Top talent is becoming increasingly harder to come by, in no small part due to the growing trend towards remote and hybrid work. Even though big tech companies are laying off employees in droves in the early stages of 2023, the competition for talent is fierce as there are new standards for the ideal work environment.
Now more than ever top talent are looking for flexibility, autonomy, and other perks. According to Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey 2022, 50% of executives say that talent acquisition is one of their biggest internal challenges.
That’s why outsourcing will continue to become a popular approach to hiring going into 2023 and beyond. Even though it may be a better choice for your business, you need to be careful when outsourcing services.
In this guide, we’ll show you some of the most crippling pain points associated with outsourcing and how you can avoid them.
1. Exaggerated Applications
When outsourcing, you lose some of the due diligence that you’d apply when hiring internally. Instead of rigorously interviewing and evaluating each candidate based on their merits, qualifications, and past experiences, you effectively take the outsourcing company at their word.
In many cases, it would be too time-consuming to analyze each member of the team you’ll be working with.
Since the demand for outsourcing continues to grow, many outsourcing agencies are trying to stand out from the crowd. As a result, it’s not uncommon to come across exaggerated applications wherein the agency claims to offer a wide range of skills and services, even if their staff aren’t fully trained in all of them.
Unfortunately, since it’s difficult to identify when an outsourcing agency is being liberal with the truth regarding their agents and skill sets, you might not find out until the work is underway.
At that point, you face the prospect of:
- Wasted money
- Lost time
- Dissatisfied clients or customers
So how can you avoid this potentially costly outsourcing issue?
The best way to make sure you’re working with top talent is to thoroughly vet the outsourcing company and verify any claims they’ve made by corroborating past reviews or references. While you might not be able to dig into every team member that’ll be assigned to your project, you can certainly do your due diligence on the agency.
2. Performance Monitoring
Hiring externally, it can be challenging to know whether you’re getting your money’s worth.
When you hire internally, you can use the same systems you’ve always relied on to measure individual performance against a benchmark. When you hire externally, unless you have systems in place for remote productivity tracking, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to gauge the hour-by-hour performance of your outsourced team.
Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this common outsourcing pain point: computer usage monitoring software.
When you use a time tracker for remote workers like Insightful, you can see exactly how many hours your BPO provider clocked each day, where that time went, and build out productivity charts. It’s one of the best ways of tracking employees at work and monitoring remote performance, and you can also use it for both internal and external hires.
3. Communication Challenges
As many companies made the transition from on-site to remote work in the wake of the pandemic, it became clear how this could sever communication ties and make collaboration between team members more challenging.
The same applies to outsourcing, yet the challenge is arguably even greater since you’ll be communicating with people that could be in another country and timezone.
How can you overcome challenges with communication?
By prioritizing asynchronous communication methods, you can collaborate on projects without needing to be on the same time zone or schedule. Simply leaving comments on tasks in a project management solution can be enough to keep a project ticking.
4. Quality Assurance
When you outsource, you relinquish a degree of control over a service or project and can sometimes sacrifice the highest productivity levels in favor of affordability.
While you might still have the final say, if you realize that the quality is subpar at the last minute, it might be too late to make changes.
Quality assurance is one of the most common pain points associated with outsourcing since you’re hiring people that you haven’t trained.
Outsourced teams won’t necessarily be aware of your:
- Company values
- Quality expectations
- Key processes
As a result, it’s unlikely that an outsourced team will produce the quality you’re expecting if you have high standards. Alternatively, the quality might be there, but the way they dealt with a customer or completed a task might not be in line with your company’s internal strategy and guidelines.
To make sure you receive the quality of work you’re looking for - communication is key.
From the outset, make it clear what your expectations are, and find out if that’s something the outsourcing agency feels comfortable delivering. Rather than outsourcing work only to find out later that it’s not at the level you expected, do your due diligence first to make sure the first hire is the best one for the job.
5. Work Rate
Closely tied to quality is the speed at which your outsourced team completes the work they’re assigned.
While in many cases, quality trumps speed, there are instances where you might need a project to be finished quickly for a client, or swift customer service support to deal with a backlog of tickets.
If you outsource work only to find that it’s completed on a different timeline to yours, then that leaves you in a difficult spot. You could miss deadlines, key milestones, and need to step in and micromanage a project to the end if the team you outsource to works at a slow pace.
To avoid this issue, make sure upfront that the agency you outsource to has enough team members and the right skills to complete the work in a timely fashion.
You can use internet activity monitor Insightful to view employee screen activity, and monitor computer usage to keep tabs on just how quickly your outsourced team members work. One of the primary benefits of monitoring performance this way is you can compare and contrast the time data and productivity of internal employees with outsourced hires.