EXECUTIVE DECISIONS with Idalee DiGregorio

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Idalee DiGregorio is the Director of Human Resources for Somerford Assisted Living and Alzheimer's Care in Gaithersburg, MD. The firm currently owns and operates 13 facilities in California, Delaware and Maryland.

QWhy did Somerford decide to outsource for human resources, payroll and benefits?
AThe shift to HR, payroll, and benefits outsourcing represented a major change for the company. The decision was directly related to our growth. The acquisition of three campuses doubled our employee population and added six facilities to the company, and also increased the complexity of HR management.
We knew we needed more control over our information. However, we also knew we didn't want the cost or staffing requirements associated with managing an HR/payroll/benefits system infrastructure in-house.

QYou evaluated more than 10 outsourcing vendors. What were you looking for?
AIn addition to identifying vendors who offered a full range of services, we also needed to find a vendor that matched our own corporate culture. We believe very strongly that we must extend the same level of caring and service to our staff as we do to our residents.
Our selection criteria included: extensive experience with a Web-based solution; demonstrated technical expertise; security; assignment of designated account managers; a comprehensive portfolio of services; cost; and a company size well-matched to our needs. We didn't want our account to get lost in the shuffle at a huge service bureau, but we needed a vendor with significant industry experience and the resources required to give us personalized service. We wanted to establish a long-term relationship, so company longevity was also important.

QYou seem to be happy with the choice you made. What's your advice to others?
AOur vendor (Genesys) came through on most everything they said they would.
In the end, it's the relationships between people that make a decision successful. Companies should look for a vendor that has a philosophy similar to that of their own. And vendors should make sure they identify the specific needs and concerns of a prospect and not assume all companies are the same.