Is remote staffing the future? If so, how should businesses cope with the new reality?
Companies are now serious about outsourcing.
The concept of offshoring and outsourcing has been around for a few decades now. But, so far, we have seen it as a fancy alternative to in-house staffing. There were lots of debates in the USA surrounding the concept of outsourcing. Some people used to argue that outsourcing is a giant job killer for US people. In contrast, others presented the counterargument that we can
outsource low-paying repetitive work and keep the high-paying jobs for US people.
Due to the worldwide pandemic and its unprecedented socioeconomic effects, the debate surrounding outsourcing is past now. It started with Work from Home (WFM) when countries started imposing lockdown. Most service-oriented businesses advised their employees to work from home since commuting from home to the office wasn’t an option. As soon as the Work
from Home (WFH) method appeared to be as effective as working within the office, the companies started rethinking their future staffing arrangements.
Not Optional but Required
Some companies are saving a considerable amount of money by outsourcing their service departments. For example, my friend Bryan is running a vast ecommerce business in the USA.
He hired a team of 5 dedicated full-time virtual assistants from an outsourcing and remote staffing company named SageDoer. The salary of each VA is just $10,000 per annum. If he were to hire in-house staff, the minimum wage would be $50,000 per annum for a similar level of skills. In this case, he is saving almost 80% on his payroll. Bryan says the key to his success is being able to offer products at the most competitive rate. Cutting costs is something that enabled him to reduce the price and hence increase the sales. His VA team does all sorts of product listing, store management, customer service, and supply chain management. Bryan can now sit back and relax when his VAs are doing the most repetitive and tedious tasks for him. He now has more time to focus on the strategic matters of the business.
My neighbor Shaley is a dentist in Jacksonville, California. When she first opened her clinic, she was struggling to find new patients. She heard that digital marketing could help her bring more clients, but she didn’t have much money to invest in marketing. So, she approached a local marketing firm that quoted her a monthly service fee of $2000 for digital marketing. She then Googled “offshore digital marketing company” and found a couple of them. Companies based in Asian countries quoted her $300 to $500 for doing the same job.
How To Cope Up
Coping up with the new reality is always challenging for some individuals and businesses. There are trust issues and misconceptions that might prevent you from outsourcing your business process. Of course, there are ways to overcome the challenges. Before you appoint a marketing agency or virtual assistant company, do thorough research about the company’s background, track record, experience, procedures, terms and conditions, etc.
You can expect the following
from a serious agency:
- One or more channels of communication.
- The fast response to any question or concern
- A company website displaying their services and rates
- A portfolio consisting of their past projects
- Experience of the owner
- Weekly performance report
In most small to medium digital marketing agencies, the owner’s experience is the most important thing. If the manager is experienced, he can drive his subordinates into success.
Therefore, it is highly recommendable to check the agency manager’s background.
Overseeing is important
Outsourcing comes with the responsibility of regular managing and controlling for the best result. It would be best if you assigned someone from your company to liaison with the outsourcing service provider. Always ask for a report and check the result or output. Have a regular weekly or monthly virtual meeting, set up a goal, adjust your plan or work procedures in
case of any deviation from the goal. You can also outsource the controlling duties to another company that will match the actual output against the KPI and reports you accordingly. In this
case, hiring a different company is crucial. It will function as an extra layer of control over your business operations. If you can perform the control procedures correctly, you could get the same result as your in-house service department at a fraction of the cost.