Closer to home: How nearshore staffing can help grow your business — Part 1

Offshoring has been used as a strategy for decades; it started with Fortune 500 companies offshoring their manufacturing plants to remote countries, taking advantage of the labor force, and building their remote teams in different counties, taking advantage of global talent and wage levels. Decades ago, this was available only to big companies, as it was expensive to have the connectivity needed to work remotely as well as the infrastructure to manage and comply with local laws. With the current technology and staffing solutions that we have today, startups and small businesses can take advantage of near shoring and hire remote employees in other countries.

The most common offshoring positions are developers and virtual assistants, but it is not limited to these; you can have a multidisciplined team depending on your needs.

It is important not to confuse near shoring and offshoring with outsourcing or business process outsourcing (BPO). When you outsource or use BPO, you are giving control of the employees and the outsourced process to a third party, which will be in charge of the outsourcing process. With nearshoring and offshoring, you are not giving control away; the team reports directly to you, they are just in another country; if it’s offshoring, they will be in a country far away, and if its nearshoring, they will be in a neighboring country.

The nearshore staffing firm will make sure your employees are correctly staffed. They will be the employer of record, complying with local laws, but you will still be managing your team.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Staffing Company 2020 Interim Planning Package

Using nearshore staffing to scale up. When you are a startup or your business is in its growth stages, you don’t usually have all the resources needed, and you and many of your staff will have to wear different hats to be able to do the work. The budget will be tight; it would be great to have an unlimited budget, but that is almost never the case in the early stages, therefore you will have to spend very wisely. Using nearshore or offshore staffing is a great way to scale your team without using as much of your budget as you would normally do to grow your team, and also give you more time to focus on your core business, as you don’t have to worry about law compliance and payroll transactions.

How to make your remote team work. To make your remote team work and to take full advantage of your nearshore team, make sure you do the following:

  • Make them feel part of your company: These are not virtual employees; this is your team, they are part of your staff and company. Include them in meetings with the onsite staff, have personal conversations. When you have company activities, include them, and if you can, invite them once a year to your offices to meet the team in person.
  • Have the correct tools in place: This includes communication, project management, and in some cases, time-tracking tools.
  • Communicate: Communication is essential with your remote team, as it is not as easy for them to get a hold of you. You need to make sure both parties (onsite and remote teams) understand correctly what they are discussing; there should never be any doubt. If you assign an activity, it should be crystal clear.
  • Define your process, goals, policies, and expectations: You need to clearly define all four of these.Your remote team needs to know precisely what is expected of them, what they need to do, and how to do it. We recommend having these four in writing and as clear as possible.

Never delegate employee selection. The success of your startup or business is mostly determined by your team; your staff is one of the most crucial parts of your business. In his book Good to Great, former Stanford Business School professor and renowned author Jim Collins discusses the concept as “first who, then what – get the right people on the bus” — you should never delegate the selection of your employees to another company. They can help you, but ultimately you should handpick your employees.

As we can see, there are many benefits of nearshore staffing when it’s done correctly. One of the crucial parts to make nearshore staffing work is choosing the correct partner to provide the service. My next post will discuss how to select the right partner.

Pedro Barboglio

Pedro Barboglio
Pedro Barboglio is founder and CEO of Remote Team Solutions and partner and board member of Comal Foods.

Pedro Barboglio

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