With employment law changes taking place regularly, and with the current challenges facing the business community, it is an ideal time to look at strengthening your HR input. Using an outsourced HR provider to provide expert HR Services may be the answer but how can you select the right one?

Flexible to suit YOUR needs – if you already have an HR Officer or department, look for an outsourced provider who can complement and support, not railroad and dictate.  Choose a provider who can flex their input to meet your needs, in a timely manner.

Expertise – You need confidence in their technical knowledge and expertise both in your sector and in the area that you require them to excel in. Look for qualifications and formal credentials, as well as a proven track record illustrating their proficiency.

Integrity and Values – choose a provider that can endorse and confirm your own values and ethos. You need a provider whose integrity and culture are reflective of your own.

Cost – consider whether a fixed term, fixed price contract is what you need, or whether you would prefer to pay per piece of work undertaken. Ensure there is a transparency of costs and that they suit your needs.

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Reliability – you need a provider who can step up when needed, react to your crisis points and be relied on to provide the information, support and direction you need when you need it. Check that they have the resources available to be consistent, and meet your time and capacity needs.

References – do your homework. Check out their website for case studies and testimonials and follow up with a telephone call. Investigate whether clients do repeat business and if they are happy to refer and recommend. How many employees do they have? How long have they been around for? What is their background?

Risks – ask about their risk mitigation; what insurance they have in place, and how they deal with their data and intellectual property.

Communication – ask how on-going communication will work. Will you have one contact who will provide a routine update? Will updates be made in person or in writing? Will you have a named contact or will it be a team effort?

Match to the brief – be clear on what you want. You need a clearly defined brief before deciding on a provider. Consider not just the outcome you need but the autonomy, communication, role, status, input – personality even.

Wider Input and involvement – can you welcome the provider into your senior team? An HR provider needs to be part of the senior management team – a strategic partner not just an HR provider, with an input into the overall business plan.

No Fear – you want a provider will who ask challenging questions, maybe even rock the boat slightly, and bring a fresh pair of eyes to the organisation. You need them to Make A Difference and achieve results, and that can only happen through change and boldness.

In summary, you need to choose a provider that meets YOUR needs as the client – not one that provides a one-service fits all approach.

If any of the issues raised in this article affect your business, and you would like to explore how we can optimise the efforts of your people and encourage organic business growth by providing your with expert HR Services, please give us a call to discuss your options. We’re a friendly bunch and really keen to Make A Difference to your business by finding a solution that works for you, using our HR expertise and experience so call us on 01473 360160.

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