Scaling Your Agency: Outsourcing VS Hiring In-House

Your agency is growing, client demand is high, and you’re realizing that you may not have the capacity to meet your clients’ needs… This is GREAT, but now comes a tricky decision: Should you outsource, or should you build out a larger team and hire in-house?

There is not necessarily a clear-cut right or wrong answer to this question, but there are a few very important considerations to make that may help you decide. With the economy the way that it is right now, it’s more important than ever to stay savvy about your finances. However, its equally as important that you keep your customers happy – which includes having enough time to meet their needs.

We’ve pulled together 4 key questions to ask yourself that will, hopefully, make this “outsource vs hire in house” decision a no-brainer!

  1. Do you need recurring help, or help for a one-off project?

If you’re in need of help for just one project, or with just one particular client, then outsourcing is more likely your best option. Hiring someone in-house has its perks, but the last thing you want to do is build your team out and then later realize you don’t have enough work to fill everyone’s time. Be conscious of the scope of your project needs, and determine whether or not this is a “one-off”! If you’re unsure, you can always outsource first!

2. Will outsourcing mean that you lose any control over core business functions?

If your agency runs best with face-to-face interactions and if your staff function well as a close-knit team, outsourcing may not be the best solution for you. Keeping control of your core business functions will be key to sustaining your growth in the future. If you hire in-house, you’ll keep many of the same business processes the same, and can more seamlessly integrate this new team member. While outsourcing can be efficient, understand that you likely won’t be their only priority, and they may have their own processes in place that don’t sync well with yours!

3. What is the cost difference in the short-term, and in the long-term?

If you’re planning to outsource regularly, certainly take the time to weigh up the costs of hiring someone in-house. In the short term or for just one project, outsourcing may be your cheapest option – however, if you think you’ll outsource regularly it may make sense to hire an in-house expert! Think about your project pipeline for the next 6-12 months, and consider how much your client base is likely to grow. This should help you decide which option makes more sense, financially.

4. How long will it take to train a new in-house employee?

If time is of the essence and you’ve got a project deadline coming up, it may make sense to outsource, at least for now. Recruiting, hiring and training an individual can take weeks (if not, months), so ask yourself how much time you have before the deliverable is due and whether or not you have time to find your perfect in-house hire! One major benefit of outsourcing is that you’ll quickly find an expert to match your needs, and won’t have to worry about long-term hiring considerations like culture fit and employee benefit packages. If you have the time and have made the other considerations listed above, hiring in-house is often a worthwhile investment!

Have you ever hired another agency or freelancer to help you with a project? If so, did you make any other considerations that we should add to this list? We’d love to share it with the rest of our Cloud Campaigners. Let us know in the comments, or ping us a message on FacebookInstagramTwitter or LinkedIn!

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