Human Resources Outsourcing


Beyond Performance Standards:
How to Get the Most From Your Outsoureing Relationship
by Jesse Yallof and Curt Morgan

• Over the past few years, the most successful benefits and human resources outsourcing relationships have developed as partnerships, rather than contracts
with vendors. The authors of this article reeommend four key actions that include tactics, tools and processes for making vendor partnerships rewarding, productive and open. Following these actions ensures that outsourcing relationships are singularly aimed at meeting or exceeding the expectations of plan sponsors. -4

uch has been written the past few years on performance standards for outsourced benefits and human resource administration service providers. Understandably, expectations set for outsourced services are far higher than levels achievable in-house. After all, why outsource if you can't be assured that you will reliably receive better service for your participants? With their easily deployed staffing and consequent scalability and flexibility, greater technology investment and expanded process expertise, outsourcing providers promise quantum leaps in service and performance—promises that should be, and typically are, fulfilled. But how can you ensure that your benefits or HR outsourcing relationship delivers to its fullest potential? An ongoing challenge for plan sponsors is how to use the contracting process, change order process and the setting of performance standards to actually improve service and help meet the company's business objectives. Are there lessons to be learned from successful relationships about how to keep these tools dynamic and effective in maintaining and continuously improving services? In reviewing some successful (and some less successful) partnerships, we have noted some common factors. One such factor is the effective use of contracts, change orders and performance standards as part of a dynamic suite of tools to document, monitor,...