BBSI Services: The Perks & Challenges
Updated: October 12th, 2023
Barrett Business Services, Inc. offers business management solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in different industries. In this review, we'll discuss BBSI's background, the types of businesses they work with, the pros and cons of working with them, their pricing, and feedback from their customers.
BBSI at a Glance
BBSI was founded in 1951 and incorporated in 1972, making them one of the oldest companies in the business services industry. They have their headquarters in Vancouver, Washington, and have expanded their reach over the years to serve businesses across the United States.
They have 56 offices nationwide and over 7,500 client companies. BBSI began as a staffing company and then evolved into a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), primarily offering human resources and payroll services. Over the decades, the company grew and diversified its service offerings to cater to various aspects of business management. They primarily serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 100 employees, though some larger businesses with around 300 employees are also clients.
They have been members of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) since March 2020. They have gained the accreditation of the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) as well as that of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A+ rating from BBB.
Industry & Businesses BBSI Serves
One of the notable aspects of BBSI is the wide range of industries it serves. This provider strives to be a holistic business management partner, catering to their client's needs and offering customizable benefits. Some of the key industries they serve include:
- Construction: They provide services that help construction companies with OSHA and regulation compliance, business and succession planning, illness and injury prevention, and financial strategy
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing businesses can benefit from BBSI's expertise in areas such as risk and safety, employee retention, HR compliance, and business management
- Restaurants and hospitality: Restaurants can take advantage of BBSI's services related to staffing and retention, risk management, payroll, and benefits management, as well as culture and leadership
- Landscaping: They offer solutions to this industry by attracting and retaining talent, providing bilingual support, mitigating risk, and generating and managing profit
- Restoration: Companies in this industry can benefit from their services in attracting and retaining top talent, safety, and workers’ compensation, as well as wages and payroll compliance
- Towing: They assist businesses in this sector with worker health and safety programs, workers' compensation, driver retention, business succession, and planning
- Trucking: These businesses can benefit from BBSI's support in areas like driver retention, employee classification, worker health and safety, human resources compliance, as well as business and succession planning
- Franchises: They offer this industry with long-term people planning, owner training and education, and health insurance
Scope of Services & Features Offered by BBSI
BBSI presents a wide range of services aimed at bolstering businesses' success. When you decide to partner with them, they will provide you with a Business Unit team that includes experts dedicated to one or more specific aspects of PEO. Even though they don’t have any information about their plans or specific features, they do talk in general about the services they offer.
Their offerings encompass:
- Payroll management: They simplify payroll processing by handling wage disbursements, tax obligations, employee benefits, and insurance premiums
- Workers' compensation: They offer flexible options like pay-as-you-go to work through your worker’s compensation coverage, which helps you identify the risks of your business and offer solutions for them
- Human resources support: Their experienced HR consultants provide personalized guidance in areas such as recruitment, training, compliance, and employee relations. They empower your business so that your employees and managers become HR professionals
- Business consulting: Through collaborative consultation, they create a detailed business plan, addressing vital aspects such as finance, personnel, products, safety, and future growth. Regular check-ins by their team members keep you on track to achieve your strategic goals
- Staffing and recruitment: This provider connects qualified job seekers with enticing career opportunities by linking them with reputable local employers, fostering mutually beneficial connections
- Benefits program: They offer a customizable benefits program, granting access to a range of health plans at competitive rates
- Risk and safety services: They ensure employee safety and minimize the risk of your workplace. Your dedicated risk manager analyzes operations, identifies safety hazards, and develops a custom mitigation plan to foster a safer company culture
- Retirement and 401k: They simplify retirement planning by ensuring employee safety and minimizing risk. Your dedicated Risk Manager analyzes operations, identifies safety hazards, and develops a custom mitigation plan to foster a safer workplace culture
- Technology solutions: BBSI provides cutting-edge tech solutions for smoother business operations; they provide an option to let you handle employee compensation and reporting on your mobile device. The online learning management platform called BBSI U simplifies training and employee development. The myBBSI portal centralizes payroll, benefits, onboarding, and reporting
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of BBSI varies depending on the specific services and needs of each business. They state they offer customized pricing plans tailored to fit different budget requirements.
BSSI doesn’t advertise any prices for their PEO services. You are recommended to reach out to their team to get a quote by filling out a short form enlisting some information about you and your business, and they will get in touch with you to learn more and customize a price specific to your business's size and requirements.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of BBSI
- Industry-specific services: BBSI provides industry-specific services, which means that they offer HR solutions with unique requirements regardless of your business sector
- Expert HR guidance: One thing that makes BBSI stand out is its team of experienced HR professionals called Business Unit. They can help with all parts of HR management, from hiring to managing and training employees and making sure the company follows state rules. This expert information is very helpful for companies in gaining knowledge and growth.
- Employee self-service portal: They have a portal called myBBSI that lets staff send requests, contact BBSI’s support team, and access HR and payroll information. There’s another called BBSI U for training and learning management. Both are convenient to use on desktop and mobile devices
- Lack of pricing transparency: There’s a lack of transparency in pricing, plans, and contract terms, making it challenging to assess the true cost of BBSI’s services
- No demo: Potential client businesses that want to try out their services before committing to them might find that BBSI doesn't have a demo on their website to do so. It may be hard to fully understand how their services and software work and decide whether it meets the needs of businesses without a test
- No mobile app: While their portals, myBBSI and BBSI U, are accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, not having a dedicated mobile app can limit convenience for users who prefer accessing services on the go
- Not IRS-certified: BBSI isn't certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This could be a problem for companies that need services that are approved by the IRS for certain tax and regulatory matters. These businesses might have to find those special services somewhere else, which could make HR and compliance less unified
- Fewer offices across the country: Even though they say they serve businesses across the country, they may not have a legal employer or offices in all 50 states. This means that clients and job seekers have less access to in-person consultation and hiring services
What Customers Have to Say
The opinions of BBSI's clients provide valuable insights into their services. Even though the company has been in business for a very long time, working with many clients, they don’t have a lot of customer reviews on some of the most trusted platforms, like BBB and G2, and none on Trustradius. They still, however, have received a customer review rating on the BBB of 3 out of 5 and a 4.5 out of 5 rating on G2.
Here's what customers commonly mention about BBSI in terms of usability, support, and whether it's a worthwhile investment.
Many BBSI clients find their technology solutions, like the myBBSI portal and BBSI U, easy to use. These tools simplify essential business tasks, such as payroll and employee training. Clients appreciate the convenience of managing HR functions from their mobile devices.
However, some clients complained about the platform being somewhat confusing to use and outdated. Additionally, if they forgot their password, it was hard to recover without the help of the HR department.
Support and guidance
Client experiences with BBSI's guidance and support vary. Some praise the dedicated assistance they receive from their BBSI teams, especially regarding risk management and HR compliance. They said that a Business Unit was assigned to them, and the team members gave them one-on-one services and detailed information about the health of their businesses as a whole.
However, some customers complained about slow response times and unresolved issues when contacting customer support. The level of support can differ depending on the specific BBSI office or representative assigned.
Value for money
The decision of whether BBSI is worth the investment appears to be case-specific. Many clients find value in their comprehensive services, particularly in risk management and compliance. It’s possible to save money by outsourcing these tasks and using BBSI's expertise. One customer on the BBB stated that they would work with them again because of their personalized team.
However, the absence of clear pricing and the requirement for long-term contracts are considerations that potential clients should weigh. Whether or not BBSI is a good investment for your business depends on its needs, budget, and ability to understand and follow the terms of the contract.
You can reach BBSI's team by phone at 1-800-494-5669 or by submitting and filling out the short form you will find on their website. BSSI offers a variety of resources, such as articles and webinars, to help get started and learn more about its PEO services.
Barrett Business Services, Inc. offers a range of business management solutions tailored to small and medium-sized businesses across various industries. BBSI can be a good partner for businesses that want to outsource HR management, compliance, and risk mitigation because they have a lot of experience in these areas.
However, potential clients should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of working with BBSI. While the company's comprehensive services and expertise are appealing, the lack of transparency in pricing and not having a mobile app are factors to weigh.
Businesses should have in-depth conversations with BBSI representatives, ask current clients for references, and carefully read any proposed contracts' terms to make an informed decision. Additionally, it’s suggested that you look at other business service providers to make sure that BBSI fits your company's needs and budget, which you can do on our PEO comparison pages.
Ultimately, BBSI's suitability as a business management partner may vary depending on each client's individual needs and preferences. Conducting thorough research and due diligence is essential to determining whether BBSI is the right fit for your business.
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