Published On: Mon, Nov 17th, 2014

4 Ways Outsourcing Got a Makeover

There was a time when the term “outsourcing” got a bad rap. People saw it as a means of taking jobs overseas, businesses taking advantage of low labor workers in developing countries, and it was tearing apart the local economy. However, that’s a questions of business ethics, not outsourcing. Today’s outsourcing is seen more and more as a means of supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs while also allowing the client to save money.

Outsourcing isn’t what it used to be and that’s a good thing. Whether it’s outsourcing IT management, HR needs, PR needs or anything else, it’s nearly impossible for a business to hire every expert they need on a permanent basis. Needs ebb and flow, and outsourcers are happy to fill the gap. Here’s how outsourcing underwent a revival and why it’s positive:

photo: photologue_np via Flickr

photo: photologue_np via Flickr

1. Back to local

A number of successful freelance outsourcers and outsourcing companies are based in the US, are paid well, and even focus on niche markets like search engine optimization so they can focus on one great skill. Outsourcers can also be freelancers, and Hongkiat explains why it’s a fantastic route for many skilled workers with an entrepreneurial spirit.

2. Businesses upped their ethics

You can legally get away with “slave wages” in developing countries, but one of two things happened: Either many businesses discovered their ethics and morals, or their clients started demanding fair treatment of workers. More than likely it was both, even though there’s still coverage from reputable sources like the UK’s Daily Mail on how major corporations are taking advantage of overseas labor.

3. It (still) saves companies money

On an hour per hour basis, outsourcing companies charge more than a permanent hourly employee. However, the contracts can usually be killed by either party with no notice and the companies don’t have to pay benefits such as health insurance. That health insurance caveat is crucial with Obamacare, and outsourced companies/freelancers can write off their full healthcare premiums each year anyway.

4. From “outsourcing” to entrepreneur

More and more outsourcing companies are calling themselves small businesses or entrepreneurs because that’s what they are. Sometimes just changing your name can make a huge difference (what would have happened if Amazon had stayed Abracadabra?). It’s a way for an entire industry to slowly re-brand, re-claim their own work and showcase what they really have to offer.

If you’re a business, consider outsourcing your part-time or non-permanent needs. You might be surprised by the outcome.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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