7 Signs That Your Company May Be Ready for HR Outsourcing

Updated: April 30, 2009

There comes a time in the life of most successful businesses when a decision has to be made as to whether certain HR tasks are best handled in-house or by an HRO (human resources outsourcer). Making the right call at the right time isn't easy, but certain telltale signs can indicate when it's time to "pull the trigger" and call for help. This is what you should look for:

Spiraling Costs: Rapidly rising costs in payroll , benefit management and other key areas continue to be the primary driver for HR outsourcing. While cost reduction isn't the only reason for using an HRO — efficiency, quality and speed are other motivating factors — it's certainly a major consideration.

Missed Deadlines: If a growing number of employees are complaining that critical documents, ranging from paychecks to W-2 forms, are arriving late, it's a sign that something is broken. There's a good chance that the delays are being caused by an HR department that's stretched beyond its capabilities. An HRO can step in and help get critical work back on schedule without the need to hire new HR employees or upgrade facilities.

System Overloads: If HR tasks are beginning to overwhelm internal IT resources, it's time to either invest in additional technology or turn at least some of the crippling workload over to a third party. HROs rely on their own IT systems, enabling in-house systems to focus on non-HR-related tasks. A cost/benefit analysis may show that it would be cheaper for your business to shift data-intensive and high-priority HR resources, such as employee databases and Web self-service operation, to an HRO rather than invest in new on-site technology.

Increasing Mistakes: No HR department is foolproof, but snowballing goofs are another sure sign that people and systems are being stretched beyond their limits. Assigning mistake-prone work to an HRO can lower the pressure on in-house staffers. The best part is that an HRO can be held accountable for supplying a basic level of accuracy in whatever work it handles. This is especially important in situations such as payroll where legal compliance is an issue.

Poor Quality Work: Mediocre or worse output over an extended period of time is a sign that an HR department is being overworked or — more ominously — simply isn't competent. While a business may wish to experiment with new managers and work procedures, it may be simpler to just outsource everything to a third party, either permanently or while a new HR department is being assembled.

Disgruntled HR Workers: Employee griping is as common as office football pools. But when the complaining begins drowning out normal discourse, it's time to start considering remedial action. An HRO can step in during busy seasons to take on the extra time-consuming tasks that drive up HR workloads and staff discontentment.

Competitors' Moves: Are many of your business' prime competitors shifting to HROs? If so, they might have spotted a need that you may not have yet detected or have been unwilling to acknowledge. Ask around and find out what benefits your rivals are gaining from outsourcing HR work. You may discover that these same issues apply to your organization.

Featured Research
  • The Social Side of Service

    Did you know that 83% of Twitter users who tweeted a complaint said they loved receiving a response from the brand? In order to provide the best possible service to your customers, you MUST provide service on the channels that they are utilizing. Social customer service might seem scary and undefined, but can be much more effective and less expensive than traditional channels. more

  • Video Conferencing

    For many, the mere mention of video conferencing brings about bad memories of conference rooms full of people staring at a screen with dodgy sound, fuzzy images, and broken connections. What if we were to tell you that over the past decade, video conferencing solutions have evolved to where they are affordable to businesses of every size and have evolved beyond just the standard boardroom. Today, 74% of B2C marketers and 94% of B2B marketers use video in their marketing efforts. more

  • EHR Implementation

    More and more medical practices are selecting and implementing electronic health records (EHR) than ever before. In fact, statistics show that the number of practices who have purchased an EHR has doubled in just three years. That being said, many practices fail to prepare for their new EHR and thus do not gain the full benefits that come with implementing a solution. more

  • Selecting the Right EHR for Your Practice

    The purchase and implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) system is no small feat and is a big step for a practice, small or large, to take. Selecting your new EHR is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your practice. more

  • 8 Ways Business Travelers Can Save with VoIP

    Do you or any part of your workforce travel for work, or even telecommute? If that answer is yes, then you should be utilizing mobile VoIP. With VoIP, businesses have been found to save as much as 40% on local calls and a whopping 90% on international calling expenses. more