[Israel.pm] [off topic] Outsourcing Companies

Lisha Sterling lisha at sparkthing.com
Mon Jul 30 02:03:38 PDT 2007

My experience in the States was a very mixed bag, and what it came
down to was this: What is the outsourcing company you really work for
like? Find outsourcing companies that you like and stick with them,
and blacklist the rest.

You can give me the "things don't work like that in Israel" line, but
that's just B.S. Things don't always work like that anywhere, but
there is such a thing as good business and bad business and if you
accept bad business as a given, then you are only hurting yourself.
There are great businesses out there. Find them. Use them. Be happy.

A good outsourcing company has a relatively small margin between what
they get paid for your hours and what you get paid for your hours. If
a client is paying (in California terms) $100/hr for your time and you
are getting paid $45/hr for your time you are going to have a very
different attitude about your work than your end-client does. This
leads to all sorts of subtle conflicts in the work place. On the other
hand, if the client is paying $100/hr and you are getting $75 or $80,
then you are going to be more in line with their expectations
attitude-wise.  (yes, studies have been done, this isn't just greed
blabbering, it's also the psychology of value)

A good outsourcing company will check in on it's contractors fairly
regularly to make sure that everyone is happy. This isn't some kind of
micromanaging thing, this is more like, "Hey, so how's it going?
What's your on-site boss like? How do you like the project?" The same
sorts of informalish conversations between the outsource company and
the client are also important. There are all sorts of things this
does. If done right it helps keep morale of the worker high and
satisfaction of the customer high. But these conversations also help
the outsource company see when potential problems might arise and make
sure that things are handled well. If it looks like a contractor is
going to ditch, for instance, or if things are not going so well, the
outsource company can start looking for a temporary or permanent
replacement even before the client asks.

Some good outsourcing companies will also have other things that make
themselves more of a company, and not just a clearing house of
code-monkeys. I've worked for a couple of outsourcing firms that had
quarterly or bi-annual get-togethers with all of their contractors.
I've worked from some outsourcing firms that encouraged people to
recruit their friends into the company by offering finders fees for
bringing in anyone who worked at least two weeks on a contract for the
company. Two of the outsourcing firms I worked for had other benefits,
such as negotiated corporate deals with gym-chains, or discount cards
that work at various stores and businesses, similar to what the the
employees of the client companies might have. All of that stuff is
geography-based, though, since what makes a company attractive is
different in different locations.

The point is, a good outsourcing company has a good attitude about
business. They aren't just grabbing everything they can with a minimum
of effort. They see themselves as service oriented and they know their
product (you, the coder) and their client (the manager who signs the
P.O.s and makes hiring decisions at your on-site).

- Lisha

On 7/29/07, Shmuel Fomberg <semuelf at 012.net.il> wrote:
> Hello There.
> After I was (finally) released from the army, I started to work for
> Qualcomm thru an outsourcing company.
> My own experience was not totally bad, (I had to work on the contract to
> make it normal, and a little negotiating) but combining it with stories
> of others in the company, I come to see these outsourcing companies as
> the root of all evil.
> (Yes, I always see the world in black and white)
> But when I talked with someone that I know that work in Elbit, (thru the
> same company) he told me that actually his work conditions are better
> then Elbit's own employees.
> (I hate it when my world view turns to black-on-black)
> The rational behind the root-of-evil thought is that the outsourcing
> company actually doesn't care about the employee. It's the client
> company's concern. They (should) care about how motivated the person is.
> The outsourcing company just cut as much as it can from the deal.
> On the other hand, greed is universal.
> Your opinion?
> Shmuel.
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