The “Cool” Factor Matters for PEOs and ASOs

By Ginny Carpenter

As a PEO or ASO, you offer a distinct kind of HR outsourcing. It’s a unique combination of services and technology. For some clients it may be heavily service oriented, very hands-on, and of course, co-employment may be core to your offering. Technology allows you to bring the best service possible to your clients by automating a lot of HR functions and making it easy for you, your clients, and their employees to complete HR tasks quickly and efficiently. But your offering definitely isn’t just HR technology.  Your high-touch, HR services and your close working relationship with your clients is at the heart of what you do.

There’s More Competition Than Ever

The challenge is that there are more and more players in the market competing for your SMB prospects. Many of those competitors are not offering anything close to the services you provide, but they do offer software with a modern and compelling interface.  As valuable as you know the whole package of your services is, do SMB buyers really understand exactly how different your offering is from what pure HR software vendors offer? You probably spend a lot of time educating prospects on the value of personal service, your industry experience and your HR and compliance expertise.  But often those prospects are lured away by the modern, streamlined, easy-to-use interface that HR software vendors offer.

When you lose business this way, you know those prospects will learn the hard way that they don’t just need a fancy software interface. You know that the HR needs of small businesses are complex, ever-changing, and require personal attention to truly solve their HR challenges. You know that when those challenges arise while using the HR software they chose, they’ll encounter a severe lack of service, support, and expertise. They’ll probably regret their choice to go with the “shiny object” software. But even then, the likelihood of that prospect changing their minds and coming back to the table is very small.  

The challenge HR software vendors present is not going away. In fact there’s growing evidence that they may be looking at the PEO space even more aggressively. This problem of prospects comparing “apples to oranges,” comparing your extensive HR services and technology to just HR software, will only build over time. Your organization needs be ready to address it head on.  

Can You Answer the Challenge?

You need to be ready with a strong answer when your prospect says, “But this other vendor I talked to has this really cool interface that my employees and I can use. What have you got?”

What you show them needs to be just as “cool,” even if at the end of the day, the interface is only a fraction of what you offer to small businesses. Your technology needs to be just as cutting edge, just as user friendly, just as modern and responsive as the HR software out there that is really nothing but that – just software.

Does your HR technology have the “cool” factor, allowing you to compete with the slick HR software packages your prospects are looking at?  Does the employee interface make it easy for employees to complete their tasks quickly and with a mobile device? Are you proud to show your client- and employee-facing technology to your prospects, or do you secretly hope they never ask?  

To stay competitive and continue to grow your business, these are all questions you need to answer and then honestly assess if your HR technology is helping you or hurting you when it comes to acquiring new clients.

Watch this demo to get a sense of what a “cool” employee interface looks like.