The Pros and Cons of Overseas Outsourcing for Service Jobs
Sunlight Data Entry | May 18, 2020
You may be reading our website and wondering about the cons of outsourcing. The pros are fairly easy to understand:
- Outsourcing saves money because you are paying much less than you would pay to employees in your developed economy, like the United States. Outsourcing is much more scalable because you just have to ask us to assign more of our employees to work on your projects. You don’t have to go out and hire new employees yourself. For example, if you need to increase the size of your team from 25 employees to 75 employees without compromising on the quality of who you hire, that may take years, but with us, it can be done in days since we already have our employees in place.
- Outsourcing can be scaled down. If a project is coming to a close either because of poor performance or it is just naturally coming to an end once the work is finished, you can more easily scale down if you are using one of our outsourced teams. For example, going from 75 employees to 25 employees will mean tons of firing and headache and severance. It will crush morale. With our outsourced team, you just send us an email saying you no longer need as many resources, and we re-assign our team to work on another client’s work. It’s that simple.
- We get rid of the compliance headaches. Hiring an employee comes with a ton of paperwork, not to mention payroll taxes. With us, you sign one contract up front and then you no longer have to worry about paperwork related to our team. There are also no taxes you need to worry about since our team lives and works in India. The employees are on our payroll and we pay taxes for them in India. You don’t have to worry about any of it.
If the above are some of the upsides, what are some of the downsides of outsourcing? We want to be honest with you and not gloss over the downsides even though we would really like you to use our outsourcing service:
There is a time zone issue. India is 5 and ½ hours ahead of UTC while the East Coast of the United States is 4 hours behind UTC during daylight savings time and 5 hours behind UTC outside of daylight savings time. Thus, there is a 9 and ½ hour to 10 and ½ hour time difference (you can easily look up online the time difference based on where your company is located if you are not located on the East Coast of the United States). This can pose a logistical challenge. How do you work with our team in India when they are awake when you are sleeping and visa versa? Our solution (and admittedly it is a good but imperfect solution) is to divide our team into two sets of workers: early morning workers and late evening workers.
Their working shifts are arranged so that there is some overlap (usually about two hours) per day with the beginning or ending of a standard 9am – 5pm work schedule in your time zone. You can have a video conference in your evening in the United States with the early morning workers in India or you can have a video conference in your morning in the United States with the evening workers in India. The two-hour overlap is enough for meetings and trainings. During your initial sign up with our company, we will ask you whether you would ordinarily prefer to do meetings and trainings (if necessary) in the mornings or evenings. Our U.S. based executive team works standard hours and is also here to assist you with any questions or concerns related to our services.
Trust & Security
You may worry that having foreign workers working on your projects doesn’t sound safe. Can you trust them with passwords and access to sensitive software systems? The thing to remember is that our company monitors these employees’ computer activities. We can even give you access to the monitoring software if you would like. This software takes periodic screenshots of what the employees are working on. The employees know this. We use the screenshot monitoring software not just to keep track of time and check that the employees are on task but to provide a deterrent to any wrongdoing on their part.
We can also help set up secure cloud-based computers for our employees who are working on any of your sensitive projects so that the employees sign in online and use the cloud-based computers. The employees will not be able to take screenshots or save anything to an external drive. Tell us what your security concerns are, and we can design systems so that everything is safe and secure.
Worries about Impermanence and Turnover
If the project that you need assistance with requires training, you may worry about training a member of our team because that member of our team can just quit and thus destroy the investment you made into the training. You may even be considering whether it is better to hire an onshore (local) employee since they may be less likely to just leave and thus leave you in a jam. We have dealt with these issues by making sure that all of our India team members are paid well above the median wage and in most cases are paid much more than they could realistically earn doing anything else with their skillset in India. We also require our employees to provide 4 weeks of notice. In cases were clients lose hours spent on training when one of our employee’s leaves, we will give the client a credit for those hours so that at least the client isn’t out any money from the training.