There are some jobs that companies are outsourcing today. It saves time and money for managers and business owners and helps free up time to work on the more important things in the business. But business owners must be careful not to outsource jobs that they are better off doing themselves.
How do you know which jobs should never be outsourced?
We researched the topic with some leading business strategists and here’s what we found. This list will include some skills that are considered executive actions by top managers while others should not be outsourced due to their importance or tendency to suffer from a loss in quality due to their being passed on to others.
Before we get into this list, understand that outsourcing is okay in general. In many cases, businesses find even better skills and abilities than they would if they searched for it “in-house.” Independent contractors are usually highly talented individuals and artists, including software engineers, designers, and others who take their work seriously.
When we speak of automation, though, we are talking about eliminating the human factor. This is a broader leap than just outsourcing jobs to individuals. But, outsourcing can be a problem when you outsource to either humans or machines in some areas.
Jobs that Should not be Outsourced to Either Humans or Machines (Automation)
The following jobs are jobs that should not be outsourced to either independent contractors or automation due to their importance and level of skill that is involved for the business owner.
1. Core Business Competencies– Core business competencies are those jobs “that involve a superior skill, acumen, or execution of the enterprise’s mission,” according to Business Insider, Outsourcing Law, and Audenti.com.
The skills involved in core business competencies are those that could generally “make or break a business.” In short, they are just too important to outsource to either man or machine and should be kept at the highest levels of your organization.
2. Knowledge-based functions dependent on proprietary company information– Jobs involving any services that are dependent upon company information that involves its trademark, trade secrets, or other important information is unwise. When you transfer this type of job to a third party, it is like handing the “crown jewels” of your company to someone else who may not have the passion or the desire to protect it as you do. To maintain your competitive advantage, you must be able to keep your secrets on how will do things without the fear of it getting into the wrong hands.
3. Compliance with legal liabilities– The third type of professional skill or job that should not be outsourced to either people or automation is any legal job that requires them to be responsible for your legal liability as a company. If you should keep control of anything, it is this. Don’t give others the power to weaken your legal status (including automation systems) and remember again that those you outsource too may not care as much about keeping you out of trouble as you do!
Skills that you should not outsource to automation
We’ve talked about the types of jobs and skills that you should not outsource to either people or automation systems. But there are some skills that it is okay to outsource to people such as independent contractors, but it would be unwise to outsource to automation. Below are four of these examples.
4. Content development– Content development is an important aspect of your online company’s security and success. It should be entrusted only to those content creators (such as writers, web designers, and video producers) who truly have your best interests at heart. They should also be highly skilled and independent in their thinking and highly creative. When it comes to content development, you just should never outsource this to automation. There are all types of “spin software” available out there. But not one of them can produce content that is comparable to actual human-created content.
Content writing, for example, takes a living, breathing, thinking, feeling human to get a message across in a way that compels and engages the audience. Only a human writer can connect with your readers on a personal level and convince them to purchase from you. Machines cannot do that. People will see right through it! So, just don’t do it.
5. Artistic design– Like content development, artistic design such as the logo or infographic design, web design, and other artistically-based skills should never be outsourced to automation. Trying to create a creative and appealing design from an automated system is like trying to calculate a formula for a Rembrandt.
Trying to mix human passion, reason, and emotion that is put into the formula for art will produce a superficial piece that would be similar to eating the rubber sole of a shoe and calling it steak.
6. Business planning and execution– Business plans are made by living, thinking people. Never outsource your business planning to an automated system. Remember that lots of software systems are being invented every day to make life easier for entrepreneurs and business managers. They all promise to save you time and money and perhaps many of them do just that. But, as a responsible business owner, you have to stop and ask yourself, “Is it worth what I will give up?” When it comes to your business planning and the execution of those plans, this should only happen at the top levels of your organization. You might outsource some of the details to people you trust. But not to machines at any cost!
7. Software development– There is software for everything these days, including software development. Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean you should use it. Automated software is great for processes such as payment systems, database and record-keeping, and even accounting and marketing. But never outsource software development to machines.
Dedicated independent software engineers and designers, as well as professional software companies, are ready to help you with any software you need for your business. Customized software is the way to go when it comes to business software.
Summary: It’s Your Choice
Well, there you have it. We took the advice of experts (and a little of our opinion) and mixed it up for this blog. We think it is vastly important to keep the necessary managerial, legal, and specialized jobs within your organization. Artistic or technical based jobs can sometimes be outsourced to specialists, writers, and artists.
But automation should be reserved for those more mundane procedures such as calculations, marketing aggregation, where big data is involved, and other tasks that are more inducive to computer-based solutions that work and are more scientific or mathematical in origin.
As for those things that require original thought, human reasoning, and such like, you should keep these things with human beings who, unlike machines, can produce uniquely different results that are not filtered by machinery, big data, or wires. Instead, they are filtered through the magical universe of the human brain.
And there’s just no replacement for that.