A nationwide employee benefits administration company is opening an office in Missoula, aiming to hire students at the University of Montana and Missoula College to fill its workforce.

Started in 1998, Businessolver has seven locations across the United States and more than 1,000 employees. The company wants to provide its Benefitsolver platform to other companies in Missoula, as well as hire recent graduates in the information technology field to help develop the software.

“We’re looking into tapping into the resources like the University of Montana, Missoula College, the Montana Code School and all these other organizations in order to really get in early and partner with these organizations to find good talent for our workforce as we continue to expand and grow,” said Tom Pohl, vice president of IT systems.

The platform makes it easier to combine all benefits and streamlines both the enrollment and payroll deduction processes, as well as educates employees on how to maximize and change their benefits.

Consumer benefits include health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts and flexible spending accounts.

The consumer accounts can also use a mobile app and alert messaging to access benefits, providing a personalized approach.

Currently, the Montana University System and two other large employer groups use Businessolver.

“We’re not replacing human resource departments; we’re actually helping them be more efficient and do more,” Pohl said.

While the company is still looking for an office to lease in Missoula, Pohl said the search for his first 10 employees will begin in May. Leaders from the office in Colorado will train the new hires.

“The biggest thing around Missoula is really tapping into the resources and really using the educational arm,” he said. “That’s really the primary mission of what we’re trying to accomplish in Missoula.”

IT is a tight market, Pohl said, and it’s hard to find enough workers in one location. He has high hopes for the new Missoula office and wants to provide Montana-based jobs for those who graduate in the state. The company’s nonprofit wants to be a part of advertising the new jobs and opportunities to students as well.

“I feel like Missoula is sort of a diamond in the rough still. To be able to be on the front edge of that still is really exciting to us,” Pohl said. “Being able to be a part of that story of what’s going on there in Missoula is going to be awesome.”

Mari Hall is a reporter for the Missoula Current and can be contacted via email at mari.hall@missoulacurrent.com.