Outsourced HR - What's the benefit? - performHR

Remember the comedy series Fawlty Towers?

It told the story of husband-and-wife team Basil and Cybil Fawlty and their escapades running their hotel in Torquay, England.

Whatever job needed doing, Basil was often the person who did it. Whether it was running the front desk or serving breakfast, pouring drinks or attaching a moose’s head to the reception wall – Basil was your person.

Sometimes the results were good. Sometimes bad.
Invariably chaotic. Never consistent.

I often think of the ‘Fawlty Towers’ way of operating when reviewing how many companies manage their HR.

HR, much like ‘running a hotel’ has many components to it, each with their own unique skill requirement.

Within HR there are eight core subsets, that each and every business needs. But, just as you’re unlikely to be the best breakfast waiter and a stellar housekeeper, no HR person is ever going to excel at all eight subsets of HR. At best they’ll be competent – but since when has competent been an aspiration?

Why consider HR outsourcing?

The alternative to the ‘Fawlty Towers’ approach, of course, would be to bring in specialists for each job.

Today, an increasing number of companies are taking this approach to more and more aspects of their operation; bringing in expert talent when they need it, rather than trying the DIY approach.

HR is no exception – and HR outsourcing has a number of key benefits, for both your business and your people, including:

  • Best-practice thinking, systems and processes
    If you work with an HR outsourcing company, you can get access to world-class talent to supplement and support your existing capability. Of course, you may not need that expertise all of the time – sometimes a project or an issue may determine that you do. So being able to nimbly bring in that talent when you need it can be invaluable.
  • Bringing a fresh perspective to your capability
    With experience across multiple industries, regions and companies, an outsourced provider can provide a fresh perspective on old problems and help you redefine what ‘great’ looks like for your business.
    Often, it’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day, reacting to the urgent, rather than prioritising the important.
  • Allowing business leaders to focus on core functions
    Outsourcing your HR to a team that truly understands what great people strategy looks like, and has the capacity and capability to deliver it, creates the time for leaders, decision-makers and employees to really focus on tasks and activities that add strategic value to your business.
  • Flexibility for you to support your ever-changing business needs
    The size and focus of the HR team will likely need to shift over time in line with the organisational life cycle and this is difficult to manage with permanent employees. With an outsourced provider, you have the ability to engage the right skill set at the right time. A few hours of HR administrative support, a dedicated HR generalist, and the ability to tap into a variety of specialists as required – the team can flex as your business needs change.
  • Peace of mind knowing you’re doing the right things
    Employment law is a complex environment, and a delicate balance between legal, ethical and cultural factors is needed. Practices and legislation are constantly changing, so it’s imperative that the people responsible for your compliance are armed with the right knowledge. Working with an external HR provider ensures your company has access to the right information at the right time.

Ultimately, HR should be an enabler for your business. It should provide you with a strategy showing how your people are going to help you deliver on your business plan, and set solid foundations from which to develop your company and your culture.

It should ensure your rock-solid systems and processes are bringing out the best in your people, and it should ensure things are done in a consistent and deliberate way.

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