Hiring is something that most businesses start out doing on their own. Jobs are posted manually, resumes are reviewed in detail, applicants are personally interviewed, and references are checked (and re-checked).  Eventually this hands-on, personal approach can get overwhelming—especially for businesses that are growing.  It can be very difficult for the owner or members of upper-management to find the time to search for new hires, let alone move the interview and onboarding process forward. Hiring is just the beginning of the story as employers must take steps to not only attract, but retain, skilled talent among their ranks.

Recruiting is one of the many areas where a professional employer organization, or PEO, can help.  Rather than spending valuable team leader time on the time-consuming ins and outs of finding new employees, you can rely on a team of outside experts to attract talent that is not only capable, but also dedicated and fully prepared for the kind of work ahead. Let’s look at the five key ways that a PEO can help your business.

1) Reduce Cost of Recruiting

Recruiting can use up a lot of your overhead in both calculable revenue and the valuable time of your managers. Posting positions on job boards, sorting through resumes, and interviewing people until a few acceptable finalists are selected can impact the thin margins of profit and productivity of a growing business.

When working with a PEO, you can rely on innovative technology and efficient experts to do what they do best: finding acceptable candidates and handling most of the initial recruiting phases for you. Your managers will find themselves with a neatly-stacked pile of resumes and a short list of valuable, available candidates to choose from with minimal cost and zero time wasted.

2) Fill Positions Faster

Empty positions can post an extreme hardship to a business. Whether you need to quickly source a new CFO or fill your ranks with associates before the busy season begins, outsourcing recruitment to a PEO can be an effective solution for identifying candidates quickly.  PEOs specialize in connecting job-seekers to employers. No matter what kind of position you need filled, a PEO has the technology, resources, connections, and skills to source a great selection of candidates and get you what you need to fill open positions without delay.

3) Offer Fortune 500-Level Benefits Packages

Employee benefits is consistently ranked as one of the most important things to a job seeker.  Nevertheless, assembling an attractive and competitive employee benefits package can be a daunting task for a business.  Robust benefits packages ordinarily include 401(k) or other retirement plans, health, dental and vision insurance, pet insurance, life insurance, flexible spending and health savings accounts, among other voluntary products.  Those packages are usually very expensive and only offered by large companies given the costs associated with offering and maintaining these benefits.

PEOs serve as a market aggregator, giving each client the purchasing power of a large corporation.  When you work with a PEO, you have access to insurance products and other ancillary services that can attract and retain top talent, at a fraction of the price it would cost to obtain these services on an individual basis.

4) Help You Stay in HR Compliance

Finally, one of the biggest challenges for businesses is staying in compliance with the complex federal, state, and local laws regarding recruiting and hiring employees. There are laws that govern what questions can be asked on an application; the scope of a criminal history inquiry; whether you can require arbitration of disputes as a condition of employment; drug testing requirements; the type of notices that must be given at hiring; and the list goes on.  Keeping track of these laws, and the changes that are taking place each year, can be difficult.

Working with a PEO can take the headache out of staying in compliance.  You can use a PEO to serve as your external human resources department.  They will help you stay abreast of the legal changes, notify you when there are changes on the horizon, and help you update your forms and hiring practices to limit your exposure to a lawsuit or claim.  These outsourced HR professionals are happy to use their expertise to help you keep your business compliant, so you can focus on your core business functions and making money.