What is really interesting about this topic is that I’ve experienced this from three perspectives:
- The employer
- The staffing company
- The outsourcing company
When I was running hospitals (back when); I had several outsourcing companies suggest they could help; especially if I was having trouble recruiting for a particular position. Although contract labor was more prevalent, (I remember specifically physical therapy and housekeeping), nonetheless it felt like advocating my responsibility to an outsider. This was true of both contract labor (the proverbial “traveling PT”); as well as actually having the work done off site. .? And that was even though I’m not a control freak. In fact, I never did utilize the opportunity for either during my 13 years in hospital management.
After moving on to my first attempt at entrepreneuring (which did not work), then going to work for a healthcare staffing firm, my wife and I began our own staffing firm in 1993, Perhaps ironically, “travelers” were the emphasis. Remember in college (I was studying engineering); when one would say “last year I couldn’t even spell ungerneer… now I are one Well, that was certainly happening as I sold and extolled the benefits of using contract labor.
This went on for 11 years before I officially “retired” from staffing; beginning the outsourcing business prior to that in 2002. I now extol the virtues of “do what you do best, and leave the rest to us”; every chance I get.
I think this losing control issue still remains as a significant deterrent to outsourcing, and one we are acutely aware of at MOS. Perhaps I remember how important that can be. We work hard to simply be an extension of your office, and have a strong attitude that we work for you. Of significance certainly is that technology makes this activity as well as the productivity of such, so much easier than in the “ol days”.
In fact, as I write this (late May 2010); I am chatting with a firm as a possible strategic partner whose motto includes: “Virtually assisting our clients” (I’m not prepared to link to them just yet); my point is simply that “virtually” is now part of the business vocabulary. We literally can work “as if’ we were sitting in your office; no matter where the actual person is sitting; and this includes around the globe.
One more obvious commercial: Outsourcing literally does take away all the headaches of being an employer. (Why/how did I miss that 20 years ago?). While you still need HR, for this particular function, you do not need to hire/fire, train, provide benefits, cover for vacations or illness, motivate, counsel about being late, retrain for new technology, etc. Assuming the work gets done, and especially if it gets done for less cost is it really a no brainer.. No, it’s not; you have a responsibility to make sure all this happens. This is why we offer trials, (even free trials); to provide this comfort level. It is also why we generally offer month to month contracts; we feel we have to continually earn your business.
I think I know why I missed it 20 years ago. Control, technology, and maybe a little ego. My counsel now? focus on results. The boss will like it; does not really matter where it gets done. And if you are the boss (especially the owner), you will REALLY like it.
Best of luck!