HR professionalYour business is growing and you realize it is time that you need a Human Resource department.  How should you proceed?  In 5 Questions Business Owners Should Ask Themselves Before Hiring An HR Rep, Aaron Taube writing for Business Insider spoke to two winners of this year’s US Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Person of the Year Award and they identified some key questions.  If now is the time for you to add a Human Resource component to your business, it also is prudent to examine the option of partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO).

The questions these business owners pose in the Business Insider post make great sense as they all fall under the heading of the big question:  Is now the time for me to devote time to my core competency and leave the business of HR to true professionals?  Specifically, the questions they pose and my read on them are as follows:

Am I spending too much time negotiating with my employees?

If you are asking this question, then you probably are.  More importantly, giving out huge increases (as one owner did) will cost you in the long run by increasing expenses and setting a pattern for future problems.

Do I need help administering an employer-sponsored healthcare plan?

You might be able to handle this yourself, but the question is, do you really want to?  This year, those who employ 100 or more employees will be affected by provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and in 2016 those who employ 50 or more will also.  An HR professional might handle this for you, but a PEO takes in a step further.  Understanding and dealing with the complexities of the ACA is a top priority for a PEO, and as a co-employer, the PEO has a vested interest in getting it right.

Am I having trouble retaining employees?

There are countless studies that demonstrate the high cost of hiring and training new employees.  Hiring the right HR professional may indeed help.  As for partnering with a PEO, a recent white paper written by McBassi and Company illustrates that doing so keeps turnover low and business survival rates high.

Am I spending time on duties that do not need my expertise?

When I started Genesis, I wore many hats.  But when the business started to grow, I knew it was time to bring in those with the expertise that I did not have.  This holds true for virtually every business owner I have ever met.  So yes, when you are ready, hiring an HR Professional can help you with hiring, payroll, employee benefits, policies and procedures, legal compliance, risk management and a host of other issues.  However, chances are you will never find that much expertise in one HR professional.  When partnering with a PEO, you have a team of experts who address all of your HR needs.

Do we need to invest in creating a clear set of employee policies?

An HR professional can certainly set up the procedures necessary to keep you legally compliant.  The downside here is that when mistakes happen, your company is still liable.  In a PEO co-employment partnership, many employer liabilities are shared with the PEO.

To summarize, hiring an HR professional is a great idea when the time is right.  But working with a PEO might make more sense as it will likely cost you far less than hiring a seasoned HR professional and your company will have much greater expertise at your disposal.  Furthermore, sharing employer responsibilities and risks with a firm whose business is to do just that is, in my estimation, the only way to go.

For more information on PEO partnerships, please reach out to Genesis at or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.

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