Outsourcing Myths: 7 Lies People Believe
Outsourcing works, and there are many success stories to prove this, but some people still hesitate because of common outsourcing myths they have heard or read online.
These outsourcing myths often overshadow the fact that outsourcing is an established global industry that businesses rely on to help them meet their goals.
Getting a better grasp of how outsourcing works should start with tackling the truths behind the misconceptions in this industry.
7 Misconceptions in Outsourcing to the Philippines
Myth #1: Offshore outsourcing will only give you low-quality people and services
Due to the massive cost reduction gained through outsourcing, many believe that businesses get cheaper, less qualified, and lower-quality services when outsourcing.
There is also a misconception that professionals in developing countries like the Philippines are subpar and can only do menial tasks for businesses in major economic regions.
But numbers show that there is actually a robust talent of highly educated and skilled workforce in the Philippines. A 2018 report shows that at least 16 percent of the population aged 25 and up are degree-holders and licensed professionals.
The latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority also shows that about 27 percent of the country’s graduates have finished a degree in business — a testament to the capability of Filipino professionals.
The real reason why talent in the Philippines and similar countries costs less is the cost of living and wage range, which are significantly lower compared to other countries.
In outsourcing parts of the business, you can leverage the quality of talent available at a reduced cost. Moreover, you can dig deep into the rich talent pool of the Philippines and build a team that fits your exact requirements with the right outsourcing partner.
Myth #2: The risk of a data breach is higher when offshoring
Businesses often have the misconception that because of the remote nature of outsourcing services, they are prone to more data breaches.
This fear is often founded as even larger companies like Yahoo, Alibaba, and Adobe have become victims of cyberattacks.
Reports show that in the first half of 2020 alone, data breaches have exposed over 36 billion records of sensitive information.
While the reported cybercrimes have increased by 300% since the pandemic began, most outsourcing firms responded promptly, making huge investments in their IT and security capabilities.
Apart from securing enterprise-grade technology, some outsourcing providers went out of their way to establish flexible security solutions that give businesses an option to have a 24/7 fully customisable data security plan for their offshore teams.
This means businesses, with the right partner, can choose the exact specifications they would need for hardware and software security solutions to protect both their teams onsite and at home.
Myth #3: Your offshore team will be detached from your brand, culture, and vision
Businesses always want their people aligned with their brand, culture, and vision, and most of them think that these things can be lost in translation with an offshore team.
This misconception stems from the dated outsourcing models that treated offshore teams as easily replaceable resources, detaching them from the businesses they support.
However, offshore outsourcing has evolved over the years, with many providers adopting a more flexible structure that allows businesses to integrate their identity.
Today’s outsourcing model does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution with an emphasis on always putting the clients’ brand, identity, culture, and vision on top.
The process of outsourcing always starts with addressing the clients’ pain points and goals before building a strategy tailored to meet the objectives.
With the right outsourcing partner, businesses can even have full customisation of policies, branding, design, and even office activities.
Businesses can have total control of their offshore team with current models, making it genuinely feel like an international extension of their brand.
Myth #4: Cultural and language barriers will get in the way
Having a team from a different country with a different culture and language often scares businesses away from outsourcing.
Communication is an essential aspect of businesses that some believe can be rough when it comes to talent from developing countries.
But outsourcing is an industry that has managed to break cultural barriers for decades, successfully bridging businesses from all over the globe to work for a common goal.
Establishing a genuine connection would need all parties to do their part to make it work – a collective effort to break all unnecessary barriers.
The outsourcing provider must first provide a collaborative atmosphere between clients and their teams to jumpstart the connection.
Businesses, for their part, must understand the culture of their offshore teams – their personalities, their behaviours, and the things they consider special and important.
This approach will allow businesses to discover shared values that would make communicating with each other seamless and productive.
When it comes to communication, the Philippine workforce ranks among the best in a list of best-English speaking nations.
More than that, Filipinos have always been known for their exceptional cultural adaptability and flexibility when it comes to working.
Filipino workers have always been very willing to integrate and adapt to the way of doing business of foreign firms, adjusting even to the client’s time zone.
Working closely with your offshore team and your outsourcing provider will be more than enough to break any barrier and establish a great working relationship.
Myth #5: Keeping track of progress is problematic
Many businesses are already having a hard time keeping track of the progress of their local team and the thought of managing an offshore team often seems like a major undertaking.
There is an illusion that having a team abroad, which you cannot physically manage, can be a problem when it comes to delivering results.
But with cloud-based solutions and online platforms readily available, businesses can track their team seamlessly from a distance.
Leading outsourcing firms are even able to offer their own digital management platforms so their clients wouldn’t have to resort to the more expensive third-party systems.
Experienced outsourcing providers also offer customer success managers to help clients with keeping track of their team’s performance.
A combination of dedicated customer success managers and digital management platforms will give you full control and a transparent view of your offshore team.
Myth #6: Outsourcing is only good for back-office functions
For a long time, many businesses have been relying on outsourcing for back-office roles, leading others to believe that this is the only thing they can get from outsourcing.
While it is true that it is a reliable business solution for offloading high-volume back-office functions, outsourcing can do more.
With markets like the Philippines, companies can take advantage of multi-skilled talent pools that can cater to any industry.
Outsourcing providers have been able to deliver highly qualified accountants, architects, developers, digital marketing specialists, and sales executives.
Even an Adelaide-based financial service firm found success in outsourcing engineers, salesforce developers, and marketing professionals.
Many of these high-end roles are difficult to find, but experienced outsourcing providers have data-driven, expert-led recruitment processes to source the talent you need.
Myth #7: Offshore teams are prone to high attrition
High turnover rates continue to persist in the business process outsourcing space, turning away a lot of prospective clients.
The cost of attrition can be devastating, and many businesses would prefer to stick with an onshore setup than risk it with a team abroad.
But in truth, the nature of outsourcing itself is not the cause of the high number of resignations in the BPO space. The real root of attrition in most cases is bad management, which can be solved by keeping the workforce happy.
Managers play a crucial role in keeping the teams happy as people see them as representatives of the organisation. Good managers take ime to understand and help their team with their struggles at work – empathy with solutions.
A survey by Philippine-based offshore outsourcing firm Emapta revealed the top reasons why employees stay: just compensation, career progression, health and wellness, job security, and a sense of community.
Understanding this, Emapta crafted a standout compensation package, opened gyms with coaches at the office, offered well-being programs, and mounted regular engagement programs to foster camaraderie among its teams.
The result is a 5.6% annual attrition rate, one of the lowest rates in the outsourcing industry. This just proves that high turnover rates, though a reality, can always be countered with proactive measures.
With over a decade of experience in offshore outsourcing, Emapta has been able to help clients and their teams meet and even exceed their targets.