Over the past several years, I have frequently outsourced projects to freelancers and vendors to do work that my team didn’t have the skills to accomplish on our own.
A portion of that work was outsourced to overseas contractors many of whom are in India, Romania, Russia, and elsewhere.
In fact, I’ve outsourced over 110 projects over the past few years with probably 60% of those one-time projects going overseas. (With 95% of on-going work outsourced within the U.S.)
I’ve recently been criticized for this with one person calling me immoral and unethical. Besides the fact that this person is a Realtor with an axe to grind (layoffs in his area produce fewer home buyers), he raises an interesting question.
I have always been of the mindset that the money you make should be earned.
(Yes, in the era of bailouts and lobbying government for more profits, my perspective seems old fashioned.)
And if I can send work overseas and get a more cost effective solution, I will do it. (Though I have found that for certain projects paying more money to a US based contractor for a higher quality solution is a better deal)
Here’s my thinking on this. If I don’t find ways to give my clients better value for their money, they will find someone else who will.
I could hire a local person and pay 4 times as much, but unless there’s a big quality or convenience difference why should I?
I’m happy to spend 4 times more to hire someone locally, if they can give me a solution that is 6 times better, faster, or more effective…. you know if they find someway to EARN the higher fees. (there’s that word again: “earn”)
My critic argues that even if they local guy doesn’t earn it, I should waste my money to keep more jobs locally–so his business as a Realtor would be easier.
What do you think? Is outsourcing, and in particular offshoring, immoral or evil?
Am I an evil capitalistic pig with no heart? (I can live with it if I am, but I’m curious to know if I am)
I’m particularly interested in getting an international perspective on this topic.
So if you’re one of my readers living in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Romania, Switzerland, UK, France, Germany, or South Africa, I’d love to get your thoughts on this too.
Post your comments below.