10 Unforgivable Mistakes When Outsourcing.

Posted on July 29, 2014

Outsourcing can be quite the daunting task. There are certain practices from recruitment to staff management that if done correctly will lead to outsourcing success, however, if disregarded can lead to total failure.

The following are the ten biggest mistakes you can make when outsourcing

Have a vague idea of the job role

Having a defined job role is critical to outsourcing success. If you don’t know the specific tasks or projects you want accomplished, how will your staff? Before you even start the process of finding a virtual assistant, create a thorough and descriptive job description outlining the duties of the role and the qualifications/skills you are seeking.

Hire tech people when you have no idea about tech!

A great way to stuff up and waste a lot of money is to hire someone technical without having a clue about tech. If you are looking to hire a developer, make sure you have someone on your team who understands tech and will be in contact with the offshore staff.

Hire someone with poor English

One of the more frustrating things when outsourcing is trying to manage staff with poor English skills. Not only will you lose your patience, but the quality of work will tend to be inferior as directions can get misunderstood. There are certain countries such as the Philippines where English skills are generally high, however, always make sure you speak with the person before you hire.

Don’t conduct a thorough and proper interview

One of the worst mistakes you can make is not administering a rigorous interview process. Always interview on Skype and make sure the person is someone you are not only confident in but also someone you want to be working with on a daily basis. Give your top two or three candidates a mini project or test and hire who does best.

Don’t give clear instructions

Although most staff won’t need to be ‘babysat’, providing clear instructions on what needs to be accomplished is pivotal when offshoring. Hold a daily or weekly meeting at a set time and go over what was completed and what’s on the agenda. This helps staff understand what is expected and also gives them a chance to clarify anything before they begin work.

Have too high of expectations

Don’t go into offshoring expecting to hire a godsend for your business. There aren’t many people in Australia with cross functional skill sets so don’t expect virtual assistants to. When you are creating a job description, define the exact role you’re after. Vague roles lead to sub par candidates which lead to sub par results.

Treat offshore staff differently

Just because a staff is overseas and not in the office doesn’t mean you should neglect them and treat them differently than you would local employees. Make them feel part of the team by including them in meetings and company emails. This will go a long way in ensuring loyalty, engagement, and hard work.

Don’t communicate frequently

If there is one thing that will all but ensure outsourcing failure, it is lack of communication. Communication is key with in-office employees and is doubly important when dealing with virtual employees. Make sure you communicate via voice or video chat at least once a week and be in contact by email or messaging daily.

Don’t efficiently collaborate

When done properly, working in remote teams can be just as efficient as working in an office-based setting. There are various tools that can make the transportation of data and ideas seamless. Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello and Basecamp are all great tools to create and manage projects and documents. When working with offshore developers, make sure they are saving all code to a central depository such as GitHub.

Disregard cultural differences

When dealing with offshore workers, there are certain cultural differences in how people communicate and work. Understanding these differences is pivotal to forging that long-lasting business relationship you’re seeking. Differences such as communication style, life priorities, and conflict resolution all impact the way someone conducts business.The better you comprehend these differences, the more you will get out of staff.

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