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The Best PEO Service Providers of 2021

By Skye Schooley,
business.com Staff
| Updated
Mar 23, 2021

Professional employer organization services can simplify your human resource responsibilities. Learn about the best PEOs available for your small business.
Best for Startups
Per-employee pricing
Specialties in certain industries
E-learning and reporting tools
Featured Sponsor
Easy-to-use platform
Access to top benefits
24/7 customer support
Best for Tailored Industries
Industry-specific HR support
Custom contract terms
Plans tailored to your vertical
Best for Small Businesses
ESAC, IRS and BBB accreditations
5,000+ online courses
Easy-to-use online platform
Best Customer Service
Fortune 500-caliber benefits
No long-term contracts
Dedicated customer support
Professional employer organization services can simplify your human resource responsibilities. Learn about the best PEOs available for your small business.
Updated 03/23/21

We updated this page with information on TriNet's new product features.

A professional employer organization (PEO) is ideal for small and midsize businesses that want an experienced administrative staff so they can offer quality health benefits to their employees and remain up to date with financial and legal requirements. We spoke with community experts and small business owners to discover what PEO features are most valuable, such as payroll, employee benefits, risk and compliance management, and training and development. After spending countless hours researching nearly 60 PEO agencies and their services, we narrowed them down the best PEOs for small businesses.

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How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.

Compare Our Best Picks


  Oasis Insperity Paychex TriNet ADP TotalSource
Contract required 1 year 1 or 2 years 1 year Varies based on customer's needs No
Minimum # of employees 5 5 5 5 5
Pricing structure Per employee Per employee Per employee Per employee  Based on multiple factors
Customer support A payroll account manager and human resource generalist An HR manager, a client liaison and safety consultant, and specialists for HR, payroll, performance, benefits and recruiting A payroll account manager and human resource generalist Varies based on customer's needs  A dedicated team of experts and a payroll specialist

Our Reviews

Oasis Advantage: Best for Startups

Oasis has a cloud-based platform and a mobile app (Employee Connect) that are both easy to use.
Customers can access free demos for applicant tracking, NextGen technology, time and attendance, performance management, and employee onboarding solutions.
Oasis requires new users to have at least five employees and sign a one-year contract.
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Oasis Advantage is an ideal PEO solution for startups. Oasis supports a client of any size – it doesn't have an employee minimum, although your agreement structure may depend on how big your company is. Oasis requires a one-year contract.

Oasis gives you the ability to mix and match services as you require – as your business changes, you can add or remove services accordingly. For these reasons, Oasis Outsourcing is the best PEO for startups.

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Justworks: Featured Sponsor

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With Justworks, a fast-growing HR technology company, entrepreneurs and their teams get access to comprehensive benefit offerings, automated payroll, compliance support, and HR tools – all in one place. As a PEO, Justworks gives small and midsize businesses access to corporate-level benefits at affordable rates, including medical, dental and vision insurance, and employee retirement plans. Its automated payroll services handles all benefits and tax withholdings. Justworks, which offers 24/7 expert customer support via phone, email, chat, Slack, or SMS, helps streamline your back-office functions in one easy-to-use platform. You also get access to HR consultants who can provide tailored guidance and best practices around building policies and managing your people.

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TriNet: Best for Tailored Industries

TriNet can build an expert HR support team according to your business's industry, size and location.
Its proprietary technology makes the platform particularly easy to use, allowing you and your staff to quickly make changes as needed.
Though you can customize plans for your business, the bundled service package means you might pay for some features you don't specifically need.
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TriNet has an attractive offering for very small businesses, which includes a flexible pricing structure and no long-term contracts. TriNet provides HR services, risk management, payroll software and benefits administration, which are all included in its PEO plan. Very small businesses can use TriNet's services to grow and offer competitive employee benefits and HR solutions to prospective employees. In our interactions with TriNet, the representatives were all kind, professional and helpful. For these reasons, TriNet is our pick as the best PEO for very small businesses.

March 2021: TriNet recently added new product features to help SMBs create more inclusive and equitable environments. These features include employee compensation benchmarking, multi-company reporting access, mobile admin capabilities, and the ability to select pronoun and gender identity within the platform.

February 2021: Small businesses can now access Connect 360, a new support resource TriNet is offering, to have their HR questions answered by specialized HR support. TriNet clients can contact an HR rep at Connect 360 by phone, email and live chat from 6 a.m. to midnight ET (excluding holidays).

TriNet is certified by the IRS and accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation. ESAC is an independent nonprofit that is the official accreditation and financial assurance organization for the PEO industry. Certification by the IRS and accreditation by ESAC are essential qualifications you should look for in a PEO.

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Insperity: Best for Small Businesses

Insperity offers training and development materials, including thousands of online books and courses.
Its platform lets you modify information like time and attendance, time-off requests, compensation, 401(k) contributions, and HSA and FSA accounts.
Insperity requires most new users to have at least five employees.
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Insperity's HR outsourcing services, risk management, payroll administration and employee benefit plans make it a great option for small business owners. Insperity provides a dedicated team to handle each area of the PEO service.

A standout feature from Insperity is its employee training solutions. Insperity partners have access to thousands of online courses for HR topics and other educational materials. You can also set up onsite or online training sessions tailored to your business's needs. For these reasons, Insperity is our pick as the best PEO for small businesses.

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ADP TotalSource: Best Customer Service

ADP is a national company that has major bargaining power with healthcare companies.
It has intuitive and simple dashboards where you can view and modify your benefits.
ADP does not list its HRO pricing online, so you must contact a representative for a quote.
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ADP TotalSource represents more than half a million employees across the nation. It offers extensive services that are ideal for businesses of all sizes. What set this company apart from others we reviewed, however, was the attention to detail and support we received from its sales team.

Part of our review process involves posing as small business owners shopping for a PEO for our business. ADP was one of the few companies that extended a service brochure to us. When we explained that we were looking at competitors, the representatives offered advice on what questions to ask and what services to look for in our search. This level of attention was unmatched by other sales teams we reviewed. TotalSource's friendly and helpful sales team, in addition to its robust PEO services, are why we selected it as the best PEO for customer service.

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Paychex: Best for Midsize Businesses

Paychex offers tailored, contextual learning opportunities with the Help Center.
Paychex proactively monitors employment laws and regulations to help you stay compliant.
Online support communication can be delayed at times.

Paychex is ideal for midsize businesses because of its scalability and the HR generalist the company provides to help you manage your services. The HR generalist remains the point person as your business grows and changes, which means you'll receive personalized coverage even as your business grows.

November 2020: Paychex has added new features to its platform to better support businesses, and their employees, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new services include a PEO protection plus package that provides businesses with cyber liability and employment practices liability insurance. In addition, expanded features now include EEO-1 compliance; tax lookup, a resource where businesses can quickly look up state, local, and unemployment taxes; a peer review feature for work teams; and a new employee user experience, where employees can track their hours, request time off, and review timecards from their smartphones.

April 2020: Paychex is continuing to update its online technology to aid customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The government recently approved the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers financial assistance for small businesses to pay their employees and other operating costs. To help small businesses quickly and conveniently apply for this program, Paychex has updated its technology platform to package all the data that a small business owner would need for the application in one place.

Paychex is certified by the IRS and accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation. Not all the companies we reviewed had this level of certification. Paychex represents thousands of employees and businesses of varying sizes, so you'll be joining a company that has the infrastructure to support your business as it grows. For these reasons, Paychex is the PEO we recommend for midsize businesses.

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PEO Pricing and Negotiation

PEOs offer two main pricing structures for small and midsize businesses: They either charge a per-employee fee (roughly $40-$160 per month) or a percentage of your total monthly payroll (roughly 3%-12%). There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of pricing. The best pricing model for your business depends on factors like your business type, number of employees and the overall PEO services you want. 

Professional employer organizations typically do not offer free trials of their HR services, and contract lengths and structures vary by company. Some PEO companies only offer long-term contracts, while others don't require any contract at all. Cancellation policies vary, but business owners typically need to provide at least 30 to 60 days' notice before canceling a PEO service. Some companies allow you to leave at any time for any reason; others charge you a fee for leaving. 

Within each of our reviews, we've listed the PEO's cancellation policy. It's critical, though, that you ask about the PEO's contract and cancellation policy before you reach an agreement – you want the freedom and flexibility to cancel the service if you need to. 

Below are other crucial items to address with the PEO service you're considering. You should go over this information – even though it may be available on the company's website – with a member of the PEO's sales team to gain a complete understanding of the PEO's services. 

Plan Structure

One thing to pay attention to is how a PEO packages its services, like employee onboarding and development, insurance policies, workers' compensation claims, payroll processing, risk and compliance management, and HR tasks. Some PEOs offer a one-size-fits-all solution, whereas others offer customizable services that you can add or remove to fit your small business's needs. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. One bundled solution means you can grow into all the features without changing the pay structure, while an a la carte option is more tailored to your business and can save you money if you only need a few features, such as payroll and health insurance. 

Additional Fees

Inquire upfront about additional fees. For example, some companies charge for service cancellation. Make sure you thoroughly review the material the sales team gives you to spot any fees associated with service. If you're not sure, ask the sales representative. Also keep in mind that the pricing model, whether it charges per employee or as a percentage of income, does not include additional costs for healthcare and other employee benefits plans. 

Employee Minimums

Many of the PEOs we evaluated have an employee minimum – that is, they require small businesses to have over a certain number of employees, usually five or 10, to qualify for their service. If you don't qualify, many companies offer administrative services organization (ASO) or HR outsourcing services, which may make sense for your business. While these services may be similar to the PEO model, they are not co-employment agreements. 

Some companies also structure their services so that a certain number of employees need to enroll in health benefits for your business to qualify for service. Others require a minimum monthly salary if your business is below a certain employee threshold. Make sure you understand what your PEO expects from you. You don't want to have to cancel your services or pay an additional fee for falling below the PEO's employee minimum, for example.

Buying Guide

What Is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)?

A professional employer organization (PEO) is a company that can take care of human resource responsibilities, primarily for small and midsize companies. Most PEOs can manage HR functions like employee training and development, risk and compliance, workers' compensation, payroll, and benefits – with some offering these HR services bundled together in a preset package, and some offering customizable plans with a la carte features. 

PEO companies primarily differ from typical HR outsourcing services by operating under a co-employment model, meaning your employees will appear on the PEO's books for legal and tax purposes. This allows PEOs to act as massive corporations with hundreds of thousands of employees. They can negotiate contracts with employee benefits providers for more favorable rates on unemployment and workers' compensation insurance. It also gives them the power and scope to build and leverage powerful time-tracking and payroll technology for small businesses. 

Once you sign on with a PEO, you'll work closely with customer success managers and other team members to build out the services you need for your small business. As your business grows, your PEO will adjust to your needs and work with you. Working with a PEO under the co-employment model is essentially partnering with a team of specialists to build out the administrative and back-end processes of your organization. If it makes sense for your business financially, these organizations can take out a lot of the stress (and handle most of the legwork) of running your business so you can focus on more pressing needs. 

Roughly 175,000 small and midsize businesses partner with PEOs to get high-quality benefits and proper HR support to keep their businesses running smoothly. There are more than 900 PEO providers serving and operating in all 50 states. A PEO must adhere to both state and federal regulations, so some companies are divided up by region or even state.


As you search for a PEO, keep your own state and region in mind – some PEOs are only qualified to serve small businesses in some states, whereas others have a wide reach, extending across the world through global partnerships. Most of the companies we reviewed are qualified to offer coverage in all 50 states. If you're curious about whether a certain PEO operates in your state or not, you can look it up in the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations' directory.

Professional Employer Organization Features

PEOs provide several beneficial resources for small businesses. Since they focus on HR tasks and administration, you are left with more time to focus on your business. On top of that, PEOs offer better benefits to your employees than you might have been able to on your own. This can help you attract and retain top talent. Many employer organizations use current technology, mobile applications, and online portals for small businesses and employees to easily access important information, like payroll, benefits and training courses. 

Although not every business will need every PEO feature available, here are some of the top PEO features that could help your business. 

HR Services

One advantage to partnering with a PEO is having a professional organization take care of all your human resource services. PEOs can create your employee handbooks and policies, onboard your new hires, cover HR administrative tasks, offer unemployment assistance, and help you with compliance reporting and employee termination. They often have online reporting tools, employee self-service and advanced HR technology. 

Employee Benefits

Since PEOs co-employ multiple businesses' employees at once, they can offer better employee benefits than you might otherwise be able to offer. PEOs typically offer insurance plans like medical (such as PPO, POS, EPO, HNO and ACO plans), dental, vision, life, and long- and short-term disability insurance. Some offer additional plans like flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and heath reimbursement arrangements. 

Employees often receive access to retirement plans, such as 401(k) and Roth IRA plans, as well as additional benefits like commuter and parking discounts, home and auto insurance discounts, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Many employers receive Affordable Care Act guidance and compliance, while their employees get access to consulting services by licensed benefits professionals. The benefits will vary by PEO company, as will the affordability. 


PEOs offer small businesses an affordable way to package all of their HR responsibilities together, including payroll and taxes. When you partner with a professional employer organization, that company is technically the employer of your staff – meaning your staff is on its payroll books. This covers much more than paychecks. PEOs can process your employee payroll with CPAs, prepare and distribute payroll checks, employ direct deposit, and process employee liens and garnishments. PEOs take care of your employees' paid time off, track their sick and vacation time, and prepare and distribute their W-2s. 

Many PEOs offer quarterly and year-end state and federal deposits and filings, along with detailed management reports. The PEO you partner with should be able to take care of all your employee payroll needs. By lumping this cost into the PEO's grand total, you can ultimately save money on your payroll being handled by financial professionals. A PEO allows you to operate your business with the knowledge that your employees are being paid properly and on time. 

Risk and Compliance

Managing risk and legal compliance is an important part of running your small business. However, if you work with a PEO, it can manage much of that for you. Depending on your business's industry, this could be a great deal of work taken off your plate. The level of compliance and risk that a PEO manages will vary, but many PEOs will perform tasks like managing ACA coordination and compliance, running onsite safety inspections, performing accident investigations and job hazard analyses, allocating workers' compensation coverage, and maintaining OSHA compliance for your business. 

A PEO ensures your business takes the appropriate measures to maintain workplace safety. Some PEOs provide Employment Practices Liability Insurance coverage, safety and loss prevention programs, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) insurance. There are several other compliance measures that PEOs can take to keep your employees safe and ensure that your business is abiding by legal employment guidelines. This alone is reason enough for some businesses to partner with a PEO. 

Training and Development

A benefit that some PEOs offer is employee training and development. Many offer online and onsite training courses that your employees can take to enhance their skills. They can access courses on interviewing, recruitment, communication, sexual harassment and discrimination, hiring and firing, disciplinary actions, leadership, social media, workplace technology, and even industry-specific training. 

Not all PEOs offer continued education courses, and the ones that are available vary by company. However, at the very least, most PEOs will train your staff on necessary workplace concepts like avoiding sexual harassment and discrimination. 

Customer Service

Make sure the PEO you partner with provides you a designated team of experts who can handle your HR, risk management, benefits and payroll needs. You want to partner with a company that provides specialists in each area, as well as a relationship manager who can help you use the services to your full advantage. Sometimes the HR consultant doubles as a relationship manager, which is also a good option. The best companies have HR consultants who are certified by the Society for Human Resource Management. SHRM certification ensures that your account coordinator is more than just a company relationship manager.


Professional Employer Organization FAQs

How can PEO services help you attract great employees to your business?

When small businesses offer competitive benefits to potential employees, they are in a better position to attract and retain top talent; this is where PEOs come in. A PEO allows you to offer your employees affordable health benefits with reputable health insurance companies, and additional benefits like supplemental insurance plans (e.g., FSA, HSA and HRA), employee perks (e.g., home and auto insurance discounts, parking and commuting benefits), and retirement savings accounts like 401(k) and Roth IRA plans. 

Additionally, a PEO can help you maintain risk and legal compliance. This can reduce legal problems for your business, helping you earn a positive reputation in the community and cut down on employee turnover. Since many employees seek an employer that can offer continued education, partnering with a PEO that offers training and development courses can entice top talent as well. 

What is the difference between a PEO and a staffing company?

Although seemingly similar, PEOs and staffing companies serve different HR needs. The primary benefit of a PEO is to take care of tedious and time-consuming HR tasks like administrative work, payroll, employee benefits, risk and compliance, and employee training and development. By operating under this co-employment model, a small business can focus on growing their business while the PEO takes care of all HR functions. This is a cost-effective and low-risk option for small business owners. 

A staffing company, on the other hand, primarily serves short-term or temporary employment needs. Staffing companies do handle other HR-related tasks, like payroll and unemployment taxes, but often with much higher fees for these services. Small businesses should only consider partnering with a staffing company if they are looking for temporary staffing. 

What is the difference between hiring a PEO and an HR outsourcing (HRO) company?

A professional employer organization is an affordable HR option for many small businesses, as it can handle all your HR functions under a co-employment model. A PEO removes the burden of many HR tasks and gives small businesses the peace of knowing that critical functions like risk and compliance are being managed by HR experts. 

HRO services can handle many of the same HR functions as a PEO, but they operate as a separate entity instead of through an employer partnership. Businesses that use HRO services can pick and choose the HR functions they need to outsource, whether that be just payroll and employee benefits or a full-service HR suite. HR outsourcing is better for larger companies that only need assistance with specific HR tasks.

How can PEO services contribute to your business's bottom line?

There are many ways a professional employer organization can positively impact your bottom line. For example, a PEO handles many of the tedious HR administrative tasks that a member of your team would otherwise have to handle, which can save you time and money. If you don't have to focus on HR functions, you are available to work on growing your business and your bottom line. Since a PEO manages employees at scale, it can also help your bottom line by lowering your employment costs. 

What do the best PEO services have in common?

The best PEO service providers satisfy your human resources needs, whether they're HR administration, employee benefits, payroll, workers' comp, risk and compliance management, or training and development. They also use the latest technology for businesses and employees to easily access their online platforms and information. Great providers offer HR expertise and customized, one-on-one assistance to help you navigate your PEO services, regardless of how long you've worked with them. The best professional employer organization services are transparent and easy to communicate with. The best PEOs are also accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

What are the disadvantages of using PEO services?

When you partner with a PEO, that company is technically a co-employer of your staff. This can cost you some internal control over your team and processes, possibly having an outside influence on your company culture. Having an outside company manage your payroll and taxes might make you feel a lack of security as well. For these reasons, it is important to partner with a PEO that you trust and believe in. The right PEO can be a great asset to your company.

How long does it take to get started once I choose a PEO?

Transitioning your HR processes over to a professional employer organization is a big undertaking, but it can ultimately simplify your human resources responsibilities. The average PEO transition takes roughly four weeks, starting at the beginning of a payroll cycle, but it could take anywhere from three to six weeks. During this time, the PEO will work closely with your team to ensure all the proper paperwork is complete and successfully transitioned.

What is the advantage of using a PEO for recruiting?

One advantage of using a professional employer organization is the ability to recruit top candidates. PEOs typically offer small businesses access to comprehensive employee benefits that they otherwise might not be able to afford, and these benefits can greatly impact the quality of employees they can hire and retain.

Additionally, PEOs employ experienced HR professionals who can help small businesses implement recruiting and hiring best practices. They understand the current employment laws and regulations that apply to recruiting, so they can help small businesses stay compliant.

Community Expert Insight

As part of our research, we reached out to the community to see what PEO services small businesses are choosing and why. This helped us to identify the most valuable features of a PEO. 

Aaron Bailey, general manager at DZone and previous COO of business.com, was responsible for selecting a PEO for roughly 80 employees. Bailey said the most important feature he looked for was employee benefits. 

"The most important factor came down to medical benefits and how they compared to what we were used to," he said. "Next was 401(k) – how their plan, funds and fees stacked up against what we had in place already. Also, the monthly fees all PEOs have … range between vendors."  

Bailey ultimately chose to partner with Insperity because it offers great benefit coverage in his region. He also said Insperity's tools are better than competitors' options. 

"The user experience was better, the training and development options were very good, [and] their mobile app was very easy to use and had frequent improvements to it," said Bailey. "They're also a well-established company that gets a lot of positive press around employees and customers first." 

Anh Trinh, founder and CEO of 2-year-old media startup GeekWithLaptop, selected Oasis for his team of eight employees because it is a reliable company that specializes in small businesses and startups. He also valued Oasis' ability to provide risk management and workers' compensation insurance for his small startup. 

"Choose the PEO based on their specialties," said Trinh. "Some PEOs are good at handling big businesses, while others are good for startups. Identify what you need right now and go from there." 

Max Prokell, founder and CEO of Venta Marketing, was responsible for choosing a PEO client for his marketing company of 15 employees. Since user experience was a top priority for him, he chose TriNet for its Fortune 500-level benefits, risk management, dedicated HR team, and seamless onboarding and tax paperwork review process. 

"The first sign of a great PEO comes down to their technology and the implementation of a great user experience," said Prokell. "Any PEO could have the most advanced platform on the market, but if my employees hate the interface, then the technology loses its value. We selected our PEO partner because I knew that my employees would appreciate their technology and a mobile-first approach to HR services."

Our Methodology

We compiled a list of almost 60 PEO services after analyzing industry trends, considering companies featured on other review sites, reviewing the top industry players and searching the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) website. 

After analyzing the companies' small business services, establishing whether they were national PEOs, reviewing their accreditation and NAPEO membership, and grading their online presence, we whittled the list down to 30 companies. We conducted further research on these 30 PEOS by diving deep into their services and reviewing their HR, payroll, benefits, and risk management offerings. We also established the types of training resources and customer reviews each company had. 

From this list of 30 companies, we chose five that stood out as the best for customer service, startups, small businesses, midsize businesses and tailored industries. We then reviewed each company's pricing structure, contract requirements, online and mobile access, available services, and standout features. 

We dug even deeper into these five best picks, evaluating the customer service and features that each plan offers. We contacted our finalists by phone, live chat and email, speaking as small business owners. We inquired about each PEO's plan structure, pricing and cancellation policy. The five companies withstood each round of our testing and stood out in all of our interactions with them.

Co-Employment: How Do PEOs Work?

PEOs operate under a co-employment model, where your employees will appear on the PEO's books for legal and tax purposes. This allows PEOs to act as massive corporations with hundreds of thousands of employees. The co-employment model means these companies can negotiate contracts with employee benefits providers for more favorable insurance rates on workers' compensation insurance and unemployment insurance. It also means they have the power and scope to build and leverage powerful time and attendance and payroll technology for small businesses.

Once you sign on with a PEO, you'll work closely with customer success managers and other team members to build out the services you need for your small business. Many of the companies we reviewed offer a la carte services, where companies can sign up for individual services instead of full bundles.

As your business grows, your PEO will adjust to your needs and work with you. Working with a PEO under the co-employment model is essentially partnering with a team of specialists to build out the administrative and back-end processes of your organization. If it makes sense for your business financially, these organizations can take a lot of the stress (and handle most of the legwork) out of running your business so you can focus on more important needs.

More than 150,000 small businesses partner with PEOs across the country to get high-quality benefits and proper HR support to keep their businesses running smoothly. There are more than 800 PEO services companies serving and operating in all 50 states. A PEO must adhere to both state and federal regulations, so some companies are divided up by region or even state.

As you search for a PEO, keep your own state and region in mind – some PEOs are only qualified to serve small businesses in some states. Most of the companies we reviewed are qualified to offer coverage in all 50 states. If you're curious about whether a PEO operates in your state or not, you can look it up in the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations' directory.

What to Expect in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to abruptly change business operations, including how they manage their human capital. With work-from-home policies and flexible working arrangements becoming the norm, we anticipate the PEO industry will accommodate these changes in 2021. PEO software will prioritize self-service options that allow employees to record their hours and modify their benefits remotely.

Small businesses and PEOs will need to work closely together to modify and administer new employee benefits based on employee needs. Employees are prioritizing benefits like flextime, sick leave and affordable health insurance. PEOs must continue evolving to let employees easily manage the benefits they want. 

As many companies focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives in 2021, PEOs may increase their virtual education and training programs to help business leaders understand the challenges and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace.

Although legal compliance has always been important, the pandemic has created an even bigger need for this. As PEOs navigate employment and labor laws, they will need to work closely with small businesses to ensure the owners are maintaining a safe and compliant workplace.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
business.com Staff
See Skye Schooley's Profile
Skye Schooley is an Arizona native, based in New York City. She received a business communication degree from Arizona State University and spent a few years traveling internationally, before finally settling down in the greater New York City area. She currently writes for business.com and Business News Daily, primarily contributing articles about business technology and the workplace, and reviewing categories such as remote PC access software, collection agencies, background check services, web hosting, reputation management services, cloud storage, and website design software and services.

Other Services Considered

Engage PEO provides a solid offering in human resources, risk management, payroll and benefits services. It also has a strong training program that includes onsite and online training on a variety of topics. Engage's HR services are fully integrated and available via desktop, tablet and mobile devices, and its HR consultants double as licensed attorneys. 

G&A Partners offers comprehensive human resource services, modern payroll technology, competitive employee benefits, workplace safety measures, and risk and compliance management, but its impressive training programs and technology are what make it our choice as the best HR outsourcing company for employee development.

It is recommended that you have at least five employees before working with G&A, and it charges a flat rate on a per-employee basis. The company does not list pricing on its website, so you will have to contact a representative for a custom quote. 

G&A doesn't require long-term contracts. Instead of locking your business in for a year or longer, it provides its services on an ongoing basis. You can cancel services at any time with a 30-day advance notice. 

G&A Partners HR Outsourcing Services

G&A offers a number of convenient HR services to help hire, train and manage your employees. Small businesses that need comprehensive HR assistance are better suited for G&A's PEO services, whereas those that only need to outsource a few HR responsibilities are better off with creating an ASO plan. Although each plan offers many of the same features, the contract structure for these will be different – so work closely with your G&A representative to find the right service type for your business. Both plan structures allow you to scale services to match your business needs. 

HR Services

G&A can handle all of your HR needs. Noteworthy services include development and implementation of HR policies and procedures. Most PEOs offer this, but if you're a small business with a nonexistent HR department, G&A can help you start from scratch. It also provides HR audits and investigation, employee discipline and termination support, performance management and training, and unemployment insurance and claims administration. These are standard HR services, but G&A goes further by providing recruiting services, such as job sourcing, screening, job assessments, job description review and creation, applicant tracking, new-hire onboarding, and general recruitment services. Whether you use its PEO or HRO services, it provides robust HR support for small businesses.

Employee Benefits

G&A offers standard employee benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance. There are also flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, employee assistance programs (EAP), short- and long-term disability, employee wellness and discount programs, and accident insurance. The fees for these plans may be separate from the monthly per-employee rate. Additionally, G&A handles employee questions regarding coverage and claims. This is a standout aspect of its service. Instead of your business wrestling with insurance carriers, G&A can assist with questions or disputes. It also takes care of healthcare reform matters with eligibility monitoring and annual IRS reporting.

Payroll and Taxes

G&A provides time and attendance software, time and overtime tracking, PTO accrual, vacation and sick leave tracking, and scheduling management. It offers a full suite of compliance and tax-related payroll services such as tax filings, wage garnishments, new-hire reporting and automated standard deductions. G&A provides a full-fledged payroll service on par with several of its competitors.

Risk and Compliance

G&A offers standard accident prevention services to help keep your team safe and secure. This is especially important for businesses in hazardous industries. G&A can help develop employee safety manuals, conduct safety audits and inspections, carry out post-audit safety reports and trainings, and provide onsite and online safety training materials. It also helps you comply with OSHA regulations and provides workers' compensation.

Training and Development

One standout aspect of G&A Partners' HRO offering is its employee development programs. In addition to great employee training programs, G&A can provide performance management assistance for workers who have fallen behind. It provides multiple forms of support, such as helping you meet industry regulations, building education programs for your employees and tracking each worker's progress. You can use advanced HR technology to find employee competency gaps, match jobs and goals with available courses, and assign employee courses. The performance management system allows you to set and measure employee goals, keep employee performance records, and conduct 360-degree reviews. 

Pros of G&A Partners

An advantage of partnering with G&A is the size of the company. Some HR outsourcing companies we reviewed are major companies that support tens of thousands of small businesses. There are advantages to partnering with a big company, but some small businesses look for more personalized service with one-on-one support, and we found that G&A can provide this level of attention. 

Another benefit of partnering with G&A Partners is the technology you'll have access to. The HR technology allows you to offer your employees several e-learning options. You can assign courses, and track employee results and improvement. This is great for growing teams and businesses that want their employees to continue learning and expanding their skill sets. 

Healthcare, franchise service, manufacturing, nonprofit and professional service companies can especially benefit from G&A Partners. G&A specializes in these industries, providing industry-specific human resource options. Since each industry has its own guidelines and laws that it must follow, it is helpful to have a PEO or HR outsourcing company that is knowledgeable on those regulations for your industry.  

Cons of G&A Partners

One drawback of G&A is the lack of mobile options. We could not find a mobile application to manage human resources tasks on the go. This would be a valuable tool for companies spread out over several locations, or for those whose HR personnel is constantly on the move. 

Another limitation is the lack of information on the company's website about the cost of its services. While this isn't a dealbreaker, many small business owners want a quick idea of how much each service costs, even if it's just a ballpark estimate. Since G&A Partners offers bundled and a la carte services, it is unclear what the cost may be from simply viewing the info on the website. When you get a price quote from a representative, ask about the cost of additional services you may need in the future. You don't want to be caught off guard with unexpected costs as your business expands. 

Customer Service

We interacted with G&A sales representatives by email and phone, posing as a small business owner interested in outsourcing our human resources tasks. Its sales representatives were excellent. They gave us all the necessary info about its services, as well as helpful advice for our human resources outsourcing search, never pushing us for a sale. Instead, they were cordial and supportive of our inquiry. 

G&A Partners has several helpful online resources, including articles, guides, webinars, videos and whitepapers. It also provides personalized support. When you sign up with G&A Partners, you'll have a client advocate who coordinates your business's services; this person can answer many basic questions related to your service and refer complicated issues to a team of specialists for the coverage area in question.

HROi, a subsidiary of Paychex, offers a wide selection of HR-related services to businesses as small as five people. Read Review.

Tandem HR is a comprehensive HR outsourcing (HRO) company and PEO that offers a wide range of services to small businesses, with HR consulting, payroll administration, employee benefits, training programs, recruiting services and risk management. As both a PEO and HRO, Tandem HR is a flexible human resources company for small businesses with 10 or more employees. Many small businesses start with HRO services and then scale up to PEO services, which involve a separate co-employment agreement between the provider and the small business. By offering both services, Tandem HR shows it has the bandwidth and quality to provide small businesses with valuable HR support. 

XcelHR provides human resources, benefits, payroll and risk management services for businesses across the country and of all sizes. Many PEO companies we reviewed require you to have a minimum number of employees to use their services, usually 5-10, but XcelHR has flexible acceptance standards. This is advantageous to very small businesses that need HR services or other PEO features, as they may not qualify with many other companies. 

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Justworks can handle your payroll, HR, benefits and compliance needs. It offers multiple tiered plans, and Justworks is transparent about its pricing. Justworks is lacking in employee training and development services compared to other PEOs we evaluated. Justworks is accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Paychex provides businesses with comprehensive PEO features, including risk management, payroll, employee benefits, HR administration, and numerous onsite and virtual training solutions. This nationwide company represents thousands of employees and businesses of all sizes, so you'll be joining a provider that is equipped to handle your organization. It also assigns you an HR generalist who remains your point person as your business grows and a mobile application so you can access your services on the go. Plans are scalable as your company grows. Paychex is certified by the IRS and accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) and the Better Business Bureau, with an A+ BBB rating. For these reasons, Paychex earns our pick for best PEO service for midsize businesses. 

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