PEOs provide several beneficial resources for small businesses. Because they focus on HR tasks and administration, you are left with more time to focus on your business. On top of that, PEOs can offer better benefits to your employees than you might be able to obtain on your own. This can help you attract and retain top talent. Many employer organizations use 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.
Administrative HR Services
One advantage of partnering with a PEO is having a professional organization take care of all your HR services. PEOs can create your employee handbook and policies, onboard new hires, cover HR administrative tasks, offer unemployment assistance, and help with compliance reporting and employee termination. They often have online HR reporting tools, employee self-service options and advanced HR technology.
According to the NAPEO, companies that partner with a PEO grow 7 to 9 percent faster, and are 50 percent less likely to go out of business, than companies that don’t partner with a PEO.
Because PEOs co-employ multiple businesses’ employees, they can offer better employee benefits than you might otherwise be able to provide. PEOs typically offer medical, dental, vision, life, and long- and short-term disability insurance. Some offer additional plans, like flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).
Employees often receive retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, as well as additional benefits, like commuter and parking discounts, home and auto insurance discounts, and access to employee assistance programs. Many employers receive guidance on Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, while their employees get access to consulting services by licensed benefits professionals. The benefits vary by PEO, as does the cost.
PEOs offer small businesses an affordable way to package all of their HR responsibilities, including payroll processing and taxes. PEOs can process your employee payroll, prepare and distribute payroll checks, administer direct deposits, 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 tax deposits and filing, along with detailed management reports. The PEO you partner with should be able to handle all of your employee payroll needs. By including this cost in the PEO’s total, you can ultimately save money on your payroll.
Risk and Compliance
Managing risk and legal compliance is an important part of running a 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 handled by someone else. The level of compliance and risk that a PEO manages varies, but many PEOs perform tasks such as managing ACA coordination and compliance, running on-site safety inspections, performing accident investigations and job hazard analyses, allocating workers’ compensation coverage, and maintaining OSHA compliance for your business.
A PEO ensures that your business takes the appropriate measures to maintain workplace safety. Some PEOs provide employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) 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 abides by legal employment guidelines. This alone is reason enough for some businesses to partner with a PEO.
Training and Development
Some PEOs offer employee training and development. Many provide online and on-site training courses that your employees can take to enhance their skills. They can access courses on communication, sexual harassment and discrimination, hiring and firing, disciplinary actions, leadership, social media and workplace technology, as well as get industry-specific training.
Not all PEOs provide continuing-education courses, and the courses that PEOs do offer vary. However, at the very least, most PEOs can train your staff on necessary workplace concepts, like avoiding workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.
Make sure the PEO you partner with assigns you a designated team of experts who can handle your HR, risk management, benefits and payroll needs. Work with a company that provides specialists in each area, along with a relationship manager who can help you take advantage of all of the services the PEO offers. 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). SHRM certification ensures that your account coordinator is more than just a company relationship manager.
A PEO provides many services — such as administrative HR functions, employee benefits administration, payroll processing, talent management, risk management and compliance — that can help you manage your workforce, save time and money, and maintain legal compliance.