Staff Outsourcing: The Next BIG Thing To Your Business
More companies now consider staff outsourcing for many reasons. According to Statisticbrain.com, reducing or controlling costs is the main factor for companies to consider this. This table shows the percentages of reasons cited by companies:
You might be asking yourself, Is outsourcing for my business?, Is it time for me to outsource?, What tasks should I outsource?
Take a moment with us as we tackle each of these in a deeper sense.
What’s the best approach when outsourcing?
The first thing to do is having a clear understanding of your business objectives.
Plan how outsourcing a job can help you achieve long-term goals. Identify KPIs to measure that these goals are met. These determine how you structure and manage a project, what functions are outsourced, and how to evaluate a service provider.
Remember to establish a harmonious relationship with your service provider. Communication is always the key to having a successful outsourced project. Consider that outsourcing tasks mean a different team setup and responsibilities are implemented. This avoids any confusion to both parties as the project progresses.
Ensure that regular progress reports are issued to you. More importantly, make sure that you fully understand the technicalities of your outsourced tasks. An ideal service provider is able to explain complex things to simpler terms so you can easily catch-up with any progression.
The next step is to identify the essential factors for successful outsourcing.
Essential Factors for Successful Outsourcing
- Be Wise. Outsourcing means carefully selecting the right person for a particular job. You cannot outsource a long list of diverse tasks to only one professional and expect them to be an expert at everything. Never treat your outsourced staff as virtual robots if you want them to be a long term player in your team.
- Strategic. Decide whether you need short-term or long-term outsourced staff. You may wish to hire short-term staff if you have short, definable projects. On the other hand, long-term outsourced staff become an integral part of your business, handling regular and repetitive tasks that form part of the day to day operations of your business.
- Shifting. Outsourcing may be your best option if your company is shifting in a new direction and embracing new technologies. You can leverage off the expertise of a specialised outsourced team member to assist the process
- Business Process Outsourcing. Commonly known as BPO or back office outsourcing. It involves the whole operations and responsibilities of specific business functions to be outsourced to a third-party service provider.
- Joint Venture (JV). This is a business agreement in which you agree to develop a specific project with another outsourced management team. In essence, a joint venture is also forming a partnership.
- Benefit-based outsourcing. This is when both parties decide to invest in providing a service, sharing the benefits and possible risks that may arise.
- Offshoring. Offshore outsourcing is when you outsource jobs into another country. Philippines, for instance, is among the top 10 choices of big companies to offshore jobs.
Important reminders before you outsource
According to Sparrow, when choosing an outsourcing agency or individual, don’t base your decision solely on price. You must check their reliability, credibility, work experience, communication skills and accuracy. Sparrow added, “The evaluation of proposals should include potential for developing a productive relationship; the quality of the proposed solution; a risk assessment; payment mechanisms; direct and indirect costs; benefits; and people issues.”
“Be sure that the supplier is motivated and capable of providing the services your organisation needs. The contract should unambiguously specify the scope of the activities to be outsourced, the roles and responsibilities of the customer and supplier, dispute resolution procedures, remedies, targets and performance measures.”
After you have chosen the best outsource team or staff, be sure to monitor their performance, Sparrow said.
“You will need a team to monitor compliance, liaise regularly with the supplier, negotiate charges for new or changed services, monitor the total value of the deal and review delivery against overall objectives.
“Contract management is a distinct role in the IT department, but not every IT professional will be well suited to it. Identify the team and provide any necessary training in good time.”
Why Small, Medium and Large Companies Embrace Outsourcing?
Outsourcing has taken off in the last 14 years! In fact, an estimated 300,000 job positions are outsourced annually by American companies.
Here is a table showing the percentage of companies that outsource by sector:
10 Killer Tips When Outsourcing
Outsourcing truly brings more opportunities to business growth. However, outsourcing can be stressful if you set your expectations too high. To avoid this from happening, here’s a list of useful tips when outsourcing:
1. Avoid Miscommunications
Giving clear instructions is the best way to avoid miscommunication. Ask your outsourced staff if instructions are clear to them. Otherwise, ask them if they need any clarification prior to working on the task.
You should also consider:
- The use of simpler terms
- Less jargons
- Avoiding idioms and slang words
Be considerate on how to communicate – especially when you offshore staff. This helps in avoiding any miscommunication.
2. Set a Specific Working Time
Set regular times to touch base with your outsourced staff, get updates and plan milestones. Not following up on tasks can trigger delays and can be frustrating for both parties.
Don’t forget to give notice if you are going to be out of the office or on holiday.
3. Get Daily Reports Regularly
Only few outsourced service providers are transparent to their clients. There are many tools that you can use to monitor the progress of your project.
One good example is TeamworkPM that BMG Outsourcing is currently using. It allows our clients to see what are and are not done yet. It also shows them the target dates to meet deadlines.
Clients can also track the daily progress and performance of their staff. They can plan tasks in advance, store emails and files against tasks, allocate tasks to staff members and monitor performance against budgeted hours. Together with Skype, regular communication is not an issue.
4. Must be fluent in English (speaking and writing)
Make sure that offshore staff are fluent in English – both in written and verbal. This creates a better comprehension when complex and delicate matters arise.
5. Make a call
You really don’t want to receive mass emails, right? Then get into the habit of using Skype or Google Hangouts for clarification and questions, alleviated clogging up your inbox with unnecessary emails.
6. Surprise them with rewards!
Do you want to keep your outsourced staff motivated? One sure way is by giving them surprise rewards for their recent accomplishments. If they see that you value their work, they will be more encouraged to deliver each project on time and go the extra mile.
Research their culture. Know the legal requirements when it comes to bonuses. For example, Filipinos receive “13th month pay” every December.
7. Document Basic Company Processes
Documenting your company policies and procedures is invaluable for the training and orientation of your new employees. We recommend Sharepoint or Google Sites to store and share your videos, documents and infographics with logical navigation flows and structure. If you or one of your staff members are unexpectedly absent, your business can be simply outsourced and kept on track.
8. Set Expectations
Talk to your outsourced staff about your work expectations and standards. It’s always best to be clear from the beginning, take timely action if necessary to avoid simple misunderstandings becoming larger issues.
9. Be organised: Use doc-sharing apps
Where do you store all your documents? On your desktop or internal server? You might be missing something! Secure cloud based storage apps like Google drive, Dropbox or Sharepoint can be used to transfer and store your company files. You will be more organised, and it will be easier for your new outsourced staff to access all the files they need about your company and your clients.
10. You are the Boss
When you hire offshore employees, treat them just the same as any other local office based employee. Manage and discipline them properly. The common problems with outsourced staff are: they fail to deliver tasks on time, they give you low quality output, they don’t give immediate feedback/responses, etc. To prevent this, you must set rules before your team start working for you. Make sure everything is clear.Tip: You can give a
Tip: You can give a 1-month trial, and if everything works out, then he/she might be the right employee you’ve been waiting for.
Want to know more about outsourcing?
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