Considering a PEO? Ask These 5 Questions

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considering-a-PEO-ask-these-5-questionsIf you’re thinking about using a PEO, do yourself a favor and ask these five essential questions.

How long has the PEO been in business? There’s no replacement for experience and know-how, and in general, the longer the PEO has been in business, the more efficient and effective they are in serving your needs.

Is the PEO ESAC-accredited? Accreditation through the Employer Services Assurance Corporation provides a $15 million surety bond to clients in the event that the PEO were ever to go bankrupt.  It protects clients and provides assurance that their workers’ compensation insurance, their benefits premiums, and their payroll taxes are paid accurately and on time.

Is your main point of contact a credentialed HR manager? Is your main point of contact an account manager, or do you even have a main point of contact? This is a very important question, because if your main point of contact is a credentialed HR manager, you’ll enjoy single-call resolution most of the time. For basic HR questions that come up in your day-to-day activities, you’ll be able to call your HR manager and get immediate answers that address your needs. However, if you don’t have a single point of contact, or if your contact is an account manager with no HR experience, then it will take longer to get answers to even very basic questions.

Is the pricing structure transparent? Can you easily identify and understand the PEO’s administrative fee, as well as the charges for payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and health insurance?  Or is it a bundled approach, where it’s hard to figure out exactly what your bill includes?  As a business owner, don’t you want to know what you’re paying for?

Is your client service guaranteed through the PEO relationship? Does the PEO put in writing what goals and expectations are regarding response time, what they’ll do and provide in the first three, six, and twelve months of the relationship?  At the end of the day, you’re buying a service and you want to get the full benefit and understand exactly what to expect and see in writing what those service guarantees are.

If you’re thinking about partnering with a PEO, ask yourself – and ask the PEO – those five important questions, and carefully consider the answers.   Peruse for more resources on how to select the right PEO for your business.