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PEO Archives - Harbor America

Small businesses can get access to the kinds of benefits Fortune 500 companies have by working with a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO.

Let’s Get Real About Small Businesses

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Most business owners are initially driven with the purpose of becoming their own boss, but the reality is they are also becoming a cog in the economic wheel drives the nation. 57.9 million people are employed by small businesses which currently makes up 47.8% of U.S. employees.

Although small businesses are a dynamic part of our nation, they are less likely than ever to offer competitive benefits packages due to the company not having affordable access to enterprise-level benefits.

There are many reasons people love supporting and shopping with small businesses. As the business owner, you have a way to make each customer feel special by customizing and adding personal touches to their experiences.

Customers that like the boutique shopping experience will appreciate the details of higher quality products that stem from the passion, energy, and effort devoted to the business.

From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, new, top candidates are attracted to work for the organization, many times, based on the employee benefits package. Quality benefits include 401(k) plans; health, dental, life, and other insurance; dependent care; and other benefits they might not typically receive as employees of a small company.

What if you could have the best of both worlds? With a PEO in your corner, you can! Being a part of the largest privately-owned PEO in the country, we allow you, the small business owner, to improve productivity and profitability, and to focus on the core missions of your company. All while keeping the small business values that Americans crave in their product and service needs.

Don’t become another statistic. Contact Harbor America to find out how we can giving your small businesses the quality of benefits your employees deserve.

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Designing a Benefits Package for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

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55% of employees would accept a position at a company with lower compensation for a more robust benefits package.[1] But how does one compile a more robust benefits package?

It is important to note that regardless of the size of your business, any organization can offer a substantial benefits package. A common misconception concerning small to medium-sized businesses is that they are unable to afford or will not even be considered for good benefit package offerings typically reserved for larger organizations.

In order to start offering better benefits, however, you need to make sure you have a good hold on your finances and have a strong financial planning foundation in place. In most cases, going without benefits for your employees may be a temporary cushion for your bottom line, the long-term effects will inadvertently keep your business from growing.

“Organizations that use benefits as a strategic tool for recruiting and retaining talent reported better overall company performance and above-average effectiveness in recruitment and retention compared with organizations that did not.”[2]

Partnering with a PEO can save businesses of any size from all the legwork of vetting providers and carriers, comparing plans, and pricing. As a PEO customer, you will have access to plans typically available for only enterprise organizations. Your employees will have a larger choice in doctors, hospitals, and will be able to see out of network providers, for an additional out-of-pocket fee.

If working on your own, you will find health insurance to be the most significant portion of your benefits budget. Dental and vision are traditionally not included in base health insurance plans. To include these you would need to source separate plans specific to dental and vision, respectively.

Retirement plans (401(k)s) are also highly sought-after benefits of employees of any age. You will need to decide if your organization will participate in employer-sponsored matching. This will make a difference in your budget at the end of the day.

Other plans that can be added to your benefits package could include life insurance policies, disability insurance, a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA), basic paid time off (PTO) or unlimited time off (a new trend in PTO).

Harbor America is committed to helping businesses of any size add time back into their day. Regarding employee benefits, Harbor America clients are greeted with a wide range of benefit packages to not only attract top talent but retain your top performers. Contact us to start designing a benefits package specific to your employees and your business.

[1] HR Daily Advisor: Research Shows Strong Job Satisfaction, Benefits

[2] LinkedIn: These 5 Employee Benefits are Trending

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6 Tips for Expanding Your Construction Business the Smart Way

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If you’re in the construction industry, you probably know this has been a good year for growth. In fact, the first three months of 2018 showed a four percent increase in construction projects when compared to 2017. But what about your construction business? Has your construction firm been around for several years but still isn’t growing? Then, it may be time to expand your company.  Or perhaps you are growing quickly but are doing so without a plan or strategy for growth in place. Here are six tips for expanding your construction business the smart way, along with what not to do:

1. Use the Internet for Marketing Your Company

Even though word-of-mouth is still the best way to get new customers, you need to take advantage of the internet when promoting your construction business. This means having your construction business visible on sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, yellowpages.com and other platforms.

Furthermore, create a professional website for your business that includes pertinent details about your company, such as its services and past projects. Include a contact form, and make sure your website is designed with strong SEO in place so potential new customers can find you.

2. Develop a Reputation for Delivering Exceptional Services

For your construction company to grow quickly, it needs to be known for providing exceptional, high-quality service. A huge way to develop a good reputation is to be known for being accessible when clients try to contact you. Moreover, when you don’t notify customers that you’re running late for an appointment, don’t expect them to give you more business or write positive reviews.

Look for customers whom you know you can easily satisfy and who will likely give you lead to referral business. The more clients you can retain, the less you’ll need to spend on marketing. Additionally, you won’t have to devote as much time to seeking new customers for replacing the ones who have left.

3. Earn a Reputation for Safety

As the construction trade is at a higher risk for accidents than most industries, it’s important your company has a good reputation regarding safety. In addition to having mandatory meetings on how to safely do each job, provide seminars on safety procedures. It’s also important to have a solid safety plan in place.

4. Network

Networking with other people is critical if you want to get more work for your company. For example, get involved in trade associations or your local Chamber of Commerce, so you can find more vendors and generate more leads. Also, giving back to your community by volunteering is another effective way to network for your company.

5. Choose a Niche Market

The key to success for a small business is finding and choosing a niche. Determine what you want your construction company to be known for doing well. In other words, emphasize your business’s strong points. Do you want to have a reputation for providing general contracting services, or would you rather be known for a specific service, such as renovating older buildings while maintaining their original character? When a company specializes or finds a niche market, it stands out as unique from its competitors.

6. Be Willing to Invest Money and Time into Your Business

For your construction company to grow, you’ll need to invest money and time into it. Regularly update your technology and buy new equipment, when needed. It can also be worth your time and money to provide ongoing training for your workers.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t hire people off the street. Always ask for references and do comprehensive background checks. Only hire skilled, knowledgeable and dependable workers To keep your top employees, offer them benefits, rewards and promotions.
  • Don’t cut corners to reduce expenses since this can tarnish your construction company’s reputation.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust to new ways of doing things. Instead, be adaptable and open to new ideas, remembering that change can be a positive thing. Consider that not keeping up with the current trends can be detrimental to your business.
  • Don’t expect new jobs and customers to magically “fall into your lap” without doing any legwork. If you want your construction business to grow, you’ll need to be more proactive. This entails reaching out to general contractors and architects, asking them about their upcoming projects. If you’re reactive, rather than proactive, chances are, your company won’t expand. Even worse, you could be forced to go out of business.
  • Don’t expect to be “all things to all people.” This means being honest and realistic about what you can and cannot do.

Learn More About Harbor America’s Wide Range of Services

Another smart move is to hire a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) like Harbor America, so you can have more time to run your growing business. Please contact us for a free quote and learn more about our wide range of services.

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Top 5 Reasons to Have a PEO Handle Your Benefits

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As the owner of a rapidly growing business, you may find that it’s hard to keep up with everything yourself. From the daily operations to your Human Resources management, it can be a lot to handle. And, since your expertise is in the business operations, you may not have the specific expertise necessary for your HR and benefits management efforts to truly thrive. That’s where a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, can help. Here’s a look at the top five reasons why you should work with a PEO for managing your benefits and related HR tasks:

Eliminate The Time Demand Of Payroll Processing

Payroll can be a time-consuming and resource-demanding process, especially in businesses where staff works varying shifts and time cards must be manually processed each week. If you want to be able to focus more of your time on your daily tasks, work with a PEO. They will handle your payroll needs for you as part of the contract.

While you could contract these services out to a payroll-exclusive business, it’s to your advantage to work with a PEO instead. A payroll-exclusive business will do nothing but your payroll needs while working with a PEO brings you far more. You’ll get not only payroll management but also general human resources services and benefits administration, too.

Increase Your Benefits Package Options

Because a PEO is in the business of managing employee benefits, compensation, and resources, they have access to top-notch benefits packages that you may not be able to offer otherwise. They deal with larger volumes because of the number of companies they deal with, so you can take advantage of group discounts and pricing structures that allow your employees greater benefits options at a lower cost.

Reduce Your Time Investment For Benefits Shopping

When you first started hiring employees, you likely saw first-hand how complex and time-consuming it can be to sort through all of the benefits package options, including any retirement packages, insurance plans, and work-life benefit choices.

Working with a PEO saves you from having to spend your time dealing with the searching, the comparisons, the negotiations, and the selection. All you have to do is tell them what you’re looking to offer to your staff, and they will help you create the package that you envision. That frees up the time you would have spent so that you can better focus on your business profitability.

Reduce Your Legal Liability Risk

When it comes to handling employment taxes, workers’ compensation policies and audits, and other federal employer documentation, missing a deadline or filing incorrectly can have legal and financial ramifications. These types of documents and filings are part of what a PEO handles every day. This means your PEO representatives are up-to-date on any changes that may have happened since last tax season, they know the deadlines for filing, and they will ensure that everything is submitted accurately. In addition, you’ll have someone to fall back on in the face of an IRS or workers’ compensation audit.

Retain Your Top Talent

Having a PEO that handles your HR for you means having someone who is dedicated to offering the best benefits, ensuring employee retention, and following employer laws. When your employees see that you are working with an organization that’s committed to offering them the best benefits options possible, you are far more likely to retain your top talent and minimize staff attrition rates.

Learn More About How a PEO Can Help Your Business

These are some of the top reasons why you should work with a PEO. As a business owner, you need to balance the needs of your staff with the requirements of your business operation. Understanding how Harbor America can help you do this makes it easier to prioritize the investment. Contact us today to take advantage of these benefits and more.

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4 Huge Signs Your Business Could Really Benefit from Partnering with a PEO

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Here are four of the biggest signs that you may need the services of a PEO, along with a few considerations to keep in mind:

Spending Too Many Hours of Your Workday Resolving HR Problems

Spending too much time resolving HR problems is a huge sign that it’s time to outsource and begin to get your time back. Stop and consider how many daily tasks relate to HR, including managing employee benefits, handling payroll and navigating employee conflict. Creating an internal HR department is very costly. Not only can PEOs offer more expertise and experience in HR, but they also save you money since you only pay for the time and services you actually need.

Feeling Overwhelmed by Government Regulations 

Running a business today is much more complex than it used to be since there are always new regulations. Most business managers find staying current and complying with the various new regulations and rules to be overwhelming or even impossible. Failing to be compliant with government regulations can even lead to being fined. Consider how a PEO is an expert in both state and federal employment regulations and knows how to comply with them. Removing this stressful task from your plate can give you immense peace of mind. 

A Lack of Good Employee Benefits

Are your competitors trying to attract your employees with five-star employee benefits packages? If so, this can be another “red light” it’s time to hire a PEO. One of the foremost concerns many employees have is getting high-quality health insurance and benefits.

Often, business managers aren’t as aware as they should be as to what their competitors are offering, regarding employee benefits. When you partner with a PEO, your business is more likely to receive the best employee benefits, including quality health and dental insurance as well as 401(k) benefits. PEOs are on the cutting edge when it comes to comparing benefit packages, knowing how to compete with other competitors and exactly which benefits attract the best candidates.

Payroll Taking Too Much Time

How much time are you spending on payroll? What’s more, are you sure that the figures you report on your payroll tax form are correct? What about 401(k) deductions for your employees? Are you reporting them on time, and are they calculated accurately? When you’re forced to devote too much time making sure payroll is done properly or you must correct errors, you don’t have much time left for running your business. On the other hand, taking shortcuts on this important aspect of your business can lead to serious consequences, including fines.

Not Having the Time Needed to Monitor Employees

When you don’t have enough time to keep tabs on how well your employees are performing, it’s easy for mistakes to occur. Usually, this becomes obvious when customers complain. When this happens, you can easily become irritated with your employees, diminishing staff morale. Even worse, you can lose employees and clients. This doesn’t have to be a problem when you have a PEO to help implement best practices that create a positive and productive workplace.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Consider how low morale in the workplace can be contagious. Unhappy employees usually don’t keep their feelings to themselves but are prone to spreading their grievances to co-workers. This can lead to other employees quitting with some not even giving you enough notice. When this occurs, it can be a sign that it’s time to use a PEO.
  • Hiring new employees who come from other states can be tricky when you don’t know about applying state-specific policies.
  • If new employees fail to enroll for benefits they (and their dependents) will go without medical insurance until it’s time for open enrollment. Moreover, they may not fully know about all their different choices when it comes to benefits. With a PEO on your team, you can hand over the job of explaining benefits and ensuring that everyone signs up on time.
  • In addition to helping you devise and use more effective HR methods for your business at its current size, PEOs provide solutions for your company as your business continues to expand and grow.

Get a Free Consultation From Harbor America

Why not join the growing number of employers who are teaming up with a PEO? Please contact us for a free consultation and learn how you can find more hours in your workday.

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Hiring Seasonal Workers During Peak Construction Seasons

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Depending on your market, your seasonal peaks for construction may vary. Your workforce availability may be different in your area as well. However, there are a few constants in the construction industry every company can agree upon. One such common ground aspect of the business is the need for additional workers during seasonal upticks. Today, we’re highlighting four tips for hiring those seasonal and temporary construction workers.

Plan Ahead of Your Peak Seasons

The key to being fully staffed with quality construction employees during your peak season is to plan ahead and start your process before your peak season begins. Allow yourself at least two months to prepare for recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, training, and solidifying your crews.

Know that you may struggle to find the right candidates and be prepared for turnover by building a backup list of potential hires. Don’t wait and try to execute this process the week or two before your busy projects are scheduled to start. Create a timeline for yourself for each step of your hiring process. Allow enough time to fill your crews to capacity and complete all hiring documentation accurately.

Consider a Staffing Agency or PEO

To relieve yourself of the additional work and hassle of bringing on seasonal crews, consider partnering with a temporary staffing agency or Professional Employment Organization. Agencies will offer every service from recruiting to payroll and can be a time and money saver for a construction company with a seasonal influx. Instead of paying payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance coverages, drug screens, background checks, and unemployment for your temp workers, place them through the agency and only pay the agency a percentage add-on to each workers’ weekly pay.

This can protect you from long-term compliance costs of I-9 verification and W2s at tax time while also saving you a ton of money. The agency will carry all employment responsibilities for those workers and will be on call to send replacement candidates should you experience turnover. You might even find one or two seasonal workers who do such a great job that you choose to hire them on full time. Most staffing agencies offer free conversions for candidates who have worked temporarily for a seasonal period of time.

Consistency Among the Ranks

Remember when bringing on seasonal workers that the best practice is to treat them no differently than you do your full-time crews. Because it’s temporary work, you may find yourself offering incentives, bonuses to complete the season or other perks. Don’t forget your full-time crews are loyal and may resent any special incentives the temporary workers may be offered.

Be consistent with your onboarding process as well and make sure your short-term hires are being held to the same standards as your long-term crews. You’ll find that with equal treatment throughout, your temporary workers will feel more included on the teams, thus presenting the potential for better productivity.

Safety & Equipment

In construction, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is a staple on the job sites. You know the importance of enforcing safety best practices with all your crews, so don’t forget to reinforce the safety requirements with your seasonal hires. Because they have less experience working for you, your temporary staff will need to be trained on safety restrictions and codes of conduct on the sites. Consider creating a safety orientation specifically for your new seasonal hires to help coach them on how to identify unsafe practices, contingency planning, and required equipment before starting.

Harbor America and Your Construction Strategy

Many construction companies have needed to augment their working crews during the peak seasons. The most successful companies have solid plans in place for managing those influxes. Tap into a few of these best practices mentioned here or contact us for more ideas on how to streamline your process. If you need a partner to review your current strategy and help save you valuable time and money, Harbor America can help. Call today to learn how!

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Compliance Tips for Construction Companies in the Middle of a Hiring Spree

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Construction companies around the country are in the middle of hiring booms for a variety of reasons. In some areas, it’s a simple case of increased demand for homes due to population increases. In others, it’s the need to rebuild following natural disasters. Whatever the case, you want to be sure that your construction hiring and payroll practices are up to standards during that hiring boom. Taking a few extra steps to ensure compliance at this stage of the process will help protect you down the road.

Make Sure Your Hiring Process is Compliant

As a construction company, you may be unlikely to hire many individuals with disabilities. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can afford to discriminate. If you’re hiring a new secretary or receptionist, for example, it’s critically important to recognize that you must make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). You’ll also need to be willing to make accommodations for deaf employees or employees with certain disabilities that do not prevent them from taking on tasks on a construction site–and ensuring that you maintain those standards will keep you compliant.

Check Your Interview Standards

During an interview, you must present your company as an equal opportunity employer. You want to be sure that you’re offering the same opportunity to anyone who comes into your interview, regardless of their race, religion, family size, or any other factors that aren’t directly related to their ability to do the job. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to the questions that you ask throughout the interview process and how they shape your hiring choices. While it’s nice to get to know more about your candidates, you can’t base an employment offer on factors outside their ability to successfully do the job.

Write Clear Job Offers

Long past are the days when a job offer could be a simple handshake between a member of your company and your new employee. Instead, make sure you’re producing a clear employment contract that lays out everything that your new employee can expect in their job, including:

  • Whether this is an at-will position, which means that the employee can be fired for any reason at any time
  • Whether or not this is a contract position–for example, an individual who has been brought onto the team to help complete a specific project
  • What the new employee’s salary looks like
  • What benefits go along with the new position
  • Any policies and procedures that are integral to your company

Get Employees on Payroll Immediately

It’s easy to decide that you don’t want to mess with payroll when you’re in the middle of a hiring boom. There are too many other things that you need to take care of! Any money that you give to an employee–bonuses, overtime, and other funds–must go through the official payroll process in order to maintain compliance. Without these standards, you–and potentially your employee–could end up in hot water with the IRS, creating even more problems that you don’t want to deal with.

Pay Close Attention to Overtime

Business is booming and your customers are eager to see their construction projects finished. Some days, it feels like you have more work than you know what to do with, and you’re tapping all of your employees to work extra hours to help meet the demand. If your employees are working overtime, however, it’s important that you keep up with compliance regulations regarding overtime. Make sure that your employees are being compensated appropriately for the time that they’re spending on the job.

Work with a PEO

If you’re struggling to maintain payroll compliance and obligations or to keep up with HR responsibilities in the middle of increased demand for your services, you’re not alone! By hiring a PEO, you’ll put yourself in a better position to keep up with those responsibilities and protect your employees and your business.

Maintaining compliance might not be your first thought when you’re in the middle of a hiring boom, but it’s important that it remains on your priority list. By making sure that you’re keeping up with compliance standards, you’ll be able to better protect your construction company from later damages. If you need help, working with an experienced PEO like Harbor America is the best way to keep your time free from administrative tasks and focused on the parts of your business you’re uniquely qualified to handle.

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5 Ways to Streamline Business Operations in 2018

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If you’re like many small business owners, you may be inclined to take on too much responsibility and make things more complicated than they should be. As a result, valuable time is wasted and you’re less productive. Confident small business people realize the key to being successful is found in using their time wisely. Here are five ways you can streamline business operations in 2018 in order to save serious time, make more money and meet more of your goals.

Take an Inventory

Unfortunately, too many small businesses don’t take the time to clearly define or document their work processes. It’s essential you make a list of each individual work process, defining its chief purpose, listing the steps, and naming the employees who are engaged in the processes.

Try to be as comprehensive as possible. Write down even the simplest tasks, which may even include ordering sandwiches for a group of workers as even this job still requires effort and time when it’s done regularly. Just about any job is considered a process if it’s performed on a regular basis. It will be much easier to find ways to streamline your processes when you have them in writing.

Go Digital

Are you still using the old pen and paper method? If so, consider the benefits of going digital. In other words, replace pen and paper with computer programs or software. Besides being environmentally friendly by saving a few trees that would otherwise be cut down, you can also save time. Just think about not having to waste precious time searching for files that can easily become misplaced and disorganized in file cabinets.

Why not invest in an online storage system, like Dropbox, rather than using paper? Keep in mind how digital data stored in a cloud is so much easier to find from multiple devices. Furthermore, it’s considerably safer as it can’t be physically destroyed from weather events, such as floods or fires.

Reduce Staff Meetings

Cut back on the number of staff meetings you hold. Ask yourself if a staff meeting is really necessary every week when you could easily send updates in emails. Make the meetings you do have really count by reducing the small talk and filler. When you don’t have as many staff meetings, you’ll have more time to work and focus on revenue growth. What’s more, your employees will appreciate the fact they have more time to do their job.

Do Some Outsourcing

You may think it’s best to control every operation of your business, but sometimes, it makes more sense to outsource jobs, wherever possible. This means using exceptional and dependable professionals to do anything from basic errands and entering data to monotonous administration jobs.

Hire a PEO

One way to outsource HR (Human Resources) is by using a PEO (Professional Employer Organization). In fact, more and more businesses are discovering the advantages of using a PEO for streamlining their operations. When you hire a PEO to handle HR functions, such as payroll, administering benefits and other jobs, you have more time for your business. Often, business owners devote more than half their time doing the jobs that PEOs can do. In addition to handling payroll and benefits administration, several other valuable services are provided by PEOs.

Other Considerations

  • Take advantage of social media, especially if your particular business involves engaging potential clients online. Look for affordable tools that can check how clients are reacting and relating to one another, regarding your products or services.
  • Breaking down processes into separate steps can also help simplify your business. Consider the beginning, the middle and the desired result or end of a process.
  • Limit the time spent making and returning personal calls. Also, create other boundaries, such as setting a specific time for lunch.
  • Do your taxes electronically.
  • Create a schedule for your employees by using scheduling software and be sure everyone sticks to their schedules.
  • Pay bills now, instead of later. For example, rather than paying a monthly bill, you could save time, besides money in stamps, by paying for six months of service. Another benefit is that you won’t have to worry about incurring any late fees.
  • Learn when to say “no.”

Are you feeling overwhelmed with everything you have to do for your business? If so, contact us for a free consultation and discover how you can invest more hours in your business by partnering with a highly reputable and qualified PEO, such as Harbor America.

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Guidelines for Hiring the Best Construction Employees

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If you’re a construction owner searching for new employees, you know there’s a problem when it comes to finding qualified workers. As it’s becoming more challenging to attract good employees to the construction industry, employers need to find ways to draw the most capable and experienced people to their companies. Here are some basic guidelines for hiring the best construction employees:

Determine the Qualifications You Need in Candidates

Before you even start to recruit people, you need to determine the qualifications you’re looking for in potential employees. Hone in on the particular skills and experience that specific positions require. Other considerations should include those such as if a position is a permanent or a temporary one and the amount of training or specific certifications a candidate should have to fill a position. Furthermore, determine the type of prospects who you think are most likely to possess the expertise and skills that are needed for being successful.

Update Job Descriptions and Ensure Candidates Are a Suitable Match

You first need to define the job description of a position before it can be filled. Thus, be sure all your company positions have an updated job description. When interviewing applicants, it’s critical to decide if a candidate has the skills and practical experience needed for a particular job. Moreover, does a candidate have the background and training or education for a particular position? Additionally, determine if an applicant shares the same goals as your business and if he or she seems to be well-suited for the environment of your workplace.

Conduct an Effective Interview

In order to snag the best applicants, you must be able to conduct an effective interview. A big part of interviewing candidates involves getting people to reveal stuff about their lives without giving clues on what you want them to say. Also, when you see candidates having a hard time in providing information or answering questions, let them struggle. In other words, don’t give them an escape route, so they can avoid tough questions.

Be Continually on the Lookout for Good Candidates

Although the ideal time to hire people is when you most need them, you still need to constantly be looking out for potential employees as this gives you more choice. When you’re always alert for highly qualified workers, you’re more likely to obtain the kind of employees who will be the most beneficial to you and your company. Therefore, rather than waiting to hire when you need people, recruit during the off-season as this gives you more preferences, besides an advantage over your competitors.

Partner with a PEO

The hiring process can take up a significant amount of hours and energy. That’s why a growing number of employers have turned over this job to a PEO, who is able to devote the needed time and effort required in sifting through a stack of job applications and making the right selections.

Once a prospect is chosen, there’s more work to do, such as setting up a contract and getting new employees on board, so they know what’s required of them to be successful. As time is money, consider how a PEO can easily and effectively handle those tasks that currently eat away at your time. Hiring employees and managing HR are just a few jobs of a PEO as these professionals provide many other valuable services.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Don’t hire people when in a panic. For example, it’s tempting to hire just about anyone off the street when you’re under pressure to get a job done. However, this can result in having employees who may disappoint you.
  • Pay close attention to an applicant’s character and personality as this is just as important as their skills. Unfortunately, too many construction owners grab prospects who are equipped with the right skills, but they lack the character needed for a position.
  • Make sure you offer attractive wages, benefits, and ongoing training.
  • If you have outdated technology, upgrade it. Keep in mind that construction applicants tend to be younger now and that updated technology is important to them. When you have the latest technology, you have an edge over your competitors when hiring and keeping employees.

Using a PEO for your business can give you more time to run your company. Harbor America is a PEO that provides HR, along with benefits, payroll, compliance and several other services to small and mid-sized business owners in the construction industry, besides other blue-collar industries. Please contact us for a free consultation.

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Important HR Tips for Small Business Owners

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Running a small business involves managing many responsibilities at once. One of the main tasks of a small business manager is finding the right employees as well as managing staff. These tasks fall under HR (Human Resource) management. If you run a small or mid-size business, you need to have exceptional HR skills. HR management covers several important functions in a company, such as employee recruitment, onboarding, and management, resolving interpersonal conflictslegal and regulatory compliance, and benefits administration. Here are seven HR tips for business owners, along with some thoughts on the importance of hiring a PEO:

Communicate Effectively

Exceptional communication is critical. You need to know how to communicate effectively with your employees and also be able to listen compassionately when they voice their concerns. Besides communicating well with employees, you should instill in them the necessity of solid communication skills, such as writing clear emails, in addition to speaking effectively.

Have Exceptional Negotiation Skills

Being able to effectively negotiate is especially important. Usually, when problems arise, there is more than just one viewpoint. In order for a resolution to occur, an agreeable middle ground must be reached. Also, the parties involved need to be satisfied with an outcome, which can be challenging.

Know When to Turn to Professional Advice

Often, business owners are forced to deal with problems that contain vague or “gray” areas. For example, they may have to decide whether a complaint made by an employee against another employee involves sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. Sometimes when these matters come up, there can be limited information. Therefore, you may need to turn to certain professionals, such as lawyers and other specialists.

Be Extremely Organized

Being exceptionally organized is another critical requirement when it comes to Human Resources. In other words, everything must be in its proper place so that documents, files, and other items can be found quickly.

Enforce Company Policy Diplomatically

When you manage employees, you need to have good diplomacy skills. This means protecting your company by establishing and enforcing boundaries, and putting the organization first, while still listening to the viewpoint of your employees. There may be situations when you need to stand by your company’s policies, but this doesn’t mean you can’t let your employees state their opinions in a safe environment where they don’t feel threatened.

Be Able to Multitask

Running a business involves having to juggle several things at the same time. Think about how you may need to help an employee with a personal issue and then, a few minutes later, another matter needs to be quickly resolved, such as filling a specific job. When this occurs, each person can think their crisis is the one that needs the most urgent attention. Instead of panicking, you need to multitask without losing your cool.

Promote Educational Seminars and Additional Training

Another basic aspect of Human Resources is providing training and education. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to offer your workers with the tools and training required for performing their job well. In many cases, company training is a job requirement, but sometimes it is non-compulsory. When optional seminars and other types of educational opportunities are offered, you should encourage your employees to take advantage of them so that they can do a better job, enhance their skills, and have access to promotions and other opportunities.

The Benefits of Hiring a PEO

HR management is just one of the reasons for using a PEO, which is a firm providing outsourcing services to businesses so that employers have more time to run their companies. These services include payroll administration, safety and risk management, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, commercial insurance, technology, employee recruitment, training and development, along with other jobs.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Always acknowledge your employees’ accomplishments. In addition to verbally recognizing their achievements, think of tangible ways to reward them for exceptional job performance.
  • Let the employees take ownership of their ideas. This can mean allowing them to present their viewpoints to senior management. Consider how doing so can promote team spirit and help employees feel like they are truly part of the organization.
  • Be sure you handle confidential information properly. This means being ethical and discrete. Never share private information with people who are unauthorized.
  • Be a positive role model. Instead of simply telling your employees how they should perform, show them by example. In other words, let your actions speak louder than your words.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed about running your business when you hire a PEO. At Harbor America, we focus on small and mid-sized business owners in the construction industry as well as other blue-collar fields. Please contact us for a free consultation and learn more about how a PEO can give you have more time for operating your business.