Human Resources Consulting Companies
Human resources consulting companies may be a smart move for companies that are looking to reduce costs and overhead. Payroll, health care administration, 401(k) and even hiring can be outsourced without compromising quality. Care should be taken, however, to ensure oversight of these functions is placed with reputable companies and/or consultants with references that give A+ grades to a consulting company's performance. Prior to outsourcing these types of managerial functions, executives should take a careful overview of why outsourcing should be done, how much money can be saved, how much control to give the consulting company and the tax and financial obligations of the consulting entities as it regards the business for which they consult. Human resource consultants are invaluable resources for wading through this research to provide a clear picture of what needs to be done.
Consulting companies can specialize in just one particular aspect such as payroll, or in many, including retirement programs, training and others. Also, consultants may focus on offering services for small to mid-sized companies, or to mid- to large sized companies. Companies about to experience a merger often hire consulting companies to assist in all aspects of bringing to businesses together so that smooth transitioning can be managed with the least amount of angst among employees. Change within companies often foments paranoia that jobs and perhaps benefits may be lost. Therefore, the clearer the communication is between management and employees the better will be the experience of all involved.
For small companies who do not have the resources to handle payroll in-house, there are a myriad of human resources consulting companies that provide payroll services available and can handle all aspects of this important task. In addition to handling pay for employees, tax services are handled also and filed on behalf of the company. Many payroll services have human resource software offered so that employee recordkeeping can be seamless and in one place. Businesses perform the data entry into the software regarding hours worked and holidays and sick time taken, then electronically send it to the organization that will print the checks and do all the administration tasks associated with the process. Regular financial reports are prepared and available at the service's website for retrieval at any time, making administration of financials easy back at the company.
An extremely important function in the realm of benefit management is ensuring all new hires have a background investigation. Human resources consulting companies can provide expert assistance here. No one wants to find out later that the person hired for a financial position has been found guilty in the past of stealing. Those who are hired to care for children should not have any police record regarding battery or domestic violence. Human resources consulting companies will handle background investigations prior to an employee's first day on the job, so that potentially litigious situations can be avoided. Even when a task has been outsourced, however, businesses should still ensure that the outsourced providers handling these important jobs are held responsible for remaining transparent and accountable. Do not make the mistake of putting blind trust in an outsourced provider without keeping tabs on processes, billing and outcomes. The Lord wants Christians to diligently work while employed, as instructed in the book of Romans: "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11).
Should a business decide that completely outsourcing benefit and employee management functions is above the desired comfort level, and then human resource consultants can be brought in to provide on-going coaching and advice. This could be a cheaper part-time solution rather than hiring a full-time human resource professional which would also require providing benefits and paid time off. Part-time solutions can save on these costs. Perhaps a company would like to discover what parts of the business are not performing up to standard, and it isn't quite clear how to do this. Outsourced providers will provide expert counsel to help pin-point the problem through organizational process analysis, flow charts and surveys of positions. Discovering poor time management problems, positions that are no longer needed or ineffective performance management processes can streamline a company and put money back into the pocket of the business. There is also other software that can be attached to payroll systems that allow functions like data mining to be performed. Using data mining will allow trends to be discovered so that problems or difficulties can be addressed at the executive level. Any information that can be extracted from payroll and employee data base systems hold a gold mine of useful information that can be used to make improvements in almost every aspect of the company. Executives will find this an invaluable tool.
There are human resource consultants who are experts at compensation management who can provide services to create a pay structure tailored to any company. If the company is large, then a consultant will provide comprehensive analysis of all positions and pay levels to ensure pay is fair, and thus provide smooth pay transitions from one level to another. Redundancy in compensation levels is reduced, and ancillary benefits can be added to pay packages such as stock options, bonus packages and more. Human resource consultants who specialize in compensation consulting usually are certified compensation professionals, and carry the CCP designation. Look for this designation when considering outsourcing this important function.
No matter what the business need is,a careful survey of human resources consulting companies available in the market place should yield a human resource company or consultant that can meet the objectives of the company that conducts a thorough research. Making sure all the bases are covered in the benefit realm is to take responsibility for the due diligence every business should be performing, to ensure continued excellent performance.
Strategic Human Resource ManagementThe increasing popularity of strategic human resource management brings new respect for both the company's workforce and the human resources department which plays such an important role in the company's success. Although in the past employers paid dutiful lip service to the idea that people were its most important resource, this fact has come under much closer scrutiny. Workforce issues have become important items for consideration as employers realize that attracting and retaining an effective team of employees is a critical factor in a company's success. In the global business environment, profits and losses can result from even seemingly insignificant areas. How much more, then, of an effect can be produced by the very people who bring the company's objectives into contact with the world on an everyday basis? Although technology and strategies about new ways to provide products and services are important, a workforce is where everything about a business' philosophy and policies is translated into concrete results. For better or worse, this saying by an anonymous commentator is true: 'a company is known by the people it keeps.'
Human resource departments deal with a whole host of areas. One might tend to think of the human resource (HR) department in terms of hiring, resolving disputes and administering benefits. These are important aspects, yet these areas are increasingly being assigned to human resource outsourcing services. Other areas which may be reassigned are employee counseling, retirement and pension planning, temporary staffing, background checks and employee training. Health care benefit administration alone could keep HR personnnel occupied for much of the time. There are many reasons for allowing human resource outsourcing services to take charge of these areas. Although some employers may worry that they are losing control of these areas when they are outsourced, in some cases they may actually be gaining control, since stricter controls may be set forth as part of the agreements with human resource outsourcing services than might be acceptable for an in-house empoyee. Also, employers may be forced to pay closer attention to these areas than would normally be expected. However, take care not to view these services in an adversarial way, but instead as partners working toward mutual goals. The HR service should be a good fit with the company's image as well as its objectives, because the firm will be representing the company as it performs its duties. Be sure it has expertise in the particular industry as well as general HR capability.
Expenses for outsourcing can vary depending upon whether a business chooses to hire a full Professional Employer Organization (PEO), or just outsource a few time-consuming tasks. A PEO will recruit, hire, and deal with everything from payroll to pension administration. Actually, the PEO is the employer, and a company leases these 'employees' from the PEO. This works well for someone who just wants to focus upon the business and not worry about HR responsibilities. If one is not comfortable with that, there is also the option of outsourcing selected areas. Rates for such services vary according to the type of project and the length of time required. To get competitive rates, shop around before signing any contracts. Endorsements from other companies which have purchased these services would also be helpful.
Some other reasons for outsourcing include the desire to have 'specialists' to improve compliance with complex government regulations, or provide services which present staff are not capable of giving, such as certain types of counseling. In most cases, time or money is saved by alloting duties to human resource outsourcing services. HR departments can then focus on areas which will help further company goals. This aspect of management is called strategic human resource management (SHRM).
Although strategic human resource management may call for outsourcing certain of its activities, this does not imply that these areas are no longer an important part of its job description. Rather, such a style of management attempts to link these HR areas with the company's goals and objectives so that business performance is enhanced and a competitive advantage is gained. Instead of a near-sighted involvement with internal conflicts, strategic human resource management focuses on long term human resource objectives, so that employee motivation and productivity can be increased.
Because human resource departments have great influence, a representative of the HR department team should be present at executive meetings and share in company decision-making. In this way, the HR department will be better equipped to do its job, as it will have a full understanding of the needs of the business. Management can also benefit from immediate feedback about the impact its decisons will have upon the workforce culture. Strategic human resource management seeks to have HR personnel involved and accepted as equal partners in formulating company policies and strategies about recruiting, training and rewarding the workforce and creating a culture where business objectives can be obtained. For this reason, do not have HR personnel report through layers of managers who may not share the same outlook about certain aspects of this mindset. Instead, direct HR involvement assures that 'people issues' get equal time with financial considerations in the formulation of company policies.
Speaking about the group of believers, the apostle Paul writes, ...there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. (I Corinthians 12:25-26). In a similar way, the members of a corporation have differing responsibilities, yet each is an integral part of the organization. Working together, instead of competing for resources and influence, members of a business can accomplish many things. Utilizing human resource outsourcing services, an HR department can be free to concentrate on effectively using a company's most important asset -- its employees -- to further a company's objectives in a way that will be beneficial for all involved.