Business-Minded Human Resources Departments More Inclined to Outsource

January 11, 2005
Companies that have lined up their people-related strategies with their business goals are more apt to use outside vendors, according to a study of nearly 100 high-ranking workforce management executives by Jac Fitz-enz.

Fitz-enz’s study found that the companies that said their workforce management philosophies were well aligned with their business strategies generally used the following more than other companies:

  1. Analytics.
  2. Scientific assessments to measure the quality of a job candidate.
  3. E-learning, learning management systems and content management systems--though they didn’t always integrate these systems well.
  4. Business process outsourcing.

Fitz-enz says that outsourcing, now often used for administration and record-keeping, will soon be used more for more complex tasks such as analytics and pre-employment assessment.

Thirty percent of respondents indicated a willingness to invest in technology for human resources; they see these investments as giving them a competitive advantage. Others aren’t sure. Sixty-four percent, in fact, said that whether they make such investments will depend on whether they can prove what the cost savings or return on investment is.

Fitz-enz believes that the reluctance is due to the "caution, disappointment and failure to deliver as promised in the past." Melodye Serino, who designed and conducted the study with Fitz-enz, says that "this is a confirmation of what we suspected people were feeling about technology." The software and systems that people bought in the past, Serino says, sometimes "overpromised and underdelivered."

Unicru, BrassRing, SAS Institute and Workforce Management co-sponsored the survey.