In Maryland, the “Free State”, small business owners are responsible for employing over one million people. From IT and Cybersecurity to Advanced Manufacturing, Maryland is home to industrious business owners of companies large and small, and everything in between. Here where the United States national anthem was first penned, business owners are thriving in a range of industries. National Aerospace and Defense sectors have bases here in Maryland, as does the Military. And Maryland is a hub for energy and sustainability initiatives, new tech startups, agribusiness, and tourism.
So what skill do business owners in each of these very different industries share? Any good business is able to delegate. The ability to pass off tasks, and knowing what to hand over, to whom, and when, can mean the difference between a dynamic, thriving company atmosphere and a burnt out business owner with too much on their plate and too few hours in the week to complete all the tasks necessary. Fortunately, savvy Maryland business owners also know that they can hire a PEO to help manage a busy workload, ensure HR operations are running smoothly, and negotiate state laws and regulations.
A great PEO, or personal employer organization, offers just the right administrative support to suit any Maryland business owner’s needs, at any scale. But with dozens of options to choose from, it can be daunting to know where to start your search for the perfect PEO. That’s where we come in. We have conducted extensive research based on a broad set of criteria to rank our top choices for PEO’s serving businesses in Maryland. Every business is different; take a look at our top candidates and see which PEO is right for you.
1. CoAdvantage PEO
Pros: Superior customer service is the best feature of CoAdvantage PEO. Many PEO’s offer comprehensive services, from HR tasks and risk management to recruitment and employee benefits, to navigating health insurance and workers compensation, and CoAdvantage is no exception. Across all tasks, their results are high quality and they deliver products and services in a timely, professional manner. But where they really excel is in their well-trained staff. Most business owners are accustomed to waiting for days for a customer service representative to respond to an email inquiry, or waiting for hours on hold before an actual person picks up the phone. Not so with the team at CoAdvantage PEO. They will email you back within the hour and phone wait times are usually less than five minutes. Once you do reach a CoAdvantage rep, you will find that they are patient, knowledgeable, and eager to help with whatever problem you might have.
Cons: CoAdvantage is our top choice option for overall quality and, particularly, for customer service. They are not, however, our cheapest option. Their prices come in at about 10% higher than our runner up for the top spot, Vensure, so if keeping expenses to a minimum is your top priority, you will want to go with a different PEO.
Overall: CoAdvantage snags the top spot as our number one PEO choice for their excellent quality services and products. Though they may not be the cheapest PEO option available, we think they are the best. Their outstanding customer service support team means you will be working with a PEO that will go above and beyond to support your business.
Pros: Like our number one top PEO choice CoAdvantage, Vensure provides the full range of products and services to assist your Maryland business. Their pricing is competitive and their system is user-friendly, which can make this PEO a great value choice for those business owners who consider themselves less tech-savvy and in search of a well-rounded PEO.
Cons: Although Vensure provides a decent quality service in each area, there is no one thing in particular that they do better than any other PEO option. Plus, their services may be better suited to small and medium-scale businesses that are not looking to scale up their operations too much. Vensure does offer services to assist with larger scale operations, but they are better suited for the needs of smaller businesses.
Overall: Vensure is a safe bet for any PEO need you may have. An all around good choice, they may not stand out for any one feature in particular, but they will help you get the job done. And Vensure is able to assist with one time only PEO enagements as well, like helping you implement a new payroll system and policy.
3. Engage PEO
Pros: For Maryland’s innovative IT and Tech companies in particular, Engage PEO might just be the right choice for you. Their services place a premium on digital engagement; all of their products, included their sophisticated HR suite, are accessible via smartphone, tablet, or desktop at any time. Their products are stored on the cloud and protected by advanced security systems. Any Maryland company that employs remote workers will appreciate Engage’s dedication to online interactions. In addition, their team includes lawyers who are highly qualified to advise your company on compliance issues, Maryland state tax laws, and tricky state regulations.
Cons: Unlike the majority of PEO’s, which offer pricing based on individual services and products, Engage uses a different pricing structure that groups services together into pre-paid bundles. So you may end up paying for services you don’t necessarily need as part of your desired package. Also, very small-scale local businesses should note that Engage PEO requires your company to have a minimum of ten employees before they will draw up a contract with you. So if you are a brand new company working at a very small scale, Engage won’t be the right choice for you.
Overall: For advanced, top quality PEO products that are seamlessly synced across all of your company’s digital platforms, Engage PEO is a great choice. If your businesses’s top priorities include legal advice or assistance with navigating complicated compliance rules and Maryland state regulations, then this is also the right team to help you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a one-off service, like recruitment, there may be a better PEO option for you.
4. Infiniti HR
Innovation is at the core of what so many Maryland businesses bring to the table, so finding new employees who are enthusiastic, responsible, and creative is key to maintaining a thriving business atmosphere for most Maryland companies. But finding the perfect new hires can be a daunting endeavor for any business owner. Infiniti HR is the best PEO choice to assist with recruitment. They are capable and have a strong sense for how to find the right new employees to suit any business’s needs. And once they have found a great batch of prospective new hires for your company, they can also provide new hire training, and take care of all the paperwork needed to get those new employees into the system for payroll, healthcare, benefits, and taxes.
For Maryland businesses in the hospitality, retail, education, or financial sectors, there are often industry specific problems that have specific solutions. Oasis, a well-established PEO that has been in the business for over twenty years, is great at providing industry specific solutions for their clients. With so much experience over the past two decades, they are able to work closely with clients, and can often anticipate and elegantly address client’s industry-specific needs. The biggest disadvantage to signing on with Oasis is that they only offer yearlong contracts. So if it turns out Oasis isn’t the right choice for you after several months, you lose the flexibility of the typical month to month PEO contract and will need to wait out the remainder of a 12 month contract before you can cancel.
Maryland businesses employ honest, hardworking innovators. If you want a PEO that prides itself on the same qualities, then Justworks could be a great choice for your business. A relative newcomer to the industry, Justworks has only been around for about ten years, but in that time they have established a firm foundation in providing transparency for their clients. Most PEO’s will make prospective clients jump through hoops before they will reveal any information about their pricing structure. Justworks, in contrast, lists all of its prices on its website, so you can compare what they offer to your ideal budget before you even contact them. They have not yet been around long enough to prove their lasting power in the field, but Justworks is full of promise- and honesty.
If you prefer to work with a PEO that has seen it all, you may want to consider working with Trinet. This PEO has been assisting businesses since 1988. They have well-established ways of working and all of their staff are vetted for professionalism and industry expertise. You can’t really go wrong with this old-time expert PEO, but if you are looking for a PEO that will come up with cutting edge solutions to your company’s problems, this may not be your best bet. Trinet is well-established and reliable, and you shouldn’t expect anything too different.
8. ADP Totalsource
If your company is working with international assets, exports, or distribution, ADP Totalsource may be the right choice for your business needs. Or for business looking to upscale their customer base to a global audience, you will also want to consider this giant PEO. ADP Totalsource is one of the biggest PEO’s out there. Their clients are located in more than 140 countries around the world, which means they have a vast amount of global resources available to help your business succeed. If, on the other hand, you are a small business looking for a personally tailored service, you may want to choose a different PEO. ADP Totalsource is big and their methods are effective, but for a small company in a big global pond, your needs might get lost in the mix.
Recognized for the high quality of its service by industry experts, Insperity’s services and products have received plenty of awards and accolades during its many years of experience. This PEO has been around for three decades and it relies heavily on its tried-and-true methods to assist businesses large and small. The only real drawback with Insperity is that, with all of these accolades and acclaim, they don’t need your patronage to confirm their achievements. So don’t look for special signup bonuses for new clients. Insperity won’t chase your business with any special extras, but they will do a good job for you if you choose to employ them to help with your HR needs.
The Best PEO For Your Business
For a busy business owner in Maryland, every minute counts. But don’t think that any extra time spent on finding the perfect PEO is a waste; in fact, just the opposite. The right personal employer organization can make a world of difference, saving you and your employees hours of extra work and hassle. The right PEO can also help cut company expenditures by making sure you are using the most cost effective services, like health insurance providers. They should be your ally in the field, so make sure you take stock of all the options available to you before making your choice.
In Maryland, you have dozens of possible PEO’s to choose from. Before you decide, take into account the size of your business. How many employees do you have? How broad is your customer base? Are you looking to expand and grow, and if so- how much? Where is your company geographically located? Do you work remotely, or do you employ many remote workers? What does your ideal budget look like? All of these factors will help clarify your goals as you choose the PEO for you.
In compiling the list above, we have considered a broad range of factors to help you choose the most suitable PEO: the comprehensive range of products and services on offer, how much value you receive for the prices, what kind of set-up process they require, and how helpful their customer service is. But every business is different, and while some of our top PEO’s may be the perfect fit for certain businesses, others Maryland businesses will go in a different direction.
Ultimately, the best PEO for your business will be the one that matches with your business’s priorities and considerations. In the end, you want a PEO that offers the kind of help you need, and that is the most important factor.