Nothing says “Autumn” like falling leaves, pumpkin spice, and the October PEO Marketing Push!
This is the time when the industry bands together in an all-hands-on-deck marketing effort to raise the profile of our industry and move the needle on industry awareness and visibility.
It’s our belief that if we all commit to marketing for the month, we will make a difference and we will grow the industry. The idea is for everyone to do somethingthis month. If you want to do a few somethings, all the better.
It’s no secret that professional employer organizations felt the secondary impacts the pandemic had on small and mid-size businesses. As those businesses had to temporarily or permanently shut down last year, their use of PEOs dropped at the same rate. Recovery has started despite those challenges. Though it’s slower than we’d prefer and not always linear, there are clear lessons that have impacted our strategy with retention, marketing, and sales.
The pandemic exposed the strengths and weaknesses of many businesses, testing the viability of many long-held processes and procedures. The most valuable revelation was the importance of their people. Suddenly, employers shifted their focus to address this most critical asset. Business leaders were now forced to make critical decisions around their employee’s physical health, emotional well-being, remote work arrangements, safe environments, and more.
A year ago, our team launched an extensive digital marketing plan in response to the pandemic. We dialed up our marketing campaigns and introduced a steady stream of social media content for our community. Aside from our digital marketing efforts, we also introduced our strategic marketing plan, which is not a new concept by any means, but we were looking at it with an effective focus.
Our relationship-based marketing plan focused on finding the right strategic partnerships and crafting a marketing plan to sustain those relationships.
The pandemic has forced businesses to be more open-minded about how they structure and run their organizations. Small business owners who have “always done it this way” are now seeking new methods to remain competitive and grow in the current economy after being heavily impacted by the pandemic.
I wasn’t looking for a new challenge when I first encountered the PEO industry back in 1995. I was perfectly content where I was, but, more as moral support than anything else, I attended a presentation a friend was making at the local Chamber of Commerce about this new service he was considering launching within his staffing firm.
The generosity of the PEO industry was on full display at NAPEO’s 2021 Annual Conference & Marketplace in San Antonio last month through NAPEO Gives Back.
NAPEO Gives Back’s mission is to leverage the “Power of Many” and leave a local charity in our conference city better than when we came. This year’s benefactor of NAPEO Gives Back was a San Antonio-based veterans’ support organization, Soldiers’ Angels. Soldiers’ Angels provides aid, comfort, and resources to service members, veterans, and their families through the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in San Antonio.
Bruce Cornutt is the president & CEO of Florence, Alabama-based Lyons HR. He was elected to the position of chair of NAPEO’s Board of Directors on September 28 during NAPEO’s annual member meeting in San Antonio, Texas. He had previously served as vice chair and is the recipient of the 2017 Michaeline A. Doyle Award, the industry’s highest honor. He recently spoke with PEO Insider to share a little about his professional background, where he sees the industry headed, and how he hopes to guide the association.
Many employers are on the fence about whether to reopen offices, and if so, whether to mandate vaccinations. We now know that employers can mandate that employees be vaccinated to return to offices.
As COVID vaccines become more widely available and individuals reach full vaccination status, guidance and regulations continue to change from a broad patchwork of authorities, including federal, state, and local governments, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). With these changes, more employees are gradually returning to work in person. Therefore, now is an ideal time for employers to review their employee handbooks and update policies to evolve with workplace changes prompted by COVID and the post-vaccine world.
2020 has changed the workplace environment entirely—and the transition isn’t over. The pandemic has created hurdles that proved the need for ongoing agility at the workplace and in company leadership. These new challenges include returning to work, gauging vaccination concerns, developing hiring plans, and navigating the unique hybrid workplace dynamic. While it won’t be an easy feat, HR leaders must consider responding to the ebb and flow with care while managing employee concerns. Below are a few key takeaways based on our work with several employers that successfully navigated through the unprecedented challenges of the last two years.
The revenue growth rate for all respondents in NAPEO’s 2021 Financial Ratio & Operating Statistics Survey (FROS) was 1.9 percent for FY2020, down from 8.3 percent in FY2019. The operating income per worksite employee was $199 for FY2020, also down slightly from $242 in FY2019. Despite these results, client retention remained strong and gross profit per worksite employee and productivity improved.
Just when we thought things were back to normal, we are reminded that change is constant. The PEO sales world is constantly changing and we have to continually look for ways to innovate and that includes conducting virtual meetings.
Getting word-of-mouth referrals can set your clients (and company) up for success when you accurately describe your goods and services. According to NAPEO, the number of worksite employees employed in the PEO industry grew at an impressive compounded annual rate of 7.6 percent; however, the PEO industry’s clients still represent only 15.3 percent of all employers with 10 to 99 employees, which means that there is an untapped market of more than 84 percent.
August was an interesting month around NAPEO Global HQ. We heard from so many of you, asking if we were still planning on having an in-person conference in San Antonio in September. Since last year, we’ve been consistent, saying we would meet in person when we could do so safely. As the pandemic faded, then seemed to roar back, we—like you—were on tenterhooks. August 31 was a seminal day. That was the day we had a call with our Board of Directors to seek its advice. At that point, we had 550 people registered for the conference.
NAPEO 2021 Annual Conference & Marketplace
September 26 to 29
2021 ACM Coverage