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Take these steps to choose best HR firm
Keeping the right people on your staff is important to any outpatient surgery program's success, and making sure that paychecks, benefits, retirement plans, and 401Ks are handled properly is essential to employee satisfaction. For this reason, look carefully at any firm you are evaluating to handle your human resource administration on an outsource basis, says Connie L. Koch, national sales manager for HR America, a Wauseon, OH-based company that provides employment-related administration and consultation services.
The first step when comparing firms is to carefully prepare your request for proposal (RFP) to identify the services that you consider most important, suggests Koch. "A lot of companies will bundle different services together, so you need to identify the services you are most likely to use and ask the companies to price only those services," she says.
It is difficult to evaluate the true cost of a service if the price includes services you won't be using, and it is difficult to compare one company's proposal to another if they all submit prices for different groups of services, she explains.
Evaluate the technical platform the company uses for its services, recommends Koch. "If the company offers a web-based payroll system, for example, you won't have to invest in hardware or software to become compatible with their system," she says. Not only should you look for a system that requires little or no equipment investment, but also be aware of how much additional training your staff will need to transmit information, Koch adds. "While outsourcing administrative duties doesn't eliminate the need for someone at the surgery program to handle some tasks such as submitting time records, updates to salaries, and new hire information, the system should be easy to learn by anyone who will be using it," she explains.
Even if you are starting out by outsourcing only one service, such as payroll, evaluate the full range of resources offered by the firm, says Barbara Clark, business manager of the Park Place Surgery Center in Maitland, FL. "You don't want to start with a company that can't offer what you may choose to add as you grow and expand your contract," she says.
Look carefully at the firm's health care experience, suggests Koch. "Health care is a different animal," she says. "The firm has to understand different pay levels such as per diem, part-time, weekend, and on-call," she says.
It also helps to look at the firm's experience with facilities that are the same as yours, especially if you are a freestanding surgery center, she says. "Freestanding centers don't have human resource professionals, and the human resource responsibility is often handled by the manager," she says. For this reason, you want a firm that can relieve you of duties, not add layers of information or extra work, Koch says.