This week’s letters
Benefits of HR outsourcing must be understood
BT’s experience with outsourcing highlights the need for effective
management and communication in the relationship (News, 24 September).
Successful outsourcing requires more disciplined processes than were
previously common practice – but everyone involved needs to understand that
this is a benefit.
If outsourcing is viewed as a way of cutting those unwanted overheads, it will
almost certainly fail.
A key requirement is to impose new disciplines that introduce quality and
control into the HR processes, resulting in a better service to employees and
These objectives need to be communicated throughout the organisation, and
their achievement proven by regular measurement of key performance criteria.
Penny de Valk
Group director, Ceridian Centrefile
BT’s outsourcing cost quotes were ‘out of context’
The article ‘BT’s costs climb in outsourcing deal’ (News, 24 September) was,
I feel, misleading and took comments out of context.
The remarks I made concerning BT’s experience with HR outsourcing, and our
relationship with Accenture HR Services, were not part of a formal interview
with the journalist.
They were points made during a presentation to an audience of HR
professionals at a conference, on the subject of metrics.
To take comments about measurement in outsourcing and present them as
comments about outsourcing per se is, in my view, misleading.
BT’s decision to outsource transactional services and training delivery was
the right one, and we have made huge efficiency gains and service improvements
as a result.
Director HR strategy, policy and organisational design, BT Group
Two weeks ago, we published our joint research with Manpower
which shows that businesses and temps in the UK will be damaged by the EU
Agency Workers Directive. We called on readers to e-mail Ieke van den Burg, the
MEP responsible for the directive, directly and get this piece of red tape
changed. Here is an example of how our readers responded:
Dear Ms van den Burg,
As the domestic bursar of a Cambridge College and an employer
of temporary staff, I am compelled to draw to your attention the potential
damage that the Agency Workers Directive in its current state is likely to
cause my college.
We use a number of European students who are in this country
studying the English language and we keep them in employment over the course of
They value the opportunity to work in a collegiate environment,
usually as members of the waiting staff serving dinners in Hall.
The proposals that such temporary workers become eligible to
similar rights of employment as regular staff will effectively mean this
College will no longer be able to employ these people.
I suspect that ultimately it will mean less Europeans will be
able to come to this country to learn English as they will have insufficient
ways of generating income to sustain their time here.
The ramifications I think are beyond your honourable intentions
and will have an effect no only on higher education in Cambridge, but on the
general education of young people in Europe.
I trust you will consider this in pushing through this
I R Herd
Domestic bursar, Gonvill & Caius College