Annual PrismHR Survey Shows Outlook, Top Challenges for SMBs, Human Resource Outsourcers (HROs)

Optimism for 2019 due to Growth in Profits, Number of Worksite Employees

Hopkinton, MAMarch 20, 2019 — PrismHR, the leading HR software platform for Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) service providers, today announced the publication of its 2019 HRO Trends Report. This is the fourth year PrismHR has produced the study to identify key challenges faced by HROs, and the first year it has concurrently surveyed small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to uncover their biggest HR concerns.

Key industry trends include continued growth in revenue, profit and the number of Worksite Employees (WSEs). HROs also indicated that their organizations are ramping up sales and marketing resources to fuel momentum.

“HROs need to keep a keen eye on growth opportunities to fuel success for their own businesses and to anticipate and satisfy client needs,” said Scott Horn, chief marketing officer at PrismHR. “A common theme seen throughout the 2019 Trends Report data is the significance of client engagement. Staying engaged with SMB clients helps HROs educate them on challenges and solutions and deepens relationships that help retain existing clients and attract new ones.”

According to the study results, both SMBs (56%) and HROs (38%) ranked the ability to recruit and hire qualified employees as the number one challenge facing SMBs today. And although a significant number of HROs use both online onboarding and benefits enrollment technology, far fewer are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) to speed the recruitment and hiring of employees, indicating a missed growth opportunity.

Key findings in PrismHR’s 2019 HRO Trends Report include:

Clear signs of optimism. 67% of the respondents said that they see profit margins increasing in the next two to three years, and improved efficiencies are a key driver of improved profit margins. HROs also reported increases in the hiring of sales and marketing employees to capitalize on market demand.

HRO industry growth. The HRO industry is growing, both in terms of worksite employees and revenue. 22% of HROs reported they grew their WSE count by at least 26%, a 38% increase from the 2018 report. 21% of HROs said they grew revenue by 26% or more.

Growth in key verticals. The verticals where respondents reported the most growth in 2018 are construction (32%), healthcare (34%),and professional services (35%).

HROs and SMBs agree on major HR challenges for SMBs. Both SMBs and HROs rank finding qualified employees and the ability to offer a competitive benefits package as top HR challenges for SMBs.

2019 HRO Trends Report
The Trends Report includes research from 455 HRO professionals representing 182 HROs of all sizes. 44% of respondents had executive/owner profiles, while the remainder were managers or individual contributors. View the 2019 HRO Trends Report

About PrismHR
PrismHR creates exceptional software and services, empowering human resource outsourcing service providers such as Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) and Administrative Service Organizations (ASOs) to deliver world-class payroll, benefits and HR to small and medium sized businesses. PrismHR software is used by more than 88,000 organizations and 2.2 million worksite employees, processing greater than $57 billion in payroll each year. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Maryellen Edwards
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