How to Choose a PEO: 5 Questions You Should Ask


  • Small business owners can trust PEOs to handle their HR admin tasks, enabling them to focus on revenue-generating activities.
  • Before engaging in a PEO relationship, it’s key to analyze their industry expertise, the technology they’ll bring to the table, and the range of employee benefits they can offer.
  • At LL Roberts Group, we provide PEO services for businesses across all sizes and industries. Contact us to simplify your HR tasks with a specialized partner!

Juggling administrative HR tasks in a small business can be tough. Thankfully, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can step in to alleviate the workload, enhance employee satisfaction, and ensure legal compliance. But how to choose a PEO that fits your business needs and aligns with your goals?

This article uncovers important factors to keep in mind when choosing a PEO and outlines 5 key questions to ask before starting a partnership.

Let’s dive in!

Discover the 5 Top Questions to Ask a PEO Before Entering a Partnership

What Is a PEO?

PEO stands for Professional Employer Organization and refers to a company that acts as a co-employer with your business, taking care of HR functions such as payroll, compliance, benefits administration, safety and risk management, and more.

If you are a small business owner, you are likely spending too much time dealing with administrative tasks and navigating complex labor and tax regulations. By partnering with a PEO, you can delegate these activities to a specialized service provider and get back time to focus on revenue-generating activities.

Even if you do have an internal HR team, a PEO can provide valuable support by handling tedious day-to-day operations and freeing up your team so they can work on more strategic initiatives for your workforce.

How to Choose a PEO for Your Business? 5 Questions to Ask Your Future PEO

Choosing the right PEO is a crucial decision, which involves trusting very sensitive aspects of your business, such as payroll or compliance, to a third-party service provider.

How can you be sure you are making the right call? Look for a PEO with industry expertise and a proven track record that can offer you a comprehensive package of HR services tailored to your specific business needs. Remember, a PEO partnership should empower your business and help you grow.

Here are 5 key questions you should ask your future PEO to learn exactly how they can benefit your business:

Do You Specialize in Serving Businesses in a Similar Industry or Business Size?

Every industry has its own HR regulations and compliance needs.

An industry-savvy PEO can provide relevant expertise and support for your unique situation.

When a PEO is familiar with your industry’s nuances, it’s easier for them to help you navigate obstacles. Likewise, a PEO that understands the needs of businesses your size can customize their services to address the common challenges of companies at a similar growing phase.

What HR Services Are Included in Your PEO Package?

Each PEO may offer a different set of HR services as part of their package. While core functions like payroll processing or tax administration are standard, you should ask for details on additional services they might offer. That way, you can gain clarity on what to expect and assess whether those services align with your present (and future!) business needs.

Additional services may include Workers’ Compensation insurance, employee onboarding, and training support.

PEOs may also offer different levels of customization and flexibility, allowing you to tailor their package based on your specific requirements, adding or removing services as needed.

Knowing which HR services are included can help you evaluate if your PEO partnership can be cost-effective. By comparing the services provided against the PEO pricing structure you can determine if you are getting value from your investment.

What Kind of Employee Benefits Plan Do You Offer?

Because PEOs serve multiple clients, they have access to better rates when negotiating benefit packages with insurance providers. This is key to attracting potential employees and can give your business a competitive advantage in retaining employees.

However, you need to understand and carefully assess the full range of employee benefits that your future PEO can offer. Explore details like medical, dental, and vision plans, life insurance offerings and, of course, if 401(k) retirement savings options are available, including contribution matching programs. That way, you can be sure they align with your company culture and talent acquisition goals.

What Technology Platform Does Your PEO Use?

One of the main benefits of partnering with a PEO is to gain access to modern, efficient, and secure HR solutions.

By asking about the technology platform used by the PEO, you can make an informed decision and ensure their tech stack is aligned with your requirements and preferences.

Here’s what to look for:

  • A user-friendly interface and intuitive tools
  • Compatibility with the systems and software that your business is already using
  • Self-service options to access from any device or location
  • Security measures (such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security updates) to keep sensitive employee data safe and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

What Is Your Client Service Model Like?

An ideal PEO partner should be responsive and supportive. To see if you are on the right track, ask how they handle communication and ongoing support for their clients. Keep these questions in mind:

  • Do you assign dedicated account managers?
  • What are your preferred communication channels (phone, email, online portal)?
  • Do you have specific response times? Are you available after hours? This might be relevant if you anticipate you might need assistance outside of standard business hours.

By understanding the PEO’s approach to client service you can have a clear picture of the level of personalized attention and support you can expect throughout your partnership.

Carefully Analyze the PEO’s Employee Benefits Offer

Find a PEO That Fits Your Business

Choosing the right PEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision. In the end, you are looking for a strategic partner that helps you grow and can handle the complexities of your business.

Look for industry expertise, a comprehensive service package tailored to your needs, a user-friendly technology platform, and exceptional customer support. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and compare options. With careful consideration, you’ll find the ideal PEO to streamline your HR tasks, ensure compliance, and free up your time to focus on what matters most – running your business.

At LL Roberts Group, we provide tailored PEO services for U.S.-based businesses of all sizes. Ready to explore how a PEO partnership can benefit your business? Contact us today for a free consultation!

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