Best PEO Services

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After a specific point, managing employees and payroll becomes a full-time job—one a manager or business owner cannot undertake with all their other crucial tasks and important decisions. What’s needed here is reliable software that can support your business’s growth. In this article, we‘ve cherry-picked the five best PEO services but can effectively handle all your human resource tasks.

The Top Five Best PEO Services

  • Insperity —  Best For Businesses With More Than 150 Employees
  • JustWorks — Best For Small Businesses With Less Than 50 Employees
  • Paychex — Best For Scaling Businesses Looking for Higher Customization
  • Amplify PEO — Best For 1:1 Personalized Customer Support
  • XcelHR — Best For Price-Conscious Businesses Wanting Benefits Flexibility

What Is a PEO Service?

PEO stands for professional employment organization. It refers to a company that leases its employees to employers globally to assist with payroll processing, benefits administration, and other human resource functions.

PEO companies offer a wide range of assistance related to human resources activities. They can help you with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) administration, workers’ compensation administration, and legal compliance, and other recruiting and hiring activities, like placing job advertisements, screening applicants, and conducting background checks.

They are external companies that outsource most of your administrative and human resources services to professional experts who specialize in running this side of the company.

Do I Need a PEO Service for My Business?

Tackling all aspects of your business is overwhelming for most. A PEO can help with an organization’s HR requirements, making it easier to stay compliant and adapt to the dynamic world of HR.

Nevertheless, deciding to outsource your HR is a big step. Here’s how you can tell whether your business needs a PEO.

If You Don’t Have Time or the Ability to Clone Yourself

As an entrepreneur, you probably need to spend more time developing your product or service and expanding your business—not performing HR tasks. Plus, even for HR professionals, human resources is a huge undertaking.

If you fail to keep track of the ever-changing rules and regulations, you’ll end up paying hefty fines and penalties for non-compliance. And let’s not forget identifying and applying HR best practices and answering the endless HR-related questions that employees inevitably ask.

PEO services can help manage your HR effectively and efficiently. Moreover, hiring a PEO service is way cheaper than setting up an in-house HR department. So not only do you pay less money to focus on more critical tasks, but you can rest easy knowing your employees are in the hands of experts.

If You Don’t Have Excess Money to Throw Away

As an employer, there’s an endless list of purchase decisions waiting for you. There’s payroll management software, workers’ compensation insurance, benefits management, employment practices, liability insurance, technology, and other things that cost money.

Even if you do have money to buy these HR products and services individually, you’ll still need the expertise and time to operate them. Precisely why it’s better to hire a PEO that can provide you with top-level knowledge at a reasonable rate.

If You Want to Cut Down On Paperwork

Having employees involves a lot of paperwork. From hiring and onboarding forms to time and attendance tracking to federal, state, and local tax filings, there’s tons of paperwork you need to have. And the more employees you hire, the more paperwork you should expect.

If you aren’t passionate about paperwork (really, who is?), you should hire a PEO service to do the job for you.

Additionally, PEOs often have technology that can cut down on all that paperwork, allowing you to stay organized, save time, and maintain compliance. Plus, these companies can handle filing deadlines and ensure that any distribution of items related to payroll, benefits, and other HR-related issues is done with care. 

If You Want to Make Your Company an Employer of Choice

You’re likely to face difficulty launching new programs for employees if you don’t have an in-house HR team. In such cases, it’s wiser to simply partner with a PEO company that will give you instant access to additional resources, making it easier to launch new training initiatives or an employee assistance program.

These programs, in turn, will allow you to make your company an employer of choice in your region and attract top-notch talent.

Insperity – Best For Businesses With More Than 150 Employees

Insperity is one of the most prominent names in the PEO industry. An award-winning company with several accreditations, achievements, and positive reviews from clients, Insperity caters to both small businesses and enterprises.

While Insperity can manage the requirements of businesses of all sizes, we recommend their services to small and medium-sized business owners on the smaller side of the spectrum. Its HR experts have experience in all 50 states, making the PEO an excellent option for remote or distributed teams.

After signing up, you’re assigned a dedicated account executive who coordinates your new services and strategizes what happens next. This is Insperity’s initiative to help make the most out of your new alliance.

The Insperity team works directly with your in-house staff to continuously improve processes and automate repetitive tasks to reduce your responsibilities. The amount of work you choose to offload is entirely up to you—you can choose as much or as little. This is a handy feature for those with a smaller in-house HR team with limited capacity but who only need assistance with managing selected activities and HR processes.

That said, if you’re looking to obtain health insurance coverage using Insperity, you’ll be disappointed. It offers only one type of policy, which honestly doesn’t make sense as every company and person has different healthcare needs.

Since the PEO service is designed around your unique business requirements, you won’t find standard pricing online. You’ll have to contact the sales team to get a customized quote instead.

Pros

  • Easily customizable
  • Suitable for scaling businesses
  • Full-service HR and PEO options
  • Option to pick and choose services

Cons

  • Limited health plan options require a minimum of five employees
  • No pricing available online

JustWorks — Best For Small Businesses With Less Than 50 Employees

Despite being launched in 2012, JustWorks has achieved high status, thanks to its top-notch benefits partnerships and a highly efficient team of expert staff members.

It’s a simple software platform combined with expert support for payroll, HR, compliance, and benefits. This makes it highly suitable for small companies that don’t have an in-house HR team and are looking for cost-effective and inclusive options. In fact, you can hire JustWorks even with as few as two employees.

JustWorks is super affordable as well. To keep its cost low, the company leverages HR software to automate most of your processes. It takes care of several crucial tasks that cannot typically be automated, such as unemployment insurance filings, workers’ compensation cases, 24/7 customer support, remaining up-to-date with dynamic labor laws, and so on.

The PEO service also helps with W-2, 1099, and payroll tax filings, making it significantly easier for you to comply with tax regulations, no matter where your employees live. As for benefits, JustWorks partners with trusted providers to ensure employees have access to medical, dental, vision, 401(k), and other perks.

JustWorks pricing is based on your number of employees, starting at $49 per employee per month for up to 24 employees. Enterprises with over 175 employees will have to contact for a customized quote.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Excellent payroll generation services
  • Works for startups having as few as two employees
  • Provide enterprise-level benefits from major insurance companies

Cons

  • Limited integrations and reporting
  • Lacks a mobile app
  • Includes only a few advanced features

Paychex — Best For Scaling Businesses Looking for Higher Customization

Paychex is a force to be reckoned with in the PEO space.

The company began in 1971 and has been providing effective PEO and payroll services ever since. Being a full-fledged payroll provider ensures it has both ESAC and IRS credentials, proving its compliance and excellent reputation.

In addition, Paychex is also a full-service HR software, offering several features, such as health insurance, retirement plans, employee management tools, life insurance, and more. You never have to worry about non-compliance with this PEO service, thanks to the different employee benefits like COBRA requirements.

Paychex also offers several other useful tools, such as workplace safety training, return to work programs, and on-site safety inspections.

What we like best about the service is it allows you to choose the specific services you need. Unlike other tools, you can start with one or two services and add more as you grow. This flexibility helps lower your HR costs since you only pay for services you will actually use.

Recently, Paychex acquired Oasis Outsourcing, another excellent PEO company. Due to the merger, you have access to the latter‘s tech tools, like a secure mobile app, well-organized business filing system called Tax Pay, and more.

The pricing for Paychex PEO services depends on the number of employees you have, and no standard pricing is published on the website. You’ll need to contact the company for pricing specific to your company’s needs.

Pros

  • Flexible pricing
  • Excellent customer service
  • Allows clients to cancel any time—provided they give a 30-day notice in advance
  • Personalized risk assessment and management

Cons

  • Systems are somewhat redundant, and could you some updating
  • Slower service
  • Five employee minimum

Amplify PEO — Best For 1:1 Personalized Customer Support

Amplify PEO is an all-in-one PEO service that works with most businesses across all industries and of all sizes.

You have the option to choose between full-service or à la carte HR management services, each of which is paired with an intuitive, all-in-one HR software. Employees can use the software to manage their PTO, view pay stubs and tax documents, select benefit packages, and put in vacation requests.

This lets you focus on the other aspects of your business while saving you time and money.

Employees can enjoy dental, medical, and vision plans, and in addition to competitive benefits, they can also select from competitive retirement options. What’s more, Amplify PEO offers safety reviews and workers’ compensation support to facilitate risk management and workplace safety.

Besides all these amazing services, Amplify PEO‘s customer service is truly the cream of the crop.

All interactions are smooth, with minimum to no complaints about the service team from clients. In fact, past customers have raved about how easy it is to work with Amplify PEO than most of its rivals. You’re also assured of one-on-one personalized support as you talk to a human being whenever you have a problem.

Pricing information isn’t available on the website. You’ll have to request a free quote.

Pros

  • Cost-effective services
  • Cloud-based HR portal
  • Offers a human-first approach to customer service

Cons

  • Pricing is obscured
  • Somewhat complicated navigation

XcelHR — Best For Price-Conscious Businesses Wanting Benefits Flexibility

XcelHR is focused on helping small businesses grow and become more profitable. It offers reasonable pricing customized to suit your specific requirements and provides a wide range of services.

You get all the standard PEO services, such as HR management, talent acquisition, retirement services, payroll and tax administration, benefits administration, and risk management. XcelHR also comes with a cloud-based HR software that merges onboarding, time and attendance, document management, and payroll processing in a single platform—all of which is presented in a customizable and easy-to-understand interface.

Plus, there are no payroll minimums with this service, meaning you can use these services even if you only have one employee.

Additional support for startups and small businesses is an extra feature that goes beyond PEO. You also receive OSHA-compliance resources and risk management services.

The service offers an administrative services option, which includes talent acquisition, employee benefit plans, and W2 and 1099 forms. However, you’ll have to sacrifice other services, including retirement plans, workers’ compensation, and risk management, to avail of this.

XcelHR pricing can either be a per-employee fee or a percentage of your gross payroll. No standard pricing is available for its services.

Pros

  • Highly flexible
  • Offers a wide range of benefits
  • Additional support for start-ups and small businesses available

Cons

  • Feels dated
  • Not certified by IRS or ESAC

Summary

The above list includes some of the best PEO services in the market. While each has its specific advantages, we feel Insperity and JustWorks can be the go-to options for most businesses.

  • Insperity — Best For Businesses With More Than 150 Employees
  • JustWorks — Best For Small Businesses With Less Than 50 Employees
  • Paychex — Best For Scaling Businesses Looking for Higher Customization
  • Amplify PEO — Best For 1:1 Personalized Customer Support
  • XcelHR — Best For Price-Conscious Businesses Wanting Benefits Flexibility

Good PEO services can take away some of the administrative and HR responsibilities off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on what is truly important: Scaling your business and boosting profitability. But for this to happen, you need to find the right PEO that meets all your requirements effectively. So make sure you thoroughly your research and decide after considering all factors.

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