The overwhelming impact of COVID-19 on the HR function has been inevitable. HR executives have long organised their employees based on the convention that office floors were critical to success. Productivity, satisfaction, and efficiency all relied on employee proximity, and slow adoption of flexible working meant talent pools were largely untapped. These executives suddenly found themselves unprepared in the shift to zero touch employee interactions and (trying to) manage heavily administrative HR processes in-house.
Such drastic changes for employees and clients alike means business continuity has never been so important. The role of HR Outsourcing (HRO) in these transitional times has become more prominent, as an enabler of zero service disruption while keeping the employee experience at the heart of all operations. Last year, the global HRO market was estimated to be worth $32.8 billion, but is now projected to reach $45.8 billion in the next six years. This means the sector will grow nearly five per cent by 2027, indicating the lifeline HRO partners are throwing businesses in the virtual work environment.
As an alternative means of managing internal resources, external HRO specialists are providing businesses several innate benefits that far exceed the traditional brick-and-mortar model - more so than obvious cost savings and increased profitability. Outsourcing partners now have a dual responsibility: to help businesses keep HR delivery processes running smoothly, but also enhance them to preserve the overall employee experience.
It is no surprise why, across industries, organisations are rushing to decentralise HR functions to streamline workflows and capitalise on growth opportunities. Some of which are:
Transform Human Capital Processes with ‘First Time Right’ approach
Being able to manage a constant stream of employee data, and keep track of payroll, compensation, and budgets is a task made increasing complex - not to mention compounded by cost pressures. When these services are managed by those with proven technical expertise and ability to spot anomalies in data, a reduced total cost of HR operations allows in-house executives to turn their attention to the employees themselves. Earning back the time and money, usually sacrificed to manual processing, means leaders can focus on understanding how best to support and train employees in their remote roles.
Accelerate Digital and Technology Impact
Achieving preparedness in the face of future disruption has shot to the top of every business leader’s agenda. According to a recent Deloitte survey, over 60 per cent of global Chief Experience Officers anticipate occasional, or even regular disruptions of the same scale as COVID-19 moving forward. Yet the same report also finds less one third of leaders feel confident that their businesses could react to future threats quickly. Organisations need to be able to ramp resources up or down when required, to handle fluctuating demands from customers and employees alike. When the time for a safe, fuller reopening comes, leaders can feel reassured that outsourcers have put a scalable, flexible, and agile delivery model – compliant to regional regulations across client landscapes – in place. These specialists, accustomed to dealing with payroll and pension administration, have a greater, trustworthy understanding of differing legislation across cities, states, and countries.
Unlock data possibilities/establish business metrics
Understanding all the data floating within a company’s infrastructure is a mammoth task in itself, but ensuring the data possibilities within it are unlocked is another. Embedding analytics into data reporting of employees allows HRO experts to establish key performance metrics, which are strategic to the business. This produces actionable, error-free insights that can inform critical decision-making for HR client teams, on how to sweat investments and maximize utilisation of systems and human capital. Continual improvements in HR capabilities only enables faster achievement of process maturity and an enhanced end-to-end HR ecosystem.
Enhance the employee experience
Increased satisfaction of end stakeholders starts with employees. Organisations should be actively investing in tools, technologies, and processes to understand their teams and how best to serve and support them. Arming employees with tailored onboarding and personal development programs – made accessible through integrated staffing solutions - will support career advancement despite working predominantly from home. Local talent pools are available to manage such employee interaction services. They can use their skillset to maintain strong employee relations, not to mention streamline recruitment processes in large volumes. Allowing the experts to resolve employee issues means a direct line of communication for internal wellness liaison can be established.
The future of HRO
Hybrid (or completely remote) working models have become an irreversible trend since the pandemic began. As employers seek to reimagine business strategies, they are sourcing sustainable growth opportunities from the bottom-up, starting with transforming human capital processes. HRO has grown to become an appealing means of alleviating pressure from existing HR departments in the immediate instance, but also becoming more data-driven, cost-effective, and focused on wider employee objectives in the long-term. From hire to retire, partnering with specialist hubs for smart HR solutions is augmenting manpower in a way that will exceed the expectations of future stakeholders.