Organizations, or PEOs, came into being in the 1980s when the economy revived
from the stagflation of the late 1970s and started a long expansion. Companies
large and small were feeling their oats and readily signed on when PEOs called
and promised to relieve them of some management headaches. Today, several
hundred—an estimated 700—PEOs operate in the U.S.
COMPARE PEO COMPANY QUOTES HERE
This year and next
could be a shake-out period for the industry as health care issues continue to
evolve. If the Affordable Care Act is deemed unconstitutional, the
organizations will have to re-adjust their approach to handling health
insurance as Washington wrestles with a successor policy. If the Justices
uphold the health care law, PEOs still face a difficult period as the law is
phased in and companies come to grips with rising costs associated with it.
So how does a firm
looking for a management partner compare PEO companies in a period of flux? The
answer is, the same way choices are made any time: by scrutinizing track
records, evaluating services offered, and contacting executive offices of
clients for unfiltered feedback. The goal should be to find a good match for a
business because, while professional employer organizations are essentially the
same, they differ considerably in specialization and expertise.
FLORIDA PEO QUOTES
A Florida PEO might be the option for your firm, but there are so man choices. The industry handled some $25 billion
in payroll in the state in 2010 for some 69,000 companies. Those are impressive
numbers, almost as impressive as the growth in them from 2005, when the figures
were $17 billion in payroll and 50,000 companies. According to the Florida
Association of Professional Employer Organizations, 700,000 employees are
overseen by PEOs in the state.
The major players in the industry have been
around for more than two decades and operate in many states. They seem to
thrive on serving small and medium-sized companies, so small business owners
shouldn’t be shy about considering partnering with one. But owners should be
smart about evaluating first and asking around for recommendations—and even
checking with authorities for any record of poor business practices. A thorough
effort to compare PEO companies can lead to a satisfying decision.