Often when discussing outsourcing advantages, the talk is centered on employer benefits. The employee side of outsourcing is rarely covered, lending it status as the proverbial elephant in the room.
LAC Group has contributed to this dynamic ourselves, including this recent guest post published by LAC Group CEO Deb Schwarz on 3 Geeks and a Law blog. We decided it might be worthwhile to do some additional myth-busting, looking at outsourcing advantages from the employee side.
As HR Manager for LAC, I have often witnessed the employee point-of-view, which covers the full spectrum of human emotion. It’s true, and should be expected, that some people will respond with fear, anxiety and resentment to news of outsourcing. Rather than being an employee of XYZ Company, they are now going to be an employee of the outsourcing company, or possibly lose their job.
However, after the dust settles and the upsides are recognized, I have also seen optimism, happiness and satisfaction. I thought it would be valuable to share some of those outsourcing employment advantages.
Variety of Different Assignments, Projects and Work Environments
Some of our employees have worked for years at the same company, government agency or law firm. Yet the nature of LAC Group’s business is to provide staffing skills and resources as needed, which means that some of our employees work on a variety of different client projects and assignments.
Because LAC Group was founded and remains headquartered in Los Angeles, the company has several clients and long-standing client relationships in the area. For example, we have an employee living in southern California who has worked for several clients there. Since 2008, she has worked on 14 different assignments. Because all the clients are clustered in a relatively small geographical area (by LA standards anyway!), she could drive to all of them while enjoying the change of pace and gaining experience in a variety of different tasks and challenges.
For those who prefer it, or need it due to other obligations, the ability to work on flexible assignments is a valuable benefit over full-time, year round employment.
- We have retirees who take on client projects and assignments in order to supplement their retirement income, or to stay busy and challenged in a way that suits their needs, without the ongoing demands of daily employer needs and expectations.
- Tipping to the other side of the generational scale, we employ recent college grads and entry level workers who take on a short-term project as a stepping stone on their career path and a way to get viable work experience, exposure to new technologies, and valuable references.
Some people prefer more flexible work arrangements in order to pursue other interests, whether it’s a serious hobby or running a side-business. One of our young employees in southern California is a budding actor whose LAC Group employment provides a steady income stream and benefits, as well as freedom to audition and explore acting opportunities. Others can work remotely, which opens new doors for people who live in places with limited employment options and unencumbers people from commuting hassles.
The project manager for a temporary, but drawn-out project at Tulane University, post-Hurricane Katrina, was happy for the opportunity to move to New Orleans from Pennsylvania in order to get closer to family and return to her roots in the Gulf coast – including warm, snow-less winters! That particular project also attracted people in New Orleans who wanted to be part of the project for altruistic reasons, to help rebuild a university and community devastated by the storm.
Professional Development Opportunities
LAC Group has always been about matching skills and capabilities to current, priority needs to organizations from government agencies to law firms to major corporations. Because of our diverse clients, we must be able to deliver and respond to diverse needs. As a result, our people gain access to, and proficiency in using, a range of systems, including the latest technologies as well as different processes. Some may gain supervisory and management experience sooner than they might otherwise. Yet we also offer opportunities that are perfectly suited to individual contributors – people who simply want to practice their capabilities and skills and don’t want to manage others. This has been a growing class of employees as many large employers have shed layers in their org charts and shifted to flatter structures.
The Employee Side at LAC Group
As an outsourcing/managed services provider for library and information center functions for nearly 30 years, LAC Group has developed many best practices. We remain focused on continuous improvement in hiring, deployment, project management and employee onboarding and transition.
- We communicate early and often to allay fears and work with both clients and their staff to ensure transparency and honesty during the outsourcing process.
- We strive to match compensation and benefits whenever possible, mapping years of service for seniority and vesting to the best of our ability.
- We always give as much advance notice as possible so that each person can make the right choices and has time to prepare for change if necessary.
LAC Group’s reputation for service excellence and expertise matters to us, and to the people we hire and place. Often our clients extend projects and amend contracts to keep us on board and onsite for new or continuing work, which has been the case at Tulane University. We have employees who have been with us for almost twenty years, working for the same client in a situation that is essentially the same as if they had worked for the client directly.
Outsourcing has shifted the employment picture for many employees, and it’s unfortunate that the advantages seem to accumulate on the employer side. However for some people, the employee side of outsourcing arrangements that are done right offers advantages to them as well, not the least of which is greater flexibility for striking a uniquely personal balance to work and life outside of work.
This article was authored by Greg Galaida, Human Resources Manager and Subject Matter Expert at LAC Group.
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