— June 25, 2019
There’s nothing more important than providing consistent, quality work for your customers, and outsourcing can help your company scale quickly while doing just that. Unfortunately, professionals in many industries still believe in outdated myths about outsourcing. If business leaders have never outsourced, they’re likely basing decisions about the practice on decades-old information.
What many leaders don’t know is that modern outsourcing strategies have evolved. When chosen carefully, outsourced partners can become integral parts of businesses’ core strategies. As with any new direction, it’s important to start things off well — beginning with finding the right provider for a long-term relationship.
Debunking Common Outsourcing Myths
With the right partner, your company can purposefully use outsourcing to achieve incredible results. Outsourcing allows you to allocate time, cost savings, and energy into other, more strategic efforts — despite what you might have heard. Let’s try to find the truth behind six of the most common outsourcing myths:
Myth 1: Outsourcing means giving up too much control.
Relinquishing even a small amount of control is an extremely difficult step for some business leaders. It’s even harder when an outsourcing provider has set processes and might not be flexible enough to accommodate client direction.
But loss of control doesn’t have to be the norm in outsourcing partnerships. The key is to find an outsourcing provider who can adapt to the way you do business — not the other way around. The provider should be able to step into established processes, systems, and methods rather than setting a fixed structure and forcing clients to accept it.
Myth 2: Outsourced work is always of poor quality.
Like any business service, there are better outsourcing providers than others. Some companies have outsourced roles to individuals who, it turns out, aren’t up to the task. People are more likely to spread horror stories than success stories, so this myth is one of the more persistent ones.
This is a risk regardless of whether you’re hiring in-house or outsourced labor, though. Despite this myth, companies can receive higher-quality work than they would have received otherwise for the cost of labor (see our third myth). The quality of work boils down to the individual’s talent and the outsourcing partner’s dedication to providing its clients with skilled and reliable team members.
To ensure quality while outsourcing, share examples of the work you’re doing in-house, communicate your expectations, and hold your outsourcer accountable with regular check-ins. You can even start a pilot project with a three-month run to test reliability and execution.
Myth 3: Outsourced talent is usually unqualified.
Companies have a hard enough time finding in-house talent to complete low-impact tasks. As a result, business leaders assume that outsourced talent won’t have adequate education and experience to complete those assignments.
The opposite is true, however. Skilled workers in other countries take on plenty of low-impact tasks that U.S. workers aren’t interested in. Qualified workers receive competitive wages for completing these tasks, and in-house team members are freed up for more complex projects. It’s a win-win talent solution for all parties.
If you’re still worried about receiving low-quality talent, consider working with your provider to oversee recruitment. In many cases, transparent providers will allow you to review candidate résumés before they hire team members for your program. When you meet the people who will perform your outsourced work, your uncertainty will be replaced with confidence.
Myth 4: Outsourcing means sacrificing security and privacy.
Outsourcing certain roles means a company has to open up its data to a third party. That can be scary, and it has sometimes proven disastrous for companies that have failed to properly secure their networks.
Hiring outsourcing partners is no different than giving other people access to your data and systems. Thankfully, you can build data and security into your outsourcing contracts and processes. It’s essential to find a trusted outsourcing provider and to restrict user access to only the data necessary for a given task. It’s also important to check for ISO certifications, which are the gold standard in international security.
Myth 5: Outsourcing doesn’t work for small or technical companies.
The most prominent examples of outsourced relationships involve large providers outsourcing prestigious talent to even larger corporations. Small business owners and decision makers might think their companies are too small — or even too technical — for outsourcing.
Don’t let this myth deter your startup or small to midsized business. Outsourcing benefits companies of many sizes, with teams of just a few or several hundred. Many providers offer specific technical skills and experience. Although the first business process outsourcing companies that come to mind are the big players, there are many midsized companies that can serve your market. Look for U.S.-based providers that emphasize dedicated account management and white-glove service — as well as the flexibility to work with smaller companies.
Myth 6: Outsourcing is a short-term cost-cutting measure.
One of the greatest things about a well-planned outsourcing strategy is that it does help companies cut costs and scale more quickly. If a company doesn’t see an immediate need for either, then outsourcing might not seem worthwhile.
Outsourcing isn’t just a stopgap measure, though. You can bake outsourcing into any business strategy to continuously improve results, increase service-level agreements, retain top talent, and gain greater technical expertise over time.
Outsourcing can be your secret weapon, offering vast opportunities in an array of service offerings. Provided you don’t let a few tired myths hold you back, of course. To learn more about possible outsourcing solutions, download my company’s workbook to learn how to apply proven outsourcing concepts and strategies to your business.