Do you want to hire virtual employees to work in your business while also providing jobs for Americans? Are you looking for someone experienced to do IT work or design your website, but you’ve been burned by outsourcing such tasks to foreign workers overseas in the past? Now there’s a win-win-win solution for these problems. You can save money compared to in-office employees, help keep jobs in the U.S. and avoid issues with international time zones or language barriers by “rural sourcing” employees.
Sometimes called on-shore outsourcing or domestic outsourcing, rural sourcing means hiring small-town rural residents who work for your business remotely. Rural sourcing differs from, say, finding a freelancer on Elance.com who might happen to live in a rural area. Businesses hire these workers through a rural sourcing firm, which trains and manages the employees (kind of like a temporary agency does) and provides the office and equipment where they work.
Today, rural sourcing is most often used in the IT industry and can be a great way to hire coders, testers, IT consultants and software developers for rates typically 25 to 50 percent less than you might pay for such workers in an urban area that has a higher cost of living. Rural sourcing is also being used for customer service jobs such as call centers.
You can feel good about rural sourcing not just because of the difference it can make to your bottom line, but also because you’re helping keep Americans employed. Some rural sourcing companies even hire unemployed workers and teach them IT skills. That means your hire could be giving someone who was at a dead end a whole new lease on life.
If you’re located in a big city with a high cost of living, can’t find employees with the skills you need nearby, or can’t afford to hire those you do find, rural sourcing could be just the answer you’re looking for. Do a search for “rural sourcing” or “onshore outsourcing,” or visit Onshore Outsourcing, Rural Sourcing Inc. and WaveCreste, three companies that provide rural sourcing. You can also check out this CIO.com slideshow to see the hottest areas where rural sourcing is growing.