HR Indaba Africa 2019: HRTorQue Outsourcing offers practical HR solutions

Director Jonty Aitken explains how exactly they are able to offer something to everybody.

HRTorQue Outsourcing offers practical HR solutions, catering for all manner of clients from major corporates like Grindrod, MSC Cruises and Unilever to small restaurants and even mechanics. They do this by using a combination of strong cloud-based systems together with the company’s extensive practical experience providing solutions in South Africa for over 20 years.

Giving SMEs HR and accounting support

For startups employing less than 50 employees, HRTorQue offer a package to handle setup and registration, end to end accounting, payroll and a basic HR setup including policies and procedures and contracts of employment.

For small to medium enterprises employing 50-500 employees, they offer a fit for purpose HR and accounting package including on-site HR support for a fraction of the cost of hiring a full time HR team.  This allows these companies to focus on what they should be doing while leaving the admin and compliance issues to the experts.

“We provide them with an HR support specialist who spends one or two days per week at their office. This specialist has access to a range of professionals back at the office for the more difficult queries. We also set up a ticketing system for employees to be able to send any questions to HR, whether to do with leave, payslips...whatever the case may be. This gives us a tool for the client to track our performance and for us to give accurate monthly feedback to clients on key employee issues. Finally, where it is optimal to do so, we use a cloud based HCM platform to improve workflows and access to data for clients; and for the more sophisticated clients, build dashboards for them to monitor HR and Accounting data for improved decision making,” says HRTorQue Outsourcing director Jonty Aitken, adding that this gives small and medium companies access to the HR capabilities of large organisations at an easily affordable rate.

“As companies grow, they appreciate the need to have a good handle on HR issues but, because they don’t think they have any option, they typically go into the market and hire an HR generalist who will naturally focus on their own strengths and often neglect the HR areas in which they are less proficient. For a lower cost, we provide them with access to the full range of HR capabilities that are available to large corporates.”

Large corporates get specialist services

For the bigger clients that already have an established HR function, HRTorQue focuses on specific interventions such as employment equity or skills development reporting, ETI audits, data analytics or grievances and disciplinary work.   They are also among the top payroll bureaus in the country and are therefore able to handle extremely complex payrolls - they offer a fully outsourced function or simply provide support on an ad-hoc basis for existing payroll departments.

“Often those bigger clients will say they are tied down with admin and struggling to focus on core operational issues. Instead of taking on additional permanent headcount they come to us for assistance with targeted projects and problem areas. It is particularly appealing to organisations that are looking for more agile HR capabilities,” says Jonty.

When asked how exactly they are able to get a reputation for being everything to everyone on matters of HR, he says it’s really about how they target their offerings.

“We identify what clients need and tailor solutions for them. We are not system developers, but we leverage off already developed systems in the market place. We then focus on doing the basics well. Yes, we do have a challenge of having a bit too much on our plate sometimes, but that’s a nice problem to have.”

Compliance is a major issue

Jonty says, “Because organisations are becoming increasingly burdened with compliance requirements and are struggling to keep up to date with legislation, there is a tendency to ignore problems and hope they go away. This is particularly common in the small and medium company market. This is a risky strategy given the increase in compliance audits by South African Revenue Service and the Department of Labour.”

“The Ostrich effect is common in South Africa. There is just too much for companies to deal with while trying to deal with difficult economic conditions. The result is that companies tend to be reactive when it comes to dealing with compliance issues, workforce challenges and just having the difficult conversations. We try and help them with this.” he says.