In times gone by, businesses were confined to a labor pool close to their base of operations. In some industries more than others, the need to find suitably qualified, competent, local staff continues to pose real challenges for business and other organizations. Particularly in more specialized areas, this can prove to be a considerable challenge. At the same time, domestic labor costs are traditionally high, relative to other countries worldwide. This means that employers have to be more certain of the staff they hire, and ensure sufficient productivity to make the hire worthwhile.
Outsourcing has grown over the last decade or so, becoming an increasingly accessible option for small businesses. Rather than handling every business process and operation in-house, businesses of all sizes can now take advantage of lower-cost expertise internationally to get the job done. But the process of outsourcing is far from simple, and businesses will still encounter similar staff management issues with the contractors they hire.
Outsourcing elements of your business function can be an effective way to save costs and improve efficiency. But there are often challenges posed, especially when outsourcing overseas. For example, in tech functions, many businesses choose to outsource to highly qualified professionals worldwide. Eastern Europe, Asia and South America have traditionally been the main sources of securing international help. The first problem this raises is a language barrier, and businesses need to find pragmatic ways to overcome these issues in order to communicate and work effectively.
When working through a language barrier, it is helpful to tightly define the scope and expectations of the work concerned. English is generally considered to be the operational language for overseas arrangements. The majority of international service providers have a working knowledge of English, but it remains important to outline exactly what you are looking for. Bulleted lists or numbered points of a process are helpful so this information is easy to digest, and so you can measure performance against set criteria. This will help ensure both parties know what is expected of them, preventing disputes and ensuring the smooth provision of the services required.
Payments are another issue for outsourcers to think about. Foreign employees, freelancers and contractors cannot go on the payroll, and domestic transfers will not be possible for foreign-based workers. There are options to get around this, but it is important to bear in mind the costs associated with sending money through different channels. For example, international bank transfers will attract fees at the point of sending. There are other services available, like Transfast.com, that can alleviate this burden and ensure the money required to keep these processes moving can be transported cheaply and quickly.
Outsourcing overseas can be an effective way to save money for your business. While it is not an easy way out, it can be used to improve the efficiency of your operations. By outsourcing particular skilled tasks or unskilled jobs to take advantage of lower cost labor, you can save on your business overheads while achieving similar, if not better, results as before.