A topic as big as outsourcing is bound to have several schoolyard-style rumors about it. Some of these myths may even influence your decision on whether or not to choose it as a solution for your business. Some of these myths are purely opinions based, from people who had bad experiences, and some are just hearsay. No matter the origin of the myth, you should always do a bit of research in order to make a more informed decision on outsourcing.
Outsourcing Myth #1: Outsourcing Is Only For Big Companies
It is often thought that only big companies can afford to outsource some of their processes. This is untrue as there are full-service business process outsourcing companies (BPOs) that cater to small to mid-sized companies.
If you find a BPO that allows you to customize your service, you can even start off with just 1 employee or a “seat” with them. Just make sure to ask each BPO you contact as they will have different rules on the matter.
This myth comes from bigger call centers that require a minimum number of “seats” to be hired before you can avail of their service.
Outsourcing Myth #2: Call Centers, BPOs, Outsourcing, And Offshoring Are All The Same Thing
Just to clear this up, outsourcing is the act of obtaining goods or services from an outside source. This means that you can outsource to a company that literally works next door to you. Outsourcing is the umbrella term for all work that is given to a third party.
Offshoring is outsourcing but done out of the country the business is based in. Think of the majority of customer services for any big company being sent overseas.
Call Centers are a specific solutions company that offer call-based solutions. What this means is, that all customer service, technical support, and in some cases, sales positions can be outsourced here.
A BPO or business process outsourcing company is a solutions center that hires specialized professionals that work for your company, but in a remote capacity. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Architectural Drafters
- Virtual Assistants/Executive Assistants
- Virtual Nurses
Outsourcing Myth #3: Loss Of Control When Outsourcing
While this is true for specific call center companies, it is not valid for all outsourcing, especially for full-service BPOs.
All of the administrative tasks are taken over for you by your partnering BPO. This, of course, is in line with the benefits you choose to give them, but your BPO partner will also have a default package if you do not choose to give your staff a custom one.
In terms of productivity, you are in total control of your staff. You are the one to set the processes your staff will follow and are also encouraged to hire a manager to help enforce them. You are also assigned an account manager who will provide you with regular reports and performance reviews regarding your staff, ensuring that you know everything that’s going on with them.
Outsourcing Myth #4: Outsourcing Exploits Other Countries
Many of these stories come from the manufacturing outsourcing side of the industry. As the world is cracking down on the exploitation of workers, the lives of those who work for BPOs worldwide have actually improved.
Take the remote workers of the Philippines, for example, on average, a BPO employee makes more working for companies abroad than they would for a local company. Even within the same industry, a BPO job with similar requirements as a local one will pay a higher monthly salary, sometimes this number is almost double the local rate. That being said, while the salary is high here, it is a fraction of the cost you would pay to hire the same position onshore.
Outsourcing Myth #5: Outsourcing Offshore Comes With Language Barriers
This statement might be due to cultural idioms. Even with this as the case, all offshore locations that offer remote solutions will be proficient in English.
As technology becomes more widespread, the gap between cultures is diminishing. Many foreign sayings are posted over social media, leading to people from all over the world being exposed to them. This doubles for countries where the culture has been influenced by Americans, take the Philippines, for example, many of the idioms used in the US are commonly known there, making conversations sound more natural.
Outsourcing Myth #6: Different Time Zones Lowers Productivity And Control
Both accounts are untrue as the time zone you need staff on will be the time zome hired for. Once a specific shift is locked in on a particular recruitment requisition, BPO recruiters will find people with experience with that shift to ensure that productivity is not affected.
A remedy to both, which all BPOs will recommend to you, is to hire a manager with a supervisor for every shift you plan on hiring for. For example, if you plan to run a 24-hour operation in your part of the world, 3 supervisors can be hired to cover all shifts. These supervisors will keep your staff productive throughout their respective shifts.
Partnering with a trustworthy BPO means you will always have complete control of your staff, hiring something such as a general manager or a country manager will help further that. You only need to have meetings with them and have them relay your message. You don’t need to be awake for the other shifts, as this responsibility will pass over to your selected manager.
Outsourcing Myth #7: Outsourcing Adds To The Unemployment Rate
In terms of onshore outsourcing, this is false as it literally creates more jobs on the market. A different company may be taking over the process, but at a cheaper rate, meaning the host company can afford to use its capital in other departments.
More companies are outsourcing as it’s more cost-effective to do so. While the rate of companies availing of outsourcing services goes up, the unemployment rate in the US has gone down from a 5.46% as of 2021 to 3.6% in 2022.
In regards to offshore outsourcing, where jobs are literally in another country, the same effect can be seen where the company in question is able to afford to spend in other areas of the company. Essentially, other areas are grown while the more backend non-essential jobs are moved overseas. So while it is true some jobs are shifted to offshore locations, the unemployment rate isn’t affected as there are new positions that are opened because the shift to offshoring saves so much money.
The Wrap Up
It is best to make informed decisions before you commit to any decision. Listening to any myths or misinformation about a topic may prevent your business from growing out of fear. While it is true outsourcing, no matter what service, has its strengths and weaknesses, knowing in-depth information on each one will allow you to figure out if they can help your business or not. If you’d like to know more, feel free to reach out to any BPO and find out if outsourcing is right for you.