Fifteen years ago, most businesses were skeptical about trusting an offshore partner. No surprise there, back then, remote teams offered very little apart from being in a different timezone and few basic skills. Back then, outsourcing was mostly a humorous, at times distasteful trope within the IT industry. The model of work most businesses understood was one where the was right in front of your eyes even if it meant spending more time and money training people they may not stick around in the long term.
Today, the entire outsourcing industry has been completely turned on its head – thanks to rapid digitization, mobile-first evolution and more recently, a pandemic that made the traditional world of work grind to a halt. The year 2020 ushered in a hard pivot, not just for tech companies, but every small, medium and large business on the planet, barring a few exceptions. Imagine spending huge portions of company resources on training people to work on-premises and then suddenly, you are being forced to send people packing as you rapidly adopt work-from-home policies.
This brave new world of work isn’t without challenges though. Social networking and greater connectivity across the globe have also ushered in a new gig-economy and freelancing culture. Today, finding people who are passionate about your cause and willing to stick around for a collective goal has become nearly impossible without the help of an outsourcing expert. In fact, these new trends in workforce management have now compelled most organizations to reconsider their previous notions about remote teams. According to Sean Peek in an article in the Business News Daily, “Many employers believe[d] their workforce would be too easily distracted at home, where their managers couldn’t keep an eye on their direct reports.” Indeed, if the organizational challenges of the 21-st century ‘aughts entailed scaling and user adoption, then, the looming challenge of the coming decade will most definitely be a complete reimagination of the workplace as a hybrid onshore-offshore model with growing specializations in the capabilities of offshore teams integrated at all levels of organization.
Remote and offshore teams are dime-a-dozen today. So, the burning question for business owners and CEOs in today’s landscape is this:
Last month at Technomine, we set about trying to find answers to this burning question. Before we get into the details of our findings though, let’s take a look at the results of this survey conducted by Airtasker comparing the lifestyle of a remote team worker to the more traditional office worker. The research was conducted using a sample of 1,004 full-time employees across the United States, 505 of whom worked remotely. Surprisingly, remote staff worked 1.4 more days every month or 16.8 more days every year on average than those who worked in an office.
Apart from saving costs and working longer hours, remote teams bring stronger back-end support to the table which makes it feasible for them management to reallocate funds to more essential divisions. Around the world today, remote managed services are better organized than they were last year at the height of the pandemic. Yet, we continue to be plagued with haphazard reporting structures and rapid implementations with large gaps in planning.
When the pandemic hit last year, the Technomine team already had 14 years of specialized experience in the offshoring business under our belt. At the tail end of the Covid-19 wave last year, we encountered a surprising phenomenon. Across the board, we found that clients who had integrated offshore teams in place before the pandemic didn’t just survive but thrived with increased profits as a result of streamlining all the redundancies in their conventional operations. Let me illustrate by taking a look at different vertical operations to help you understand how CEOs can add value to their business without adding extra products or services to their management portfolio in order to champion growth.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) involves outsourcing of functions that are usually performed by in-house Human Resources to an outside service provider. Do-it-yourself recruiting is time-consuming and expensive. An efficient RPO vendor standardizes the recruitment processes and platforms – allowing management to track applicants, manage hiring pipelines and organize projects without investing a whole lot of time or money.
The RPO process spans the initial needs assessment, sourcing, screening, interviewing, onboarding and even beyond. Each of these stages offers unique opportunities to reallocate resources towards business growth. An offshore recruiting service can help businesses cut costs, save time, find the right candidates and even redirect resources for growth-oriented activities on the ground.
According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, 63% of businesses say that lead generation is their biggest marketing challenge. Look, I get that lead generation is a precursor to better revenues in most businesses. Yet, buying generic leads can also be very disappointing, here’s why.
As per Cience, it takes roughly one hour to generate and follow up for one lead and up to 8 dials to get to a prospect. If the lead isn’t a good fit, the efforts, time and money spent on calls, electricity and internet are wasted. What you need instead is qualified outsourcing staff to generate custom leads to propel agency growth.
For most serious businesses, a vacant seat is synonymous to loss of money. That’s why, the moment management staff learns of a potential vacancy, the pressure is on to get the seat filled. But finding the wrong candidate is worse than finding none at all. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of a poor hiring decision can be as much as 30 percent of an employee’s annual salary.
Experienced RPOs can help you conduct accurate reference checks to reduce errors and ensure that the right fit is hired at the first instance – saving a ton of time, money and reputation. That time and money can then be plugged into improving your employer branding, beefing up your reputation and positioning the business for solid growth.
Workspaces within the healthcare arena were already on the path towards digital transformation before the pandemic. Take a look at the staggering success of companies like EPIC systems over the past decade. It is clear that the pandemic merely accelerated the inevitable in terms of how healthcare staff conduct their work.
This insight is also backed up by Peter Sawras, Director of Facilities Planning at SickKids as quoted in a blog in Health Spaces, “With COVID, we were forced into working differently, I believe agile, activity-based and remote work is here to stay.” With the rise of e-consultations and tele-health during the pandemic, the healthcare sector is poised for a massive change. However, there is one caveat. The world is already facing a severe shortage of healthcare workers. Professionals in the Healthcare Sector work long hours fulfilling their responsibilities. They face many challenges including poor work-life balance, burnout and even administrative burden as a result of organizational and HR red-tape.
Outsourcing services take advantage of digitization and let healthcare facilities and hospitals focus on their core competencies. Healthcare agencies need assistance with administrative tasks. These tasks include, but are not limited to, payroll services, database reactivation. Let’s take a look at how these activities can impact growth.
According to Dave Rietsema in an article in HRPS, about 90 percent of U.S. hospital executives have expressed concern about staffing shortages affecting patient care. In light of this, it becomes critical to retain your existing staff. When a hospital gets overwhelmed with patients, staffers can work long hours and if they don’t get paid adequately and on time, that can compound the problem leading to high attrition rates. The key to growth lies in maintaining payroll compliances and bookkeeping hygiene so that healthcare agencies can retain quality manpower and continue to serve their clients.
Imagine losing the contact details of key candidates due to disorganized database management and lack of administrative manpower. In the long run, retaining a professional is more pocket-friendly than finding one from scratch. Utilizing and re-activating the passive candidates buried under the pile of registrations can actually be a very productive affair. While your in-house HR may be too overwhelmed to take on more tasks, an offshore back-office can help you build robust staffing pipelines by maintaining relationships with the candidate pool on your behalf. A well-staffed facility delivers better care, deflects burnout and builds better trust within the patient community. One of the keys to steady growth in the healthcare sector is definitely a well-organized staffing pipeline that helps fulfill staffing requirements quickly.
According to Statista, 59% of businesses stated that they used outsourcing to help cut costs. In daily operations, the in-house teams spend most of their time ‘beyond the wall’ making it difficult for businesses to focus on expansion or to fulfill the necessary yet complex functions. Outsourcing back-office support functions help agencies focus on their core competencies while leaving secondary concerns like organizing data, segregating information, 24/7 support, and congregation of raw data to the experts. Today, outsourcing to an offshore partner is more affordable with high-quality service in specialized functions. At the beginning of a new business set-up, you may be able to get away with only one person handling all the administrative work. However, at all levels of business, focussing on back-office tasks at the expense of client operations or growth-oriented activities can be a time-consuming task with little to show in terms of growth.
Creative Problem Solving
To find the right offshore partner which is in tune with the creativity and productivity of your business is difficult. To quote Scott Taylor, CEO of Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux, from an article in Hive, “Factors like skill, experience and cost have to be taken into account. Creativity isn’t just reserved for artists or culinary geniuses, it can and should be used by management and leadership teams to help strengthen culture, develop new campaigns, or help communities in need…”
Instead of working with a rigid approach, businesses now have an option to interact with creative mindsets to bring new ideas and ways of operating to the business. Effective ideas are like a ladder to growth for businesses. Also, outsourcing your business operations to remote teams provides the right skill and experience to your agency without the hassle of hiring. In fact, a lot of offshore services these days ensure that your candidates undergo job specific training to provide the highest quality of service. So, why not take advantage of the cost-effective training your offshore team already has in place to help your company grow?
Data organization is a crucial practice for easy retrieval and data storage purposes. Organizing data is the practice of categorizing and arranging the data in the most logical and orderly fashion. Loss of important data due to mishandling can be a barrier to growth for businesses. Agencies may need help with finances, technical expertise and time to ensure proper data management. Without such systems, organizations would have inaccurate, missing and misplaced data in their databases, leading to colossal errors in critical business decision-making. If you can make a way to make sense of all your data, you can make better strategic decisions geared towards steady growth.
Forget about cost and productivity, an experienced marketing team can actually make or break your sales strategy and client perception. Hivedesk quoted Ross Tavendale, Ideas Made Digital in an article saying, “You [need to] get the best people in the world, not the best people according to your geography”. A remote digital marketing team can keep your work going across different time zones. This means, even after your in-house marketing team has logged off for the day, you can continue to provide support for customers across the world. Another notable mention on Hivedesk mentioned Jitesh Keswani of E-Intelligence sharing his belief that remote workers from different time zones can expand agency capacity to ensure that productive work happens all hours of the day.
A digital marketing team needs people who have the pulse on the latest marketing trends. You need people who not only understand the marketing world, but also people that understand the essence of your own brand – and can offer counsel on how you can bring your message to the masses. Marketing talent is no longer bound by physical location. Today, if you want to grow and expand to new markets, a remote marketing team is not just a vanity vertical, it is an absolute necessity.
According to a Semrush, 81% of the respondents outsourced content creation in 2020. The reason for this positive lean is driven by digital expertise and time-savings. A trained content writer will offer very different content than a hasty article written by Shelly in the admin department. From brand positioning to blog backlinks, targeted email campaigns to social interaction, having the right content creators and curators on your side is invaluable. With relevant and informative content, your product sells itself. While metrics like webpage traffic and facebook likes may just be numbers, the relationships you build with your target market with high-quality content will propel your growth for years. It is 2021 folks, and most businesses that fail to take into account content marketing will likely not make it past the two-year mark in this new mobile-first world.
Search engine algorithms are updated on a regular basis. Why should you care? SEO is still a crucial part of digital marketing. Sadly, most people have a cursory understanding of how search engine rankings work, rife with misconceptions. That’s why copy-paste SEO strategies and “quick ranking” SEO gurus rarely work. Only 5.7% of pages will rank in the top 10 search results within a year of publication, as per Ahrefs. For most serious businesses, finding an offshore partner that understands their business needs and takes over the headache of figuring out the keywords, hashtags marketing platforms, integration strategies and brand messages is the only way to compete with mammoth tech firms that have their own in-house digital marketing crafting custom campaigns for market growth.
At the beginning of this blog, we set out to investigate if remote teams can help CEOs champion growth in even difficult times. After taking a closer look at the information out there, we came back with a resounding yes – with a few caveats. Piecemeal offshore solutions often end up being a band-aid solution that not only drain the money out of the system, but also create bigger problems down the line. While offshore solutions do help CEOs help champion growth, using a hybrid model where the onshore and offshore teams work closely together is the key to having an integrated model that actually works to put your money to effective use.
The findings listed above actually corroborate our understanding that offshore teams now offer a slew of specialized talent ranging from Digital marketing manager, Healthcare sales specialist, Process manager, Compliance manager, Admin executive, Lead generation executive, Senior recruitment consultant. “Ten years ago, remote employment basically meant a telemarketing or customer service position at below minimum wage,” quotes Samantha Lambert, director of human resources at Blue Fountain Media in an article in the Business News Daily. In fact, she goes on to say that “It rarely was connected with a full-time career. Now, technology affords us the ability to get the same job done, no matter where in the world we are. [It has] enabled us to be in contact with co-workers or clients at any time.” Having witnessed the evolution of the offshoring industry over the past couple of decades, we wholeheartedly agree. Specialized offshore solutions are not just here to stay – they are the only way forward for the global workforce.
Offshore teams offer an effective solution but only if the remote team works as an integral arm in tandem with your onshore operations. If people are working in silos at your organization, then you may lose out on the impactful synchronicity that comes from having a highly communicative global team. Businesses are already starting to look past myths about remote teams and usher in a new era of streamlined growth.
In order to achieve ongoing growth, you need proper cost allocation backed by trained manpower. So, can CEOs drive organizational growth in 2021? Yes, but only if they have a robust model for onshore-offshore integration. So, the only question that remains is this:
If you are interested in learning more about integrating a hybrid onshore-offshore model into your existing business, you can hop over to our previous blog on SMART operational management with remote teams.
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- Rietsema, Dave, “Payroll Systems for Hospitals.” HRPS, N.D., www.hrpayrollsystems.net/payroll-systems/hospitals/
- Robert Half International, “Ouch! The surprising costs of a bad hire” 2014, www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/Media_Root/images/rh-images/ouch-infographic_2014_edit2.jpg
- Rupersburg, Nicole, “What Remote Work Means for the Future of Healthcare Facilities.” Health Spaces, 13 Nov, 2020, www.info.healthspacesevent.com/blog/what-remote-work-means-for-the-future-of-healthcare-facilities
- Soulo, Tim, “How long does it take to rank in Google?” Ahrefs, 6 Aug, 2020, ahrefs.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-rank/