Spotlight on Xcel HR

question and answer sessionXcelHR offers personalized HR solutions for businesses of all sizes, with the goal of helping clients reach their growth potential by reducing their administrative burden. Full-service HR packages include payroll, benefits management, administrative duties, and compliance protection.

Integrated software enables employees to easily fill out forms and allows employers to store records safely and conveniently in one place. XcelHR has built a reputation on providing personal service for clients, giving business owners the ability to focus on growth while getting the HR support they need to run the business efficiently.

We asked XcelHR to offer their insight on some questions we commonly receive from business owners:

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

XcelHR: Sometimes we can, but other times the client may have the best package at the price that meets their needs. In either case, we provide full administrative services including paperless open enrollment and onboarding, disenrollment, COBRA, bill reconciliation and payment. We also handle W-2 reporting and ACA reporting. We will also help clients shop around and choose the plan that best meets their needs.

2. Can I customize my benefit packages?

XcelHR: Yes. We offer group benefits, but we also handle many individual client level policies. Our goal is to help every client offer Fortune 500 level benefits, no matter how many employees they have.

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

XcelHR: We offer both a traditional (paper) process as well as a single point of entry process from job posting to employee and benefit onboarding. The system generates an email to each new hire and the user can log into one platform and complete an easy-to-use data population sheet. This data transfers to all federal, state, and local tax forms, as well as I-9, direct deposit, and individual client level forms.

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

XcelHR: The self-service offering simplifies the process, ensures accuracy in each form’s completion, (no going back and forth on missing signatures or unchecked boxes), stores records permanently at both the client administrative level and the employee web portal/side of the system, and allows each employee to make his or her own information changes when needed. In addition, there are no paper record storage needs to worry about, which helps streamline the client’s business operation.

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

XcelHR: We deploy our people to client sites for HR services and routine duty assignments if required. We also offer live open enrollment and web meetings for remote employees. Each client has their own personality, and we will act in accordance with their preferences. Some want the employees to conduct business through the client contact, while others are happy to get it off their plate.

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?

XcelHR: It depends. Some clients prefer that their employees go through their office with questions while others refer them directly to us. It also depends on the issue at stake.

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?

XcelHR: Ultimately, the claimant determines who is named in the suit, which means that each instance is different. Either way, when we are engaged in advance of a disciplinary or other employee relations issue, we can usually mitigate the issue with dialogue and investigation into the facts. We then seek to provide accommodating solutions to all parties. The more we know, the more we can help. Sometimes, however, we’re not engaged when the incident occurs. Regardless of the circumstances, we respond to all EEOC inquiries and investigation notices, work with our clients to prevent issues, and support them and ourselves in any employment litigation action.

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

XcelHR: We have in-house counsel, but we believe that a client should always have their own counsel to represent their interests and work collaboratively with our legal representatives.

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

XcelHR: We handle all state unemployment claims for our clients. We ask clients to provide us with a separation form. In addition, we offer proven methods to enhance recruiting efforts, improve worksite environments, and reduce turnover.

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?

XcelHR: Our clients maintain complete control of the direction and growth of their businesses. Our goal is to assist with administrative HR duties so that business owners can focus on the core competencies of the business. As the employer of record, we have to approve all new hires and we require clients to maintain certain insurances such as general liability, auto, etc.

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

XcelHR: Since we maintain the requirement of approving all new hires, it’s possible that we could decide not to hire an individual after he or she has completed the client’s interview and screening process. However, we provide assistance with this process and with recruiting with the goal of minimizing such occurrences.

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

XcelHR: We offer a wide variety of training courses, primarily focused on management training, development, employee relations and statutory requirements such as sexual harassment. We can accommodate online, onsite, and live classroom options.

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

XcelHR: We are a fully audited company, licensed in all states that require licensing and bonding and prepared to be certified under the new IRS program for the PEO industry. Our accounting staff is comprised of several CPAs who can always attest to the payment of payroll taxes.

14. What makes your PEO unique?

XcelHR: Leadership. Collectively, our representatives have a couple hundred years’ experience in the industry, which puts us in a uniquely qualified position to help our clients. In the end, it’s not technology that keeps clients; it’s client relationships. Our people connect with our clients. Whether the client company is large or small, we always get numerous compliments on our people and their willingness to assist with questions and needs. Internally, we’re always looking to improve.

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