By: First Union
Should You Hire In-House Employees or Outsource?
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Your team is a crucial part of your company's success. Having the right employees to back you makes all the difference in the world. And obviously, as the business does grow you're going to want to bring in even more talent. The hiring process isn't necessarily always the easiest to navigate through. Then, of course, there's the question of what type of employee to hire: part-time, full-time, or an outsourced one. So which should you consider as you think about hiring personnel? Does outsourcing some of the jobs that you have on your agenda make more sense in the long run? Or will you be better served by an in-house employee?
It doesn't have to be only one or the other. There are probably several tasks that might be better left in the hands of an outsourced helper. Whereas, there are going to be those duties that require the attention of a full-time employee. We've put together a list of some critical considerations that you should think about in terms of deciding whether to outsource or hire in-house.
1. Maintain essential functions in-house.
In other words, those responsibilities and job duties that directly impact how competitive you are should generally be left to a full-time in-house member of your team. You want to be very careful about becoming too dependent on outsourced workers when it comes to essential business functions. The core of your business operations should always be handled by team players.
So what might be considered those core functions that are best dealt with by an actual employee of the company? For one, depending on your industry, your technology may be a crucial part of your advantage. And while yes, many businesses do outsource various components of their IT department, sometimes this may not always be in the company's best interests. Some CEOs note that outsourcing too much of your IT can end up resulting in a series of what essentially amounts to maintenance people as opposed to those who bring value to your overall company culture and vision.
The key here is to keep your employees engaged and motivated. This is largely done by offering them duties and tasks that align with their interests and about which they are passionate. Demonstrate how they are helping the company and show them their value therein.
2. Outsource those tasks where there is otherwise a lack of expertise.
Now on the other hand, let's say that your business is not necessarily related to technology and those who work for the company (yourself included/) do not possess any technological expertise…this then may be a scenario in which it makes more sense to outsource this task as opposed to trying to somehow scrape together a solution for your IT from a cast of workers who really know very little about it.
Also, there may be a situation in which there is little to no accounting knowledge within your company. This is another scenario in which outsourcing becomes a good idea. Failures in accounting, especially for small and newer business can be quite damaging. You absolutely want to make sure that you have someone handling this aspect of the company that has experience and expertise.
This is a fairly simple rule of thumb, but one that not enough small businesses follow: outsource where there are talent/knowledge gaps. You not only fill said gaps, but you generally save money on an outsourced worker.
3. Look at all the risks involved with both scenarios.
There are going to be pros and cons to hiring each type of worker: in-house or outsourced. Weighing these carefully in the context of your overall business model and plan can help you make a much more informed decision in the long run.
Additionally, when trying to make this type of decision you cannot afford to do so based on what someone else is doing. If for instance, is outsourcing social media and yet you have a staffer who is particularly knowledgeable in this arena, then outsourcing this task because you think you need to mirror another company simply does not make sense.
Keep in mind too, with full-time employees you maintain more control. They are committed to you, you pay their salary, thus they are more inclined to work around your agenda. When you hire a freelancer, while they may be more affordable in that you're not paying additional expenses on them such as insurance, tax, benefits, etc., they also have other clients for whom they work; meaning, you're not necessarily their top priority at a given moment. You might be competing for their time and energy.
Again, weigh the good and the bad, the cost and the savings, as well as the level of work output you're going to receive from both types of employees. If you do hire in-house make sure that you utilize this employee properly. A huge mistake that many employers make is not understanding how to truly use an employee in a way in that allows said employee to best serve the company.
The bottom line
Whatever choice you make, you want to ensure that it is the best decision for the company. And again, it doesn't have to be one or the other; many businesses are utilizing a mix of outsourced employees and in-house personnel to help them reach their goals.