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Determine the Right HR Outsourcing Solution

Do more with the HR department by outsourcing HR activities to free up time for strategic projects and in-house upskilling.

  • HR departments are often faced with limited time, money, and skills; outsourcing is an option to help HR best use resources and improve service levels.
  • HR outsourcing is challenging in itself and needs careful management in order to ensure that expectations are met and the investment is a valuable one.

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Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The performance of the HR department can be elevated by outsourcing tactical activities to an HRO provider, freeing up resources to focus on strategic projects and in-house upskilling as required.

Impact and Result

  • Investigate pain points in the current HR processes and requirements to determine what is driving the need to outsource HR activities.
  • Use a defined vendor selection process including a request for proposal (RFP) process to solicit proposals for HR outsourcing, and form a proposal evaluation committee to objectively evaluate vendor RFP responses.
  • Proactively prepare the vendor for a successful and collaborative relationship by being clear about expectations and providing them with essential organizational information required to customize service delivery.

Determine the Right HR Outsourcing Solution Research & Tools

2. Assess HRO appropriateness

Compare current state against target state for each HR function to identify which activities to outsource and determine the right type of HRO solution to achieve set goals.

3. Conduct HRO market research and issue an RFP

Create an HRO vendor evaluation committee, selection process, and evaluation criteria, and then issue an RFI and/or RFP.

4. Select a vendor and prepare to manage the relationship

Gain executive sign-off and negotiate the contract on the final vendor decision, and then prepare the organization and the vendor for the partnership.

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About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation 1: Identify HR pain points
  • Call 1: Discuss the stakeholders to include and how to use the HR Outsourcing Assessment Tool.

Guided Implementation 2: Assess HRO appropriateness
  • Call 1: Review current state against target state for each HR function.
  • Call 2: Identify which HR functions to keep in-house, which to outsource, and when to consider consulting solutions.
  • Call 3: Determine the right type of HRO solution and set goals for an HRO provider to address.

Guided Implementation 3: Conduct HRO market research and issue an RFP
  • Call 1: Determine the stakeholders involved in the vendor evaluation committee and discuss HRO market research options.
  • Call 2: Review RFI responses (optional) and vendor shortlist and discuss vendor evaluation criteria.
  • Call 3: Review the customized Request for Proposal Template.

Guided Implementation 4: Select a vendor and prepare to manage the relationship
  • Call 1: Evaluate vendors against criteria and how to make the vendor decision.
  • Call 2: Prepare to manage the vendor relationship.
  • Call 3: Discuss how to improve in-house HR performance and capability.


  • Tom Darrow, Founder and Principal, Talent Connection LLC
  • Shanil Kaderal, Chief Strategy Officer, Pierpoint International
  • Deanna Schuerbeke, Director HR Global Customer Service & Operations
  • Jacque Vilet, President, Vilet International

Three additional Human Resources and Leadership professionals contributed information to assist with the development of this blueprint. Due to the sensitivity of the information, these contributors requested confidentiality.