Hiring offshore talent has never been easier, but many Australian businesses are still uneasy about the process and some perceived risks involved. Here are the most common concerns and how to conquer them!
There is a fear that if employees offsite have access to important business information there is an increased security risk to the business. This is where choosing the right provider is important. Many will have CCTV installed in the office where the offshore staff are based. Many good providers also have a ban of electronic devices or mobile phones in the office space. Offshore talent hired through a provider are also subject to comprehensive background and employment checks. It is much safer to use an offshore provider that has a secure office space for your staff to perform their work than a work from home solution where there is little or no control over the security.
Many of the tasks that are outsourced to an offshore employee require access to data. Often this is important business or sensitive customer information. In addition to the security measures that providers put in place, they can also work with the individual needs of the client to protect data. This might include precautions such as locking down all outgoing emails, disabling USB ports and advanced authentication options.
Many Australian’s are concerned when comparing what they are spending on offshore employees to the Australian cost of living. There is an ethical concern that they are taking advantage of people in developing countries. There is a vast difference in the cost of living, and to ensure that offshore employees are being looked after a good provider will determine a fair and reasonable pay structure. For example, workers in the Philippines hired by Beepo are paid 7 times more than the average wage in the Philippines. This becomes a win win for the Australian employer and for the offshore staff member.
Ensuring that the quality of the work provided is of a high standard is essential in developing a long term successful relationship with offshore employees. This starts with the recruitment process. It is essential that there is rigorous testing to determine that the employee has the skills to perform the inherent responsibilities of the role. However, it doesn’t stop at recruitment. Even the most competent employee requires support and training to ensure that they are developed into the role. This is where finding the right provider partner is important. They will work with the business to ensure that appropriate training and support is provided. They can also provide a buddy system for new employees with existing high performing staff. Where appropriate they can also establish quality checking of work so that errors are picked up quickly and feedback and coaching provided.
There is a perception that education facilities in developing countries are of a lower standard. However, there are half a million university graduates each year from the Philippines. Universities and education in the Philippines is at a similar standard as Australia.
There may be concerns around offshore staff having an accent or having difficulty communicating. This is where the Philippines is a great opportunity. Filipinos actually have an almost American accent that is very easy to understand. There are some staff that have exceptional written and spoken English, particularly if they have been speaking English at home and school. This is where the skills testing is very important. If there is a role that requires customer service or speaking to clients or suppliers via phone performing skills testing will help to choose the right person for the job.
While hiring offshore talent presents some risks, by choosing the right partner to work with these can be easily erased. It is important to work with a provider that shares the same values and will work with the business to mitigate their concerns.
To ensure you choose the right provider for your business, download this eBook to arm yourself with the right questions that will drill down into the operations of any prospective outsourcing provider.