Remote Teams
Building vs Outsourcing a Support Team
Should you build your own or utilize an outside vendor?

With all the time and work you'll put into ramping up a third-party team, you could be building your own support team instead. I've worked with third party companies and have built my own remote team. There are pros and cons to consider with either option, but after working with both, I'll choose to build my own team in almost every instance going forward. Here's how I think about an internal (but remote) team vs a third party company:

Pros of an internal (but remote) team:

  • Can control who is hired + their background (vs relying on a third party to screen and listen to your feedback)
  • Have fair labor controls (how they're paid + how much vs a third party that takes a percent; I'd argue that you'd get and retain higher talent at an amount that makes sense for both you and the team members)
  • Build loyalty to your company and not a third party
  • In control of promotion paths/growth
  • If people aren't working out, you can make firing and hiring decisions quickly and retain good people (vs a third party, if you decide to work with another vendor, you would need to ramp up an entirely new team again)

Cons of an internal (but remote) team:

  • Dedicate resources to sourcing + screening applicants (My first remote team member became this person, and brought in others as referrals and used her own experience working with us to interest applicants)
  • Structure career path and growth (same as an internal team member- there needs to be a promotion path)
  • Integration with the in-office team in terms of meetings, scheduling, etc (remote teams do require additional thought around how to hold meetings, how to make them part of a team, etc)

The main question for me was "do we plan to grow to a point where I'll want more control over quality?" Making that transition would be tough if I decided I wanted to do it after starting with a third-party team.

What do you think? How do you think about outsourcing vs building your own team?