Why do companies outsource
to the Philippines?
For many businesses, the Philippines is a logical choice to source offshore staff. English is widely spoken throughout the country and the education level within urban areas is very high. The country is bursting with a highly-skilled workforce. Filipino people are keen to develop long working relationships with companies in the USA, Australia, UK, New Zealand and Canada. The outsourcing industry has been established in the Philippines since the 1990s and there is a smorgasbord of agencies that can help businesses find their perfect offshore solution. This combination of excellent English, highly-skilled workforce, and a well-established offshoring model makes the Philippines the number one place for your outsourcing needs.
Naturally, you want your offshore staff to have excellent English. Even if they aren’t taking calls, their written communication needs to be flawless. The Philippines has one of the highest rates of English proficiency outside of Europe and the English-speaking world. For a country that’s smack-bang in the middle of Asia and the Pacific, it has an enviably high level of English comprehension.
Filipinos start learning English in school, and all government business, notices and documentation are in English. It’s common for younger people to speak in a mix of Tagalog and English - known as Taglish - because English is just such a regular part of their day-to-day life.
The Philippines has an enviable workforce of over 45 million people, with a significant proportion of those being highly-skilled. Many young Filipinos take advantage of the tuition-free technical schools and stage colleges to boost their education. The government recognises that a skilled workforce is a valuable asset and has introduced policies and incentives to encourage Filipinos to stay in school longer, gaining both broad and specialised skills. The benefit to business is an exceptional pool of talent you can tap into to find your perfect employee or offshore team.
The Philippines was under Spanish rule for 300 years, and most Filipinos are Catholic as a result. The Americans then followed and ruled for nearly 50 years. This has had a huge effect on the archipelago. Despite being part of Asia, the Philippines can feel very European, with a strong focus on food and family. Holidays like Christmas and New Year are very important, and dishes like fried chicken, spaghetti and Spam (yes, Spam) are popular. The cities definitely don’t give you the same culture shock as you find in parts of India or China.
Filipinos think nothing of starting work at 4am for a client, if that’s what the timezone dictates. Living near the equator means that Filipino people are used to getting up early or starting late in the evening to avoid the hot midday sun. It’s not uncommon to see groups of family members taking a stroll in the park at 3 in the morning, or doing house repairs at 10 at night. You’ll find that Filipino workers can adapt easily to whatever timezone your business operates in - meaning you can even offer 24 hour support to your customers.
A lot of people couldn’t point to the Philippines on a map - you’ll find it below China, to the east of Vietnam, and about 5 hours flight north from Sydney. The Philippines is close to Asia, Australia and the Pacific and is more or less the centre of the Asia-Pacific region. That’s handy for any businesses with dealings in that area.
Although it offers excellent education opportunities, the Philippines has a very low cost of living. This translates into an economical offshore staffing solution for your business. For example, a Senior IT Developer with ten years of experience comes at a fraction of the cost of a developer you can hire locally. You can hand your administrative tasks over to someone with an MBA for the cost of an onshore junior staff member. Economical doesn’t mean cheap and it doesn’t mean low quality. What you get are highly-qualified people who are perfectly aligned with your business. The staffing costs represent a significant saving to your business, which means you can either hire someone with more experience than you could otherwise afford, or take on extra staff at busy times.
Established outsourcing model
The outsourcing industry started in the Philippines in the 1990s with call centres for banks and telecommunications. It was those mega-businesses that provided the infrastructure and paved the way for smaller businesses to take advantage of the Filipino workforce. With such a long and well-established model, you can rest assured that you won’t be dealing with cowboys or hacks.
Whatever your industry, vertical, specialisation, requirements, or niche, there’s an offshore agency that can help you. And with the large and skilled workforce, you’ll be able to find your perfect offshore staff in no time.
Low regulatory risk
When you hire offshore staff through an agency, they take on all of the risk. You don’t hire your employee directly, so you don’t need to worry about all the tax, pension, health, insurance, and labour legislation. It’s hard enough managing that stuff in your own country - you definitely don’t want to do it in a foreign one.
Let’s be clear - the Philippines has strong employee protections and you are expected to comply with labour laws. However, the regulatory side is all taken care of by the outsourcing agency. If your employee doesn’t work out, it’s up to the agency to deal with the legal consequences and find a replacement.
We highly recommend that you find out from your offshore staffing provider exactly how much your employee will be taking home, not just how much your contract is.
Real Estate Outsourcing
Real estate is such a people-oriented industry that it can be tricky sometimes for business owners to understand how they can use outsourcing. Basically, anything that is currently being done on a computer in your office can be outsourced. Accounting, placing ads, designing displays, photo editing, writing reports, organising appointments, setting up inspections, following up rent arrears, negotiating with tradespeople, reconciling invoices, managing social media, Facebook messaging… The list is endless. Here are just a few examples, which are a good start if you’re considering real estate outsourcing for the first time.
Get your sales people away from their computers by giving them their very own virtual assistant. Your real estate VA will set up appointments, answer general enquiries, research potential leads, take care of data entry and compliance, and make sure your sales pros are doing what they do best - talking to owners and buyers and getting sales done.
A lot of what your property management team does is necessary but tedious administrative work. Chasing arrears, placing ads, typing up reports, sending rent increase reminders, organising viewings, data entry, and processing invoices. Imagine if you could increase your rent-roll threefold, by taking that admin burden away? That’s exactly what can happen once you hire a property management VA.
Many real estate business owners dream of doing better at social media, having more visually stunning branding, developing individual presentation kits for clients, or even of going viral. But you probably don’t have the resources to invest in a graphic designer or someone to oversee the whole process. With your offshore marketing coordinator, you can finally make these things happen.
Balancing your books is probably one of the most important parts of your business - you need to know how much money is coming in and going out! It’s a highly process-driven role which is perfectly suited for outsourcing. Your offshore bookkeeper will process invoices and payments, reconcile transactions to the correct account codes, chase up outstanding payments, and keep your trust accounting software 100% up to date. This leaves your onshore accountant or financial controller free to focus on budgeting, forecasting and reporting so that you know how and where your money is being spent - and what you can do smarter.
With its highly-skilled English-speaking and flexible workforce, the Philippines is the perfect place to find your offshore staffing solution. Working with an agency or BPO will reduce the risk to your business, while still giving you access to brilliant and cost-effective staff. The offshoring business is well-established in the country and it’s easy to find reputable agencies who can help you find anyone from a one-off virtual assistant, or a team of property management administrators, or an army of marketing pros. If you are interested in growth for your real estate business, you have to look at offshore real estate staff. And the number one place to start is in the Philippines.