Want to Help Shape HR Service Offerings?
HR Service Matters
By: Mike Smith
Last week TALX hosted a Client Forum and it was great to see such
a terrific level of enthusiasm. With
a late rush of registrations, we had great representation and crowded sessions. Every
session was highlighted by meaningful questions and useful interaction. Just
prior to the start of the Client Forum, we also had a brief meeting of our Client
Advisory Board to review some important issues.
Watching the interaction at the Forum reminded me how clients,
by investing just a small amount of time, can help offer HR service providers valuable
insight into client needs. The result;
you have the power to influence how your contracted HR services are being delivered. By
actively participating in a client forum, or stepping up your commitment by joining
a client advisory board of one of your prime HR services providers, you can establish
an important link between your strategic business goals and your personal goals. The
following checklist gives you some idea of the considerations of a well-organized
Client Advisory Board. http://www.geehangroup.com/images/stories/cab_checklist.pdf
As I consider the contributions of our current and past Client
Advisory Board members I have found that advisory boards also provide HR executives
with strong value. They have a unique
forum for discussing general opinions on industry trends and technology, considering
legislative issues impacting HR/payroll business processes and exchanging views on
current topics of great interest.
As you consider the possibility of joining a client advisory board,
you probably will want to limit your participation to a single board. Choosing
the best board helps ensure your goals are met and the sponsoring HR service provider
receives the most value from your membership. As you decide which board to join, consider
the following criteria to narrow your choices.
1. Relevance: Make sure all other board members are part of the
senior management team at their organization. Participants
should be at a level to know and articulate their organization’s strategy.
2. Style: Ask the sponsor what they are looking for in members. Are
they looking for forward-looking management styles? Will
this board be characterized by a willingness to embrace new ideas and foster an open
3. Influence: Consider carefully the board make-up and format.
Look to see if there are other organizations that you want to be linked with on the
board. Talk with a current board member
and find out if the members are willing to take an active role in providing feedback.
Are the members asked to actively participate? You
need to be surrounded by people who are able and capable of contributing to the board
4. Conflict: Only join a provider’s board that isn’t considered
a competitor to another key supplier to your company. This
situation can make both you and the provider unable to really be open. The
conflict of interest will also prevent you getting the most from your investment and
could put you in an awkward position.
5. Scope: Consider those boards with representation from a diversity
of industries. You probably already have
a network established within your own industry or sector so gaining access to a broader
network can bring you a good balance. However,
select a board where your provider serves organizations like yours well and your sector
represents a significant market for them.
6. Fit: Select a board that matches your credentials. Your
participation is important to success for you and the board, so make sure that you
have the domain expertise to help shape new services. Having
insight into the basic values your provider’s services bring to your organization
is essential. Even thinking through and exploring how you will participate can reinforce
the benefits you will offer the board you select.
7. Commitment: Look
carefully at the commitment the provider is both making to the board and expectations
from its member organizations. Infrequent
meetings mean you will have a hard time finding continuity or meeting your person
goals for a solid network connection. If
the board has more than four meetings a year, the time commitments may be outside
Don’t forget to make advisory boards a topic to discuss with your
colleagues. Find out what boards they
participate on and some of the top issues that are discussed. It
will certainly broaden your view.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.