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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Mobile commerce joint venture outsources HR

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A newly formed mobile commerce joint venture dubbed ‘Project Oscar’ has outsourced its transactional HR activities in a bid to set up a cost-effective HR function quickly.

The joint venture between Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone will enable in-store shoppers to purchase goods using their smartphones as an alternative to cash, credit cards or loyalty cards.
 
The London-based company expects to grow its staff from 40 now to 150 by the end of its first year of operation and has signed up plusHR to undertake HR admin and management services, payroll, recruitment, benefits and reward support.
 
Heather Wootton, Project Oscar’s HR lead, said that, because the firm was starting life as a joint venture rather than a typical start-up, it had been “a sizeable organisation from day one, with no time to grow slowly”.
 
This meant that it had “an urgent and immediate need to put into place an HR management foundation and a structure within which to build corporate values and ethos, but in a way that defined Project Oscar as distinct from its parent companies”, she added.
 
Due to the speed at which the vendor hoped to grow its headcount, the aim in HR terms was to “keep things as simple and agile as possible and escape the complexity of process that has at times constrained our parent companies”, Wootton explained.
 
The team provided by its outsourcing provider comprises a dedicated HR administrator, payroll manager, HR manager, recruiter and strategic HR consultant who all work together from the same premises.
 
“The cost benefits are often cited as the main driver for outsourcing, and while this wasn’t the principal motivation for Project Oscar, the stark contrast in cost between internal and external resource was a welcome additional incentive,” said Wootton.
 
To have hired an HR administrator alone would have cost twice as much as the entire outsourcing contract, she added, while taking on a traditional recruitment process outsourcer would have been five time as much as the hiring element of the current deal.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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