5 Factors to Consider when Outsourcing Foreign

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If India or other overseas based recruiters will take on the toughest jobs for less compensation, anyone would be a fool to turn them down…right?

Not so fast.

Before signing work over to any foreign nation, a firm must look at its cultural and business climate from the client’s perspective. If you were the client, would you want to work with an outsourced recruiter?

Let’s consider this more closely:

Imagine the last time you called a Dell help desk and couldn’t understand the person on the other end of the line. They tried their best to speak the language, you tried your best to maintain patience, but the comprehension just wasn’t there. Now imagine that your clients and candidates were approached with a call from this same person. How long would they stay on the line before their patience ran thin? Perhaps you don’t even want to imagine; regardless of the Indian individual’s effort, the prospect is awful for customer service!

Just as American recruiters’ ridiculous habits could be cured by some training and intensive education, overseas based recruiters could use the same transformation. The difference is that many foreign based recruiters possess even less access to these programs. This equates to even more of the ludicrous habits that we already see in the American recruiter industry, such as tactless contact methods, ludicrous pitches, and intrusiveness.

Recruiters must be able to appeal to their candidates long enough to sell the position. This requires understanding the person’s goals, drivers, likes, and dislikes, as well as their past experiences. While it is not impossible for cross-national selling to occur, cultural barriers do inhibit this process greatly. The drivers of an Indian IT representative, for example, might vary significantly from that of an American IT representative due to hierarchy, cultural values, family values, political climate, economic climate, and a host of other factors. These differences can be overcome with enough communication; however, as discussed previously, communication is often a barrier in itself.

Whether deserved or not, many third-party recruiters from India and other like regions have a reputation for being far too aggressive. Candidates and clients will have this idea before contact is made, immediately souring the relationship. If the recruiter is, in fact, intrusive in his/her methods, this only affirms the stereotype and further disintegrates the exchange.


Because India is halfway across the world, communicating with both clients and candidates becomes an unforeseen hardship. Waking up at 2 a.m. to speak with the third-party recruiter might become a weekly habit, and candidates might be disturbed by the recruiter’s intrusive nighttime contacts. Only a committed recruiter will stay awake to talk to your candidates at reasonable hours, but the conversations might not be as productive as a daytime chat.


If you don’t take our word for it, perhaps Keith Warburton’s 5 Key Cultural Issues when Outsourcing to India will do the trick. For more general Indian outsourcing horror stories, check out Andy Hilliard’s Outsourcing Horror Stories: 4 Lessons Learned the Hard Way.

As you can see, LinkedIn is replete with personal blogs regarding foreign outsourcing in general, and the outlook is terrifying to say the least.

While benefits to foreign outsourcing certainly exist - mainly in the form of costs and tenaciousness – the drawbacks should cause any strategic firm to pause and reconsider its next steps. Are the low prices worth the risks? Are they worth the hassle and headache?

At Qualigence International, we made our decision. We’ll never risk quality to save ourselves a dollar.

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