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Small Business CEOs Feel Confident About 2024: What This Outlook Means for Brokers

A PEO partnership is ideal for brokers as it boosts their book of business while helping their clients expand their businesses at the same time.

Quick look: A hiring surge may be on the horizon according to Vistage’s latest CEO Confidence Index. With a positive outlook on the economy and a promising financial shift for small businesses, introducing the idea of working with a PEO has never looked better.

Things are looking up for small- and medium-sized business (SMB) CEOs in 2024, according to the most recent CEO Confidence Index (CI). Overall, the CI rose 9% from the previous quarter to 82 points, reaching its highest level in 18 months.

For years, SMBs have been trying to find solid ground after intense back-and-forth economic shifts. Fortunately, the report finds business leaders feeling the most optimistic they’ve been since April 2022.

According to the Vistage report, 47% of CEOs are predicting increased profits and 56% have plans to expand their workforce (an uptick from last year’s 48%). Furthermore, with 22% of small businesses expecting even further economic improvement in the next year, it seems now is the time for a new strategy to propel them forward.

As business leaders settle into a better financial place, they may be ready to take a closer look at how a professional employer organization (PEO) can be a catalyst for their next level of growth. When recommending HR and benefit solutions for SMB clients, a PEO partnership is ideal for brokers as it boosts their book of business while helping their clients expand their businesses at the same time. Here’s how:

Competitive, cost-effective HR solutions

A PEO offers SMB leaders more competitive benefits often reserved for larger companies. There is greater buying power and ability to negotiate rates which are more likely to fit SMB budgets. Furthermore, outsourcing HR tasks to a PEO saves on the overhead costs of a full in-house HR department.

It also frees up time for CEOs and their leadership teams to concentrate on other revenue-generating strategies. Additionally, simplifying HR with a single point of contact and services all situated together helps to streamline processes and make it easier when SMB leaders want changes.

Expert compliance services and risk management

Compliance is complex with employment laws changing regularly. Also, with many companies having dispersed workforces, understanding the unique nuances from state to state and country to country is essential. A PEO partner tackles all compliance questions and concerns and ensures companies stay protected under the law. They also reduce the risk of costly lawsuits, fines, and penalties associated with employment-related issues.

Meanwhile, ExtensisHR’s workers’ compensation insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to worksite employees injured on the job, as required by state law.

The full scope of risk and compliance management services includes:

  • Safety management to prevent the need for workers’ compensation claims
  • Fraud prevention to ensure claims are reviewed accurately and promptly
  • Return-to-work policies to provide employees with a seamless transition back into the workplace

Talent recruiting and retention

Being able to scale effectively is essential to secure long-term financial success. 57% of SMB leaders plan to increase their headcount in the next year. With recruitment competition starting to ramp up again, as 35% of CEOs reported they had an easier time recruiting in late 2023 than at the beginning of this year, a valuable way SMB leaders can retain their workers and continue to recruit exceptional employees is by reviewing their benefit packages.

Though salary continues to be a top bargaining tool when recruiting, employees value benefits nearly as much if not more. Therefore, SMBs must expand their offerings to include benefits beyond standard health insurance and 401(k) plans. A PEO can survey current employees regarding their preferred benefit plans and research benefit trends to ensure there is a well-rounded option.

This is beneficial to improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn, reduces turnover costs and the rippling expenses and disruption which comes with losing valuable employees. Furthermore, many big-box PEOs reserve recruiting as an add-on benefit. Whereas, ExtensisHR delivers a 45-day recruiting strategy as part of a comprehensive suite of services. This includes:

  • Job description samples, guidance, and creation
  • Job postings and promotion
  • Salary surveys
  • Skills assessments
  • Talent pool analysis
  • Weekly consultations to discuss search adjustments, candidate progress, and market trends

Proprietary HR technology

To enhance operational efficiency and optimize resources, technology has become the largest category of investment for business leaders. 52% of business leaders already report using or testing AI, while automation and other business applications have also become instrumental to a company’s success.

ExtensisHR’s Work Anywhere® platform makes it easier for CEOs and their employees to manage critical HR tasks from wherever they are, on their own time. Customizing features to meet individual company needs can help them save time and money by consolidating workflows, maximizing productivity, and building HR sustainability.

Making the connection to a trusted PEO

A PEO partner simplifies HR and personalizes it in a way that offers the most benefits to a company. Rather than continuing with outdated solutions or playing catch up with managing HR processes, everything is taken care of with all-inclusive HR services. Thereby, leaving CEOs with more time to focus on company growth and create new strategies.

Brokers know their client’s needs best which means choosing the right PEO partner requires proven credibility and trust. ExtensisHR offers:

Industry expertise and credentials

ExtensisHR has received ESAC accreditation and SOC 1 Type II Certification and has also been named among a select group of PEOs by the Internal Revenue Service for meeting the highest regulatory standards by the U.S. government and the PEO industry’s financial assurance program.

A people-first approach

In the spirit of collaboration and driving results, putting people first is at the core of every solution. Both in working with SMB clients and brokers, listening to their unique needs and concerns leads to tailored solutions that will help them reach the levels of success they want.

Personalized customer care

As a boutique PEO, it’s easier to become closely familiar with each client to anticipate concerns and proactively provide answers. Every client is assigned a dedicated team of SHRM-certified HR professionals to create a plan specific to what each SMB needs. And, with an unmatched 11-second response rate, clients feel prioritized and well taken care of.

Empower SMBs with ExtensisHR

With consistent costs for HR services and benefits, businesses can plan their budgets more effectively. 33% of SMB CEOs plan to increase their investments in the year ahead, so why not offer a solution that will support their financial growth?

It’s simple: we help brokers and their clients with their HR needs, challenges, and goals. See how we can benefit you. Contact ExtensisHR today.

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