So, you think you’re ready to hire an outsourced employee? It’s a difficult decision and there is no clear path for getting from point A to point B. We feel you. The word “outsource” kind of has a bad rep. Most people have visions of someone in India taking all of your calls and delivering your messages. It goes so much further than that now. You can hire for almost any type of position: whether creative-types or accountants, there is a sea of freelancers waiting to be found.
The economy has shifted such that many extremely talented and well educated professionals are working out of the home, creating an enormous trend for outsourced labor of all kinds. Outsourcing labor can save a small business or even a larger company a ton of money with some careful consideration. Knowing just where to start can be the sticking point.
Ready to get unstuck and move forward in your journey of hiring outsourced employees? Here are 5 things to you must consider before making your first hire.
Carefully consider which roles to outsource.
This is probably the number one thing any company should consider before making the leap into the world of outsourced hiring, and likely one that many organizations don’t get right. Rob Rawson on Biz3.0 warns against outsourcing jobs that give your company its competitive edge. “If you’re already a leader in price or service levels in an area, don’t outsource it. While you need to have a good grasp on an element to be able to effectively manage it, it’s important not to change the parts of your company customers appreciate the most.”
There are a plethora of roles you can outsource: customer service, accounting, billing, graphic or web design, marketing, computer engineering and even IT. Even better, you can find plenty of highly-qualified professionals at mid-level and beyond. Use sites like Flexjobs and PowertoFly to find people interested in working from home.
The cost adds up.
Let’s all say it together: you get what you pay for. As cliche as this old adage may be, it still rings true and particularly when it comes to hiring for outsourced positions. It’s important to remember that while remote employees can cut down on costs a bit, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be paid competitively. When looking for the right people to fill these positions, remember that quality is key. But how do you find these quality people? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Use an agency that specializes in finding positions for outsourced workers. These types of agencies have processes in place to weed out potentially bad candidates and can assist your organization based on your needs. PATLive has had great success using the site PowertoFly to staff some of our more technical roles.
- Rule out the lowest bidders for the start. The goal here is quality work from a person you trust. The lowest bidder is likely very new to their field or has little experience doing any sort of outsourced work.In the same vein, it’s important not to hire the first interviewee. At least, not right off the bat. Get out there and see what’s available! You can compare them and choose the best fit once you’ve actually spoken to some other candidates.
Is the company prepared to handle outsourced employees?
It’s a big mistake to think that once they’re hired, the freelance employee will handle the rest. Having outsourced staff is a fairly new trend – it helps if your company is more forward thinking. Is your company prepared to pay for task management software or online applications? Will you provide any sort of technology like a laptop, phone, or printer? How will this person join you for meetings? Carefully consider what your organization is willing to do to make these employees successful, as well as connected.
Outsourced workers require a gargantuan amount of communication.
One thing a company may not consider when hiring for outside work is it takes a mountain of conversation to manage these employees. At least one person in an organization needs to be available and ready to manage a satellite worker. Part of creating stellar communication with these employees is transparency. The clearer the communication and the more attainable, the more successful an outsourced worker will be in meeting (and even exceeding) your goals for the position. We use a bevy of tools like Jira, GoToMeeting, and Hip Chat to keep our remote employees in the loop.
Be picky and take your time.
Taking on outsourced labor is no small feat and can be a scary proposition; it takes a lot of consideration and some open mindedness from an organization to decide whether it’s the right decision for them. When looking at your options, the key is to take your time and slow down. In the words of the very wise Simon Sinek: “There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.
Beyond having experience hiring remote employees, PATLive works with thousands of businesses to ensure their customers’ calls never go unanswered. The best part: we’re available 24/7/365. So, to say we know a little something about outsourcing labor is an understatement.
Have you hired for outsourced labor? We want to hear from you now! Tell us about your experiences in the comments.