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7 HR Functions That Can Be Outsourced to Free Up Time for More Strategic HR Tasks

When by every standard, 2020 and 2021 have been the most volatile years in modern history, it would be a strategic mistake for HR & business leaders to assume that the coming years will be easier. If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, it’s that change –relentless, disruptive, and unpredictable— is the only characteristic of the future that we must all come to expect and be fully prepared for.

Skillfully navigating today and tomorrow’s increasingly challenging business climate will mean slightly different things for different organizations. However, if there is one fundamental area in which all organizations — regardless of industry or location— must be at their best to win, it is in the area of people management.  

Come rain or shine, regardless of what storms the future will bring, the organizations that will survive and thrive will be those with a superior people management infrastructure that enables them capture value quickly. For many organizations, this will mean a massive re-adjustment in how their HR team does what it does in helping the business win. It will call for a new kind of HR— an HR focused disproportionately on creatively and innovatively: 

  • Attracting and retaining talent 
  • Managing performance 
  • Making culture a competitive advantage  
  • Developing talent 
  • Creating leadership teams 
  • Leading transformational change 

In a nutshell, the future-ready company will be one with a highly strategic and effective HR team that enables the business to execute its strategy.  

The implication for CHROs and their teams is that they must figure out the best way to simultaneously deliver low-cost, efficient, and high-quality HR transactions, while at the same time operating as business and strategic partners.  

One of the most viable ways they can accomplish this is to outsource selected HR functions to a highly qualified HR outsourcing organization and restructure the HR unit in ways that will focus it more on vendor management and strategic business issues. 

Recommended Post: Top 7 Job Roles You Can Outsource To Drive Revenue Growth

The Strategic Thinking Behind Outsourcing HR Functions

An image illustrating The Strategic Thinking Behind Outsourcing HR Functions
Woman sketching a business plan on a placard at a creative office

By its most basic definition, HR Outsourcing is a practice in which an organization hires a third-party organization to handle its human resources activities. 

Every minute HR professionals spend on routine tasks is a minute taken away from doing their core work— providing their organizations with strategic support that delivers value.  

The fact is the bulk of the routine administrative functions that distracts HR professionals from their fundamental purpose of value creation, is the core business of an outsourcing service provider. Therefore, besides freeing up HR’s time for more strategic tasks, outsourcing HR functions also gives HR teams access to highly specialized HR expertise.  

7 HR Functions That Can Be Outsourced

An image illustrating 7 HR Functions that can be Outsourced

HR functions that can be outsourced cover a broad spectrum of services, from day-to-day administrative tasks to long-term, strategic initiatives. And though it may look very different depending on your company and its unique needs, here are seven crucial HR functions that are frequently outsourced: 

1. Payroll Administration

Thanks to the somewhat complicated and laborious nature of payroll activities, it is a full-time job in and of itself. The larger the number of employees that an organization has, the more delicate payroll gets. Therefore, outsourcing this vital task with its many moving parts—including time-tracking, benefit deductions, payroll tax filing, reporting, and more—frees up time for you to focus on business strategy. 

As an HR outsourcing firm, our payroll administration services include: 

  • Payroll setup 
  • Payroll tax filing 
  • Processing weekly/biweekly/semimonthly/monthly payroll cycles 
  • Paid time off (PTO), vacation, and sick leave accrual 
  • Online payroll submission 
  • Automated standard deductions 
  • Standard payroll reporting 
  • Access to an integrated time and attendance system 

2. Employee Welfare Management

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) estimates that the average HR professional spends roughly 25 percent to 30 percent of their time researching and managing employee benefits that protect their organization’s bottom line while maintaining employee satisfaction.  

The question is: why sacrifice such valuable time doing what can be easily and quickly accomplished by partnering with a reliable benefits administrator? Through negotiated contracts, volume buying and economies of scale, an outsourcing provider like Workforce Group can deliver welfare programs advantages that many individual HR professionals may not be able to secure on their own.  

3. Recruitment Process Outsourcing and Background Checking

Without a doubt, the hiring process is one of the most crucial activities in any business. With the massive influx of professional jobseekers (individuals whose only real competence is interviewing for the job) into the West-African job market today, talent acquisition is fast becoming an increasingly complex process

These days, an organization’s best chance of finding the right hands at the shortest time possible lies in their ability to circumnavigate the barriers to effective recruitment, the toughest of which are access to an established pool of qualified candidates and a custom-designed candidate assessment tool.  

Outsourcing your company’s recruiting process to a firm like Workforce Group not only grants an organization instantaneous access to a facility that disables these threats, Workforce’s rigorous hiring process also ensures that companies get the best hands-on in the market, eliminate delays in their hiring turnaround time, and build a pipeline of experienced talent. Workforce’s HR outsourcing services also includes mass recruitment and pre-employment background checking 

4. Staff Outsourcing 

Over the decades, temporary staffing has proven to be an integral part of many business strategies. For many companies, temporary staffing is important to their bottom line because it enables them to better manage labour needs when supply and demand fluctuates. This flexibility can mean the difference between a profitable year and a year in the red.   

If your organization ever has the need for highly qualified, short-term staff, Workforce can work with your business to provide needed staff in a matter of days. Through a standardized HR management system, we identify, screen, interview, deploy and manage all HR related activities for junior to senior staff in roles ranging from sales, operations, administrative, finance, IT and other technical functions, on-site or remotely. 

5. Organizational Development Outsourcing (OD) 

Before now, a strategic activity like OD was traditionally deemed too near an organization’s core competence to outsource. However, with the growing acceptance of transformational outsourcing, SMEs who direly need organizational development support, but can’t afford to hire a team of senior HR executives on a full-time basis can now turn to a highly-skilled HR outsourcing firm to meet this need.  

Working with Workforce Group in this area will provide your organization with a package that can include: 

  • Business Simulation 
  • FLIGBY Leadership Simulation 
  • Strategy & Team-Building Retreats (Team Performance Improvement) 
  • Corporate Performance & Execution Management 
  • Graduate Development Programme 
  • Management Development Programme 

Suggested Read: How to Outsource & 8 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

6. HR Technology Solutions

The right HR technological tool can be a game-changer for HR professionals and their businesses if they choose the right solution that fits their specific and unique needs. 

When there are several options to choose from, the best HR technology platform for your business will be the one that best aligns with your HR strategy to support your business’s goals. 

Workforce’s proprietary HR tech solutions include: 

  • Alldayhr

This in-demand HR solution helps manage the entire employee life cycle. The platform leverages technology to oversee and manage your employees’ end-to-end needs comprising; client self-service, employee self-service, applicant tracking software, assessment, documentation, performance management, leave management, absence management and existing management. 

  • Outwork

Boosts your field staff productivity using geo tracking, instant communication, report automation. Outwork helps your business succeed by putting you in firm control of your field staff and off-site activities.  

  • Outlearn 247

Affords your organization an intelligent, cost-effective, and easy-to-implement Learning Management System that makes learning for all your employees easy and scalable. Online courses can be deployed through this platform quarterly to provide learning support to boost your employees’ performance.  

7. Employee Training & Development and Performance Management

For most organizations, the benefits of outsourced training & development and performance management are quality and cost. 

An outsourcing partnership with us provides your organization with: 

  • Access to employee performance-management technology, including online/onsite supervision. 
  • Employee performance-records maintenance  
  • Identification of employee competencies/skills gaps 
  • Onsite training, eLearning, and employee development tools 
  • Skills development that includes training and coaching 
  • Ongoing performance feedback 


An image illustrating the future of work in the conclusion

The future of work has long been anticipated, and now, it is here. Relentless and volatile change is the only predictable characteristic of tomorrow’s business climate, and only future-ready organizations will survive. 

The quality and management of human resources will be the differentiators for businesses of the future, and the sole factor that decides whether a business survives or dies. Therefore, future-ready companies will be those who develop and unleash the strategic capabilities of their HR executives.  

It is therefore crucial that any HR function/process which can be done better and cheaper externally rather than internally, be considered for outsourcing. 

Seven time-consuming but crucial HR functions that Workforce Group handles effectively for organizations that trust us are: 

  1. Payroll Administration 
  2. Employee Welfare Management 
  3. Employee Training & Development and Performance Management 
  4. Human Resources Technology Solutions 
  5. Recruitment Process Outsourcing and Background Checking 
  6. Staff Outsourcing 
  7. Organizational Development Outsourcing (ODD) 

With 17+ years of experience, over 120 consultants and 8,000+ outsourced staff, we have helped over 250+ clients achieve their desired business results, increase revenue and mitigate risks of doing business on the African continent. 

With Workforce Group as your HR business process outsourcing partner, we handle both core and non-core HR activities and functions while you focus on the essentials.

Reduce your overhead costs – Outsource your administrative work to us.  

Our in-depth industry expertise, experience and capabilities cut across recruitment, talent development, welfare management, performance management, and payroll services. 

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