Outsourcing can stir up some very passionate and polarized opinions. As the CEO of an outsourcing advisory company, I have seen many ethical issues being debated. These include low wages, globalization and job losses, as well as whether outsourcing is a good idea. These are all important points to remember, but I have also observed that there are many preconceptions and misconceptions about outsourcing and how it can be integrated into businesses.
Outsourcing is a broad term that covers many things. The word itself is more misleading than accurate. It is possible to interchange the terms offshoring, staff-leasing and virtual assistants in the same sentence — and it is perfectly acceptable.
Offshore staffing has been around for over three decades. It has been used extensively by large corporations and was worth more $200 billion by 2020. Modern outsourcing has many advantages, including lower staffing costs. It is also more similar to local employment than any other type of work; the only difference is that the employees are in another country.
It is important to dispel some common myths about outsourcing in order to fully appreciate the benefits.
It is a common misconception that offshore staffing is only available to mega-companies around the globe. This was originally the case. However, access is now available to small and medium-sized companies.
For smaller businesses, outsourcing can be a daunting task because of the complexity of contracts and long-term commitments. You can start with one employee and have flexible cancellation policies. There are also minimal set-up costs. You can simplify your employment by using offshore staffing.
It is important to ensure that outsourcing is the right choice for your company before you make a move. If you are a business owner and feel that you don’t have the resources to hire, or can’t find the right staff locally, or you want to create a new revenue stream, boost output, or reduce costs, then outsourcing might be an option.
In 2007, Tim Ferriss published The 4-Hour Workweek about virtual assistants and how they helped him run his business and personal life. Although this book was a great help to entrepreneurs, VAs only represent a small portion of the industry’s potential and sophistication.
I prefer to call everyone a “VA” and instead of calling them all “VA”, it is much more effective to create a team with specific roles with specific skills such as bookkeeping/bookkeeping, lead generation, administrative support, appointment setting, sales, executive assistant, etc.
It is a concern that workers from other countries may be taking over jobs in the U.S., and outsourcing can cause huge concern. My view is that this is not the case. The U.S. had its lowest unemployment rates in 30 years, thanks to offshoring and technological advancement. This was pre-pandemic. In May, the rate fell to 5.8%. This is the lowest level since 1969.
Existing employees may be concerned so make sure to involve them in the process. It is a great idea to ask them to create a detailed list listing all of their tasks for each month. Next, ask them to identify the repetitive, low-value and simple tasks that keep them from performing their core, high-value, essential and important functions. This will show that offshore staff can directly improve their role, eliminate tedious tasks and let them focus on the work that interests them.
You should also work together to create alignment and a sense of community among the offshore and onshore teams. This is an essential component of any team, and it’s even more crucial when you are offshoring.
Many people associate outsourcing with annoying customer service calls. The sector offers highly skilled staffing solutions for a variety of roles, sectors, and professions. Since those early days, the industry has come to a long distance in terms of quality and sophistication.
Although you can hire great staff, even the best need a training structure, clear processes, and specific objectives. This will be a remote role so it is important to be clear about your requirements and spend more time training the new employees. Delegate. Don’t abdicate.
Outsourcing is not cheaper. It is all about managing complexity and friction while successfully outsourcing staff. If you are too cheap, your quality, reliability, scalability, and ease of doing business will quickly drop. If you pay a fair amount, you can get enterprise-level results.
Talk to at least three outsourcing partners when looking for a partner. This will ensure that they have a good understanding of your business and can give you valuable advice about the roles and outcomes you can expect. A firm should have a lot of staff. They should also offer transparent pricing which means they can separate the costs for staff from the service costs.
Entrepreneurs often want to hire one person who can do everything when they start hiring offshore staff. You might see a job description that includes everything from web development to sales calls, and social media posts to bookkeeping. The unicorn employee is not real. Instead, it’s better to hire workers offshore for specific roles that have clear processes and defined outcomes. This will set you up for success. Six Misconceptions About Outsourcing Debunked
Many people think outsourcing is harder, scarier, or more difficult than it is. But the new generation of offshore staffing is flexible, scalable and entrepreneur-friendly. These misconceptions can help you overcome any potential problems and ensure that your outsourcing partner is a good fit for your company.