Human resources is a vital part of every company, whether there is an HR department or not.
HR outsourcing allows you to transfer some or all of your HR-related workload to a professional organization. They’ll take care of everything from payroll taxes to benefits administration. Read on to find the service most suited to your business needs.
You’ll find that some of these options allow you to offload HR tasks one by one, whether it is payroll, benefits administration, or something else.
Alternatively, you can outsource all of your HR responsibilities to a professional employer organization by using one of the best PEO service providers.
My list includes the full spectrum these services. Below, I give in-depth reviews of each, covering their features, benefits, and other key considerations.
Paychex excels at this because they offer solutions to handle virtually any payment situation you can think of. Do you have:
A mixed workforce of contractors and full-time employees? Paychex handles that with ease.
A unique payment cycle goes beyond the typical “twice a month paycheck” routine? Paychex can handle that, too.
Employees that want to be paid via prepaid debit cards? Paychex makes it simple to honor those requests.
Beyond payroll processing, Paychex also delivers fantastic HR outsourcing services. So if you’re in need of more than accurate payroll processing, Paychex is also a great option for:
Paychex offers a solid mobile app that can be used to track things like hiring, labor costs, and employee turnover. Employees can also easily use the app for self-service and training. For mobile and remote workforces, this is a huge win.
For businesses with an existing HR department in place, Paychex can act as an extension of this department by providing a dedicated outsourced HR manager. This professional can assist with hiring, onboarding, and retaining top-level talent.
They can also manage workforce analytics, benchmarking, corporate culture strategy, benefits, and basic employee training. It’s everything you need in an HR manager, without the overhead of hiring a full-time, in-house employee.
If all this sounds good, you can learn more at Paychex.
Insperity offers excellent PEO and HRO services.
While they do offer individual HR offerings like other products covered here, Insperity is a real winner because of their full-service solutions. Their offerings are often bundled, which gives you broader HR services in one package. For example, payroll comes with their human capital management software.
With everything you could need under one umbrella, all your HR tasks will work seamlessly with each other. This bundling of services is what makes Insperity a true “set it and forget it” option for HR task management. It is also what allows you to fully customize your HR package.
Insperity also offers your employees great benefits including medical, vision, and dental coverage and lets you outsource processing payroll, handling W-2s, W-4s, and employment verification.
They’ll also help you with liability insurance, workers’ compensation, and other areas of risk management. This service provider helps with HR-related compliance for things like unemployment claims and government reporting.
Insperity also assists with talent retention, by helping you create recognition programs and an employee handbook, and improving your employee training process.
I recommend Insperity to mid-market organizations. While they have solutions for businesses of five to 149 employees, their main focus and expertise is for companies with 150+ workers.
In addition to the full-service HR packages, you can also use Insperity for individual solutions including:
With more than three decades of expertise under its belt and over 70 offices across the country, Insperity is a top consideration for HR outsourcing that your midsize organization will never have to worry about.
ADP offers a full-service suite of HR software and solutions.
However, I really like them because they’re great for companies that need piecemeal HR services.
Think of it like an a la carte HR solution. You might not need the full spread from payroll to retirement to insurance—and ADP allows you to choose one service or all of them!
This is great for small businesses that might not have the budget for everything under the sun. As you grow, you can add more until it makes sense to go with their PEO arrangements.
ADP also offers enterprise plans for companies with more than 1000 employees.
Some of ADPs HR services include:
This provider offers business insurance as well, along with group health insurance for your employees. Since ADP is such a large company, they have leverage and bargaining power with all major health insurance providers.
I also love ADP’s support team of knowledgeable HR professionals who can be reached via phone, email, or live chat. They can create and distribute all of the necessary forms, policies, and job descriptions for your organization. You can even create a custom employee handbook in compliance with local and federal laws.
They also give you guidance to help you get the optimal HR experience.
From benefits packages to compliance and setting up employee self-service tools, ADP has it all.
Their pricing is obscured on the website, but you can get a free quote from them today.
TriNet is another full-service HR outsourcing solution. They provide flexible plans and services to meet the needs of any sized business.
What makes TriNet really stand out though is their ability to provide some of the most competitive benefits on the market to attract top talent.
That means they’ve partnered with some of the biggest health insurance carriers throughout the country to help you get the highest quality coverage to your employees. Some of TriNet’s top carriers include MetLife, Kaiser Permanente, Transamerica, Aetna, Aflac, MassMutual, and UnitedHealth Group.
They also offer premium benefits for dental, vision, life, disability, retirement, and transit insurance along with a massive list of voluntary benefits like home policies and even pet insurance. That’s right. You can make sure that Fido is set up, too.
TriNet’s 401k plans are flexible and transferable, and they also give you a ton of discounts for computers, books, office supplies, and even services from places like Verizon, AT&T, and AVIS.
And, of course, you get key HR services beyond benefits administration, like HR consulting, benefit options, payroll services, and risk mitigation. You’ll also benefit from TriNet’s comprehensive HR platform. This technology contains tools for employee self-service and mobile access.
The best part is that TriNet caters to startups and small businesses specifically. That means they’ll give you competitive rates even though you’re getting big-league benefits.
If you want to offer your employees the same level of service and convenience that the Fortune 500 expects, get started today at TriNet.
Zenefits is a bit unique compared to some of the other options on our list.
That’s because, technically, Zenefits is not an outsourcing service—it’s software for human resources.
They offer a way for you to integrate and centralize your HR systems into one intuitive platform. It serves the same purpose as an outsourced service in terms of ease and cost reduction. It’s also a cheaper alternative than a full-service outsourcing firm.
The best part is that it streamlines everything. You and your employees will be able to take a look at your org chart, access your benefits, request time off, and take care of onboarding all from one easy-to-navigate dashboard.
Zenefits’ software has everything you need to get your HR tasks and administration in order:
They also offer dozens of integrations out-of-the-box. The platform also has options for payroll, employee benefits, employee scheduling, and time tracking.
Most HR outsourcing services require you to get a custom quote from the provider. But, because this is software, Zenefits’ pricing is straightforward and available on the website.
You can also add modules for payroll, HR advisement, and third-party benefits administration separately for monthly fees.
If your small business needs to improve the way you handle HR tasks but don’t have the funds to completely outsource the service, Zenefits is the perfect solution for you.
Engage PEO is a full-service professional employer organization. They provide a PEO experience that always aims to put the client’s needs first with its innovative business model.
What makes Engage PEO so unique as an HR services provider? It’s the people… who are also all lawyers.
Seriously. Every member of their HR consulting team is an attorney. These legal professionals have significant experience with labor and employment law.
It also means that they’ll make all of your nitty gritty compliance headaches disappear like a magical ibuprofen for annoying legal issues.
That makes this a perfect solution for companies with complex HR legal needs. We’re talking about industries with strict compliance like construction, marijuana, healthcare, security, finance, and more. Engage PEO will be a top choice for you to consider.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the top outsourced HR functions offered by this provider:
As a PEO provider, Engage PEO also offers payroll and tax administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, employee benefits, and integrated technology solutions.
Bottom line: If you have complicated compliance matters, Engage PEO is your choice.
G&A Partners offers full-service HR outsourcing for things like payroll, benefits, compliance, workplace safety, performance management, and recruitment.
There are two different ways that your company can work with G&A Partners—you can also work with them through a PEO or an ASO (administrative services only) model. So, they offer a little bit of flexibility in terms of what you’d like them to help you out with.
But, what I really like about G&A Partners is that they offer an automated training and development system for all of your employees. They give you access to almost 1,500 training courses that can be scaled and customized to your company’s exact needs and specs.
You can assign any number and combination of courses to your employees, and track their progress as they learn. This is a great centralized way to develop and train your employees no matter where they are in their careers.
There are also plenty of reporting tools and dashboards for you and your employees, so you all know exactly what they need to work on.
Training content includes things like quizzes, videos, interactive assignments and AICC and SCORM courses.
Is there something you want that they don’t offer? You can work external training into their programs as well.
Overall, it’s a great option if employee training and development is important to your company (and it should be).
Another unique standout of G&A Partners is its employee development services. This HR function includes candidate sourcing, job description, job postings, resume screening, and pre-hire assessments.
Once an employee is hired, this outsourced firm can handle onboarding, benefits enrollment, and performance management as well.
In addition to human resources, G&A Partners offers payroll services, benefits packages, and HR technology. They’re a particularly great and experienced choice for these types of industries:
Boost your employees’ ability from the moment they’re hired by utilizing G&A Partners.
Tandem HR offers a wide range of human resources solutions for small businesses. This provider has the tools and expertise to help small businesses as they scale.
What sets them apart is their standout risk management solution. They give you solutions such as safety audits, OSHA record keeping, accident investigations, and more to make sure that your company is ready for the worst-case scenario.
And if things go bad, they even offer you worker’s compensation conversation and claims resolution services.
Remember: a safer workplace is a better workplace is a cheaper workplace. It benefits not only your employees, you, and your business, but it also helps everyone’s pocketbook. That’s like a quadruple win.
As a full-service PEO provider, Tandem HR also has tools and solutions for:
These custom HR solutions will help you save time, save money, boost employee productivity, retain talent, and remain compliant at the state and federal level. Get started with Tandem HR here.
With so many options at your disposal, how can you possibly know which HR service is the best?
This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout. You can use it as well to help narrow down your choices.
Every HR outsourcing company is going to offer fairly similar services: payroll, insurance, worker’s comp, and 401ks, and the like.
Where they often differ is how hands-on they’ll be with your organization and employees.
For example, some of the companies on our list are personal employer organization (PEO) providers such as ADP and Insperity. They provide businesses with HR services like payroll, benefits (such as insurance and 401k), and worker’s comp. They also can go the extra mile and assist with recruiting and onboarding, for example.
However, they’re distinct because PEO providers are considered a “co-employer” of workers. That means if there’s a legal issue with your employees, both you and your PEO provider assume responsibility. You agree beforehand on the liabilities you each assume.
A PEO provider’s hands-on role means it’s more hands-off for you, allowing you to focus your time and energy on other things.
There are also administrative service organization (ASO) services that also provide assistance in payroll and benefits, like G&A Partners. However, they’re not co-employers of your workforce.
An ASO doesn’t typically offer as comprehensive an array of services as a PEO provider—though they’ll still be able to take care of most administrative work and provide benefits like health insurance.
They’re both typically the same in cost. It just comes down to how much responsibility you’d like to assume over administering your employees’ benefits.
Of course, not every company is looking for comprehensive medical/dental/vision/veterinary insurance, with a 401k, and a gym membership to every place in town.
The HR provider you use will determine how many (or how little) services you’ll be able to access and provide for your employees.
For example, ADP TotalSource is great if you’re looking for a comprehensive PEO with payroll, time trackers, recruiting, retirement plans, medical/vision/dental insurance, and more.
G&A Partners offers a great ASO service that allows you to pick-and-choose HR services in an a la carte fashion. That might be great for building out an HR package if you have specific needs you want to home in on.
For example, maybe you own a company in an industry with strict labor compliance laws. In a situation like this, you’d benefit from an outsourced HR service like Engage PEO. They have attorneys that specialize in employment law.
Or, maybe you need an HR service that can improve your payroll process. Paychex would be the best option if you fall into this category.
Whatever unique circumstances your business might have, there is usually a human resource outsourcing service that specializes in it.
Another thing worth noting is how easy the HR service you’re considering is to use. Is it intuitive to new employees being onboarded for the first time? Can you easily approve time off requests? Can everyone find their insurance information quickly?
Make sure to request a demo from a service rep beforehand and play around on the dashboard. Make sure you can access insurance and PTO information easily at a bare minimum. Many of the services above allow you to do so.
The level of HR systems a business currently has in place should play a big role in outsourcing considerations.
Your business might be a startup looking to offer employees medical insurance and 401ks. Or your business could be an enterprise-grade operation looking to supplement (or replace) the HR department with a good third-party solution.
Outsourcing firms typically have experience working with certain types of businesses. It all really boils down to if you have an HR system already and, if you do, how long you have had it in place.
For example, if you’re a small business owner with no HR infrastructure, you want to choose a service that has experience building from the ground up with smaller organizations, such as Tandem HR.
Large companies might not need that type of assistance. Instead, a larger business might just need a certain role or task outsourced. TriNet is a good solution for flexible HR services. ADP is another good one if you already have a few HR systems but just want a platform to manage it all from a single dashboard.
No matter what, decide whether or not you’re looking to simply add onto your current HR infrastructure or if you’re looking to fully outsource it.
Like a jumper cable or toilet paper, the worst time to realize you don’t have adequate customer support is when you need it but don’t have it.
Some common headache-inducing examples include:
That’s why the level of customer support played a large role in determining our list of HR outsourcing services.
Some HR service providers are on hand at all hours to help you at all hours of the day such as ADP. They have live payroll support available 24/7/365 to help answer any questions you might possibly have.
Paychex also has 24/7 customer support along with a massive HR online library that gives you resources and tools for everything you might need related to HR.
Also worth noting is whether the HR service you’re considering gives you a dedicated account manager. If they don’t, who is your point person when issues come up?
Be sure to note how support is doled out throughout each of the HR providers you research. Some of them offer the same level of support no matter what pricing plan you choose. Others, such as Gusto, offer more intensive, hands-on support with more expensive pricing plans.
Paychex, Insperity, and ADP provide the best human resources outsourcing services. Whether you need an entire HR department or just need to outsource a single function, the best HR outsourcing services in this guide have you covered.
From payroll assistance to benefits administration and HR software, there’s an option for every business to lighten its load.