Good help is hard to find and keep. It can be even harder when you consider the administrative burdens of hiring, managing, and paying employees. That’s why many small business owners have turned to professional employer organizations (PEOs) for their staffing needs.
Don’t confuse PEOs with temp agencies. PEOs provide human resource services to their small business clients—paying wages and taxes, and assuming responsibility and liability for compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
In addition, PEOs often provide workers with access to 401(k) plans; health, dental, and life insurance; dependent care; and other benefits often out of reach of many small businesses. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Associations, between 2 and 3 million people in the U.S. are covered by a PEO arrangement.
A PEO can also handle screening resumes and interviewing candidates, and, when appropriate, conducting pre-employment testing to predict loyalty to your firm and success on a specific job. Some PEOs have entire divisions devoted to recruiting and helping small business owners gather information to make the right hiring decisions. With the PEO handling all the up-front work, you can choose “the best of the best” with confidence. The PEO can then handle the paperwork for the new hire.
To find and evaluate a PEO to suit your needs, consider www.peo.com. This site offers a searchable director of PEO firms, plus the ability to consult with hiring experts via email. This assistance is particularly helpful if your small business has unique needs, or if you anticipate changes to your operations in the near future. Another resource is PEOcompare.com. In addition to a free buyers guide, this site provides a wealth of information on how PEOs work human resources management, general employment trends, and other related small business issues.
To learn more about HR issues facing your small business, contact SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 12,000 volunteers who provide free, confidential business mentoring and training workshops to small business owners.