What is a Benefits Provider?
A benefits provider is a vendor that manages benefits programs. In other words, benefits providers allow employers the opportunity to save time and money, expand employee benefits offerings, and lower the probability of human error.
What are the different types of benefits providers?
Selecting the right provider for your business is important! They need to be a reliable partner that can deliver benefits that will help you attract and retain your top talent.
Before you choose a benefit provider, you need to know there are four major types of providers. These include insurance companies, benefits administration software platforms—which are often part of robust HRIS tools—professional employer organizations (PEOs), and niche benefits providers.
Small and mid-sized employers have a few different options for bringing their HR needs online with software. Understanding the market will allow business leaders to find the right solution provider for them.
Generally, a key differentiator among these systems is their go-to-market approach. Some systems market directly to employers, while others provide their software to employers through value-added resellers, such as a benefits broker.
While many platforms used to take extreme positions on either side of that spectrum, the various players are now recognizing that when it comes to serving the needs of small and mid-sized employers and their brokers, it is unwise to separate the two parties completely.
Because benefits touch so many parts of the HR ecosystem—from onboarding to payroll to time tracking and more—it is better to serve the needs of both sides through a system that fully integrates benefits and benefits brokers into HR administration. Further, because the compliance stakes are so high for small and mid-sized employers, administering HR with the support of an advisor typically produces the best long-term outcomes.
How to adopt HR technology
- Identify options: Employers should ask their benefits broker if they provide any kind of benefits and HR solution. If they already provide an online enrollment system, employers should ask whether it has additional HR functionality. It’s also recommended that employers solicit suggestions from other businesses or business advisors.
- Request and attend demos: Employers should contact the recommended vendors to schedule demonstrations of their products.
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