For a while now, consultants have been hired to help make decisions about reductions in force, and more recently outside businesses have been called in to help script terminations and be designated witnesses to firings, but the newest offering provided by HR service providers is to actually carry out the action of terminating employees.
As a former Vice President of Human Resources for a call center, we hired an average of 10+ people per week to keep the seats filled, and during my 8 year tenure there, I had the distasteful job of terminating hundreds of people. It does get easier over time - but mostly by getting more compassionate and understanding.
My Knowledge Management experience tells me that this latest service is just another step in specialization and the continued rise of the knowledge worker, and that many companies will take advantage.
As an HR professional, having seen executives agonize over terminations, I'm sure that this business service will catch on.
However, my experience also tells me that the distant, less personal approach will leave erstwhile employees and current staff with a chilly feeling about the corporate culture.
For now, the jury is out. Small businesses will appreciate the help....larger businesses may enjoy the reduced risk...but the long term potential public relations fallout may not be worth it.