Oh to be back in high-school school again; but now armed with today’s great buzzwords.  

Counselor: “Jeff, your grades in general are pretty good but your chemistry scores are awful! You won’t get into your school of choice like that”

Jeff: “Yes, as part of an internal analysis we have determined that Chemistry is outside our core competency and so we are seeking to outsource – partner if you will—with an outside provider for such needs for the next 3 to 5 years. This will free us up to focus more on our Chemistry strategy rather than operations specific to those areas as well as divert more capital into our primary value proposition. i.e. centers of excellence” 

Counselor: “Specifically?”

Jeff: “Sleeping and Eating”

Counselor: “I see”

HR BPO MOLOCULE resized 600

Yeah…it probably wouldn’t work but I had you going there for a while. School must be fresh on my mind because of all the research and writing I have been doing as I complete a white paper on the subject of Kronos and HR Business Process Outsourcing.

Business Process Outsourcing, that is an organization contracting with an outside provider for services or business processes, is unique in that these services or processes were historically thought essential to be done internally. More and more I am finding that this is significantly different than the classical supply-chain based arrangements; buying instead of making a component or sending components out for some processing such as painting. In stark contrast, outsourcing a major organ such as Human Resources is an order of magnitude more risky.

However, as in my little counseling session above, there is an implied incompetence when a company elects to outsource the HR business processes no matter what positive spin they put on it. They have basically said ‘we can’t do these pieces well enough’. This begs the question, does the organization therefore know enough about these pieces to properly frame and shop for a vendor who does?

My research shows that all too often they do not. Actually I had a lunch date (core competency!) and so I leveraged research done by folks like Deloite, HFS and Vantage Partners, among others. I also drew on my own experience at Improvizations, Shell & Siemens with good and bad experiences adding color commentary to the hard data. If you have any interest in HR BPO I promise a good read. If you are a Kronos stakeholder considering or in the midst of an HR BPO effort it is a must read!

Simply titled, Kronos and HR BPO, it is not a top down ‘Best Practices HR BPO treatise’ (there are clearly plenty of those not being taken to heart already). What I hope to equip you with is rather a bottom-up or, perhaps more accurately, inside-out view of what the Kronos Workforce Time Keeper stakeholder should do when its partner HR/PR processes are being outsourced. In particular, outsourced in an environment where one hasn’t done the required study, expectations are high, and your current performance has been deemed below average. On second thought, maybe I am glad I am no longer in high-school. Stay tuned!

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