by Paul Franks
There are many reasons to consider offshoring and increasingly one of those is the shortage of local qualified employees across a wide range of industries and professions.

The current unemployment rate of 3.5% is the lowest rate since 1974, and in a recent NAB survey 53% of businesses reported having difficulty finding employees to fill vacant roles.

The cost of wages in Australia is also relatively high and recent employee shortages have led to even further increases in wages. In addition to wages, there are the costs of superannuation, workers compensation insurance, payroll tax and long service leave. When employing offshore, these additional costs on top of wages do not exist.

In countries where offshoring is available, there are large skilled young workforces readily available to Australian employers. One example of this is metro Manila with an estimated population of 12 million and all cities of Manila with an estimated 21.5 million people. There are 680,000 people graduating from university in Manila each year.

The post-COVID era has created an environment where employers and employees are more comfortable with online communication as this was how they operated during COVID.

Offshore employees allow you to build capacity and scalability into your business for improved service to your customers, while giving you an edge over your competitors who are struggling to find employees. Our experience has shown us that offshore employees have a strong work ethic and are highly motivated, as they depend heavily on employment to support their family.

If you’re considering adding offshore workers to your team, here are the key questions answered and our tips from years of experience to help you successfully offshore for growth.

Which countries can you offshore to?

This is by no means a comprehensive list however here are some of the countries that provide offshore services: India, Vietnam, The Philippines, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Ukraine.

What roles can be performed offshore?

Almost any roles can be performed offshore, though some common examples include administration, legal services, information technology, retail via e-commerce, social media and digital marketing, bookkeeping, mortgage and loan services, accounting, healthcare, sale support and even engineering.

Which country should I choose to commence offshoring?

Once the decision is made to go offshore there are several things to consider:

  • Time differences of the country
  • The stability and the speed of the internet in the country you choose
  • Data security – does it meet our cyber security standards?
  • Cultural sensitivities
  • Language barriers
  • Cost of travelling to the country.
What employment options are there?

There are several options available as to how you engage employees from the Business Process Outsourcing company (BPO). These are:

  • Leasing employees
  • Freelance services (often used for a project, and used a lot in IT areas)
  • Fixed fee services
  • Incorporate your business overseas and employ directly.

We have found the leasing option to be the correct fit for our business, whereby an offshore employer (BPO) leases the employees to you. Effectively the employees work directly for you. Remember it takes time to establish a team, however once you have invested this time and the employees are trained, you have more control over the consistency of the work and their job knowledge. Longer term this provides one of the most cost-effective options.

How to offshore successfully

In summary, our experience in Manila has shown us that to make offshoring successful, the following are key:

  • You must be willing to engage with your offshore team as you would with your local team
  • Ensure each employee has a local onshore mentor
  • Document tasks and processes required to complete them
  • Engage with the offshore team face-to-face via video
  • Visit the team at least once a year to assist with training, engage the team and build the culture
  • Learn and understand the local culture, including their customs and beliefs
  • Offer challenges to the offshore employees to develop their skills
  • Provide career progression.

If you would like further information on engaging a BPO and how outsourcing can assist your business, please get in touch with us below or call (02) 4969 6600 to discuss your options.

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