The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

HRaaS

HRaaS

Oct 30, 2012

Every now and then I think I have a thought that is pure genius. This is not one of them. Instead, every now and then I have a thought that simply entertains me for longer than it should. This is definitely one of those.

I have not yet figured out the appropriate pronunciation for this. It might either be HR-ass, or harass. Either way, the thought popped up in my head while pondering the wonders of HR outsourcing. I mean, if we think about HRO, all we are really talking about is HR as a service, right? You subscribe to a service whether it is payroll or benefits outsourcing, or technology and call centers. You expect that the vendor will keep up with best practices, update their technologies as needed, have the right staffing ratios as your organization grows (or not), and maintain all the service levels you have negotiated. It really does sound like HR as a Service to me. It is unfortunate that HRO organizations have not adopted the acronym however.

We talk about it as HR service delivery after all, so why do we call the relationship HR outsourcing? Sure we have outsourced the delivery of parts of the service chain to someone else, but at the end of the day, it really does not matter if the service is internally or externally delivered. It’s simply a component of HR services that our employees and managers expect to get from us. What matters most to us is that the employees get the best experience possible in a scalable and cost effective solutions. (ok, so they really don’t care about the last 2). I mean, let’s think about the value proposition that HRO gives us. They can scale better, they can add technology with more agility, and and they are supposed to be rurally good at executing their core.

So next time you have a HR transformation project that includes HRO, I dare you. No, I double dare you. Brand your project HRaaS. (come on, I at least got a chuckle out of you, right? I really prefer not to laugh alone.)

2 comments

  1. Yes, you got a chuckle. I too spend inordinate amounts of time chuckling over my own brand of humor, often times, something that can not be repeated in polite company.

    I too think HR outsourcing (which I define as the outsourcing of both the process(es) and the associated automation) needs a new name. The word outsourcing is too politically charged these days. So, while HRaaS is also not politically correct, a new name is called for.

  2. Lexy, I’d love it to be HRasS, but while politically incorrect on every front I can think of, it’s also redundant. It’s like saying “Service as a Service.”

    Either way, I had forgotten I had ever written this post. Still making me chuckle…

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