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It’s Important To Consider Subcontracting, Especially When a Global Recession May Be Looming 

Contiem | April 26, 2023

With talk of an impending global recession, companies must brace for the challenges ahead. That includes being strategic about hiring decisions. Like many, you are probably asking when and where hiring makes sense — or doesn’t.

What is the best way to access best-in-class talent? While it’s often recommended to strengthen your in-house team, there are some situations when hiring doesn’t make sense. For example, recruiting extra people for specialized functions to augment accounting, human resources, technology, or content creation areas can spread a budget too thin.

Alternatively, you could partner with professionals to handle these responsibilities. That way, you and your team can focus on what you do best and avoid treating functions best handled by professionals in their specific areas as tasks that anyone can handle. 

Let’s use content creation as a running example to explain how hiring experts to handle your company’s beyond-core tasks is beneficial. Writing and creating content is not just a task that can be added to anyone’s to-do list. Content creation, management, and delivery is a profession, and content solutions are best left to content professionals.

Businesses thrive on effective content management

A seamless content experience sets high-value brands apart in the eyes of employees, customers, and stakeholders. You need compelling content to compete at the highest level. From user manuals to standard operating procedures to knowledge bases and online training resources, content is a vehicle that can drive your business forward.

What’s more, a recent survey showed 88% of people expect businesses to offer a self-service portal, which means providing easy-to-use product information and on-demand training resources. Content isn’t just nice to have; it’s expected. But if it’s not accessible and instantly available to meet a need, it might as well not exist.

Getting the right content solutions largely depends on whether you treat content creation, management, and delivery as tasks that any subject matter expert can perform, or a profession best handled by seasoned professionals. This point is central to the hiring vs. subcontracting discussion.

What is a task vs. a profession?

A task is a clearly-defined action you instruct an employee to perform as part of their job; however, adding certain tasks to your team’s to-do list can be too much of a distraction from their main responsibilities. To be cost-efficient, teams should do the work that best utilizes their professional expertise, as opposed to tasks that are outside the core competencies of their respective professions.

That is why we recommend working with outside professionals to complete non-core tasks. Professionals have invested years in training, certifications, ongoing education, and data-driven best practices; they get the best results most efficiently.

Content as a task

As a task, content creation, management, and delivery often is an afterthought, frequently delegated to department managers who do not always coordinate with each other to determine where their content needs may overlap. This inefficiency leads to extra costs.

Scaling content is critical to a company’s success but, as content libraries grow, viewing content creation, management, and delivery as tasks that just anyone can perform becomes more problematic. Employees who are not content professionals but who are assigned content-related tasks often don’t collaborate, and seldom prioritize content-related tasks. Employee turnover can lead to issues with undocumented processes; the longer this goes on, the bigger the problems become. You can end up with disjointed content management systems, filled with content of varying degrees of quality and completeness, providing mixed messaging to both employees and customers.

In this scenario, employees and customers alike spend more time searching for content than they should, and cannot be assured that content is accurate and up-to-date. Customer service groups can get hit with more questions than they can handle, causing frustration and overspending for all parties involved and frequently leading to lost opportunities for repeat business.

Content as a profession

When content creation, management, and delivery is treated as a profession, the tasks are removed from subject matter experts and the organization can have a consistent strategy that fits documentation into the existing processes and schedules. Content is well-organized and up-to-date, and its infrastructure is scalable, secure, efficient to maintain, and easy to use.

Well-designed and implemented enterprise content solutions save time and money. These systems can increase revenue as potential customers can learn more about a company’s products and services, and lower customer support costs as customers can search and find answers to their questions. We reduce content development and maintenance costs by introducing content reuse and breaking documents into components that appear in multiple documents, i.e., single-sourcing. 

Contiem provides a team of professionals

To meet your ongoing content needs, a single hire usually isn’t enough; you likely need a team of content professionals with varied skill sets who can analyze your needs, design solutions, and implement them efficiently. You could hire or contract with a professional to create your product documentation and another to build your employee training systems, but you would need others to handle publishing, translation, and internal documentation.

Hiring a team and building this infrastructure ​​takes a significant amount of time and content expertise even to identify the right candidates, and often is cost-prohibitive — your content needs may fluctuate, so your team may be extremely busy some months and not have enough to do at other times.

Engaging a firm is the best option for fulfilling all of your content creation, management, and delivery needs. It takes a team, and that’s what you get when you work with Contiem. 

Not only does Contiem have a world-class Component Content Management System (CCMS) platform — RSuite® — we help companies create and deliver the premium content they need to compete.

Contiem hires employees, covering a broad spectrum of skills and capabilities — everything from software development and technical writing to project management and courseware development. We have the industry experience and infrastructure to attract, and retain top-performing content professionals.

We assign a Contiem Project Manager to each of our clients. The Project Manager handles all aspects of the engagement, so you won’t have to. They focus on providing effective content solutions to meet your unique business objectives. They establish and monitor budgets, track team performance, and keep your deliverables on schedule.

Working with Contiem gives you access to highly-skilled and vetted content professionals. We allow you to skip the hassle and expense of trying to hire someone, and you can be confident you have the right people on the job.

Contiem is your competitive advantage. We don’t just know content and content software. We know content solutions. It’s time to get serious about content with result-focused professionals. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

About Contiem

Contiem has been the trusted content partner of choice for companies and organizations such as American Express, the U.S. Federal Government, The Home Depot, Cisco Systems, UnitedHealthcare, eBay, Facebook, and many more.

When you engage Contiem, we take the time to listen and develop an in-depth understanding of your immediate needs and longer-term challenges. Then, leveraging the capabilities that make us unique, we will provide a best-in-class, client-focused solution designed to achieve your business goals.

Experienced in a host of authoring software and with a wide variety of industries, we specialize in delivering a blend of services for product and process documentation, training development, translation and localization, and content management.