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The Popularity of PEO’s: It’s history, growth and effect on your business.

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) this past February has some not so surprising results.  Well, not surprising to anyone who is currently working for, with, or partnered with a PEO.  The survey revealed that the PEO industry is experiencing continued growth across all areas including: revenue, gross profits, operating income, average number of worksite employees, and average number of clients.  What these survey results all boil down to is one simple fact: PEOs are becoming increasingly more popular and an increasingly more common way for businesses to provide their employees with the best HR, benefit, and insurance packages.

Of the 71 PEO executives who took part in the survey, a whopping 99% are optimistic about the prospects for strong industry growth in 2017.  We assume that the remaining 1% were just having a bad day the day of the survey.  The remaining executives all agree that more and more businesses are recognizing the value of a PEO, creating a bright future for the PEO industry.

So why are PEOs becoming so popular? And more importantly, what does all this mean for your business?

Unbelievably enough, the concept of PEOs has been around since the 1960’s, then known as Employee Leasing Firms. The industry was established as a way to help companies cope with the rising costs of workers’ compensation coverage.  However, it was not until the 1980’s when regulatory laws were increased and businesses were forced to deal with even more complex legal red tape than ever, that PEOs really began to gain popularity.

A PEO firm can handle payroll, and even assist with the hiring, training, and firing of employees. With a PEO, the employer is no longer left to deal with such tedious tasks as onboarding new hires, handling all the necessary paperwork, providing employment information, conducting performance reviews, managing expenses, recruiting, conflict resolution, providing substance abuse services, conducting company policy review, dealing with OSHA and EEOC and I-9 requirements…and the list goes on and on.  Plus, a PEO allows companies to offer insurance and benefit packages that rival those of bigger companies. With a PEO, it’s no longer only the bigger fish that get the bigger benefit package.

PEOs basically take on the tasks that are too time consuming, expensive, and complicated to handle in-house, so that your time is freed up to grow your business, allowing you to save money. But even better, with a PEO, less mistakes occur, allowing you to build a better company with better employees and better incentive packages to retain employees.

But PEOs do a lot more for business owners than rescue them from HR and red tape purgatory. Since the PEO’s job is to stay on top of business regulatory laws, including all those new ones that seem to endlessly pop up, a business that partners with a PEO is more likely to always be compliant. A PEO also helps their clients navigate the hundreds of regulations and labor laws that are applicable to their specific industry, undertakes audits to determine if the company is in violation of any laws, and then helps their client address any issues they may have.

And as any business owner understands, better compliance means fewer penalties and fines, saving businesses time, money, and frustration, while increasing employee contentment, productivity, and as a result, the company’s bottom-line.

In recent years, PEOs have begun including even more sophisticated services, such as employee screening and training, safety training and audits, lawsuit protection, processing payment of premiums, certificates of insurance and injury claims, giving businesses further reason to partner with a PEO. With workplace lawsuits and increasingly complicated government regulations becoming more and more common, it’s no wonder that the idea of using a PEO to handle these tasks have also becoming more and more common.

So as I stated at the start of this article, the results of the recent NAPEO survey are not very shocking.  PEOs are definitely becoming the standard way of business for many smart businesses. The only question remains is: Is your business one of them?

To find out more about how a PEO can help your business or if you are getting the most out of your PEO partnership, click here or contact one of our PEO consultants today.

Is Trump’s ban on immigrants a ban on business too?

Whether you agree with President Trump’s policies or not, everyone can agree that the new President has definitely started his first term in office with plenty of sound and fury. Whether it signifies nothing or not is yet to be seen. However, many business owners are wondering how his ideology and campaign agenda will affect business. Are they looking at massive changes in regulations, hiring practices, insurance laws or is it just going to be business as usual?

Trump claims to be a friend of business; his recently signed executive order pledging to repeal two existing regulations for every new one, a promise to reduce business tax rates to 15%, his appointment of Linda McMahon to the SBA, Scott Pruitt to head the EPA and nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court all seem to indicate he is moving in that direction.  NFIB CEO and President commended Trump on his address to Congress (2.28.17), stating “President Trump delivered a very strong economic message that hit the right notes,” regarding tax reform, repealing the affordable care act and reducing business regulations.

But its Trump’s other agenda, i.e., his crackdown on illegal immigrants that has some businesses worried. Trump’s push to tighten our borders may provide some unanticipated challenges for business owners, they include:

  1. The controversial travel ban to the U.S. from specific countries
  2. A limit on H-1B and other visas allowing foreigners to come to the U.S. to work
  3. Stricter enforcement of the E-Verify system that is meant to screen these workers.

As such, many businesses are wondering how Trump’s immigration plans will affect their staffing strategies, business travel and expansion plans.

Trump is suggesting that this crackdown and his “America first” agenda is meant to create new jobs, but many are skeptical if that will truly be the case.  While we tend to think of immigrants taking low paying jobs and therefore having little effect on business, according to a recent survey conducted by Envoy, an immigration service provider, 63% of U.S. employers describe foreign workers as being extremely important to their company’s recruiting and hiring strategies.  Many would be surprised to know that a majority of new patents in the U.S. are registered by non-U.S. citizens.

Additionally, immigrants have been responsible for some of the most successful U.S. startup companies, which in turn, has created many jobs for U.S. citizens.

Foreigners have always been a crucial source of talent across all industries, and if qualified options are not available in the U.S. talent pool, companies may be looking to move or expand their offices outside of the U.S. or outsource some of their tasks to foreign companies.  In addition, companies will be hesitant to send current employees to overseas conferences, short term assignments or client meetings, further limiting a company’s growth potential.

Additionally, Trump’s strict policies have more dire consequences, says immigration lawyer, Austin T. Fragomen Jr., (Fragomen, Bernsen & Loewy), “making the U.S. an undesirable location because of the unpredictably, sends a very negative message,” and will further scare qualified foreign workers from taking U.S. jobs.  Giselle Carson, a corporate lawyer who litigates for many companies employing immigrants, echoes this sentiment, stating, “The Trump administration actions sends a message to talented foreign nationals that ‘You’re not welcome,’  and we don’t want to send a message that we’re closing our doors and closing our borders.”

This leaves many businesses wondering, what’s a company to do in the face of Trump’s obvious commitment to his hard stance on immigration?  While the uncertainty at this time makes it difficult to come up with a concrete plan, there are several things a business owner can do right now to ensure that if the immigration hammer does fall, he is not left crushed by it.

  1. Make sure you are up to date on immigration policy, including not just hiring policy, but firing policy, as well, which can have additional ramifications to the firing of an U.S. Citizen.
  2. Know the legal status of all your foreign employees, including being on the lookout for discrepancies in any employee’s information. Employers have an obligation to verify the identity and visa status through the I-9 process. While this process is old news, the increased enforcement, with risk of imprisonment for not complying is relatively new and can have dire consequences for a business owner. Businesses should be aware that as of this January, a new I-9 form has been introduced, which will most likely mean more government scrutinization, inter-agency cross referencing and stricter enforcement.
  3. Many recruiting firms suggest using these immigration policy changes as an opportunity to train and create better workers from your current talent pool.

Seems a bit overwhelming, no?

This is of course where a PEO comes into play. (You had to know a PEO was going to come up at some point.)  Partnering with a PEO to provide your HR solutions can help you with all of the above items. Through providing assistance with recruiting and hiring, a PEO can help you strategize to hire qualified employees from the U.S., along with generous employee benefit packages that PEOs can provide can also help attract and retain these employees.  A PEO firm stays on top of immigration law, so you don’t have to, ensuring that you’re always compliant. It is always a good idea to reach out to your PEO to review your current immigration and policy procedure to ensure compliance and to review any new and/or applicable laws that may pertain to your specific workforce.

Finally, through offering employee training programs, a PEO can help you build up a better workforce internally, which may be the direction business owners are going to need to begin considering.

So while Trump definitely does seem to be a great friend to business, we can only hope that he keeps in mind how his need to “build a wall” can and will affect U.S. businesses.

Unleashing the Power of Your PEO

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

So, you’ve just joined a PEO or perhaps you’ve been part of a PEO for a while already. We’re sure you’re happy to have all the nitty gritty of your Human Resources department off your plate, (after all you didn’t start your business to become a Human Resource manager).

But, are you sure you’re really taking full advantage of your PEO partnership?

If you’re simply using a PEO to handle your human resources needs such as benefit packages, insurance, liability and risk management, to name a few, the answer to that questions is a resounding NO!

When partnered with the correct PEO, your company should not only be benefiting from the ability to handle your current needs, but should be able to leverage this partnership to gain top talent, maximize the potential of your current workforce and prevent employee turnover.

The primary reason a company chooses a PEO, over, for example, outsourcing their HR management jobs is because PEOs are a co-employment arrangement allowing companies to maximize their benefits without losing control of their employees. Thus, the partnership should be geared to helping your company, not only maintain control of, but getting the most out of your workforce.

So, how does a company leverage their PEO to maximize their workforce potential?  Here’s three ways your company can use your PEO partnership to do exactly that.

  1. Offer attractive benefit packages. In the changing market of millennial hires, attracting top talent is about more than just the paycheck. Potential employees are looking for great employee benefit packages as well.  And these new hires want it all….the best health insurance plans, a retirement plan that makes sense, life insurance, etc.  Because PEOs aggregate employees from multiple companies, partnering with the right PEO allows you to offer the benefit package of larger corporations at competitive prices.  The PEO’s ability to leverage the combined amount of employees also allows you to offer flexible benefit packages, so you can create the perfect match for your employees’ needs and lifestyle.

So how do you ensure you’re offering your current and potential employees the best packages? When discussing benefit packages, make sure your PEO is offering you and your employees the following:

  • A wide range of options for each employee to choose from.
  • Coverage for new hires with little or no waiting period.
  • A stable health care provider network with an updated administration system.
  • Familiarity with your needs, including a mastery of the complex issues associated with a dispersed workforce, if you are looking to expand out of state or overseas.
  • And finally, make sure that your PEO partners only with companies that resemble your own industry and workforce profile. In this way, your low risk business isn’t being lumped together with high risk companies, or high wage employees with blue collar employees, which can cause your insurance rates to rise and benefit packages to be limited.
  1. Take advantage of professional development and employee training opportunities. Many PEOs offer live/on-site, virtual/video or other learning opportunities for your employees so that they can develop their skills and expand their knowledge and expertise. The ability to offer such development and training is a great way to attract potential employees as well as utilize the full potential of your current ones. Make sure to ask your PEO about such opportunities so that you can take full advantage of what they have to offer.
  1. Utilize their HR professionals. While all PEOs have HR professionals on staff, when you choose a PEO to partner with, make sure that their pros understand YOUR business.  With the right HR professional in your corner, they can help you anticipate and resolve problems before they even develop. These pros can also help you with the interview, training, performance management processes so that you’re assured that you’re hiring the best employee for your business and its potential growth.

An added benefit to having HR pros on your side….it’s their job to stay on top of new regulations and compliance issues, so you don’t have to.  Keeping you up to date, notifying you of and dealing with any regulation and/or compliance changes should be part of your PEO package. Again having pros who understand YOUR business, ensures that they’re aware of any and all regulations or compliance laws that affect YOU specifically allowing you to always be on top of your game.

Taking advantage of these three points are just some ways to maximize your benefits from your PEO partnership.  Knowing all the benefits that can be gained from the PEO partnership is an important component of maintaining your PEO partnership.  Whether you’ve been partnered with a PEO for one day or for several years, reviewing the benefits you’re currently receiving and exploring others that you’re not, can definitely maximize what you are getting out of your PEO partnership.

That way, when you’re asked next whether you know if you’re taking full advantage of your PEO partnership or not, you can answer a resounding YES with absolute certainty.

Not sure how to take the next step in taking full advantage, ARC Consultants can help you review your current PEO and ensure that you are.  Give us a call or email to see how we can assist you in maximizing your benefits.

Will TrumpCare trump the need for PEO’s?

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

Donald Trump has been saying from Day One of his campaign that if he is elected President, one of his first acts will be to repeal ObamaCare.  Combined with Trump’s hard stance on immigration, a staple of Trump’s campaign platform which can affect some business’ hiring policies, business owners are left to wonder how the new administration will affect their HR, insurance coverage and benefit packages. After Trump’s shocking (shocking to Hillary staunch supporters, at least) win, experts are not so surprised to hear that Trump doesn’t plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. Trump stated to The Wall Street Journal that he would consider keeping two of [ACA’s] most popular provisions, hinting that a complete repeal and replace is not in the future plans.

In all honesty, repealing Obamacare is not as simple as Trump’s platform had suggested. As a report released by PricewaterHouse Coopers last week stated, “The White House is just one part of a much larger machine. To really put his stamp on health policy, Trump must work with a patchwork of federal lawmakers, regulatory agencies, trade and advocacy groups and the Supreme Court.”  In other words, change to the Affordable Care Act are going to be long and slow in coming.  In addition to the holdup that will occur with Trump needing to work with these various institutions, his administration will definitely balk at the political ramifications of leaving over 20 million people suddenly without coverage. Without a viable replacement proposal that can lower the number of Americans left without coverage, repealing ObamaCare is in no way going to be as instantaneous as Trump’s campaign rhetoric indicated.

In fact, as the Obama administration was quick to report via Twitter the day immediately following Trump’s election, many Americans are still enrolling on The Exchange.:

“Best day yet this Open Enrollment. Nov 9: Over 100K plan selections on http://HealthCare.gov . Consumers shopping & enrolling. #GetCovered

While an entire repeal and replace is not in the immediate works, the Republican administration can deliver on Trump’s campaign promises through several smaller changes, which may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Stopping the Legal Fighting: While the outgoing administration has been appealing both the ruling stating that it is illegal to pay insurance companies to help keep health insurance costs down for low income clients and fighting lawsuits against the mandate that employers pay for birth control for women covered under insurance plans, the Republicans would be smart to drop the appeals and stop the fighting, upholding the Federal court’s May decision and making Conservatives happy.
  1. Exchanging the Exchange: The web-based system for buying health insurance has been highly unpopular and unnecessary. Trump has put forward the idea of allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines that could lower costs by creating more competition. 
  1. Repealing the Mandate: While not repealing the entirety of ObamaCare, the Trump administration may target the individual mandate to buy health insurance and employer mandate to offer insurance to employees (business over 50 employees), which has proven extremely burdensome on small to mid-level companies. However, targeting the individual mandate, may have one caveat. Experts warn that if Trump decides to uphold the regulation that carriers must accept preexisting conditions, then by default he will also need to uphold the individual mandate to buy insurance as well. Keeping the former without the latter will simply cause a devastating dynamic where Americans will not buy insurance until they actually need it. 
  1. Doing NOTHING: That’s right, the easiest way for the Trump administration to steamroll ObamaCare is simply to stop promoting open enrollment on the Exchange. Timothy Jost, a professor emeritus at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and an expert on health care policy explains why, stating, “It has been a full court press by the Obama administration since 2010 to get this thing implemented and it has taken a Herculean effort. As soon as it stops moving forward, it could start moving backward pretty quickly. Almost just by doing nothing, there could be some very negative effects.”

But Jost also has a word of warning for those Americans and business owners who feel that Trump’s win means an end to the troubles ObamaCare has caused, stating, “Frankly, everything that has gone wrong with the health care system for the past six years has been blamed on ObamaCare,” Jost says. “Everything that goes wrong with the health care system for the next four years will be blamed on TrumpCare. People who think we can just repeal Obamacare and everything will be great are in for a very, very, very rude surprise.”

So whether the Trump administration delivers on overall change (repeal & replace, which isn’t looking very likely) or implements smaller changes (meaning we won’t be seeing the end of ObamaCare just yet), businesses will need to be able to navigate the complicated health insurance regulations that can affect them. And despite how Trump will fulfill his campaign promise (which still remains to be seen), the fact remains that every new administration brings with it change that impacts both employer and employees. Having the resources, strength & security that a PEO provides behind your company’s insurance & benefit packages, can help your company weather whatever change Trump’s administration does end up implementing.

Furthermore, using an independent PEO consultant during these times of healthcare and policy uncertainty, can ensure minimal upheaval with whatever changes may be coming down the pipeline. As the Trump administration unfolds their plan for a “better” health care system, a PEO consultant stays up to date with the changes and new regulations so that they can ensure that their clients’ PEOs are still working for them regardless of the new political climate.

Currently with a PEO?? Are you satisfied??

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

There are over 900 PEOs currently in the US. PEOs partner with thousands of businesses and co-employ millions of employees. PEOs assist every industry and business size by streamlining their operations, lowering their costs and securing competitive benefit packages for their employees.

With such a vast variety of PEOs, it can be extremely difficult for business owners to identify the proper PEO that best suits their specific business needs. It can be extremely complex and cumbersome to differentiate and fully understand the differences and pricing methods.

PEO brokers are extremely helpful and resourceful, as they have tremendous experience and understand the differences between each PEO provider. In addition, they can assess your needs and match you up with a PEO provider that will meet your specifications, as they are familiar with all the latest products and services from each PEO. With a PEO broker you will receive better service from your PEO provider, as you will have an advocate on your behalf that has clout with the provider based on the aggregate amount of business the broker has with that PEO.

Every business that is currently in a PEO partnership, should do some due diligence into the partnership prior to making any decision on changing or maintaining your provider. Just keep in mind, that even though a PEO shows a proposal with significant savings it does not always come out to be that way.  Some PEOs can be offering fewer services, a skimmed-down package offering, or in some scenarios have some conditions that your current providers does not. Here are some thoughts that may be helpful in your decision process.

If you are pretty much happy, however you do experience some issues, try to identify those issues – whether it’s a quality of service, pricing, services offerings, benefit packages, technology etc. Then reach out to your current provider and express your issues to see what they can do to accommodate. Many times accommodations can be made, especially when the PEO provider feels your business to them is on the line. Although you may be very unhappy with your current provider, ultimately, you may find that re-negotiating a better deal or working with your current PEO provider and solving your issues will result in a far better outcome, far faster and simpler than transitioning to another PEO provider that may have the very same issues.

If you have come to the realization that your current PEO provider is not suitable and cannot meet your expectations, then obviously it would be best to move to a new provider that may be more suitable.

Here are a few pointers that are important to review regarding your current PEO:

1) Does your current PEO make many mistakes? The entire point of partnering with a PEO is to reduce risk and exposure, and ensure compliance. If your PEO is consistently making payroll discrepancies and not producing paperwork on time, then it’s time to entertain making a change.

2) Are you taking advantage of all the HR services your PEO offers? Many times companies will purchase a suite of PEO services they don’t even use or know exist. Educating yourself on the service offerings, may assist you in utilizing them.

3) Is you’re current PEO helping your business streamline its operations, and operate more efficiently? If dealing with your PEO causes more headaches than working without one, chances are it’s time for a switch.

4) Does your current PEO respond to your needs in a timely fashion?  In a healthy and conducive PEO-client relationship, communications should be quick, responsive and proactive. Your common goals should be smoothing out any potential issues.

5) How is the PEOs technology? Can you generate the reports needed? Is the onboarding and off boarding process efficient? PEOs that invest and constantly update the latest techniques and software will save you time and money.

6) Now here is an important one – Are your invoices and billing transparent and understandable? If you don’t understand how your PEO fees are broken down, then you may be overpaying. It is important to fully understand your PEOs billing methods.

7) Are your service fees, taxes, workers compensation and health benefits pricing competitive. We recommend an annual or bi-annual PEO Evaluation in order to review these questions and determine whether you need to restructure your PEO partnership.

 

ARC Consultants is a PEO consulting firm, we broker out PEO services for all the leading PEO companies. We have exceptional knowledge in the industry, and all the latest products. With our expertise and knowledge, we are able to better understand our client’s needs and concerns and assist them in navigating through the complexities of making the correct decision in partnering with a PEO. We assist our clients in finding them the PEO that best suits their specific needs, as well as, negotiate on their behalf and service them throughout our relationship. We maintain exceptional relationships with our PEO providers and thereby we have the ability to service our client’s needs and advocate on their behalf.

Reach out to ARC Consultants now, so we can start assisting you in finding the solution that’s just right for you…… www.arcpeo.com

Why you should partner with a PEO for your business…..

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

Focus.

A PEO (Professional Employer Organization) assumes a significant amount of HR and employee related responsibilities and can free up many hours from your weekly schedule. It’s actually truly interesting how much time HR can take and the burden it places on companies. From insurance quotes to on-boarding each new employee to employee related reports. HR is extremely important to your business and should not be overlooked. However, you and your team should focus on what you do best, and dedicate your selves to your core business and give the rest to the PEO because a PEO lets you do just that…..

Compliance Complexities.

Additionally, dealing with the complexities of the government on a State and Federal level can get extremely overwhelming. Even if you do not receive any penalties for non-compliance, the amount of time a company can spend on compliance will significantly limit your ability to grow and focus on your core business. With a PEO you will avoid common compliance mistakes. A PEO shoulders the transactional HR aspects of your business it frees up your time and energy to focus on building your business, especially as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations continues to impact business significantly.

Employee Benefits.
When partnering with a PEO you can get access to Fortune 500 type benefit packages. These packages range from health insurance to pet insurance and everything in between including Employee Assistance Program, Employee Perks Programs, 401k etc., which are all streamlined from one source at competitive pricing due to the economies of scale.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent.
The PEO partnership gives you the ability to have access to a recruiting package that will assist you in attracting and retaining top talent. This will also assist you in producing the greatest products and services.

ARC Consultants is a PEO consulting firm, we broker out PEO services for all the leading PEO companies. We have exceptional knowledge in the industry, and all the latest products. With our expertise and knowledge, we are able to better understand our client’s needs and concerns and assist them in navigating through the complexities of making the correct decision in partnering with a PEO. We assist our clients in finding them the PEO that best suits their specific needs, as well as, negotiate on their behalf and service them throughout our relationship. We maintain exceptional relationships with our PEO providers and thereby we have the ability to service our client’s needs and advocate on their behalf.

Reach out to ARC Consultants now, so we can start assisting you in finding the solution that’s just right for you…… www.arcpeo.com

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Why do we use it?

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable. If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.