BBC finalises £100m HR outsourcing deal

The BBC expects to save more than £50m and move a number of HR services online after awarding Capita a 10-year HR outsourcing contract worth around £100m.

The outsourcing supplier, which beat rivals Accenture and Xchanging to the deal, will deliver recruitment, pay administration (excluding pensions), some aspects of staff development, occupational health and a number of other HR-related services.

Speaking to Personnel Today after the deal was announced last week, Stephen Dando, director of BBC People, said that Capita emerged as the clear winner after the three suppliers went through a “rigorous evaluation” against 20 criteria, including plans for staff transition, the use of technology and the role of HR.

Anthony Hesketh, director of the centre for performance-led HR at Lancaster University Management School, said choosing Capita was “clear evidence of the BBC sticking to its guns on delivering cost reductions”.

Dando, who leaves the BBC to join Reuters as group HR director in April, admitted that cost-cutting was a key driver for the HR outsourcing deal, but insisted it was not the prime factor.

“Value for money is a big part of the reality of the BBC and rightly so,” he said. “This deal offers substantial savings, but every bit as important is that the deal allows us to re-purpose BBC People as a function that can deliver strategic advantage in the years ahead.”

The HR shared-service centre for the new arrangement will be located in Belfast, currently one of the Capita centres for BBC activity. Around 260 BBC jobs will be transferring to Capita and 100 new jobs will be created in Belfast.

Stephen Davies, programme director for HR outsourcing at the BBC, said the terms went “well beyond” those required under Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

He said that any staff not wishing to relocate to Belfast would be offered redeployment opportunities at other, nearer, Capita locations.

For more from Stephen Dando, see next week’s Personnel Today, online from 28 February.

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