HR Case Study

TradeBytes Data Corp.


TradeBytes Data Corp. is a small, privately-held, Vancouver-based company which delivers analytical solutions to governments around the world.  The staff consists of a mix of software engineers, marketing, administrative personnel and contractors. The management style is entrepreneurial with a flat reporting structure.

There have been two major changes to the business in recent history. In 2008, TradeBytes added internationally-based government subject-matter-experts to their operations, while in 2009, the company made a significant change to its business model, resulting in a medium-term lowering of cash-flow.

"This created quite a challenge for our company," says TradeBytes' CEO Bob Potter. "While the workload did not diminish, in fact it increased, the ability to continue to support all employees at their regular salary level was extremely difficult."


In 2008, Clear HR Consulting was engaged to carry out an HR Audit to determine how best to systemize and make consistent TradeBytes’ HR processes to ensure the successful management of local and international staff.

Following the HR Audit, Clear HR now oversees all of the HR aspects of the business. This includes providing strategic HR direction to the CEO, as well as managing such HR processes as creating job descriptions, managing the hiring process, security clearances, payroll & benefits administration, and compliance with government reporting.

After the change in business model affecting cashflow, Clear HR provided strategic direction on how to maintain the company’s operations at full capacity while minimizing layoffs of TradeBytes’ long-service employees. Tactically, this involved negotiating temporary salary reductions & reduced hours, along with applying for and administering the government Work-Sharing program. Complementary to this work was a significant contribution to the company’s application and administration of government R&D assistance programs such as SR&ED and IRAP.


Clear HR Consulting helped the company in the following ways:

  • Carried out an HR Audit.
  • All HR functions have been outsourced to Clear HR Consulting.
  • Retained highly-valued workforce during times of lowered cash-flow while allowing company to continue to function at full power.
  • Provided a significant contribution to application and administration of SR&ED and IRAP government R&D assistance programs.

"As the CEO and business owner, working with Cissy and Clear HR Consulting has afforded me ‘peace of mind’, says Potter. "I have, and will continue to use her as a sounding board for strategic direction and key decisions. She is one of my mentors, even though I am 1.5 times her age!”

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