The simple answer to this question is yes, and no and maybe. Well, maybe it is not such a simple answer because it is a particularly loaded question. The subject of outsourcing is a very sensitive issue for many. There are some who believe that outsourcing, whether it is overseas or domestic, is taking jobs away from qualified individuals while others who are profiting from outsourcing are firm advocates for the practice. This article will take a look at outsourcing and will examine scenarios when quality is compromised as well as scenarios when quality is not compromised.
What is Outsourcing?
For those who are confused about what outsourcing entails, this section will explain the issue. In its most basic form, outsourcing is employing an individual outside of the work organization to perform specific tasks for monetary compensation. Outsourcing can be done on a per project basis, for a set period of time or on an ongoing basis for an undetermined period of time.
For many the word outsourcing has a very negative connotation. When they think of outsourcing, they picture underage employees in third world countries working for salaries which would be paltry by our standards. However, outsourcing has evolved so much and no longer resembles this stereotype. In fact many outsourcing takes place domestically by savvy entrepreneurs who market their abilities as an independent contractor rather than toiling away in corporate America. These individuals, enjoy their quality of life, negotiate fair compensation for their work and accept or decline work at their own will. Furthermore these individuals are often highly qualified for the positions they accept and are capable of producing work of a high standard.
The Cost of Outsourcing vs. Keeping Work in House
As with any business the bottom line in Internet niche marketing is often financial. There is no clear cut answer as to whether particular tasks will be completed at a lower cost in-house or through outsourcing. This will depend on a number of factors. For example the qualifications of the in-house staff is one of the major factors in the equation. The availability of the in-house staff members should also be considered.
If there are members of in-house staff members capable of completing the task and available to do so, it may be more affordable to keep the work in-house. However, outsourcing does reduce labor costs but often comes with a higher hourly rate as well as costs required to advertise the position and interview candidates. These costs will vary from case to case so it is important to always consider outsourcing as an option when possible.
The Quality of Outsourcing vs. Keeping Work in House
Comparing the quality of outsourcing versus in-house work is even more difficult. Again, there is no set answer for which is typically higher quality. In a situation where experts are required to complete a task it may be better to outsource the task because the in-house staff is not qualified to complete the task. In this case the quality of the work produced by the contractor will not only be of higher quality but will also likely be completed quicker and more efficiently.
However, in cases where the in-house staff and the contractor are equally qualified the in-house staff may hold a slight advantage because they are more familiar with company policies and procedures. In this case the in-house may be more efficient because they are already familiar with the standard procedures. This becomes less of an issue in cases where work is outsourced to the same individual regularly.
The other factor to consider when comparing outsourced work to in-house work is the work ethic of the individual completing the assignments. Two equally qualified employees given the same assignment, schedule and pertinent information may not produce the exact same results. This is because one employee may have a more diligent work ethic and a more keen attention to detail. In this scenario the more diligent employee will likely produce work of a higher quality. As this relates to personality rather than whether or not the work is completed in-house or outsourced it makes it even more difficult to compare in-house work to outsourced work.
When Outsourcing Compromises Quality
The simplest answer to this question is quality is compromised when price becomes the sole governing factor in selecting a candidate to complete the outsourced task. Of course this answer is not completely accurate because the truth is there are very educated and skilled employees overseas who are fully capable of completing tasks just as well as those living in this country and often for a much lower price. However, when only domestic candidates are being considered and price is the governing factor, quality is often compromised as it is very rare that the most qualified candidate is also the candidate with the lowest rates.
However, it is very common for an individual or a business to allow price to become more important than quality of work. When this happens quality is often compromised for the sake of a larger profit. An example of this is seen regularly on websites where outsourcing projects are listed and potential applicants submit their bids for these projects. Many who utilize these websites routinely select the lowest bidder without regard for the qualifications of the bidder. In most cases these individuals find they make a costly mistake when the work they receive is inadequate.
When Outsourcing Does Not Compromise Quality[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Outsourcing does not always compromise quality. In fact in many cases outsourcing is not only the most affordable option but also provides the most qualified candidates.[/tweet_box] One way to avoid the pitfalls of having quality compromised by outsourcing is to carefully screen candidates before making a decision. This process should be taken just as seriously as hiring a full time employee because the work of the individual will reflect on you as an individual or your business. If due diligence is given to selecting the right candidate it is not likely that quality will be compromised. [tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]When outsourcing work to an individual it is important to request detailed information regarding their qualifications and to verify all information supplied. Examples of information to request include:[/tweet_box]
* Previous work history
* Relevant work experiences
* Explanation of qualifications
Additionally, it is wise to ask for both business and personal references. These references should all be contacted and questioned about the work ethic and personal integrity of the individual.