Insourcing: How to Find Hidden Talent within Your Organization

Lake Effects Blog

Thursday, August 06, 2015

For many corporations, outsourcing to acquire talent is a common practice, particularly if a specific skill set is not accessible within the organization. Outsourcing can present an advantage by connecting a business to valuable competencies from subcontractors who are specialists.

While hiring staff (even on a subcontract basis) can be costly and inconvenient, outsourcing presents its own challenges and costs. It can also damage established teams and erode both quality and process control, foster team conflict, additional expenses and present risks for organizations who augment with outside talent.

We will discuss the growing corporate trend of insourcing, and the advantages for progressive organizations who are willing to allow staff to contribute creatively within the business environment.

The Disadvantage of Outsourcing

There are a number of disadvantages associated with outsourcing long term or per contract. While the practice frequently makes sense from a fiscal perspective (saving the cost of recruitment, hiring and training) there are always a number of cumbersome obstacles to incorporating an individual who is outside the organization.

Depending on the scope of the project, an outsourced professional can present a managerial or supervisory challenge. Leadership and communication can become difficult when someone is not part of, or loyal to the organization’s core objectives.  Temporary contract providers can also present a security threat, where sensitive or proprietary information, digital collateral and passwords are shared. Outsourcing opens a door to intellectual theft of ideas and content.

Outsourcing can also present hidden costs that may escalate quickly. Whereas the budget for salaried employees is a constant and predictable expense, the cost of a contracted employee can increase dramatically, particularly when project delays occur. If budget is a discriminating factor, it can be difficult to control and monitor expenses when outsourcing.

The Opportunity and Advantage of Insourcing

The practice of insourcing can result in cost savings for the organization with a valuable side benefit; employee job satisfaction and professional development. While employees are designated to specific roles, allowing your team to occasionally step outside that role and demonstrate other talents and aptitudes provides exceptional results.

Insourcing benefits organizations in a number of ways:

  • By reducing the cost of outsourcing for projects.
  • By providing an audit of skills and talents in-house to explore new opportunities for employees to contribute outside their defined role.
  • By asserting the value of all employees and the diversity of skills they offer.
  • By maintaining secure ownership of sensitive material, restricting it to salaried personnel only who are under contract provisions to retain privacy and protect trade information.
  • By engaging in team building exercises which strengthen colleague relationships through interaction and productive collaboration.

When budget restricts hiring new staff to accommodate short term projects or needs, progressive organizations are looking inward to access the true human resources available within their own talent pool. Some organizations provide incentives to encourage staff participation and idea sharing, while others offer acknowledgement for work on special projects, points for recognition or other awards for contribution.

Share your professional insight with us. Does your organization make it a policy to insource talent first before seeking outsourced personnel? Leave a comment below.



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