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Find a Solution HR Solutions

Best Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) 2016

To help you find the right professional employer organizations (PEOs), we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here is a roundup of the PEOs we think are best and an explanation of how we chose them.

Want to take a step back and learn more about PEOs? See what experts advise in our guide to choosing PEOs, and then come back here to see our best picks again.

Insperity offers a wide array of PEO services, including benefit plan sponsorship, payroll administration, training and development, performance management support, recruiting and outplacement support, and government compliance. The company offers both online and mobile employee access and caters to businesses in all 50 states. Insperity also offers top-notch customer support. Go here for our full review of Insperity.

Editor's note: Looking for information on PEOs? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Oasis Outsourcing offers everything very small businesses would want from a PEO. It combines an extensive array of payroll, human resources and employee benefit offerings with hands-on customer support. Oasis is accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corp. (ESAC), the official accrediting agency of the PEO industry, as well as by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Go here for our full review of Oasis Outsourcing.

Paychex offers a wide collection of PEO services, as well as administrative services that startups can take advantage of before they hire their first employees. Paychex's services include benefits administration; medical, dental and life insurance; 401(k) retirement plans; payroll administration; workers' compensation insurance; and a variety of human resources services. Paychex is accredited by the ESAC and the BBB, and provides excellent customer support. Go here for our full review of Paychex.

To determine the best PEOs, we started with a pool that included all of the vendors on the list below. After some preliminary research, including looking at other best-picks lists and doing initial research on each, we interviewed small business owners to discover new ones to add to our list.

Ultimately, we settled on 14 PEOs to research as best picks: ADP, Ahead Human Resources, Alcott HR, Algentis, Best Employment Solutions Team, CoAdvantage, Employer Solutions Group, FrankCrum, Insperity, Oasis Outsourcing, Paychex, Premier Employer Services, TriNet and XcelHR. (See the full list of PEOs and their websites below.)

Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services, considering its pricing structure, watching videos on employee access platforms, and reading customer reviews and complaints. After narrowing down the list to eight final contenders, we contacted each company by phone and posed as new business owners in order to gauge the type of support each provider offered.

Our process involves putting ourselves in the mindset of a small business owner and gathering the data that would be readily available to such an individual. We perform all of our research by visiting company websites, making calls to customer service and interviewing real users.

In all, we analyzed each service based on the following factors:

  • Payroll services
  • Benefit options
  • HR guidance and support
  • Additional services
  • Pricing structure
  • Online employee access
  • Mobile access
  • Customer service
  • Accreditations
  • Size of companies serviced
  • States served

Here is a full list of PEOs, and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

Abel – Founded in 1992, Abel is a family-owned and -operated PEO that provides small to midsize firms with human resources management services. Services include HR compliance and administration, workers' compensation, training, employee benefits management and payroll. abelhr.com

AccessPoint – AccessPoint provides a wide range of human resources services to hundreds of companies across all industries. AccessPoint enables businesses to outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits, payroll and workers' compensation. accesspointhr.com

ADP – ADP is a global provider of business outsourcing services, including payroll, human resources, time and attendance, and benefits administration. ADP TotalSource, the company's complete HR management program, handles tax filing, payroll, employee benefits, compliance and workers' compensation. In addition, it provides HR advice and expertise. Customers include small and midsize businesses. adp.com

Ahead Human Resources – Ahead Human Resources specializes in working with small to midsize companies. The company handles more than 150 HR-related tasks, including 125 plans; federal, state and local tax filings; health, dental, vision and life insurance; 401(k) administration; and new-hire reporting. aheadhr.com

Alcott HR – Alcott HR provides comprehensive HR outsourcing programs to small and medium-size businesses. Services include regulatory compliance and risk management, payroll and payroll taxes administration, human resources administration, employee benefits program design and administration, and training and development. alcotthr.com

Algentis – Algentis serves as a virtual HR department for early-stage companies with one to 10 employees and growth-stage companies with more than 10 employees. The company provides services such as employee benefits, payroll, workers' compensation, recruiting, health care reform compliance, training and risk/safety management. algentis.com

Acadia HR – Acadia HR works with small and midsize companies throughout the United States. Acadia offers payroll, PEO and human resources outsourcing services. The company's PEO package includes payroll, payroll tax compliance, HR management services, workers' compensation, state unemployment and employee benefits. acadiahr.com

ARC Consultants – ARC Consultants is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) consulting firm. The firm assists businesses in finding the PEO that best suits their specific needs. ARC Consultants assists in every area possible: proposal process, decision, implementation, on boarding and enrollment. In addition, it maintains its relationship throughout each client's partnerships with specific PEOs. arcpeo.com

ARCH Resources Group – ARCH Resources Group is a professional employer organization that manages payroll, employee benefits, human resources and workers' compensation. In addition, the company offers financial and retirement services, recruiting services, background check verification and employee self-service options. archresourcesgroup.com

Best Employment Solutions Team (BEST) – BEST is a Michigan-based PEO that provides small and medium-size businesses nationwide with human resources management, payroll services, labor law advice, compliance monitoring for federal and state labor laws, and benefits packages. The company serves sole proprietors up to organizations with 400 employees. bestpeo.com

CoAdvantage – CoAdvantage is a PEO that offers small and midsize businesses a comprehensive package of outsourced human resources services. The company integrates payroll and tax processing, employee benefits plan administration, risk management, government compliance and other human resources services into a single vendor solution. CoAdvantage serves clients in all 50 states. coadvantage.com

Emplicity – Emplicity offers PEO and administrative services ranging from full-service PEO support to customized employee benefits, workers' compensation, payroll administration, employee leasing and HR consulting. emplicity.com

Employee Management Services – EmployeeManagement Services was founded in 1994 and provides professional human resources solutions to more than 160 companies and their 5,500 employees. They focus on companies in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, but are licensed to provide services in other states. Its PEO services include employee selection and retention, manager training and development, human resources and benefits administration, payroll, workplace safety programs and employee benefits analysis. emshro.com

Employer Solutions Group – Employer Solutions Group provides payroll, benefits, workers' compensation, risk management, human resources consulting, and all of the related administrative services to small and medium-size businesses. esghr.com

Engage PEO – Engage PEO offers a comprehensive HR solution that includes health benefits, workers' compensation, training, claims administration, government reporting, payroll administration and benefits administration. All of Engage's HR service professionals are also attorneys. engagepeo.com

FrankCrum – FrankCrum has been providing outsourced human resources, payroll, employee benefits, risk management and workers' compensation since 1981. As a PEO, FrankCrum helps businesses offer and administer employee benefits, including health and dental coverage and 401(k) plans. The company's online human resources information system (HRIS) allows employees and employers to access and manage information anytime from computers or mobile devices at work or at home. FrankCrum supports more than 3,000 businesses nationwide that collectively employ more than 50,000 people. frankcrum.com

Group Management Services (GMS) – GMS is a PEO and third-party administrator that serves companies of all sizes nationwide. GMS handles payroll and tax responsibilities, human resources administration, employee benefits administration and risk management services. groupmgmt.com

HROplus Inc. – HROplus is a consulting firm that represents more than 200 PEOs and administrative services organizations (ASOs) nationwide. The company connects businesses to human resources outsourcing firms by helping them choose the right provider. hroplus.com

Human Capital – Human Capital is a division of the Michigan-based Trillium Group. In addition to the PEO services of payroll processing, employee benefits, workers' compensation insurance and human resources, Human Capital now offers consulting services in regulatory compliance, risk management and health care reform. human-capital.com

* Insperity – Founded in 1986, Insperity is a large PEO that serves more than 100,000 businesses with more than 2 million employees. Insperity offers a full-service HR package, as well as individual services, to companies with five to 5,000 employees. insperity.com. Insperity is our choice for the best PEO for small businesses. Read our full review.

Landrum Human Resources – Landrum Human Resources handles the human resources needs of more than 1,800 small and medium-sized businesses in 44 states and two countries. Among the services provided are job descriptions and employee handbooks, payroll and taxes, medical benefits, retirement plans, liability coverage, risk management, employee complaints, business development, staffing, recruiting and consulting. landrumhr.com

Lever1 – Lever1 is a Kansas City, Missouri-based professional employer organization providing a multitude of resources for small and midsize businesses across the country. The company's services include payroll, employee manuals, recruiting, management training, health benefits, 401(k) plans, life and disability insurance, and workers' compensation. lever1.com

Modern Business Associates – Modern Business Associates (MBA) offers customized payroll, tax, benefits, risk management and HR administrative services. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, MBA partners with organizations ranging from small businesses to large corporations and multiunit franchises. MBA has an internal staff of HR professionals who are licensed employment-law attorneys. They work with clients to keep them informed of relevant labor and employment requirements. mbahro.com

National PEO – Founded in 1999, National PEO offers a wide range of services, including workers' compensation insurance, safety management and payroll. It also offers a multitude of human resources outsourcing services, such as labor law compliance, employee handbooks, FLSA and Fair Pay Act compliance, employee relations, training and development, corrective action and conflict resolution, group and individual benefits management, 401(k) plans and strategic planning. nationalpeo.com

NetPEO – NetPEO is an HR brokerage firm, not an individual PEO. The company helps connect business to companies that provide outsourced HR services. netpeo.com

* Oasis Outsourcing – Founded in 1996, Oasis is a large PEO that serves 4,700 clients and 160,000 employees nationwide. Oasis provides human resources services, employee benefits, payroll administration, employee hiring assistance and risk management. oasisadvantage.com. Oasis Outsourcing is our choice for the best PEO for very small businesses. Read our full review here.

 

OneSource Business Solutions, LLC – OneSource Business Solutions provides human resource outsourcing to small and medium sized companies. OneSource’s integrated service package includes payroll administration, workers compensation, human resources, benefits administration and government compliance. onesourcepeo.com

* Paychex – Paychex serves more than half a million small and medium-size businesses. Services include payroll processing, retirement services, insurance and fully outsourced benefits and HR services. paychex.com. Paychex is our choice for the best PEO for startups. Read our full review here.

PEO Select– PEO Select provides services to every industry, from accounting to waste management. Human resources assistance, payroll, risk and safety management, benefits management and workers' compensation are among the services PEO Select provides. The company also offers online employee access. peoselect.com

Pinnacle PEO Corp.Pinnacle manages all aspects of payroll administration, employee benefits, workers' compensation coverage and claims administration and, through its HR services, can even assist with recruiting, selecting and hiring employees. Pinnacle currently has clients in 32 states across a range of industries, from doctors and other health services to restaurants, financial organizations and light industrial companies. pinnaclepeo.com

Premier Employer Services – Premier Employer Services is a PEO that provides customized human resources services, including health benefits, talent acquisition, human resources administration, payroll, payroll tax compliance, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. premieremployerservices.com

Prestige Employee Administrators – Prestige Employee Administrators is a human resources outsourcing firm that offers strategic human resources support, payroll services, employment services and benefit programs to small and medium-size businesses. All employees can get assistance via a toll-free call center during business hours and a website 24 hours a day. prestigeemployee.com

Resource Management Inc. – Resource Management Inc. (RMI) is a PEO that serves more than 10,000 employees in 48 states. RMI says it is strictly regulated, insured, audited and professionally licensed. In addition to payroll and benefits, RMI is involved in hiring, firing, job descriptions, performance evaluations, promotions and transfers. rminc.com

Staff One – Staff One is a professional employer organization that provides strategic HR services, risk management, compliance management, employee benefits, payroll outsourcing and tax administration for a variety of small to medium-size businesses across the country. The company serves industries including business services, manufacturing, distribution, retail, property management and dental/health care. staffone.com

Synergy HR – Synergy HR delivers a wide range of PEO and human capital management services. The company provides human resources services, payroll processing, benefits administration, employee training and workplace safety. Synergy also offers an online HR portal. mysynergy.com

Total Team Solutions – Since 1988, Total Team Solutions has provided payroll, employee benefits and human resources services to small and midsize companies. The company's PEO offerings include payroll administration, workers' compensation, employee benefits and risk management. Total Team Solutions operates in 18 states and has clients with workforces ranging from five to 200 employees. ttspro.com

TriNet – TriNet provides HR outsourcing to small and midsize businesses by offering bundled HR packages, cloud applications and strategic services. The PEO's bundled packages are tailored to each industry. TriNet's services include payroll, benefits, and risk and compliance. The company has more than 10,000 clients in a variety of industries. trinet.com

XcelHR – XcelHR offers PEO, ASO and HR outsourcing services to small and midsize businesses. Rather than offering a "one-size-fits-all" package, XcelHR creates unique HR packages based on the needs of each customer. Comprehensive bundle packages or a la carte options are available. The company serves businesses with workforces ranging from 10 to more than 250 employees. xcelhr.com

Are you a PEO that would like to be added to this list and possibly considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Jeanette Mulvey at jmulvey@purch.com

Editor's note: Looking for information on PEOs? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.