Ariane Laird

Ariane Laird

Short Version

LinkedIn Profile

Longer Version

Why I started ConnectsUs HR

Simple.  After providing HR consulting services for many years, I saw an unmet need. There was a serious lack of tools for implementing HR in small business, and it was hindering their ability to compete for, reward and retain top talent. 

So I put together a team of HR professionals, writers, trainers, and employment lawyers to create HR toolkits specifically for small business.  Our clients loved them.  “Instant return on investment,” they said.  “Indispensable.”  “No-brainer.”   

We then proceeded with products for HR consultants. They also wanted to win, and compete. 

What I do @ ConnectsUs HR

My formal job titles are Founder, Leader, CEO, CFO, Consultant. But I'm really a well-rounded generalist. 

We've been working remotely since 2006, way before the pandemic hit because we're all introverts and are simply more productive working from home. It also ensures that we skip the commute, don't have to wear suits, and have more time with our families and for our own personal well-being.  But more important to me is the impact on the environment. Working remotely means no paper, no emissions, and greatly-reduced environmental footprints.  

My Background

The rebel in me started early. I was the kid who always questioned the teachers in grade school.  I was polite, but relentless.  I was sent to the Principal’s office a lot and my mother received endless phone calls from the school office.  Looking back on my report cards, there was definitely a pattern.  But I like to think it just made me more determined to question the status quo.

I started my work life as the proverbial mail room clerk.  Those who believed in me took me under their wing. (Thank you, Jason Nyman). With their support, I steadily progressed to more senior positions in Admin and Finance.

Along the way, I volunteered to take on those dreaded HR projects that no one else wanted to do and I knew nothing about. Can you say pre-audit Employment Equity reporting?  Yawn.  But those projects taught me the art of ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway,’ and I learned that execution and results matter.

I have worked with, and provided HR consulting services to nearly 50 companies in Canada and the US.  While most of them could be classed as ‘small business,’ I also gained ‘big business’ HR experience during my time at Avon Corporate offices, Amcor, and Glenayre Electronics.  I later co-founded the HR Tech Group, and became a partner with BC Social Venture Partners, and a founding parent of Brockton School.  

My HR consulting gigs provided me with the opportunity to work closely with many entrepreneurs. Through this, I acquired a great appreciation for the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to win in small business.  Those engagements also showed me that the HR pain I was hired to resolve were consistently felt by most small businesses.  Combine that pain with my obsession for making things better and I was a start-up waiting to happen.

In 2006, I took a deep breath and launched ConnectsUs HR, providing HR toolkits to small business.  Our flagship product was ClearSite, a collection of templates and binders for creating employee manuals. 

Today, we are an online resource center and we live in the cloud.  We have thousands of customers with great reviews and we continue to grow. 

It’s not all about work though. I make time for my favorite down time activities:  Latin dance and salsa,  group meditation, learning new languages, hiking, and family time.