Are you considering working with a professional employer organization? There are a lot of good reasons to do this but you need to make sure you go with the right one.
- Look at the company’s financial security. Look at the professional employer organization’s financial management of its own business and how well they adhere to the professional performance practices of the industry. Get their financial statements and have them independently verified. You need to make sure their ethical and financial practices have been accredited independently. This is something that many states require. Many of these organizations use independent audits to maintain internal control and quality. If the professional employer organization has not had their finances and practices audited externally, you should look to a different firm.
- Look for a company that has good references. That may seem like a given but a lot of companies do not always think about this when they are looking at professional employer organizations. You should look for testimonials and what their clients and business partners. The best thing to find is a company they work with that is similar to yours. If you see there is a business whose needs mirror your own. See if you can talk to companies who may be able to give you information about what it is like to work with the professional employer organization.
- Look at their customer service practices. Most people would prefer to go with any service that provides better customer support but when you are dealing with issues as important to your bottom line as what is handled by them such as payroll management. If there is a problem and you have questions about your compliance, payroll rules and regulations can be complicated, you need to know how hard it is going to be to talk to a person. There are companies that charge to talk to a person. It may be worth it to talk to a company. It is worth it to ask about how many people they have in their customer service department.
- Ask about the benefit companies they work with. You need to work with a professional employer organization that can help you get benefits for your employees wherever you do business. Most health insurance companies are based in some states but not others. Think about where your business is located now and where it might be tomorrow. If you are considering expanding to new markets, you are going to want to be able to provide the same benefits to your workers in the new area that you do everywhere else.
- Look for a company whose staff is professional. Ask the professional employer organization hires its staff. How long do most people stay with the organization? When you are trusting your payroll processing services with a professional employer organization, you want to know that the people hired by that company are professionals themselves. Ask them how they find and train their staff. How knowledgable are the staff with the issues that specifically impact your business. These are complicated issues, you want to make sure they really understand the ins and the outs of all of the rules, regulations and laws that govern your business.
- Look to see how your employees’ needs will be met. Every workforce has its own needs. There are different levels of health care benefits. What do your employees need? Does the professional employer organization offer the kinds of benefits that are needed by your people. A happy workforce does a better job. Make sure the professional employer organization can get the right benefits to support your employees.
- Read and understand all of the fine print. You need to make sure that all of the liabilities are clearly explained. The same holds for the responsibilities. What is the process to terminate the relationship between you and the professional employer organization? Make sure the firm you hire has the right insurance and if their coverage will also include you in any way should you move forward with a deal to work with them for your staffing needs.
To get the most from working with a professional employer organization you must do your homework.