It’s common knowledge that jobs have been leaving the U.S. for years as companies search for more cost-effective workforces and facilities, but the tide is changing. News headlines about organizations moving their workforces offshore have been a norm for decades as businesses try to keep profit margins high and reduce their costs. A diminished reliance on the once robust U.S. workforce has impacted communities in unfavorable ways. However, there have been unforeseen circumstances and challenges with the offshore workforce model including infrastructure issues, workforce availability, local government regulations, skill shortage, and most recently, pandemic-related office shutdowns, and closures. Is there a way to get the onshore workforce you need, without the issues that come with offshoring? It turns out that there is, and it has many other benefits as well. Enter the Outsource to America™ program.
The O2A™ program, started in 2009, is designed to bring jobs back to the U.S. and demonstrate how an onshore workforce utilizing local talent could be more resilient and more secure with fewer limitations than the offshore model. In addition to the benefits of a robust workforce, it has a focus on community revitalization, building community partnerships, and developing businesses. Of course, there is a key element needed for the process to work and that’s the people who make up the workforce and get the job done. But how can you find the employees you need?
Creating partnerships with academic institutions, government organizations, non-profits, and training providers opens access to a vast amount of diverse and emerging talent. It’s more important for prospective talent to have the right aptitude and not necessarily the right education. If they are open to and accepting of training and new ideas, they can be a great candidate. Through local, online, and onsite training, they can learn the skills they need right where they are without relocation.
One of the most unique and important features of O2A™ is that you can get the workforce you need, even if it’s not in the traditional locations where your business is done and even if the skillset you need is not yet present in the population. Using the w@h (work at home) feature of O2A™ it is possible to reach underutilized professionals anywhere in the country.
Historically, most jobs reside in and around the big cities where rows of buildings house tightly packed offices and crowded shops, but not everyone enjoys the big city lifestyle. Many people like the benefit of living in the suburbs or beyond, where they can live in their own home, have a family, or simply enjoy the convenience of space and a personal parking spot. O2A™ and w@h provide a solution to this dilemma by making it possible to source experienced and emerging talent from non-traditional locations. Skilled professionals can be located states away from the company they work for. This also allows employers to widen the search net to find untapped talent resources from around the country and not just from their own backyard.
This shift in the workforce creates a positive impact in the cities where these employees live and work by creating an investment in the future of their community. There is a symbiotic relationship between business and community that makes each a stakeholder in the other’s success. By keeping employees living in their current communities instead of moving to a big city they will spend their time, money, and resources locally. This means boosting local economies with more resident buy-in instead of depleting them by moving their talented citizens to the big city or even out of state. As residents are increasingly involved in their local affairs, the more the engagement infrastructure of the community will be enhanced, paving the way for future generations to stay involved.
Along with all the benefits of O2A™, new challenges have been created by the w@h feature that requires unique and inventive solutions. Security is the main concern for businesses moving to the w@h model where employees work out of their own homes instead of in a secure office site.
Traditional security technologies like secure networks and company-owned devices must be involved to keep w@h safe, but overarching security is achieved by keeping employees trained and up to date on new security risks. Since the threats are always evolving so too must the security response. Events like yearly security training and mock phishing attacks help to keep personnel sharp and can incorporate newly learned security threats and challenges. By getting employees actively involved in security and giving them the training and knowledge to respond appropriately, the risks of the w@h model are greatly reduced.
The Outsource to America™ platform has been proven to work and sets the stage for what is to come. While the future is impossible to know, the recent events of the pandemic and the increasing amount of businesses looking for work-from-home options show that there is a want and a need for a framework to keep business moving forward with new and innovative solutions and access to a readily available talent pool. Outsource to America™ is the platform that can make it happen and create community benefits in the process. In uncertain times it is a solid path onward to create results for its users and impact positive change and revitalization on the businesses and communities it is deployed in.
Check out our podcast where we discuss Outsource to America™ with special guest, Tim Kessler, COO at MTM, Inc.