With remote and hybrid work increasing in popularity, outsourcing has become an effective way to run a more profitable business. If you’re looking to establish yourself as a global, asynchronous workforce, we’ve got seven outsourcing examples that will help you get started.

Wondering what makes us qualified? Here at Hubstaff, we’ve been doing the remote thing since we started back in 2012. We owe a lot of our success to expanding the talent pool by looking at prospective hires around the globe.

But first, let’s take a quick refresher to explore what outsourcing is. 

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What is outsourcing in business?

Outsourcing occurs when a company hires a third-party company or professional to perform job duties that would normally be done in-house.

With this strategy, companies can:

  • Tap into specialized expertise
  • Reduce labor costs
  • Mitigate risks with 24/7, asynchronous coverage
  • Expand your business to new markets

While outsourcing has been around for ages, it’s gained a lot of traction due to the increased popularity of remote work brought on by the pandemic. These days, it’s a best practice taken by companies looking to move upmarket and thrive on a global scale. 

How does outsourcing work?

Outsourcing is simple in theory. All you do is hand off work to an agency. Maybe you find some individuals overseas. Easy right? Well, it’s a little trickier than you think. There are a few steps that go into the process.

SLA/contract for outsourcing work.

Outsourcing steps

1. Identifying what work you can outsource. Before you start hiring talent around the globe, you have to establish clear expectations and identify the work that you can realistically hand off. Check out this list from Indeed for some ideas.

2. Compare costs. Once you’ve identified work you’d like to outsource, make sure the costs align with your budget. Start by comparing outsourcing costs to what these decisions would cost internally. If you find outsourcing would save you money, it’s time to start comparing prospective talent. 

3. Draft Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Once you’ve established the processes you’ll assign and who will help you execute them, it’s time to make it official. A good SLA starts with:

  • Establishing the scope. Layout the job duties, hours, and goals your outsourced talent will need to meet.
  • Identify KPIs. What does success look like for outsourced talent? Establish what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to define success.
  • Identify how and where reporting will be done. You’ll probably want to measure hours, earnings, activity, and other KPIs. Luckily, there’s a workforce management tool for that.
  • Finalize the agreement. Have your HR team type up a contract and send it over for all necessary parties to sign. Now it’s official!

4. Test it out. Now that you have new teammates in the fold see how they do. Finding the right talent in your own city is hard enough, so be patient as they learn to succeed in their respective roles. That said, if it doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to go in a different direction. It might take a few tries to find the right people.

Best examples of outsourcing

Outsourcing works in an array of different industries and job functions. Let’s delve further into some of the most frequently encountered examples of work that can be outsourced.

1. Customer service outsourcing

It’s hard to be available 24/7, so outsourcing works well for customer service. The more time zones you can have customer service reps in, the better your availability is. This is also an industry where asynchronous work is definitely a strength. That said, ensure you have the tools you need to keep everyone connected.

2. Manufacturing outsourcing

Some B2C businesses produce clothing items, electronics, and other goods. It’s no secret that this work can often be done at more affordable rates overseas. That said, make sure you pay your workers a fair wage. Companies like Patagonia are leading the charge by paying workers a living wage, protecting the environment, and seeing the ROI in the process.

3. Content creation outsourcing

Believe it or not, a lot of high-quality content on this very blog comes from talented creators around the globe. Outsourcing content also gives you a huge advantage from a marketing standpoint. The more languages you can produce content in, the more prospective users you can reach. Everyone wins.

4. Human resources outsourcing

Human resources (HR) outsourcing works well too. Globally-minded HR teams make embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) much easier — values that are becoming increasingly important to the next generation of top talent.

5. IT outsourcing

Finding, hiring, and retaining in-house IT professionals can be expensive. Looking abroad is a great way to assemble a team of talented, affordable IT professionals who can protect the health of your organization.

6. Accounting outsourcing

Outsourcing accounting services helps companies that lack the resources and expertise to run an accounting department internally. Plus, what better way to tighten up your spending than by finding affordable accountants around the globe?

7. Sales and marketing outsourcing

Like customer support, outsourced sales and marketing teams give you 24/7 coverage — a huge advantage in the competitive world of sales. It’s also nice to know that bonuses for sales goals can be a bit more generous in a country with a favorable exchange rate.

Advantages of outsourcing

Outsourcing can increase efficiency, limit expenses, and provide asynchronous coverage that a local team simply can’t. That said, it’s important to remember careful planning, strong relationship building, and the right workforce management software when deciding.

Do you have any tips or examples of parts of your business that you’ve outsourced? Let us know in the comments.

Category: Management