NAPEO: National Association of Professional Employer Organizations

March 2015
It's not uncommon for a PEO to feel almost invisible in the marketplace in some areas of the country. But then again, in other areas, it seems like you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a PEO. This is a pretty strange predicament for an industry that has been around for more than 30 years, and it makes for some interesting challenges.
    Both high-visibility and low-visibility markets have their struggles, in fact. High-visibility markets may enjoy greater market awareness and shorter sales cycles, but PEOs also run the risk of encountering price-shopping and becoming commoditized. PEOs in low–visibility markets have to overcome lack of awareness and uncertainty, but they do have the opportunity to create a consultative sales environment and focus on the "Blue Ocean."
    Regardless of the level of market awareness, PEOs still have to sell an intangible product, one that can't be inspected and tested first, and one that can't be inventoried to prepare for fluctuations in demand. A PEO's marketing efforts, operation, and sales are interconnected, so making PEO services more tangible through education, delivering consistently high-quality service, and managing the operation effectively can lead to greater market awareness and sales.
    The reality of spotty recognition in the small business market remains, however, and PEOs can adapt to it. "Low markets," "emerging markets," and "established markets" each have their distinct characteristics that lead to the ways PEOs approach them.
    A big part of PEO industry visibility is the image state lawmakers and regulators have of it. Thus, PEOs have an obligation to work with government agencies and lawmakers to maintain and improve the industry's image. The industry has come a long way, but this work must continue, as it is woven into the PEO industry's recognition in the national small business arena.
    While the PEO industry is unique, it does not exist in a vacuum. Many of the strides the industry has made have been due to the way others see it. Many PEOs find using "centers of influence" and professional referral channels one of the best ways to market. Consistent messaging and PEO branding have reinforced the PEO mantra with different constituencies. Perceptions of regulators, legislators, the insurance industry, the investment community, and professional advisors certainly affect overall PEO visibility and the industry's image.
    Through their own efforts, and with materials provided by NAPEO as part of its strategic initiative to improve industry awareness and market share (including white papers, customized "Keep Calm and Call A PEO" materials, and the Find-A-PEO website), PEOs are definitely making strides to improve the industry's visibility and image...

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legal currents
New NLRB Initiatives Impact Email Rules in Union and Non-Union Workplaces
Steven M. Bernstein, Esq.
This past December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took a number of steps that will have a major impact on NAPEO members and primary employers at large. Chief among them was a decision that now protects an employee's right to use employer email systems for non-business purposes during non-working time, along with the implementation of an expedited election rule that will soon require disclosure of personal email addresses.
    I reported in June 2014 that...

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human resources
Employer Compliance and the ADA
Amie Remington, Esq. and Daniel Harrell, Esq.
Since the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), claims against employers for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have increased in an unsettling fashion. In fact, a Syracuse University report following the 2008 amendments reveals a 90 percent increase in ADA employment lawsuits over the preceding five years. If you provide an employer practices liability policy (EPLI) for your clients, your deductible probably reflects this sharp increase. For your clients, this increase has probably not gone unnoticed either. Employers' concerns about potential liability under the ADA and, more importantly, how to mitigate their risks for liability, are frequent topics raised with human resources professionals assisting employers. Providing solid, proactive, human resources advice about the steps to take should a disability question arise can be a valuable service to your clients because you can help them avoid making decisions that could result in litigation. With that in mind, this article addresses the 2008 amendment's changes to the...
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Strategies for Building Winning Proposals
Clay M. Kelley, PHR
A couple of years ago, I received a call from a CEO needing closing training for her sales team. Following a discussion about the PEO's discovery and sales process, we set two follow-up calls where members of her sales team role-played a closing proposal meeting.
    Each salesperson furnished a copy of his proposal document in the exact form presented. Both salespeople presented the same proposal document in the same order—the only difference was the name on the title page and what they called the "pricing pages." The pricing pages were six pages of numbers out of seven pages in the entire proposal. It was beyond confusing and did not convey a business case in any way.
    Over the last 30 years, I have seen more than a few PEO proposals. Unfortunately, most of them have been...

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the inside word
The Impact of the SBEA on Industry Visibility
Brent R. Tilson
2015 NAPEO Chairperson

In the spring of 2012, industry leaders gathered and agreed upon a handful of key goals for the PEO industry. One of those goals was the passage of the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA) to provide federal certainty to our industry. The other goal was to increase the awareness of the industry among the business community, regulators and lawmakers, and the media. Of these two important goals, we knew the passage of the SBEA could be a long and daunting task, given the years dedicated and the slow progress made, but nonetheless critical to the industry. We also agreed that increasing awareness was just as critical, as it would provide additional footing for our growing industry.
    It was at that time NAPEO...

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napeo notebook
Making the Rounds with Members in Florida
Patrick J. Cleary
"I've always said that the best part of my job—indeed my favorite part—is the opportunity to go out and visit members. It's always great to see them in their natural habitats and hear what's on their minds. I'm also gratified to see how many members proudly display their NAPEO member certificates in their lobbies or reception areas. I can assure you, PEO owners and executives are never shy about expressing their views. Everyone is always so welcoming, happy to introduce you around the office, and eager to talk about their companies and the industry. There's simply...
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SBEA Working Group Advocates for Industry as Implementation Unfolds
Roger Hays, Jr., SPHR
For the past 15-plus years, many of us in the NAPEO family have been talking about, supporting, and working to pass the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA) with our congressional champions in Washington. As we are all now aware, the NAPEO-supported SBEA was finally passed by the 113th Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 19, 2014.
    Shortly after the president signed the tax extenders bill that included the SBEA, the NAPEO Board of Directors appointed me to serve as one of six NAPEO representatives on a working group that is responsible for working with our outside counsel and the IRS to implement the SBEA. The board, and especially NAPEO Chairman Brent Tilson, president and CEO of Tilson HR, was very careful to balance the membership of this working group so it represents a solid cross-section of the NAPEO membership...

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statehouse update
Getting Off to a Good Start
Daniel Harris
NAPEO's state legislative plan for 2015 calls for NAPEO staff to engage in a proactive and aggressive strategy that will continue NAPEO's focus on creating operational certainty for PEOs in the states. Specifically, the 2015 plan calls for NAPEO to undertake active lobbying efforts in 13 states (California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah), while monitoring legislative and regulatory activity in most other states. To pull all of this off, NAPEO will require a concerted and collective effort and, as with any successful game plan, NAPEO...
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napeo advisor
'Ban the Box,' Collectively Bargained Retiree Benefits
Brendan W. Williams, Esq.
Don't Get Boxed in By Nonconforming Job Application Processes
The so-called "ban-the-box" movement is on the march. The objective, which has been pushed by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) among other groups, is to prevent prospective employers from failing to consider job applicants solely because of a criminal background—NELP and advocates have argued this gives applicants a "fair chance" to be judged first on their qualifications.
    Four states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey), as well as the District of Columbia, have enacted such laws applicable to private employers (even more states have regulations or laws only applying to public agencies). Dozens of local jurisdictions have also enacted ban-the-box ordinances. For a good list, see...

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peo community
Putting Good Citizenship into Practice
Nylen Lee Allphin
On May 22, 2011, at 5:38 p.m., an EF-5 tornado struck in Joplin, Missouri, where our company, Employer Advantage (EA), has been located for the past 25 years. Although our offices are 10 blocks north of the mile-wide tornado zone, several of us were actually in the tornado—fortunately, none of us lost his or her life. The devastation, however, was unbelievable, and with 180 friends and neighbors lost, and more than 1,000 injured, never was there a greater need for neighbor-to-neighbor service. One of the two hospitals in Joplin was completely destroyed. Twenty-three of our client businesses were destroyed and many never...
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peo index
Labor Markets Remain Strong
John Slavic
Despite the spate of economic releases indicating a general slow-down in the economy, the labor markets continue to demonstrate considerable strength. For the first time in several years there seems to be a general correlation of the PEO Employment Index with...
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small business perspective
10 Rapidly Growing Small Business Industries
Construction, B2B Services, and Farming Drive Double-Digit Growth

Clare Curley
Last fall, Sageworks, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based financial information company, released its list of the 10 fastest growing small business industries. The list highlights double-digit growth sectors in the last year for companies with annual sales below $5 million. The top 10 industries are...
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peo spotlight
Prestige Employee Administrators, Inc.: Andy Lubash
Surrounding Clients with Service, Benefits Expertise, and More

Stephanie Oetjen
In 1987, Andy Lubash founded Financial Management Associates, Ltd., an employee benefits consulting agency that worked with businesses of all sizes and became fairly successful. In the mid- to late-1990s, Alan Cooperberg came on board as his partner.
What if failure was never an option in our country?
    "In dealings with our benefits clients, they continuously were asking us...

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global insights
State of American Business 2015
Thomas J. Donohue
What if failure was never an option in our country?
At the outset of the new year, our economy showed some encouraging signs of life. Now we need to build momentum for long-term growth. Our leaders have the opportunity to restore a governing center and rally around a common bipartisan cause–stronger and deeper economic growth in order to...

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NAPEO Medallion Partners
NAPEO Thanks its 2015 Medallion Partners
Black Diamond Partners

Diamond Partners

Artex Risk Solutions, Inc.         Compass Consulting Group, Inc.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance         McHenry Consulting

Risk Transfer Insurance Agency, LLC
Platinum Partners

MetLife        Summit Software         ThinkWare Corporation

Transamerica Retirement Solutions
Gold Partners

ALLInsurance Solutions Management, LLC         EAP Consultants, LLC

PayPlus Software, Inc.         Pinnacle Financial Services, Inc.

Stonehenge Insurance Solutions
Silver Partners

Barrow Group, LLC         Eflexgroup, Inc.

Fisher & Phillips LLP         Kronos SaaShr, Inc.
Bronze Partners

Capital Alliance Corporation         Jackson Lewis P.C.

NetWise Technology         U.S. Risk, Inc.

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