What to expect from an HR Agency
Every company needs to supply HR services for their employees. This is true whether it's a huge company with a department just for human resources services, or if it's a very small company with an employee, manager or owner performing HR duties. Human resources might not constitute a whole department at a small company but someone handles the duties of going through CVs, interviewing and deciding if someone is a good hire, orientation and training of new employees, helping employees fill out paperwork, making sure they understand their benefits and options, and much, much more. Even if these duties are split between several people, they are the very definition of human resources services.
Many companies exist which offer to outsource your HR functions or offer significant support to relieve your staff of such duties. HR services companies can provide the following services:
- Email, telephone and on-site support
- Management of documentation incl. employee handbooks, contracts and policies
- HR Auditing
- Legal advice and compliance
- Training and development
- Performance management
- Employee benefits
- Recruitment and induction
- Absence management
- Employment tribunal indemnity
All of which can provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re compliant with legislation, able to handle HR issues that arise and indemnified against tribunal losses.
You can expect many and varied services from HR agencies. Already willing to take paperwork off your hands, a number of providers are even offering value-added solutions to set themselves apart as the HR outsourcing trend grows.
An HR agency can do wonders all sizes of businesses. But exactly which of their services should you avail of?
The answer depends on your business needs and priorities. To help you make an informed decision, here's a rundown of the different forms of assistance that HR agencies often provide.
Tracking Down Talent
Most businesses hire HR agencies for help in finding suitable candidates to fill in key positions. And most HR agencies specialise in the sourcing and placement of staff, having access to a talent pool that businesses would not be able to track down on their own.
Where recruitment is concerned, the process usually begins with a company announcing a vacancy. In response, an HR agency posts job advertisements or searches through its resume database to look for prospective candidates. Those that pass the initial screening are interviewed and asked to take tests that gauge their capability.
Once the results come in, the HR agency narrows down the selection and facilitates final client interviews. From that point and until the company officially hires one of the applicants, the HR agency will remain the point of contact for both parties.
Should the chosen candidate be dismissed or leave the organisation before a set time period (between three and six months), then the HR agency starts its search again.
If you need help with HR functions other than recruitment, don't worry. Most HR agencies also offer services that will allow you to build a reliable and skilled workforce and improve your productivity.
- There are providers adept at not just screening candidates but in profiling them as well, so you don't have to second-guess your choice. Psychometric testing may also be requested to gain insight into the personality, behavior and cognitive ability of a candidate.
- Many HR agencies are experienced in conducting a job analysis to help you determine the nature, value and requirements of a particular job.
- Some take on the role of advisor or consultant, providing expert opinion on how to deal with HR matters such as introducing a new or revised organisational structure. They can also serve as your resource for local and international market trends, especially when it's time to plan your long-term goals. And in case you want access to salary data, you can turn to them as well.
- If you are worried about staff turnover, you can ask your HR agency to conduct an employee engagement survey. Should the results show that many of your workers are unengaged, you can initiate changes that will motivate them to stay.
HR Services: When to Outsource
A very small company is not going to want to outsource human resource services because it just wouldn't be cost-effective to do so. A good rule of thumb is too look at how long all employee-related issues take. If the owner of a company or a manager is spending between 15% and 25% percent of his or her time on employee-related issues that fall under the HR services umbrella, then it's worth considering outsourcing as an option.
Most small companies that have less than 20 employees won't have enough HR issues to make outsourcing a good idea. When the employee roster grows beyond that, HR services can grow to represent a decent chunk of time (and therefore money) that could be spent more wisely elsewhere.
Before you decide on the services you will get, make a list of all your HR duties as well as the functions that you would like to introduce. Do you want to outsource all HR processes or just a few?
Again, your priorities and needs will come into play, as well as the direction your company is taking. So study your options and pick out those that you feel will benefit your business and your employees the most.
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