BPO Experts Comment

By Outsourcing Center, Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Senior Writer

BPO Experts Comment

The Conference Board HR Study: Lessons from BPO Experts

We asked some BPO experts their thoughts on the Conference Board study of human resources (HR) trends. Here are their cogent comments.
Denise Pelham, senior director, portfolio management

EDS, a Plano, Texas BPO service provider:

“The report accurately described the importance of value creation. Companies are willing to let go of the transaction functions so they deal with strategic issues.

We’re seeing that trend even more in Europe. HR outsourcing allows the HR department to focus on the human capital management side of the operation instead of day-to-day transactions.

For example, an HR employee can now add value by dealing with business issues that improve workforce optimization practices. They can ask and help solve questions like:

  • Do we have the right people, in the right jobs at the right pay?
  • Can we change our mix of where our labor pools reside?
  • Are the organization structures working effectively?

“While the study placed cost a distant third, we’ve seen American companies placing much more emphasis on cost since 9/11. As a result, we’re finding cost is a basic requirement to play.”

Mike Salvino, vice president Accounts and Sales for North America

Exult, an Irvine, California HR BPO provider

“The Conference Board survey results confirm the growth trend we see in the HR BPO services marketplace. We believe that global companies will continue to focus on core competencies and the growing complexities around managing their work force. They will continue to choose to spend their valuable time, resources and efforts in the areas of strategy, workforce planning and development.

Increasingly, we have seen companies at the vanguard of business management look to HR service providers to help them accomplish the administrative and transactional services required to support the higher value activities. Ultimately, our business is about enabling people to focus on creating better value for their organization.

Brian Doyle, vice president of Accounts and Sales for Europe and Asia-Pacific

Exult, an Irvine, California HR BPO provider

“The momentum in the U.K. has definitely picked up and Exult’s European and global pipelines are extremely active. Value creation is what HR BPO is about; more companies around the world are seeking innovative ways to achieve business objectives.

“Global corporations are moving toward a comprehensive model in outsourcing HR services to increase corporate business efficiency and profitability. We are confident that we will see a continuing rise in demand for BPO engagements.”

Michel Janssen, President of Supplier Solutions

Everest Group, a Dallas, Texas outsourcing and BPO consulting firm

“Value-add HR BPO is growing much faster than many people realize. Most HR BPO figures include a significant portion of traditional, transactional processes such as payroll, which effectively mask the true growth rates for the more value-add enterprise processes. Our view of the market suggests 30 to 50 percent annual growth over the next five years for the non-transactional processes.”

Peter Bourke, president
Spherion Outsourcing Group, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

“While the study indicates a reluctance to outsource certain HR processes, we expect outsourcing to take on an increasing role in helping companies apply talent in ways that are better, faster, more agile and more innovative than the competition. With demographic trends pointing to a shrinking pool of skilled labor, an outsourcer who clearly understands how to manage the workforce life cycle-from planning to acquiring to optimizing people-can maximize performance in non-mission-critical but clearly important support functions such as call centers, administrative services, retail sales or similar high-volume, highly decentralized functions traditionally plagued by high turnover.”

About the Author: Ben Trowbridge is an accomplished Outsourcing Consultant with extensive experience in outsourcing and managed services. As a former EY Partner and CEO of Alsbridge, he built successful practices in Transformational Outsourcing, Managed services provider, strategic sourcing, BPO, Cybersecurity Managed Services, and IT Outsourcing. Throughout his career, Ben has advised a broad range of clients on outsourcing and global business services strategy and transactions. As the current CEO of the Outsourcing Center, he provides invaluable insights and guidance to buyers and managed services executives. Contact him at [email protected].


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