It’s Not You – It’s Me.

November 19, 2019

If you are considering “breaking up” with your PEO to search for other options there are a few things to consider even before you start the process of getting quotes.   Understanding what your business truly needs is critical in finding the right partner to support you in running your business. There is a lot that goes into any transition, and transitioning PEOs is no exception.  Any change in how you manage your HR administrative services can initially be costly – both with your time and money – so you want to be sure that you make the right move to the right partner at the right time.

Here are some things to consider before formally starting the evaluation process:

  1. Take some time for self-reflection. Before any major transition, it is necessary to understand your current state before you can think about where you want to go. Think about your business from the proverbial 50,000 foot view and begin by asking yourself a few questions.

What does my business value?  To some cost is king.  To others cost is important but providing benefits that match a company’s culture is almost equally as important.  If your company is in a highly competitive recruiting environment having all of the small, seemingly nice to have benefits could actually be a necessity to win the talent you need to propel your business forward.  Some businesses value their PEO/HR Administrator relationship in time.  Is running payroll and benefits seamlessly with little interaction your ideal state, or is having a partner who consults with you and spends time with you your ideal state?

What Are Your Foundational Needs Versus Nice-to-Haves? Paying employees and providing benefits typically top the list in the foundational needs, but what are your other non-negotiables?  Some companies in the growth phase of their business are willing to sacrifice cost for quality and for someone else doing the heavy lifting.  Companies with high turnover environments may be looking for ease of use in onboarding and off boarding.  Companies with a higher paid employees, like engineers, doctors, and lawyers, may see personal support as a foundational need. Regardless of your business type or growth phase, take the time to acknowledge what your top 1 or 2 needs are and use them as your guide in the evaluation process.

  1. Understand what specifically isn’t working and why. Business relationships fail for many reasons, but one of the most common reasons customers look for other options is when interacting with the business feels difficult.  Think about what feels difficult in your current PEO / HR Administrator relationship. Is it technology? Cost? Receiving accurate answers to your questions? Receiving an answer at all?  Understanding why it is not working could help you pinpoint the type of partner you need, and it could also uncover a foundational need you have that you may not have prioritized in the past.
  1. Timing is everything. After you have thought about what you value, what you need and like, and what needs to work better the next big question is when. Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to transition HR service providers.  The more lead time you can offer the easier the transition will be for your company.  Of course there are times in every business when you need to move, and you need to move fast.  If that is where you are then let it be known that fast is the priority.  Prepare yourself for some bumps along the way that you typically may avoid with extra time. But like ripping off a band aid the pain is over quickly, and if you’ve paired with the right partner it will be worth it in the end.

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