Crisis lessons: the unexpected advantages of outsourcing HR

Periods of crisis serve, in many ways, to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation. The long weeks we have been living through have notably demonstrated the value of outsourcing HR administrative tasks. A value that can be measured in terms of efficiency to ensure continuation of service but also in the capacity to provide real support to the management of the crisis itself. Provided, of course, that the right service provider has been chosen.

Saving time to be able to concentrate on crisis management

Crisis management is like a race against time made even more complex by having to address many issues at once: social, IT and technical issues, legal, communications, etc.
In the case of the recent crisis, HR services were particularly under stress to set up protective measures for staff, organise teleworking in conjunction with other services, but also to envisage the legal and regulatory solutions available. Companies whose non-strategic HR tasks were outsourced were able to fully appreciate the benefits of being relieved of them and being able to concentrate on crisis management, particularly when it came to preparing salary statements with deadlines that could not be adjourned. A continuity of service at payroll level and absence management were made possible when the service provider was rapidly able to organise teleworking for its services. This was the case for Swiss Risk & Care where 97 % of staff were able to work from home without a break in their missions.

Outsourcing: a source of new competencies

Might makes right. Due to its unprecedented character, the Covid-19 crisis has forced us to adapt. Public authorities have had to modify employment law over the last few weeks. For example, the perimeters of RWH have evolved, certain administrative steps have been modified as a result, and new measures have been put in place, etc. All these changes have led to many questions arising in HR services. The HR service provider should (must!) provide regulatory and legal monitoring. It is inherent to the full accomplishment of its missions. Companies have thus been able to obtain support and qualified answers from their service provider’s experts.
The crisis has revealed another advantage of outsourcing absence management: the capacity to analyse each case of absence, on a case by case basis, while taking into account the new rules and regulations and corporate activity to provide the best response to the employer and the employee. Having access to reliable information and advice with high added value also provides a gain in time and efficiency for the recipient company.

The key factors for successful HR outsourcing

The technical means made available by the service provider must be clearly defined. Furthermore, for an outsourcing mission to be successful, the choice of service provider must ideally be made through a call for tenders.
Another important element: the service provider must work according to standards established by an external auditor. It provides a real guarantee of quality as well as an excellent working tool. Swiss Risk & Care employs such standards (ISAE 3402 & Swissdec as well as conformity with the FDPA) and is audited annually on the previous 12 months. As well as this specific audit, we have an overall annual audit of our procedures.
Another essential point: ensuring data confidentiality. For our part, they are hosted in Switzerland with an extremely high level of security.
Finally, the human side must not be underestimated. It is particularly important that the team of consultants made available to the client company is stable and attentive to its needs. Over time, the dedicated teams made available to the client company become an extension of its own HR services. A relationship based on trust, which reaps its full benefits in both turbulent and calm times.


The Author

Séverine Bovagne
CareDesk Manager Absences and Payroll
Swiss Payroll and HR Administrative Management Specialist for over 20 years, 10 of which were spent in service externalisation, Severine is responsible of a team of 20 who outsource HR activity for a local and international clientele.