Tag Archives: workers compensation insurance

Options in HR Outsourcing (Human Resources Outsourcing) – From Payroll to PEO (Professional Employer Organizations)

A lot of the calls we get are from companies looking for some sort of HR outsourcing solution…but they don’t want to give up payroll, they don’t want to “outsource” that.  Funny thing is that when asked…most confess that they use an outsourced payroll service already.  And, we know they don’t self-insure on benefits or workers compensation insurance.  Therefore, they are already outsourcing 3 of the 5 legs of the HR department anyway. 

Why not roll them up, get some economies of scale, tell Betty-Sue Badbenefits and Roy Shakeyriskmanagement to work in a department within the company that actually pulls in some revenue?

What is the “soft cost” of Human Resources? Can a PEO or HR outsourcing provider quantify?

Payroll is a commodity.

Benefits will cost what they cost.

Risk management, aka, workers compensation insurance will ultimately be based upon your experience.

So, what is the “soft cost” of human resources?  There have been many studies and questionnaires floating around to make a case for HR outsourcing services.  What we see is that most companies do not buy into the concept of “soft costs” until they become “hard costs.”  Meaning, we do not get a business owners attention until after the fact.  And those facts are turnover and non-compliance issues (fines) and workers compensation modifiers that give owners nose bleeds.

Our goal should be to take all aspects of a company’s human resources department into account when proposing a solution.  Line-by-line, department-by-department.

Am I outsourcing my Human Resources already?

Most likely you are…You just don’t realize it. Here’s a quick test to see if you are hr outsourcing.
If you answer false to any of these questions, then you outsource HR.

1. My company is self-funded for workers compensation
2. I handle all aspects of payroll internally, from collecting the hours to cutting the checks to quarterly and annual tax payments to w-2’s to setting up direct deposit for my employees
3. I do not offer any benefits to my employees

Not as easy as you think, is it?

Let’s start with number 1…workers compensation. The common misconception is that workers compensation insurance is a burdensome tax to business owners and that it is only in place to protect employees…quite the contrary. Workers compensation insurance is in place to protect owners’ businesses in the event of a work-related injury to an employee. A second misconception is that if all of the employees are 1099’ed, sub-contractors, then the business owner is held harmless. That is fine and well until a sub hires a sub and they end up with an injured employee. Who then is going to be the responsible party? Trust me, that stuff flows uphill. Bottom line…workers comp…gotta have it. If you don’t you’ll be paying off the lawyers and injured with the proceeds from the sale of your business.

Which takes us to number two, outsourcing your payroll. Everyone should be using this service. Your time is money and your money is money…don’t waste either by doing this function in-house. Plus, the related fines if you flog it up.

And then you have employee benefits. Who is managing that? Your office manager? That’s great, that’s a money saver, because they work for free, right? Again, you’re wasting their time, plus opening yourself up to labor law infractions as I’m sure your office manager/client service rep/admin assistant is up to speed on all federal and state regulatory labor laws. Here’s a quick test of that employee’s knowledge of human resources. Ask them what C.O.B.R.A. stands for…and how long an employee must be retained on your company’s healthcare plan once they leave your employ. (Answers: Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act…and 18 months.)

Use a PEO to avoid employer red tape and fines

Just got off the phone with a small business owner that is facing a $2,000 fine for non-compliance for some labor law paperwork they had no idea that they were responsible for.  Pretty hefty stuff for a 5 man company, right?

Just another reason that small businesses should consider HR outsourcing models like PEO.  Imagine having a staff of 50 employees, but no employer liability.  Not to mention the savings in a major medical health plan, workers comp and other benefits.

 

Bogus quotes by bad competitors

Just got off the phone with a client.  Seems that some big name providers like to put together a quote for services that they have no intention of writing.

For example…a PEO will tell a prospect everything they want to hear…provide a “contingent” quote, then when the client has signed the client service agreement, put down their deposit and are a couple of days from calling in their first payroll, the provider’s risk management department will call the client and tell them they cannot write one or more of the proposed workers comp codes.

This happens more often than not.  How do you protect yourself from this egregious business tactic?  Insist on a non-contingent quote for services.  If the provider hedges, for whatever reason, it likely means his workers comp coverage cannot take on your risk.  Be aware, some of the big name PEO’s do this all the time to block business from going to smaller PEO’s that can write that business.

PEO for staffing

We have had a lot of success lately with setting up staffing companies with PEO.  Think about it…what do staffing companies do best?  They find people to fill positions at their client companies.  They often put that employee on their payroll and upcharge their clients for this service. 

Now the PEO steps in and takes on all employer liability.  That allows the staffing company to continue to do what they do best, filling positions for their clients, and still insure that their employees are paid.  In addition, the economies of scale that the PEO brings them saves 10 – 30 percent on workers comp insurance.  That saved margin goes towards the admin charge of the PEO.  Win.  Win.

California (or other) State Workers Comp Funds

Moving to an HR outsourcing company, particularly a PEO (professional employer organization) can have tremendous benefits when dealing with workers compensation insurance as it pertains to State-sponsored funds.  One major state-sponsored fund, the California State Fund, will be seeing a large increase in rates in the coming months.  There is a great opportunity for all businesses to reevaluate that relationship to see if there is a better way of doing business.

How can PEO’s help these businesses?  By getting you out of the fund entirely and partnering with the PEO  and placing your risk (employees) on their books.

From our experience we have seen discounts on workers comp by as much as 50 percent.  In addition, the comp coverage becomes a pay-as-you-go solution, freeing up your cash flow.

 

Industry specific providers of HR outsourcing

We have found a niche in solutions for hr outsourcing for our clients.  Industry-specific solution providers.  Granted most PEO’s or ASO’s would prefer a mix of clients in order to help them manage risk, both from a workers compensation and healthcare benefits standpoint, but there are solutions that make a lot of sense for specific industries.

The main advantage is the exceptional overall industry knowledge that the PEO brings to its client companies.  For instance, we have a solution for trucking that not only saves our clients upwards of 20% on their workers compensation insurance, but has the industry knowledge to keep drivers safe and assist its client companies in background checks and safety management programs.  Not to mention the expertise in running various payroll types for truckers.  Straight pay, commissions, per diem, etc. 

We also recommend construction companies (all workers comp codes) to look specifically for providers that have the industry knowledge that not only starts them out at low workers comp rates, but has the expertise to keep their job sites safe.  Saving money in the long run.