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Zywave’s Take: The recent benefits disruption

Monday, October 9, 2017
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Zenefits has radically re-positioned itself as a technology company, supposedly helping you as a broker rather than competing with you. Does that mean that you’ve vanquished the disruptor and are free to go back to the old days? Not precisely, and here’s why—Zenefits recognized a need in the market, changed the expectations of your clients and prospects, and your competitors have taken note. So how does this impact you?


Fact: 80% of employers are looking to reduce their benefits admin costs, according to a recent Guardian study.

Lesson: Time = money. Anything that you can take off HR’s plate is worth its weight in gold. Many of you have taken on the bulk of the burden during open enrollment season, but you should look for solutions that offer clients easy ways to stay on top of address and other demographic changes that employees submit throughout the year.


Fact: Typically, the ratio of HR staff to employees is 1:100, which makes it likely that the bulk of your clients operate with an HR department of 1 or maybe 2 people to handle everything—including recruiting, onboarding, training, performance management, payroll, benefits and conflict resolution. They need help.

Lesson: Seek out tools that demonstrate that you understand HR task management and workflows. Think onboarding ends after Forms W-4 and I-9 are completed? Think again. Your solution should solve the day-to-day needs of workforce management, which include tracking recruitment workflows, communication, acknowledgement of training, notices and policies, scheduling of device upgrades and online personnel folders.


Why Should You Care?

There’s no doubt that employers value business partners who recognize the need to relieve HR teams of some of their burden so that they can focus more of their time and expertise on top strategic initiatives like developing leaders and retaining employees. The brokers in your backyard, professional employer organizations, payroll vendors and other technology vendors recognize this. You probably do also, but may need a little help navigating the waters. Here are some questions to keep in mind when evaluating solutions:

  1. Will partnering with your chosen solution build the exit barrier you are looking for? Will your client be able to maintain access to the same software through another channel, such as HR consultants and carriers?
  2. Do you want to be able to roll out a solution to one client or to your entire book of business? Will you incur additional costs as you roll out a solution to additional groups? What solution will you provide to those clients for whom you don’t want to pay a PEPM fee?
  3. Is your software solution partner in your corner, with a history of partnering with only insurance brokers?


Lastly, HR tools are not just for paperless enrollment anymore. If you are not offering solutions now, make sure that you have a plan to roll out tools to your clients in January!

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