When it comes to cutting business costs, especially during an economic downturn, there are a few things that you can do. You can look for alternative suppliers that have cheaper prices, try to improve efficiency through technology, or look to cut down on labor costs. One of the easiest ways to reduce your labor spend is to outsource one or more of your departments. Some companies choose to outsource overseas or hire international employees, but is this a good idea? The experts at Graham Adair, specialists in business immigration law, say that there are pros and cons to hiring international workers or outsourcing abroad.
Benefits of Hiring International Workers
One of the biggest advantages of hiring international workers is the fact that it can save you money. Many foreign workers are willing to work for a lot less than U.S. citizens, particularly when they remain in their own country. So, if you outsource an entire department to, say, India or the Philippines where the average wage is low, you can benefit from a lower wage bill.
Being able to offer round the clock customer service or having continuous access to IT services for example is another massive benefit to outsourcing some of your departments. If you have a department on the other side of the world in a completely different time zone, your customers are going to benefit.
If you are thinking of bringing foreign employees to work in the United States, your company is likely to benefit from diverse cultures, different perspectives, and employees with the ability to speak different languages, which will be especially beneficial if you are hoping to become global.
Hiring overseas also means you will have more access to the people you need. If you are looking for specialist skills and are struggling to find suitable candidates here in the U.S., looking abroad will give you a wider pool to choose from.
Disadvantages of Looking Overseas for Staff
If you do outsource some of your work to another country or bring in foreign workers, you should be prepared to face a backlash in your local community. Many Americans believe that U.S. jobs should stay in the U.S. and feel that offshoring of jobs is a big reason for the struggling economy. This can also be a problem when you hire foreign workers and sponsor them to come to the U.S., whether you have a very good reason for doing so or not.
When you hire foreign workers, you should be prepared to deal with immigration services. It is your responsibility to ensure that any people you hire have authorization to work here. Failure to do this could leave your company facing fines.
Another thing to consider when looking to outsource overseas is that training can be difficult. Language barriers can affect your ability to train new staff effectively. And if you are using your domestic team to provide training online, for example, the time difference can make this even more challenging.
Consider Your Options
Before you think about foreign workers to cut costs, consider if there are any other areas where your business can make some savings. If cutting costs is your only reason for looking overseas, you might be surprised at how much you can save by, for example, switching suppliers or changing your utility provider. However, if the benefits of hiring abroad far outweigh any negatives, then you can save money and secure some real talent by looking outside of the U.S.
Outsourcing is a decision that should be based on your business and its needs. What might be right for one business may be totally unsuitable for another.