Many entrepreneurs starting out in business will take on multiple roles ranging from logistics, sales, marketing and accounting. But as businesses grow it makes to sense to hire or outsource certain activities that frees business owner’s time. The first step for most businesses will be to take on an outsourced accountant or digital marketing specialist. But what about finding an outsourced HR provider how would you go about doing that?

Try before you buy – For many businesses it will make sense to engage a HR provider on a one-off project basis rather than engage directly on a retainer basis in a first instance. The advantage of doing this is to test the waters to see if there is a match between your business and the HR provider. Does the HR provider understand your business and goals? Do they partner well with you and give clear advice? If your experience is positive you can look to have an ongoing engagement with them.

Try to find a local outsourced provider – It is true that with teleconferencing, phone and email you can in theory work with any provider. However, if you outsource to a local business then on the rare occasions that you need onsite support you will have the peace of mind that your outsourced provider can come in to give you the additional support needed. Usually these will be the times you will need HR support the most.

Be wary of long-term contracts – Some providers offer long-term committed contracts. Be wary of these providers as you will receive templates and have access to a call centre for advice. You can expect to get differing advice from different call centre advisors who do not know you or your business. HR providers that have confidence in the service they deliver will not require a tie-in period.

You don’t need HR…you need good advice to make your business even more successful – Outsourcing versus recruiting an internal HR person has cost benefits. But if your criteria are based solely on price then you may get an unpleasant surprise when looking to get help on recruitment, complicated grievance or disciplinary issue. What is needed is an advocate to turn to for clear advice on all issues related to managing your people effectively. You need an organisation to partner with in the long-term. This is why at Optima HR we first take our time to get to know our clients and their business which in turn enables us to better support their needs.

If you are a business based in Berkshire or London and looking for ongoing HR support or consultancy then you can visit our website to get more details at  www.optimahr.co.uk or alternatively you can call us on 0203 086 8387. We offer free 30-minute HR consultation on any HR topic.