The US is facing a labor shortage that recent reports describe as “dire.” It has affected a number of industries, with transportation, health care, and food service being among those hardest hit. According to experts, the shortage will likely last for years.
For businesses, the shortage presents a host of problems, including increased labor costs, reduced productivity, and limitations on growth. However, there is a simple way for businesses to gain access to a much larger labor pool: investing in offshore talent.
Obviously, there are some positions that require an in-person employee; restaurants, for example, are not able to leverage offshore opportunities for wait staff. Still, there are positions, like accounting, HR, and sales, that any business can fill effectively and efficiently with offshore talent.
The benefits of investing in offshore talent
Cost savings is one of the top benefits that businesses can gain from investing in offshore talent. Offshore workers bring the same skills, experience, and certifications that local workers provide, but at a fraction of the cost. In some cases, offshore talent can be hired at half of the salary that would be required for an onshore worker with the same qualifications.
The cost savings associated with hiring offshore workers also extend to overhead costs, as utilizing offshore talent can allow employers to avoid the employment taxes and employee benefit expenses that they incur when hiring locally. Adding offshore talent also does not require additional office space, which translates to less fixed costs for the organization.
By leveraging the services provided by offshore staffing firms, businesses can also avoid the costs associated with recruiting and training. The firms provide access to offshore talent that has been carefully vetted and trained in the skills that US companies require.
Empowering growth for startups and small businesses
For startups and small businesses that have fewer financial resources, the cost savings associated with offshore talent can be a game changer, providing affordable access to key talent essential for getting a business off the ground. Offshore talent can also be secured on a month-by-month basis, which allows for maximum flexibility and scalability.
Offshore talent can also provide businesses with access to skills that are in short supply in their local area. E-commerce companies can gain access to a broader pool of content creators, marketing experts, and accounting professionals by looking offshore. By working with offshore talent from Latin American countries — where workers are typically bilingual — businesses can gain access to language skills that open the door to new opportunities in Spanish-speaking markets.
Taking steps toward investing in offshore talent
The first step toward effectively utilizing offshore talent is determining what talent is needed. Companies should start by reviewing their operations to determine where improvements are needed or where opportunities exist. Offshore workers can bring heightened capabilities in those areas, increasing business output or lightening the load on current employees.
Businesses must then establish clear goals for the new hire. As with any worker, offshore talent should know how success in their role will be measured. The expectations should be mapped out and communicated even if the intent is only to use the worker to accomplish a short-term goal.
Confirming that the required communications connections can be made is another critical step in the process. The shift to remote work inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic expanded the technical capabilities of many US businesses. However, certain roles may require unique applications, such as forwarding calls from US numbers to VoIP numbers. Cybersecurity concerns, such as ensuring that chat or video conferencing platforms are properly encrypted, may also need to be addressed.
The current labor shortage has made investing in offshore talent more attractive than ever. Companies that are hesitant due to the fear of the unknown should take advantage of the services provided by offshore staffing firms that can assist in securing and managing affordable, professional, and reliable talent to help take their business to the next level.