By Beth Ellyn Rosenthal
We asked some BPO experts their thoughts on the Conference Board study of human resources (HR) trends. Here are their cogent comments.
Denise Pelham, senior director, portfolio management
"The report accurately described the importance of value creation. Companies are willing to let go of the transaction functions so they deal with strategic
issues. We're seeing that trend even more in Europe. HR outsourcing allows the HR department to focus on the human capital management side of the
operation instead of day-to-day transactions. For example, an HR employee can now add value by dealing with business issues that improve workforce
optimization practices. They can ask and help solve questions like:
Do we have the right people, in the right jobs at the right pay?
Can we change our mix of where our labor pools reside?
Are the organization structures working effectively?
"While the study placed cost a distant third, we've seen American companies placing much more emphasis on cost since 9/11. As a result, we're finding
cost is a basic requirement to play."
Mike Salvino, vice president Accounts and Sales for North America
Exult, an Irvine, California HR BPO provider
"The Conference Board survey results confirm the growth trend we see in the HR BPO services marketplace. We believe that global companies will
continue to focus on core competencies and the growing complexities around managing their work force. They will continue to choose to spend their
valuable time, resources and efforts in the areas of strategy, workforce planning and development.
Increasingly, we have seen companies at the vanguard of business management look to HR service providers to help them accomplish the administrative
and transactional services required to support the higher value activities. Ultimately, our business is about enabling people to focus on creating better
value for their organization.
Brian Doyle, vice president of Accounts and Sales for Europe and Asia-Pacific
"The momentum in the U.K. has definitely picked up and Exult's European and global pipelines are extremely active. Value creation is what HR BPO is
about; more companies around the world are seeking innovative ways to achieve business objectives.
"Global corporations are moving toward a comprehensive model in outsourcing HR services to increase corporate business efficiency and profitability. We
are confident that we will see a continuing rise in demand for BPO engagements."
Michel Janssen, President of Supplier Solutions
Everest Group, a Dallas, Texas outsourcing and BPO consulting firm
"Value-add HR BPO is growing much faster than many people realize. Most HR BPO figures include a significant portion of traditional, transactional
processes such as payroll, which effectively mask the true growth rates for the more value-add enterprise processes. Our view of the market suggests 30 to
50 percent annual growth over the next five years for the non-transactional processes."
Peter Bourke, president
Spherion Outsourcing Group, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
"While the study indicates a reluctance to outsource certain HR processes, we expect outsourcing to take on an increasing role in helping companies
apply talent in ways that are better, faster, more agile and more innovative than the competition. With demographic trends pointing to a shrinking pool
of skilled labor, an outsourcer who clearly understands how to manage the workforce life cycle-from planning to acquiring to optimizing people-can
maximize performance in non-mission-critical but clearly important support functions such as call centers, administrative services, retail sales or similar
high-volume, highly decentralized functions traditionally plagued by high turnover."