Should You Hire or Outsource?

By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University

It’s time to grow your team, and now your question is, “Should I hire or outsource”?

Before answering that question you need to do your homework. Develop a very clear job description for the job or jobs you want to fill. Check your professional liability insurance policy to ensure independent contractors and temporary employees are covered for any claims arising from work performed on your behalf. Then review some of the pros and cons listed below of outsourcing these jobs versus hiring employees.

Pros of Outsourcing

  • Reduced costs – cost of living may be less outside of large metropolitan areas and so it can cost less to outsource to a “virtual” contracted employee. You also save on the loaded costs of an employee as well as overhead costs as you do not need to expand your workspace.
  • Cost and efficiency – As your business expands there is an increase in the need for additional help – the type of things that you should not be doing and often do not require someone to be present in your office to do, so outsourcing makes sense. In addition, if your business has some major peak periods, then outsourcing offers you the flexibility to add to your workforce temporarily as needed.
  • Expanded circle to find the right fit – you do not have to be limited by how far away the person lives if you outsource to a virtual employee.
  • Opportunity to find an expert at a specific task or tasks so it can give you the ability to feel like and be viewed as a much larger firm when you outsource for specific targeted projects/jobs.
  • Improved productivity to be able to bring on extra help if, and when you need it.
  • It’s an effective way to grow your firm without taking on so many more permanent employees and a good way to make the leap from solo-practitioner to having one or more employees.

Pros of hiring:

  • Communication– when you are dealing with an in-house employee, there is body language and other visual effects to go along with the verbal communication. This can help avoid misunderstandings immediately when giving instructions and setting expectations, and whether virtual or in-house the key is to keep the lines of communication open and clarify that they “heard” what you “said.”
  • In-house employees are working only for you during the time they are at work and if you outsource that may not be the case – as when hiring, when outsourcing be sure they fit your culture and the job description.
  • It may be easier to synchronize schedules with in-house employees as they technically “punch” a time clock.
  • Having in-house employees who fit the culture of your firm creates a sense of camaraderie and a team – a team who can be there when you are ill or are on vacation.

At the end of the day there are great advantages to creating a firm with in-house employees as well as outsourcing for specific needs.

For more information on Outsourcing, view our blog post on Maximizing Effectiveness Using Outsourcing.

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