Do you need me or do you want me? – Outsource training

A possible scenario: The President of CMS was asked to meet with senior management of Thompson and Associates to discuss whether outsourced training in specific human resource areas and specific processes to get employee buy-in was necessary to achieve organizational goals.  The President of CMS posed the following question to the senior management of Thompson and Associates, Do you need me or do you want me?

That is the question that should be addressed when outsourced training is being considered and what the response would be from the employees. When considering outsourced training, a key decision for organizations should be not whether to outsource and how much training to outsource, but rather, is there the need for training or the desire for training, or both that should be considered. Understanding this possible dichotomy and come in agreement with why training is needed, desired, or both, by many employees is a good indicator on how these employees will respond to training, whether it is in-house or outsourced.

Rouse (2013) describes “outsourcing as practice in which an individual or company performs tasks, provides services or manufactures products for another company, functions that could have been or is usually done in-house” (p.1).  Noe (2013) states that outsourced training is used by an outside company that takes complete responsibility and control over specific or designated training of services or products of that organization. There are many reasons to consider when training for organizational members is considered.

The following chart outlines some of these considerations.


Table 1: Need versus Desire for Training

A recent study appearing in Fortune Magazine (May, 2016) showed that outsourcing among U.S. companies is up 50% from four years ago and growing 15%-20% annually. “Top functions for outsourcing include payroll, HR management, customer service, call centers, technology, and now corporate training. As the needs of both businesses and employees evolve, human resources outsourcing is fast becoming the essential solution for companies seeking a trusted HR services provider so they can concentrate on strategies for growth” (p.2).

It can be a strategic tool that will move organizations into the 21st century and have an impact on the local, national, or global economy. For training to be beneficial to all that are participating in the training, there has to be management buy-in.  Leaders of the organization must make training an integral part of how they think and therefore operate. Leaders must know whether training is needed or desired, or both, in order to have effective training for all participants. Employees tend to participate in activities, e.g., training, that they understand the reasons for their participation and the possible outcome for their participation.

The President of CMS asked the senior management to give careful consideration of and discussion on the above dynamics, then ask the question, “Do you need me or do you want me?

Questions to Ask When Considering Outsourcing (Noe, 2013)

  • What are the capabilities of your training function? Does the staff know enough that you can grow the training skills you need, or do you need to hire training skills from the outside?
  • Can your in-house training function take on additional training responsibilities?
  • Is training key to your company’s strategy? Is it Proprietary?
  • Does your company value its training organization?
  • Does the training content change rapidly?
  • Ae outsourced trainers viewed as experts, or are they viewed with cynicism?
  • Do you understand that strengths and weaknesses of your current training programs?
  • Do you want to outsource the entire training function?
  • Are executive leaders trying to minimize training’s impact on your company? Does your company accept responsibility for building skills and talents/
    Is a combination of internal and external training the best solution?
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