In business today, no matter what business you’re in you face similar challenges. Competition, changing markets, business cycles, and inflation. When profit margins get tight, companies look to cut costs and still maintain productivity. One way to do this is to see if a fixed cost can be converted to a variable cost. But that can be difficult, things like rent, insurance, and other fixed expenses aren’t dependent on the business operation. Labor costs are usually one of the first areas companies look to cut when profit margins get tight, but this affects the company’s productivity and can affect their safety performance. The marine industry is no different. As we have seen, shifting markets in our industry are forcing companies to scramble to reduce costs. That’s why many companies are opting for is outsourcing as a means of shifting some of their staff functions to variable costs.
Outsourcing is a valuable alternative for a number of reasons. First, it allows for a company to control the expense because you only pay for what you need when you need it. This gives a company control over the expense. Second, the quality of service you receive may actually improve because most outsourcing companies have state-of-the-art resources at their disposal. Third, because these agencies are independent of your organization, they are not influenced by corporate politics, favoritism, or other cultural dynamics that can affect objectivity. Finally, since service is their product, quality of service is usually superior. Outsourcing has been so successful, that the trend today is to even outsource human resources.
But why should you consider outsourcing your HR? Because Human Resources is an essential function in business today. A successful organization simply can’t afford to be without it. HR professionals are your advisors that help you make informed decisions that affect your business operation. Through outsourcing, you can gain a superior level of consistency while minimizing costs. That’s why nearly half of all large companies, not just in the marine industry, are outsourcing some or all of their HR functions. In short, it’s cheaper to outsource experienced, trained professionals than it is to keep those functions in-house.
But because of the uniqueness of the industry, not any outsourcing company will do. Sub-chapter M, U.S. Coast Guard and D.O.T regulations and state and federal laws that govern the industry represent specific regulatory requirements that a general HR outsourcing company may not be familiar. Further, in this industry the work environment presents unique safety challenges and the lifestyle is certainly not for everyone. What you need is a company that understands these challenges and can offer you the level of quality, technology, and support that will help your company continue to grow. In other words, HR specialist with experience in the marine industry.