Online Reputation Management (ORM) has become increasingly important today for not only businesses, but professionals as well. As the term indicates, ORM involves managing the reputation of a business or an individual by assessing, managing and controlling negative reviews and negative publicity for executives, celebrities, politicians, professionals, and corporates and other businesses.

Here are 3 reasons why you want to consider outsourcing your business’s reputation management to professionals who have the expertise and experience to deal with online negativity.

ORM is time-consuming

While managing your business’s reputation may seem like an easy task in its early stages, a growing and expanding business requires dedicated personnel going over negative reviews and comments posted online every single day. While you may be willing and able to bear this added burden on your resources, it does not mean that your online reputation is actually being managed as it should.

Only googling negative feedbacks and reviews is not enough. It takes an entire team to generate positive content and employ other proven tools that will place your business back on the A-list. Additionally, ORM experts know how to handle each different type of negative publicity, from discouraging customer reviews and onslaughts from competition to conflict management and controversial issues that harm your public standing.

Online reputation affects revenue

It is well known that an individual or business’s reputation travels ahead of them. This has never been more true than in today’s digitized world, where anyone and everyone can post an online negative review about your products or services, free for the world to read and share.

Whether you are a professional, such as a doctor or a lawyer, the top executive of a blue chip company, or a public figure, your online reputation directly impacts your business and your revenues.

Do note that ORM is not only about dealing efficiently with negative press or poor customer feedback. Effective ORM strategies are employed during the good times—when all is going well and you want to boost the public image of your enterprise and win customer loyalty. Many successful businesses and individuals have ORM consultants, such as Brightpast.com, working in the background all year round, enhancing their public perception through positive content and reputation-building strategies.

If you’re serious about improving your business’s profitability, make reputation management an integral part of your marketing activities.

Conflict management needs expertise

Conflicts can arise with customers, ex-employees, present staff, rights organizations, competitors, suppliers—the list is endless. A key job of an ORM specialist is to manage conflicts in real-time, as soon as they occur.

With a reputation management team to fall back upon when everything you built seems to be drowning in negativity, you can take a deep breath and rest assured that you have seasoned professionals working on the problem.

To sum up, outsourcing the tremendous job of burying past bad reputation under the good word of present to a topnotch ORM agency is the way to go if you’d rather use your valuable time and resources for other important tasks.

As outsourcing takes the center stage as a measure organizations use to cut cost, with it comes deadly risks and rewards if done well. Outsourcing has many benefits that have seen even tech giants such as IBM, Apple Inc., and Microsoft outsource some of their services. This article focuses particularly on IT mistakes that an organization should avoid in order to reap the most from outsourcing.

Outsourcing the Wrong Activities

As the struggle for profits and a place in the competitive business world affects many business the same applied for tech firms. Intense competition is out there and only the most innovative firms are the ones benefiting from contracts.

Outsourcing firms are going overboard to offer extra services beyond their areas of specialization. This may sometimes act as a trap to many business that would prefer to accept extra services which may end up being an essential service/job that would have been better kept in-house. Prior to accepting a service business should do an analysis of the pros and cons of outsourcing the job and a risk assessment.

Poor Transition

Transition is a process equally important to the rest of the outsourcing phases. According to Varma from CIO.com, poor transition might lead to loss of stakeholder confidence, delay in go live dates, and disruption of certain business processes. Transition process is one of the phases in outsourcing process that is underestimated but in essence requires effective planning and oversight.

There should be sign off of the transition phase. Business and the contractor should do evaluation of the transition stage to ensure that knowledge transfer has been impacted to the staff.  If possible the contractor should develop a portal where business can get learning materials such as videos for demonstration.

Overestimating Cost Savings

Business always find outsourcing to be a cost benefit in many ways. However, many business are caught in the trap of overestimating the cost benefits of outsourcing IT and neglect the nitty-gritty that come with outsourcing IT functions. Unlike other processes that are outsourced, IT outsourcing would mean collaborating with the contractor during different time zones, excessive training of in-house staff if it is a technical activity, involvement of teams during development. Considering these and other inconveniences that may be faced by business then the aspect of cost savings are least reaped and sometimes it would have been better doing the activity in-house rather than outsourcing.

Ignoring Exit Strategy

If outsourcing hasn’t worked there should be an exit strategy in place so that all parties to the contract have no legal disputes to settle. Often this is least remembered and not put in place in the contract. It is not once that business have fallen victim of a contractor failing to deliver all the milestones previously agreed. In such cases, an exit strategy come in handy. An exit strategy saves the company time and money that may arise from legal battles.

Wrong Pricing Model

The pricing model you use is important in determine the quality of job you will have. Different IT projects may require different pricing models. For short-term projects it would be preferable to use fixed milestones.

Managing a dedicated development team, you would better use a time tracker application to track hours worked and pay against the hours. Different projects have different approaches of working and to reap the maximum benefits of a project it would be rational to identify the best approach of compensation prior to starting the project.

Contracting for Innovation

Whereas contractors/vendors might bring in radical changes that might mean an overhaul of the current IT systems in place, it is not sufficient to rely on contractors for your entire IT innovation. Business should employ the right professionals that will steer the organization to the right places technology wise. Having even one manager in place who is knowledgeable on the best IT practices is better since with the manager you expect innovation of business process and possible re-engineering of the current IT systems in use.

Some business will fall short of innovation by having the wrong IT professionals and in turn covering their shortfall by outsourcing a contractor and expect the contractor to be innovative. This is a costly mistake that business should avoid by all means.

Focus on Solution Instead of the Problem

It is not weird to see organization spending a lot of money to purchase the latest IT gadgets or systems at the expense of addressing the existing problem. Business should try to address the root cause of the problem instead of rushing to fix solutions to the problem. If an organization is not affected by a new technical breakthrough there shouldn’t be any need to invest in the technology.

By focusing on problems organizations are able to solve a lot of hidden problems that may have been piggybacking on the existing problem. Sometimes procuring the least priced IT system/equipment sometimes can get organization out of their existing problems.

Outsourcing a firm that is famous for a certain skill at a premium cost doesn’t mean that existing common organization can fix problems. Therefore it is prudent for organization to draw a clear solution path to their problems at the same time they should clearly identify their problems to avoid scenarios of hopping from one solution to another instead of focusing on the problem.

Outsourcing Template

Different organization have different success paths and stories. While an organization might have an IT outsourcing blueprint for their journey to success, it is not advisable to adopt the same blueprint. Organizations have different challenges and face different problems. One organization reason for outsourcing will be different from another organization.

Therefore, businesses shouldn’t depend on a fixed solution path that might have been offered by a contractor. Organizations should define their risk profile, define their existing challenges and draw a solution path to their problem prior to outsourcing. If your competitors in the same industry are outsourcing, that’s not the reason for you to outsource.

Back office operations are an integral part of any business, including recruitment agencies. To ensure that your recruitment business runs smoothly, you have to see to it that your back office operations are conducted efficiently. Outsourcing your back office requirements can lessen your burden without impacting your core-business activities. Check out the main advantages of recruitment agencies in outsourcing back office support services:

A cost-effective solution

Cost efficiency is one of the key objectives of all business. By outsourcing the back office support services of your recruitment agency, you can save on costs on many fronts. For instance, you will be able to reduce the labour costs needed to maintain an in-house back office staff. Also, infrastructural costs and expenses related to business operations and staff training also gets reduced when your back office services are handled by an external agency. In other words, you can expect to derive maximum output by investing minimum operational cost.

More opportunity to focus on core business

When you have to deal with the back office services, your time gets divided between them and your core business demands. While handling both these aspects is important for your business, it makes more sense to invest your time and energy to meet your core business demands. If you outsource your back office requirements, this objective can be easily achieved. You will have more time on your hands to focus on your core business. At the same time, you will also know that your back office services are taken care of in an effective manner.

Get efficient service

Efficiency is a prime concern area when it comes to back office service for recruitment agencies. This is where an outsourcing firm can be of great help. You get to hire the services of experienced professionals who are adept at handling back-office operations. Also, you can expect to get fast reporting apart from the delivery of accurate services. If you are looking for a firm that specifically deals with your industry requirements, you can consider recruitment back office outsourcing to Back Office Support Services.

Flexibility in staffing

With an outsourcing firm handling the back office support services of your recruitment agency, you won’t have to worry about staffing issues. You can scale up or scale down your work as per your requirement without having to worry about payment issues. The flexibility to pay only for the amount of work that is handled by the outsourcing firm provides you the freedom to increase or decrease the workload as per your business demands. You can hire additional resources whenever they are required and let them go when the work is done.

If you’re looking for more pros and cons of outsourcing, the linked post is a great next step. And remember, whether you are a start-up or an established agency, the advantages of outsourcing back office support services for your recruitment agency are many. However, make sure that the outsourcing agency you select is an experienced one with a long-standing track record of providing back office support services for recruitment agencies in an effective manner.