Which came first, the outsourcing chicken or the egg? People want to make outsourcing work, yet there are challenges that are in need of long-term solutions….
Why outsource your operations?
Well, you probably have high operating costs. Or the tasks are not really part of your core business.
So you find some kind of outsource aggregator, who has a large enough labor force that can do your job, and still be able to keep on doing it even if some of the people resign or leave that company.
Most likely, you will want to pay less than what you are spending now on your people. The outsource aggregator names their price, gets their profit, and part of what’s left is paid to the outsourced labor pool.
In other words, the outsourced labor force gets paid much less than what your own people are being paid today.
So here’s the chicken and egg thing…
You want to spend less, yet you want to maintain the same level of quality, professionalism, and commitment that your higher paid work force is giving you.
You want to spend less, but you also want to get the same benefits. Yes, you want to have your outsourcing cake and eat it, too. 🙂
Here’s one solution…
Find people who are based in a place where the “lower” salary they earn from the outsourcing aggregator is still much higher than other opportunities in their area. Otherwise, they will just resign and transfer from company to company, depending on how attractive the offers are.
For competence and skills, those people will need training. You can bring down training costs by using distance education or e-learning modules. This assumes, however, that those people are able to learn in this medium.
If they come from a place where salaries are low, what kind of elementary, high school, and tertiary education do you think they received? You must, therefore, tailor your training program accordingly.
Let’s be realistic…
Eventually, people will get enough training, will build enough competence and professionalism, and will achieve a level of work commitment that will make them realize that they can earn much more than whatever they’re making with an outsource provider.
Of course they will resign. They will want to move up and improve their lives, naturally.
That’s why you will need to invest in a training program that produces results in a short amount of time, because you don’t have all the time in the world to hang on to them.
You will also need to invest in some kind of “pre-training” program. Yes, I’m talking about the grade school and high school level.
Perhaps companies who wish to outsource some of their operations (or even the outsource aggregators) can look into providing scholarships and top-notch teaching to grade school and high school students.
Give them communication skills, both verbal and written. Strong foundations in math and science. A healthy dose of the arts, literature, and liberal education (if you want a higher level of professionalism and commitment years later when they start working).
Help them increase their financial literacy, so that the issue of “how can I make money” doesn’t make them flit from job to job later on.
Perhaps we can tap those who have already retired.
Just arm them with the skills needed for your operations. For example, computer and technical skills, writing, and speaking, to name a few.
Bottomline: Do you want a long-term outsourcing solution that’s sustainable?
Invest in training and education.