Outsourcing should not compromise standards

The outsourcing trend has taken another lurch forward with a $40m deal
between Cable and Wireless and e-peopleserve.

Outsourcing, of course, is all about money. The motivation for outsourcing
is not primarily to improve the delivery of HR services. It is about exploiting
economies of scale and the outsourcing partner’s investment in technology. It
is about controlling costs and reducing cycle times.

Of course, the cost efficiencies brought by outsourcing can improve the
quality of HR – by streamlining services and allowing in-house HR people to be
more strategic. But the real success of outsourcing will ultimately be measured
in hard cash.

For many HR teams the challenge will be to take a leading role in driving
through the deal. They must make sure the outsourcing model is right for their
organisation and the service that results is not remote and impersonal for line
managers and staff. If HR doesn’t do this, outsourcing will cut costs at the
expense of good HR services.

Refugee skills campaign success

Ministers seem to have listened to our Refugees in Employment campaign.
Refugees minister Lord Rooker told Personnel Today this month’s White Paper on
immigration would propose that new induction centres record asylum-seekers’
qualifications, skills and work experience.

The minister also said that red tape would be cut and paperwork would make
it clear when employers were allowed to take on refugees and asylum-seekers.

The Government has to walk a political tightrope on the asylum issue.
However, it is right that being tough on bogus asylum-seekers does not result
in genuine victims being deprived of the right to work – or employers missing
out on a valuable source of labour.

By Noel O’Reilly

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