Outsourcing is a convenient word

“Outsourcing” is a convenient word that’s lost precise meaning in a business world with increasingly blurred national borders.

I’m an American working for a Danish company, my boss is in Spain, and we have colleagues and clients all over the world: am I “outsourced?”

The answer doesn’t matter, but what does matter is control: of your work’s quality, your reputation, and your company’s culture. Sourcing drives all three.

Far too many companies look at the overabundance of international sourcing options and simply take the lowest quoted price — something they would never do when hiring locally. In doing so, they lose control and end up with a higher total cost of operation (TCO).

That higher TCO comes from inefficient communication, high turnover, poor work quality, and lowered employee morale at home. In a worst case scenario, outsourced workers are being exploited and your snap business decision is actively harming people and your brand.

You can keep control while sourcing, but to do so you need to make principled decisions. That’s why we believe in impact sourcing.

Impact sourcing results in a more engaged and motivated workforce for companies, and enables them to increase their global competitiveness.

At Pixelz, we approach the sourcing challenge from both sides: people outsource to us and our 800+ employees, and we also partner with NGOs and vocational trainers to source talent. The lessons we’ve learned may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how often the word “outsourcing” causes people to forget everything they ever knew about human resources.

Lobby of Pixelz office in Hanoi.

Impact Sourcing is Gaining Momentum

That movement, led by groups like the Rockefeller Foundation and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), has given smart and ethical outsourcing the name “impact sourcing,” which Rockefeller defines as “an inclusive employment practice through which companies intentionally connect high-potential, disadvantaged youth to available jobs.” For example, impact sourcing may target underemployed demographics like women with disabilities, and provide job training along with opportunities for higher education. It is not all about social benefits: impact sourcing has proven benefits to the buyer, as Accenture found in their report “Exploring the Value Proposition for Impact Sourcing.”

 

 

Nguyen Huong

CEO Digital Divide Data (DDD)

 

 

 

Nguyen Huong is Pixelz Country Manager for Vietnam, and has been with the company since the very beginning. She says that even though our CSR wasn’t explicitly defined in the early days, there are simple steps a company can take to look out for the welfare of employees.

For example, Houng says, “Things like having formal work contracts, air-conditioned comfortable office space, making sure they were doing work that was inside the scope of their job, providing them training once they started working with us, treating them with respect. Those are things we did from the beginning and still do to this day, and that you often don’t find in, say, a private Vietnamese company.”

About Henry

“We believe people are basically good; we believe everyone has something to contribute; we believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people; we recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual; we encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.”
– Pierre Omidyar (eBay Founder)