If your business needs HR help or you simply want to devote that time to other tasks, a PEO might be just what your business needs. TriNet is one of the largest PEOs on the market, and most businesses looking into the matter would find its name appear quickly. We investigated the service more deeply so you don’t have to (while still being able to make an informed decision). You can read our review below:
A big name in the industry, Trinet has over 15,000 clients, has been in business for more than 30 years, and in 2017 managed over $37 billion in payroll. They’re this large for a reason, and that is because the business has created a system that works with the vast majority of businesses to provide them the payroll and HR support they need to keep succeeding.
Founded in 1988 in California, TriNet has only grown since its inception and over the last two decades in particular has been making acquisitions to grow not only its client base but its variety of assets to provide better and more varied services to their clients.
Over the more immediate previous years, TriNet has been focused on rapid growth and developing innovative technological solutions to common HR problems, cementing it in place as an industry leader. TriNet continues to grow and innovate, and it’s likely that within the next few years their offerings will adapt to meet the needs of a changing marketplace.
As a service, TriNet can be best described as “the complete package.” TriNet provides every regular service that a PEO can be expected to offer, and has some features that are not so common. It’s large size and status in the industry means it can generally offer more than the average PEO. While some criticism could be levied on the negative aspects of being so large (it can seem inflexible), TriNet has the framework to handle nearly any situation.
Service and Experience
- Industry specific HR teams and consultants. On their website they specifically mention the automotive, financial services, health care, hospitality, life sciences, manufacturing, nonprofit, professional services, real estate, retail, skilled trades, and technology sectors. There are likely more industries TriNet could help, and it could be worth it to ask TriNet’s support team about your business in particular.
- TriNet’s online tools and self-service platforms have few competitors in the PEO industry. On the platforms you and your employees will have host to a wide variety of management and information options, all available on your schedule. The platforms are secure, reliable, and intuitive. TriNet Mobile is also available, with immediate information access for owners on the go.
- Customer service includes live chat, phone, and email support (FAQ pages are available for more common inquiries). Their support has proven itself effective and they are generally available most hours of the day on weekdays (currently listed as 7:30 a.m. – 12 a.m. Monday through Friday).
- Online payment processing and payroll. The system will handle reporting, tax-related issues (including withholdings and filing), and allow employees to access any tax documents needed through TriNet’s self-service portal.
- TriNet will manage unemployment taxes and process unemployment claims.
Benefits and Perks
- Health benefits managements and offerings. TriNet has negotiated competitive health, dental, and vision plans with several benefits providers on par with top corporations, and the variety of plans offered allow TriNet to make sure that there’s a plan for every type of employee and administrates all tasks related to health benefits.
- TriNet also has taken great steps to make sure it is Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant.
- COBRA administration for former employees, should the need arise.
- Retirement programs and benefits. TriNet will have primary fiduciary responsibility for the plans, and the PEO offers a variety of customizable options regarding 401k contributions and other professionally managed plans.
- Commuter benefits and discounts for large brands such as Apple or American Airlines, and more. Special pricing with vendors your company or employees might use is also available.
Compliance and Risk-Management
- Compliance and risk-management support and leadership. TriNet has a comprehensive program to make sure that your business is on top of any issues. TriNet will work on claims mitigation and prevention with your company, actively trying to lower costs of any issues and keep issues from arising in the first place. TriNet claims their matters taken into their hands cost 90 percent lower than national averages, and offers $1 million employment practices liability insurance.
- Worker’s compensation support. There are no year-end audits, TriNet utilizes a pay-as-you-go approach to worker compensation, and your business will be supported by an experienced claims management team. To reduce the risk of claims in the first place, TriNet employs risk control consultants that will work with your business to minimize hazards, with specific assessments based on your industry.
- Workplace safety courses and management training are offered, reducing potential issues and accidents down the line.
Information and Management Tools
- Time off, time and attendance tracking tools.
- A built-in learning management system and additional training options if necessary with consultation with your HR consultant. Employees will be able to track their efforts using TriNet’s systems.
- TriNet and its online tools will provide your business with all available data in easy-to-read payroll reports, allowing you to make better personnel decisions for your company
- Specialized industry plans. TriNet has multiple HR teams that are specialized towards an industry, so you and your business can be assured that you will be working with industry experts. For example, if your business is in the hospitality industry, you’ll be working with that team to stay on top of compliance and regulatory issues.
- Superb and varied benefits packages for employees. Life insurance, health, dental, and vision coverage are all available, and TriNet makes sure your business is ACA compliant. A variety of retirement options are available. No benefit box is left unchecked.
- Additional perks and programs for employees. TriNet will regularly make discounts on software and general discounts to large brands available. Employees are sure to appreciate and use some of these perks.
- Accreditation and a great reputation. TriNet has taken steps to make sure that your company can sleep soundly with its choice, being proactive in its accreditation and certifications. Of note is that it is accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), guaranteeing high standards of conduct and competence.
- Uniform and nationwide service. Some PEOs only operate or specialize in certain states. TriNet operates effectively in all 50 states.
- Relatively little commitment required. A far-below-par 30-day cancellation notice for its services and a lack of a required employee minimum mean that its perfect for companies that are apprehensive about signing up long-term with a PEO provider.
- Strong information gathering and online tools. TriNet’s self-service platform allows employees to make sure that they are getting precisely the benefits they need, and employers will have access to a full overview of the company from an HR standpoint.
- TriNet can be considered a bit more expensive and a “premium” service. While you’re getting a great deal of experience in TriNet’s experts, that experience can come at a cost. We found comparable suites to often be less expensive than TriNet. Your experience may vary based on the size and industry of your company, but the general trend for most businesses is clear.
- Lack of flexibility. When you sign up with TriNet, you get their entire suite of services (and pay for it). Additionally, while your communication with TriNet will find you working with the service to solve any and all problems, other services do have more of a personalized approach to providing services. Businesses seeking that personalization may want to look elsewhere.
- Possible onboarding difficulties. Looking at online reviews and records of customer experiences, there is a clear trend of many users not receiving the best onboarding experience. While many of these concerns have been addressed, as a reader you should note this and take it into consideration for your business.
- Limited customer service options. While your business will be able to reach TriNet regularly, their customer service hours are not 24/7 (although still rather extensive), meaning businesses well off of the normal work schedule might find difficulties working with TriNet. It might also hamper efforts when time is of the essence. Additionally, some customers have complained about their customer service experience in the past as a regular theme in negative reviews.
- A $1 million dollar fine in damages and wages was levied against the company in 2016 for mishandling overtime pay, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. While the issue was addressed and is now in the past of the company, its existence proves that issues may still arise (although your company will not be liable if a similar instance occurs, in one of the best examples of the benefits of utilizing a PEO).
- A purely digital focus. TriNet for years now has focused on being a digital enterprise, and this is often a great way to reduce clutter and keep information in one place. Yet at times you may wish you had more documents available or that TriNet would contact your business by phone. You might find yourself feeling relatively detached from TriNet or missing important information because it came through a digital notification.
What Businesses Is TriNet Best For?
Businesses on the larger side of the SBM spectrum: Many of TriNet’s offerings and its need to get a full suite of services tailors it towards businesses large and established enough to fully take advantage of them. The cost of the services provided compared to others also make TriNet a choice for businesses that want convenience and established practices instead of a low-cost solution.
Businesses with remote employees: TriNet’s online benefits and information portal make managing employees near and far much easier. While other services may have portals or options to work with remote employees, few if any match TriNet’s approach. Additionally, TriNet operates everywhere in the United States, making compliance and payroll for remote employees non-issues for TriNet.
Businesses seeking to provide excellent perks and benefits: As mentioned before, TriNet’s massive structure and number of clients allows it to negotiate top benefits and a great number of options for employees, and the service is not found wanting for options. TriNet is great for businesses seeking to retain or attract top talent.
Businesses which want to try out a PEO without a commitment: Compared to other providers that might have employee minimums or long contract periods, TriNet is great for businesses who are on the fence about using a PEO. Given that clients always receive the full package, it’s also great for business owners who want options available to them but are uncertain as to what they might need at first.
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TriNet is a big, bold competitor in the PEO market, and nearly every business should at least consider what they have to offer. While better options exist for businesses seeking customization or having to deal with special situations, TriNet stands firm as a top choice for a full-suite solution, companies with remote employees, and those looking for a PEO with extensive experience.
Have you used TriNet for your business, whether currently or in the past? What did you like or dislike about it? Do you have any specific experiences you would like to share? We would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.