How PEOs Help Small Businesses Attract and Retain Talent


One of the benefits of working with a professional employer organization (PEO), is that it can help your business both attract and hold on to good employees. This statement is true, but it’s also a bit vague. Exactly, how can a PEO help accomplish these things? How can they help bring the right people to your company, and encourage the right people to stay at your company instead of leaving when a new opportunity comes along?

Recruiting and retaining are tricky, but fortunately, PEOs have a variety of techniques at their disposal.

Using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

While it’s true that some businesses still use old-fashioned paper applications or want ads, many companies are starting to discard these practices in favor of online recruitment solutions. Digital applications are better organized, eco-friendly, and make it much easier for both listings and applications to be updated whenever necessary. They tend to be more flexible in their formatting, as many integrate personality tests or industry-specific questions such as: “The photograph below depicts a display of clothing and other items, please list everything that seems out of place or that needs to be tidied up.” This helps screen out applicants who wouldn’t be the right fit for your business. A PEO will have access to an ATS that help make customization options possible, and more importantly, they’ll have a team of experts set it up for you.

Writing Detailed, Eye-Catching Job Descriptions and Offer Letters

Making a “Help Wanted” ad for an open position you’re trying to fill is one thing and creating an accurate, intriguing portrait of the position is another matter entirely. Job descriptions should be honest but enticing, detailed but brief, and uniform but unique. You also can’t be cagey about what the job will entail, or applicants might suspect that you’re running some kind of scam or simply don’t have a good handle on what you’re looking for. Therefore, creating the perfect job description can be difficult, especially if writing isn’t your strong suit. However, if you have a PEO on board for your recruiting process; you can very easily outsource that responsibility to them. One of their writers can come up with something that’s both precise and captivating.

Offering Employee Benefits

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) still in place, numerous small businesses are legally required to offer insurance options to full-time employees. However, providing benefits can be very costly and confusing, which means extra stress and paperwork for business owners. When a PEO handles your insurance options, they’re the ones who have to comply (and keep up) with regulations and bureaucratic red tape. Oftentimes, they can offer your business better options and rates, making policies more affordable and accessible. These days, it’s becoming more common for people to seek other jobs if their current position doesn’t, or can’t, offer insurance. It’s prudent to offer your employees great benefits before another company does!

Providing Your Company With a “Real” HR Department

Many small businesses don’t have the manpower or financial means to have a dedicated HR department, and this can lead to disharmony or discontent in the workplace. For example, a training program may be disorganized or inconsistent, leaving employees frustrated and uncertain as to whether or not they’re doing things correctly. The employee handbook may be vague or non-existent, which can make it difficult to answer questions or settle disputes fairly. And the “payroll department” just may be the business owner writing checks on his or her own, which is not the most efficient way to do things.

A PEO can take on a large number of duties that a HR department would normally handle, such as: payroll, employee evaluations, and training programs. They can assist with writing job descriptions and handbooks for employees. They can even keep an eye out for violations of safety and/or compliance, which allows for these issues to be resolved before they become a serious problem. A PEO will focus on the minutiae that can help boost employee satisfaction, while you can focus on running your business.

PEOs don’t just produce great employees out of thin air. Attracting and retaining talented, hard-working people is often a matter of strategy—specifically knowing what employees desire and need in order to (1) want to apply for a job, (2) stay happy and (3) are content in a position for the foreseeable future. A business can’t thrive unless it’s staffed by employees who are the right fit, so why not let a PEO help you make connections?

Alisiana Peters

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.