Several decades ago, outsourcing solutions consisted mainly of manufacturing jobs outsourced from Europe and the United States to offshore countries such as China and India. Today, India and China are still forefront when businesses outsource offshore, but a much wider array of jobs and workplace tasks are outsourced. Customer service, office and even engineering and information technology jobs provide outsourcing solutions both offshore and on shore.
Why outsource? Offshore outsourcing is favored most by companies looking for low-cost labor. On shore outsourcing solutions are often chosen by businesses that want to keep jobs in their own countries and/or expect top notch English skills. Another reason why many businesses outsource by using freelancers is that they may just have a few extra projects they need help completing and not a part-time or full-time job to offer a candidate.
Freelancers who provide outsourcing solutions often work on an independent contractor basis for business clients. Independent contractors aren't company employees, but rather pay their own medical insurance. Many independent contractors, as well as other outsourced workers, work for many different clients at once to complete one outsourcing project or more. Most independent contractors work at home or outside the companies they work for, so the lack of overhead and benefits businesses have to supply these workers are often very cost effective.
Outsourcing solutions can work well for independent contractors. It can be appealing for these outsourced workers to be able to work from their own homes. Often it allows them to combine their work with other responsibilities such as child care. The outsourced contractors can also save money on transportation and business clothes. However, the work offered may pay less than traditional on-site positions and be much less steady in many cases.
When companies contract out work it's called Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). BPO solutions in administration, accounting and human resources are often sought by businesses. Business often outsource web design and copywriting services as well. While some companies only outsource work either offshore or on shore, others may use both options.
As an alternative to temporary outsourcing solutions, some large corporations set up company divisions in offshore countries such as India and China. They staff the divisions with cheaper labor from those countries. The lower-cost labor includes engineering and information technology (IT) workers. While these corporations may hire higher salaried counterparts on shore, they save money on labor costs off shore.
It's important to note that businesses may outsource their needs for training. They may contract trainers experienced in a certain computer software program or bring in experts in productivity training. Training outsourcing solutions may also include motivational speakers for corporate events.