Businesses usually maintain fairly strong opinions about whether keeping things in-house or outsourcing is the best way to go. The truth is somewhere in the middle. They’re both equally valid ways to get something accomplished. Which route you decide to go largely depends on the specific task you’re looking to accomplish, as well as the circumstances surrounding that task. There’s rarely a one size fits all solution, and you’ll need to explore the nuances of the situation to come to the right conclusion.
How Long Do You Need This Position Filled?
What would be the point of hiring an in-house specialist for a job that will only last six weeks? You’ll go through a lengthy recruitment and training process for someone who won’t be with you in the long term. If you only need temporary help, or you’re looking to resolve a specific issue in a timely manner, it’s always better to outsource the job to a freelancer to handle work overflow or a specialty company that can set up your new office tech. You can always call them back in if you need them later, or you can switch providers if you were looking for more than what you received.
What Can You Do With Your Tools?
Sometimes, a mixture of keeping things in-house and outsourcing is the right solution. If you hire independent contractors or freelancers to do your work and you have the right tools to adequately manage them, you’re getting the best of both worlds.
Say you run a plumbing business. The right plumbing software might allow you to monitor and dispatch independent plumbers to serve your customers. You’ll still be in total control, but you won’t have to onboard an entire team. This is a great option for smaller businesses or startups who may not be able to afford to keep their service providing staff in-house.
What Does Your Budget Look Like?
Many businesses keep things in-house because doing so is in line with their company culture. They like the face-to-face interaction, ease of communication, and unity in achieving a common goal that comes with building a fixed and permanent team. The only downside to this is that it’s expensive. You’ll need a bigger office, and you might have to offer expensive perks and benefits to that team. If you have the means to do it, it’s absolutely worthwhile. If you don’t, you shouldn’t sacrifice quality in creating a subpar in-house team.
When you’re working on a budget, try blending a small in-house team with a larger outsourced group. You’ll have a few core members who understand, celebrate, and enforce company culture while the smaller tasks are handled by people outside of the company. They can still work together and communicate, but they won’t drive your budget through the roof.
A Summary of the Pros and Cons
Outsourcing keeps things less expensive, reduces overhead costs, and makes it easier to do more with limited resources or internal manpower. It also reduces team unity, complicates communication, sometimes makes tasks take longer, and prevents growth through ongoing relationships.
Keeping things in-house promotes teamwork, leaves room for growth, makes it easy to promote from within, and helps to assure tasks are completed immediately. As for downsides, it’s more expensive, it occupies more floorspace, and it sometimes means you’re settling for someone who is slightly less qualified to handle a highly specific job.
Making The Final Choice
Hiring in-house and outsourcing both have merits and downsides. One isn’t always better than the other – in some cases, they’re evenly matched. Take a look at your business and the positions you’re trying to fill before you decide what the best choice for you will be.