In November I went on a tour of Westminster Abbey. I was captivated by the burial site of Sir Isaac Newton. The guide, seeing my interest, said, “You know Charles Darwin is just over there?” I had to ask, “Is this corner reserved for scientists?” She responded, “Not really, but Newton described the world and Darwin figured out who lived here.” It was just that simple for her. After all, Darwin had discovered why and how organisms evolve.
The word corporation (and non-profits are corporations) comes from the Latin word for body (corpore, for dead Romans and language geeks). We dedicate this issue to the transformation of the HR Outsourcing Association to the HRO Today Services and Technology Association (see the cover story Celebrating With Change on page 10). There are a number of changes that have come about. First, the association, by unanimous decision of the Board of Trustees, merged itself into SharedXpertise to more fully integrate with our marketing, content, and research program opportunities. Second, the name was changed.
Let’s look at the evolution of the use of the word outsourcing. We are not, in any way, changing our commitment to the promotion and understanding of the best practices in HR outsourcing. Rather, we are modestly expanding our focus into a few other areas. As HR outsourcing has changed—driven primarily by buying patterns—the design of solutions has changed. Some programs that are outsourced involve many processes and sub-processes. Some of what we call best-of-breed solutions are really a single-service offering. Some of these service-offering providers eschew the word “outsourcing.” Their products or services remain integral to running an efficient, high-impact HR department.
It is important for the association to embrace the services that are critical to the needs of the practitioner. Many of the “how” aspects of outsourcing, such as sourcing processes, governance, and service level agreement practices apply to this world as well.
The other critical aspect of outsourcing, HR services or HR in general, is technology. The association wants to offer the world of technology providers a forum for gathering feedback, setting industry practices, and leading from innovation. Technology is the great enabler and no HR department can function without great technology.
The new association will focus on three areas: professional development, networking for its members, and communication to the market on critical information, learning opportunities, event programs, and awards. We are pleased that all of the prior Trustees have remained on the Board of Advisors and continue to provide thoughtful guidance and wisdom to the management team, which is still headed by Global Executive Director Faye Holland.
We are excited to be part of the next iteration of this vital part of the HR community and the HROA, which was founded in 2003 and had a leading voice in the growth of the industry. Now in 2014, it has evolved and continues to offer those and others new benefits. New member information can be found on www.hrotoday.com/association for your review. We hope to see you at our next meeting.
CEO’s Letter: Evolution and the Ascent of the HRO Today Services and Technology Association