Why the steps you take to provide great HR services are so important

You have decided to outsource the human resource function of your business to an outside firm that specializes in this service. Now that you’ve taken this step, it’s important that you let the experts do their job.

“You may take it personally when someone comes in and gives you an honest assessment of how your company does things,” says Stephanie Martinez, Director of HR services at Benefitdecisions, Inc. “Understand that the firm you are working with is putting that information out there so you know what your exposures are and the risk associated with not doing things a certain way. The goal is to make your organization the best it can be.”

Smart Business spoke with Martinez about the advantages of using an external firm to handle HR and how to make the transition seamless.

What are the advantages to outsourcing HR services?

One major advantage is risk management. There are many different employment laws that have come about and it can be hard to stay on top of the changes and stay in compliance. Outsourcing can help you avoid costly lawsuits by knowing the proper rules and regulations.

You have the ability to bundle various offerings at a lower cost and save on personnel when you think about the individuals you would otherwise have to hire within an HR department.

You can gain efficiency by streamlining processes and administrative functions. An outsourced HR partner can create a paperless environment that gives employees an easy-to-access portal to manage their benefits and make changes online.

Finally, there is an increased opportunity for employee development. You have someone who knows the law and has the expertise to handle different situations within an organization.

How do you begin your search for an HR firm?

Identify what services your company needs and then find a firm that can provide those services.

Create realistic goals and timelines and develop a plan that is achievable and can be accomplished within that time frame.

You also have to take into account how receptive your employees are going to be to the HR firm when you first make the move. If you have never had HR before and now you are trying to implement it, it can be a radical change for the organization.

Another important piece is ensuring the leadership team is committed to working with the firm you hire.

It’s going to take time and effort to work with the firm, to identify those goals and to provide support. You need to communicate your buy-in to the HR effort to your employee population.

Talk to employees about the decision to outsource your HR functions and be clear about the role they are going to play. Demonstrate that they have your support to do what it takes to strengthen your organization.

What if you have concerns about the cultural impact?

A good introductory way to start the process is to work with a consulting firm and do an HR audit or assessment to see where the gaps are in your company. Identify those high-priority areas that need to be fixed immediately and what can be fixed later on. That will provide an opportunity to work with both the firm and a consultant to see if there would be a good fit on a long-term basis. Some companies don’t even know what they need, so the HR consultant can help you identify those issues.

How can you help the process be more effective?

Communicate to employees that the HR consultant will be on-site at set times and dates each week and give them an internal email address so that they have a way to communicate with that individual.

Once HR is on-site, the level of employee requests usually increases because employees know there is someone available who can help. It’s great to align expectations with employees right from the start.

A good HR firm wants to help you provide a positive experience for your employees. You don’t want anyone to leave the organization not having a good experience because that reputation will follow you.

Insights Employee Benefits is brought to you by Benefitdecisions, Inc.