Outsourced staffing is a rising trend in the US and Europe, but globally, outsourcing is also a hiring strategy that excites controversy between HR execs and labour bureaus. But when it comes to your next round of hires for your growing company, you may actually have more options than you realize thanks to the modern convenience and prevalence of outsourced staff.
As with any contractual decision, while not every position can or should be filled by an outsourced team, taking the time to consider outsourcing as a strategy for your IT, marketing, media, sales and creative positions can reap significant benefits if pursued with the right mindset.
That’s why to help alleviate outsourcing fears and dispel many of the misconceptions that surround the heated topic, we’ve compiled a series of myths about outsourced staff and provided practical solutions that address many companies’ biggest concerns about the outsourcing trend.
Myth #1: Outsourcing Your Staff Means Sacrificing Quality
Just the opposite is true, actually. When opting for outsourced staff, oftentimes you have a larger pool of highly-qualified and even more highly motivated candidates than an in-house position.
Poor recruiting and a lack of planning, training and management can affect performance quality, but not the larger decision to outsource; in fact, many companies simply take outsourcing too far by relegating critical local processes to outside employees, which can be detrimental to your business’s reputation and growth potential.
That’s why the decision to outsource staff should not be made on cost alone; it should involve a larger evaluation of your company’s present needs and future vision, as well as an adequate assessment of how an outsourced team member (or two) can help get you there.
Reality: Outsourcing will not solve all of your problems, but if your company is employing for the right reasons and is financially and strategically ready to put forth the necessary training efforts, outsourced staff can be a fantastic, high-quality solution to a variety of internal inefficiencies.
Myth #2: Outsourcing is Guaranteed to Save you Money
In many ways, this is true: outsourcing your staff will save you money. However, it is important to keep in mind that the goal of outsourcing your staff is to, first and foremost, save time and make your company more efficient from the inside out. Improperly managed staff can even cost more if accurate records of service are not maintained, or if employees are insufficiently trained.
To save money in the long run, then, the goal is to first eliminate unnecessary multi-tasking and then outsource small, mundane tasks that don’t have to be handled by you or your in-house team to equally qualified, less overworked virtual staff.
Reality: Outsourcing will only save you money if you take the time to hire and train the right people to do the right jobs.
Myth #3: The Digital Age Makes Outsourcing Easy
The digital age makes outsourcing easier, no doubt – but don’t let the conveniences of the web fool you!
The Internet, smartphones, apps, and other means of digital information transfer definitely make the outsourcing process easier, but keep in mind that when it comes to outsourced staff, you may be navigating cultural, language, and transmission barriers of many kinds along the way.
Outsourcing staff takes extensive planning and research – you need to have a game-plan in mind, and an idea of the personality type and skill set that would best suit your company’s needs before diving in.
Reality: The Internet, the Cloud, and other modern modes of information transfer make outsourcing easier, but not flawless. Extensive planning and resources are needed to be successful.
Myth #4: Outsourced Staffing is a One-Size-Fits-All Solution for Businesses
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that there are no shortcuts or universal solutions – what works for one company may not work for another.
Outsourcing is no different; it is neither the magic elixir depicted by some, nor the detrimental villain feared by many operations; it is a strategic tool for enhancing performance that should be weighed as a set of pros and cons.
As with any marketing or development strategy, outsourced staffing agendas should be reviewed on a regular basis for consistency with your business’s mission, market shifts in technology and overall performance.
Outsourcing any part of your staff is a decision not to be taken lightly, but it is one that can radically simplify and revitalize your company for the better by cutting expenses, taking the strain off of in-house employees, and by opening the door to outside connections and opportunities.
Reality: With the right training, goals, and supervision, outsourced staff can be a valuable contribution to your business or organisation.
Myth #5: If You Outsource Staff, They’ll be Doing all of the Work
False. Outsourced staff are not miracle workers; they simply can’t be a jack-of-all-trades and manage your entire company on their own.
To get the most out of your outsourced employees, they need to be placed on an equal playing field as the rest of your in-house staff, provided with the same basic information and appropriate deadlines needed to perform their job, and given equal opportunity to receive timely, constructive feedback to improve job performance. This means you will need to be directly involved and able to handle the unique challenges of virtual communication.
Reality: An outsourced relationship is a give-and-take one, where both parties need to contribute towards the same clear goal; without it, or with one end of the partnership carrying more weight than the other, a virtual management relationship is one that is doomed to fail.
Myth #6: Outsourcing Staff Only Works for Large Companies
It’s easy to associate the phrase “outsourcing” will large, corporate powerhouses; however, outsourcing is not just for multi-million dollar enterprises. On the contrary, small businesses benefit just as much from outsourcing as global identities can.
Many startups delve into the working economy wearing all of the hats that are needed to run a business. In the initial stages of development, when your focus is about growing your client base and establishing an identity, juggling multiple roles is manageable.
But as your business expands, you and your current staff may not have the capability to manage every detail with full attention and accuracy, which can negatively affect profits if it inhibits your company’s ability to do good work.
Reality: Big or small, outsourced staff can work for your business with proper management techniquas.