Wannabe ISSPs: Outsourcers that Embellish their Social Impact

I won’t name names, but it doesn’t take long to search the web and find traditional outsourcers who use the term ‘impact sourcing’ in their marketing. This has the potential to devalue the term and limit the industry’s potential for growth. A hard line must be established to qualify business process outsourcing providers as ISSPs. With the Impact Sourcing industry just beginning to identify itself and generate awareness among customers, is now the best time to define what defines an ISSP and a traditional BPO?

It has to be done. Now is as good a time as any to define what separates an ISSP from a traditional BPO. In fact, I have a good idea of how we need to do this:

  • Survey existing ISSPs
  • Examine common characteristics regarding their social impact
  • Define liberal benchmarks that allow currently recognized ISSPs to remain categorized as such

If we repeat this process for some time, we’ll begin to zero in on what quantifies an ISSP. With partners, Impact Hub hopes to develop preliminary numbers we can use to qualify ISSPs for inclusion in our list of stakeholders. Customers need a way to find ISSPs that truthfully communicate their positive impact on the communities they work with. We’re particularly interested in tracking the following:

  • Gender-inclusive hiring practices
  • Wages far above average of their neighbors
  • Re-investment of profits into the community (education, training, infrastructure, benefits)

To take it a step further, we need measurement consultants and funding to verify these ISSPs are generating social impact. Just because they say so in a survey doesn’t mean it’s actually happening. With verification will come infographics and other communications tools the ISSPs can use to attract more business and keep clients happy.

What would you like to see service providers “graded” on?