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February 26, 2018

Is recruitment the forgotten piece of the outsourcing puzzle?

If you were recruiting to fill a position, would you take just anyone? Would you let an agency simply push you some resumes and have them expect that’s their job done? I would suggest that you would expect an agency to:
  • Work with you to develop a set of requirements that must be met by the skills, experience and ability of the candidates presented to you
  • Provide labour market insights and set expectations around the talent available
  • Actively advertise for the skills required to fill your role
  • Leverage their networks
  • Provide you with regular updates on progress
  • Place the right people in the right roles to ensure great staff productivity, retention and satisfaction

If this is the case, why would you expect anything different when building your offshore team in the Philippines? In fact, given the training overheads and time required to get an offshore team up and running, shouldn’t you be even more concerned about the recruitment process and finding the right people for the job?  After all, this is a business decision.  You need to ensure that your offshore team increases your business’ capacity and capability.  You need to be 100% confident that your outsourcing provider has a robust recruitment process in place to ensure that staff have the skills and experience you need, the aptitude to do the job and are a good cultural fit for your business as well as for the outsourcing provider.  If one of these criteria are not met, you risk:

  • Wasting time training staff who won’t stick around and will leave within 3-6 months
  • Building a team that delivers substandard results
  • Having offshore staff who are disruptive to others in the team

When I talk to people about outsourcing failures, these three reasons are some of the big ones people provide and my response is:

“Take the time to put the right people in the right jobs.”

Just because you are dealing in a foreign country does not mean you should lower your standards in terms of recruitment; in fact, logic would suggest you should be doing the opposite.  Get to know your provider - if you do not feel comfortable with them or feel uncertain of what the process is then alarm bells should be ringing.

When starting your outsourcing initiative, make sure you know the following about how your provider sources talent:

  • How do they go about understanding your job requirements?  Do you feel comfortable they know what you need?
  • How are they adding value?  Have they provided any insights into the local labour market that has assisted in finding the right people for the job?
  • Do they test candidates?  And what checks and balances do they have in place when vetting candidates?
  • Do they do more than what is required of them as an employer in your outsourcing destination?  Do they go above and beyond and test for behavioural and cultural fits with your own organisation?
  • How much do they let you engage in the recruitment process?  After all, these staff will be working with you under your guidance to deliver on tasks set by you.  Shouldn’t you be able to engage in the process, meet candidates, understand salary expectations, start dates, interview candidates and deliver your own tests?

I partner with my clients to ensure that we are all on the same page and the process is completely transparent.  I communicate the challenges and successes to clients during the talent search and, as much as I provide insights into the Philippines labour market, I work together with my clients as they provide insights about the specific role they need filled.  If you don’t feel that you have an open, honest and transparent relationship with your outsourcing provider then shop around and find someone who is professional (and has the service level to match), has a desire to add value, and wants to be your business partner to help you have a successful outsourcing experience.

 

About the Author:
MARK ENGELMANN is the Sales Director and co-founder of Beepo, a company focused on growing sustainable businesses through outsourcing. He has spent a number of years in business improvement and analysis roles before pursuing a business in the outsourcing industry.  Mark holds an MBA from The University of Queensland. 

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