•  Protect Your Human Capital
    •  Did You Know?
    •  Different Motivators for HR Outsourcing
    •  What's New at Alcott?
    •  Changing HR Outsourcing Trends
    •  Subscribe
    •  HR Outsourcing at Work

Welcome to the Spring edition of the Alcott Advisor. This month's feature article discusses the importance of protecting your human capital in a challenging economy. You can also read about new initiatives at Alcott and some important information for small businesses.

We constantly strive to bring you meaningful content and we welcome your feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, please forward them to me at

Enjoy the newsletter.  Al Anastasi

Protect Your Human Capital in a
Challenging Economy

  Following the economic downturn of "The Great Recession", many businesses have been forced to streamline their operation, which in some cases means lay-offs or postponing planned hires. Unfortunately, both of these scenarios place an added burden on your existing workforce members. This is why it is critical that management does everything they can to protect their human capital during tough periods, whether created by external or internal forces. It is especially important to demonstrate that management values its employees and is willing to make the necessary investments to keep morale high. Human Resources (HR) outsourcing becomes a vital tool in helping management with this mission.

Through HR outsourcing, many companies gain access to employee benefits and services they would otherwise not be able to offer on their own. Not only are the employee benefits more robust with a wide range of options to satisfy the needs of a diverse employee base, but HR outsourcing partners also employ a team of HR specialists able to provide a higher level of expertise and service. Through this enhanced service, employees gain a better understanding of their comprehensive benefit packages and as a result, have a greater appreciation for them. They also learn how best to utilize benefits to their advantage, while being mindful of related cost impacts to the company.

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Different Motivators for Small & Big Business
HR Outsourcing

  Research indicates that many businesses are now outsourcing multiple disciplines, among which HR is almost always on top. In their "Small Business Outsourcing Best Practices Guide," the Achilles Group found that most small businesses outsource at least two business functions. Additionally, their research also compared the primary difference between why small businesses and larger organizations outsource. Their results show that a large majority of small businesses outsource to free up executive time, whereas cost reductions was cited as the number one reason for larger companies. Also high on the list of motivators for small businesses' outsourcing includes gaining access to best practices and specialists' expertise not available internally, while promoting an employee-centric organization.

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Changing HR Outsourcing Trends

  In this post-economic downturn period, as businesses strive to regain their equilibrium, there are some changes afoot in HR outsourcing. One of which addresses the human capital factor relating to new areas of employee benefits. Specifically, many businesses are seeking HR outsourcing services which help employees derive benefits which represent minimal or very low costs to employers. Some examples include: wellness programs, which promote healthy lifestyles through education and fitness initiatives (which in return, can significantly reduce a company's healthcare costs); workplace educational programs; and secure online portals that provide instant access to benefit programs, claims status, health information, customer support, etc. This latter point demonstrates the continued trend toward a seamless HR outsourcing program which integrates the expertise and services of experienced HR professionals with leading-edge technologies so that employees are provided with the highest level of service while providing employers with protection for their most valuable asset- their human capital.

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HR Outsourcing at Work

  For many companies that decided to outsource their HR functions, the experience has been a positive one. Their primary reason for doing so (i.e., to become more competitive in their benefit packages in order to recruit and retain the best employees, to free executives' time to focus on running the business, to improve overall productivity, etc.) may vary slightly, but all relate to future growth and development. Following are a few examples of HR outsourcing at work in different companies for which The Alcott Group provides its services:

MTS Travel (Ephrata, PA), one of North America's leading providers of church, mission, relief and development travel services, relies on Alcott for comprehensive HR services including: payroll and tax administration, employee benefits design and administration, regulatory compliance and value-added employee services. These services are being provided to MTS Travel's 120 employees located in 13 states.

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Did You Know?

  • More businesses are using video surveillance to monitor their employees out on Workers Compensation or under the Family and Medical Leave Act. This surveillance is typically conducted by a third-party investigative firm and is intended to uncover potential fraud. There is some concern that, if not done properly, employee rights could be violated. Recent federal court decisions, however, are allowing it, believing video surveillance is a reasonable measure to prevent unnecessary exposures.
  • President Obama announced two new small business lending initiatives. Both are intended to help give small businesses greater access to capital and to create jobs. They include:
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What's New at Alcott?

  • Alcott Has Gone Social . . .
  • The Alcott Group was a winner of the prestigious 2009 Alfred P. Sloane Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility . . .
  • Alcott co-founders President Lou Basso and Executive Vice President Barry Shorten recently authored articles for two national publications . . .
  • Alcott President Lou Basso recently appeared on Fox News' American Newsroom . . .
  • Alcott's Director of Employee Relations and Counsel Dawn Davidson Drantch, appeared on Pleasantville Community Television's "Taming the Cubicle Jungle" . . .
  • Alcott's Human Resources Assistant Stacey Bailey received a "Bright Light" Certificate by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Long Island Chapter . . .
  • Alcott President Lou Basso was featured in the March 2010 edition of PEO Insider magazine . . .
  • Alcott recently sponsored a WCBS-AM/Capital One Bank Small Business Breakfast . . .
  • Alcott presented a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) seminar . . .
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