Outsourcing has become a more widely accepted practice across various industries and business functions. However, with 15 years of experience in providing these services, we still continue to come across people who are skeptical and apprehensive about outsourcing. It is a decision that involves both a logical decision as much as an emotional decision. Is it any different than hiring an internal resource?
The Decision Process
The decision to hire is based on two decision processes; the logical decision and the emotional decision. Both require different thought processes, specific research and questions that must be answered to be comfortable with the final decision.
With regards to outsourcing, the logical decision is often the easiest to consider, as it is often determined by need and budget. This decision process requires answering questions that may include;
- Will outsourcing provide greater value and/or more resources?
- Will the solution improve our business or the business function we are seeking to enhance?
- Does it make fiscal sense?
- Will it help us achieve our goals?
The emotional decision is often the point of consideration that takes more thought. This decision process needs to take into account the personal aspects of both those within your organization and your comfort level of the outsource solution provider you may select to become your partner. Getting through the emotional decision includes answering questions such as;
- Are we comfortable allowing outsiders into our business process?
- Will they work for our best interests or their own?
- How will they relate to our corporate culture?
- Will they be reliable and deliver results?
- Will they be seen as part of our team and not outsiders?
When you think about it, what other decision is often made that requires an emotional decision to ensure acceptance and the right fit into an organization? Hiring a new associate or internal resource.
Isn’t hiring an outsource partner similar to choosing an internal candidate?
When it comes to determining if outsourcing is logically right for your company, it is pretty simple. You review the services and they either fit or do not fit your needs. You look at the financial numbers determine if the numbers fit your budget. You then look at what you want to achieve and see if it appears that the expected results will make your company better. The logical choice is normally a black or white decision.
The sticky question, however, is an emotional one. For many the question is - “Do we want to use resources that are not part of our company?” Our answer to this question is not a direct answer, but rather a question.
Aren’t the emotional factors of selecting the right “resource” the same when it comes to hiring a new internal candidate as it is an outsource provider?
If you were interviewing an internal candidate for a position would you want a candidate that has shown they can;
Deliver on their knowledge, experience and background?
Be reliable with a good understanding of process development, working within your corporate culture, and various personalities across an organization?
Represent themselves as credible, with strong confidence in their capabilities, experience and ability to get the results you seek?
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, then you would consider a job applicant a good choice. Our point is that you should not discount outsourcing resources just because they are from outside your company. Even your new hires were initially from outside your company.
Outsourcing is a viable option in today’s business environment. Like all decisions, it must be made looking at both the emotional and the logical side of business sense. However, like a new hire, the factors of finding the ideal candidate are no different. You want someone (person or provider) who can deliver results, be reliable and is credible. It makes logical sense, doesn’t it?
David Johnston, Director of Business Development