10 Questions to Ask When You Are Considering Outsourcing Your HR


There comes a time in the life cycle of most businesses when it becomes difficult to manage the HR function internally.

Initially, when the business is starting out and going through its initial growth stages, the HR function usually becomes the responsibility of a secretary or senior manager. This approach works for some time, but the pressure starts building as the business grows. Dealing with labour legislation and compliance, payroll management, leave management and the countless day-to-day issues that a growing staff compliment brings with it, can easily become too cumbersome. There is no hard and fast rule that states when this will happen, but it usually becomes a challenge when a company employs around 15 staff members.


Some companies respond by appointing an internal HR person to manage the growing demands. However, this could become very costly as the HR person would not necessarily be utilised fully and may not have the necessary experience.

The alternative is to appoint an external HR Consultant who can handle the challenges on a part-time basis. This is a solution that offers many benefits to the company, as an experienced HR Consultant not only gets results quicker but brings best practice experience to the company.

Benefits of Outsourcing

There are many ways of employing an outsourced HR service. For example, it could be as simple as the Consultant coming on site once a month or once a week to handle the situations that have emerged since the last visit. Or The Consultant could be limited to merely ensuring that all internal practices are aligned, compliant with legislation and that all necessary policies and procedures are in place.

Regardless of the role that the outsourced HR Consultant fulfils, it is essential to make sure that they have the necessary background, experience and qualifications. How do you do this?

The 10 Questions

The following list of 10 questions will reveal if you are dealing with a Service Provider who is capable of adding value to your organisation, and we would encourage you to use it next time you are considering an Outsourced HR Consultant:

1.   Do you have indemnity cover in place?
2.   Are the members or main member registered with SABPP as a practitioner?
3.   Are you a generalist, with generalist HR experience?
4.   Do you have experience in excess of 10 years?
5.   Are you able to deal with issues pertaining to payroll (even though you may not require them to do payroll), labour relations/discipline, leave, training and development, recruitment practices and organisational development?
6.   Have you attended to at least 10 CCMA cases over the past three years?
7.   Are you able to deal with complex CCMA matters?
8.   Do you have a support team available in the event of your absence?
9.   Do you have a support team/network available in the event of more complex legal matters?
10.   Are you able to provide a practical and feasible solution to challenges – are you able to apply the law (and not just repeat what is dictated by statute)?

These questions will reveal the level of experience and the range of skills that the consultancy has in place. It is crucial to your company that your HR Consultant has the necessary depth of experience, as HR challenges rarely follow the textbook.

We have made the list available for you to download in the form of a questionnaire that will make your initial screening so much easier and effective.

Download the Questionnaire


Complying with labour related legislation can often present many unforeseen complications and problems. If you require any assistance with your HR function or have additional questions, please make contact with us and we will do our best to assist you.

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