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Find a Solution HR Solutions

Best Professional Employer Organizations 2018

PEO services review
Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

To help you find the right professional employer organization in 2018, we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here's a roundup of the PEOs we think are best and an explanation of how we chose them. At the bottom is a list of PEOs that you may want to consider in your search for the right service.

Want to take a step back and learn more about the PEO model? Check out our guide to choosing PEOs and learn more about what to ask companies during your search. Then come back here to see our best picks.

Small Businesses
Insperity
Read Review
  • Why it's our best pick
    This PEO provides solid services for small businesses looking for reduced benefits costs and access to payroll software and risk management strategies.
  • Key features
    Over 3,000 online training resources, tailored service options, short-term contract, per employee pricing.
  • Accreditation
    ESAC and IRS
Very Small Businesses
TriNet
Read Review
  • Why it's our best pick
    TriNet is an ideal option for very small businesses because of its service offering and contract requirements.
  • Key features
    Short-term contracts, services that grow with your business, personalized support
  • Accreditation
    ESAC
Startups
Oasis Outsourcing
Read Review
  • Why it's our best pick
    Oasis Outsourcing provides flexible pricing and service offering with a 90-day money back guarantee that makes it ideal for startups.
  • Key features
    No employee minimum requirement, personally tailored services, access to designated team of experts.
  • Accreditation
    ESAC and IRS
Mid-Size Businesses
Paychex
Read Review
  • Why it's our best pick
    Paychex offers highly scalable service without sacrificing the personal aspect of their service. The designated HR generalist to your account remains partnered with your business as it grows, so you'll have access to a representative who you can trust.
  • Key features
    Short-term contract options, on-site and online training resources, only a five-employee minimum requirement.
  • Accreditation
    ESAC and IRS
Customer Service
ADP TotalSource
Read Review
  • Why it's our best pick
    We posed as small business owners and interacted with TotalSource via live chat, email and phone. Their representatives were helpful and educated us on the PEO industry as opposed to just their own services.
  • Key features
    Per employee pricing, no long-term contract requirement, ASO services available for very small business.
  • Accreditation
    ESAC and IRS

Insperity provides small businesses with personalized coverage and robust service options. Business owners that partner with Insperity have access to over 3,000 training resources as well as offerings in payroll, benefits administration, HR solutions and risk management. Insperity provides one of the most robust service offerings of any company we reviewed without sacrificing personalized coverage. We interacted with Insperity via email and over the phone posing as a small business owner searching for a PEO service. Insperity sales representatives were incredibly nice, providing us with the proper PEO-related information and learning more about our business in a genuine way. Read more about Insperity in our review.

TriNet is an ideal service for very small businesses because of its contract structure and requirements – businesses don't have to agree to a long-term contract and can cancel by providing a 30-day notice. This contract flexibility, combined with TriNet's service offering, allows very small businesses to grow with TriNet's services. TriNet is a company that has partnered with 15,000 companies, so very small businesses will have access to high-level benefits options. Read more about TriNet in our review.

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 has a large PEO offering, with services in risk management, payroll processing, benefits administration and HR solutions. It's an option startups should seriously consider because of the contract and pricing structure. While businesses are on the hook for a year-long contract minimum, they also have the option to cancel their service within the first 90 days and receive a full refund. This refund policy sets Oasis apart from competitors. While other companies we looked at offer cancellation options, Oasis was one of the few that also offered a refund. It also provides businesses with the opportunity to tailor Oasis's service offering directly to your business. Learn more about Oasis Outsourcing in our review.

Paychex provides scalable, robust PEO services to businesses of all sizes. It's an ideal solution because of its support for larger companies without sacrificing the personalized aspects of the service. Businesses that partner with Paychex will have access to advanced training resources as well as payroll processing, benefits administration, risk management consulting and other HR solutions. Read more about Paychex in our review.

ADP TotalSource has partnered with thousands of businesses and currently has half a million employees under its umbrella. It's a large company with a robust PEO offering. Regardless of your business's size, you'll have no problem finding top-of-the-line services in risk management, benefits administration, payroll processing and HR outsourcing. TotalSource is accredited by the IRS and Employer Services Assurance Corporation, putting it among the top players in the PEO industry.  Our interactions with ADP's sales team members in our research was superb – they helped us learn more about PEOs and even provided us with a list of key questions to ask other companies in our search. Read more about ADP TotalSource in our review.

Our process involves putting ourselves in the mindset of a small business owner and gathering data that would be readily available to each such individual. We perform all of our research by visiting company websites, making calls to customer service and considering online reviews from customers.

To determine our best PEOs for 2018, we started with 60 companies. We found these companies by analyzing industry trends, reading other review websites, considering top industry players, communicating with companies that asked for consideration and searching on the NAPEO website. The companies listed in the Vendors list below are the most reputable companies of the 60 we considered.

From this initial list of 60, we whittled the list down to around 35 companies. We reviewed service offerings, used company websites, determined whether a company was a national PEO and considered third-party accreditation. From this list of 35 companies, 11 stood out as potential best picks: ADP TotalSource, Best Employment Solutions Team, Engage PEO, Insperity, JustWorks, Oasis Outsourcing, Paychex, TriNet, Genesis HR and QuestCo Companies.

We did a deep-dive into these 11 companies by taking an in-depth look at the services offered, contract structure, pricing agreements, online and mobile access, personalized experience and whether the company had any standout features. We also posed as small business owners, interacting with companies via email, live chat, and phone to determine what the sales experience was like and grade overall customer service.

Of these 11 companies, we determined five that would be best picks for customer service, small business, mid-size business, startups and very small business. ADP Total Source, Insperity, Oasis Outsourcing, Paychex and TriNet all withstood our rounds of testing and earned best pick status.

Here's a full list of the features and services we analyzed:

  • Payroll services
  • Benefit options
  • HR guidance and support
  • Pricing structure
  • Online and mobile employee access
  • Customer service
  • Accreditation
  • States served
  • Training resources offered
  • Company size
  • Standout features

Here's 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 and 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. It enables businesses to outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits, payroll and workers' compensation. accesspointhr.com

*ADP TotalSource – ADP TotalSource, our best pick for customer service, is a global provider of business outsourcing services, including payroll, human resources, time and attendance, and benefits administration. TotalSource handles tax filing, payroll, employee benefits, compliance and workers' compensation. In addition, it provides HR advice and expertise. Its customers include small and mid-size businesses. Read our full review here. adp.com

Ahead Human Resources – Ahead Human Resources specializes in working with small and midsize companies. The company handles many 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 midsize 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

Acadia HR – Acadia HR works with small and midsize companies throughout the United States. It 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

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

Arc Consultants – Arc Consultants is a PEO consulting firm, not an individual PEO. This company can help you find the right PEO service at an ideal cost for your business. arcpeo.com

Best Employment Solutions Team (BEST) – BEST is a Michigan-based PEO that provides 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 many business sizes, from sole proprietors (even as a partner) to a large organization's HR department. 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 full-service PEO support or individual PEO and administrative services such as customized employee benefits, workers' compensation, payroll administration, employee leasing and HR consulting. emplicity.com

Employee Management Services – Employee Management Services was founded in 1994 and provides professional human resources solutions to more than 160 companies and their 5,500 employees. It focuses on companies in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, but it's 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 midsize businesses. esghr.com

Engage PEO – Engage PEO offers a comprehensive HR solution that includes workers' compensation, training, claims administration, government reporting, payroll administration and benefits administration. All of Engage's HR service professionals are also attorneys, so you can be sure you're compliant with labor laws. engagepeo.com

Extensis Group – Extensis Group offers HR management, payroll and tax services, healthcare benefits, risk management and compliance, training and development programs, recruiting services, and other services related to small and midsize businesses. extensisgroup.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 allows employees and employers to access and manage information anytime from computers or mobile devices at work or home. frankcrum.com

GenesisHR Solutions – GenesisHR Solutions is a national company that provides PEO services to small and midsize businesses. Businesses have access to a standard suite of services, including benefits administration, payroll processing, risk management and HR outsourcing. genesishrsolutions.com

Globalization Partners – Globalization Partners is a good PEO choice if your company has employees in different countries around the world. This PEO service works in over 150 countries to take care of employees with benefits and other HR services. Instead of you having to worry about laws and regulations in each country, Globalization Partners does this for you. They file payroll and other taxes and ensure that you still compliant so that you can worry about your business. globalization-partners.com

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

Impact Workforce Solutions – Impact is an ESAC-accredited PEO that delivers solutions to small and midsize businesses. Its accreditation puts it in the top 5 percent of PEOs on the market. The company has been serving small businesses for over 15 years. impactworkforcesolutions.com

*Insperity – Insperity, our best pick for small businesses overall, 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. Read our full review here. insperity.com

Justworks – Justworks is a platform that automates payroll, benefits and compliance services in an all-in-one PEO solution. Since it groups its clients under the Justworks umbrella, businesses have access to better health insurance at lower rates, normally only available to larger companies. Benefits available through Justworks include medical, dental and vision insurance; 401(k) retirement plans; commuter benefits; HSAs and FSAs; disability insurance; workers' compensation insurance; life insurance; and accidental death and disability insurance. The PEO services also include complete payroll and paid time off management. The system includes an employee dashboard where workers can enroll in benefits, request time off and review their paystubs. justworks.com

Landrum Human Resources – Landrum Human Resources handles the human resources needs of more than 1,800 small and midsize businesses. Among the services it provides 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 PEO 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

MyPEOAgency – MyPEOAgency is a management consulting firm that helps companies compare, select and form successful HR outsourcing and PEO partnerships. Working with MyPEOAgency can help you find the best PEO to assist your business with HR management, employee benefits, risk management and much more. mypeoagency.com

National PEO – Founded in 1999, National PEO offers a wide variety 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, 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 businesses to companies that provide outsourced HR services. netpeo.com

Nextep – Nextep has been serving small and midsize businesses for over 20 years. It's accredited by both the IRS and ESAC, and provides HR, benefits, payroll, and risk compliance services. nextep.com

*Oasis Outsourcing –  Our best pick for startups, Oasis Outsourcing serves 7,500 clients and 230,000 employees nationwide. Oasis provides human resources services, employee benefits, payroll administration, employee hiring assistance and risk management. Read our full review here. oasisadvantage.com

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

Optimum Employer Solutions – Optimum Employer Solutions is a human resources outsourcing company that helps small and midsize businesses manage their employer obligations. The company's PEO offerings include human resources services like interviewing, background screening, electronic onboarding, employee handbook creation, performance management, corrective actions, employee separation counseling and training. Optimum's PEO services also include payroll, employee benefits and risk management. optimumhr.net

*Paychex – Paychex, our best pick for mid-size businesses, serves thousands of small businesses throughout the U.S. Services include payroll processing, retirement services, insurance, and fully outsourced benefits and HR services. Read our full review here. paychex.com

Pinnacle PEO Corp. – Pinnacle manages all aspects of payroll administration, employee benefits, workers' compensation coverage and claims administration. Through its HR services, it can even assist with recruiting, selecting and hiring employees. Pinnacle currently has clients in 32 states across a variety of industries, including health services, 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 midsize businesses. All employees can get assistance via a toll-free call center during business hours and a website 24 hours a day. prestigeemployee.com

Regis HRG – This PEO service offers solutions in several categories, including human resources, payroll, benefits administration, and training and development. Corporate citizenship, regulatory compliance, workers' compensation and employee wellness programs are also available. You can choose what services you need, and each plan is tailored to your business needs. regishrgroup.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 and midsize businesses across the country. The company serves industries including business services, manufacturing, distribution, retail, property management and 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 programs. 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. ttspro.com

*TriNet – TriNet, our best pick for very small business, provides HR outsourcing to small and midsize businesses with its 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 14,000 clients in a variety of industries. Read our full review heretrinet.com

UniqueHR – UniqueHR is a Texas-based PEO offering human resources, benefits and payroll services that are tailored to the needs of each business. In addition, its self-insured workers' compensation offers businesses stable and predictable costs with no premium down payments. Company leaders have served on the board of directors of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, the Employer Services Assurance Corporation, the Certification Institute of Workers' Compensation Risk Management and the Center for Fiduciary Excellence. UniqueHR currently serves clients in 16 states across the country. uniquehr.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

If you’d like your company to be added to this list and possibly considered as a best pick for our next round of reviews, please email your request to: b2bconsiderrequest@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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Matt D'Angelo

Matt D'Angelo is a B2B Tech Staff Writer based in New York City. After graduating from James Madison University with a degree in Journalism, Matt gained experience as a copy editor and writer for newspapers and various online publications. Matt joined the Purch team in 2017 and covers technology for Business.com and Business News Daily. Follow him on Twitter or email him.