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Guide to outsourcing jobs

Contracting out work to a freelancer/company makes sense when it is cost -effective or when similar skills are not available in-house or as per budget. Many UK companies regularly outsource their non-strategic work to freelancers and UK - or developed nations - based business process outsourcing companies. This guide can help you to choose the right outsourcing contractor.

Checklist for choosing an outsourcing company/provider

Experience The outsourcing business provider must have relevant experience in providing the services that your company needs. His staff must be experienced. You must check if he provides similar services to other companies and whether any of these companies are competitors. Staff and equipment The provider must be adequately and appropriately staffed (in case more than one freelancer is required). He must own appropriate equipment – hardware and software – needed to handle the job. His software must be the latest version, if needed. Availability Is the provider available during your time zone? Can he provide 24/7 support in case he does not work when you do? Data security He must adequately secure his clients' data and guarantee absolutely 100% data safety. Trust He must be a trustworthy person and willing to give you a few references to check and prove his credentials. Communications He must be well-connected by phone, Internet and fax, and have accounts on frequently-used messaging and meeting tools like Skype, Yahoo, Google, WebEx, and GoTo. Scalability His business must be scalable and he must be ready to scale up if and when the need arises. If you increase his workload, will he be able to cope with the new work without compromising on the quality of the output? Business secrecy He must be willing to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and other agreements that ensure that information, assets, among others, that you equip the freelancer with, are returned back to your company at the end of the contract period. Training and development He must regularly train and keep his staff up-to-date with the latest industry trends, and his training programs must be satisfactory and useful for your business. Quality Control He must follow quality control programs that are supervised by an expert and experienced quality manager. Site visit He must allow clients to visit his facility during work hours so that they can judge his efficiency.

To sum up

You should hire a freelance professional or a small outsourcing set-up when you don't need a full-time employee or when outsourcing is much cheaper. It's very easy to find a freelancer. Providers typically bid for jobs and therefore, you can hire them at a competitive rate. HR works, freelance IT jobs, temporary UK jobs, among others, are typically outsourced by UK companies.

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