Today, the mere mention of the word “outsourcing” can quickly escalate into a mini debate all for the wrong reasons. Globalization contributes to the outsourcing debate whereby one camp would assert that companies’ moral obligation extends to protecting jobs for their fellow nationalities above all else, while the other camp would oppose it.
In the United States, for instance, there are politicians who include in their political platforms their promise to preserve American jobs and boost domestic employment. Some companies, however, flash their pro-American sentiment card in their ads to point out — lest, hammer the image of — their competitors hire huge number of foreign workers.
Outsourcing, specifically outsourcing to a BPO company, is one of the often controversial move seen by some in developed nations as an unethical labor practice. Looking closely, is it an unethical practice per se? More specifically, is it bad to outsource?
But simply put, outsourcing is the mere practice of hiring or contracting an outside company or an individual contractor to perform a contracted work. The selection of a third party outsourced partner is based on expertise and cost-of-labor benefits. Here is why the discussion of ethics in outsourcing can be pretty tricky.
This blog post we will address this thorny issue of outsourcing to a low-cost country. What are the other aspects of ethical outsourcing? How do we determine whether or not a contractor is committed to the practice of Ethical Outsourcing?
Is Outsourcing Evil?
Remember that Google motto, “Don’t be evil”? That dictum neatly positions itself as an ethical firm. Though the search giant has subtly dropped that motto with, “Do the Right Thing”, the shift to doing good instead of merely appealing to avoid any unethical conduct is a welcome change in the corporate world, including the outsourcing sector.
Many companies who have contracted an outsourced company to perform their non-core activities have reported increased savings on costs and improvement in profitability. All over the world, outsourcing BPO processes and non-core activities is recognized as a competitive strategy for financial success.
Looking at it more deeply, outsourcing, more particularly the simple practice of letting a third party company perform certain components of a business process, naturally fits into the free enterprise system.
And before we dwell on the heavy stuff, let us break it down for you. Outsourcing simply means companies of all shapes and sizes find it more beneficial to let an outsourcer perform a certain elements of the operation rather than hire full-time staff.
Does this practice of outsourcing compromise company ethics? Definitely not.
Let’s get real, if you are a company and you mind striking a balance between quality processes and affordability, outsourcing is a necessity when conducting your own strategic competitive planning. However, some companies have concerns about the ethics of outsourcing practices at their provider’s location.
What Are the Criticisms Against Outsourcing?
One of the criticisms leveled against outsourcing during high unemployment – fair or not – emerge from the wrong perception of some citizens that a business should promote employment domestically. They assert that choosing to outsource to lower-cost contractor should be shunned all at once.
In light of how a company treats its outsourced BPO partners has ethical considerations. What you practice in your organization reflects on your associates, as well as your own company image. When you outsource, there is a pressure on your business to monitor and maintain high-quality standards.
To be more specific, here are some additional concerns regarding ethical practice in the outsourcing field:
- Concerns about security. The ability of the vendor to secure confidential information is one of the key ethical concerns that companies would like to know when contracting an outsourced firm. Outsourcing companies should make the setup of a security systems as one of their biggest priorities. When your prospective outsourcing vendor does not have any security protocols or measures in place, it is best to look for another partner.
- Below Par Service Quality. Another big concern is the quality expectations that are never met when delivery time comes. If you are looking for a company and expecting above par quality, make sure to request for their track record portfolio, and better yet, seek for a third party testimonies about the company to check their technical competencies.
- Environmental Commitment Issues. Is your partner outsourcer have in place a roadmap to ensuring eco-sustainability measures? Does your vendor company found negligent or practicing some environmentally damaging processes? Make sure your contractor conduct periodic audits to ensure compliance.
- Hazardous Work Environment. It is vital that your outsourced partner impose stringent standards on the work conditions at the vendor locations offshore. Before signing up a contractor, make sure that you have carefully reviewed the HR policies of your prospective offshore company.
Find Out How Big Outsource Addresses Ethical Outsourcing Practices
As one of the leading BPO companies in the Philippine outsourcing sector while being located at heart of San Pablo City in Laguna province, Philippines, Big Outsource has always been tuned in to our clients’ concerns about ethical outsourcing.
- We ensure your data privacy and confidentiality measures are strictly enforced. To fully ensure complete confidentiality of our clients’ customer information, we make sure have password protected systems, VPN (Virtual Private Network), encrypted servers, and firewall protected networks.
- Clear Communication. We make sure that our line of communication with clients is clear. Full transparency is implemented about schedule on transition and pricing. We also make sure that our privacy policies and outsourcing ethics practice are defined clearly.
- Legal Measures. Our Service Level Agreements with our partners cover all legal aspects of the outsourcing relationship. We also require a Non-Disclosure Agreement with employees and third party service providers to ensure our clients’ interests are protected.
- High Value Employee Selection Criteria. We impose a stringent hiring measure to ensure that the talent our partner hires meet our standards. Thorough background checks of employees are conducted, which is followed by tough selection processes. The end result would be employees who are team players, honest, ethical and responsible.
When outsource at Big Outsource, we make sure that you will be satisfied with our services. Moreover, when you deal with Big Outsource, you have a trusted partner that addresses your ethical outsourcing concerns.