The Manager’s Guide to Outsourcing Ethically & Economically Key Takeaways Knowing the difference between the right and wrong way of outsourcing will help business owners expand their professional networks. Clearly define what you need from outsourcing, including in-house and off-site resources, the number of workers needed, etc. Make sure that you have strong channels of communication, as here you are dealing with long distances and language barriers. Make your workforce feel respected and valued, no matter from which part of the world they belong.
Outsourcing is by no means a new concept but with the emergence of digital technologies that better accommodate remote work, its capabilities for your business have started to be recognized worldwide.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to outsource – and knowing the difference here can not only help business owners expand their professional networks but also ensure that outsourced work is produced to a consistently high standard.
If you have found yourself in a position where you believe that it would benefit your business, there are some things that you should keep in mind that will help you remain both economical and ethical.
Maintain Strong Processes When It Comes to Outsourcing
There are some standard procedures that must occur whenever you outsource any work. For instance, you could
create online invoices for your freelancers or contract workers to make sure that all payments are standardised and easier to keep track of.
Or you could ask them to use an invoice template for similar results.
Whatever method you choose, it’s imperative to make sure that they are well aware of the processes that are in place for them and have been given time and space to familiarise themselves with those processes.
That way, you’ll be able to provide them with enough infrastructure to support their work, so that all they have to focus on is their output.
Prepare a Comprehensive Strategy for Outsourcing
This section should go without saying, but with something this important, it is always worth mentioning. If you decide to start your outsourcing search on a blind whim, you are going to run into more hurdles than an Olympic runner. There is a lot that you must understand before you start the hiring process.
It starts with clearly defining what you need from it, including the work required, the in-house or off-site resources that are currently available to you, and the potential number of workers that you’ll need to outsource to.
Being aware of the numbers before you start recruiting can prevent you from onboarding more staff than you may need.
Whilst this may be beneficial for your business, it can result in remote workers not receiving the workloads that they require, which may result in a higher
staff turnover rate or could even mark your company’s reputation in the industries that those labourers occupy. Do You Know? It is estimated that global spending on outsourcing will reach $731 billion in 2023. Decide How to Approach Hiring
You have a number of different ways to approach outsourcing, and it really all comes down to the type of work and types of workers you require, along with your current abilities and professional network.
Thankfully, there are some fairly standard models that are used across other industries that outsource regularly, so you can draw inspiration from these processes when developing your own approach to hiring.
For instance, the model for coding computer software with the support of offshore developers can look fairly different for enlisting the services of freelance journalists. In these industries, deadlines can mean different things – as can the definition of a completed project. Do you foresee assigning segments of projects to freelancers over weeks or months? Or is the nature of your work more likely to be done in as little as a week?
Understanding the output that you’ll likely expect from your ideal candidates can help you develop hiring processes that test for these particular performance habits and skill sets.
Consider Professional Services
Although it may be cheaper to hire remote workers who are happy with a lower rate of pay, sometimes you can actually save time and money in the long term by shelling out for a little extra quality and experience.
And if you do find that your independent outsourcing efforts aren’t providing the results you’re after, then why not just enlist the help of a dedicated firm deployed in this field?
There are countless companies around the world that focus solely on being the middle-man for corporations and potential offshoring contracts. It may be wise to look at some of these modern recruitment agencies and inquire about what they can do for your business.
It’s highly likely that these agencies will be able to customise these services to suit your unique needs, and will have a larger talent pool to pull from, too.
Naturally, these services are always going to take a bite out of revenue for an expansion project, but the right one will offer much more overall value – so just budget accordingly.
If you want to be certain that your deployment project is economically and ethically feasible, it may be in your best interest to do your due diligence here and amend your project budget to ensure adequate funds can be allocated towards this service.
Communication is Essential
Having strong communication has always been important in business, but it becomes even more of a priority when you are dealing with distance and language barriers.
Thankfully, so long as you establish strong transmission channels and processes from the get-go, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to get in touch with exactly what you need – or to give feedback.
Remember, however, that you don’t want anyone to feel like their voice isn’t being heard. You also want to have confidence that everyone is on the same page each day. In other words, communication is a two-way street, and you should be just as ready to listen as you are to talk or to construct.
With that, it may be beneficial to set up regular briefings, meetings, and chats with your remote workers, just to make sure that all their concerns are being addressed and that communication is never the core of any issue.
Create Strictly Defined Roles
When you start any professional project, you should ideally map out everyone’s roles well before you think about ticking tasks off your team’s to-do list. Your outsourcing project will have clearly defined goals and objectives, so make sure that every single person involved with it does as well.
That way, you can avoid workers doing the same tasks, which can lead to a lot of unnecessary administrative work down the line and potentially even drag your project to a standstill.
The last thing you want is someone questioning whether something is their job, or who is supposed to make decisions or communicate about things.
That way, madness lies. All of this administrative work should be dealt with beforehand, and believe us – doing so will make your project run efficiently and smoothly all the way from commencement to completion.
Always Treat Others as You Would Like to Be Treated
The last tip we’ll leave you with is less of a piece of business advice, and more of a golden principle when it comes to practicing empathy in any context. In any part of your life, it is always best to treat those around you as you would prefer to be treated.
It is important to remember this when it comes to outsourcing work to a foreign place. No matter if they are not used to certain wages, benefits, or working conditions, if your standard is higher, it automatically extends to them.
You want anyone who becomes a part of your workforce to feel like they are respected, valued, and treated fairly, regardless of where in the world they are from.
Maintaining this practice will allow you to get the very best from your freelancers and contract workers, so remember to handle all your email communications, phone calls, and video calls, with plenty of positivity, understanding, and good, old-fashioned empathy at all times.