Admin Outsourcing Partner Selection... Getting it right

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Good Choice, Bad ChoiceSelecting the right admin outsourcing partner can be difficult, especially if it’s not something you are familiar with. We have come across a variety of approaches from the “quote & hope” to the very professional “assessment & evaluation” process. If you are planning to outsource your company’s admin, then there is potentially a lot at stake which makes it important to get it right first time.

Engaging an admin services provider is a mix of sourcing and recruitment: first you have to source a supplier and then ensure you have the right person with the right skills assigned to you. The following 5 step approach is laden with good practice and advice. It should help prompt you to ask the right questions and solicit the information you need to make a robust selection decision.

Step 1: Decide What You Need

It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people find this difficult. Simply start by making a list of all the tasks you need help with. Be realistic about what you are willing to outsource, and consider any potential difficulties in monitoring and controlling the quality of work.

Type your admin requirements into a briefing document. Include background information about your company, what you do, why you are outsourcing your admin and what you hope to achieve. Be sure to provide instructions on when and how you would like them to respond to you. Perhaps, ask for a cost breakdown, proposals for controlling the quality of work, details of monthly usage reports, etc. You should also provide guidance on the decision criteria you will be using (e.g. cost, experience, references, etc) and their relative importance, so they know exactly what is important to you.

By sending formal requirements to prospective suppliers/candidates, you greatly increase your chances of getting comparable quotes.

Step 2: Do Your Research

There are so many people offering Virtual Admin Support these days that deciding which ones are serious businesses, as opposed to part-time mums at home and lifestyle businesses, is hard. The objective of this step is to identify just 8-10 relevant companies that are potentially right for you.

Internet search engines are the obvious place to start looking to develop a long-list of prospective suppliers/candidates and, with 90% of the search market, Google is the main one people use. Look for professional, error-free websites, where the content is original and extends further than simply stating an implausibly long list of services – a professional website makes a statement about their commitment and the content should convey an impression of their knowledge and expertise. Look also for specialties that match your needs, but if you are considering outsourcing a wider range of tasks in future then a broad base of experience and expertise may be more appropriate.


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