HR outsourcing may seem frightening for those who believe it means cutting HR jobs and authority. But one company's journey into business process outsourcing (BPO) has taken its own tack-outsourcing to reposition HR skills to support a companywide quest to achieve outstanding customer service.
In the initiative that Best Buy has undertaken with Accenture HR, its BPO partner, outsourcing can be seen not as "shipping HR away" but as incorporating it more completely as a corporate function.
HOWBESTBUYBEGAN OUTSOURCING HR
Randall Ross, vice president, human resources, Best Buy (Minneapolis; www.bestbuy.com), and Diane Shelgren, COO, North America, Accenture HR Services (Chicago; www. accenturehrservices.com), described their long-term contract and how it's working during a session at HR Tech in Chicago.
Best Buy has more than 750 stores in the U.S. and Canada and more than 90,000 employees. It sells consumer electronics, personal computing, entertainment software, and appliances.
To ensure the organization's success in this highly competitive environment, Best Buy has developed a "customer-centric" corporate philosophy.
Its strategy, according to Ross, is to "identify and eliminate work that takes time and focus away from connecting with and serving our customers." The organization aims to "do things quicker, smarter, at a lower cost-and with a clearer focus."
To reach its goal, Best Buy is using several tactics, including setting priorities, reallocating resources, leveraging outside expertise, forming strategic partnerships for activities that are not directly "customer facing," and developing standard change-management processes.
HR was seen as central to the enhanced focus on employees in terms of strategic impact, cultural change, and getting the best from employees. Best Buy sought the best from HR, too, from anticipated improvement from eHR and employee contact support. The company wanted to increase its ability to deliver effective and consistent HR services, to make sure new business strategies could obtain...