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October 2013 Graduate Dave Beattie

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Good strategising equals good HR function.

Organisations in KwaZulu-Natal should allocate more time to determine its strategic human resource function to improve its operations and function more effectively.

This emerged out of research conducted by Mr Dave Beattie a MANCOSA graduate who explored the topic of “Human Resources Outsourcing: A Study of KwaZulu – Natal Companies use of Outsourced Human Resources Services, Reasons and Benefits” for his research towards his Master’s in Business Administration.

Mr Beattie embarked on this research because as an Employee Tax Specialist at an HR outsourcing company he wanted to understand the importance of businesses outsourcing its human resource function.

“HR is firstly not seen as a value adding department. Secondly very few companies actually did research into how they could achieve strategic HR objectives,” said Mr Beattie.

“There is almost an expectation that things will turn out positively, somehow.”

According to Mr Beattie the size and nature of an organisation would determine the type of human resource department it has. If a company has a staff component of less than 50 it’s not cost effective to have a human resources practitioner. With HR being a broad area it is challenging to employ a single person to provide the wide range of services that encompass human resources.

For an effective HR mechanism companies need to understand the strategic significance of the human resources function in their organisation and evaluate the most effective means of meeting these strategic goals. “The findings suggest that organisations should allocate more time to the strategic value of HR. These organisations should realise that by outsourcing the function they can spend more time focusing on their core business activities,” said Mr Beattie.

Mr Beattie warns that outsourcing may not be the best move for all companies as they don’t get the best service from human resources service providers. “In my experience in the industry I have not had that many positive interactions with recruitment agencies. They tend to ‘box’ people into specific job categories and then try and pass them off to clients. The investigations into the quality of the candidate are poorly done,” he said.

Mr Beattie expressed relief that he has concluded his MBA and don’t have to juggle studies and a demanding work schedule.

“It’s time to reflect on the journey and be proud of what I have achieved.”

“I am also looking forward to seeing the friends that I have made, graduate,” he added.

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