What does a corporate Art/Marketing Department have in common with an IT Department, besides some of the company’s least understood employees? They’re not always seen as a core activity in a company. Or as a main area of expertise.
As critical as IT can be to a company, over the years this has led to a lot of big organizations outsourcing their IT functions to an external provider. The idea being to cut costs and focus on those core activities. The things that made money.
Unfortunately for a lot of those firms, having their IT farmed-out and managed beyond arms-length produced the opposite of what was intended. Cost over-runs. Critical delays. Security concerns.
So today, IT is coming or has come back in-house. Being insourced.
Insourcing is when a company ceases to contract a business function and begins to perform it internally. Or decides to develop a project or manage a function they might otherwise outsource.
But insourcing requires retraining existing staff. Or hiring new staff. Bringing in specialists for temporary needs. It raises a lot of issues regarding recruiting, software licenses that might be needed, physical work space and of course the costs of salaries, taxes and employee benefits. But insourcing also has real advantages, among which the most important is improved bidirectional communication, both with everyone working on a project or the final consumer.
So what does all this have to do with your Art/Marketing Department? After all, if you have one, you don’t need to insource. And, unless the company’s less than happy with its performance, we’ve already decided outsourcing isn’t the be all end all.
Actually we’re talking about a place in between the two. Something we’ve named IHOS. Or In-House-Out-Sourcing.
IHOS combines the best of both worlds—the flexibility of outsourcing with the improved bidirectional communication of on-site talent, which is especially important for subjective brand and marketing materials.
Essentially the IHOS vendor manages the department, and is responsible for the payroll, the training and hiring of specialized talent. The IHOS concept is a win-win. The company gets access to the great creative talent and expertise they depend on. If the work slows, the IHOS vendor can temporarily move that talent from one company to another. If the workload picks up…same thing.
We learned a few things from this last recession. No one likes to be put in the position of letting people go when the economy contracts.
“When the ‘Great Recession’ hit, we were contacted by one of the world’s largest employers to manage their Marketing Department. We retained some of their existing staff, and meticulously hired the rest of the department. As a staffing company, we’ve done this before. We have staffed entire departments from the ground up. Except this time, everyone we brought on was our employee, not our customer’s. And we manage the payroll, vacation schedules and day to day business like we were part of the company.
This has been so rewarding both to me as a recruiter and to our customer in the level of talent,” says Raquel Rodriguez, VP of Sales and Partner icreatives.com.