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Leading Solutions for HR, Payroll and Benefits Providers

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If you ask an entrepreneur why they started their business in the first place how many do you think would reply, “Because I just loved processing new hire paperwork and researching payroll laws!” Probably none.

People start businesses because they are passionate about a service or product that they feel is valuable to their community. They follow their dream, open a business, slowly ramp it up, and then it isn’t until they are in the thick of it, that they are hit by the stark reality of what it means to really run and grow their business.

When you start with a small team of 10 or so people it often is manageable to handle all the onboarding, benefits, payroll, risk management, and HR in house. You are close knit, people feel comfortable coming to you with questions, everyone lives nearby so you don’t have to worry about another state’s employment laws, and you know enough to keep everything running smoothly. But what about when this team grows from 10 to 15? Or from 15 to 25, and so on? Suddenly, your team is bigger, HR is more complex, there are new regulations to worry about, and you realize that what used to work just isn’t working any more. 

When employers are struggling with these mounting tasks and in need of experienced advisors, is when they start to examine their options for HR services, payroll providers, and professional employer organizations (PEOs). We hear from clients all the time that doing this research can be overwhelming, which is natural since there are a lot of options out there. 

To expedite this process and help you cut through the information overload, we highlight some of the leading solutions for small and medium sized businesses below. Access our robust guide "What is a PEO?" for more information on how PEOs help businesses simplify, focus and grow.


  • Not all PEOs will allow you to keep your benefits broker—that’s not the case with ScalePEO. A “broker friendly PEO,” Scale works with clients directly as well as with clients who wish to maintain their insurance broker relationship.
  • While all packages include payroll administration and employee benefits, clients can elect which level of HR assistance they need with options ranging from a self-service suite of online tools, to a more comprehensive package complete with a dedicated HR Pro and customized action plans. 
  • All new clients are matched up with a dedicated implementation and onboarding specialist to help ensure a successful transition to the ScalePEO platform. 
  • The workers’ compensation “pay as you go” program means that premium is based on your actual payroll and not on projected annual payroll, spreading workers’ comp payments out throughout the year and avoiding a large upfront payment. Or if you don’t need workers’ comp this can be carved out from the package altogether.
  • At the end of your first 90 days of service, if you are not completely satisfied Scale will refund you 100% of their HR Management fee*.



  • A well-known option for businesses looking for a high level of HR support, Insperity consistently receives high ratings from employers. 
  • With 25% of their client employees in their middle market division, Insperity is best known as a good solution for medium sized businesses, However, they have two HR divisions: one for organizations with 5-149 employees, and one for organizations with 150-5,000 employees. 
  • Insperity offers a wide variety of employee engagement, productivity, and time-tracking tools and resources. Some of their more unique offerings include culture surveys, mission statements, and even custom rewards programs. 
  • While Insperity is one of the more expensive PEOs, their years of experience and flexible service model make them a popular choice with business owners.



  • A newer member of the PEO industry, Justworks is perhaps best known for its modern, sleek, and user friendly software. Having put a lot of focus into building their online platform they are an excellent choice for small businesses that are looking to do as much as possible online. 
  • A cost-effective option, Justworks’ pricing is completely transparent and available on their website without requesting a quote. There are additional opportunities to save on cost for nonprofit companies, as well as for companies who opt into an annual billing cycle (versus monthly). 
  • With a promise of 24/7 customer support, clients can contact them via phone, email, chat, slack, and SMS.
  • Good reviews from users rated Justworks an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2, with 84% of respondents rating it a 5.


competitor blog


ADP TotalSource 

  • One of the largest and most well-known PEOs around, ADP TotalSource brings 30+ years of experience to the table and works with organizations ranging in size from 5 to 5,000+ employees. 
  • ADP TotalSource partners with Globalization Partners PEO for an international PEO. This partnership gives small- to mid-sized businesses access to a PEO regardless of their home country, making it easier for them to hire and manage teams in various countries without having to set up an international branch.
  • They are fully integrated with the ADP Payroll system and offer payroll assistance 24/7.
  • While online reviews have found their software to be somewhat dated and not the most user-friendly, the mobile employee app is often rated high.



  • Unlike the options listed previously it is important to point out that Gusto is not a PEO but rather a payroll company that provides some HR support and administration.
  • Gusto offers a 30 day free trial period, with transparent pricing starting at $45 per person per month, and no long-term contract. They also have an option for contractor-only employers that is $6 per person per month.
  • Gusto’s system integrates well with a wide variety of popular accounting platforms like FreshBooks, Xero, QuickBooks, Aplos, and more.
  • Gusto specializes in payroll first and foremost so if payroll support is your number one priority then this can be an excellent option for you. However, business owners looking for more robust HR offerings may be better suited to a PEO.


Now that you’ve gotten a chance to learn a bit more about a few of the PEO and HR and Payroll partner options out there, we hope you feel less overwhelmed in your search. By focusing on what is most important to your organization and where your greatest need for support lies, you can find the right partners and collaborators to surround yourself with so that you can get back to growing your company.


Ready to speak with ScalePEO and see how we can help manage your day-to-day tasks, so you can get back to focusing on your company culture and growth, all while maintaining your sanity? Contact us today to get started.

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Jennifer Eddlemon, aPHR
Jennifer Eddlemon, aPHR
Jennifer is a licensed life and health agent with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry, and an aPHR certification. Outside of the office she loves horseback riding, volunteering, and spending time with her family.

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