HR Knowledge advises on when and how to outsource human resources

Jeff Garr, CEO

Juggling the needs of your business with business tasks can be a delicate balancing act. Whether you elect to do things in-house or outsource tasks such as human resources depends partially upon the company’s growth, and partially upon finding excellent outsourcing partners.

Jeffrey C. Garr, CEO of HR Knowledge, Inc., a leading HR, payroll and benefits service provider in the Boston area explained, “As a company grows, it’s important to know when to look for support outside of the company. This is referred to as outsourcing. Knowing your strengths helps you to determine what aspects of your business can be outsourced to a specialist, which ultimately saves you time and money in the long run.”

There are five keys to understanding when and how to outsource human resources for success:

1. Know your core value proposition. The first step to intelligently delegating work outside your company is understanding what you do best. This is your core value proposition. Many of the things that are important to running a business will pull your attention and focus away from the core value, and understanding it and knowing what it is that you do best will help your company grow and will also define those things that should be done within the company versus those activities that potentially could be outsourced.

2. Be organized. Before you can delegate you must create the specification of work. The extent in which you can clearly delineate the scope of the project or work will define how successful you will be. In addition, you should create a timetable for deliverables, a template for reporting, and an exit strategy if the relationship isn’t functioning the way you feel it should be. Not creating a clear understanding in the beginning could be a recipe for failure in the future.

3. Know Your Budget. Your time is valuable. You’re more likely productive at your core value proposition that you are to some of the supporting roles that are necessary to run a business. To that extent, outsourcing will actually save you money since you can be much more proficient doing what you do best and simply paying others to do what they do best.

4. Make a Plan. Authorized alterations can be expensive. If you have plan, try to stick to the plan. Each modification that sounds great as the project moves along may wind up costing in the end. Be sure that you have a goal and plan in mind and that you and your outsourced vendor are both sticking to that plan.

5. Don’t Settle. If you aren’t happy with the results or the partnership, it’s possible you missed one of the steps along the way – you may not have made a good plan, or you may not have clearly shared expectations. Either way, if it becomes apparent that the project is not progressing well, you should have an exit plan.

Garr continued, “Understanding and sharing expectations when it comes to outsourcing is critical for the relationship to be effective.”

About HR Knowledge, Inc.

HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.

HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).

Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.

HR Knowledge has been recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The company is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com

HR Knowledge Inc. Advises Small Business Owners to Brush Up on the Law

Jeffrey Garr

Employees today are well aware of their rights in the workplace. As a small business owner, are you aware of their rights? HR Knowledge, Inc., providers of integrated HR, payroll and benefits services serving organizations throughout the Northeast with offices located in the Boston metro area, advises small businesses of the importance of knowing employee rights and offers three tips for getting “in the know”.

According to Jeffrey C. Garr, CEO of HR Knowledge Inc., “Employers are not always knowledgeable of their employees’ rights. We find this to be more common in small business. As a matter of fact I just learned of an employer that requires their employees sign an agreement at hire that they cannot take a lunch break or coffee break at any time during the day. They must work their full eight hours daily without any breaks. This is in clear violation of the law, namely that those employees are allowed a minimum of two 10 minute breaks every four hours worked. ”

He continued,”Most employers are good employers; it is the few that treat their employees terribly that affect the rest of us. Nonetheless laws are laws.”

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is the state’s Chief Civil Rights Agency. Essentially, this government body ensures that all businesses within the State of MA are compliant in their employment of employees. Any employee who feels they have been discriminated against may file a “Charge” or a “Complaint” against that employer at MCAD. Most all complaints must be filed within 300 days of the alleged infraction.

Unfortunately, what small business owners don’t know can hurt them when it comes to employment laws and regulations. Ignorance is not bliss nor is it accepted as an excuse when in violation of the law. If you are caught not following process/procedure/law it can be costly. It is imperative to have the proper “blocking and tackling” in place as an employer to prevent frivolous lawsuits from occurring.

There are attorneys who would be thrilled to take on a case where employee rights have been violated. They take the case on “contingency” which means the employee has legal representation at no cost to them. The attorney is confident enough in the case that he/she will represent the employee on a percentage of the settlement. The employer has to pay for their own legal representation, which can cost thousands of dollars and settlements can be in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

Garr offers 3 key tips to small business owners:

Obtain proper training. Business owners and any staff that supervises employees should be enrolled in an HR training program. The program should teach key components of effective management of employees and employee rights.

Obtain an HR Audit for your small business. A complete and thorough HR Audit will identify where an employer is not compliant or is at risk. This audit should review your employee handbook, process, procedures for hiring, firing, interviewing, reviews, job descriptions and much more.

Consider Employment Practice Liability Insurance. This is the only liability insurance that will protect an employer from lawsuits in the workplace as discussed in this article. Without this insurance the employer stands alone in claims made against them.

About HR Knowledge, Inc.

HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients. HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM). Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.

HR Knowledge has been recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The company is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com

New Year, New Resolution for Hiring Managers: Improve Interview Techniques to Reduce Cost

Job interviews can be stressful on new hire candidates, but they also put pressure on the hiring manager. The cost of making a “bad hire” decision incurs the obvious expenses of salary and benefits, but there are also hidden costs. Time invested in training and lost time in finding the right candidate (which can takes months) cannot be recouped.

HR Knowledge, Inc. a leading human resources Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the East Coast with offices in Mansfield and Waltham, share their “Top 5 Tips for Successful Interview” techniques.

Many Human Resource Managers begin with the resumé and ask questions to determine what the skill set may have been for jobs listed on the resumé. Carefully listening to the answers may indicate a situation where the candidate has inflated the resumé or listed positions in the background that have been glamorized. Asking closed ended questions that have yes or no responses may not ferret these errors out, and it may not be assumed that these omissions will be picked up in a background check.

There are some simple, logical tips that can be used during a job interview to discern the credibility of the candidate. Here are the Top 5:

1. Ask open ended questions. Follow up with questions that will shed light on areas where there may be inconsistencies.

2. Look for eye contact. When applicants stretch the truth, they typically break eye contact or look away.

3. Nervous twitches or tics may give away the false answers. Switching crossed legs, leg shaking, toe tapping, finger drumming… are all indications that the candidate is uncomfortable. Looking into this discomfort may reveal areas of potential deception.

4. Evaluate the candidate’s handshake. It may seem trivial, but a firm and direct handshake are important. A limp or moist handshake are giveaways that the candidate may be insecure with their presentation to you.

5. Obvious factors such as chewing gum or inappropriate attire during an interview are tip-offs that the candidate does not take the position seriously. Unless you want to have ongoing problems with lateness or unprofessional representation, you may want to skip these candidates.

According to Jeff Garr, CEO of HR Knowledge, “Searching for great employees is more than evaluating the resumé. Hiring the right person is important for the morale of the existing employees as well. The old adage “you are known for the company you keep” extends to the workplace. As each new hire represents your company, it’s important to assess them on the basis of their skills, but also how they will fit into your corporate culture and ultimately, how they will represent your company and your brand.”
For more information about compensation, HR and or benefits contact Jeff Garr, CEO at HR Knowledge or 508-339-1300.
About HR Knowledge, Inc.
HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the East Coast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.

HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).
Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.

HR Knowledge has been recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The company is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com

HR Knowledge Inc. Recognized by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

HR Knowledge, Inc., a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast with offices in Mansfield and Waltham, was recently recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare for the combination of new clients and high retention.

This honor is bestowed upon the top two percent of benefit brokers in the New England market. Dan Hughes, President of Operations and HR Services at HR Knowledge was on site to accept the prestigious award. This is the fifth consecutive year that HR Knowledge has been recognized by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. 2010 was the first year HR Knowledge reached the Gold level.

HR Knowledge, Inc. provides a unique blend of services to businesses by providing outsourced, integrated HR, Payroll and Benefits services to their clients. This allows for great economies of scale in handling these time consuming and tedious tasks.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is the highest-ranked health insurance plan for overall member satisfaction in the New England region for the third year in a row according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Member Health Insurance Plan Study. Harvard Pilgrim has also been named the number one private health plan in America for the seventh consecutive year, according to an annual ranking of the nation’s best health plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

About HR Knowledge, Inc.
HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.

HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).
Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.

HR Knowledge is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com

Frank J. Zych, Jr. Named Vice President, Human Resource Services at HR Knowledge Inc.

Frank Zych Jr.

HR Knowledge, Inc., a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast with offices in Mansfield and Waltham, has promoted Frank J. Zych, Jr. to Vice President, Human Resource Services. Zych is a resident of Sandwich, MA.

Zych has worked with HRK since 2004, holding the position of Director of Human Resource Services since 2006. As Vice President, Human Resource Services, he consults on a daily basis with clients, business owners and CEO/CFO’s regarding Human Resource issues including compensation, training, professional development, employee relations, organizational design, recruiting and government compliance. Additionally he manages the Company’s team of HR Advisors.

HR Knowledge’s clients range from start-up to 5000 employees in size.

Zych also conducts a wide variety of business seminars to clients and other organizations on topics including sexual harassment prevention, team building, leadership skills development and HR Boot Camp (a management 101 seminar for non-HR people). He is the author of numerous HR articles and has most recently been featured in Achieving Business Excellence.

Zych’s prior experience includes serving as the Director of Human Resources for Aerovox Inc., a $125M publicly traded company with over 1,000 employees in three countries. He also served as Human Resource Manager for Volex Corporation’s US operations. In 1999, Zych became a founding partner in Crocker Consulting Inc. before joining HR Knowledge.

Zych is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and has had extensive continuing education in Human Resources, including the Harvard/MIT Consortium’s “Program on Negotiation”. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

About HR Knowledge, Inc.
HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.

HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).
Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.

HR Knowledge is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com