Finding a PEO is not as difficult as you may think. The first step of any business purchase decision is to assess your business’s needs so you can find companies that can help you solve those problems. Once you compare your top choices’ pricing, features and contracts, you should be able to decide which one is best for your business.
We interviewed some small business owners and managers to better understand what the decision process is like for SMBs interested in partnering with a PEO. While your buying decisions will be unique to your company’s needs, here are a few basic steps to finding the right PEO for your company.
1. Reviewing the Technology
When Max Prokell, founder of Venta Marketing, was choosing a PEO for his marketing team of 15 employees, he looked for one with a seamless user experience and dedicated HR support.
“The first sign of a great PEO comes down to their technology and the implementation of a great user experience,” he said. “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 [TriNet] because I knew that my employees would appreciate their technology and a mobile-first approach to HR services.”
2. Researching User Experience
Read customer reviews to find out more about the experience of current customers. This is an important step because PEOs are much more than a software service — they are your co-employer. You can demo the software, but to get a clear picture of whether they’ll be a good partner for your business and employees, you’ll want to dive into customer reviews.
Aaron Bailey, CEO of Inbox Insight and former COO of business.com, placed high importance on user experience and customer support. When he needed a PEO for his team of 80 employees, he chose Insperity.
Insperity’s “user experience was better than its competitors’, the training and development options were very good, and their mobile app was very easy to use and had frequent improvements to it,” Bailey said.
3. Considering Your Business’s Industry
Since every small business is unique, a PEO should be able to customize its HR features to fit your needs. Some PEOs specialize in certain industries or business sizes, which can be beneficial for companies that don’t want a standard one-size-fits-all PEO approach.
Anh Trinh, founder of media startup GeekWithLaptop, said he selected Oasis for his team of eight employees because it is a reliable PEO that specializes in small businesses and startups. Trinh’s parting advice to his fellow small business owners is to identify the PEO features your business needs first and choose a PEO specializing in those areas.
4. Reviewing Accreditations and Narrowing Down Your Options
Check with the major accreditation agencies when you’re considering PEOs. While PEO companies do not need accreditation to provide good service, the credential is a good way to help you narrow down your options if you have several contenders. Accreditation will verify some major aspects of the PEO’s overall service offering.
A few of our best picks aren’t accredited but still provide great service, so your decision depends on what you value as a business owner.
5. Obtaining Pricing Quotes
One challenge that comes with shopping for PEO services is that many of the top providers do not provide transparent, publicly available pricing information. Therefore, once you’ve narrowed down your options a bit, you’ll need to request custom quotes from the PEO vendors that you are considering.
6. Choosing Your PEO
Once you’re armed with all the information on your candidates, choose the PEO that best meets your company’s needs. After you determine the plan and features your company will best benefit from, discuss any additional costs or fees with your chosen PEO’s sales representatives before you commit.