6 things to look for when outsourcing EHS professionals

In this age of interdependence, outsourcing of services has become the need of the hour. Deciding upon whether or not to outsource manpower services, is one of the most crucial questions faced by many an organization.

“The important thing about outsourcing or global sourcing is that it becomes a very powerful tool to leverage talent, improve productivity and reduce work cycles”. – Azim Premji

Outsourcing environment, health and safety (EHS) operations have many benefits for an organization, whether for a construction site, an industrial or manufacturing powerhouse or a healthcare corporation.

EHS professionals play a vital role in executing tasks that form a part of the EHS practices of any organization. Procuring EHS professionals, therefore, is an important task for industrial organizations to maintain it’s functioning, integrity, legal conformance, high morale, reputation among the stakeholders, industrial relations, profitability, productivity and market value.

India is witnessing a large number of incidents/accidents in all areas of industrial operations which need immediate and accurate solutions. Hence there is a dire need to supplement the drawbacks and instill the required professional traits by placing the right EHS professional as per the organization’s specifications.

Corporations enjoy distinct benefits when outsourcing EHS professionals. These are the things to keep in mind when hiring agencies;

  1. Economic efficiency – Outsourcing should help the organization to save big, both in terms of maintaining a large employee pool and infrastructure. As the organization gets bigger, there arises a need for a lot of skilled employees including qualified EHS professionals. Even small businesses having limited budgets, benefit by outsourcing such professionals rather than maintaining a large database of employees and arrange for infrastructure.
  2. Efficiency in recruitment processes & legal compliances – The agency must take charge of all the processes, right from organizing interviews to scrutinizing & selecting the best candidate as per client’s job requirements. All the regulatory compliances must be taken care of, for the smooth functioning of the workflow. If the agency hired for outsourcing is a specialist, then it adds significant value to the whole process (e.g. An agency having experienced EHS knowledge leaders as a part of the screening and recruitment process of EHS professionals can bring highly productive results)
  3. Regaining prime focus:- Large companies are always inundated with daily tasks and issues, which could distract them from their original goals. Outsourcing allows organizations to focus better on their goals once they are assured that all the complex human resource paperwork and other necessities can be taken care of. Organizations can concentrate on policies and decision making rather than mundane tasks of recruitment and management of resources.
  4. Appropriate resources for appropriate activities – A big advantage for organizations who are outsourcing, is that they can get the right resources for the right job and at the right time. Agencies hired must be equipped enough for providing all types of resources, as and when required. Longer term agreements with agencies, shall allow organizations to plan accurately and take faster decisions. Agencies must be able to provide skilled professionals for;
    1. Short-term period
    2. Long-term
    3. Shut-down phases
    4. Entire project duration
    5. Permanent recruitments
    6. On call-Troubleshooter

    During critical activities, it becomes all the more important to fill the gaps (may it be during extended illnesses or maternity/paternity leaves etc.) and look for quick replacements. Such immediate replacements should be made available and planned for all eventualities.

  5. Definite results – Outsourcing EHS manpower services can act both as a boon or a bane for organizations. For bringing about desired outcomes, organizations must ensure that accurate KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are identified and listed within the job responsibilities of the person recruited. Periodic audits, consistent communication, adequate support, guidance, etc. are a pre-requisite for getting definite results. With clear roles & responsibilities on the job, organizations can ensure that they get the most out of the person(s) outsourced for the function / activity.
  6. Basic training (as per client’s requirements)Recruiting EHS personnel demands a good amount of time and work on procedural formalities. It is also important that the resources hired match the demands of the organization and the job. To assess and ensure that one gets the right personnel, it would be an added advantage for the organization if the agency can also provide training (Basic and / or technical) to the resources as per the job requirement.

All in all, outsourcing of human resources can be grueling and tedious. However, if due care and time is taken for hiring an efficient agency, then it can prove to be a highly profitable and productive activity. Share your views on some of the other things to look out for in an agency, especially when outsourcing EHS professionals.

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