Outsourcing is the hiring of an outside company to perform a task otherwise performed internally by the company; generally with the goal of lowering costs and/or streamlining work flow. Outsourcing contracts are generally several years in length. Companies that hire outsourced services providers often prefer to focus on their core strengths while sending more routine tasks outside for others to perform. Typical outsourced services include the running of human resources departments; telephone call centers and computer departments. When outsourcing is performed overseas; it may be referred to as offshoring.�