Outsourcing is a tricky process. If you own a business that deals with stuff online or if you are a marketing manager who sees that going digital may be ideal for your marketing efforts, you may have considered outsourcing at one point or another.
Yet, at the back of your head, the ghost of doubt is saying that you should stick with keeping your hiring efforts in-house.
Some of the questions you may ask yourself and that you need to assess with other decision makers to determine whether or not to outsource or to “insource” are the following:
- Who has the most experience, competence, and expertise?
- Who can provide the best quality work and results?
- Which is less costly?
The first point can be decided though your own recruitment skills. This is because the process of hiring staff internally or from an external agency involves interviewing and competency evaluation which will determine the fitness of the candidate[s].
The second and third points cannot be resolved on the spot, and this is where the complexity begins. There will be people within your organisation who will oppose to outsourcing as advocates of internal hiring practices whilst there will be others who will promote outsourcing as they discourage assigning new roles internally.
Colleagues who promote outsourcing may likely be accused of being lazy but the truth is, outsourcing requires as much as hiring in-house does.
Both Outsourcing and internal hiring have advantages and disadvantages. The latter banks on the former’s disadvantages, and vice-versa. Some of the realities you should consider if you want to pursue an outsourced digital campaign are the following:
- Outsourcing companies have deeper and more specialized expertise due to the repetition of the same contracted tasks from various clients.
- They have less risk of brain drain even if some of their employees resign since they have duplicate specialists doing the same work.
- Outsourcing has proven to be more cost efficient than hiring in-house.
However, outsourcing agencies, because they are external entities, also have the following risks (in which insourcing advocates can bank on):
- Some outsourcing companies are more involved and concerned about the interests of your business than others.
- There is no physical connection as compared with those who are internally part of your team.
- There will be many occasions when you need to share classified information to equip outsourced staff in fulfilling their duties.
Despite the possible disadvantages of outsourcing however, technology has come up with solutions to address communication and productivity related issues. The key is to find a remote staffing partner that is genuinely concerned about helping you with your business; one that has a solid system for ensuring confidentiality and productivity among its workers.
If you are still not sure of whether to outsource or insource, the best action you can take is to test the waters. See how one outsourced or offshore staff will work for your team.
Avoid uncertainty and follow these steps:
- Identify and select what component or sub-task of the digital campaign should be outsourced. As mentioned, you do not need to soak your entire body while testing the waters. Just select some of the tasks that you find less risky if they are outsourced.
- You are the client, and therefore entitled to big expectations. Instruct them on your specific requirements and provide them with goals that you need fulfilled.
- Show them that you trust them. Just like in any professional relationship, a feeling of trust empowers workers and encourages them to work harder so they can please the boss. If they know and feel that you trust them, it will give them a sense of obligation and avoid disappoint you at all cost.
- Be clear with your objectives and instructions. Remember, clarity is your common friend and ambiguity is your enemy. Do expect clear output if you’ve given them vague directions.
Once you conduct your testing, do not forget to measure not just the outcome but also significant milestones by supplying them with key performance indicators and timelines. Take note of the old but never obsolete determinant for goal setting – goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.