Outsourcing HRMS support: Advantages and disadvantages

During the past few years of HR software transformation, there has been an increasing trend of offshoring and outsourcing HR tasks; we’re now seeing this activity being extended to HRMS support as well. Is it possible to outsource HRMS Support? What are the advantages if you do so, and what are the disadvantages?

A core competency of any HRMS team is to support users of the HRMS. If you look at any HRMS application, as an HRMS is a system, it is built on a standard platform, albeit with differing configurations. However, the tables and system processes that are delivered by the vendor will be the same, regardless of the customer, it’s just a matter to understand your use of the system, such as how you set up job codes, departments or processes. this understanding may be a knowledge gap in your HRMS team, a gap better filled by outsourced HRMS support.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Find a vendor offering HRMS support

From a purely systematic point of view, HRMS support is a prime candidate for outsourcing. But who can be trusted to supply such support? In this area, there are many options, but usual ones include consultants, vendor support or offshore analysts as the main options to consider. The vendor and system you choose, plus in-house knowledge, will dictate what type of support you need; outsourced or in-house. Now let’s address the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing HRMS support.

Advantages of Outsourcing HRMS Support

  • There are often cost advantages to not retaining the staff on site to support the HRMS, in particular if your business is variable. In an outsourced situation you can often ramp resources up and down as needed, such as bringing on extra consultants for open enrolment but shifting to skeleton support staff during holidays.
  • HRMS vendors often see the operations and processes of many companies and can therefore suggest the best solutions from an HRMS support capacity, such as providing a solution for position management.
  • HRMS salaries can become costly, depending on the market. In such cases, offshore support can provide a strong business case when looking purely at the financials.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing HRMS Support

  • There is a loss of internal knowledge of HRMS processes and data. If you ever decide to implement a new HRMS, internal process knowledge will be missing or non-existent.
  • Costs can become an issue as outsourced support contracts will be more strict than internal salaried workers who will often work overtime without an issue.
  • Due to the transient nature of outsourced arrangements, there is often a lack of long-term partnership with end customers, i.e. HR. Such a relationship can impact projects and future implementations.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to outsourcing or offshoring HRMS support, it is only a matter of understanding your business support needs and to allocate the appropriate staffing to enable the business in a cost effective manner.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski