July 8, 2019

7 things to consider when looking for outsourced HR

Not all outsourced HR providers were created equal. We show you how to choose the right human resources company for your business using the following seven pieces of criteria.

1. Bespoke HR services

The best outsourced human resources companies don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to HR. Instead, they tailor their offerings to the companies they’re servicing. For instance, some businesses need an HR provider who can help them with strategy but they’re happy to do the administrative side of human resources in-house. For others, it’s the reverse. Meanwhile, some businesses need all aspects of human resources looked after. For others, it may be just one part of it, such as their HR policies and procedures, or help with leadership development.

Whatever your reason for looking at an outside HR provider, make sure they have both the flexibility and resources to meet your needs.

2. Broad human resources experience

Just as no two businesses are the same, no two HR companies are the same either. All come with different specialisations, as well as different backgrounds and experience. And yet, being able to respond to all people-related issues effectively means having the breadth and depth of experience to have seen it all before and to be able to put each HR-related challenge into context. That’s why it’s always vital to choose an HR provider whose team have sound human resources credentials. That way, you’re more likely to find a company whose solutions are relevant and effective.

3. Experience in your industry or sector

It also often pays to choose a virtual or outsourced HR team with experience in your sector. That’s because, although there are human resources issues or customs that apply across the board, others can be sector-specific. For instance, retail and hospitality face issues associated with holiday and weekend work that many industries don’t. Fashion businesses need to foster a culture of creativity that sets them apart, which may mean enforcing policies differently in the way they would be in other sectors. Meanwhile, professional services businesses have an emphasis on ongoing education, quality of work and client relations that you won’t find elsewhere.

It’s important your outsourced HR provider understands these nuances so that their advice is always relevant and reliable.

4. Experience with your type of business

That said, differences between businesses don’t just come about as a result of the industry they work in. They’re also a product of size and structure. For instance, a small partnership is likely to have very different human resources needs, capabilities and issues than a large corporate with offices around the world. Some HR companies tend to specialise in one type of business, others have experience with many different kinds. Whether you’re an SME or a large multinational looking to open an Australian office, it’s vital you choose a provider who suits your needs.

5. The latest HR and business-focused software

The experience of the people you’ll be using may be crucial. However, the software they use is almost as important.

The best HR companies will have access to the latest apps and software for payroll, recruiting, policies, scheduling and more. In other words, they’ll be leveraging technology to keep your costs down and make your experience as efficient and productive as possible.

6. Availability

One sad fact about human resources is that issues usually don’t strike when it’s convenient. They tend to happen when you’re working at full capacity or in holiday periods or when others aren’t at work. And that way they cause maximum disruption to your business and to everyone concerned.

That’s why you should always look for an HR company that doesn’t simply do the nine-to-five but is available whenever you need help. Only then can you be sure you be confident you’ll be resolving problems when they arise rather than waiting until it’s convenient for your provider.

7. A culture that matches yours

Finally, because you’ll be working closely with your outsourced HR company, it’s also vital they have a culture that’s similar to your own – they go about their work in a comparable way, they get where you’re coming from and what you want to achieve. After all, if your HR company is too aggressive or too timid, it’s likely to impact on your staff and the way they react to any action taken. It could also affect the decisions your HR company makes or the way they try to implement things. For that reason, I always recommend getting to know prospective outsourced any HR provider before you engage them. That way you can be more certain you’re on the same page and that they’ll be right for your organisation and your people.

Are you ready to outsource your HR function?

Catalina Consultants have years of experience and knowledge in the space. If you’d like to discuss how an outsourced HR function can help your organisation, then speak with us today.

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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