Human Resource Outsourcing

Businesses continue to spend millions upgrading its technologies and in acquiring the latest tools and processes but align fewer resources in developing people. The human resource intimidates businesses because people are complex and this carries unpredictable risks for any organization. Yet, it is because of their complex nature that people are able to adapt to the ever changing conditions in the global business environment.

Optimizing the Power of People

The technologies, tools and processes a company may have spent millions on could be rendered obsolete in a matter of weeks or months. But the human resource can be trained and developed to foresee and adapt to change faster and at less cost.

HRO has risen in demand largely because as a support service, it allows the client the means to re-align more resources toward core activities that directly contribute to the primary enterprise. Second, Human Resource Outsourcing contributes to the profitability of the client not only by generating significant cost savings but through the implementation of best practice ideas and policies that can build a team to support revenue generation activities in the long-run.

Finally, as an outsourcing service, it gives clients the opportunity to capitalize on the abilities of the human resources without the inherent risks associated with complex human behavior.

Human Resource Outsourcing or HRO focuses on the most important yet most overlooked asset of any organization: PEOPLE.

The challenge of Human Resource Outsourcing is to recruit candidates who are not only competent in the skills required of the job but to qualify those who are “right-fit” for the client. The idea of right-fit means selecting candidates who not only fit the personality profile of the client but should be aligned in purpose and vision as well.

The challenge becomes more daunting when recruiting and selecting prospective Virtual Assistants, online assistants and remote workers from other countries where cultural and social nuances come into consideration.

Thus, in order to be effective in Human Resource Outsourcing a holistic program must be in place during the selection process. A holistic program focuses on three (3) components:

1.  Technical – The level of competency on the specific skills required of the job.

2.  Fundamental – The working knowledge on basic work skills like spreadsheets, word processing, e-mail, Internet navigation and the level of proficiency in written and spoken English.

3.  Behavioral – The ability to communicate; take instruction, work within a group environment, receive criticism and the socio-economic background.

Of these three, most businesses focus extensively on the Technical and Fundamental components opting to hire those with the most certifications, best recommendations and highest scores in skills-based tests. But the Behavioral component is eventually the game-changer and dictates whether the candidate is right-fit or not.

The truth is, even the most highly recommended Virtual Assistants will fail if there is no connection or understanding established with the client. To do this, all behavioral patterns that exist and may impede performance and productivity must first be identified and addressed prior to the commencement of the working engagement.

By doing these, the HRO provider can arrive at a more effective mechanism to determine if client and the Virtual Assistant or remote worker will be right-fit.

Here are a few steps that may be included in the Human Resource Outsourcing process to support the objectives of the behavioral component:

  1. Subject the virtual employee to a self-diagnostic test to assess his or her core values. Our core values determine how we think, behave and react. These are the basis of our decision-making process and are greatly a result of our life-time experiences and interactions.
  2. Initiate a preliminary dialogue between the client and the virtual employee that will be more informal in tone and conversational in conduct. What we want is to put both parties at ease and be familiar with the thought processes of each other through cordial engagement.
  3. Both client and virtual employee, if from different countries, must be oriented on relevant and specific cultural and societal nuances that may potentially create misunderstandings during the engagement period. Language and cultural practices are diverse from one region to another and may have different meanings or interpretation.
  4. The HRO provider must utilize tracking mechanisms and other metrics to plot the progress of the virtual employee and submit these data regularly to the client. The data will be used to reference and interpret weaknesses and strengths in performance.
  5. Schedule a regular meeting with the client and the virtual employee. The purpose of the meeting is to address pressing issues if any, discuss work performance and future plans. The meetings could be as frequent as monthly or quarterly.

Human Resource Outsourcing is a branch of BPO that is expected to grow over the next few years. In fact, a more modernized approach to HRO has slowly found its way to the roundtable discussions of companies. It is called Resource Process Outsourcing or RPO. The difference is the greater use of tools and processes in the selection framework.


By itself, HRO will remain a relevant strategy in guiding businesses through the next wave of world changing events by optimizing the power of its greatest resource: PEOPLE.