Handling employee paperwork can be a nightmare maze of tax and legal compliance issues. It’s time consuming work that offers little obvious reward, and takes your attention from simply growing your business.
For small business owners, it can be an unwelcome headache to tackle it directly, but even with larger businesses this means having to invest in HR managers and software which may not necessarily seem cost-effective, especially in the short-term.
Luckily, there are a number of HR outsourcing options available. Some are full service providers, and cover everything from recruitment to payroll, to tax deductions and legal compliance. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that lack HR expertise or might find it expensive to build and accommodate their own HR team. Outsourcing allows another company to deal with all those complexities and liabilities for you.
Others providers allow you to pick and choose which HR service you’d like to outsource. This is especially the case where a business may want to provide extra support for its existing HR department. After all, HR isn’t all about tax and insurance, but also about employee recruitment and providing training provision. Third parties may be able offer these services to add another layer of expertise without having to introducing an administrative burden on your business.
Some HR outsourcing companies are certified by the IRS or accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), which can provide guarantees to the level of service, not least for avoiding double-taxation penalties. This can be especially important for large businesses. However, smaller HR outsourcing companies may not come with either credentials, but that doesn’t mean they may be any less capable, especially when dealing with less complex small business needs.
To help you choose between HR outsourcing providers, we’ve featured the five best below.
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The big provider for business
For small or large businesses
ADP Comprehensive Services is designed for larger businesses that want to focus more on strategy, or else could benefit companies undergoing a merger or acquisition. The Comprehensive Services package allows a business to outsource either all of its HR services to ADP, or just selected HR services.
The services available include employee recruitment, retention, and engagement, with performance management and compensation benchmarking. ADP can also handle all aspects of benefits administration, from carrier connections and eligibility reporting, to open enrollment administration, as well as new hire and life event enrollments, and all administrated under COBRA guidelines. ADP can also ensure compliance with legal frameworks, not least ACA and FMLA.
Of course, ADP can also take on board payroll administration to reduce compliance risk, not least in dealing with managing time and attendance, but also with regards to federal and state tax changes, as well as offering proactive guidance on best practices.
Overall, ADP is one of the biggest names in HR outsourcing, yet the Comprehensive Services package for HR outsourcing is designed for businesses with anywhere between 1-1000+ employees.
Packaged or individual HR solutions
Packaged or individual services
G&A Partners’ Full-Service HR Solution provides an outsourced alternative for businesses to manage and administrate HR services, payroll, and employee benefits. They run this using their own HR technology platform, Worksight, which offers SaaS (Software as a Service) that works with SSO (Single Sign On) technology.
Using Worksight, G&A are able to cover all aspects of recruitment, onboarding, time and attendance, performance management, benefits enrollment, and performance management. For recruitment, G&A use an applicant tracking system (ATS) which allows them to search online applicant databases in order to create job descriptions and compensation packages suitable to the post. G&A can screen applicants, and allow them to communicate through the recruitment process.
The Worksight platform allows all employment forms to be signed and stored directly in the system, and provides real-time updates on the employee onboarding process. The time and attendance system allows for employees to clock in digitally, and also manage all aspects of creating and managing schedules, as well as vacations and sickness.
G&A Partners also provides expert guidance on a range of other issues, not least safety at work compliance, healthcare reform, and benefits administration tailored to weighting these to the most needed positions as required.
Overall, G&A Partners provides a wide range of services, which can be packages together as a single solution or worked with individually depending on which actual HR services you need.
Different plan levels
Insperity offers HR outsourcing solutions according to two main plans: the first being 5-149 employees, and the second for 150-5000 employees. Both cover all the HR basics, not least HR admin and payroll, risk-management and compliance, benefits, as well as employee training and management. The main difference between the programs is a case of where the put the focus of the service, and of course the price.
The first plan for small businesses is a full-service solution focused on providing a strong, stable, and supported HR management plan in the first place, while being able to offer insurance benefits normally expected with a Fortune 500 company. Insperity also uses its own software platform to manage all aspects of payroll, accounting, and cost administration, not to mention tax filing. As expected, they also provide support and advice for compliance and liability issues, as well as performance management.
The second plan for medium to large businesses provides the same services while putting the focus on productivity and profitability, not least to work to prevent IT sprawl and inefficiencies that necessarily plague business systems the larger they get. The aim is to provide detailed cost inventory and manage them to ensure budget certainty. This is especially relevant where a business may be involved in a merger or acquisition and needs to integrate employees from different payroll systems into one.
In all, Insperity provide a wide-ranging solution, and although two different plans have been mentioned, Insperity also provide individual HR services as required.
Different service levels available
Good suite of services
Accredited by IRS and ESAC
Paychex offers both human resources consulting as well as HR outsourcing and PEO services. This means you can look at different levels of service according to your business needs, from simply asking for guidance on how to better streamline your existing HR workflows, to completely outsourcing all of your HR and employment needs to Paychex.
As expected, Paychex provides all the expected services in terms of HR management, payroll and benefits administration, as well as compliance and legal services. Where Paychex differs from the competition is its focus on digital streamlining where possible, in order to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity in all aspects of human resources management.
For example, with Paychex Flex you can easily manage your business health insurance, section 125 plans, 401(k) and other employee benefits from a single online platform. Changes can be made in real-time, and set up so that employees can easily access the information without having to ask for it.
The whole process means less time is spent on low-value administrative tasks, while streamlining existing procedures. Additionally, it’s also easier to search for actionable insights to improve efficiency, with analytics automated to work through the Paychex HR management system to reveal trends and provide custom reporting.
Altogether, Paychex is another strong company with a strong suite of services, and even better in that you can easily select the right level of service for your business.
The flexible provider with industry insights
Flexible service options
Industry experience and expertise
TriNet offers a range of HR services, including HR consultancy, benefits management, payroll services, risk mitigation, all run through a single software platform. They can also provide mobile apps for employee expenses, time management, wages and benefits statements. These services can be taken packaged together, as individual outsourced services, or even a full-service PEO (Professional Employer Organization) as required.
What makes TriNet standout a little more from its competition is that its advisers have specialist industry experience, not least in architecture & engineering, consulting, financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, marketing, retail, technology, and nonprofits. The aim is to make sure this expertise translates into actionable insights specific for your business, and therefore help improve some aspect of efficiency, workflows, or productivity.
Another advantage of TriNet is that it charges on a per-employee basis, rather than as a percent of payroll. This means your HR costs are predictable and consistent, which can be especially advantageous to small businesses who need to have a very clear idea of costs. TriNet is also able to work comfortable with businesses of different sizes, tailoring plans accordingly, though some services may require an employee minimum to make them financially worthwhile.
Overall, TriNet is a flexible provider that could offer industry insights while providing a comprehensive range of HR outsourcing services.
More HR outsourcing options
There are a large number of different HR outsourcing providers out there, more than we’ve been able to cover here so far. Some of these companies cater more for small businesses, but others focus on larger businesses and so have a minimum number of employees to work with.
Therefore to help you find the HR service to suit you, we’ve listed below other notable HR outsourcing companies that it’s worth you checking out:
XcelHR provides a range of outsource HR solutions including human resources management, payroll and tax administration, talent acquisition, benefits administration, retirement services, and risk management.
Justworks is a full service HR company that can provide support and consulting as required. Their main service provisions include payroll, benefits, and compliance, on top of routine HR tasks.
Abel HR is a HR provider that can offer a full service provision as a PEO, or support specific needs with services available for payroll, insurance and other benefits, as well as other outsourced solutions.
Acadia HR can provide a full range of HR support and management services for companies of all sizes, covering everything from payroll and compliance, to hiring and training.
Author: Brian Turner
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