Types and forms of outsourcing – definition, company services, advantages and disadvantages

The content of the article

Recently, narrow-profile specialists have become much more valued, so many companies attract employees from external sources. Outsourcing service is very popular today – what it is and how outsourcers work, not everyone knows yet. This service comes to the rescue when you need to save the company’s budget and effectively organize its work..

What is outsourcing?

Translated from English, the term outsourcing means an external source. Outsourcing services involve the transfer of certain functions to specialists of another company. As a rule, this applies to non-core industries. The external contractors under the contract provide catering, transport services, advertising, cleaning, marketing, security and more. The outsourcing company is engaged in personnel outstaffing – the transfer of personnel to other firms and enterprises. Recently, this industry has been actively developing due to the demand for contractor services..

The essence of outsourcing

Outsourcing work is based on the main principle – to keep what you can do better than others. External employees are given what they can do better than the staff of the customer’s company. The main objective of the transfer of functions to subcontractors is the release of resources and the concentration of all enterprise efforts on competitive advantages.

Outsourcing services help the customer reduce the company’s costs of paying taxes, sick leave, leave, contributions to pension funds and more. In addition to reducing additional costs, the customer saves time on the organization of work of employees and the formation of staff. The main advantage of outsourcing is that it helps the customer to concentrate on their own main production, without wasting time and money on additional activities. Subcontractors have more experience than non-core staff.

The procedure for attracting an outsourcer provides for the conclusion of an appropriate contract. Each of the parties bears legal responsibility for the fulfillment of obligations. Depending on the selected type of outsourcing, certain functions of the company are transferred to subcontractors related to information technology, human resources, accounting and more. The customer under a staff lease must pay for services on time. The responsibility of the outsourcer is to provide qualified staff..

Little men holding hands


The answer to the question, outsourcing – what is it, you can get by studying the functions that it provides. Any duties can be assigned to third-party performers, but the service does not apply to the selection of managerial personnel. Enterprises turn to outsourcing firms to transfer the following responsibilities:

  • accounting;
  • HR management;
  • employee payroll;
  • taxation operations;
  • equipment service;
  • ensuring the functioning of the office;
  • software;
  • Maintenance;
  • execution of written, oral, simultaneous translations;
  • Information Support;
  • creation and control of advertising companies;
  • security;
  • regulation of legal issues of the enterprise;
  • development and implementation of projects;
  • logistics and delivery management;
  • cleaning;
  • performance of production functions.

Outsourcing in Russia

The history of outsourcing implementation in Russia begins in the 90s. The first to appear in the country are security companies, marketing agencies and companies that control public relations. An aggravating factor in the development of outsourcing of any business in the Russian Federation was the low social security of employees. The main impetus for the development of the industry in the country was the desire to save on financial costs without sacrificing production efficiency.

At the moment, outsourcing of business process optimization is popular in the territory of the Russian Federation, however, many stereotypes are associated with this concept. It is important to understand that outsourcing is not only the recruitment of personnel, but also the organization of full cooperation in a specific area. By attracting outside workers, it is easier for customer enterprises to conquer the market and increase production capacity.

Many large companies in the country have already managed to assess the benefits of outsourcing. Especially popular are the services of advertising agencies, the development and promotion of sites, accounting services, staffing. The advantage of long-term contracts with outsourcing companies is the ability to annually increase cost savings and the size of financial resources for core development.

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Types of Outsourcing

To effectively conduct business, a company can transfer non-core functions to a contractor. In practice, enterprises use different services, of which there are a huge number. Choose an outsourcing company, taking into account the requirements of your company. Below are the main types of outsourcing that are developing in Russia and other countries..


High-tech industrial enterprises often transfer functions to process, assemble, and test products to contractors. The whole process is given to third parties by telecommunications companies. Production outsourcing helps to reduce the cost of manufacturing goods, increase the level of reliability and quality. The transfer of responsibilities allows you to focus on the development of new products, sales and promotion of existing.

IT outsourcing

This industry is one of the most popular and includes a wide range of functions that are related to the maintenance of computer hardware, software. IT outsourcing – what are these services? They can be attributed to equipment maintenance, program development. The popularity of information technology around the world makes this type of industry one of the most popular.

Knowledge Management Outsourcing

This species is only beginning to develop in the United States, so some countries are not familiar with it. The service involves the management of company processes that require in-depth study and serious analytical processing. Outsourcing firms undertake the formation of a knowledge base and management. Information in the future can be used to make important management decisions..


This industry helps to reduce the costs of the enterprise for the organization of its own accounting. The functions within this industry are transferred to various contractors. Outsourcing accounting – what kind of service? One of the most popular forms of the industry is the transfer of accounting and reporting responsibilities to a third-party organization. It is important to consider that the management of the customer’s enterprise is responsible for the result (responsibility is not transferred under a subcontract together with obligations).

There are several options for cooperation:

  • Accounting;
  • making report;
  • tax accounting;
  • full service (daily accounting, reporting for temporary periods, the creation and conduct of primary documentation).

Girl with a calculator

Personnel Outsourcing

In large enterprises, where the possibility of staff turnover is not ruled out, this type of service is in demand. Personnel outsourcing – what does this mean? Such services are provided by recruitment agencies, which helps the company significantly reduce the cost and time spent on staff management. Specialists of outsourcing companies can take on hiring employees, calculating the tax burden regarding salaries, bonuses, and compensations. It is important to note that the recruitment agency is not responsible for the quality of work of hired personnel.


Medium and small companies actively use the services of legal outsourcing firms. Contractors provide labor and tax law services. In addition, you can attract outsourcers for the correct reorganization, registration or liquidation of a legal entity. As a rule, full-time lawyers are much more expensive than the services of contractors, due to the low load on a specialist.


Transport outsourcing involves the transfer of transportation or delivery functions to third parties. This is convenient for enterprises that need to periodically send goods at certain distances, but there is no need for their own transport department. Recently, the logistics outsourcing market is actively developing. Contractors may carry out storage and transport duties..

Outsourcing company

For some business representatives, the question of what an outsourcing company is is unclear. An outsourcer is a highly specialized company with a wide range of services that provides personnel to other enterprises on the basis of an agreement on temporary cooperation. The tasks of such contractors are to create an asset of the company, which includes qualified employees of various specialties, full-time and reserve.

What does

Depending on the profile of the outsourcer, he can offer potential customers the following services:

  • bookkeeping;
  • legal advice;
  • advertising;
  • insurance activity;
  • tax accounting;
  • cleaning;
  • office printing;
  • website promotion.

Man and woman work in the office

Outsourcing agreement

All relations between the customer and the outsourcer are governed by the relevant agreement. The subject of the transaction is the provision of personnel meeting certain qualification requirements. The essential terms of the outsourcing agreement are presented below:

  • subject of agreement;
  • the number of employees involved, their qualifications;
  • the amount of work to be performed;
  • cost of contractor services;
  • payment procedure for services;
  • rights and obligations of the parties;
  • duration of the agreement;
  • procedure for acceptance of services.

It is important to take into account that the legislation of the Russian Federation does not regulate the issue of outsourcing services, which is a minus of working with third-party organizations, and therefore the agreement becomes the only source of control over the fulfillment of the terms of the transaction is the agreement. It is important to reflect in it options for resolving all possible issues, controversial issues. It is necessary to describe in detail the list of services provided. The contract is signed by the parties entitled to it. In some cases, it is worth checking if the outsourcing company has a license to provide services.

How to open an outsourcing company

Before opening an outsourcing company, it is worth considering all the risks and finding your niche in the market. Owners can register as legal entities or entrepreneurs. It is important to immediately indicate the main activities of the company. You can choose any sphere, as long as it is in demand in your region. An outsourcer company needs start-up capital to rent a room, organize labor of personnel, etc..

When organizing such a business, special attention should be paid to staff: the agency’s work efficiency, reputation, and productivity directly depend on the level of staff training. Employees are required to have the appropriate qualifications and experience. Having chosen a certain direction of the company’s activity, it’s important for management to navigate the basic requirements for personnel themselves or to use the services of a qualified personnel.

Outsourcing Examples

In practice, you can often find outsourcing relationships. For example, many manufacturers and trade enterprises cooperate with call centers in order not to organize them on their territory. Employment agencies are also in great demand, especially in large cities. Specific examples of using the service are presented below:

  1. Ford produces on its own only 1/3 of its products, the rest is given to subcontractors.
  2. Another giant that managed to evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing, and actively using this scheme of work, is IKEA. It practically does not have its own production, working with thousands of suppliers. Transport functions in IKEA are delegated to a third-party organization, so the company devotes all its resources to the retail sale of products.
  3. Back in the 90s, Kodak handed over all IT areas to IBM, which aimed at leadership in this segment and got this opportunity.

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