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Insperity Review: Best PEO for Small Businesses

We recommend Insperity as the best PEO for small businesses. We chose Insperity from dozens of professional employer organizations (PEO). To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of PEOs on our best picks page.

Insperity combines a comprehensive suite of PEO services with top-notch, hands-on customer service and an easy-to-use online employee portal. Here is a breakdown of why it's our best pick.

Few PEO providers offer the wide range of services that Insperity does. It features nearly every human resource service a small business would want from a PEO.

Insperity requires customers to use only two services, however: its payroll services and workers' compensation plan. Other than those, you can select as many or as few of the services as fit your needs and budget. Some of the other PEOs we considered didn't give you the option of picking the features you wanted on an a la carte basis, instead offering everything only in a lump-sum package. Being able to pick and choose what you want can not only help keep costs down, but also help ensure you aren't paying for something you aren't using.

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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Insperity's comprehensive list of services includes the following (for a full list, go here):

  • Benefit-plan sponsorship
  • Payroll and employment administration
  • Training and development
  • Employer-liability management
  • Performance-management support
  • Recruiting and outplacement support
  • Government compliance

While you might not want, or need, all of these services, at least you have the option to use them if you do. Many of the other PEOs we considered didn't offer such an extensive variety of choices.

Since pricing can vary greatly per employer, we can't say what your costs would be. However, we do know that pricing is determined on a per-employee basis. Insperity conducts a corporate risk assessment and then factors in all of the services you want when determining what your per employee costs would be. The costs are the same for each employee and don't vary based on title or salaries. We like this cost structure much better than what some of the other PEO providers we looked into offered.

Other PEOs that we examined based pricing on a percentage of payroll. With that structure, costs can fluctuate for some businesses. For example, if any of your employees earn commissions, it makes it hard to know exactly what your PEO costs would be each month. Additionally, under this structure, your PEO fees would go up in December if you offer year-end bonuses.

To really understand what Insperity costs would be, you need to have a formal proposal written up that outlines pricing based on your specific needs.

Insperity offers an easy-to-use online Employee Service Center that is accessible from any computer with internet access.  The online portal has a clean interface that makes it simple for employees to check their payroll and benefit information anytime they choose.

From the Employee Service Center, staff members can:

  • View and print online paystubs
  • View and reprint W-2 forms
  • Review and update personal information, such as address, phone number and emergency contact
  • Find detailed plan documents and support information about coverage-election decisions
  • Enroll for benefits at initial onboarding and during open enrollment
  • Access cost calculators and plan-comparison tools when enrolling for benefits
  • Enroll in, review and make changes to your 401(k) account
  • Enroll online in the Insperity Health Care FSA during open enrollment, monitor your balance, and find comprehensive information and related documents
  • View and manage commuter benefits
  • Access information on changes affecting benefits, such as federal health care reform
  • Register for a virtual or instructor-led training class, and get training certificates printed
  • Access online training classes
  • Manage and review employee performance
  • Review paid-time-off balances
  • Access the Insperity MarketPlace, which features special offers on products and services from a variety of providers, such as AT&T, Office Depot, Staples, and Dun & Bradstreet

In addition, company leaders can use the online portal to post announcements, run reports, review information on human resources best practices, and review and update employee profiles. Overall, the online portal was among the most comprehensive we found among PEO services.

The employee service center can also be accessed via a mobile app. Available on iOS and Android devices, the app allows users to review their benefit and payroll details, as well as look up company contact information. Not all of the PEOs we examined offered mobile access.

We were extremely impressed with the level of service we received from Insperity. To test the customer support, we called the company posing as a small business owner interested in PEO services.

A representative answered our call and asked us some basic information about our business to help ensure we were connected to the proper person. The representative then scheduled a time when a PEO specialist in our area could speak to us. While we were disappointed that we couldn't have our questions answered immediately, the level of service we received during our scheduled call more than made up for it.

The PEO specialist who called at our scheduled time could not have been more friendly and helpful. He initially walked us through Insperity's PEO services and discussed how they benefit small businesses. He then gave us time to ask all of our questions. For each question, we received a clear and thorough answer. By the end of our 45-minute call, we had a strong understanding of what Insperity offered.

We really liked that the specialist understood we were only in the process of evaluating PEO services and that we wouldn't be able to make a final decision on a PEO provider for a couple of months. Even knowing that information, the Insperity representative was extremely helpful and thorough. He never pressured us into moving forward and was fine working off our time line. Some of the other providers we spoke to rushed us off the phone when we said we weren't planning on hiring a PEO provider for at least several months.

In addition to speaking to us during our call, the Insperity PEO specialist invited us to visit the local office in our area to get a better picture of how the company operates. While other PEO providers wanted to meet us in person, Insperity was the only one that invited us to the company's offices. We like that Insperity was willing to show us first hand how it runs its business. This reassured us that the company had nothing to hide.

After our call, the PEO specialist followed up with an email that recapped the call and included more-detailed information on each service Insperity offers.

Once you are an Insperity customer, you are assigned a team of HR specialists who can help with any issues, problems or questions you have. The team members average more than 15 years of experience in their field and more than four years of tenure at Insperity.

Insperity's website is also filled with a number of valuable resources, including product-overview videos, case studies, checklists and e-books.

One factor that made Insperity especially attractive to us is itsEmployer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) accreditation. An independent nonprofit corporation, ESAC is managed by a board of directors that includes PEO industry attorneys and CPAs as well as independent directors. Together, they represent over 100 years of combined PEO-industry regulatory experience.

The accreditation process verifies a PEOs' ongoing financial solvency and the company's compliance with government regulations and industry standards. Earning accreditation demonstrates a PEO's financial stability, ethical business conduct, and adherence to operational standards and regulatory requirements.

Insperity was originally accredited in 1996 and is currently in good standing, according to the ESAC website. Not all of the PEOs we examined earned this recognition.

In addition to the ESAC accreditation, Insperity has also earned accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). According to the BBB website, there were six complaints filed against Insperity within the last three years that were resolved to the satisfaction of the complainants. However, three other complaints are still awaiting resolution. It's important to note that nearly all of the PEOs we reviewed had some complaints levied against them with the BBB. Despite its complaints, Insperity has a BBB rating of A+. Most of the PEOs we examined were not BBB-accredited and did not have such a high rating.

Overall, there was very little we didn't like about Insperity. One potential downside, which is hard for us to judge, is the cost. We read several customer reviews online that mentioned the cost can be significant depending on the number of services you use. That's why we recommend you get a formal proposal that details the costs and ensure it fits within your budget before selecting a PEO provider.

 

 

Want to know more about choosing a PEO? Here’s a breakdown of our full coverage:

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.