South Africa positioned in Top 5 Global Human Resource Outsourcing Destinations
South Africa has secured 5th place as a top global offshore location for human resource outsourcing (HRO) services including recruitment process and learning services outsourcing. This was one of the key findings in the 2018-2019 Global HRO and Employee Experience Market Intelligence Survey published by research firm, Knowledge Executive.
Over 200 large and medium sized enterprises in Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in the survey and disclosed their HRO investment plans; pain points and challenges; skills, technology and service provider requirements; and favourite offshore locations.
The offshoring value proposition
South Africa’s significant rise in the global outsourcing arena is due in part to its high-end, recognised human capital skills in such core areas as banking and financial services, legal process services, procurement services, multi-channel customer experience and IT outsourcing (ITO). The country also has evolving next-gen talent to provide customer analytics augmented by its ability to deploy cutting-edge HRO operations utilising Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The decision to offshore HR functions depends greatly on a client’s specific requirements, their geographical location, and the internal HR environment.
This is due largely to the rise in the adoption of cloud-based solutions as this makes cloud-enabled HRO operations location agnostic. “As the move to more automation and AI-enabled systems accelerates, we can expect to see the playing ground in terms of location further levelled,” says Alicia Kistan, senior general manager: shared services, WNS Global Services SA.
India’s well-established and mature outsourcing market makes it a top destination for offshore HRO services, says the report. The availability of multi-process solutions, advanced technological capabilities, a workforce proficient in English, and inherent expertise are leading reasons for the India’s global dominance (ranked first place in the survey).
“South Africa, on the other hand, offers a broad range of HRO services that span transactional and specialised functions, scoring well among respondents in the survey,” says Kistan “As an offshore location we are well known for delivering excellent experiences for project-based, multi-process, recruitment process, payroll and learning services outsourcing.”
The survey also noted that Employee Experience (EX) has become a core focus area for many large and medium enterprises. Organizations globally are increasingly looking to craft a compelling work environment that acknowledges and rewards excellence, while ensuring worker health and job fulfillment.
“Employees are important stakeholders in an organisation – as important as customers. While customers are a source of revenue, it’s employees who make that happen. If they are treated with the care and respect they need – which goes beyond basic performance recognition and reward – and work in an environment that boosts their health and happiness, you create a highly engaged and productive workforce,” says Kistan.
“The more engaged an employee is, the longer they stay at a company and the more value they add. An engaged employee is also a ‘go-getter’. Creating a working environment where employee engagement is high requires flexibility to maintain work-life balance, and job satisfaction, which is extremely important in relation to employee productivity and workplace happiness.”
Learning Services & Skills Development
Digital enablement is the overwhelming trend in organisational learning and skills development, according to the survey. The outsourcing of e-learning platforms, applications and technology is prolific among respondents to the survey, with less than 10% stating that they plan to keep these functions in-house. Training needs analysis (43%) and digitised document management (48%) were highlighted as the next growth areas for learning outsourced services.
However, despite these trends, an over-reliance on e-learning can fall short of meeting an organisation’s strategic learning and skills development objectives. “E-learning has been a knee-jerk reaction to the disproportionate focus on classroom-based learning. It can be effective when done in isolation and will increasingly be used to prepare talent for the future,” says Judy Robinson, general manager: HR, Ucademy.
“However, if it’s not curated and not driven, e-learning does not work. Blended learning is therefore the ideal approach, because it combines all elements and pulls them all together.”
Robinson’s opinions were echoed by the preferred training models rated among the survey respondents that include blended (93%), distance (94%) and open access (90%) learning, with an overwhelming requirement for facilitation and coaching support (93%). And despite the rise of e-learning, classroom-based learning (86%) remains an important delivery model.