Increasingly, local governments are outsourcing services and tasks traditionally handled by employees. One finance director in Florida told me about research he has done regarding where things are headed and has concluded that local governments of the future are going to be operating with a much smaller staff of highly-trained professionals, who manage a large number of outsourced contracts for all sorts of traditional services.
His research is consistent with anecdotal evidence shared by other finance directors, as well as SGR’s real world experience. In addition to project-oriented contract executive search and training, SGR is now providing contract city secretary services, contract PIO services, contract website management, and are in discussions with one city to provide contract HR services and with another agency to outsource all of their training function. And it is working in the opposite direction as well.
SGR was previously featured in Entrepreneur Magazine because we have grown into a national company serving local governments in 41 states, with such a small number of full-time employees. We contract out a huge portion of our behind-the-scenes tasks because we discovered we could deliver higher quality service by bringing in companies as partners who are experts in their field. As just four examples (of many more), we rely on a private investigation firm to do our legal/civil/criminal background checks; we rely on the leading online learning management training platform in the nation to provide the technology behind our leading-edge LMS; we rely on a professional graphics designer for our recruitment brochures; and we partner with a leading national HR Consulting company when one of our members need a compensation study.
SGR’s experience is that sometimes a local government can outsource an activity to SGR and achieve both savings as well as higher-quality service. And sometimes SGR can outsource an activity and achieve both savings as well as a higher quality of service.
It is clear that this is a growing trend for the future. I have concluded that the finance director in Florida is right— the future of our cities (and private companies) will be more reliance on a smaller, highly-skilled staff, managing an increasing number of contracts for delivery of specific services and activities.
I would love to hear from you at Ron@GovernmentResource.com on lessons you have learned in outsourcing various functions. It is an area in which we all have more to learn – and quickly.