When it comes to HR and payroll, it seems as if everyone is an expert these days. Outsourcing HR and payroll functions is an extremely important business decision—one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
When you outsource, you are bringing on a business partner, one who will be handling your employees’ compensation, training your managers, and keeping you in line with ever-changing employment laws. They will be guiding you on vital decisions including your staffing configuration, business processes and how to keep up with workforce issues such as diversity and inclusion, pay equity and immigration.
Your HR advisor should also be there to coach you—or handle for you – difficult conversations, say with employees who want to work 100% remotely, or with a staff member you need to let go. How will you handle those interactions with empathy and dignity?
Outsourcing HR and payroll functions comes down to people, so you should know the people behind the payroll/HR partner you may be considering.
When outsourcing HR and payroll functions, evaluate these qualities in potential partners:
Depth of expertise
How much would you value the advice of someone who has a year or two in the business world? Be sure to find out who will be assigned to your business and how many years of experience they have. Also inquire whether they have certifications in their field. If you’re dealing with HR professionals, have they been credentialed by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)? Do they have professionals who have the knowledge, and have they undergone training and certification by the American Payroll Association (APA)?
Why are certifications important? They demonstrate an individual’s commitment to their profession, their upholding of industry standards and their dedication to continuing education. Certified professionals keep up with the trends, they understand best practices and they meet the highest standards of professionalism.
You know how frustrating it is when you have a problem and it’s impossible to reach a human being. Before you hire an HR/payroll advisor, find out how responsive they are. When you call the company do you get voicemail with an automated menu or does a person answer the phone? If you have a question or problem, how long do they typically take to get back to you with a solution? Do you have a dedicated team or are you one of hundreds or even thousands of clients and you get who you get?
If there is no dedicated team, you might wonder how the advisor can really understand your problems if they don’t know you and your business.
Last, and certainly not least, do you have access to senior management or better yet, the company owners? As a business owner, there are times you might want to deal peer to peer rather than with an account representative.
The support team
When you pull back the curtain you can tell about a company’s dedication to their clients’ success by the company they keep. Learn who is supporting the company by investigating their strategic alliances and their memberships in professional organizations. For example, does the HR advisor have relationships with one or more labor attorneys who they can call on for ideas and answers to your legal concerns? Do they belong to organizations that are on the leading edge of the industry and are they actively involved, keeping up with the latest trends and issues?
When a business has access to thousands of colleagues and the industry’s leading subject matter experts, you can feel confident that the information and advice they provide is based on best practices.
In the HR space, ask if the company professionals belong to SHRM. If the company is a PEO, they should be a member of NAPEO, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations. Payroll companies should have team members or the company should belong to the American Payroll Association. If they don’t, that tells you something about their commitment to their profession and their clients.
Are you considering a technology-based company that has been in business for less than 10 years? An HR advisor with years of experience but without a support team to back them up? A national brand that has know-how at the senior level, but a rotating cast of account representatives and specialists?
Don’t take the decision of outsourcing HR and payroll functions lightly. The wrong advisor can waste your time and money. What’s worse, they can create problems with your employees’ compensation, PTO and be unable and ill-equipped to mitigate issues that can quickly rise to the point of litigation. The right advisor will handle administration flawlessly and, more importantly, be a key advisor for complex challenges. What’s more, they can help reduce your turnover, lower your risk of employee lawsuits, remove the chance of penalties, and help you grow your business.
At NEMR, we have a professional team of 31 experts supported by dozens of external resources and professionals. We have in-house SHRM-certified specialists, certified payroll professionals and licensed insurance producers alongside knowledgeable technology professionals and a dedicated support staff. Our professionals average 15 or more years of experience and have outstanding skills. Who is giving you advice about your most important asset—your people? If you are thinking of outsourcing HR and payroll functions, Chat Live with us to learn more or Email Us.