"If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you're putting yourself out of business."
― Lee Kuan Yew
Many companies these days prefer to outsource certain jobs and functions in order to allocate its resources on focused goals and expend time and effort in that direction. This helps the company to save the operating cost and increase efficiency by employing external expertise. Also, if certain functions are difficult to manage and organize, it will be best to outsource them. However, it is highly important that you choose a company that is trustworthy, ethical, committed, and has a professional approach.
Try to hire a company which will enjoy a good reputation in the market and follows world-class practices. Ensure that they respect your deadlines and complete the work as required by you. Make a contract with them and lay down all the terms and conditions in it. Here is a list of few of the most frequently outsourced jobs that will help you understand this concept in a better way.
Whether it is banks, companies, pubs, apartments, schools, universities, commercial malls, VIP individuals, or celebrities, all require to employ security. Hence, they outsource this function to a security company which provides them with security guards.
This is usually on a contractual basis. Going through a security agency will ensure that you get well-trained and reliable security personnel.
Also, if security is required 24/7, the company will look after the change in their shifts, salaries, insurance, etc. You will not have to bother about tending to all this. Also, outsourcing this function to a security agency will definitely help save a lot of money, instead of hiring full-time resources.
Research and Development
Whether it is a product survey, market research, customer demographic understanding, new product development, new patent development, etc., many large and small companies outsource this function.
As research and development companies have the expertise and experience required for this job, it is always better to outsource such activities. An in-house R&D department may not have access to the necessary resources and cutting-edge technology, and may be ill-equipped with infrastructure required to make a project successful.
However, practice caution when recruiting the firm; do not end up hiring the wrong one. If a firm claims to provide solutions for all kinds of research, it is important that you verify its credentials, market standing, reliability, and certifications. In all probability, you will have to hire different research and development companies for different requirements.
Whether it is a large organization or a start-up, there are many HR-related functions that are best outsourced. For example, recruitment, payroll, compensation, leave policies, benefits, leave travel allowance, dealing with personal and professional issues of employees, etc., require a lot of time and effort.
The HR department in a large company with limited number of professionals and processes may not be able to deal with all these tasks for a 1000+ number of employees. Hence, for timely and professional completion of the HR-related tasks, many large companies resort to outsourcing.
Similarly, a small start-up function needs to concentrate on business development, getting customers, and profit making rather than all these HR functions. They also do not have the necessary experience in dealing with them. However, as these functions are indispensable, many start-ups and large companies outsource the HR-related tasks for better efficiency, professional approach, and speed.
Whether it is marketing cold calls, information about a new products/schemes, calling for a survey, customer service and support, etc., many companies outsource this call center function to another organization.
One of the key reasons for doing this is the lack of large infrastructure required for setting up a full-fledged call center. Instead of investing millions of dollars in a support function, companies prefer to make capital investment for business expansion and development.
They prefer to outsource this function to countries where labor and resources are available at a relatively cheaper cost. However, today companies opt to have call centers in their own countries for better customer satisfaction and interaction.
While computers can replace practically every job which can be done manually, they can never really generate an intelligent and creative piece of write-up. This is why writers are in a lot of demand these days.
As we know, a company may hire external agencies for its corporate or marketing communication requirements. They may also hire freelance writers for drafting press releases, press notes, annual reports, content on website, internal employee communication, white papers, brochures/leaflets, employee and customer magazines, speeches for senior management, etc.
It is better to outsource this function, as you can utilize the internal communication team for larger and more consequential projects. Also, you can pay the person as per the work requirement, instead of hiring and under utilizing a full-time resource.
If your company is in the need to go for a full website revamp, you will hire an agency for it. You will not recruit a whole website development team which will include at least 5-6 professionals for the job.
This is because, once the website development is over, all you will need is a single internal resource who will look after its technical needs and one for updating it from time to time. Not only will it be costlier but the team will practically have no work to do after this project will end. Hence, it is always better to outsource this function to an agency who can provide turnkey solutions.
You can also have a contract with them for incorporating additional features on the website after every few months. If you do not have internal resources, you can always hire their services on a retainership basis.
Medical and Healthcare Services
Today, many medical and healthcare services which are more administrative in nature get outsourced. So, you meet your doctor at his clinic, and he diagnoses the problem and prescribes medicines. He will record his observation in his tape recorder. This observation will then be transcribed by a non-medical freelance professional.
It does bring up issues like patient confidentiality and errors during interpretation, but it saves the doctor a lot of time and effort. This way, he can concentrate on patients rather than the administrative work. Apart from medical transcription, medical billing and coding, teleradiology, etc., are few other functions that get outsourced frequently.
Many health insurance companies also outsource the nursing function. However, as any mistake in such services can take a toll on a patient's life, it is important that the people you outsource this work to are reliable.
IT Help Desk and Support
The IT help desk and support function does not require a person to be stationed at the workplace. You can easily outsource this function as the person can take calls from another location and even access the computers through the network.
If you are a small organization, you cannot spare a resource for this function. You would rather utilize him for something more important and hence, outsourcing will help you immensely.
Similarly, if an organization is too large and has offices at separate locations. It is always better to outsource the IT help desk and support function for getting a quick response time, better management, and prompt troubleshooting solutions. In the long term, this can help you save a lot of cost.
Accounting is one of the major essential functions of a business. As accountants keep a tab on the income and expenditure, maintain the accounts, take care of bookkeeping, tax and audit requirements, cash flow management, etc., a business will find it very difficult to survive without an accountant.
Hence, one needs to either hire a capable in-house team or hire the help of professionals. In a small business, one may find it difficult to recruit an in-house team due to the limitation of funds, while for a large business, the accountancy requirements may be too big and complex to be handled by an in-house team.
Also, an external accountancy agency will always be abreast with the latest government mandates and updates. Hence, many companies have resorted to outsourcing their accountancy-related work.
These are just a few of the most popular outsourced jobs. Other than these, jobs that are frequently outsourced are graphic designing, engineering services, tax preparers, manufacturing, data entry, computer programing, legal services, etc.