By Harriet Cohen, president, Training Solutions

Both Training magazine and ASTD, (American Society for Training and Development) have been researching the increasing trend of outsourcing.  This is an area that refers to hiring consultants/ specialists to design and/or implement programs instead of using in house staff.  Currently, 40% of design and development is being outsourced with information technology (IT) relying on outsourcing almost 50% of the time.

Should you outsource?  There are many reasons to consider it, whatever size your company.

·    You have a specific project or need.

·    It is more cost effective to have a consultant than hire a full time person.

·    They have the expertise, and stay current with the new trends in their areas.

·    They work independently

·    Only paid for agreed upon work

·    Focused on the project enabling others to focus on their jobs

·    Once the project is done they leave.

·    Do not receive benefits.

What is the downside to outsourcing?  To be truly effective, make a positive impact to the organization and improve performance; the outsourcing must be a partnership between the internal and external staff.   Internals must be clear on where they are and where they want to be, what gaps they need filled and what expected outcomes they have.  Externals must respect the culture and needs of the organization.  While an outside resource has the advantage of objective expertise, they can not impose their agenda on the organization if it doesn’t fit with the needs and expectations.  Both sides should be accountable to the outcome; which increases value received and future assignments.

As you evaluate the long and short-term plans for your organization outsourcing could be the solution to attaining your goals. It can provide you with the programs and interventions you want but may not have the current staff to deliver.  The best outsourcing is a partnership between internal and external participants.

Copyright 1998, Training Solutions, printed by permission for NAWBO, (National Association of Women Business Owners)

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818-991-8116 Harriet@trainingsolutions-hlc.com