President Obama to Reward Companies That Invest in the U.S.

In the USA Today last week, there was a feature with President Obama giving a talk to the business community, where he gave recognition to them for keeping jobs in the U.S.

The President said the economy has changed, and the transformation has been painful for many American workers who used to work in factories where they thought they would retire from, but those factories relocated overseas where the cost of labor has been cheaper. The President recognized that we live in a global economy and other countries want to develop their companies internationally and will therefore want to employ workers all over the world.  But right now, the U.S. is in a unique moment in time where it has the opportunity to bring jobs back as the U.S. has people available and ready to work now. The President wants companies to invest in America, and he is set to introduce a tax proposal that would reward companies who bring jobs back to America and eliminate tax breaks for companies that are moving jobs overseas. The President has set a goal of doubling the export of goods and services by 2014.

So the big question is, will this scheme work and what does it mean to offshoring HRO? As one data point, let’s look at the percentage of HRO contract value by location according to NelsonHall’s latest quarterly HRO Confidence Index released in December 2011:

  • 72% Onshore
  • 16% Nearshore
  • 12% Offshore (the 12% is consistent with April 2010 when tracking of this data point began).

Although some American companies have brought back previously offshored jobs, I believe it will come down to a combination of cost and service. First, pending what the actual tax breaks are that the President will be able to provide, CFOs will evaluate the outsourcing cost savings vs. the tax benefits of bringing jobs back. If HRO service provider jobs are brought back, vendor clients are not going to want to pay more. If the tax breaks don’t cover the labor cost savings, will vendors be willing to eat the extra cost? I don’t think so. Much will also depend on the current level of client satisfaction with outsourced services.

Depending on job type, it is easier said than done. As an example, let’s take moving outsourced call center jobs back to the U.S. Part of the reason call centers are offshored are due to multi-lingual call center support, including for MNCs, that can be provided from HR service centers such as in Manila. Then there is offshoring of non-client facing jobs, often referred to as back-office administration. For example, sourcing of jobs can be done when U.S. offices are closed overnight and candidates can be delivered next morning.

In sum, once the specific tax breaks are known, CFOs will commence cost savings analysis, followed by vendor and client discussions on where and how to best provide HRO services.

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Customer Satisfaction, hr outsourcing, hro, HRO Confidence Index, Keeping Jobs in the U.S., nelsonhall, outsourcing, President Obama, Tax breaks, workforce retention

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