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Theater lover directs Oasis Outsourcing’s growth

Oasis Outsourcing has weathered good times, bad times and good times again, and grown along the way. Led by Mark Perlberg, Oasis Outsourcing has doubled its growth during the past five years, buoyed by the need for its human resource services by small to mid-size companies.

During tough times, companies might need more of Oasis’ help with managing staff, including downsizing its labor force. In up times, it’s help with hiring, including training and development, Perlberg said.

The West Palm Beach company reported revenue of $4.5 billion in 2011. That figure now stands at a whopping $9 billion.

Today, the professional employer organization, or PEO, processes paychecks, benefits and other human resources services for more than 8,000 clients.

Core services include payroll, employee benefits and workers compensation. Adding to that are the dizzying changes to human resources policies regarding sexual harassment, plus shifting health care policies and employee discount programs.

“Anything that goes into the business of employing employees” is what Oasis Outsourcing tackles for its clients, Perlberg said. And when companies use Oasis’ services, they can outsource these time-consuming services and concentrate on their core businesses, Perlberg said.

Perlberg said he’s starting to notice that large companies are seeking Oasis’ services, which means the company now counts several clients that have 100, 400 or even several thousand employees.

“I think that trend is likely to continue,” he said. “People are recognizing they want to focus on their businesses and they are increasingly willing to let partners do things.”

Perlberg isn’t a native Floridian, but he has become an important part of the community, pouring his love for the arts into Palm Beach Dramaworks, which he says has further enhanced Palm Beach County as a place to live and work.

Name: Mark Perlberg

Age: 61

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York; Lives in Palm Beach Gardens

Education: Magna cum laude graduate of both the University of Rochester and Boston College Law School

Family: Married for 38 years to his wife, Diane, three children and three grandchildren

About your company (revenue, clients/caseload, employees, mission): Oasis Outsourcing is one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), offering HR solutions to clients nationwide. Oasis currently serves more than 8,000 clients and 260,000 worksite employees with annual gross revenue close to $9 billion. The mission of our approximately 1,000 internal employees is to be an innovative and service-obsessed organization that exists to develop and deliver constantly evolving workforce solutions which contribute substantially to our clients’ success.

First paying job and what you learned from it: Paper route … be on time!

First break in the business: Someone approached me with a new business idea. I got involved in a business venture and we were fortunate enough to sell it to Western Union. I had to make a decision about whether to leave the business or continue practicing law. I decided to work for Western Union. I was a business litigation attorney, but I thought business would be a better fit for me, and I have enjoyed this path.

How your business has changed: As we have grown, we have had to learn how to successfully scale.

Best business book: “Uncontainable,” by Kip Tindell, founder of The Container Store. It’s all about how to create outstanding customer service.

Best piece of business advice you received: Tell the truth.

What you tell young people about your business: There is always more to learn.

Many successful people learn from failure. Do you have a failure you can share and what you learned from it? I once ran an ad campaign in one Latin American country that did not work in another. I learned that each culture is unique and must be researched prior to execution of work.

What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? Continued growth. The environment is getting more appealing to people coming to the area. I didn’t have a connection when I moved here in 2003 with my wife and my youngest child. But with the way (Palm Beach County) has grown, we’re able to attract talent from outside the area.

Power lunch spot: Okeechobee Steakhouse.

Where we’d find you when you’re not at the office: The theater. It’s a very deep and first love of mine. My background is directing and playwrighting. I was very heavily involved in college, mostly in directing. I am active with Palm Beach Dramaworks (a non-profit, professional theater) and served as chairman of the board. I’m still on the board. I think the arts has helped the area.

Favorite smartphone app: BuzzFeed.

What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? Drive.

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