By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Vice President, People, Turning the Corner, LLC

Is Your PEO Giving you the HR Support You Need?

In recent months I’ve been asked by several businesses what the difference is between a PEO and an outsourced HR Partner. The businesses that have asked have been frustrated with their PEO because they feel they are not getting the HR support they need.

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) provides a service for employers to outsource tasks such as payroll, workers’ compensation and employee benefits. Often PEOs become co-employers of a business’ employees. These organizations exist to help alleviate the administrative burden of small and mid-size employers. They can be a great asset to a business that needs to outsource payroll, workers’ comp and/or benefits. Typically, though not always, that is where a PEO’s responsibilities and support end.

HR Partners Know You

An HR Partner or Consultant works alongside business leaders to help manage key employee initiatives that support organizational health and growth. HR Consultants align themselves with an organization’s mission, vision and goals to support business leaders in identifying and retaining key employees, developing staff, managing performance issues, and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local employment law. Most importantly, a strong HR Consultant can work with leadership to establish the strategic direction for recruiting, hiring, managing, and retaining employees in keeping with changing business needs.

My belief is that outsourced HR Partners are most valuable to a business when the organization is too small for a full-time HR team member, but in need of guidance on how to best care for and manage employees. Additionally, HR Partners can provide significant value to a larger, rapidly growing business that is in need of additional “pinch hitting” HR support.

For those companies who are PO’d at their PEO, be sure you understand the specific services and support your PEO offers and that expectations between you and your PEO are clear. If you aren’t getting what you need to help grow and manage your team, consider seeking an HR Partner to help you move forward and thrive.

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