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To outsource or hire: which should it be?

Your company is ready to grow, but how do you decide whether to outsource or hire new staff members? What aspects do you need to consider?

Before we look at some questions to help us in this decision, let’s look at some aspects to outsourcing and hiring.

When outsourcing a role, you may have exposure to the best talent available as you could hire someone from anywhere on the globe. They could also work for you when you are sleeping, making your business a 24hour business. But you will need to be aware of the time zones and make sure your deadlines are accurate to fit in with your local schedule. It is also cost-effective as you will not have to pay a salary, PAYE and other costs involved with having an employee. The downside of outsourcing a role is that you may be part of a group of clients and you may not be a priority for the agency. The other aspect is that you are not guaranteed that the work that the agency will do will be up to your standard.

With these aspects under consideration, here are five questions to answer when deciding on whether you should outsource or hire.

1. Is the role a critical part of your business?

If the role plays an important part in what your company produces then you would want to hire an employee. It is important to have employees who do the core work in your business. This will give your business the edge among your competitors.

2. How much risk is involved in the position?

There are three areas of risk to consider. They are compliance, data security and quality control. How badly will your business be affected if these areas are not attended to properly? If you don’t have the in-house competency, you should hire people who will be able to keep you compliant, your data secure, and help you to control your quality.

3. How urgently do you need to fill the role?

Has one of your employees left without notice? Then you might be best advised to outsource the position temporarily while you look for a suitable candidate to take over the position. You may also have a seasonal business, then it would also be better to hire temporary staff for your busy seasons. This will help to cut costs during the slow seasons.

4. What will the cost and time saving be?

Outsourcing positions can be more cost effective as the different agencies are fighting to attain your business and may offer competitive pricing and have the best people to do the job.

The negative aspects to outsourcing are:

  • Relationship management: You will need to make sure you use clear communication when talking to your agency.
  • Quality assurance: You will have to spend time checking and vetting the work which comes out of the agency. You will also have to let them know if they need to make changes and this could take time to do.
  • Scope creep: Many outsourced agencies work on a per-hour rate. If you have misjudged the amount of work you need to complete a project, you could end up spending more. Furthermore, if more aspects have been added to your original project, then you would be expected to pay more.

5. Do you have a clear understanding of the role you need to fill?

Sometimes you have a position in your business you need to fill but you are not clear of what the responsibilities of the position will be. By hiring a freelancer, you can get a better understanding of the position and then write a clear job description when you look to hire a full-time employee for the position.

By getting answer to these questions, you will be well on your way to finding the right candidate to fulfil the position which has opened up in your business.

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