A weak, world economy demands that all businesses find ways to save money, or they face diminishing profits, in-house layoffs and eventually may even lose the ability to stay in business at all. That’s why many companies today are evaluating offshoring versus outsourcing and looking for the best option for their business. Outsourcing simply means hiring a freelance, contract worker to fill a business need while offshoring refers to outsourcing work to another country–usually because cost benefits are significant.
The Philippines is currently one of the top countries for outsourced work. A highly intelligent and educated populace combined with an old-fashioned work ethic makes the Philippine labor force sought after by companies looking to lower operating costs. Here are nine things to look for when considering a Philippine outsourcing partner.
1) English ability
Although most of the Philippine workforce has exceptional English skills, you may come across a contract worker or company that is not skilled enough for your needs. For example, if you outsource website content writing, you may end up with writing that is not good enough for your service or product. Voice services like IT help, customer service or telemarketing may demand highly fluent English speakers. Be sure to match your needs with the level of English proficiency required for the job.
2) Short term contracts
A Philippine outsourcing partner should be willing to accept a short term, trial period of three to six months. Then you can evaluate the performance of the workers and decide if you are getting your money’s worth. An outsourcing partner may look very good on paper, but if deadlines are missed, work is substandard or workflow is lagging, you may want to reconsider where you want to place your outsourced jobs.
3) Specialized skills
In some cases, you may need to hire workers with more specialized abilities, or you may want to hire someone who can do more than one job. For example, if you want your online content writer to also manage your website, you will need someone with two distinct skills. Always get a list of what specialized skills you need and match them to your outsourced partner’s abilities and experience.
4) Willingness to negotiate fees
The Philippines is looking for outsourced work, and you’re looking to place your jobs with workers who are willing to make a much lower salary than commonplace in the U.S. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for a fee that is even lower than what your outsourcing partner initially quotes. At first, you can’t help but be pleased with a low hourly rate for IT or help desk skills or content writing and website management. In most cases, just acquiring a few estimates for your outsourced work will give you a baseline to work from and
allow you to negotiate for a lower price if need be.
5) Educational background and degrees
Always inquire about the university background, special skills and educational levels of your outsourced workers. It’s much easier to choose an offshore worker with confidence if you know their educational history.
Look for workers who have had experience working for other countries. It is also imperative to find out if your offshore worker has done similar work in the past.
It’s wise to ask for references and examples of previous work to check for quality. Also follow up with a phone call to ensure that past clients were happy with the workers and their level of competency for the outsourced job.
Do a little detective work on the Internet and you will find out a wealth of information about the reputation of many outsourcing businesses that specialize in linking a Philippine worker with an American company.
You will need to know the volume of work your outsourced freelancer can handle. If you choose to hire a third party, ask your outsourcing partner if there are enough workers to get your job done within your timeline.