Selecting an external HR partner
When finding a solution to your business problems, you always have two options: hire an in-house team, or outsource the project. While many businesses find it difficult to outsource their requirements, outsourcing can boost business growth and efficiency.
Outsourcing is a boon for businesses in today’s challenging markets. As businesses look to scale or expand through outsourcing, it is important to choose an outsourcing partner that will help get the maximum benefits possible. To realize these benefits, you also need to consider a number of factors before making the final decision. If overlooked, these can result in failures, time loss and additional costs.
Outsourcing partner selection checklist
Technical skills and expertise. Your outsourcing partner should have the necessary skills and expertise for the tasks/project you want to outsource. They should have in-depth knowledge of planning, execution, trouble-shooting and consulting your business in the domain. You must ensure that the partner not only has the expertise required today but also what you may require over next 3 to 5 years as your business expands.
Access to technology. Technology is evolving at a brisk pace and it is difficult for businesses to keep up with it, especially in the non-core areas of their operations. It becomes more critical in this situation that your outsourcing partner uses the best available technology to provide you with the fastest, cheapest and the best quality service out there. If given a choice, you would want to choose a tech savvy partner.
Experience in solving problems. You know how to solve your core problems but you may not know how to solve problems for tasks which you have outsourced. If the outsourcing partner is inexperienced, their problems will become your problems sooner or later. Hence, it is important to select a partner who is seasoned and knows how to solve the frequent problems faced in their domain. This will not only save you significant time over the long run but also provide valuable support and insights.
Commitment to your project. You should select a partner who would do justice to your business. If you go with a very large partner, you would not be a significant client for them and will never get priority treatment. On the other hand, if you select a very small partner, they may not have enough resources to support your business. It is best to have a partner, for whom you are one of the top 10 clients but not the largest or second-largest.
Reputation and pedigree. Your reputation is in the hands of your outsourcing partner. If they fail in delivering, your business is impacted. Hence, it is important to partner with someone who has goodwill and honours their commitment. Also, make sure that the company you are choosing guarantee accurate and on-time tax payments and also guarantee to come good on other government rules.
Flexibility. Outsourcing partners almost always want clients to take their standard offerings, which is usually the least effort for them. They try to avoid too many customizations but more often than not you will need them. It is very rare that a B2B solution is one-size-fits-all. You should select a partner only after discussing your needs, challenges and budget which is agreeable to your partner.
Security of information and data. You cannot take the security of your data lightly in today’s time. From hackers, competitors to failed IT systems there can be several ways in which data can be leaked or lost. It is essential that you find the right outsourcing partner who can manage your data safely by having the right infrastructure. Any data breach can be a huge reputational risk for you or your customers.
Importance of a single HR partner
It is common for companies to deal with multiple service providers and get parts of the entire job done from each one. This not only increases the time and effort invested, it also means that you manage the entire risk of not delivering the results. A better idea is to have a single one-partner model where the partner understands your requirements and is able to customize their solutions to benefit you.
For HR, you would want to partner with someone who can complement your internal team or take over it completely. For this the HR partner needs to have experience and expertise in all transactional and transformational aspects of HR along with a deep understanding of dealing with regulators.