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Cognos HR

Cognos HR: Strong Chicago-Based PEO

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Cognos HR: Strong Chicago-Based PEO

Updated: October 16, 2023

Cognos HR is a human capital and resource consulting company that was founded in 2015 and based in Chicago, Illinois. They specialize in providing their clients with human resources services that encompass full-featured technology tools, consulting, benefits, and more. They offer PEO services that combine many of their separate features into one full-featured solution meant to help smaller companies compete in the current corporate landscape.

To help you decide if CognosHR could suit your needs, we will discuss their features, costs, value propositions, and client feedback in this review. Read on and make your own decision!


Spend time learning about your company’s needs first
Competitive group benefits
Product demo available
In-person and online HR expertise & support


Their prices are not advertised
Services seem to be localized to the Chicago area
Lack of a mobile app


Quick Stats

Business Size
Small to medium-sized (SMB)
Customer Experience
Expert HR Guidance
BBB Rating
Trustpilot Score
NAPEO Member

Cognos HR's PEO at a Glance

Cognos HR features their Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services prominently. They combine their HR consulting and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) services to give Chicago-area startups and small businesses a leg up and effectively co-employ their workforce by taking over many administrative functions.

With Cognos HR, you can spend less time being worried over payroll functions, staff benefits, or human resource compliance. Instead, you can invest more time in actually growing your business. With robust payroll automation, compliance assurance, risk mitigation programs, expert HR guidance, and the leveraging of group benefits relationships, you can more successfully cut losses and minimize risks in your business. Their PEO services aim to guarantee you a more efficient business workflow with a higher success rate for your company.

The reputation of Cognos HR within the PEO industry is fairly good, although they have not accrued as many accolades as their competitors. They are members of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) and have been certified by the IRS, thus ensuring the diligence of their tax compliance. However, they are not accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) and do not have a page on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), much less their accreditation.

Industries & Business Sizes Served by Cognos HR PEO

Cognos HR mostly caters to small businesses within the small to medium-sized business (SMB) category. They heavily advertise to startups, as well, but also mention that businesses with between five and 500 employees may stand to benefit from their HR support and associated services. Keep in mind that their services seem to be limited by region, specifically the Chicago, Illinois, area.

As for the industries they serve, they state that they may serve any business but only mention a few specific types of companies on their website: tech startups, nonprofits, and remote work companies. They have case studies on their website from companies in the educational software, academic publishing, telepsychiatry, and nonprofit fields, all operating in the Chicago area. With that said, you must contact them for a free consultation to discuss your company's eligibility.

PEO Features of Cognos HR

Cognos HR provides SMBs with a comprehensive solution that tends to their payroll and HR needs. Their PEO model addresses the following main aspects:

  • HR technology and operations: They utilize HRIS solutions that automate HR tasks related to payroll, benefits, and onboarding and allow for a simple employee self-service experience. It also includes full-featured records and informational management as well as online reporting tools, among other benefits
  • Payroll administration and compliance: They deal with all aspects of payroll, from pay schedules and methods to state and federal filings, tax adherence, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), among other things
  • HR operations, expertise, and support: Aside from the features of their software solution, they also make an experienced HR team available that guides you through any inquiries you may have as an administrator. They are also available to help in on-site training, interviews, employee mediation, and so on
  • Benefits administration: They leverage their overall employee numbers to provide and administer competitive employee benefits at affordable prices, which are made available on their system for open enrollment. They also handle necessary reporting and consultations, such as for ACA. Their benefits include medical, dental, vision, disability insurance, 401(k), FSA, and other plans
  • Risk management: They provide necessary training and education to mitigate risks and aid with company policy development and workplace governmental regulations and statute compliance

Plans & Prices of Cognos HR

Cognos HR does not advertise any of their prices online, whether for their PEO solutions or any of their separate HR services. They do not discuss plans, packages, or pricing models either and are fully quote-based. There are also no online sources or client reviews that discuss the costs you may expect from them. For that information, you must request a consultation online or by calling them, after which they will contact you to discuss your unique quote.

Cognos HR PEO Perks

They present a solid set of features and may suit your business's co-employment criteria well. The advantages of partnering with them are:

  • Mix of software and institutional services: Because they are a localized provider, they are able to combine both technological and in-person HR services in one hybrid PEO model. That means they are there for you in a greater capacity than other PEOs
  • Dedicated HR personnel: They make HR experts available online to answer day-to-day inquiries and provide fractional, on-site support to help with training, mediation, and other in-person events
  • Advanced HRIS platform: They boast an advanced informational system that automates many of your payroll and employee management tasks while further saving time by allowing employees self-service access for benefits, time tracking, and so on
  • A focus on startups and small businesses: Their hands-on approach is specifically geared towards smaller and burgeoning businesses that need the personal touch to allow them to focus on meeting goals rather than administrative tasks
  • Competitive benefits: They state that they make use of the full number of employees they serve to leverage economies of scale when dealing with benefits service providers, thus ensuring competitive and affordable employee benefits

Drawbacks to Cognos HR

This PEO will not fit many prospective clients' needs. You may not choose them based on the following:

  • Localized to Chicago: They bill themselves as the Chicago HR partner and, indeed, only have two offices that are both in the Chicago area. That implies that they lack the nationwide capabilities of other PEO providers. However, they may still be of use if you're based there but have offices in other states
  • Lack of transparency: They do not share specific plan costs or pricing methodology, and their service descriptions are brief. You have to contact them for a quote in order to discuss these matters in detail
  • No mobile app: Perhaps due to their small size and localized services, they don't currently have a mobile platform for their system or support
  • Scarce business eligibility info online: While they do share some client case studies, they do not specify the company types, industries, or specific sizes they specialize in

Cognos HR Client Perceptions

There is a distinct absence of any client or user reviews online for Cognos HR, whether positive, negative, or neutral. Therefore, there is no way to ascertain how happy users are with Cognos HR's system's usability, the helpfulness of their support, or the relative affordability and value of their services in general. Also, with no BBB profile reserved for them, there is no forum for clients to give feedback or voice their complaints, so we cannot comment on the quality of their responses to their user base.

Customer Service & Support at Cognos HR

They don't have a support page on their website, but they do have a chatbot there that can pass you on to a representative when necessary. You may also fill out a form on their Contact Us page or call them at 630-401-8810 to get in touch with their team. They also have a general email address you may reach them at:

They also make their physical location available, and you can visit them at:

  • 20 N Upper Wacker Drive, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60606; or
  • 17W635 Butterfield Road, Suite 300, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Final Thoughts on Cognos HR

If you have a smaller-sized business or a startup, you may stand to benefit from Cognos HR's co-employment solution--- especially if you are situated in close proximity to the Chicago area. They offer a desirable mix of software-based tools and personalized expert guidance and are even available for in-person support.

That being said, there isn't a lot of independent feedback about them online, aside from that which they feature on their own website, so we can not comment on their software's ease of use, the comprehensiveness of their features, or the quality of their support. Also, the fact that they lack a mobile application for their services puts them behind other PEO companies.

If you're looking for a PEO that can keep up with your business, especially if you need greater nationwide service coverage, we recommend looking at other PEOs and comparing. You can also read about other PEO companies on our reviews page. There are many choices, and one will certainly fit the bill.

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