HR Questions and Answers

How are you different from a Professional Employer Organization?

Although on the surface our services sound similar, our approach is very different. When a business uses a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), the employees are leased from the PEO rather than being directly employed. The original idea behind this concept is that a PEO could then handle all of the HR related issues such as payroll and benefits. However, as the concept has aged, several problems emerged:

  1. The PEO approach is limited — a company must exclusively use the PEO’s benefits, payroll services, handbooks, etc.
  2. The employees are employed by the PEO, not the company, and this can cause confusion and discomfort among the employees.
  3. PEOs state that they will significantly reduce your employment liability, however, businesses still maintain primary liability for such things as discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims and various other employment related liability.
  4. PEO costs can be very high considering they typically charge as a percentage of payroll. That means that as your company grows and salaries increase, so does your cost of HR.

With Forté Human Resources, your employees are your employees. And you control your policies and procedures, benefits and payroll services. We can help in all of these areas, providing advice, bringing in other service providers as necessary, but you have the flexibility to select your own providers. Also, because we charge on a flat monthly fee basis, your cost of HR will stay the same regardless of the growth in salaries.

We need someone internal (don’t we?)

With all of the federal and state laws and regulations affecting your business, I would agree that you need a human resource function. Forté Human Resources is a less costly alternative to an in-house person and we can do more than one internal person could perform. Our experience is that most small businesses are missing the basic HR pieces required for an effective HR function. These companies are exposed to liability issues and employee relations problems. We are here to remove these internal burdens and to provide a staff of skilled and certified professionals.

When we have issues I just call my attorneys and they handle it. How can you replace my legal resources?

Calling your attorney is a very expensive way to handle your HR needs. Further, unless your attorney specializes in Employment Law, you may not be getting all the information you need. Finally, the attorney will give advice and maybe handle a project for you, but they will not do the day-to-day compliance work. There may be times when your attorney needs to be involved, but we can handle the daily issues and help lower your attorney fees. We work with state and federal employment attorneys for legal questions at no additional cost to our clients.

My employees are used to having an onsite person for HR issues. How will they interact with your staff?

With our team of HR professionals serving your company, employees feel their needs are being met more responsively, accurately and professionally. In addition to our frequent onsite visits, we are always available by telephone, fax and email. We are physically present at your work site every week at a consistent, prearranged day and time.

Who would actually be handling our company?

We are assigning a team of people – A Field Services Manager (your HR Manager) and a Client Services Manager. In addition, we have other qualified backup human resources professionals to insure your inquiries are handled by skilled staff.

We are growing quickly and will probably need an internal person eventually — maybe we should just wait?

Growth should always begin from a good foundation. Now is the time to start building those policies and procedures, benefit programs, handbooks, hiring practices, etc. Outsourcing these tasks to qualified professionals allows your management team to focus on other key areas involved in growing the business. When you have the need for an internal person, we could help find you a qualified candidate. Remember, it is difficult to grow a company without an established HR system in place. So, don’t get caught in difficult position because you failed to plan.