PEO CEO Corner with John Mackle


Tell us about yourself and your background before you joined the PEO industry.

Prior to launching Worksite Employee Leasing, I started two other companies outside of the PEO space, a technology firm and an environmental consulting firm. Prior to those firms, I worked for

Price Waterhouse Coopers and Arthur Andersen in their consulting departments.  However, in every position, the first step I took was to hire a PEO since I was always a huge believer in the concept. When the opportunity to get into PEO came along, I jumped at it.

Please tell us a bit about the history of your PEO. Did you start the PEO or joined the company later on?

Justin Mays and I started Worksite after working together as executives at a large PEO in Sarasota.  We launched Worksite in early 2014 and have been ramping up nicely ever since.  Our mission is to be the “Headache Removal” solution for small business owners.  One example is that we also provide financial services (QuickBooks, tax prep, CFO consulting, etc) as one more way to make our clients’ lives easier.=

How do you explain the PEO services and benefits to a business owner who has not been involved with a PEO before?

I start by asking a lot of questions, and without fail the business owner will eventually complain about not having enough time. That leads naturally into a discussion about our core offerings: payroll, benefits, work comp, HR, etc. and the sheer volume of headaches a PEO’s services will resolve.

What do you enjoy about the PEO industry?

I love learning about our clients’ businesses and getting feedback from them.  It’s satisfying to provide a service that is needed and genuinely improves a business’ chance at success.  I also love the competitiveness of this business, no chance we will ever get bored!

Provide three points that you feel would differentiate your PEO from others

  1. We have zero client attrition: It sounds cliche’ but we really do put the customer first.  We hire the best and brightest in the industry and let them do their work.  The end result is that our clients love us and never leave.
  2. Everything is included: Free HR support, Free EPLI, Free Delivery, Free EAP, Free FICA Tip Tax Recalculations, etc.
  3. We are 100% Broker-centric:   We built Worksite around brokers.  We have zero internal sales people and therefore everything we do is geared towards making us attractive to brokers.  This is done through high commissions, great service, and fast turnaround on submissions.

What is your current opinion on the PEO industry and what is your projection for the days to come?

I think it will become more and more competitive, with technology being the defining factor, but PEO is just getting started.  I’m constantly surprised by how many people (even in Florida) still are not aware of the PEO concept.  As employment continues to become compliance-heavy, outsourcing the HR function will just continue to make sense.

What two or three things can a PEO Broker improve on to assist you in helping them to advocate on behalf of their client?

The single largest change I would like to see from brokers is collaborating with us before the sale.  With Worksite, brokers have direct access to the owners of the company (myself and Justin) as well as others in the company.  If we know the landscape of the opportunity we can come up with a variety of creative solutions that the broker can bring to the table.  Armed with multiple pricing and service options, we can help the broker overcome any objections that may arise.

Who is your ideal client?

We love all types of business (except high-risk codes) but we specialize in the hospitality world (restaurants and hotels).  We offer a variety of unique benefits that appeal to restaurants and hotels, including FICA Tip Tax recalcs, unique safety programs, free admin at startup, etc.

Is your company active in the community or with a particular charity? If so, please describe the involvement.

We donate to a great number of worthy causes, too many to mention all, but we are very close with: C.A.R.E. The Center for Abuse & Rape Emergencies, the Alzheimers Association, Valerie’s House, and HANDY, which meets the needs of Broward County children in foster and relative/non-relative care associated with the child dependency system.  In addition, we are top-level sponsors of the Charlotte County Stonecrabs minor league baseball, the Flatsmasters Fishing Tournaments, Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge & Beer Festival, Punta Gorda’s Downtown Hoedown for the Troops, The Punta Gorda Boat Show, the 4th Fest at Laishley Park, Smuggler’s Haunting on the Harbor and many other great Florida-based events.