Knowing the HR Dance and your HRO Dance Partner
As an analyst, as I conduct my market analysis of multi-process HRO – which will be completed in November – one of the questions I am asking service providers is how buyer expectations are changing.
And we should all be asking how HR as a profession is changing.
HR is under pressure on every front. It is struggling with reassessment and repositioning of its role within the corporation. It is scrambling to address rapidly changing business needs in an increasingly global environment amid shifting corporate structures and a heightened surround of regulatory complexity. At the same time, it has had to reduce its own operating costs and impact overall spend and business results.
How do you meet the needs of an organization driven to address short-term issues while it faces dramatic transformation challenges that do and will impact the future of the enterprise’s capability to compete? How does HR perceive its own issues, and how does that align with realistic expectations for outsourcing?
Check out Hewitt’s Managing HR on a Global Scale. This 2009 HR survey of 85 global organizations highlights several key challenges facing HR which also impact outsourcing opportunities.
For example, as an advisor or provider I would want to note how HR is sorting itself out to be more global. HR is organizationally balancing when to be local (by country), regional and global. Per the Hewitt survey:
• 30 percent described their HR model as global with CoEs and HR operation groups that address policies, designs and delivery on a global level
• 43 percent indicated they are two-tier, with some accountabilities at corporate and others at the divisional or regional level
• 27 percent were still in some other form, including in traditional functional models with duplication by division or region
Getting buy-in from the key decision makers inside and outside of HR has always been key. It is also important to understand the organization’s capability to manage its portion of the transition.
Think about what services are being considered and where are they managed today. If this is going to be an organization’s first major effort to move key HR services from local control and many legacy systems/vendors to a global control and an outsourced platform in a company that is still largely managed by division and region, service providers and advisors alike know what they are getting themselves into! But the potential client may not be as aware of the level of change management for which it will be responsible. If an advisor is involved in the deal, it can be very helpful in educating new buyers on realistic expectations for outsourcing and in building an understanding of their role in success. No advisor? Be ready to lead some basic HRO dancing lessons.
Know the HR profession, its issues and pressures – know the dance. Know the specific client and their issues and pressures – know the dancer. Assessment of potential client readiness is of increasing importance in determining which HR prospects to pursue; it is also key to structuring deals that deliver and meet the goals of both parties.
Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall