To In-House or Outsource: Your Foolproof Guide to Optimizing Your Human Resources

Owning a business today is much different than it used to be. Years ago, businesses needed to hire employees to do all the necessary tasks. Companies had an in-house marketing department, and in-house billing department, an in-house customer service department and an in-house HR department. Thanks to technology and the Internet, many companies are starting to ditch the in-house departments and opt to outsource their needs.

outsourcing work

Today, many business owners are starting to wonder if they should hire someone to work in house for certain tasks and responsibilities or if they should outsource their needs. So how exactly do you decide if you should in-house or outsource? The following information is a guide to help you learn how to successfully optimize your company.

Outsourcing may be cheaper.

If you have budget restraints, it may be a good idea to outsource a company for your specific needs. For example, if you don’t generate much marketing material, it may not be worth it for you to hire a full-time in-house graphic designer. Instead, you could outsource a company and pay them on an as-needed basis, which could be significantly cheaper than a full time employee. This way, you can put that money into other parts of your company that need it more.

Outsourcing may mean less control.

When you have an in-house team, you can keep an eye on what they’re doing and ensure they’re staying on task. You can hold regular meetings, pop into their office and ensure that their time is being well spent. When you outsource a company, you will have to relinquish some control. You won’t be able to know what the company is doing all the time, and you may not have a say in the decisions they make or the actions they take. If you don’t believe you can place control of your business in someone else’s hands, outsourcing may not be the best idea.

Outsourcing may provide more skill.

Trying to locate one person that has the skills you’re looking for can be challenging, and if you truly don’t know much about the position, it will make the search even harder. For example, you may know that your business needs to implement search engine optimization, but you may not have a clue what is involved with SEO. Trying to hire an SEO strategist for your business would be extremely difficult to do. Instead, it may be a better option for your business to outsource your SEO efforts to an established company that knows what they’re doing. This way, you can be sure that your SEO efforts are truly in the hands of professionals and you can get back to focusing on other aspects of your business.

Outsourcing may inhibit communication.

Some outsourced companies focus on communication with their clients. They dedicate a specific team or contact person to be in charge, which allows their client to be able to communicate regularly with someone in charge of their projects. Other companies don’t focus on communication, leaving many clients in the dark about what they’re working on. When you outsource a company, you will need to communicate with them via phone calls and emails to ensure they’re still working on your needs. If you don’t have a dedicated team assigned to your account, you may end up talking in circles with a variety of employees trying to get some answers. If you’re going to outsource, be sure that the company you’re using puts a major emphasis on keeping you in the loop with their progress.

Along with communicating with your outsourced partner, outsourcing may also inhibit the communication between your company and your customers. If you outsource your customer service to another country in order to save money, the language barrier between your customers and the outsourced company can cause confusion and even create problems. If you need to outsource parts of your business, you may want to choose a company that speaks your native language in order to ensure everything is communicated correctly.

Outsourcing may be beneficial for small projects.

Sometimes your company will come across one-time needs that could benefit from outsourcing versus hiring someone in-house. For example, if your company suddenly needs meeting minutes transcribed, you could outsource a transcription service to perform this task for you. Obviously, you won’t need this service performed everyday, so there’s no need to have someone do it in-house. Plus, by outsourcing you can ensure that professionals complete the task in a timely fashion, which can certainly be beneficial to your business.

About the Author: Susanna Jacobs, Business advisor and freelance writer offers some expert advise on how to choose between in-house employees or outsourcing.

Photo credit: Karlis Dambrans

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