PEO Helps Steer HR For A Multi-State Auto Dealership

Running an auto dealership across state lines comes with a unique set of human resources challenges. From navigating complex federal, state, and local employment laws to managing payroll and benefits for multiple locations, HR administration can be cumbersome and frustrating for dealership leaders. Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) may provide welcome relief.

If you’re a CEO or HR exec at an auto dealership, you likely feel pulled in many directions when it comes to HR management. Staying on top of compliance issues across several states takes significant time and effort. You deal with a constant barrage of employment law changes, complex reporting requirements, and stacks of paperwork.

Adding to the complexity, you have employees in union and non-union roles with location-specific collective bargaining agreements. You want to offer robust benefits to attract and retain talent, but the administrative workload feels daunting. And there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done.

The good news is, you don’t have to shoulder the entire HR burden alone. A PEO can provide vital support in navigating the multi-state HR maze. In this piece, we’ll explore the ways partnering with a PEO can benefit your business.

Auto dealer SUV steering to dollar signs with a PEO license plate.

Relieving Your HR Burden

A PEO essentially serves as a co-employer, taking over many of the complex HR functions that sap your time and energy. The PEO handles responsibilities like:

Managing payroll across state lines. A PEO ensures payroll taxes and filings are handled accurately and on time for each state. This relieves you from the burden of multi-state tax compliance.

Administering benefits packages. A PEO can create benefit plans that apply across your locations, handling enrollment, changes, questions, and compliance. This lifts the weight of benefits management from your HR team.

Ensuring HR compliance. PEOs stay current on the evolving legal and regulatory landscape across states. They manage required filings, workplace postings, and HR compliance issues so you can focus on your business.

Handling workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. A PEO coordinates filings and manages claims for these state-specific programs. This reduces a significant administrative load for your HR staff.

Providing HR services like recruiting, onboarding, and performance management. PEOs can provide as much or as little HR service assistance as your dealership needs.

As you can see, partnering with a PEO essentially provides you with a fully-staffed HR department with expertise in multi-state compliance. This alleviates the need to have specialized HR staff in-house. It also reduces the risk of noncompliance that comes with an HR team that’s stretched too thin.

Fortune 500-Level Benefits

In addition to administrative relief, a major advantage of partnering with a PEO is gaining access to big-company benefits. Due to their size, PEOs can create benefits plans similar to what Fortune 500 corporations offer. This allows you to provide robust coverage to attract and retain top talent, including:

  • Health insurance, including medical, dental, and vision
  • Retirement plans like 401k
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Pre-tax spending accounts for medical and dependent care
  • Wellness programs
  • Employee assistance plans
  • Supplemental insurance options

The best PEOs use economies of scale to obtain group rates and pass the savings along to their clients. This means you can provide high-level benefits at small business prices, and offering attractive benefits can be a key recruitment and retention advantage over other dealerships.

Cost Savings

While some business leaders initially balk at the cost of partnering with a PEO, the investment often yields notable cost savings in both the short and long terms. Areas where PEOs can reduce costs include:

Lower health insurance rates. As mentioned above, PEOs can negotiate group rates on benefits that are lower than what a dealership could obtain on its own.

Reduced HR headcount. By outsourcing HR functions, you can get by with fewer dedicated HR employees, reducing personnel costs.

Lower workers’ compensation premiums. A PEO’s expertise in safety and risk management typically lowers workers’ comp claims frequency and severity, resulting in lower premiums.

Unemployment tax savings. PEOs can often negotiate lower unemployment insurance rates, generating significant savings.

Improved compliance. Fewer compliance mistakes means avoiding costly fines and penalties down the road.

Increased productivity. With HR functions expertly handled, dealership leaders and staff can devote more time to productive operational activities.

While PEO services require an investment, the right PEO partnership should yield a positive ROI in cost savings, risk reduction, and productivity gains.

Shared HR Knowledge and Expertise

Beyond direct services and cost savings, a PEO partnership provides access to shared HR expertise. The right PEO will have experience across a wide variety of industries and business sizes. They will have deep knowledge of the latest HR best practices, technologies, and approaches. Tapping into this knowledge base benefits dealership leaders and staff through:

  • HR consulting services on strategy, programs, and problem-solving
  • Training programs covering HR practices, compliance, leadership skills, and more
  • Employee handbooks, job descriptions, policies, and other HR templates
  • Hotlines and portals providing quick access to HR support
  • Newsletters, blogs, webinars, and events to stay up-to-date on HR topics

Accessing this knowledge, training, tools, and support enables your organization to elevate its HR capabilities and practices. Your dealership can adopt programs and practices proven effective across PEO clients, avoiding the trial-and-error process of figuring it out alone.

Evaluating PEO Partnership Potential

Hopefully, this overview illustrates the many potential benefits of partnering with a PEO for your multi-location auto dealership. As you evaluate potential PEO partnerships, look for the following attributes:

  • Experience working with companies in your region and industry
  • Strong track record of multi-state compliance
  • Reasonable and transparent pricing
  • Positive client reviews and retention rates
  • Depth of expertise across all facets of HR management
  • Robust training programs, online HR resources, and self-service tools
  • Willingness to tailor programs to your organization’s specific needs

Schedule calls and demos with a few leading PEO providers. Ask plenty of questions to assess capabilities and cultural fit. Clarify which services are standard versus optional add-ons to ensure the full scope is covered cost-effectively.

The best PEOs aim to be long-term strategic partners in supporting the HR needs of your growing auto dealership. With the right partner, you can focus energy on your sales, service, and operations — not HR admin. Everyone gains access to Fortune 500-level benefits and capabilities. And most importantly, you’re assured of compliance across multiple states and that HR processes are expertly handled. Making the move to partner with an experienced PEO can be one of the best workforce decisions your dealership makes.

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