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.
What separates Engage from other PEOs, however, is both its industry accreditation and the structure of its personalized service. All Engage HR reps and consultants double as employment lawyers; their knowledge of labor laws is up to date. This isn't necessarily the case with a lot of the other PEOs we reviewed, so it sets Engage apart. If you're a small business owner looking to ensure compliance with federal and state laws as well as other labor-related laws and disputes, you should seriously consider Engage.
Engage partners with businesses that have at least 10 employees. In addition to a minimum of 10 employees, you'll need to have seven employees enrolled in the benefits program through Engage. In addition to its focus on compliance, Engage is accredited by both the IRS and Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC). Not every PEO we reviewed is accredited by both organizations, making Engage a unique PEO with industry-verified quality. It also puts it in the top tier of PEOs in the nation. It doesn't have its own Better Business Bureau profile, but it does have some five-star customer reviews on Facebook.
You can also access the Engage's services via mobile device, which isn't a typical feature of all the companies we reviewed in this category. Engage's accreditation and robust services – especially from a compliance standpoint – make it worth considering in your hunt for the right PEO for your business.
Pricing and Terms
Engage supports a cost structure that can either be charged per employee or as a percentage of your total payroll, depending on what plan you choose and what works best for your business. This flexibility is ideal for a small business owner that isn't sure what type of plan would work best for the company.
Many PEOs we evaluated only provide a single pricing structure. Engage was one of the few that provided two pricing options. Engage doesn't require long-term contracts. Instead of locking your company down for a year or two, Engage allows you to cancel your services any time with a 30-day written notice. This is standard practice among many of the PEOs we reviewed. Once you do sign with Engage, however, you're on the hook for 90 days. After the first 90 days, you can cancel at any time with the advanced notice.
Engage bundles some of its services. If you partner with Engage, you can separate workers' compensation and 401(k) offerings, but you'll have to pay for the rest of the services like payroll, HR support and benefits. Some companies only charge businesses for the services they end up using, which provides added flexibility to very small businesses that need payroll and benefits support but not HR or risk and compliance services.
The PEO industry is dominated by only a few companies. Engage is a company that can provide hands-on, tailored services to small businesses. If you partner with Engage, you'll be working with a company that can offer you the attention you need.
Engage provides a team of consultants to handle your payroll, HR, risk management and benefits. Including one specialist for each area, Engage also provides an account manager to bridge the gap between you and whatever particular service you need to implement. The human resource consultant (HRC) is the representative who is also an employment lawyer.
- Human resources: Engage is unique in that your HRC is also an employment lawyer, so you have help staying current on employment laws. Engage also provides employer consulting, wage and hour legal consulting, regulation support, hiring and recruitment help, employee training, performance management, unemployment claims administration, claims administration, background checks and drug screenings, and employment verification. You can view Engage's complete list of services here. Engage has a full-service human resources offering, but based on the information in the full breakdown, its services are geared toward the compliance and regulatory side of your business. This can be advantageous depending on your company. If you're looking for HR support that's geared more toward developing unique HR policies or HR technology platforms, you may want to consider other PEO options.
- Benefits: Engage provides a standard benefits offering compared to other companies we reviewed. Engage provides standard health, vision and dental insurance, as well as a 401(k) offering. It offers life insurance, employee assistance programs, and long and short-term disability. Engage offers some benefits services, like consulting services, claims dispute assistance, employee notifications, enrollments, and new hire onboarding. It supports COBRA administration and can coordinate benefits renewals. Overall, Engage has a fairly robust benefits offering. You can view it in full here.
- Payroll: Engage offers a standard set of payroll options. You can view the company's full payroll offering here. Some services to note are time and attendance software, web-based payroll access, paid time off tracking, payroll reports, W-2 preparation and administration, direct deposit payment, wage garnishing, new hire reporting, and state and federal tax compliance assistance. Engage also provides mobile access to some of its services. If you're interested in managing payroll while on the go, it may be worth discussing this with your Engage sales representative.
- Risk and compliance: Engage has a robust risk and compliance offering. The full breakdown is featured on its website in the Workers' Comp & Risk Management and Compliance. The legal services are a highlight of Engage's offering. From a compliance perspective, they can help you through regulations on the Equal Pay Act (EPA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), and state and local regulations as well. If you need workers' compensation insurance, Engage has you covered. It can provide field-based safety services, risk analysis and safety recommendations, administration assistance, background checks, and drug screenings.
Engage provides clients with access to a service team. This team has experts in payroll, benefits, human resources, and risk and compliance – plus, you're assigned an account manager who can direct you to the right expert whenever you have questions. The account manager is personal health record (PHR) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certified, so they can also help you with certain aspects of your business.
We created a hypothetical business and interacted with Engage's sales team to get a better idea of the services they offer. We interacted with Engage via email and phone. In all instances, the sales representatives we interacted with were both friendly and informative, providing us with all the information we needed without pushing us toward a sale.
Based on its expertise in risk and compliance, Engage also offers solid training resources. The professionals at Engage can conduct onsite training, or you can access Engage's online training platform to administer sessions to your company on a variety of topics. The onsite and online training are both standard for the industry – you can ensure your business is operating effectively by conducting sessions on topics like conflict management with Engage's resources.
The lack of a FAQs page or live chat could be frustrating if you have issues with payroll or other software at odd hours when you can't reach your designated HR team. Also, there's a 10-employee minimum for service, so if you're a startup or a very small business, it's probably not the best option for you.
Editor's Note: Is your business looking for a PEO service? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site BuyerZone connect you with vendors that can help.
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