If you’re a small business owner struggling to stay on top of HR, you’re not alone. Many small business owners in Charlestown and throughout the country spend increasing amounts of time focused on hiring and firing and more mundane HR issues like compliance checks and benefits administration.
Your small business may now be big enough that HR has become complicated but not big enough to support more full-time staff. So, as the business owner, you have to step in and handle some of these things. But when you’re spending more time on these issues, you have less time to keep the money coming in that keeps the lights on and people on the payroll.
Rather than stretch your small HR department and yourself even thinner, you’re better off working with a professional employment organization (PEO).
What Is a PEO?
A PEO is a business that provides HR services to other businesses and organizations. They can help small businesses like yours provide your employees with all the benefits of a futuristic functional HR department for a fraction of the price. And they can help you improve your productivity and operational efficiency too.
Co-Employment vs. Outsourcing
Now, you may wonder whether working with a PEO is just a new method of outsourcing. Generally, PEOs work with you and your existing HR staff in what’s known as a co-employment arrangement. In this arrangement, you retain control of hiring, discipline, and firing decisions, while your PEO co-employer will directly manage your payroll, benefits administration, and other HR-related tasks.
By working with a PEO, you’ll not only free yourself up to manage the critical revenue-driving activities that only you can. You’ll also free your HR staff to manage more value-added activities like professional development and advancement.
What Kinds of HR Functions Can a PEO Handle?
Different PEOs may have expertise in providing HR benefits to businesses in specific industries. Others may have deep regional roots and concentrate on companies and organizations in specific parts of the country. But no matter a PEO’s specialty, they typically offer the following HR services:
- Benefits administration
- Recruitment, onboarding, and offloading
Most PEOs offer a variety of other generalized HR services as well.
One of the most important aspects of HR, if not the most important, is ensuring employees are paid on time. Unfortunately, even in the digital era, doing so is not as straightforward as it should be.
Payroll specialists must account for changes in employment tax laws, employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, and tax withholding related to any other taxable compensation, benefits, or incentives an employee may receive. And that’s just for full-time and part-time employees. Contractors and gig workers present a different set of rules and challenges with which HR staff must contend.
Staying on top of these changes is a full-time job in and of itself and is just one area where a PEO can help your existing HR staff.
No less complicated than payroll is benefits administration. Not only must you help employees navigate the benefits your company provides, but you also must be able to negotiate attractive benefits packages for them to retain them and recruit top talent. But when you’re a small business, you don’t have a lot of bargaining power with, say, a large health insurance company.
On the other hand, a PEO whose many clients may represent tens or even hundreds of thousands of employees can negotiate better benefits packages. When you work with a PEO, you reap the benefits of those deals, which potentially means:
- More options for your employees
- Lower employee premiums
- Lower employer benefits costs
And because your employees will be on plans we manage, we can help your employees with whatever questions they have and take one more administrative burden off your plate.
Recruitment, Onboarding, and Offboarding
Finding the right people is crucial and can help you take your business to the next level. By contrast, the wrong employees waste time and money and can hurt productivity and morale in the short-term and long term.
PEOs know how important it is to have the right team around them, so they typically offer advanced tools and support to find the right candidates. PEOs also help ensure a new employee receives a positive first impression with an effective onboarding process. And when employees separate, PEOs can ensure an offboarding process that helps capture useful departing employee insights and maintains operational continuity.
Like insurance, compliance is often overlooked until there’s a problem. But in some cases, the penalties for non-compliance with labor and tax laws can be legally and financially catastrophic. Keeping track of statutory changes and relevant HR case law can be difficult even if you have a full-time lawyer on staff.
But if you don’t, or they are often otherwise occupied, you need a PEO. Because PEOs work with multiple companies, they understand the ins and outs of typical HR compliance issues. And they also often possess industry-specific HR compliance knowledge that can benefit you if your business is in a highly regulated industry.
Is Using a PEO Safe?
It’s understandable if you’re wary of working with a PEO. After all, doing so requires you to provide sensitive information to a third party – one that could be hacked or possibly sharing your information with a competing business they represent.
PEOs take great pains to protect the security of the data their clients entrust to them. That means using best-in-class data security tools and practices, and it also means firewalling each client’s information from others internally. A PEO is only concerned with providing its clients with the best HR services possible. And that begins with building trust and handling client information with integrity.
What Kinds of Businesses Use PEOs in Charleston?
Within the scope of history, PEOs may be a relatively new development. But businesses and organizations throughout South Carolina have successfully been using them for years. You’ll find PEOs servicing Charleston in industries like:
- Life sciences
Working with a PEO saves you time and money on HR while providing you with more HR services.
Why Should I Choose NetPEO?
At NetPEO, we know that each business is different, with unique visions, values, and needs. That means not every PEO will be the right fit for your business. But just as with candidate recruitment, you could spend considerable time and money looking for the right PEO, only to realize that you’ve picked the wrong one after signing a long-term contract.
Now, there are payroll issues, the benefits selection is not what you expected, and you can’t get anyone on the phone. Or your PEO may be competent at the mechanics but not be able to translate your business vision into a road map for your short-term and long-term staffing needs.
So, we at NetPEO help small businesses like yours find the right PEO for your company. And when we do, we keep in touch over time to ensure they’re providing what you need.
How Do I Get Started?
To start finding the right PEO for your Charleston small business, contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll discuss your vision for your business and staffing needs, then work with you to identify the best local, regional, or national provider. We can take the guesswork and trial and error out of your PEO search with our extensive network of PEOs. Let’s discuss your needs today!