Should you Hire or Should you Outsource? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

April 02nd, 2020

As your company grows, your needs surrounding your IT department also grow. When it comes time to expand your team’s capabilities, the choice between hiring another employee or outsourcing work can be a tough one. But don’t worry, you don’t need to lose sleep, start by asking yourself these questions:

What can your budget accommodate?

Although you may be at your limit in terms of growth, you have to factor in the costs of both outsourcing and in-house hiring. If you hire someone, you not only have to pay their salary, but also their benefits, vacation, and other overhead of an employee. The advantage that comes with the extra costs, is the access you get to the person. You are in contact with them every day allowing you to ensure their job is done to your standards while allowing them to grow with your company.

In the past, outsourcing work to freelancers or contractors meant you had limited communication. You gave them their marching orders and then waited to see if they accomplished things to your liking. Today, software like Skype and Go To Meeting makes keeping in contact much easier, eliminating much of the communication barrier of outsourced work. While a video call cannot replace someone physically in your office, it can increase the quality of work you can expect from outsourced work.

In the end, when you look at your budget, you have to make a decision. Does the work you need to be done require someone to be in-house? Regardless of the skill level required, hiring a new employee or supplementing your team with outsourced work can vary in cost and quality of work.

What is the skill level required?

Skill level is one of the biggest determining factors in the hiring process. For simpler tasks or a shortage of labor, it can be easy to find a source of outsourced work. For instance, if you already have a dedicated network engineer, you may want to outsource some of their day-to-day activities, allowing them to use their experience for more complex work.

On the other hand, maybe your in-house staff isn’t fully built out. Bringing in a full-time employee to take care of higher-level tasks makes a lot of sense, because as things change and your company grows, your employees gain more experience, especially when it comes to your company.

The third option addresses companies that need high-skill or experienced employees, such as software engineers or developers. It isn’t realistic to trust a freelancer or outsourcing firm with high-level jobs, but you also may not be ready to take on the expense of a highly experienced leader. Talent outsourcing or contract work may be the solution. The advantages of talent outsourcing are that you can leverage their expertise to better train your employees, or you can lean on their experience to fill a leadership role while you search for their permanent replacement.

Is it short-term or long-term?

The third question you need to ask when considering a permanent position versus outsourcing is all about the time period. Is your talent need short-term or long-term? For short-term needs, it’s hard to look past the advantages of outsourcing. The low commitment reduced overhead, and availability makes outsourced work perfect for one-off projects, or seasonal talent shortages.

Where things get a bit more complicated is when you’re faced with a long-term talent need. Yes, you can still outsource, but as the projects get longer and the needs expand in scope and skill required, the scale tips in favor of hiring. After a long-term engagement, a permanent hire knows your business and can add their skills to your team. You’ll be investing in their skills throughout the long-term process and if you outsource, that time training will be lost.

Even after you’ve answered these questions, the choice between outsourcing and hiring can be challenging. The team at Bear Staffing is ready to help you figure out the right solution for your IT hiring needs.

Contact us today to see how we can help you build a successful team.