You work either directly with someone remote or in an outsourced environment. The last two years have changed your mindset from something that will never work when outsourced or done remotely to now; yes, it works when you set the processes and systems in place.
The constantly changing economic and political landscape has given rise to more and more recruitment agencies looking to optimise costs by outsourcing to get the best for their buck by developing delivery and back-office functions offshore.
How do you go about scaling and growing efficiently using outsourcing?
Our client, CEO of one of the largest UK-based recruitment agencies, says the place to start is onshore and offshore team alignment. A mindset and a system that aligns the objective, processes, communication between the teams, execution, and goals between the groups. They’ve been outsourcing for ten years and have built robust delivery and back-office teams. Their offshore team sizes vary between 10 to 400 for each of these businesses.
This CEO and several leading recruitment agencies across sectors from the UK have successfully aced the offshore model over the years and built a six-step roadmap to align both the onshore and offshore teams.
- Getting everyone on the same page – Focus on the end goal
- Foster trust between the onshore and offshore teams
- One team, one message
- Be fair and square
- Two-Way Feedback
- Reward winning behaviours
1. Getting everyone on the same page – Focus on the end goal:
As the CEO or MD of the business, your first objective is to get both teams on the same page. We are doing this to achieve one objective: fulfilling the respective goal. Be it improving fill rates, the number of placements, fees, operating profits, etc. The top-down approach works because there is clarity, and both the teams onshore and offshore are working towards winning. You diffuse us versus them even before you go live.
Set the tone of the operational leaders, teams and all the stakeholders only to keep one objective: that we are one business and must surpass these milestones together.
2. Foster trust between the onshore and offshore teams:
A strong foundation of trust between the onshore and offshore leaders is crucial for the successful outcome of the strategic outsourcing initiative. It takes immense effort to foster trust and forge a healthy working relationship between both teams.
You must remember these are two diverse teams from different cultures, speaking different languages in different countries. Both teams need to understand the differences and communicate transparently to avoid misunderstandings and pave the way for a trustworthy partnership.
And it starts from the top because a positive tone from the top sets the style of the dialogue thereon.
3. One Team, One Message:
One message across the business is vital, especially from the CEO or MD’s perspective. You want the teams to be working towards achieving one goal or a mission.
You must define, execute, and reinforce one narrative across the teams because you want the message to be embedded in their minds at every stage. Especially when differences of opinion arise due to teething concerns of process malfunctions, the attitude should never turn to us versus them. Hence, one narrative focused towards achieving the company’s mission is super important.
4. Be fair and square:
Being a Leader, you want to draw the rules of engagement before executing the outsourcing initiative. You want to have a similar set of rules for your offshore teams as you have for your onshore teams. E.g., the types of jobs the offshore teams work must be new jobs, not the ones the onshore teams have worked for weeks and then passed on offshore and then evaluated their performance based on what the team delivers. Another example is the set of tools given to onshore and offshore and expecting similar results; a different set of tools, processes, etc., delivers different outputs.
Your evaluation criteria must be fair and square for both teams, and most importantly, your teams must be aware and know the consequences of not following the rules of engagement.
5. Two-Way Feedback:
You set the tone and the feedback process from the start to get the best value from the outsourcing initiative.
Your structure of the feedback should be based on attributes ranging from transactional details such as KPIs to information such as the conduct of the onshore teams with the offshore team members. The emotional quotient plays a vital role, and you want to know if your onshore team members are cordially conducting themselves with the offshore team and vice-versa. Hence, a two-way feedback process is imperative for the success of the outsourcing initiative.
6. Rewarding Winning Behaviours:
When you hire someone, you hire them for their strength. Hence, you want to ensure that you implement the attributes and factors to achieve your end goals, simultaneously rewarding winning behaviours. There are basic winning behaviours; you know what behaviours enabled your teams to achieve the best results.
Those behaviours (if constructive) must be replicated with your extended teams offshore and rewarded accordingly. One e.g. of winning behaviour is how you and your team respond to challenges. Do you droll over it for a long time or instantly notice the situation in the solution mode? From a process perspective, do you document every interaction with the clients and candidates, call back and/or return the candidates’ calls within the promised time, etc.?
Hence, it is crucial to outline the winning behaviours and transfer that knowledge to the offshore team because they will know that these behaviours are valued and rewarded.
To conclude, you must work on these factors to ensure the success of your outsourcing initiative. You know you are investing time, effort and cash to drive your business, and you have more skin in the game than anybody else. Hence, as a leader or a business owner, you direct your team to work on these factors, which significantly impact the outcome of utilising the offshore teams.
From the Finance Director, MD or recruitment agency owner perspective, there’s now a premium on scaling quickly whilst optimising costs and increasing operating profits.
Outsourcing addresses these requirements; hence over 100 leading recruitment brands have their delivery teams offshore.