Outsourcing Jobs Amid Attrition
Attrition can have a significant impact on the cost savings from outsourcing jobs. In India, the Philippines and other offshoring hubs, the high turnover rate is forcing BPO companies to increase salaries and incentive offers. A high turnover rate adds to the cost of training and recruitment while increasing the time for bringing backlog to the normal level. Rather than fully entrust attrition management to their outsourcing contractors, clients can directly intervene in attrition management.
A study conducted by the Outsourcing Center which involved 74 outsourcing relationships identified successful approaches to client-initiated attrition management. The contractors cited in the study provide BPO and ITO services spanning multiple industries, serving large, small and medium enterprises.
Each of the clients covered by the study formally recognized the problem of high turnover rate. The clients had the root causes of attrition uncovered. In some cases, the root-cause analysis was done by both parties. Oftentimes, attrition was addressed in two ways.
- First, was by developing urgent retention strategies.
- Second, was finding what motivates current employees to stay.
Outsourcing Jobs to the Right BPO Vendor
Each BPO firm has different sets of selling points to offer to prospective clients that want to outsource in-house jobs abroad. Some clients want to outsource to reduce cost, while others want to take advantage of technical expertise lacking in their in-house department. When outsourcing jobs offshore, it is important to pay attention to BPO firms’ value proposition to estimate their strengths and core competencies.
Here are some of the selling points used by BPO firms to gauge the effectiveness of their offshore staffing services. Know what prospective BPO contractors are good at and choose the one that best meets your outsourcing needs.
6 Ways Outsourcing Will Increase Performance
1. Cost Reduction and Profit Growth.
By outsourcing jobs, companies can turn fixed costs into variable costs. There would be less demand for equipment and office space. Savings from outsourcing can be used to invest in income-generating activities.
2. Improved Efficiency.
Companies that do not bother to outsource any of their operations may suffer from inefficiency. Outsourcing jobs that distract companies from their central business is a good way to increase organizational efficiency. Doing so would streamline operations and eliminate departments which are too costly to manage.
3. Flexibility in Manpower Acquisition.
Recruiting and training staff for short-term projects can be very costly and challenging as temporary employees are more likely to abandon work. Outsourcing jobs for special projects is a good way to manage this risk.
4. Shorter Timeline for Planning.
Companies that need to get new projects started will benefit from the available resources of outsourcing firms. Good outsourcing firms have a great deal of resources to execute a new project with less preparation. A project that takes months to start may only require a week-long preparation when outsourced to contractors.
Since outsourcing firms have the needed facilities in place, they spend less time planning a new project.
5. Levelling the Playing Field.
Smaller companies cannot operate in the same economy of scale enjoyed by large firms. Outsourcing jobs give smaller companies the expertise and resources that are otherwise impractical to get.
6. Risk Reduction.
Business is inherently risky. The regulatory environment, market trends, competition and continuous technological innovations catch some companies off guard. Outsourcing jobs relieve companies of some business risks by allowing them to share liabilities with their contractors.
However, outsourcing can do more harm than good when overused. Sometimes, outsourcing is overused by companies that think everything should be outsourced. Here are some of the factors to consider when outsourcing jobs.
- Budget and duration of a project
- The opportunity cost of not outsourcing
- The ability of contractors to train their staff
- Availability of well-defined metrics for monitoring the performance of contractors
- Size of manpower needed
- The project management system of the contractor
Causes of High Turnover Rate
Based on the root-cause analysis of the subjects, compensation, career growth opportunities, working conditions and perceived work value turn out to be the major causes of high turnover rate. Some employees felt that they were not part of the client’s team.
Workers who jumped to another company may have been lured by higher payment. In other cases, BPO providers overestimated the capability of their staff, extending the scope of service agreement beyond what their employees can successfully handle. The attitude of supervisors and ease of commuting to work can also be an obstacle to outsourcing jobs.
How Clients Managed to Keep Outsourcing Jobs Despite Attrition
- Recognizing the excellent service of contractors to encourage them to recognize their employees’ achievements in return
- Lowering the learning curve of new trainees
- Continuous research on possible causes of high turnover rate
- Improving the recruitment process to hire employees who are likely to stay long
- Selecting managers who can build an inspiring and harmonious relationship with subordinates
- Conducting an exit interview as part of a root-cause analysis
- Providing incentives and bonuses
- Getting the outsourcing provider to consider the availability of current staff to fulfill larger roles when extending the scope of the BPO contract
A number of participants felt that they succeeded in curbing attrition rate in the past years. The study proved that outsourcing jobs amid attrition is more viable when buyers intervene. Some participants got directly involved in recruitment and financing of reward schemes.
Client participation in lowering turnover rate not only improves employee performance but vendor relationship as well, especially when partial funding from clients is involved.
Outsource Jobs to a New BPO Provider
Switching to a new different contractor is a complicated and sometimes costly change. However, terminating an outsourcing deal due to poor performance or better offer from another vendor can help you make the most out of offshoring.
Many companies that have spent five or ten years with their current contractor may find it difficult to switch to a different BPO partner. By the time they realize the need to change, they are ill-prepared to make the transition. Unexpected changes in the business environment, new government regulations and budget constraints can prompt BPO clients to outsource jobs somewhere else.
There are practical ways to make vendor replacement less difficult. Here are the top challenges to BPO vendor replacement and ways to circumvent them.
Outsourcing jobs to a new BPO vendor can be difficult if you have to rely to your outgoing vendor for support. The outgoing BPO contractor will not gain anything by training their competitors. Such lack of vested interest on the part of the present BPO vendor can make the transfer of knowledge and skills very challenging.
The best way to circumvent this is to make such task mandatory. Stipulate the obligation to train a new BPO contractor in your service agreement to make sure that your BPO provider will fully cooperate in helping you outsource jobs to a new vendor should the need arises.
Training may require sharing of customer data with the new vendor. During the handover, the new BPO vendor may need to access customer data using the client’s proprietary system. The current BPO provider, unless required by the contract, is unlikely to open their information system to a competitor. So make sure that your contract will require your BPO partner to share your business data and IT infrastructures with a new vendor.
It is also highly recommended to add a post-transition clause in your contract. This will ensure that you’ll get temporary assistance from your former BPO provider shortly after you outsource jobs to the new contractor.
Hiring a Transition Consultant
A third-party consultant can facilitate smooth termination and transfer of contract. Management consultants are experts in change management. Their experience will be a great help in reducing the burden of outsourcing jobs to a new BPO provider.
Stick to Transition Deadline
Your existing provider may require you to follow a certain transition deadline and impose penalties for your failure to do so. Make transition as less costly as possible by adding a clause in your contract that would require consensus between you and the BPO provider in setting up deadlines and penalties for delays in vendor replacement.
You should outsource jobs to any vendor of your choice. Foreseeing the possibility of switching to a different provider is the key to managing vendor replacement. Always make sure your contract has exit planning provisions. Account for the possible challenges to vendor replacement to make it easier to transfer knowledge and skills from one contractor to another.
Outsourcing Jobs Needs Thorough Vendor Selection Process
So you have decided on outsourcing jobs in your company. You also know which jobs you intend to outsource. The next big thing to decide on is which business process outsourcing (BPO) service provider from what country you should trust. In fact, this decision may be the most critical one you have to make and, as such, must be done with utmost care.
The list of firms that do job outsourcing tasks is expectedly long. There is definitely no dearth in BPO service providers around the globe. This, however, makes choosing even harder. So what should you look for in a BPO vendor? This article discusses some tips that can help you make choosing a job outsourcing partner a decidedly easier task.
The first thing you have to do is to assess the kind of expertise offered by the BPO firm. You have to make sure that the strength of the firm matches your job outsourcing requirements.
- For instance, if a BPO firm you are considering specializes in providing call center services but your needs are more SEO-based, then it would do you better to look elsewhere.
- Moreover, check client lists and, if available, testimonials from previous or existing job outsourcing clients.
Another thing you have to consider in finding the right job outsourcing partner is equipment. Make sure that the BPO firm has all the necessary equipment to provide you with what you need. For instance, if you need to outsource data entry jobs, make sure the service provider has a complete line of hardware and software necessary for this function, such as scanners, optical character and handwriting recognition software and such. If you are outsourcing graphic designing jobs, then make sure that the provider has power desktop computers, pen tablets, OCR machines, and the like.
In terms of the country of origin of your BPO partner, you should choose one that is culturally similar to your own. The two most successful countries in outsourcing jobs today are India and the Philippines. The two countries, however, are poles apart in terms of culture. If you are looking for call center agents and your company is based in the United States, for instance, you would fare much better if you outsource agents from the Philippines because this country makes use of American English in its schools. India, in turn, makes use of British English, which makes its agents perfect for clients coming from the United Kingdom and other European countries. Ensuring linguistic and cultural alignment helps in maintaining a connection between the client and the provider in more ways than one.
These are just general tips to help you choose a BPO partner. Once you take all these to heart, they will help you choose the right provider and get you on your way to efficiency, productivity and, of course, profitability.
Managing Job Outsourcing Disputes
Job outsourcing is open to all sorts of disputes ranging from labor to financial disagreements. Financial disputes are hard to settle without damaging business relationship. However, a study conducted by the Outsourcing Center showed that mutual trust could help outsourcing companies and their clients go through the most difficult financial dispute.
The study examined 112 relationships involving nominees for Outsourcing Excellence Awards programs of the Center. Some of the notable cases of job outsourcing disputes are as follows:
Case 1: The client and BPO provider agreed on a pricing model in which four types of services would be provided for free for projects not originally anticipated at the start of the contract period. Ambiguous terminology caused disputes over what services should be provided for free. For instance, both parties have a different interpretation of ‘system update’ and ‘system upgrade.’ After eight months of unproductive dispute, the two eventually agreed to bear half of the cost of the free services under question and rewrite their ‘free service’ agreement, thus saving their job outsourcing contract.
Case 2: Two BPO partners got into tax troubles due to the use of multiple currencies. The problem was settled as they agreed to split the tax costs.
Case 3: A financial firm vented its frustration over its contractor’s failure to adopt new technologies. However, a technological upgrade would not be financially feasible for the provider since the contract did not provide enough incentives for such improvement.
The client and the service provider knew each other long enough to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution – restructuring the contract to provide incentives for implementing new technologies.
Case 4: A client that was in a multiple service agreement with one service provider found out that they were paying for overpriced IT services. When they asked the contractor for a lower rate, they found out that the service provider was not earning enough profit from another service they outsourced. Both parties then agreed to adjust the prices of both services – lower rates for IT functions and a higher rate for the second type of service.
Case 5: A buyer proposed that new technology be developed by its current contractor. The contractor accepted the request, but due to what it perceived as lack of financial incentives, it delayed the commencement of the project for several months. When the buyer solicited bids from other companies, the contractor realized the value of the project, bid for it and won.
The study reveals a common dispute resolution pattern among these BPO companies and their clients. These cases demonstrate the role of transparency, mutual trust and genuine interest in mutual business success in minimizing the impact of financial disputes. These companies proved that job outsourcing disputes do not have to destroy long-standing vendor-client relationships.
Outsource Your Data Entry Needs
Outsourcing has definitely become a buzzword in modern business. Many companies around the world have turned to outsourcing jobs to maximize the efficiency of their operations. One such job that companies often outsource is data encoding.
Outsourcing data entry jobs has numerous advantages for companies. For one thing, it saves the company valuable time and effort and ensures maximum efficiency and reliability of records and documents produced. Moreover, outsourcing data entry jobs help businesses to significantly reduce their workload thus allowing them to concentrate more on their core competencies. Lastly, data entry specialists are, as their designation suggests, specialists in this line of work and are therefore trained to provide quality output right from the start of the contract. The companies are thus spared the hassles of training new employees and wasting valuable time.
Now, what do you need to consider when outsourcing jobs in data encoding? The first thing you need is to do a bit of research. Fire up your search engine and look for BPO service providers that have proven track records in job outsourcing. Some of these have client lists, and it would do you well to check them out.
Secondly, make sure that the BPO service provider you choose is equipped with advanced data processing hardware and software that allow them to give you exactly what you need. Make sure that they are able to provide your records in the electronic file format you require, which may include Excel, Word, Access, HTML, database and XML. The good thing is that most professional job outsourcing companies nowadays are already well-equipped.
Next, evaluate the job outsourcing firm’s workflow. It is a good idea to employ the services of a BPO firm that implements a professional data entry workflow that focuses on accuracy and quality control. The workflow should include a thorough review of the data output before it is sent to the client, which is in this case, you.
The benefits of employing professional data entry specialists are tremendous, as long as you choose the right BPO service provider. Following the data entry job outsourcing tips mentioned above will start you on the right path, help you increase your company’s productivity and allow you to survive and even succeed in a highly competitive business environment.
Outsourcing Graphic Designers
Small companies know the importance of making sure that costs are cut while business objectives are met. One effective way of cutting operational expenses is outsourcing jobs that are merely periodically required, such as graphic design work.
Companies often require people to create exciting logos for use in websites, brochures or newsletters; or website designs and banners that visually capture the very essence of the business. However, after these are created and implemented, graphic design requirements are then put on the back burner for a time.
This emphasizes the wisdom and practicality of outsourcing graphic design jobs, particularly for smaller companies who don’t have a steady stream of design requirements.
Before you go ahead and start looking for job outsourcing companies that provide graphic design contracts, you should bear in mind certain things. And what exactly do you need to consider when outsourcing graphic design jobs? Read on.
Firstly, make sure you know what you want in terms of design. Different artists have different, well, strengths. Make sure you pick a graphic designer that is good in what you need him to do. Some are good at creating logos; some are good at photo editing, some are good at laying out brochures and newsletters, while some are good at lettering and creating logotypes. Make sure you get the right person for the job by matching your job outsourcing requirements with his specialty.
Secondly, don’t scrimp on the time you spend going over portfolios and sample works. I know that browsing through dozens of samples isn’t the most exciting thing to do. However, it is a necessary evil when outsourcing jobs that require specific skills. The fact is you will only know a graphic designer’s strengths by going over his body of work. There are no ifs and buts about it.
Next, always remember that graphic design talent is not necessarily learned in schools. Some brilliant graphic artists are self-taught, armed only with innate creativity and an acute sense of style. As such, go for experience and skill rather than education.
Lastly, and this is regardless of what kind of job you need outsourced, choose a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that knows what it is doing. Specifically, choose one that has experience in outsourcing graphic design jobs. Ask for referrals, look around for tried and tested BPO firms or new but talent-laden ones, and come up with a list of candidates. Do your research, shortlist, and then choose the right candidate. If you do this right, chances are the job outsourcing company would be able to provide you with a perfect match regarding your graphic artist requirements.
Remember that outsourcing jobs require a lot of initial effort on your part. But once you get through all the necessary preparations and you are able to choose the right graphic designer, your life will then be a whole lot easier.
How To Outsource Content Writers
More often than not, businesses decide on outsourcing jobs to fill the void in their operations in terms of manpower and expertise. Instead of directly hiring employees who would do particular tasks, businesses often seek the help of companies that are experts in outsourcing jobs to provide them with the manpower and expertise they require.
One particular job that is often outsourced nowadays is content writing. Many websites require continuous updating of content which, in turn, requires a dedicated group of people who will ensure that such a task is accomplished. Outsourcing content writing jobs has become somewhat of a necessity since most website administrators are not necessarily good writers themselves. Obviously, the job of content writing should be given to the experts in the field.
So what are the things that you need to consider when outsourcing content writing jobs? First of all, you must make sure that you outsource to a country that speaks the language that you use in your website. For instance, since most websites are in English, you should, therefore, outsource to a country that has good English speakers. Two countries that are always considered when outsourcing jobs are India and the Philippines. Outsourcing jobs in content delivery from these two countries is always a good idea since both countries have graduates who speak and write well in English and both countries have an educational system whose main language of instruction is English.
One effective way to determine whether a particular country has writers that speak your language is to check out blogs from the area. Reading blogs from a particular country will give you an idea of how well the people use the language your website requires and how extensive the language is spoken. Sometimes this exercise can even point you to good business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and even brilliant freelancers.
Next, look for content writers from countries that have proven track records in terms of outsourcing jobs of different kinds. In this regard, a little research would go a long way in ensuring that you get content writers who are perfectly matched with your business and who have the capability and the knowledge to deliver the appropriate content to your website. Remember to look into countries that have received good feedback from other businesses that are also into outsourcing jobs.
Lastly, make sure that you employ content writers who have a working knowledge of SEO or search engine optimization. It is important that content writers know how to create content that ensures your website shows up on the first page of all search engine results for specific keywords. The writers should also make sure that your website content abides by the rules of SEO content writing to avoid your site from being banned or penalized.
Outsourcing jobs, particularly content writing, is a pretty tricky endeavor. However, once you find the perfect BPO company with the right content writers for your needs, you will be able to focus on other aspects of your business that require your undivided attention. After everything is said and done, outsourcing jobs in content delivery will save you a lot of time, effort and money.