Outsourcing may help hotels giant cut costs

The
global InterContinental Hotels Group hopes to reduce HR costs by 30 per cent as
part of a drive to cut operating costs by $100m (£54m).

Chris
Paull, vice-president global hire to retire, central shared services
department, said the company had examined outsourcing opportunities, and
quickly managed to implement a change process, including an outsourcing
package, which goes live this month.

“There
was an attitude change in organisation,” he said. “Our hotels need to be world
class. The whole of HR does not need to be at a world-class level – it needs to
be ‘good enough’.

Starting
in early 2003, InterContinental built a business case in two months, receiving
outline approval from the board in March that year.

Paull
said the process was aided by a restructured HR team that breaks HR into three
functions – a global team focused on top talent management, a regional HR team
for support, and a central shared services team focused on back-end processing.

“There
were five people in the project team so we could move very quickly, which was a
big advantage,” he said. “Eighteen months ago, we would have had to involve
many people in decisions. Now it is very simple.

“Other
HR practitioners often get frustrated. They see the opportunity for process
improvement, but the number of stakeholders [involved in the process] makes
this difficult,” he said.

InterContinental
selected ADP to manage its payroll in the US and the UK and also time and
attendance in the US, supporting a total of 30,000 employees.

Paull
said the change ‘sold itself’ to the senior management team due to the savings.

By
Quentin Reade

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