disconnected apps. You get great value for your money with Paylocity.”

Heather Stewart, HR Partner, Culture Works

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