Key Imperatives for Successful Global HR Outsourcing Partnerships: Managed services as enablers of strategic HR

Published on 05 May 2022

In our last post, we dug into the importance of balancing global cohesion with localised flexibility and compliance. We identified that global businesses will greatly benefit from engaging an outsourcing partner with the right footprint, expert knowledge, scalable tech and delivery excellence. In a world that is increasingly borderless, being able to manage one’s global payroll data centrally will allow a business to propel forward. 

Before we move on, here’s quick recap on the five key imperatives for successful global HR outsourcing partnerships, which are: 

  1. Global cohesion vs. local flexibility & compliance 

  1. Managed services as enablers of strategic HR 

  1. Smarter levers for outsourcing value 

  1. Co-create to innovate 

  1. Keeping an eye on the digital bottom-line 

In this post, we explore topic number 2, which goes into how managed services can serve as a enabler for global leaders to further focus and strengthen their strategic HR. 


What is strategic HR? 

Strategic HR refers to a future-oriented process of developing and implementing HR programmes that directly contribute to long-term business objectives. HR management was previously largely viewed as an administrative function, focusing on activities such as recruitment and managing employee benefits. The pandemic has recently pushed HR to the front of the business agenda – between remote working, social distancing & vaccination policies, employee productivity, engagement & welfare, and all this is to say nothing of the renewed push for diversity, inclusion and equality that is felt by the leadership of any business, big or small, single or multi-country. 

As a result, HR leaders increasingly see themselves moving out of the back office, and towards shaping the agenda of the C-suite. Whether it be providing business-critical judgement in a crisis, or setting aggressive transformation agendas to adapt the workforce to a radically different reality, HR leaders are asked to step out of their comfort zones and change the way they work. HR is finding themselves forming a key pillar of a company’s corporate and growth strategy, holding its own among sales, product and digital strategic pillars.  

Managed Services As Enablers of Strategic HR 

All this has catalysed into a long-developing shift in HR leaders’ relationships with their managed service providers. Gone are the days where outsourcers of strategic HR functions can get away with offering purely transactional performance, as leaders are starting to consult them for opinions, industry best practices, and further opportunities to drive value on top of their current contract or SLAs. In fact, it was found in a study by Deloitte that 44% of businesses felt that their main issue with their outsourcing providers was that they were more reactive than proactive in the business relationship. 

HR leaders who manage to forge these win-win relationships with their managed services provider gain a strategic partner who is able to combine intimate knowledge of their HR operations with outside-in industry expertise to drive new avenues of value - from employee experience to increased cloud adoption company-wide - and further accelerate HR & business priorities. A collaborative partnership with their outsourcing vendors allows HR leaders to benefit on the following fronts: 

  1. Alleviating administrative HR tasks, enabling full focus on strategic HR 

No longer bogged down by administrative tasks such as time and attendance or the dreaded monthly payroll, HR professionals engaged in the right outsourcing partnership can focus their resources and attention on talent management, learning and development and other strategic HR matters that add more value to their organisation.  Actions that directly improve employee engagement and experience will help strengthen the company from the inside-out. This becomes even more critical is a multi-national organisation, as they require even more effort to ensure a cohesive HR strategy and encouraging the right culture across borders. A HR outsourcing partnership that supports their cross-border needs supports this initiative even further. 

  1. Providing greater visibility into HR data and tapping into peer best practices 

Your global payroll outsourcing partner not only provides you with a consolidated view of your multi-country data, they will be able to tap into their wider knowledge pool to give you insights, best practices and trends in payroll and human resources. Being able to have a single point of extensive data will greatly empower global leaders to make more informed decisions in planning their human resource strategy. Data is an undisputed driver of global business, and the ability to run data quickly, if not in real time, will allow HR leaders to be more agile in their decision making. 


OS HRS, with more than 20 years of experience in the HR and payroll industry, take our role as our client’s strategic HR partner to heart. From providing in-depth insights into industry best practices and centralised global payroll data, we create long-lasting relationships and expand our footprint along with our clients. Our HR and payroll technology solutions are an integral part of not only the experience for HR leaders, but for the company’s employees as well. For more information, click on the “Get Started” button at the top right of the page to arrange to talk to us today. 

Similar articles