It is without question that post Covid-19, it will be a little more complicated to run an organisation, with aspects of health & safety and remote working being the tip of the iceberg.
Many organisations, to ride the wave of the pandemic, have found success with systems and processes that they had not previously considered (i.e.: video calls, remote working, etc). They are also now finding the need to review their business processes going forward, and given that our organisations are nothing without the people in them, employers are asking themselves questions such as:
- How will we transfer current regulations and processes to the post Covid-19 workplace?
- Who will be responsible for PCs, printers, headsets, Internet connectivity and cyber security for remote workers?
- How will employment contracts and job descriptions need to change to accommodate part-time or full-time remote work?
- How will we monitor attendance, sickness and emotional health of employees?
- How will we manage behaviours, disciplinaries and grievances when working remotely?
- How will we create policies for roles that cannot be carried out remotely?
As this is a lot to tackle, many are considering subcontracting their human resources functions to an external supplier. HR, as a non-profit element of a business, is an excellent option to outsource when such expertise isn’t available internally.
This article will examine benefits to outsourcing HR, as well as potential pitfalls and ways to mitigate them.
Benefits to Outsourcing your HR
- Reduced costs – Not all organisations are in the financial position to employ an HR department. Outsourcing to an HR provider will avoid such costs, as well as reducing costs that might be incurred from approaching HR management in a less than effective manner, based on not having the specialised knowledge.
- Increased efficiency, flexibility and speed – Specialist HR providers have the knowledge and experience to be flexible to your specific needs – a level of flexibility not available when following a rulebook with little applied HR knowledge. HR problems are often time-sensitive, and there may not be time available to research resolutions in a book or an HR guidance website, and even then, the information won’t be tailored to your situation. An HR provider offers speedier responses and actions necessary for such cases. This frees you up to focus on the strategic operations of your organisation.
- Access to expert HR processes and IT systems – Organisations specialising exclusively in HR provision will have access to expert HR processes and supporting HR IT systems, often unavailable to those outside of the HR industry.
- Reduced risk – Outsourcing to an HR provider will reduce the risk of making mistakes in managing the function yourself. Employment law carries some finer points that can easily trip up a business owner without specialist knowledge. An HR provider can ensure the law is followed and all processes accurate, giving you peace of mind in knowing that your organisation won’t be prone to inadvertent errors, particularly when now faced with operating under unprecedented pressure.
Of course, there are potential pitfalls involved with outsourcing HR, so we should offer you a balanced perspective. The good news is that there are things you can do to mitigate them.
Potential Pitfalls and How To Manage Them
- Outsourcing what you don’t understand – The risk with outsourcing functions you don’t understand is that your HR provider may not provide you with a solution ideally suited to your company or perspective. Having limited HR knowledge means you may not see this coming. To mitigate this risk, employ the services of an HR provider who is willing to work with you, not just for You should not employ an HR provider with the intention of simply dumping your HR workload upon them – it should be a two-way agreement, where solutions are created through discussion and collaboration, not just delivered to you without your input.
- Becoming complacent after handing over responsibility – Employing the services of an HR provider may give you the subconscious (or conscious!) feeling that you are absolved of some level of responsibility with regards to people management. In fact, you are still responsible for the overall provision of HR services and management of your people. The ultimate responsibility comes back to you, not your HR provider. To mitigate the risk of becoming complacent, feeling that everything is taken care of in the hands of your HR provider, it is key to remember that they aren’t only there to solve people problems – they are also there to provide advice, guidance, documentation and legal support. Use their services as part of your overall business strategy, not just when you need to get out of trouble.
- Having little knowledge of what is going on – There is the risk, when using an HR provider, that there will be some loss of knowledge of the day-to-day HR functions and processes for the business owner. Indeed, some business owners hesitate in considering an HR provider, for fear that they may lose some control over their operations, with all the knowledge, processes and systems becoming the property of the provider. To mitigate this, again, make sure you are working with the HR provider, and not simply paying them to work for Make decisions and formulate action plans in collaboration, and ensure you stay abreast of developments at every step – you could proactively do this or request your HR provider keeps you updated.
With the forthcoming pressure to seriously tighten up business processes and procedures, health & safety and people management practices, to accommodate the likelihood that the effects of Covid-19 will be with us for some time, outsourcing your HR function to trained professionals who can help develop and support your strategies may be a great place to start.
We take the pain out of managing people whilst preventing people problems.
We are a personal, unique HR & Employment Law service, helping employers who cannot support their own in-house Human Resources department.
Our monthly packages are designed to be affordable and scales with your business as you grow.
We hold the highest Employment Law qualifications (Level 7) with our Chartered Institute and all our advice is fully professionally liability insured and accredited by the CIPD and other leading professional bodies, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board.
We have a range of experiences within all UK business sectors both front & back of house from fast footfall, high turnover retail, hotels & catering and pharmaceuticals to Post Production & Advertising.
We are based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and cover surrounding areas including Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire. Get in touch today to see how Consensus HR can help.