Welcome back to the ARC PEO underwriting series where we are breaking down the what, why, and how of the PEO underwriting process and removing the doom and gloom of the daunting submission process.  

As a quick recap, when requesting PEO proposals for your company, data is required from your company in 4 categories for a complete PEO submission: Payroll, Workers Compensation, Benefits, and HR. Each category provides insight into the potential needs (and costs) of your company joining the PEO. To read up on how to understand the underwriting process, click here. 

Bravo – the finish line is in sight! Let’s talk HR. 

In your quest to find a PEO to partner with, the first stage of the shopping process – the submission process – is drawing to a close. When reviewing the PEO Proposal Checklist from ARC you may have noticed that HR is not its own category on the checklist. Unlike the other more straightforward and quantitative categories of Payroll, Benefits, and Workers Comp – HR needs of companies cannot just be communicated in numbers. Although there are no submission documents specific to the HR pillar, with the right PEO, you will likely find the HR services of a PEO to be one of the most valuable benefits of co-employing with a PEO. Not sure what co-employment is? Check out our Underwriting 101: Payroll article to learn more. 

How do PEOs evaluate HR Needs? 

This will highly depend on your broker. As we mentioned above, HR cannot only be assessed in numbers. At ARC, we dive deep into your company through consultations and documentation in order to clarify your company’s HR challenges and needs. We identify the level of service that will fit the culture of your company best and help you communicate this effectively to your potential PEOs during the submission process. This portion of the submission process is all about you get what you give. The more information you can provide clearly to the potential PEOs, the better match you will make. 

Here’s how we do it.   

It starts with the Consultation. From the initial call you have with ARC where you describe your company’s needs straight through the lifetime of your contract with any PEO you’ve chosen to work with, the conversation is always open: what HR needs do you have? What additional services do you find yourself in need of as time goes on? The ARC team is here to ensure that you have access to every type of resource your organization needs, and if it’s not offered by your current PEO, we have additional service providers we can help match you with as well. 

During the submission process, you will complete the ARC GHQ (you can read more about this document here), where we ask you to provide us with information about any HR services you currently use. This is to ensure that the PEO you choose to partner with will, at the very least, match these same services (as long as they are still applicable for your company’s needs). 

PEOs come in all flavors and there is no one size fits all. The PEO industry has exploded over the last two decades. With over 900 PEOs in the US, the spectrum of services and service levels is diverse. From white glove service to no-frills call-in centers, you don’t want to discount the value of service level when evaluating a PEO.  

A white-glove PEO will be “high-touch” – it will have individualized support for both the HR department and administrators of the company, as well as all employees. This type of service comes with a price and the ARC team can help you determine if this value is worth your while.  

On the other end of the spectrum is the “big box” PEO. This type of PEO generally has hotlines to call for both the company and the employees, an extensive online knowledge base to rely on, and lower rates per head. Of course, there are also PEOs anywhere in between with different variations and levels of service. 

PEOs can impact every piece of the HR puzzle – if you let them. 

To help with the functioning and administration of your company, your PEO will offer help with creating and establishing compliant policies for your company, and ensuring that all of your company’s processes are both compliant and employee-friendly. Some PEOs also offer premium services such as recruiting, help with applicant tracking, and assistance throughout the hiring process from job post to onboarding a new employee. The HR department of a PEO can be made up of HR professionals or labor attorneys, making you completely confident in the support you receive. Other services include access to training and learning programs, employee performance management, and more… if you can dream it, there is probably a PEO that offers this service! 

To provide top-notch service to your employees, partnering with a PEO can give them access to a host of benefits, not just in ancillary benefits with a price tag, but other services that may be harder to put a price on.  

While most PEOs offer help with choosing health plans and support throughout the lifetime of benefits, many even go a step beyond this. Your employees can get access to an array of services, from telemedicine and mental health services to discount programs for a wide variety of products. 

Why is all of this important for the underwriting process?  

The submission process is a good time for reflection. You can use the submission process as a lens to view your company from every angle and assess – how can we do better? What are our goals this year, next year, in 5 years? The more you reflect, the more you communicate, the more accurate and effective the submission process will be. 

If you’re not sure yet which HR services you’ll need, no worries! This is an evolving conversation throughout our relationship. Whenever a need comes up, ARC will be there to help determine if this is something that your PEO can help with, or if perhaps there is another provider we can find to meet your needs. 

Hit the comments or schedule a call to learn more! 

Not sure if a PEO is right for your company? Take the “Is A PEO Right For You?” quiz to find out!

Published On: April 28th, 2022 / Categories: PEO /