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A Guide to Outsourcing Your Business Support Staffing Needs

Outsourcing Your Business Support Staffing Needs
Jill Wells

This guide explores the decision between improving operational efficiency internally and outsourcing, particularly for meeting the variable demands of business support staffing.

It’s an age-old business question: internally improving operational efficiency vs. outsourcing. In many cases, outsourcing is an effective solution for managing the fluctuating demands of business support staffing. In this guide, we’re going to give you a detailed overview of the benefits, challenges, best practices, and key considerations of outsourcing your business support staffing needs.

Understanding Business Support Staffing Outsourcing

Before we start talking about ins and outs of Outsourcing we must first answer, what is business support staffing? Business support staffing is a broad spectrum of tasks and departments, including customer service administrators, IT support, human resources, finance, and many other support functions, that are not directly related to your business’s core product or service but are nevertheless required to keep the business up and running, they are both the backroom and the backbone of a company.

Outsourcing these various support functions to external service providers makes it possible for your business to access greater expertise in these niche areas while reducing overheads at the same time.

Benefits of Outsourcing 

Some amazing benefits and outcomes of outsourcing your support staff include:

1. Cost Reduction Through Staffing Outsourcing

2. Access to Expertise

3. Flexible Staffing Solutions

4. Focus on Core Business

5. Faster Time-to-Market

By outsourcing your support staffing you significantly reduces labour costs and eliminates the expenses associated with hiring and training in-house staff by almost 27%. And not only this but you can with this reduced cost now tap into a global pool of highly skilled professionals, in fact post Covid-19 45% of companies have planned to increase their outsourcing, to find the skill set they can’t access in-house.

Once implemented Flexible Staffing Solutions are now streamlining your HR process with outsourcing, and is allowing your business to scale support staffing up or down based on your current need. This makes it easy to adjust the way resources are allocated without going through the complexities of hiring additional employees.

Thanks to this increased experience, your organisation can concentrate its internal resources on the areas that offer the most significant competitive advantage in your industry, in fact 24% of small companies say they outsource to increase efficiency levels. From here you can begin to leverage this external expertise in staffing to speed up your business’s development process, accelerating time-to-market for your products or services.

Navigating Outsourcing Complexities​

Despite its many advantages, outsourcing business support staffing also presents a few challenges that need to be managed with carefully tailored solutions.

1. Quality Control

To see this played out might mean you develop a problem with maintaining high quality standards for outsourced teams. But, one of the many solutions to this would be to establish clear service level agreements (SLAs) and conduct regular performance reviews.

2. Cultural and Communication Barriers

How this may transpire is in a difference in language and culture that can lead to misunderstandings between businesses and contractors. However, choosing service providers with experience in your market and investing in intercultural communication training for your teams will see this problem put to rest. 

3. Security Risks

There can be concerns around sharing sensitive data with third parties as this can pose security risks. But, this once again has a solution in conduct thorough due diligence on each and every third-party service provider, and implementing a stringent data protection agreement. 

How to Choose a Vendor for Staff Outsourcing 

Before you sign on the dotted line with any service contractor, go through this checklist to ensure you’re choosing the most suitable outsourcing partner:

1. How Long Has the Company Been in Business? 

Always ask for proof of company registration documents to validate the information provided by the prospective service provider, including their business permits and registration with relevant regulatory bodies. 

2. Do They Have an In-Depth Understanding of Your Business?

Ensure the prospective service provider is knowledgeable about recruiting for your specific industry. Ask for recommendation letters from the provider’s past clients in your industry to enable you to vet their service quality, outsourcing can be tricky but once you find the verify the correct candidate you’re on your way.

3. Do They Have the Required Experience and Expertise?

After reviewing recommendations from previous clients, ask to see the profiles of the provider’s key team members and ascertain who will be your key contact. 

4. Will They Agree to a Face-to-Face Meeting (In-Person or Virtual)?

Thanks to virtual communication technology like Teams, it’s almost always possible to meet service providers face-to-face even if it isn’t possible to meet in person, this way you will have a greater understanding of the candidate and how they can positively impact your business.

5. Have They Invested in Technology for Process Efficiency?

It’s usually preferable to work with a vendor who is equipped with the best and latest technological tools to support the services they provide.

Other Key Considerations for Successful Outsourcing

Here are some other essential considerations:

1. Cultural Fit

Choose a provider whose corporate culture aligns with yours which ensures a harmonious working relationship. Ignoring cultural differences can result in delays and an overall lack of synergy between teams.

2. Due Diligence 

Don’t rush into partnerships without thoroughly vetting each outsourcing provider. Failing to do your research can leave you stuck with poor-quality work, missed deadlines, or insurmountable communication gaps.

3. Recruitment Process 

Find out how each provider sources talent and determine how involved you need to be in the hiring process. Communicate your preferred recruitment processes to your chosen provider to establish a clear understanding of expectations and alignment.

4. Onboarding and Setup

Invest adequate time into onboarding your outsourced teams to assist them in performing to the best of their abilities. Even after accounting for onboarding expenses, outsourcing will save your company money in employment costs over time.

5. Integrating Virtual Contractors

Your virtual contractors are not “out of sight, out of mind.” Treat them as valued team members and you’ll get the best outcomes. For example, consider the resources your permanent employees require to get their jobs done and ensure that outsourced or remote staff receive full access to those resources also.

6. Costs, Transparency and Fee Structure 

Every provider has its own unique approach to fees. Before signing up with a recruitment partner, ensure you understand exactly what the service includes and how the fee is broken down. Term and Conditions of Business should clearly state this.

7. Outsourcing to Cut Costs vs. Outsourcing to Enhance Service Quality

Price and the bottom line will inevitably be a significant factor in your decision — after all, reducing overheads through outsourcing is one of the main reasons to outsource in the first place. However, don’t base your choice of provider on cost alone. The quality of the service and the provider's ability to meet your specific requirements are equally important. 

8. Communication

Effective communication is vital to any project’s success. Lack of clarity or inefficient communication processes can easily hinder your operation rather than help it. 

9. Data Security & Legal Protection

As outlined in our ‘Security Risk’ section, do ensure your providers have robust security measures in place — not only to protect your data, but also to comply with relevant regulations. Alongside this make sure you have appropriate legal agreements in place between your business and its service providers, such as NDAs and intellectual property clauses, to protect your company’s proprietary information.

10. Long-Term Strategy

It’s essential to consider the long-term implications of your outsourcing strategy. But, as with all candidates both in house and outsourced, develop an outsourcing plan that aligns with your company’s goals and accounts for its changing needs as it grows.

Making the Decision to Outsource

Outsourcing your business’s support functions opens the door to a mountain of benefits, including cost savings, greater flexibility, and easier access to niche talent. However, it’s also important to remain aware of the potential downsides of outsourcing, such as communication barriers and digital security concerns.  Communication is the key to building strategic and trusting relationships with your chosen outsourcing partner. 

At WellsGray, we understand how critical it is that your business connects with the perfect professionals to meet its needs. We offer some of the best temporary and permanent staffing recruitment services available in the Melbourne. Find out how personalised staffing services could transform your business.

Speak with our Office Support Recruitment Experts