We didn’t exactly run up the stone staircase in our gray flannel sweats to the theme of Rocky at the JW Marriott, but the theme of the Conference was not wasted on us. It is what we do all day, every day, on nights and weekends.
A PEO is an interesting beast. It includes all of the facets and products of the entire Human Resource Services business in one package for the small and medium sized businesses to enjoy. Our owners (me) and many of our team grew up supporting the industry, which means we learned the entire spectrum of what a HR Services provider could possibly offer.
Here are a few interesting observations we heard this year – and more than once:
Margin compression is here to stay, with the arbitrage (short-term by definition) in State Unemployment long gone, most have given up on any substantial hardening of the workers’ compensation market.
We all tightened the belt operationally, but it wasn’t nearly enough and our best people are stressed.
Consolidation will only continue, and even if the multiples aren’t great, the deals are happening and the end result will probably be lower administrative fees to boot.
It isn’t all bad, and many believe that the combination of health care reform and possible federal legislation could bring credibility and new customers to the PEO fold.
However, something remains slightly askew.
We tell our clients to buy our product to outsource “transactional” HR. Put it all with one vendor and spend your time worrying about bigger and better things like new revenue and customer service, not 401(k) plans or paying taxes.
Yet at the same time, we don’t eat our own cooking.
A PEO should be a client-facing business focused on sales and service. Our best people should be empowered to turn their productivity towards customers, not busy work. Want better retention? Then you need to give your clients that extra effort and help their business problems, not just cut a paycheck. Like it or not, they see payroll as a commodity, not a core competency. So why don’t we?
The global economy allows you access to the resources you need to achieve that goal. Turn your focus to the people that pay your bills. Get your best and brightest talking to your customers about finding, motivating and retaining their best and brightest.
To do so, you have to find a partner who knows your business inside and out, and has operated “hands on” in a global setting. Cognet is that rare breed. Rather than managing more transactions, with Cognet you can get:
So, if you want to recover those hard-fought-for earnings that have trickled away the past few years, talk to us. No capital required, just bottom line savings in your pocket and more time to get and keep customers.