Outsourcing has been a point of political contention over the past several years as US companies seek to balance the scales between cost and efficiency when hiring for business process positions, whether it be call-center jobs or full lifecycle development. Some of the most compelling arguments for offshore outsourcing are the cheap labor costs and the deep pool of skilled resources.
However, outsourcing these jobs to rural communities in the United States is proving to be a similarly viable option when it comes to both cost and efficiency, not to mention the positive impact it has on the American economy. The reluctance around adoption of rural outsourcing has largely been accompanied by a general failure to understand its benefits or, more specifically, by steadfast adherence to four commonly held myths.
Now, it’s time to debunk:
1. LACK OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE IN RURAL AREAS
One common myth is that rural communities in the United States do not have the same breadth of technical knowledge as the international workforce. However, companies like Onshore Outsourcing specialize in developing highly skilled, versatile and sometimes customized IT professionals, investing in the training and continued education of a rural workforce to provide IT support and and technical solutions to its domestic clientele.
Additionally, Onshore’s long-term investment in rural America gives dedicated, hardworking professionals the opportunity to create a successful and value-driven career in IT from the very place they were born, raised and love to live. Of course, eliminating the burden of having to relocate has a larger economic benefit as well: Growing rural America in skill and size helps to distribute jobs and help combat the overcrowding of our metropolitan cities. As a result, many of the country’s largest companies seek to source talent from rural areas located near colleges or with youthful populations, which provides increasingly easy access to affordable, retainable talent.
2. RURAL OUTSOURCING IS A NEW CONCEPT
Offshore outsourcing has received so much publicity over the past decade, it’s easy to assume that rural outsourcing is new to the scene. In truth, however, buyers have long considered rural outsourcing and the many benefits of keeping their technical operations domestic.
Additionally, in more recent years, interest in rural outsourcing has only increased as the gap in labor costs has considerably decreased. Go back roughly a decade and it was nearly five times more expensive to hire domestically. Now, that all-important cost deficit has greatly diminished, as the rural model has cut into the offshore advantage by almost 400%. And with real-time responses and a high level of collaboration becoming more and more valued in the current digital age—not to mention the time-zone and cultural discrepancies present offshore—rural outsourcing’s advantages are more numerous than ever.
3. RURAL TOWNS POSE A HIGHER THREAT TO DATA SECURITY
Unlike offshore outsourcing, where sensitive data and information are passed around the world and made more susceptible to hackers, rural outsourcing eliminates much of the risk associated with outsourcing. Instead of entrusting sensitive information to a workforce on the other side of the world, leveraging “local” talent helps keep data safe on several levels. For starters, the United States has far more stringent legal regulations on intellectual property in addition to better methods for dealing with hackers. Although issues with data breaches and security threats are an ever-present issue, the laws and regulations designed to combat and/or resolve security breaches are substantially stronger in the United States. These regulations and additional security protocols help to reduce risk and keep information contained.
4. IN-HOUSE WORKFORCE IS LESS EXPENSIVE THAN RURAL OUTSOURCING
Lastly, some argue that in-house employees are less expensive than outsourcing the very same jobs domestically. Although this argument seems to hold some water upon first glance, the cost to recruit, hire, train and retain in-house talent far exceeds that of outsourcing rurally. In part, the beauty of rural outsourcing is that it creates a window for trusted specialists to manage your talent, and to do so nearby and at a low cost.
Furthermore, minus the expensive burden of relocating far-off talent, companies who elect to outsource can effectively cast a much wider net when in search for talent. Even in large metropolitan areas, there can easily be a shortage of qualified individuals to fill open positions, especially positions with a more transitory slant. As a result, outsourcing is often the most affordable and effective way to recruit best-fit skill/talent.
With the development and growth of the new digital age, the need for affordable and proximate talent has dramatically increased, while patience for and accommodation of time-zone and cultural barriers offshore has equally diminished. In turn, rural outsourcing is quickly becoming the chosen model for businesses seeking everything from reliable support to future innovation.