As a leader, you should always be on the search for innovative methods to improve your company’s efficiency and finances. And outsourcing remains one of the most reliable ways to stretch your resources. Not only does outsourcing allow you to spend less, but it enables you to pivot rapidly and stay competitive.
Outsourcing to individual contractors and agencies offers plenty of attractive benefits. For one, you’ll be able to work with people who have specialized skills. It can be difficult to find full-time workers who possess niche know-how and experience. By outsourcing on an as-needed basis, you’ll have a better chance of being able to work with highly skilled professionals. Often, those professionals will be using technologies you aren’t, which is a further advantage for your organization to be managing offshore teams effectively.
Another upside to outsourcing is that it takes productivity and performance burdens off your current team. A recent Microsoft report indicates around half of all employees and supervisors feel overworked. By shifting duties and projects to people and entities outside your organization, you increase your staff’s bandwidth. This means workers can complete backburnered tasks and feel less overwhelmed and stressed out.
To help you gain these and other outsourcing advantages while still producing quality output, consider taking the following steps.
1. Go global.
The Internet has made outsourcing from anywhere in the world much simpler. As such, it’s not unusual for companies to tap into the talents of foreign-based firms and workers. Startups and small businesses frequently leverage global outsourcing to expand their capacities.
There’s just one stipulation to remember when your outsourcing goes international: Other countries have unique laws and regulations. It can be hard to understand them and make sure you’re always in compliance. Consequently, you may want to work with an employer of record (EOR). As explained by global employment platform provider Oyster, EORs take on all the hiring risks and responsibilities for you. For instance, your EOR will run payroll and manage any benefits on your business’s behalf. The more globally scattered your outsourced workforce, the more sense it makes to collaborate with an EOR.
It’s worth mentioning that an EOR can be valuable even if you only expect to work with foreign independent contractors. Just because someone is working in an independent contractor role doesn’t mean you’re absolved of compliance expectations. You could still run into challenges like knowing all the ins and outs of a foreign country’s contractor classification guidelines. An EOR removes these barriers so you can move full speed ahead with your global outsourcing plans.
2. Be communicative.
Maintaining a strong, trusting relationship with your outsourcers is critical to making this process work. Always prioritize communication — and perhaps over-communication — with professionals you hire who aren’t part of your everyday team. The more looped-in everyone is, the less likely you’ll be to run into preventable mishaps.
For example, invite outsourced individuals and teams to meetings when it makes sense. This helps them feel more connected with your organization and gives them a chance to ask questions. The closer their relationship with your company and people, the better. You can also improve communications by setting up one internal employee to be an outsider’s main point of contact.
Should you take the next step and create an internal email for outsourced professionals or give them access to your company’s information? Maybe, but be cautious and put safety measures in place. Beyond Identity suggests leveraging airtight security methods. This could include setting up a passwordless multi-factor authentication option for contractors and consultants. The goal is to give your outsourcers what they need while reducing tech endpoint exposure.
3. Start small.
It’s not necessary for you to outsource all possible operations at once. Even if you think you’ll eventually want to outsource marketing, IT, and payroll, pick one to begin with. Then, do some homework to make sure that your outsourcing follows a logical, well-considered process. Starting small prevents you from feeling overwhelmed or making avoidable errors. It also gets you accustomed to having outsourced players working for your company.
How do you decide which operational element you should outsource first? It’s up to you. A good way to decide is to look at your team’s existing workflows. Where are they experiencing constant friction points? Are certain tasks falling by the wayside week after week? These are typically areas where outsourcing could be an asset.
After identifying where you need outsourcing the most, conduct due diligence. Outline exactly what you want your outsourcer to do. The more precise you can be, the better. Be sure to write up a complete “job description” of your needs to share with any outsourcing candidates. Then, move forward and conduct interviews to narrow down your search for the ideal outsourcer fit. Keep in mind that the most inexpensive firm or contractor won’t always give you the most mileage for your money. When deliberating between two outsourcing possibilities, go back to your original “job description” to find the best match.
Outsourcing doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or pricey. Take it slowly and ramp up your outsourcing year after year. Over time, you’ll find that it’s an excellent way to improve your company’s efficiency without bringing aboard more people.
Olivia is the Editor in Chief of Blog Herald.