Spotlight on Group Management Services

Question and AnswerGroup Management Services (GMS) works with clients to establish a partnership-based solution to HR needs. By emphasizing personal client interactions as well as delivering personalized services and hands-on support, GMS has built a reputation for quality and performance. Core services include human resources, risk management, legal compliance, payroll, benefits, and workers’ compensation. GMS also offers assistance with recruiting, background checks, pre-screening, and onboarding as needed.

We spoke with GMS to ask them for their insight on these common questions about partnering with a PEO:

1.  Are you able to provide me with more affordable health insurance than I can find on my own?

GMS:  In most cases, yes. Specific rates will depend on the group, but because of our increased buying power and the number of people we work with, we can usually secure better insurance rates than you would be able to purchase as a small business.

2.  Can I customize my benefit packages?

GMS:  Yes. We offer medical and dental plans; disability and life insurance; benefits and enrollment consultation; and an array of other services including COBRA administration, 401k plans, and supplemental insurance plans.

3.  What does it take to get an employee up and running on your service? How does your onboarding process work?

GMS:  We can have a new employee up and running within twenty-four hours. For new clients, we can have your business onboard within 10-14 business days. We offer assistance with job descriptions, job applications, pre-screening, recruiting, and handbooks. Once an employee has been hired, our onboarding process is quick and easy so that he or she can get started as soon as possible.

4.  You talk about the employee self-service offering. Why is this a benefit to me or my employees? Why do I care? 

GMS:  Our internet-based employee self-service offering makes the transition smoother and easier. As an employer, you retain control over the process, with the ability to handle things on your own schedule. Our job is to assist and aid, but the business owner remains in control throughout the process.

5.  How much interaction is there between the PEO and the actual workers? Does a liaison come to my office?

GMS:  We make our relationship as transparent or apparent as the client wants. If the client wants us to maintain a presence on site and be immediately accessible, then we will do that. If they want to follow a “train the trainer” approach where employees go through the business with questions and concerns, we can do that as well.

6.  If my employees have an issue, who do they talk to? Do they contact the PEO directly or does everything have to go through me?

GMS:  We customize the process based on the preferences of the employer. Some of our clients want employees to go directly to the PEO, while others prefer that they go through a manager. One of the things we pride ourselves on is that we’re very flexible. Our goal is to make the process as easy and accessible as possible for our clients and to fit seamlessly into the current flow of their business.

7.  How much liability goes to the PEO vs the business owner if there is a legal action against the company (sexual harassment, wrongful termination, etc.)? How much assistance do you provide in settling these disputes and at what cost to me?

GMS:  Liability will differ depending on what the legal action is. Some of the liability still falls on the business owner; however, our Employment Practice Liability Insurance policy provides up to one million dollars of protection to ensure that the lawsuit doesn’t cripple the business.  In terms of assistance, GMS is here to make Employee Management Simpler, Safer, and Stronger.

8.  Does the PEO have an in-house lawyer that I have access to for consultations? Is there an additional fee for this?

GMS:  Yes, for some things. Fees are included for employment management and workers’ compensation. We also provide some consultation services. Additional fees apply if a lawsuit goes to civil trial.

9.  Who handles state unemployment taxes and claims? Do I have to do anything, what is the extent of my involvement?

GMS:  We will handle taxes and claims. If a claim is made, the business owner will be responsible to provide data, but we will handle the process.

10.  I’ve read about losing control of certain aspects of my business if I go with a PEO. What specifically can I not do, or need PEO approval to do, once I sign up?

GMS:  Daily management remains in control of the client, and our level of involvement can vary based on the desire of the client. For example, we can provide assistance with hiring and recruiting, but some clients prefer to handle this process themselves. If there is any work being done in a different state, we will need to know details about those locations since each state has different rules and regulations.

11.  What, specifically, is the PEO able to do without my consent?

GMS:  Nothing. Clients are well aware of all actions and are kept informed of any steps that need to be taken. All actions handled by the PEO are specified in the initial agreement.

12.  You talk about training and development offerings. What kind of training do you offer? In what areas and is it via online, onsite, classroom, etc?

GMS:  We offer 300-400 training classes covering a wide variety of topics. Some topics include blue-collar workers, sales development, management, sexual harassment, wellness programs and much more. Classes are offered based on the preference of the client or based on what’s available. Most classes are conducted online, making it convenient to set up a class quickly for immediate training or for employees who are out of town. Clients can also choose to set up live classes if they are flexible on scheduling.

13.  How do you assure me you have remitted my state and federal taxes?

GMS:  If we failed to remit taxes, the client would know immediately since we use next day deposit. Under the PEO relationship, your payroll is reported under our FED ID, so in essence the liability of those taxes is ours. We have an insurance policy that protects clients from error and we provide invoices that show that they were paid.

14.  What makes your PEO unique?

GMS:  We believe in face to face, eyeball to eyeball contact, which makes our system very personalized and customized for our clients’ specific circumstances. Our greatest assets are our people, our client interactions, and our flexibility.

Request Information from GMS.