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How to ensure your digital outsourcing process runs smoothly

Guide
by James Holloway Agency Partnership Director

Businesses are increasingly realising that having an entire in-house team to cope with every possible opportunity is at best wasteful, at worst impossible. It’s partly down to the fragmentation of skills, particularly in the digital age.

Just within the overarching role of “developer” there are dozens of specialisms, platforms and skill grades. Throw in testing and support, and it quickly becomes obvious that even a mid-size digital project is probably going to require some outsourced skill.

The great thing is that outsourcing the absolute best talent has probably never been easier than it is now. There are development and marketing companies whose entire business model is based on sourcing talent and assembling teams that can span the globe. Now that 2020 has shown just how seamless the process of remote working can be, all the pieces are in place to make a success of outsourcing some or all of your digital throughput.

But how can you be sure you’re doing it optimally? As a team who both use outsourced talent and are outsourced to by other companies, we’re in a position to know the answer.

Get a talent on your books right now

Don’t wait around till you’ve won a contract before you start looking for talent. In fact, there doesn’t have to be a specific project. Put the feelers out for skilled people right now. You know what kind of business you’re in and the areas you could face pressure, so advertise on your website that you’re always looking for temporary and freelance workers. You’ll get a pool to draw from, and you’ll know their rates, which is crucial when you’re tendering for a project.

Look for specialist white label agencies

OK, full disclosure – we’re a white label development agency! But it’s a model that works. Companies use us when they need specialist talent or when they take on a large job and need extra resources. They might be developers like us, or they could be in any field. It doesn’t matter who they are – they all get the same attention to detail and vast expertise to benefit from. Find out more here.

Manage your project from a central point

Make sure there’s a central project management individual or team running the project from beginning to sign-off. Having each department or team doing their own outsourcing never works, and projects can start overrunning. It’s fine to have smaller units managing the freelancers on a day to day basis, but there has to be overarching management.

Choose your talent well

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be as rigorous in choosing temporary staff as you would employing someone full-time. Feel free to interview, look at portfolios and take references – don’t just take their work for it. It’s time well spent, especially as you might end up using them repeatedly.

Make sure everyone’s on the same page

Everyone needs to know what their deadlines are and where they fit into the process. This should follow on from good project management, but there’s a human resources element to overseeing a large team too.

Have a contingency plan

What if one gets sick or has to quit for other reasons? Having a backup plan is always helpful, especially on time-sensitive projects.

Keep the accounts in order

Finally, make sure everyone fully understands the financials. Are you paying at the end of the project or are you paying outsourced people weekly or monthly? If you are being paid at the end, there might be a temptation to wait till the end to pay your talent, but  would they be happy with that?

You might have to put your hand in your pocket to pay your freelancers before you’ve been paid yourself. Workers who are worried about their income will quickly look elsewhere and can start losing motivation if you become known as a late payer. Looking after your suppliers is just as important as looking after your clients.

Smooth-running projects means satisfied clients

Keeping everything ticking along nicely and managing the project step by step is a sure way to prevent unnecessary snags and other issues. A well-planned project is a joy to work on, and when everyone’s happy, things tend to fall into place much more naturally. That means better quality work and happier clients. Why not drop us a line to talk about outsourcing?