Is your HR function at risk of being out sourced?

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Recently a number of companies have shut their HR departments down completely; outsourced the function or reduced it to a minimum. The reason they have done it, and not suffered any significant push-back, is because their HR function wasn’t delivering any real value. Most of their time was taken up with bureaucratic and administrative tasks or legal issues. If HR doesn’t deliver some unique value then outsourcing it, might make a lot of business sense to senior management.

One of the contributors to potentially not delivering enough value or being perceived as not delivering enough value is mission confusion: HR departments are trying to serve two masters. On the one hand, they are there to provide support for the employees and, on the other hand, they are there for the company and the senior management to help manage, monitor, discipline and appraise employees. This conflict of interest can cause friction and in many instances HR departments deal with the dilemma by swinging to one side and ignoring the other.

One solution (for those of you who have at least two resources in HR) is to redefine yourself by putting two functions in place: a people analytics’ function and a people support function.The role of the people analytics function is to look at the role of people more scientifically and support the company with insights and analytics. The kind of questions this function would help to answer includes: What are our talent gaps? What makes a good employee in our company and how do we best recruit them? Which employees have got the highest potential? How can we predict staff turnover?

The role of the people support function is, as the title suggests, supporting all employees in the organization – from the front line to the senior leadership team. The tasks of this function include: helping employees with their development; ensuring staff engagement; identifying issues with morale and culture and looking after the well-being of the people in the business.Finally, be proactive and look at outsourcing or automating the non-value adding part of HR (payroll, benefits, HRIS administration tracking, etc.) before someone at your company asks you to do it.

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