Starting a business is an extremely exciting time for any entrepreneur. You’ve worked hard planning, budgeting, hiring and executing a business vision. For the first few weeks, months or perhaps years, things may run smoothly as your start up begins to grow. However, as your business expands and you may begin to have trouble managing your back-office administrative tasks such as Human Resources, Payroll, and Benefits Administration. Any weakness in these areas can cause serious damage to you, your business and your employees.
This is where a PEO comes in. PEO’s are designed to help small businesses manage HR, Payroll, Benefits and more by taking on tasks that you just simply don’t have time to do. This way you can focus on the front-end of your business while the rest is taken care of. We’ve put together a guide on shopping for the right PEO in the hope we may save you time and money and get you back to doing what you love.
So, what is a PEO?
Professional Employer Organization (PEO) partners with businesses to help provide administrative support by grouping business together under one tax ID number. The PEO does not control your business’s day-to-day operations, but rather it takes on necessary tasks essential to running a healthy business. When a small business owner is passionate about their craft, it is difficult to also provide top-notch HR, Payroll, and Benefits administration. Some tasks performed by the PEO may include:
• Employee Onboarding
• HR & Compliance
• Strategic HR Consulting
• Payroll & Tax Administration
• Time & Labor Management
• Employee Benefits
• 401(k) or 403(b) Administration
• Performance Management
By allowing a PEO to support your business, you gain back valuable time and money back so that you can focus on doing what you love. Check out our pricing calculator to find out how you can have an entire HR, Payroll, Benefits and Risk Reduction team for as little as the price of buying your employees a cup of coffee.
Now that we have established what PEO’s do in general, lets take a look at some situations which might point to your business being in need of help from a PEO.
Signs & Symptoms You May Need a PEO
• Your Employee Relations issues have escalated.
-A minor disagreement between employees is normal now and again, but sometimes the problem can quickly change into something that is out of the hands of the business owner or manager. Things like harassment & abuse complaints, insubordination issues and employee termination should be handled by an HR professional to avoid potential liability to the business owner.
• You are spending valuable hours, weekends and nights processing payroll.
– Payroll processing can be long and tedious, and often there can be mistakes made when payroll is processed after a long work day or at night. When mistakes are made or payroll is late, it impacts the employee and hurts company morale. By allowing a PEO to help you process your payroll you no longer must miss out on valuable time you could spend focusing on other aspects of business, or perhaps spending time with family and friends.
• You have full-time employees that need benefits
– Many start-ups will hire one or two employees part-time to begin with. However, when your business grows your employees may become full-time, making them benefits eligible. Benefit eligibility often differs from business-to-business depending on the number of hours classifying an employee as full-time. Benefits administration can be a complicated process and having a professional back-office team will be essential. Partnering with a PEO such as Aliat gives you access to Fortune 500 benefits at small-business costs inaccessible to a broker.
• Your employees seem disengaged or unhappy
– When you spend time trying to balance every element of running a business, employee dissatisfaction and disengagement can be overlooked. Disengaged employees can cost you money by not returning productivity conducive to their salary. Partnering with a PEO frees up your time so you can focus on your business and employee needs.
Reflective Questions to Ask
So you’ve decided it’s best for you and your business if you partner with a PEO. There are options out there, so we have put together a list of important questions you should be asking to help guide yourself in the right path.
• How experienced are my team members?
– You want to make sure the experts who make up your professional back-office team are qualified to be providing you with various services. It is ok to ask about your team in detail and even request a meeting with essential team members
• What’s my staff-to-team member ratio?
– It is important to make sure your PEO team is properly staffed for your company size, and that they can handle your business expanding over time, too. Aliat is designed to be scalable, meaning we can take on a wide range of company sizes with ease.
• Will my monthly or yearly rate increase?
– Every PEO is different in the way they decide to charge for services. At Aliat, we provide a Per Employee Per Month (PEPM) rate, meaning you can pay month-to-month without a long-term contract. While PEO’s cannot guarantee your rates will not go up, you have the freedom to leave the PEO if they do or if you are unsatisfied with the cost.
• Can I have references?
– Asking for references from current clients is acceptable and encouraged. Remember each client has a different service agreement so experiences may differ, but overall satisfaction should be similar among your PEO’s clients.
What sets Aliat apart?
•. Freedom to Fly. While most PEO’s offer Benefits Administration, Aliat offers a special program called the Freedom to Fly Guarantee, where we guide you on the path to a 0% renewal rate increase. Our Freedom to Fly Guarantee is a unique program that integrates with our CIGNA health program. At Aliat, health is at the core of what we do. When your employees engage in a wellness program it benefits not only the employee, but the business as well. Freedom to Fly helps motivate you and your employees to be your healthiest selves while saving money on medical premiums, increasing productivity and increasing employee engagement and satisfaction.
• Package/Pricing Options. Many PEO’s offer one package with one price per employee per month. Aliat has four packages that are customizable to your employees and business’s needs. Check out our pricing page for more information.
• Comparison tool. Aliat is the top choice for high quality HR, Payroll, Benefits and Risk Reduction administration. We’ve provided an easy-to-use comparison tool that allows you to see how we stand up to other industry leaders.
• Unique modern benefits. Aliat is always looking to expand our benefit pool so that you can always have the option to offer your employees modern and highly sought-after benefits, Offering cutting-edge and modern benefits is essential to attracting top employees. From pet insurance to student loan repayment benefits, we got you covered.
• We are your one stop shop. The days of using multiple confusing vendors are over. We have created a one stop shop solution for small and mid-sized business owners. From unique voluntary benefits to specialized recruiting to bookkeeping, we can bundle it all under our unique model and for one transparent price. Many PEO’s increase their fee with the more services you add on. With Aliat, our benefits are all built into our PEPM, so there will be no hidden fees. We are happy to review a rundown of what the PEPM breaks down to at your request.
• Dedicated support team. With Aliat, your support team cares about your business as much as you do. We have Payroll Specialists, Account Managers, HR Pros and Benefit Specialists who are always there for you and your employees. Most PEO’s give out a 1-800 number with someone on the other end who does not know you or your business and who may not even know what you are asking. Your dedicated team will be the same support team from implementation and training that will stay with you throughout your entire relationship with Aliat. They know all about your business and any unique circumstances you may have and will always be available to help you when you need it. We value the relationships that we build with our clients and we care about you and your businesses’ success!