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Why outsource a manager?

Last week I posted that it is possible to outsource managerial roles as well as specific skill roles. But maybe you’re wondering why someone would outsource a manager so here’s my list of ideas – can you add to it?

  •  you only have to pay for the hours you need them to work – not a set number of hours each week
  • you may be able to access greater skills within your budget if they are not full time
  • if they work remotely, it saves you providing space, desk, computer and services for an extra person
  • it may give you more options such as having a manager in another state may open more face-to-face opportunities for your business as well as local contacts in that state
  • it can be a good way to trial what roles you need a manager for – you can outsource for 6 months to assess the situation as it is easier to end a short term contract than an employment contract
  • an outside manager may provide a different perspective and not be as involved in internal issues

Can you outsource a manager?

blue question markThe general answer is yes, you can outsource a managerial role but there are some exceptions and industry-specific challenges.

By outsourcing I simply mean having someone take on a managerial role as a contractor rather than an employee. Often this means they work remotely (ie not in the business premises) but that is not always the case.

For example, I do the Communications Manager role (including being listed on an org chart) for some companies who don’t need a full time person – I write their materials and manage the relevant suppliers (designers and printers mostly) from a distance.

Outsourcing a manager role may not be effective in every case of course:

  • a remote manager will be challenged to oversee staff in many situations
  • a retail manger needs to be in the shop to deal with customer issues
  • a production manager would need to be near the production line to ensure it is working and for any problem solving
  • a senior manager (eg general manager) who is not an employee may be less effective because they are not as invested in the business they are managing

So next time you are considering a full time employee manager, think about whether or not you could outsource that role effectively.

If you have outsourced a managerial role, even on a short term basis, how did it go? Woud you do it again?