Today, the mere mention of the word “outsourcing” can quickly escalate into a mini-debate all for the wrong reasons. Globalization contributes to this ethics outsourcing debate where one camp would assert that companies’ moral obligation extends to protecting jobs. Meanwhile, the other camp would naturally oppose it.
In the United States, for instance, politicians promise to preserve American jobs and boost domestic employment. Some companies, however, flash their pro-American card in their ads to hammer the image of businesses hiring huge numbers of foreign workers instead of American citizens.
This is where the issue of ethics of outsourcing comes in. Business Process Outsourcing or BPO is one of the most controversial practices that questions the ethics of labor practice. Is outsourcing ethical? How can we determine the why yes and why not of this issue?
Is outsourcing ethical?
Outsourcing is the mere practice of hiring or contracting an outside company or an individual contractor to perform contracted work. The selection of a third-party outsourced partner is based on expertise and cost-of-labor benefits.
In this article, we’re going to determine the aspects of ethical outsourcing. How do we determine whether or not a contractor is committed to the ethics of outsourcing?
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 certain components of a business process naturally fits into the free enterprise system.
If a client only wants to hire a provider that will perform a certain element of their operation rather than hire full-time staff, does this practice compromise company ethics?
If you are a business owner, will you strike the balance between quality processes and affordability? Outsourcing is necessary when conducting your strategic competitive planning. However, some companies have concerns about the ethics of outsourcing practices at their provider’s location.
What ethics of outsourcing are in question?
One of the criticisms leveled against outsourcing during high unemployment – fair or not – emerged from the wrong perception of some citizens that a business should promote employment domestically. They assert that choosing to outsource to lower-cost contractors 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 should check when contracting an outsourced firm. Outsourcing companies should make the setup of a security system 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, you can request for their track record portfolio.
It’s also best to seek third-party testimonies about the company to check its technical competencies.
Environmental commitment issues
Does your partner outsourcer have in place a roadmap to ensure eco-sustainability measures? Does your vendor company find negligent or practicing some environmentally damaging processes? Your contractor should always adhere to periodic audits to ensure compliance.
Hazardous work environment
Your outsourced partner must 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 human resource policies of your prospective offshore company.
Addressing ethical outsourcing practices
As one of the leading BPO companies in the Philippine outsourcing sector, 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 secure password protected systems, VPN (Virtual Private Network), encrypted servers, and firewall protected networks.
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.
Our Service Level Agreements or SLAs 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 meets 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.
Ethical outsourcing ensured with Big Outsource
Choosing Big Outsource as your outsourcing partner not only means that you will get the best outsourced staff and resources for your business. It also means that you choose to outsource the ethical way possible.
Teaming up with a trusted partner guarantees your business operations addresses all of your ethical outsourcing concerns.