Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are increasingly juggling cost pressures at a time when demands on service delivery are on the rise. There are solutions available to support RTOs to do more with less; one of the most significant is outsourcing. Outsourcing has been something that has, at times, had negative connotations attached to it, but the high quality and reliable work of companies such as Virtual Coworker has gone a long way to improving the perception and the efficacy of outsourcing as a realistic option for RTOs.
What is outsourcing?
In a nutshell, outsourcing is the process by which tasks that have traditionally been provided in house are contracted to an outside company or worker with particular expertise in providing that service. Essentially, if your RTO is lacking knowledge or experience in a certain area, or if you have specialised staff performing a large number of tasks outside their area of speciality, outsourcing could be a fantastic resource.
How can RTOs benefit from outsourcing?
The most commonly identified benefit for RTOs in using outsourcing is around cost savings. Outsourcing data entry through Virtual Coworker, for example, could cost you as little as 7 AUD/hr, whereas a local specialist could cost around four times that amount.
Another significant benefit is the improvement to working conditions for existing staff. If you have training or marketing staff, you obviously want them to be spending their time and focus on delivering training or marketing. We all know, however, that these staff often have to devote a significant portion of their time to administrative functions that support core business, rather than delivering the actual core business. This is not only a waste of valuable resources, but can also lead to job dissatisfaction. Outsourcing some of the administrative and famously boring tasks can therefore be a win-win situation.
Outsourcing tasks, particularly in an RTO setting, can also improve your staffing flexibility and costs. You can outsource certain tasks at peak times, such as the beginning of a training block or over a key period for enrolments, without needing to take on staff yourself. Not only does this save you on your payroll but also on recruitment and overhead costs.
So, what can be outsourced?
Identifying the right things to outsource is of crucial importance to ensure that you are saving money without compromising the quality of the service delivery within the RTO. Essentially any repetitive tasks that don’t require in depth knowledge of the business can easily be outsourced. Administrative functions such as research, data entry, database management and social media maintenance, as well as functions such as enrollment processing or payroll management are ideal for this. Using outsourced staff for student interactions like invoicing or transcription of class notes can also work really well in an RTO setting.
How do your ensure outsourcing will be a success?
If you are interested in investigating outsourcing further, there are a number of things to consider to ensure that it will work well for your specific situation.
Identify exactly what you need
It’s critical to have a crystal clear of the job or position you are looking to outsource. If you go through the process of finding staff with a vague idea of what exactly you need, odds are you won’t the perfect fit.
Go out and find really good people
If you’re after short-term or freelance workers, there are a number of websites you can go to hire people directly for small projects. If you are after more of a long-term team member, companies like Virtual Coworker who handle all of the recruitment, HR and payroll are probably your best bet. Regardless of the route you choose, make sure you conduct video interviews, test their internet, and ensure the person communicates well and seems dedicated and reliable.
Treat and manage the worker like any local staff
Making someone feel like part of the team goes a long way for motivation and productivity. Also, be especially detailed and clear in the instructions you give to your workers, as it’s easy for things to get lost in translation when working with virtual staff.
Outsourcing can make for a happier workforce and significant cost savings, ensuring the focus remains on your core activities and that you have the right staff doing the right job. Managed correctly, outsourcing can play a large role in the future success of RTOs throughout Australia.
If you’re interested to speak with an Australian representative on how this can work for your company, click here.