Think back to some of the most time-consuming activities you’ve undertaken for your business. How many of them actually related to your responsibilities or true business expertise? It’s common for SMB leaders to take on the mountain of HR tasks that are required for smooth operations, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way.

A major study from earlier this year shows that small and medium sized business owners consistently underestimate the amount of time and energy required to run their HR functions in-house. As a result, saving time is one of the top reasons such businesses decided to outsource their HR and partner with a PEO. In order to understand just how many minutes (or hours) a PEO can put back into your day, lets take a look at the most time-consuming HR functions.


Managers in top companies understand that high-performing employees are developed through regular training that goes far past the onboarding stage. There are many different types of training outside of those specific to role requirements, and they create a strong and well-rounded workforce. This includes discrimination and harassment training for today’s charged climate, managerial training for those who supervise others, soft skills training that helps the company communicate, and much more. The time these trainings take to plan and carry out add up in even the smallest of companies.

Administrative Burdens

HR departments are notorious for all the red tape and paperwork they have to sift through and carefully manage. Cumbersome tasks like reviewing documents, sending them to employees, managing vacations or sick time, and conducting payroll happen regularly and can consume hours of time. Despite the monotony of some of these tasks, they are critical to get right. Even one error, such as a retirement contribution not being calculated correctly, a healthcare premium not taken out of a paycheck as planned, or an expected bonus not delivered, can cause huge issues for an employee.


The world’s most efficient HR departments thrive on technology. They have cutting-edge HR software that can streamline employee tracking, create custom reports, integrate with other programs, provide business intelligence, monitor attendance, and grant access through mobile devices. However, SMBs often have roadblocks to purchasing or installing robust HR software on their own, and as a result spend a great deal of time on HR tasks that could have been made more efficient or automated.

Conflict Resolution

When something goes wrong between employees, it takes time to set things right. In today’s hectic business world, there often isn’t true conflict resolution between coworkers. Employees go through the motions to sit through a quick HR meeting, shake hands, and end up holding a grudge that can sour engagement and productivity. Depending on the severity of the conflict, real resolution can take weeks and require multiple meetings or exercises – time that SMB leaders like you just don’t have.


Dealing with open enrollment probably doesn’t sound like a fun use of your time, but healthcare is one of the most important HR responsibilities for any business. One misstep here can cause legal troubles or frustrate employees. Someone has to keep up on healthcare changes, inform employees in a timely fashion, and be their resource for questions toward the end of the year when they choose new plans and again when those plans go into effect. It’s enough to overwhelm the person owning HR responsibilities in a small or medium-sized business.

Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding

Finding great staff isn’t easy. Not only does it take a great deal of time to identify the right talent, but it requires even more time to go through the vetting process of interviews, internal reviews, reference checks, and background checks. Then, after hiring a new employee, the onboarding process can translate to dozens of hours of time spent that, if not outsourced or in the absence of an HR department, falls on you.

Maintaining Compliance

Someone has to keep up with the changing laws that affect your business. Some laws and regulations may have a national scope, others may be local to your area, while still others may pertain only to your industry. HR should own compliance, staying abreast of new tax laws, the latest employment laws, and more. For example, are you still allowed to ask candidates about their salary history in your state, or has it been banned? Are you legally required to pay overtime to your employees? It takes a lot of time to consider these and many similar compliance questions.

Saving Time by Outsourcing HR to a PEO

The above examples are just a few of the many HR areas that take up a tremendous amount of time for businesses. That’s why outsourcing HR responsibilities to a leading PEO like Synergy is the answer for so many SMBs. Doing so takes these burdens off one’s plate and puts them in the hands of trusted HR experts. When time is freed up to focus on core business objectives, business owners have found that partnering with a PEO had a direct impact on their business and revenue growth.