Senior Living: Build it or Buy it? “If you build it, they will come.” That famous line from Field of Dreams still rings true today for many organizations. If you build a community, the residents will come. But what if you buy it, instead of build it? Will they still come? In my own experience, I believe the answer is yes. For senior living owners and operators, the predicament of building their human resources team and infrastructure or buying (outsourcing) is another key question. Build it: Starting From Scratch When you build your human resources department from scratch, you get to choose your team and do it the way you envisioned it. In addition to building a team, you also have to build processes, collateral, and standards. This should be done by experienced and knowledgeable human resources professionals, to ensure that everything is in order and compliant. A third thing to consider is a human resources system. In our digital age, human resources systems are all done through electronic programs and software. This keeps everything organized, accurate, and easy to update and maintain. It’s also beneficial for your staff, because all of their information, benefits, time-keeping, and schedules can be housed within the human resources system. If you build your human resources department from scratch, you either have to create your own system or acquire an existing system and adapt it to your specific needs. Overall, building your human resources team and program takes time, but it can be immensely satisfying to complete and put together. Buy it: Use Existing and Proven Systems But there’s a second option. Instead of creating everything from scratch, you can plug in an existing human resources department. How do you do this? By purchasing human resources services that are managed and operated by an outside organization. Outsourcing human resources services allows you to pass on the human resources burden onto someone else, while the third-party organization provides you with turnkey solutions for payroll, benefits, risk mitigation, and assistance from employee recruitment through separation. In addition, you also receive a full team of human resources professionals who can guide you through any situation or scenario. These third-party organizations also provide you with proven processes and systems. They give you access to their human resources information system (HRis), where you and your employees can manage information, time, and schedules. Buying your human resources department can pay off. Literally. HR industry research shows that organizations who buy human resources services experience revenues that are eight to nine percent greater than organizations who don’t. It’s Your Choice In the end, it comes down to the level of time and effort you have to put in to your human resources department. If you have the time to start it from scratch and build it up, that’s great. But if you want to save time and possibly money, you can buy it and trust an established process handled by human resources experts. Will you build it or buy it? The choice is up to you. How could your organization benefit from “buying” rather than “building” your HR? Frank Accurso Frank has been with Aureon HR, an Iowa-based HR services provider for 14 years, currently as Vice President, Business Development - Senior Living. Prior to joining Aureon, Frank was in various leadership positions in the insurance and manufacturing sectors.