December 31, 2018
Remote staffing and Outsourcing. If you are the owner of a business, chances are you’ve heard these terms before, especially given the massive increase of freelancing and out-of-the-office alternatives.
Currently, most manufacturing companies either employ remote workers or outsource certain projects to third-parties; there are even companies which staff consists entirely of remote-working members.
Outsourcing is not such a new concept though, it has been a common practice for centuries, millennia arguably with records of ancient civilizations employing external force for building their temples.
But what exactly do outsourcing and remote staffing entail? Why is this notion growing the way it is? Should you consider them for your business? These are the points we’ll cover first.
For starters, let’s discuss the difference between “Remote Staff” and “Outsourcing”, and where the line between them blurs.
Outsourcing is defined as the use of resources not inherent to your own company. You can outsource tasks to freelancing groups better suited for said work, you can outsource certain processes to specialized enterprises, or maybe outsource entire projects to another company.
Common examples of outsourcing are factories that rely on the fabrication of specific parts to a third-party, or companies without a marketing department contracting advertisement services.
But outsourcing doesn’t necessarily involve the use of remote workers. You can outsource the cleaning of your premises to an external organization that will place its employees inside your premises.
The key element here is that outsourced activities are performed by external human resources, who have no direct connection with your business. You don’t have to deal with their training or reviewing their performance, as they’re contracted by another organization instead – the one you’re actually paying to.
Put it simply, the people tasked with your outsourced activities are not part of your staff.
On the other hand, the remote staff is a classification applicable to any of your employees that work outside of your registered premises and offices; as the name implies, such people are indeed your staff but they perform from a remote location.
They may work at home, at a different office, or at no fixed location. They may work a block away from your premises or at the opposite end of the world. Regardless, if you hire them directly, manage their performance, pay them and fire them if they don’t follow the guidelines on your contract, but they work remotely, then they are your remote staff.
However, the difference between both terms is not always so clear. On many occasions, it’s possible and even advisable, to combine both strategies to bring forth the best result. Take, for instance, having your remote staff supervise outsourced projects, or directly instructing a worker sent from another company.
It’s not so easy to differentiate whether you’re outsourcing or employing remote staff on these situations, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it is fulfilling the needs of your business.
By the same token, we can understand Remote Staff Outsourcing, a full integration of both concepts, as the almost paradoxical practice of staffing an entire organization to which you’ll be outsourcing your projects to, but only interacting with given managers for each team who’ll in turn employ and supervise the human resources of the company.
Semantics aside, you may be asking yourself “why now?” What’s happened to invigorate such alternatives? The answer is really obvious actually: Communication.
There’s a theory that poses the evolution of society as in direct correlation to the progress on their available communication technologies; such idea is rooted on the tale of Babel, where people built a gigantic tower to reach the Heavens, all because they shared the same unique language.
Whether you’re religious or not, the power of speech is undeniable. With the advances in recent technology, talking to people on the opposite side of the planet is now a trivial matter, there is also pretty good translation software to expand the possibilities of long-distance exchange even with cultures totally foreign to our own.
While in the past, coordinating a large-scale project with people outside your country – or even your city – was a heavy chore that could very well consume a chunk of your funds just to establish a stable communication channel, but today is as simple as sitting in front of your computer and starting a video chat with whoever you’re working at the moment.
What this all means is that contacting professionals worldwide to conduct labours for your business, either as freelancers or permanent staff members, is easier than ever. Conversely, there are more and more people searching for alternatives to the usual office work.
Companies are aware of this trend and aim to exploit the benefits it might yield. This is the reason why we now see an astounding amount of services dedicated to filtering out potential candidates according to your desired profile, promising you the best remote workers for your project.
So now that we are talking about the benefits of Outsourcing and Remote Staffing, what are they? What advantages do these options provide to stand out?
The first and foremost reason to outsource or employ remote staff is to reduce operation costs. Thanks to the payment regulations on each country, is entirely possible to buy off the fabrication of the equipment or parts you need from foreign manufacturers for a cheaper price. Likewise, you may eliminate the need for intermediaries and shortcut straight to said manufacturers, resulting in an overall lower cost than producing the item yourself.
You can also expect the products of a dedicated enterprise to be of higher quality than those generated by an inexperienced team, making outsourcing an enticing prospect if your own brand can’t produce at the required level.
Similarly, you may hire freelancers for smaller jobs if your company doesn’t have the appropriate department, otherwise, you would be forced to contract new regular personnel for a single task and somehow make efficient use of them until their due time expires.
Another interesting option is outsourcing secondary goals to reduce the workload of your team, allowing them to focus on the tasks they are most proficient at and accelerate the output rate of your business. This can also free up your time to embark on new profitable projects.
If you see potential in any of these ideas then the next step would be how to implement them.
To start off, you should prepare the ground and define the guidelines for the role you’re looking to fill in. What skills do you need specifically? What are the qualities you require from your workers? What kind of challenges can they expect when signing up for the job?
Being clear with your prospects can save you a lot of time in either training or looking for a new employee, depending on the severity of the problem. You can then proceed with the actual hiring process.
You may go for either a short-term relationship or a long-term contract; in the former case a freelancer would do you good, there’s plenty of services online for contacting talent willing to take work from your hands for immediate pay, which tends to be a relatively low sum.
For longer endeavours though, you should make use of traditional methods like surveying and interviewing to filter out your candidates, you can also subject them to a test period before they’re officially contracted; since you want to strike the most beneficial and lengthy deal, you must place considerable priority on the recruiting process.
You can test your outsourcers with jobs of a small risk, like making content that, while of benefit to your business if done right, won’t hurt your finances further if they go wrong. This also helps you identify the strengths of your staff and give you the necessary data to redirect their efforts toward optimization.
Finally, after you’ve assembled the teams you need for your operations, the icing on the cake of success is to follow up with constant communication. As mentioned before, this is a critical aspect for any business aspiring for greatness.
Not limited to remote staff outsourcing, communicating with your workers is essential for any fruitful project. Discuss the progress on any given project, provide suggestions, and encourage your workers to give it their best.
We at Staff Leverage hold constant communication and human relationships as a pillar for each and every activity we conduct. This isn’t only an ethical belief, maintaining a healthy work environment and addressing issues immediately is key to maximizing the productivity of your staff. Help your people become better at what they do and they will return it to you.
This advice is particularly important for enterprises with multiple departments, which demand continuous feedback from each other to advance their given assignments. You also build a more active team when you let your staff know that no opinion will be unheard.
As a side note, if you’re considering to employ people from different countries, it would be wise to learn a little about their culture, this will develop a bond of mutual respect between you and your workers.
Also be mindful of the linguistic barriers that your foreign staff can face. Use simpler language if they struggle with your normal lexicon and refer to visual material to explain your requirements when needed.
Remember these little tips as you walk along your outsourcing journey. May success follow in your wake as you raise the best team possible for your business, after all, your company is as good as the people in it.
By John Mackenzie – Founder & CEO of Staff Leverage, NT Digital and JohnMac Digital
Do you want to be successful? We know how you can be. For more information on the previous topics and deeper insight into the intricacies of efficient business, see the following articles.
Hello There, I’m John Mackenzie! CEO at Staff Leverage. An Australian visionary committed to change businesses all over the world.
Follow me on my social channels:
Receive notifications for my new posts:
Check My latest Posts: