Outsourced HR – how to choose the right provider for you

Engaging a dud outsourced HR consulting company could be financially depleting and it could place your organisation at risk. Especially if you haven’t done your background research to ensure they have the skillsets your organisation needs.

Let’s be very clear. The HR Consulting Industry is an unregulated industry. Anyone can claim they have the requisite skills and experience and launch their services as an independent HR consultant to unsuspecting businesses. Therefore, companies who are looking to use an outsourced HR Consultant should always do a thorough “interview” process to ensure they are getting a provider who stacks up to their claims.

By considering the following points you can avoid making the wrong decision:

1. Find out how much experience the outsourced HR consulting team has and if this experience is at a senior HR consulting level in a large, complex work environment. Many HR consultants who go it alone, make this decision too early in their careers. They have not yet built up a strong foundation of employment relations knowledge in a real workplace setting, or they have only worked for small companies where their exposure to situations and good mentors were unavailable. Unfortunately, this situation often results in substandard solutions as an independent consultant. You only know what you know, right?

Tip: When doing your research find out more about their pre-consulting career and ensure they have previously worked in a senior HR role within a large, complex organisation.

2. Find out if they really understand HR law. Or are they just claiming they do as a sales hook? Understanding the ins and outs of law and legislation, and how it is applied in a practical sense is vitally important to ensuring your organisation is better protected. A truck driver may know a bit about car engines, but you would take your car to a mechanic to be diagnosed and repaired, right? The same concept should apply when managing your HR – look for specialists in the area you need to focus on, rather than consultants that know a bit about everything. If they cannot talk in detail and ‘off the cuff’ about complex industrial relations issues, then generally it’s a sign they may not have the right knowledge.

Tip: Established companies with 10+ staff should look to engage specialists in a number of areas rather than using a ‘we can do everything for you” provider. This will give you a higher level of expertise for your spend. No-one is an expert at everything. So, we recommend choosing an employment relations specialist for HR compliance and advice, a WHS expert for your safety needs and a recruiter for recruitment.

3. Find out if your outsourced HR consultant or firm will lock you into a lengthy contract. These lengthy contracts can be 3-5 years which is way too long! No HR provider should lock your business into a contract which is more than two years in length. Often, companies that want to lock you into lengthy contracts are more expensive than necessary, as they provide a range of benefits that you may not ever use or need.

Tip: Take the time to understand how long you are required to sign up for, and look for package options that suit your situation.

4. Find out how the outsourced HR consultant structures contact. For example, are there time limits on phone calls? Is there a certain amount of times you are allowed to call or do you have a bank of time which you have paid for, and what is the fee once you have used your time up? Are these arrangements too complex for what you need?

Tip: Think about how time arrangements might impact you and your business.


Industryus HR services established small and medium businesses. We specialise in employment relations using our HR ACE model which focusses on HR advice, Fair Work compliance and improving effectiveness for organisations.

To book a Free Introductory call, please call our Gold Coast head office on 07 5655 4047 or email hello@industryus.com.au

Industryus HR services the Gold Coast region, Brisbane, and from Melbourne to Cairns. Book a Free Introductory Call here.

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