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HR and Benefits Solutions

I am the CFO of a Real Estate Asset Management Company and we are growing too fast for anyone to keep up.  This is obviously a good problem to have, but it is making HR a nightmare, among other things.  We are currently using ADP Resource, and are being underwritten for ADP Total Source as we speak.  I am looking for someone to ease the burden of our administrative tasks, be a bit more hands-on with HR, and help us with all our payroll needs.  I am also interested in the "safety-net" they claim to offer in terms of limiting your liability.  Lastly, the appeal of getting cheaper rates on workers comp (a big issue for us going forward), Healthcare, and other considerations.

I have seen another thread on this, and it helped give me an understanding of some different perspectives out there.  Does anyone who went through something similar have some examples of what was most beneficial for them in the long-run? We anticipate adding another 40 employees by the end of the year. 

Answers

Topic Expert
Stephen Wares
Title: International Expansion Expert
Company: CCW Business Solutions
(International Expansion Expert, CCW Business Solutions) |

Cyrus - three firms come to mind that you should take a look at. Algentis, Insperity and TriNet. Not sure if this is exactly the response you were looking for but if you want to look at alternatives and get some comparative data points these could all be good firms to take a look at.

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |

Cyrus,

PEO type arrangements like Total Source and TriNet are fantastic...up to a point. With your size, you could easily pay for a full person to execute payroll and manage benefits with the savings from not doing TriNet. I'm currently using TriNet at one of my companies and it is going well. At another I'm shopping it to a similar startup out of Plug and Play Tech Center. However, these are sub-20-person ventures.

In my experience, you not only don't get a better price on benefits through these groups, and you have the added headache of their markup (and they do mark up everything). PEOs (IMHO) solve the "scale and access" problems. It doesn't sound like you have either of those, so I don't see the benefit.

For a competitive bid, you can check with Mark Anderson (Bozzuto Anderson). He's done very good work for me in the past on benefits.

Richard Goldfien
Title: Managing Partner
Company: Auxilian Insurance Services
(Managing Partner, Auxilian Insurance Services) |

Hi Cyrus,

If you go the PEO route, I think the firms Stephen mentioned are a good selection. Your ability to get cheaper coverages can also depend on the demographics and industrial classification for your firm. We have several clients that use Ovation payroll and they have good prices, good service and a good online/phone based HR service in case that is of interest; they do not bundle insurance services like ADP however. Good luck and congratulation on the rapid growth.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Please review a post on my blog - www.cfotips.com. The post is - A PEO is not a “Set it and Forget it Process.” If you have never used a PEO resource, this information may save you from some problems.

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |

Nice blog, Mr. Quirin

Cindy Edwards
Title: Dir of Sales
Company: AlphaStaff
(Dir of Sales , AlphaStaff ) |

Cyrus,
I have been in the PEO industry for many years. You need to seek a PEO that will be flexible with the administrative fees as you grow and make sure they have the all levels of expertise to handle the growing pains. Seek out a PEO that specializes in small - medium size businesses as well as larger businesses this will enable your company to be postioned for the appropriate services as well as flexibility and price.

Paul Mifsud
Title: CEO
Company: Melita Group
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO, Melita Group) |

Cyrus,

My firm advises businesses on HR and employee benefits and we have a great deal of experience with PEO's. I'll keep my comments brief by saying that you should do further research into non-PEO altenatives that can provide similar benefits of outsourcing without the restrictions and limitations of PEO's. PEO's are great for smaller businesses that don't have the resources to bring on full-time HR staff. But we have found that companies "outgrow" their PEO once they reach the 50-100 employee mark. For example, a company greater than 50 employees can generally get a lower cost and more flexibile benefits program on their own, so the concept of the PEO's "purchasing power" is a myth. Similarly if your workers comp claims experience is positive and if you are in an industry with traditionally low claims, you will typically get better premiums as an independent entity. These are just a couple of the tangible things to consider. You also have to consider your HR strategy as it relates to culture and talent acquisition and retention as those are critical elements that really require an on staff HR professional to manage.

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |

In addition to Algentis, you can look at Accelcia.
Like Algentis, they provide the outsourcing of the services without outsourcing the employees (as in the TriNet and ADP models). They tend to be very cost competitive while giving you more options than the PEO model.

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