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Breed of HR Managers

In the light of the fast and evolving changes in information technology, HR Managers have begun to shift into easier access for recruiting or staffing a company. This is how it all started. Computers and the web were the venue of connectivity. Gateway systems for processing big volumes of information became so easy to access that a traditional HR manager in a large firm who was re-hired into a new world of HR outsourcing, serviced several client-companies all in a day’s work.

Outsourcing personnel staffing and services (HR functions) became the new business attitude of companies and corporations because it not only saved time but also made work more efficient. Technology and skills transfer were included in the package when there was a need to bring in certain people and new tasks into a company that deemed itself “running behind”. Outsourcing is a new trend for companies and is here to stay. The logic behind this is that when performance audits are conducted, the company churns out substantial savings when certain HR functions are outsourced.

The outsourced package for the company usually comes maintenance-free. The company does not need to track and monitor the use of new and special skills, but instead

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gets user-friendly reports which are tools that management can easily use to make decisions. Looking for the people to fit for the “outside” skills and tasks is now the job of the new breed of HR managers. Because a company that engages the services of HR managers doing outsourcing creates substantial savings, these new breed of HR managers are entitled to and are getting higher compensation than a traditional HR manager.

Looking into several scenarios of HR managers that have taken the step to become outsourcing vendors, the article in HR Magazine Sept, 2004 issue by Jennifer C. Berkshire, describes some of the HR Managers that have moved to outsourcing. The major points of the article relate the challenging new tasks of the outsourcing HR managers with job satisfaction. It describes that traditional HR manager were confined into an environment which was skills-specific and skills-recurring. The new breed of HR managers serviced various client companies (with varied end-products) posed a new kind of challenge.

The new HR manager had to learn more thereby converting him/her into a generalist. Learning has also its setbacks. Outsourcing HR managers inevitably had to learn new skills, tasks and technical know-how in a dynamic workplace. Learning curves are not of the same velocity for individuals and so as with HR managers. The article further describes some HR managers that have taken the step to move as an outsourcing vendor but decided to return or backtrack into the traditional HR role.

The reason behind it is mere human nature. The HR manager described to wit missed the everyday interaction with the people in the staff, line and management positions. Thus, not all traditional HR managers that have become outsourcing vendors find job satisfaction. Being a generalist has its setbacks too. The article also mentions of a HR manager who is so careful in talking to a client and plays a role that she is very knowledgeable in the needs for the client to outsource the tasks to be done.

It becomes a setback when a client may shoot plenty of questions during the preliminary negotiations before closing the contract for outsourcing. A client may shoot several questions that the HR manager may not be able to answer. The advantage is the preliminary negotiations usually do not happen on a face-to-face basis but instead via telephone or vio-phone. The HR manager can shift to tactical negotiations, i. e. , buy some time, consult the right people who can give the right answer to the client.

Another major point of the article is that the new breed HR manager becomes the sales person, usually taking the lead in closing the deal with the client. Here, when a deal is closed, the sense of achievement of the HR manager gets a heavy weight. It is easy to deduce this because HR managers are not sales persons. Whereas before, in an in-house scenario, HR managers fulfilled job satisfaction if he/she was able to tune up the whole work force to deliver the targeted output. In the new HR manager scenario, the manager would be able to close a deal with new and outside client companies.

The added bonus was that travel was part of the job. Outsourcing companies are usually ahead in the use of developed software and computer hardware. If you look deeper into the operations of an outsourcing company, its main turf is keeping ahead in using information technology systems. This is usually in the field of software for office automation or software for monitoring and tracking company data that is to be analyzed and decided on. Various client companies will definitely have various sorts of data for various analyses.

This is the main reason why outsourcing HR manager should upgrade his/her knowledge, have a general know-how of some major businesses, and become a generalist. To recapitulate, the outsourcing HR manager needs to acquire general knowledge more. He/she leaves an in-house position where there is a need to implement skills-specific and skills-recurring tasks which usually tend to be boring. From the article: “HR professionals who work for outsourcing vendors tend to earn a premium above [15 percent to 20 percent more] what their counterparts in traditional HR earn.

” This is the driving motivation and this is why I like the article. The new breed of HR managers set aside boredom, earn higher, and learn to use the computer more. They talk and interact with new people and meet with them. They sell to them the new software and hardware the HR company has access to, and the knowledge and expertise to use them. They give the client more knowledge of how outsourcing will create very substantial savings and increase the revenues of their company. They talk to them how the outsourced people will bring advantages/disadvantages.

In short, they create their own selling kits for the new HR company. It is indeed a transition from managing people in a traditional HR function, to creating marketing kits, closing the deal with the client and earning more. Majority of the traditional HR managers are best suited for the job because of the in-house experience of interaction with plenty of people. Otherwise, outsourcing companies would have hired engineers or sales people.

References: http://www.outsourcing-toolkit.com/

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