Outsourcing – This is a business practice in which a business, corporation, organization, or an individual hires talent which is not a visible part of the company or organization, therefore they outsource talent. The outside assistant will be aiding the company or yourself in a similar role as a consultant, mostly completing your tasks remotely. The assistant can either be in the same country or abroad. Moreover, assistants can work for a contracted period, or full time, depending on the client’s needs. In addition, where the company or organization’s employees normally perform the tasks, an assistant now can take on these tasks remotely.
One misunderstanding encountered is that outsourcing requires that present employees should be dismissed in preference for virtual assistants. However, this is an extreme form of outsourcing. The recommendation is that businesses outsource virtual assistants to assist with time-consuming and mundane tasks. Such will relieve the company’s employees of work overload, improving their working conditions.
The pros & cons of outsourcing
pros for companies that outsource
- Outsourcing controls and reduces operating costs – in most cases outsourcing is cheaper than employing a new staff member. In fact, you can save between 20% – 30% on operating costs.
- Outsourcing enhances the company’s focus -in terms of staff wellness, and increasing productivity in the workplace, if a company removes tedious, routine tasks from staff, regular employees can focus on their core tasks. The virtual assistant/s will be there to help your permanent employees to prepare data, and to relieve your staff, allowing them to work more efficiently.
- Outsourcing enlarges the talent pool – outsourcing is an easy way to add new talent to the company or organization for certain tasks or projects. More so, outsourcing allows a company an agile method of working.
- Outsourcing also offloads some of the risks onto another company. Having a company assist can remove such burdens as the monthly payroll and in managing the virtual assistant.
Cons for companies that outsource
- Staff might feel threatened – It is inevitable that some staff members may feel threatened by possible replacement. In addition, the introduction of virtual assistants might not sit well with the permanent staff. The result could have an impact on their productivity and morale. Companies should communicate clearly with their staff to manage these fears.
- There can be a difference in standards – An assistant’s standard can differ, particularly when hired from a foreign country. State the requirements clearly before onboarding such an assistant, to avoid a problem with differing standards.
- There could be communication issues – Because assistants work remotely, communication can be problematic. Communication can be via phone, email or WhatsApp. Some language differences can also confuse the communication. To overcome this, use video conferencing − face-to-face communication can improve the situation. Use Zoom or Tauria for your video conferencing sessions.
- Risk to security – There will always be a risk with each new hire. The company’s data and resources can be misused. However, tracking software can help to avoid some of the problems. Using apps such as LastPass allows the company owner to retain privacy on passwords, the app hiding such.
What is necessary for successful outsourcing?
Here is a list of requirements that can make outsourcing a successful project:
- Set clear vision, goals, and plans
- Make use of the best outsourcing company
- Make sure that the company offers a relationship-management support
- Maintain open communication with the agency and assistants
- Make sure to provide a detailed brief of what you are looking for in an assistant
- Know your needs and what you expect from your support
Two items, however, are critical:
- Open communication – a fundamental element for successful onboarding is clear, open, and ongoing communication. If there are changes, do communicate these. Also, the various parties need to know what is expected, and what special requirements there may be. If the communication channels are open between all parties, you are en route to success.
- Support – It can be overwhelming to onboard your first virtual assistant. However, if you have support, the process will be much easier. Therefore do discuss any issues you have − the agency will be able to assist you. This will ensure a healthy relationship between you and your agency, who will support you as you grow.