Setting up offshore teams of support staff in the Philippines has become somewhat of a standard business practice for Western businesses in recent years. Companies are able to make great cost savings and access a whole range of other benefits, but if you have never worked with an offshore team before, it’s natural that you will probably have a few questions.
In the ten years plus that we have been helping businesses set up successful offshore support teams, one of the most common questions that we are asked by companies new to outsourcing is, ‘What can I expect from staff in the Philippines?’.
While there are, of course, many things that you can expect from your staff when you are outsourcing, the team here at Cloudstaff have come up with a list below of the most important points that every business outsourcing for the first time needs to know.
What should I expect from outsourced staff in the Philippines?
- You should expect your staff to be highly educated
- You should expect their work quality to meet or exceed local standards
- You should expect your staff to speak excellent English
- You should expect your staff to be punctual and timely
Highly educated professionals
As a rapidly advancing country, the Philippines places a lot of importance on education and has an exceptional schooling system and a thriving tertiary sector. When looking to engage outsourced staff, you can expect to be able to find highly educated candidates who are fully qualified for any role that you require. In fact, it is often the case that you will find staff who are overqualified for their roles. For example, at Cloudstaff, over 85% of our staff have a tertiary degree or higher, even for entry and low-level jobs. Our customers often comment that they would never be able to find the same calibre of worker if they were employing 100% of their roles on shore.
Not only will you be able to find highly skilled and fully qualified staff to fill the positions that you need, but you will also be able to find a wide range of experience levels. The Philippine outsourcing sector is a mature, well established industry, which means that it’s not difficult to find senior staff with years of experience working in their respective fields with US, UK, Australian and other international companies.
Meet or exceed local standards
One of the biggest misconceptions about outsourcing to an offshore destination is that the quality of the work produced by offshore workers will be of a lower standard than if it were done locally. The thinking goes that ‘If I pay a lower price, then the quality will not be as high’. This is not the case, however, when it comes to outsourcing.
While a significant price difference in a company’s home country might be an indicator of quality, the significant cost savings that can be made when outsourcing to the Philippines are due to the developing economy and the lower cost of living.
When you outsource roles to the Philippines, you should expect your offshore staff to produce a standard of work that either meets or exceeds the quality of work that you would receive in your home country.
It is, of course, understandable that when businesses outsource roles to another country, they may hold concerns about how well their offshore staff are going to be able to communicate. This is a legitimate question to ask, and in some international outsourcing destinations, there is reason to be concerned.
In the Philippines, however, you have nothing to worry about.
As a former US colony, English is widely spoken, is taught in all schools, and is one of the nation’s official languages. It is also the official language of instruction in universities, the court systems and is the primary language used in the nation’s flourishing business sector.
Businesses looking to set up outsourced teams in the Philippines often have questions about staff punctuality. When researching online, you don’t have to look very far to find references to what is commonly termed, ‘Filipino Time’ – a reference to Filipinos regularly being late.
While time is not as rigid in local Filipino culture as it is in the West, the culture within the Philippine Outsourcing Sector is very much based on punctuality and timeliness. As a mature industry and the largest employment sector in the country, Philippine workers are well versed in the fact that Western businesses expect their employees to be on time and ready to complete tasks in a timely manner.
Cloudstaff’s outsourcing experts are always available to help. We specialize in helping small to medium sized businesses to set up successful and cost-effective outsourced support teams in the Philippines.
We have been a leader in the industry for over ten years and are always willing to share our knowledge and experience with you.