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Outsourcing has become an effective recruitment arm for many companies looking to expand quickly yet sustainably. When you have short-term skill shortages or a lack of resources to overhaul a department within your business, outsourcing could be an excellent stopgap solution.

As well as providing a quick fix for rapid scaling, you can also leverage outsourcing to expand your offerings and better serve your customers from a long-term perspective.

In this guide, we’ll explore how you can make the most of outsourcing in 2023, and what you should bear in mind before you get started. In addition, discover how a work hours tracker like Insightful can help. 

1. Identify Core Business Services to Outsource 

Your first priority when outsourcing in 2023 should be to ascertain which business services you most need support with. If you can’t pinpoint where you’ll get the most ROI through outsourcing, it’s unlikely to yield the results you’re hoping for. 

Perform an internal audit and scan the business for weaknesses such as skill gaps or inefficiencies.

There are many core business functions you can outsource which can help you reallocate resources and scale more effectively. Some business functions might benefit from staying in house, depending on where your employees' strengths lie, whereas others would be better left in the hands of a specialized outsourced team.

Here are some examples of business services you could outsource in 2023:

  •  Accounting 
  •  Customer Support
  •  Human Resources
  •  Marketing 
  •  Sales

Before outsourcing any of your business services, vet the MSP (managed service provider) by reading past client reviews and verifying any claims they make. Outsourcing the right services only leads to greater operational efficiency when you have the right team on your side.

2. Choose a Suitable Model

Once you’ve settled on which services you feel comfortable outsourcing, it’s time to choose a suitable model.

There are several outsourcing models which each have pros and cons:

  • Nearshore - Hiring from neighboring countries can yield cost-effective options and open up the talent pool, albeit with a higher risk of encountering cultural issues.
  • Farshore - Looking far abroad can help you find the most affordable MSPs, but you may have to contend with different time zones.
  • Onshore - Onshore outsourcing can lead to seamless team integration yet will likely come at a higher cost.
  • Offshore - Offshore outsourcing is useful for finding specialized MSPs in other countries, though their customs and laws may differ from yours.

You can also decide whether you want to work with a dedicated team or outsource a particular project for a fixed price.

The former allows you to strike up a long-term working arrangement and integrate an outsourced team into your way of working, while the latter offers a short-term solution when you’re short on labor, skill sets, or resources.

3. Outline Work Expectations

Before you begin working with an MSP, it’s important to lay out your expectations to leave little room for confusion.

Put to paper your ideas on how you imagine communicating and collaborating with your outsourced team on a daily basis. Note down what methods of communication you will rely on - be they synchronous or asynchronous or a combination of the two - and detail the ways you can cooperate to achieve a shared goal.

Without pre-established expectations, you’ll likely end up in a scenario where neither your internal team nor your outsourced team knows how they should work together. This can lead to a lack of cohesion and create opportunities for misunderstanding and miscommunication.

4. Establish Relevant KPIs

Once you know what working with an outsourced team will look like, you should look to create relevant KPIs and performance metrics.

KPIs and SMART goals can inform progress and performance, letting you know if there’s any room for improvement or if you’re on track to reach your milestones. When you implement goals and KPIs, you can hold your outsourced team to account and make sure your decision to outsource is justifiable in the long term.

One of the best ways to track performance for remote teams is to use employee monitoring software. If you were wondering how to keep track of work hours for your outsourced team, user activity software is the way to go.

With work from home monitoring software like Insightful, you can start monitoring pc activity, enable screenshot tracking, and automatically track time with screen monitoring to build productivity reports.

Workforce optimization tool Insightful allows you to work closely with outsourced teams and ensure you get the operational performance results you were hoping for. A real-time data dashboard provides you with the tools to assess progress throughout your working relationship and suggest changes if performance levels aren’t up to your standards.

While it might come off to some as software to spy on employees, monitoring employees in the workplace articles show that worker privacy is key with any monitoring tool.

You can avoid running into any employee monitoring legal issues by using a reliable tool like Insightful which safeguards employee data.

5. Encourage Full Integration

An often overlooked aspect of outsourcing is the tools and systems you’ll use to work with your outsourced team, and whether or not they’re compatible.

The ideal scenario for outsourcing is that you have full integration with your new team - meaning they seamlessly merge with your company. To make that happen, you need to focus on three core elements:

  • Culture - How you accommodate your outsourced team’s work and cultural values
  • Technology - How your tech stacks align and whether they’re compatible
  • Training - How you train your outsourced team and what resources they have access to

Without integration in any one of these three core elements, you’re likely to run into compatibility issues which will hinder your ability to collaborate effectively.

For example, say you’re working with an MSP based in another country, and you realize that there are national holidays and festivals in their calendar that you hadn’t accounted for. Or you onboard an outsourced team that’s accustomed to jumping on group Zoom calls when your team prefers communicating through Slack.

In either of these real scenarios, you could run into issues that are easy to prevent. Simply by understanding a little about your outsourced team’s country and culture, and the tech tools they use, you can bypass a lot of obstacles in your working relationship.

Training can help you with both of these core integration issues too. With the right resources and mentorship, you can seamlessly onboard outsourced teams and familiarize them with your company’s values and culture.

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