How the Virtual Employee Model Can Support High Growth Firms

The general misconception about the high-growth firm is that they have some secret business recipe for the success. However, it’s not the case in reality. They have to face the similar set of challenges as that of a normal firm. Despite routine problems such as cash-flow and retaining the talent, they have to keep innovating to improve their processes and cut the operational cost.

The 4 Benefits of Outsourcing to India
They can do so in a better manner by outsourcing their various  core and non-core functions. A small –size and high-growth firm can benefit immensely from the virtual employee outsourcing model. It helps them to sustain their growth momentum by bringing down the operational cost and optimizing productivity. Here are the few other reasons to adopt the model.

The project outsourcing model lacks transparency in the pricing structure. Outsourcing firms never reveal the actual number of resources working on the project. They charge for the whole team. Thus, you even pay for the employees that don’t work for you. However, the virtual employee model works on the pay-per-use model. Therefore, you are never overcharged. Therefore, it helps you keep a tighter control on the project-cost.

During the high-growth period, companies often generously hire people, which results in a flab in the manpower team over a period. It not only increases the manpower cost, but also reduces your ability to act fast. But, it’s not the case with the remote virtual employee team. You can alter the team-size according to your requirement. You just need to share your concerns with your vendor. It better prepares you to react fast during the adverse time.

Getting the right talent
Ask any HR person and she will tell you how hard it is to hire the right talent at the right price.  Todd Palmer, Owner and President of Diversified Industrial Staffing “The biggest challenge faced by fast-growing firms is a lack of employees with the skill sets needed to continue to drive revenue.” Outsourcing to offshore vendors solves this problem. It opens the door to global talent pool that is also cost-effective.

Quick launch time
A fast-growing company has to constantly launch the latest versions of the product. And, they have to be always ahead of their competitors in this game. Outsourcing to remote offshore vendor allows you to achieve this goal. It helps you build your team quickly. They can shortlist resumes and conduct interviews quickly because of their better understanding of the local job market. You can immediately start work on the project since your remote local team does not need training.

Adopting the virtual employee model is a sound business decision that allows firms to deliver much more efficient services. It’s an asset for any high-growth firm that wants to deliver a true next-generation customer experience.

Why outsourcing radiology to India is a good idea?

A recent study has predicted that by 2020, the annual medical imaging procedures will be a whopping 140% of what they are today.  Considering the fact that the US population over 65 years of age is going to double by 2030, the prediction about medical imaging demand seems to an understatement.  If one looks at the radiology demands of the UK and the rest of the Europe, the statistics are more or less the same.  The interesting thing to note in this context is that both the regions are struggling with a severe shortage of technical expertise.  In case of radiology, this shortfall of manpower translates into expensive services, delays in diagnosis and ultimately more number of patients waiting for treatment.  Here, outsourcing of radiology services is the answer and choosing India as the destination is the best answer.  This is simply because India produces some of the best resources for the medical  profession.  Besides, there are a host of other reasons that make outsourcing of radiology to India a good idea.

Outsourcing of radiology to India is successful because:

  1. India - home to some of the best radiologists in the world:  In India, only the best medical students make it to radiology because the criteria for selecting radiology students is the most stringent here.  An Indian MD in radiology is at par with a board certified radiologist of the US, the UK and Canada.  Indian radiologists are regarded highly throughout the world for their merit which is why more than 13% of board certified radiologists in the US are of Indian origin.

  2. Ample availability of professionals for primary reporting:  In radiology, primary reporting is the most time consuming process and India has ample availability of radiologists to take care of this function.  An Indian MD in radiology can do this job at a fraction of the price that you pay in the US or the UK.

  3. A proven track record in outsourcing:  Being the hub of the outsourcing industry, India can provide you with the best radiology solutions.  This is because the Indian outsourcing industry has a proven track record of handling a variety of business processes.  With their experience and the support of  an unmatched outsourcing infrastructure,  the Indian service providers can deliver customized radiology solutions for global clients.

  4. Indian radiologists can deliver HIPPA compliant reports:  By outsourcing your project to India, you can expect radiology services that comply with the guidelines of authorities like HIPPA.  The Indian radiologists are best equipped to prepare HIPPA compliant reports because the medical rules here are very similar to those in the US.  Moreover, a majority of Indian medical students go to the US for higher studies, which makes them aware of the rules there.

  5. Quickest turnaround time due to strategic location:   Geographically, India is located in a time zone that is almost 12 hours ahead of the US and about 5 hours ahead of the UK.  This time difference works in favor of the western clients as they get the work done within those 12 hours. 
All these facilities that India offers, save a lot of time and resources for clients,  thus making outsourcing radiology to India such a good idea.

Virtual Work Environment: A Reliable Way to Do Away with Office Politics Summary

No doubt it is in every office, insidiously spreading its tentacles and tarnishing everything with its vitriolic touch. yes, we are talking about office politics – the modern-day office vampire – that sucks the life-giving energy out of even the most vibrant of workplaces. when a number of people are bunched together spending a large chunk of their working and waking hours in each other's company, it is inevitable that there would be someone (or even more than one) who may be the negativity centre of the entire office.

Office politics is an inevitable by-product in today's highly competitive business world. when people are more involved in staving off the next burst of negativity or tackling damaged office relationships, obviously this is energy that is draining out from productive ventures into totally unproductive ones.

Luckily, when it comes to outsourcing companies such as VirtualEmployee.com, the pioneer company that introduced the concept of the 'virtual employee', office politics and such shenanigans are all left outside the threshold. The very nature of the virtual workplace insulates it from office politics!

The reason for this is the unique business model of VirtualEmployee.com that simply does not permit any scope for office politics or any other non-professional behaviour that can disrupt the smooth functioning of any working environment.

This is how it works:
  1. Each virtual employee works independently for just one client, unless a particular client has created small virtual team. In the case of a virtual team, the employees are guided by their immediate team leader or project manager, but still are working for just one client – in the true spirit of the VirtualEmployee.com business model.
  2. Since employees all work for a different clients from all corners of the world, there is little scope of rivalry or jealousy between employees. Each is making a significant contribution and playing an important role in the overall picture.
  3. Confidentiality is a very serious issue with all the well-established and reputed outsourcing vendors. Any disclosure of critical client information can very easily cost a virtual employee their job, no matter how good they are at their work. Knowing this prevents idle gossip.
  4. Each virtual employee works by the hour and has to put in the stipulated 8 or 9 hours for the client that was decided at the time of their hiring. Tabs are kept on their performance and output by the vendor's vigilant HR executives, who also act as representatives of the client in their offshore location.
  5. Office politics are all about power struggles and are usually initiated by some unsatisfied co-worker who has issues with the management. The far-sighted vendors go as far as to create discussion forums where employees can vent their opinions, make suggestions and generally stave off a 'pressure-cooker' like situation.
  6. Transparency between the vendor's management staff and the rest of the employees also plays an important role in warding off office politics to a major degree.
  7. Honest communication between the outsourcing service provider's HR staff and the rest of the virtual employees is again a contributing factor towards maintaining a healthy work environment.
  8. Best of all, no employee is competing for one common reward. In other words, every client gives a performance-based reward to their respective employee and this differs from client to client and from employee to employee.
So, all are working together under one roof but for different clients and that is the biggest reason why office politics can rarely rear its ugly head in a virtual work environment.

The importance of the interview process while hiring remote workers

Interview is one of the most important steps in the process of recruiting right resources, be it for hiring a local employee or a remote employee.  Interview proves important because it connects both the employers as well as the candidates.  It assists employers in selecting a right person for a job. Though interview is an integral part of hiring a local employee, this process takes a back seat while hiring remote employees.  This is because they are either hired through remote staffing companies or websites. Most of these service providers do not give clients the option to interview the resources for themselves.  In case the remote employees are freelancers, clients do not even expect to interview these resources.  At the most, the employer expects to go through the previous work or testimonials of these employees.  However, in case of hiring a remote employee, interview becomes all the more crucial because a remote employee is not somebody with whom the clients get to see on a regular basis after hiring.

This latest trend of hiring remote workers as dedicated employees, gives a client a lot of flexibility in terms of choosing the team of workers.  This model also delivers personalized solutions for clients at a reasonable price.  However, this is possible only when the remote employees have enough skill and experience to meet the client's expectations.  To ensure that the prospective remote employees have these attributes, it is absolutely necessary for a client to participates actively in the hiring of remote employees.  No matter how reliable and reputed your service provider is, they should give you enough space to personally assess the competencies of your prospective remote employee.  Here, the interview of prospective remote employees becomes very crucial.  The factors that underline the importance of interviewing a remote worker are:
  1. Evaluation of the core skill-set:  Depending upon the type of project that you want to give to a remote employee, you need to know whether the candidate has the required skill-set and experience.  This cannot be evaluated unless you have a one-to-one interview with the candidate.  No doubt, your service provider can do that on your behalf; however, you also need to check these skills on your own.  This approach gives you the much needed confidence in the ability of your remote employees.  It also eradicates the element of anonymity in your remote resource because you get to interact with the real person who will be responsible for executing your outsourced project.  
  2. Evaluation of communication skills:   It is the communication between you and your remote employee that ultimately decides the success or failure of your  project.  Therefore, your remote employee should have good communication skills in your own language, and special in English.  By interviewing the candidate personally, you can check this attribute.  This, in turn ensures that during the execution of the project you can share updates and information without any language barrier.  Also, you can expect a quick turnaround time of services from your remote employees.
  3. Cross-examining the past experience:  To make sure that prospective remote employee is not faking any experience, you need to personally cross-examine his/her credentials.  During the personal interview of a candidate, try to elicit as much information as possible about the prior projects that the candidate has worked on.  This practice not only gives you a fair idea of the subject knowledge of the candidate, but also enables you to cross-examine this knowledge.
  4. Personality assessment:  The most important attribute of a prospective remote employee that you need to know is his/ her reliability.  Though it is a tricky business to find out the reliability of a resource, a one-to-one talk assist you  a lot in this.  You may ask all sorts of questions, but the most revealing answers that you get in this regard come from the facial expressions and body language of the candidate.  Therefore, make sure that your service provider lets you conduct the interview through video conference. 
All these crucial attributes of  a remote employees can only be checked through a personal interview of the candidate.  Therefore, make sure that you conduct this interview personally before a remote employee starts working on your project.

Do Research And Know the Risks Before Finalizing An IT Outsourcing Service Provider

Looking to finalize an IT outsourcing service provider from India? Then be sure that you do adequate research and acquaint yourself with all the risks involved before you sign on the dotted line. Like in any industry, there is always a small percentage of unscrupulous elements that needs to be identified and avoided.

Keep these facts in mind before you decide to finalize your IT outsourcing service provider.
  1. What are the credentials of the outsourcing service provider? It is a good idea to do a thorough background check and read up on the past client testimonials to find out what others are saying about their service.
  2. Does the vendor have IT domain expertise? Can it satisfy your search for say, PHP development outsourcing, or software application development? This is crucial for any outsourcing venture because if the vendor does not have the means to fulfill your business requirements, they may well sub-contract the work to a third party who specializes in that field and thus leave you with a less than satisfying level of control over your outsourced work.
  3. It is easy to go for the lowest bidder but it is a trap best avoided. Cheap is not always the best. Focus on what really matters – quality, reliability and delivery time.
  4. How is the vendor's talent pool? Are you getting skilled IT professionals? In the case of non-satisfaction with work, will the vendor be able to provide you with a replacement?
  5. How are the communication channels of the outsourcing vendor? A strong and steady network is critical for any IT outsourcing. In such work, being able to have instant access to your remote employee is very important. When your employee is sitting thousands of miles away from you, effective communication is crucial. This means that this IT outsourcing service vendor should be able to provide you with satisfactory means of communication – telephones, internet, emails, Skype, instant messenger, Video Conferencing.
  6. What kind of infrastructure support will the vendor provide? This refers to IT support (hardware and software), and HR support (office rentals, taxes, employee benefits, overheads) and any other matter related to running an office on a daily basis. Since your employee would be working out of the office of the vendor, the kind of infrastructure available will have a direct impact on the flow of work, its timeliness and employee efficiency.
  7. How much control will you have over your work and employee? What about supervision and accountability? The vendor's arrangements should make working with your remote employee as easy as working with someone who has been locally hired.
  8. How safe is your data? What are the security systems in place by the vendor, considering that huge amounts of sensitive client information will be passing through their hands.
So, it is prudent to go over all facts carefully, doing a thorough research into the pros and cons of any vendor before finalizing your IT outsourcing service provider.

How A Dedicated Remote Reservation Specialist Can Add Value To Your Travel Business

Outsourcing is not new to the travel industry.  Big travel companies like Expedia, American Express and Travelocity have already got their own operations in India.  These big companies cater to their worldwide clientele from India and enjoy high performance at a reduced price.  Smaller players in the travel industry cannot emulate this model for the simple reason that they do not have enough resources.  The same conditions apply in case of hiring a project outsourcing company.  The only option left for small travel companies is to hire offshore freelancers.  But the services of these resources are not reliable enough for they work from different parts of the world.

In such a situation, a dedicated remote reservation specialist can be of great value to smaller travel companies.  Small time travel operators around the world can enhance their performance by hiring these resources in India.    Reservations count for a big share of revenue generated by a travel company.  If this job is done by well-trained dedicated employees from India, the company can scale new heights in revenue generation.  This model can be used as a catalyst for infusing new vitality in the overall business of a travel company.  Besides this, the company gets a decisive edge over its competition.

Who is a dedicated reservation specialist?
A dedicated reservation specialist is a well-trained resource who works exclusively for you from an economically cheaper location like India.  This resource can deliver customized travel solutions for your end customer.  Your clients can book flights, hotels and holiday packages according to their respective needs by simply calling this specialist.  The dedicated reservation specialist has in-depth knowledge of GDS and other travel tools to give the best travel solutions to your clients.  By giving customized travel solution to your clients, your remote resource not only earns revenue for you, but also adds a lot of value to your travel business.

How a dedicated reservation specialist adds value to your travel business
The concept of hiring dedicated resources has been specially designed to give the benefits of outsourcing to small businesses.  The Indian outsourcing giant, VirtualEmployee.com considered the fact that more than 50% of world businesses are small businesses and came up with this concept to benefit them.  Therefore, by hiring a dedicated reservation specialist you get all the benefits of outsourcing that a big company gets opening its office at an offshore location.  However, you add real value to  your travel business by:
  1. Easily hiring the best resources:  To hire the best travel resources, simply give your requirements to the service provider and the rest is taken care of.  The takes care of everything from carefully selected resumes to arranging their interviews via video conference.  What is more, you are at full liberty to increase or decrease the number of your reservation specialists as per your requirements.
  2. Easy employee management:  Your own reservation specialist works from the office of the vendor.  Besides this,  the vendor provides your with latest communication tools, so that your can manage the specialist in your own way.
  3. Saving on overheads:  You only pay a monthly fee for your dedicated reservation specialist and get office space, hardware and software as part of the package.  Therefore, you save on these attributes.
  4. Having your own office in India at no extra cost:   The office of your vendor is your own office in India.  You can use it as your own offshore office,  that too without spending a penny on office space and infrastructure.
  5. Getting the time zone advantage:  India is strategically located at a geographical location that is 5 to 12  hours ahead of the major western cities.  This time difference allows western clients to get services almost in real time and almost round the clock.
All these benefits of hiring a dedicated reservation specialist not only earn a lot of revenue for you, but also add a lot of value to your overall travel business.

Australian firms to outsource engineering projects in a big way

At present, the outsourcing industry in witnessing a paradigm shift in terms of the kind of work that is outsourced to offshore locations.  This change of sentiment in the outsourcing marketplace started in early 2010 and has now reached its peak.  Battered by escalating costs and skill shortage, companies across the developed world are now willing to outsource high end business processes and engineering services account for a major chunk  of such processes.  While American and European giants like  Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier have been outsourcing to Indian service providers for a long time, the latest clientele that is emerging in a big way is from Australia. 
Experts forecast that by 2020 the engineering outsourcing industry is set to  achieve $55 billion in revenue.  Given that the Australian engineering firms  are  going to contribute substantially in this revenue projection, the Indian outsourcing industry is poised to  make the most of this big opportunity.  An  overview of  the demands of Australian engineering industry vis-a-vis the Indian human resource and infrastructure can easily establish this fact.
  1. Australian engineering industry:  Australia is a well diversified economy which is structured around well balanced manufacturing and service sectors.  However, to further diversify its manufacturing sector, Australia is in constant need of engineers to fulfill the requirements of  industries ranging from civil aviation to  construction.  The education system in Australia is not able to fulfill the engineering requirements of the country; therefore it depends largely on immigration to meet the demand of engineers.
  2. Acute skill  shortage in Australia:  A recent study indicates that Australia will be short of almost 65,000 skilled workers by the end of 2012 and engineers constitute and major part of this short fall.  That is the reason Australian companies are outsourcing engineering project in  a big way.
  3. Indian human resource:  Apart from the world renowned IITs, India is home to more than 3000 engineering colleges.  In total, India produces around 750,000 engineering graduates every year.  This is not all, Indian engineers are the most sought after engineers throughout the world.  India not only enjoys an enviable reputation in the field of software engineering, it also produces world class engineers in fields ranging from  civil engineering to  aerospace engineering.  These facts and figures indicate towards the possibilities of engineering process outsourcing.
  4. India's experience in outsourcing:  By combining the large scale availability of well qualified engineers with its experience in outsourcing, India can provide a variety of engineering services to Australian companies.  As the talent pool of engineers in India is versatile enough to handle projects ranging from Aerospace to construction, the Indian outsourcing industry has no dearth of human resource. Therefore, it can emerge as a leader in providing engineering services to Australian companies.
Given the projections on the outsourcing of engineering projects and the ample availability of human resource, India stands a fair chance to emerge as a leader in the engineering process outsourcing arena.  Besides this, due to the acute shortage of engineers in Australia,  it is set to be a major client of the Indian outsourcing industry.

Top 5 mistakes to avoid when outsourcing your web designing project

Once you decide to outsource your web designing to an offshore location, you have to consider a plethora of things.  These things include charting a clear cut outsourcing strategy, ensuring profitability, maintaining business control etc.  In the process of considering so many things at the same time, your approach becomes very proactive and you tend to do everything possible to make your outsourcing venture a success.  However, at this stage not doing certain things assumes more importance than anything else.  By avoiding these things, you can make outsourcing of your web design project a successful venture .  Let's have a look at the commonly made mistakes that can easily be avoided while outsourcing a web design project.
1.     Choosing the best service provider and not paying heed to  domain expertise: When you decide to outsource your web design project to an offshore location, you choose the best service provider in the marketplace.  A well  known service provider can no doubt deliver timely services.  However, what most of the entrepreneurs tend to overlook is the domain expertise of vendors.  This in turn leads to low quality of services  which do not serve your purpose.  As a client, you must avoid this mistake of not paying any heed to the domain expertise of the vendor.  The vendor should have a proven track record of providing quality web design solutions.  Do not bother about the size and market reputation of the service provider if it is has a proven ability to deliver on your demands.
2.     Making cost-effectiveness the only reason to outsource:  The most common mistake that companies and entrepreneurs makes while selecting an outsourcing partner is going  for the cheapest option.  No doubt  outsourcing should provide cost-effectiveness; however,  the vendor's ability to deliver the desired service level is equally important.  Therefore,  the one track approach of reducing the cost of  the project can prove to be detrimental to the whole business.   Along with the cost, other factors like the credentials of the vendor and its ability to deliver desired results should also be taken into consideration.
3.     Ignoring the credentials of the web designers working on your project:  You choose a reputed vendor in the field of web designing and take it for granted the the vendor would provide the best possible solutions.  However, that  cannot happen unless the resources that you hire have the required skills and experience.  You must make sure personally that the people who are going to  work on your web designing project have the skills and experience to  deliver quality services.  To  do that, it  is imperative that you get involved in the hiring process of the remote employees.  Conduct personal interviews of the people that the service provider proposes to provide for your project.  This  would give you the basis for expecting the best web designing solutions from the service provider.
4.     Being laid back after outsourcing the web development project:  Just outsourcing the web designing is not going to give you the desired results.  You will have to interact extensively with the service provider to get the kind of work that you are looking for.  Remember,  mutual interaction of  the client and the service provider is the key to the success of an outsourced project.  Depute a staff to exchange notes and to share updates with the web designers working on the outsourced project.   This way get to  know the pulse of your outsourced web designing project.  More importantly,  this practice ultimately gives the desired results.
5.     Too much comparison  with competition:  This is one mistake that can completely derail your outsourced project.  Do not be obsessed with competition as it would make your web designing a below par imitation of your competitors. Just focus on what exactly you want to achieve by outsourcing your web designing project.  This would not only give you the desired results but would also assist you in getting unique web designing solutions.
By avoiding these five mistakes in the outsourcing of your web designing project you will be able to get the best results. 


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