Since I returned from working in Belgium a year ago, a few themes in the world of recruiting have emerged. One is the propensity of firms to select the temp to hire avenue, in lieu of straight permanent positions. Another theme is that firms are exercising caution in choosing the most ideal candidate which, in many cases, leads to paralysis by analysis. The final theme and the topic of this blog is outsourcing.
Outsourcing is an especially hot topic right now, as it typically is, during campaign season. While politicians of both parties identify it as a key topic, legislation has yet to follow per a NY Times article entitled “The Folly of Attacking Outsourcing.” No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, this certainly does not warm the hearts of many who have been adversely affected by outsourcing. My return to the NY recruiting world has been inundated with stellar candidates who have come onto the market as casualties of outsourcing. I’ve also listened to the concerns of the remaining managers who are called upon to ensure a successful transition.
The following are common refrains we are hearing from clients who are laboring through the transition from local staff to outsourced staff, whether in other parts of America or abroad.
- Managers in the local office are required to do heavy lifting and transition work, which seems to be underestimated in project plans. The duration of the hand-off is assumed to be a shorter period than it should be to ensure understanding of nuances which will lead ultimately to long-term success.
- Tension is at an all time high from the employees who are leaving and need to wrap up their work and sometimes liaise with the people who are taking it over. This ranges from awkward to downright difficult, depending on how well the departing employees accept change.
- Concern surrounding variables is high and the greatest variable is cultural understanding relating to international outsourcing. Already, several clients have identified this as a source of frustration and misunderstanding, which indirectly relate to cost overruns.
Companies often lean on temporary staff in the local office to bridge the gap of employees who have found other positions before the transition is completed. This can be a positive experience to ensure the ultimate success of the transition and keep everything on track.
Time will tell how well outsourcing cuts costs and how well clients are serviced. In the meantime, those who embrace this change are in a better position to propel their careers forward.