Last night, I had the opportunity (again) to sit on a panel discussion sponsored by the Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut (ABCT) to talk about operational challenges for new companies and the issues associated with hiring.

ABCT is one of those success stories in Connecticut that should get more press than it does.  It’s a competitive entry, six-month long program for entrepreneurial research students and faculty, MBA’s and MD’s interested in forming new ventures in biosciences.

One of the themes of the discussion was that hiring employees is not for amateurs anymore. As another panel member noted, there are just far too many requirements now (training, paperwork, policies) to just shoot from the hip.

And yet, new employers still need to hire staff in order to grow.

One solution we discussed was giving greater consideration to PEOs, such as ADP, Paychex or Insperity (just to name a few names — not endorsing).  There are various services that small employers can use — everything from payroll, to full scale HR oversight. Each comes with a price tag, but for smaller companies it might be worth the piece of mind knowing that you’ve got someone with expertise following the law.

Though new employers consider PEOs for the HR and payroll expertise, one panel member highlighted another reason they are critical: Health insurance.   These PEOs are able to offer market products far more attractive to employees that what is available in the marketplace.  That alone may be reason enough to engage their services.

New and small employers should understand the employment law landscape now. There is sexual harassment prevention training, and Paid FMLA on the way, and, well you get the picture.  Consider how you’re going to use the funding you have to make sure you’re doing hiring the right way.

Because if you don’t pay now, you may end up paying a lawyer down the road.