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The Butterfly Effect

In the life of a PEO, anything and everything affects sales: The way the receptionist answers the phone, how a client’s payroll is processed, the way HR folks interact with worksite employees, and of course, the quality of the services and the effectiveness of the sales team.

The PEO operates under the concept that any little thing can have big implications for getting and keeping clients—its own butterfly effect.

The PEO carries a lot of responsibility for each client, each worksite employee, and itself. While only a few are tasked with representing the PEO during the sales process, everyone in the organization has a role as a brand ambassador in building business.

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IRS Certification

The Industry’s Commitment to Financial and Operational Integrity

From the inception of the PEO business model to today, the path to IRS recognition for PEOs has been lengthy and circuitous. Whereas the majority of states have recognized PEOs by statute, until recently federal certainty was only a pipe dream: In 1985, Congress contemplated prohibiting the sponsorship of retirement plans by “employee leasing” companies; tax receipt issues from a PEO failure in 1990 concerned the Internal Revenue Service; and a 1994 market group study initiated by the IRS threatened the disqualification of PEO-sponsored 401(k) plans. These tough years prompted NAPEO to pursue federal recognition to protect the industry. As a part of this pursuit, NAPEO’s IRS Task Force spent countless days over many years advancing a federal legislative initiative.

Legal Currents

Fair Credit Reporting Act Background Check Issues for PEOs

Over the past several years, there has been a significant uptick in class action litigation for technical violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when employers seek approval from applicants to obtain background checks from third-party consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). Many employers, and specifically PEOs, use some form of background, credit, or reference checks during the hiring process.

Human Resources

The Ten[1] Commandments of Hiring

Our PEO clients often ask for advice about how to hire the perfect jobsite candidate. There are as many answers to that simple question as there are different types of PEO clients. Regardless of the type of client asking the question, strong vetting can help narrow the odds in favor of finding the right candidate for each position. Below are some of the tips our human resources department often shares with our PEO clients.


New-Business Prospecting and Your Health Plan

To win or not to win? PEOs are constantly looking for ways to balance rapid growth and health plan costs. In their drive for new sales, should they speed down the interstate or exit for a different highway? For those with PEO-sponsored health plans or master policies in their services offerings, the relatively high cost of that insurance makes it likely that carrier selection, plan designs, and rates will weigh heavily in prospects’ decisions to join the PEO. A PEO’s efforts to expand revenues through a competitively priced health plan has the unfortunate potential to create an environment that does not support long-term growth and financial stability. Not all prospects are the right fit for your PEO, but how do you decide when to get aggressive to close a sale and when to move on? The answers lie not only in risk assessment, but also in understanding the potential client’s profile.

Risk Management

Best Practices for Client Risk Assessment

All of the areas and functions within a PEO working in unison contribute to the success or failure of that PEO’s operations. The Certification Institute (CI)—with input from carrier representatives, insurance brokers, and PEO industry risk managers—developed best practices for use in establishing sound operational processes that will support the overall health and growth of a PEO organization.


Make Marketing Automation Technology Work for Your PEO

Marketing looks a lot different than it did a decade ago. Throughout the last several years, technology has transformed the sales process. Today’s buyers have increased access to information, allowing them to research and gather content, read reviews, and seek referrals from their social networks long before ever talking to a sales consultant. How can you get in front of your prospects early in the process and give them personalized content that can establish your expertise and help your PEO stand out from the rest? Marketing automation may be your answer.


The Inside Word

‘Leap and the net will appear.’ Abram Finkelstein, 2016 NAPEO Chairman

In last month’s column, I detailed some of the questions and concerns the PEO industry has about the Small Business Efficiency Act’s (SBEA’s) Final and Temporary Rule and Revenue Procedure 2016-33 (rev. proc.). The IRS released the regulations on May 4, 2016. On June 3, 2016, as NAPEO was preparing to formally respond to the regulations, the IRS released the rev. proc.

NAPEO Notebook

Austin is Where It’s At Patrick J. Cleary

If you’re reading this, odds are you’re at NAPEO’s 2016 Annual Conference & Marketplace in Austin, Texas. We sure hope so. For much of the country, the day after Labor Day is the opening of the school year. If you’re in Austin, the PEO school year has begun as well.

Up Front

NAPEO Unveils Fourth White Paper Kerry Carruthers

There’s a little something for everyone in NAPEO’s fourth white paper, The State of the PEO Industry 2016: Markets, Value, and Trends. For PEOs, there is critical information about the existing market for PEOs, as well as insight into untapped and growing markets. For small business owners, the report contains important data-based conclusions about the tangible benefits of using PEOs. Employees of small businesses can find in the report striking statistics about how working for a company that uses a PEO gives them access to a robust array of benefits that wouldn’t typically be available to them

Capitol Comment

Rulemaking and PEO Certification Thom Stohler

The PEO certification program created by the enactment of the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA) is a unique program, in more ways than one. One of the more unusual aspects of this program is that NAPEO is actively involved in the rulemaking process at the same time the program is rolling out and accepting applications.

NAPEO Advisor

Pet Policies, Trade Secrets, Employee Benefit Plan Penalties Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. My business is considering whether to open the office to pets. What are some considerations before moving ahead? A. While some employers have found that a pet-friendly work environment raises morale, other employers have been faced with legal actions resulting from Garfield and Odie at the office. When looking into how to proceed, follow these steps. First, check with your building owner/manager to determine whether pets are allowed

PEO Index

Weakening in Most Business Sectors John Slavic

The PEO Index in the latest reporting period indicates a flattening of growth among PEO client companies. This is consistent with numerous other economic indicators, which have recently signaled weakening in most business sectors.

PEOs in the Community

Spreading the Aloha Harry Byerly

“Ohana” in Hawaiian means family. From the very beginning, it has been Hawaii Human Resources’ (HiHR’s) vision to create a family—always encouraging trust, respect, and support of one another both in the workplace and in the community.

PEO Spotlight

Genesis HR Solutions, Inc.: Robert J. Burbidge Stephanie Oetjen

You know you are doing well at Bob Burbidge’s company if he sends you away for a month in the summer. He does this because he’s grateful, and he’s been doing it to loyal employees for quite some time. You see, after you’ve worked at Genesis HR Solutions, Inc. for 10 years, you are granted a four-week sabbatical to be taken all at once during the summer. Bob does this because, he says, his employees helped put his children through college and pay his mortgage, and if not for them, he would not be where he is today. To Bob, it’s all about family—in the way he started his career, in his decisions over the years, and in how he runs his company.

The Big Picture

Both Parties Must Focus on Economic Growth Thomas J. Donohue

In many ways, the national parties’ conventions are splashy affairs, featuring headline-grabbing speeches by a who’s who of national leaders and the presidential nominees. A less glamorous but often more enduring function of the conventions is formalizing the parties’ platforms. Though these ideas are not binding, and they are sometimes ignored by the candidates, they telegraph the parties’ priorities and vision for the future of our country.


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