In contemporary media and blogs all over the internet, we have seen a rampant attack on the idea of outsourcing. People have been claiming that in a post pandemic world outsourcing is all but dead, and some have even gone as far as to claim that delegating work offshore will be the very death of small businesses in America.
Are they justified? Let’s take a look at a few of their grievances.
What do people think are the Disadvantages of Hiring Remote Resources?
- You give up Complete Control- Part of the problem with hiring someone else to help with your job is that you give up complete control over it. Think of it like this, if you ask a friend to make the Mornay sauce for your fancy lasagna, the final product is not going to turn out exactly how you expect it to. It might not be cheesy enough, it might be too cheesy, it might lack the special ingredients that you would have added, or it might even turn out better than you would have made it yourself, but the point is, that it is never going to be exactly how you expected it to be.
The same issue arises with delegating part of your work to someone else. No matter how closely you supervise it, the product delivered by your resource is never going to be 100% similar to how it would have turned out, had you handled it all yourself.
- Higher Quantity doesn’t always equate to Better Quality- If you are outsourcing to fill in the gaps in your team’s talent, or because your city doesn’t have access to the kind of candidates you are looking for, remote resources might be both a boon and a bane. Just because outsourcing gives you access to a vast and diverse talent pool, doesn’t mean they are going to be of the quality that you desire. With virtual resource agencies being a dime a dozen in most developing countries, it is very hard to pick the right one that will provide you with the caliber of talent you desire.
- Issues with communication- Probably one of the most commonly discussed one, one of the key issues with virtual outsourcing is the myriad of issues you will face with communications. The most apparent of them being the difference in time zones. If you are outsourcing to cut costs, you are probably going to hire your remote resources from a developing nation. This puts you at the risk of having hours of difference in time amongst yourselves. This usually becomes a massive barrier while trying to conduct a discussion of the project. They might not be available during your preferred working hours, and vice versa.
More communication issues arise if the remote employee is not fully fluent in English. This may lead to a misunderstanding of the instructions and other such miscommunications from their end.
- Contractual Bindings- And last but not the least, the biggest bane of outsourcing is the lengthy and arduous contracts that sap away most of your energy and money. Most virtual resource agencies make you sign lengthy contracts with their employees, that could go on for months if not years. And while you may like the idea of having a reliable worker at your beck and call for such a long period, it really starts draining on your resources during the periods of time when you have no need for their work. Such contracts are usually what turn away most businesses from hiring remote resources, and is often heralded as the thing that will lead to the ‘Death of Outsourcing’.
But not every written word on the internet is true. And while there is certainly some substance to their claims, how much of it is actually concerning? Let us examine the viability of outsourcing in today’s day and age.
Is Remote Outsourcing still viable in 2022?
Allow me to put your mind at ease. While yes, some claims made by these people are indeed alarming, most of it, is being blown out of proportions. Concerns like data security, contractual obligations and lack of talented candidates are prevalent even for remote staffing companies within the country. In fact, according to a report by TechNet nearly 27.2% of all STEM workers are immigrants. And this fact should be pretty evident if you take a look at some of the CEOs of the major tech companies. Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Lisa Su. Jensen Huang, and many more are all immigrants.
This is partly due to the massive population that some of the Asian countries have, that gives them access to a numerically superior talent pool. Also because of the cheaper and more accessible higher education available to most students there, they get an edge over their American counterparts, without worrying about having to pay off massive student loans. Even though some of these students do move to foreign nations in search of better and more challenging prospects, some of their classmates back in the country are still looking for such opportunities. Hiring them as remote resources helps you build a symbiotic relationship with these talented workers, where they get the chance to work on interesting projects to embellish their resume, and you get access to some of the most talented workers in the world.
And let’s not forget one of the key reasons for outsourcing. Money.
2022 has seen an unprecedented rise in inflation. With the cost of living being higher than ever before, employees are expecting higher wages to compensate for it. Costs of renting office spaces in the US have also shot up astronomically, as the availability has gone down. So newly found companies are having trouble finding an appropriate location to work, while preexisting companies are having a tough time expanding their departments. Running a successful business is getting more expensive with every passing day.
Hiring remote resources helps small businesses stay competitive in this regard. Of course, tech giants like Meta and Amazon aren’t going to like anyone that disrupts their hegemony. You can have a better idea and a better strategy than anything they have come up with, but you cannot outspend them when it comes to wages. And without the proper talent, none of your plans are going to come to fruition. This is where outsourcing can be a massive boon to your company, as you can get equally, if not better, talented individuals to do the work for you at almost a third of the price.
Outsourcing isn’t what’s killing the small businesses in America, but it is the sling that is going to help them take on the giants.
When should you consider Outsourcing your work?
Look just because I am writing a blog on Remote resources, doesn’t mean I am going to bully you into outsourcing your work if you don’t need it. If you are a mom-and-pop bakery that just opened up somewhere in Hampshire, you are not going to get much use out of outsourcing your Frosted Sugar Cookie production to northern Thailand. There are some key moments in your business’s life cycle where you have to decide if you would get a better use of your time and money by simply outsourcing part of your work to a virtual resource.
- Demand is high, but the Supply can’t keep up – With the Holiday season swift approaching, most manufacturers have already begun amping up their production. However certain smaller business might struggle to keep up with the incoming demand even with workers pulling overtime. If your company is facing similar problems, it might be wise to outsource part of your workload, be it on the technical side of things or the production of goods.
- You or Your Employees are losing out on time because of having to do too many jobs at once- We have all heard the saying time and time again, that ‘Time is Money’. If you and your employees are getting sidetracked by menial office work that is outside of their domain, you are not only tiring yourselves in vain, but you are also your wasting precious time. Time that could be better invested into efforts that actually make you profit.
If you are an Attorney firm and you are wasting a couple of hours each day coming with up a web page, you’re literally losing money on those hours. Instead outsource the part of your business that is not your forte to remote resources to save yourselves some time, energy, and expense.
- You can’t find the Right Talent- Although this is not usually a problem for businesses in big cities, smaller business located in the outskirts can often struggle to find the right person for the right job. Cities having a lower population usually have a lower talent pool to pick from, and so if it is a highly specialized job, businesses will often have a tough time finding the right candidate for it. Remote outsourcing takes care of this problem, as you are not limited to your city or even country anymore, you can easily access the talent pool of the entire world at your fingertips.
- The Costs are getting out of hand- Like we mentioned at the beginning, if cost is your primary concern, hiring a few virtual resources helps you cut it down immensely. You end up paying only about a third for the same caliber of talent, as you would have originally.
I hope we have given you enough information, to contemplate whether or not outsourcing would be the correct decision for you and your business. Take your time and mull it over.
In a post-pandemic world, where people are already used to working remotely, hiring remote resources from other countries is not likely to cause too much disruption in the workflow. Be wary though, that with the cost of living running high in 2022, employees’ emotions are running even higher. If you do decide on outsourcing, assure them that it is just for staff augmentation, and to help ease their workload, and the virtual resources are in no way going to replace their jobs.
Do your research before you decide on an agency. Pick someone that understands the needs of your company and is willing to work with you to help you reach your goals. It should be a symbiotic relationship for the both of you. You should neither feel like you’re getting scammed, nor should you feel guilty about exploiting underpaid workers. Augmenting your staff with talented people from other countries on a contractual basis, is not the same thing as running a sweatshop in Bangladesh.
We wish you good luck in your future endeavors, and hope you had a fun time reading.
Until next time.