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In-House, Freelancers, or Outsourcing: Which Hiring Option Is Best?

You’ve been hiring employees in-house for years, but could there be a better way? In this article we take a look at what most managers and recruitment staff experience when trying to find and hire employees, and the most common options available to them.

“There’s plenty of fish in the sea.” 

That’s what people often say. And you believe them, right up to the point where you find yourself “fishing” for days and you realize that the one “fish” you’re looking for doesn’t actually come in the bountiful numbers people have led you to believe.

This happens to a lot of people on a personal level, but it happens even more to managers and recruitment staff. They start off looking to fill a position in their company amidst what appears to be a sea of qualified candidates, only to discover later that none of them actually fit the bill.

So what’s a manager or recruitment staff to do? 

Go Fish Somewhere Else!

You might be confused about that last bit, so let us clarify.

Just as any fisher who comes up empty would try his luck in other waters or with other fishing tools and techniques, managers and recruitment staff who are unable to find the right hires for their company should try looking elsewhere, or try different “fishing” methods. 

Hiring in-house, which means hiring a permanent employee for a specific role, is often the ideal and preferred method of hiring for most companies. It gives them a dedicated, focused employee that they can train and who can grow along with the company. But finding an in-house employee can be difficult and time-consuming. This is especially true if the position you’re looking to fill is highly technical, such as a software developer. 

You’re most likely limited to a small pool of local talent with plenty of competing companies trying to get the exact same people. If you’ve got a small to mid-sized company chances are you’ll get elbowed out by bigger companies, so you’ll have to widen your scope. It can take more time to find talent outside of your immediate vicinity, and when you do, you would have to shoulder the expense of moving that new hire closer to your company’s location. 

So in order to get a successful in-house hire without compromising your business operations you’ll have to have at least two of these things to spare: time, money, and the manpower to keep the search going as you’re running your business. 

If you have these resources, great! In-house hiring will certainly not be a problem. But most small to mid-sized businesses often can’t afford to spend more resources on these areas, and also can’t compete with the offers coming from bigger, more established companies.

Fishing for Freelancers

Faced with this predicament, one option that companies can turn to is to hire freelancers. Freelance workers are self-employed professionals that companies can hire on a per-project basis and often with short-term contracts. They are not hired as fixed company employees but rather as separate contractors, and they can take on multiple jobs at a time from various companies.

Hiring freelancers comes with its own unique benefits. It can be easier than hiring in-house as freelancers can easily be found on the many freelance platforms available online. It’s also a lot cheaper as you wouldn’t have to pay for expenses like health insurance the way you would for an in-house employee. And if you only need a specialist or someone for a specific job within a specific timeframe, then freelancers would certainly be your best bet as they only work on a per-project or temporary basis.

The thing about freelancers however, is that because they can choose to handle numerous projects at a time, they most likely won’t be focused on your project alone. This may affect how much time and attention is given to your project, and may also mean that the freelancer will not always be available when you need them. 

Freelancers may produce work that is not entirely up to par with your company’s standards, due to their lack of focus on your project as well as them not fully understanding your company and its products as well as a long-term employee would.

Without proper management, it’s also possible that any sensitive data you share with the freelancer could get leaked, or the resources you offer could be used outside of your own project. To remedy this you will have to establish strict guidelines regarding the use of such data and resources; set up security measures; and have a non-disclosure agreement to ensure your data’s confidentiality.

Beyond the Pond and into the Ocean

What if hiring in-house is just too difficult, costly and time-consuming, and hiring a freelancer isn’t a good fit for your company? Your next best option would be to “fish” outside your local pond and in the world’s oceans– or to put it more succinctly, outsource.

Outsourcing basically means hiring people through a third-party organization or company. These companies often allow you to outsource IT staff, developers and other technical professionals from other countries. These professionals work remotely, can work in scalable teams, and can be hired on an hourly basis, on project basis, or as a permanent addition to your existing team.

One of the biggest benefits to outsourcing is the incredible cost-savings that come with it. Because there are more skilled professionals available in other locations, there’s less competition driving up skilled labor prices. The resulting price difference can be quite significant. Outsourcing a developer in the Philippines for instance, will cost only about half that of an in-house developer of the same caliber hired in the U.S. And that price already covers their essential hardware and software needs, office space, health insurance, and benefits.

But just as with the previous two hiring options, it does come with its own pitfalls. Because of the remote nature of outsourced work, issues with quality, communication, and lack of control can crop up. There’s also a chance that your outsourced team could leak sensitive information. But all of these can be avoided by choosing an established and reliable outsourcing company. Such companies have their own onsite supervisors who can assist you in overseeing your remote team; have stable communication channels and protocols; and have security measures in place to ensure your company’s data stays confidential.

There are plenty of advantages to outsourcing that can easily outweigh the potential issues, not the least of which is that it allows you to focus on your core business. Your core business is essentially the products, customers, and capabilities that your business is centered on and that primarily drives sustainable growth in your revenue. A global outsourcing survey done by Deloitte in 2016 showed that around 57% of companies believe that outsourcing non-core tasks allowed them to focus on their core business. This focus can help increase the overall productivity of your business, and accelerate its growth and development.

So Which Gets You the Best Fish?

So which hiring option is the best? It all depends on your company’s needs, priorities, and available resources. During this time however, when most companies are operating remotely and looking to cut on costs wherever they can, outsourcing is a very suitable option. It gives companies the skilled workers they need quickly and affordably, and these offshore workers would be easier to incorporate into existing teams since most companies are already operating remotely.

If you do decide to outsource, make sure you partner with a really good outsourcing company, as this will play a crucial part in the success of your outsourcing efforts. A company like CoDev is one you should consider. CoDev is an established outsourcing company that’s successfully provided numerous skilled offshore workers to businesses for over a decade now. Our proven process, from client contact and talent acquisition, through to talent supervision, training, and client communications, ensures a smooth and easy process for you right from the start. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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