If you’re looking to mix up your recruitment strategy while cutting costs, outsourcing could be the perfect solution.
Hiring talent from diverse pools around the world can plug skill gaps in your company, help you expand faster, or be a long-term solution for saving money on specific services. The difficulty is knowing what exactly you sign up for when you decide to outsource, which is why we put this FAQ guide together.
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing?
There are many benefits to outsourcing, some of which are far more obvious than others.
For example, outsourcing is a commonly-touted solution for cutting costs, but what’s the rationale behind this?
Outsourcing is well-known as a money-saving strategy primarily because it allows you to source talent from other countries that have a lower cost of living. As a result, the expected rate of pay is lower, and you can outsource services for a fraction of the price you’d pay if you were to hire from your local area.
This is especially true for farshore outsourcing, in which you would look far abroad for the most affordable services, such as in Vietnam and China. Other types of outsourcing, such as nearshore, may not be quite so affordable but may offer up a more specialized set of skills.
When you outsource certain services such as IT, you can free up your employees’ time and resources which they can reinvest in the core functions of the business.
Often, when scaling, startups reach a moment in which they have to offer a new service to expand, such as customer support or IT maintenance. At this point, sometimes the best option to improve operational efficiency is to outsource the service so as not to redirect your workforce’s current focus on expansion efforts.
With outsourcing, you can trim some of the fat around your organization so that you have a lean structure that can easily adapt to changing circumstances. In times of economic uncertainty, for example, you may not need to lay off or hire new employees, but rather look at what you’re outsourcing.
What are the Most Commonly Outsourced Services?
One of the best aspects of outsourcing as part of your recruitment strategy is that there’s almost no limit to the services you can outsource.
Here are some of the most common examples of outsourced services:
In the digital age and a time when remote work is becoming increasingly common, it’s important to have a robust IT infrastructure in place to handle our day-to-day business operations.
IT services you can outsource include:
- Network security
- General maintenance
- File backup
Alongside IT services, customer support is hands-down one of the most commonly outsourced processes.
As a company starts to grow, the need for agents on standby to respond to customer queries grows too. As such, unless you already have a large team who can dedicate time to respond to customers, you should probably look to outsource your customer support.
Some examples of customer support services you can outsource include:
- Multilingual chat
- Omnichannel response systems
- 24/7 agent access
Software development requires a highly specialized skillset, so it lends itself well to outsourcing.
Whether you’re trying to create a new customer-facing app to increase sales or build a website to push traffic towards your product, outsourcing can be an excellent option.
Instead of hiring and training HR reps, you can outsource aspects of the HR process to save money.
For example, you can delegate important processes such as employee payroll, recruitment, and benefits management. That way, you can accommodate a growing workforce without breaking the bank.
How Do I Choose the Right Outsourcing Provider?
If you’re interested in outsourcing key business services, it’s important that you take the time to find the right outsourcing provider.
Due diligence is an integral part of the process, since you want to make sure that you’re working with reliable MSPs (managed service providers). Here are some factors you should consider before making a decision:
In most cases, when you choose to outsource you’re going to be looking for highly specialized talent. You aren’t looking for generalists who can do a bit of everything, but the IT professional, experienced HR rep, or multilingual customer support agent.
First, take note of the skill gaps in your company, then you can better identify the type of talent that will best serve you.
Before choosing an MSP to work with, be sure to vet them thoroughly. See what other companies who have worked with them have to say, and see if their reputation aligns with their promises.
One of the main reasons for outsourcing is to cut costs, so go into the process with a budget in mind.
What amount of money can you afford to set aside for customer support without sacrificing your profit margins?
Of course, you also need to consider quality, so if you need a more elaborate service, your budget should increase accordingly.
How Do I Manage an Outsourced Team?
The best way to manage an outsourced team is through clear communication and the right work performance monitoring tools. From the outset, make sure that they have access to the same productivity management services and other software solutions as your teams, to make coordination and collaboration more straightforward.
This could be a multi-channel communication platform like Slack, a project management tool like Trello, or a computer activity tracker like Insightful. Business computer monitoring software allows you to track outsourced team performance through automatic time tracking.
When you become an employer tracking internet activity, you can monitor both outsourced and internal teams and draw comparisons and evaluate whether standards are high across the board.
In some situations, you may have to work hard to maintain strong communication lines. For example, if you hire an outsourced team in Vietnam and you’re based in the US, you’ll have vastly different timezones to contend with.
In instances such as this, you may consider a flexible work arrangement focused on results. Provided the outsourced team shows up to work each day and produces the desired results - which you can check through pc monitoring software - the timezone difference shouldn’t matter too much.
Monitoring pc activity is an excellent way to instill a greater sense of accountability in both in-house and outsourced teams. Corporate internet monitoring isn’t just for internal monitoring, and with laptop activity tracking software Insightful, you can capture screenshots, automatically track time, and build out complete performance reports.