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Guest: Chris Van Vladricken. Chris is the President of iSupport Worldwide, a provider of scalable business platforms that allow companies to set up low-cost, high-value operations in the Philippines. Chris is also an entrepreneur coaching client of CEO Coaching International.
Episode in a Tweet: Modern offshoring solutions let CEOs manage an office on the other side of the world almost as easily as an office down the street.
Quick Background: One of the biggest challenges companies face right now is how to hire great people at a reasonable price since we are in one of the tightest labor markets on record. There’s simply not enough qualified talent to fill everybody’s needs, especially if your company is early in its growth journey and trying to catch the giants in your field.
Smart companies are thinking more broadly and more globally about how to solve this pain point. But lingering misconceptions about offshoring can discourage CEOs from investigating what could be a talent gold mine.
On today’s episode, Chris Van Vladricken answers all your questions about offshoring including: service options, the hiring process, costs, and how the nuts-and-bolts infrastructure works to keep your local employees and remote workers in sync.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.
Key Insights on Effective Offshoring from Chris Van Vladricken
1. Tap every available talent pool.
“With the job market the way it is, talent is just really hard to come by in the States,” Chris says. ”Everybody I talked to is saying that they’re posting a job ad for all different types of positions and they’re not getting any candidates. If they are getting candidates, maybe they’re not the top-tier candidates that they were hoping for.”
Of course, finding top tier candidates is just step one. The absolute best person for a job at your company is probably the best person for the same job at your competitor. Even if you win the bidding war, you might lose the battle and find yourself back at square one if that candidate jumps ship 12 months later.
“It’s more important than ever to broaden your horizons, look at other areas, and start to decide if there are overseas job markets where you could tap into great talent that could really help you propel the company,” Chris says. The wider the net you cast, and the more creative you are about whom you target, the more options you’re going to have when it’s time to match the right person with the right job.
2. Manage your team, your way.
Some CEOs don’t like the idea of trusting employees they might rarely meet in person with critical tasks. But technology can keep you as connected to your overseas office as you are to the office down the street. Offshored candidates are going to go through the same hiring process that a local candidate would, including (if you want) face-to-face interviews via video conferencing. And once you’ve selected the best candidate, you’re going to manage that worker just like you would any other team member.
“Our clients are using our recruiting, but they’re selecting which candidates they want to interview,” Chris explains. “After they conduct those interviews, they’re selecting which candidates they want to hire, and they’re in control of the compensation. And then, ultimately, they’re in control of the day-to-day management, so much so that those individuals that they hire through us really view themselves as our clients’ employees. Once our clients reach a certain size, we’ll build a fully branded suite. And it looks physically like a satellite office for that client with their core values on the wall, their paint colors, everything.”
Your offshored workers aren’t technically employees, but technology has made the world so much smaller now that they’re going to feel like they are. If your company culture is strong enough, you’ll be able to export your core values to your overseas team to keep motivation high and turnover low.
3. Lower costs …
So, what does the equivalent of a top-notch $150,000 per year US employee cost in the Philippines?
According to Chris, $50,000, maybe less.
How can it be so much less expensive overseas? “Mostly, it’s the cost of living,” Chris says. “It’s just a different economy and the US dollar goes a lot further there than you could imagine.”
With a benefits package, you’ll be paying an offshored worker a wage commensurate with their skill and experience, while still saving money. Offshored workers also aren’t employees, which reduces your corporate taxes. Reputable firms like Chris’ will also include access to a workspace in their fee structure, so you’ll know that your overseas team is operating in a professional work environment where they have all the tools they need to execute the key tasks you’ve assigned them.
4. … and higher flexibility.
Maybe the single biggest benefit of offshoring is that it’s possible for CEOs to combine a BIG talent pool with technology to create custom staffing solutions. As you might expect, Chris says that customer service is what his clients use offshoring for most commonly. But there are thousands of talented financial professionals, graphic designers, computer engineers, and database specialists overseas who use offshoring to find opportunities with the best companies.
“Technology’s very capable of any kind of custom solution that you need to come up with these days,” Chris says. “Every client has a different VoIP system, they have a different CRM. They have different hurdles within their technology implementations for extending their operations overseas. I have a core technology team in my group that is really talented at meeting with client IT departments, determining what applications their new hires are going to need access to, and really documenting how that access is going to be delivered. And it can vary position by position, because a finance person might need different applications than a graphic designer.”
When done right, offshoring isn’t exploitative or impersonal. And the cost benefits for your company are real. But offshoring is also just one staffing option out of the many that you and your team should be leveraging in this hyper-competitive job market. Whether you’re having coffee with a Harvard grad or video conferencing with one of India’s brightest, it’s the thoroughness of your interview process and your ability to identify people who can enhance your company’s culture that will determine if your next hire is a BIG success.
1. Don’t get overwhelmed. Offshoring isn’t as complicated as you might think it is, especially if you work with a good third-party facilitator.
2. The location is different, your processes aren’t. Your offshored team should go through the same interview process you use locally and adhere to the same standards as your employees.
3. You still get what you pay for. The best overseas talent might cost less than US talent, but you need to provide competitive salary and benefits packages commensurate with the local economy.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with the world’s top entrepreneurs, CEOs, and companies to dramatically grow their business, develop their people, and elevate their overall performance. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 350 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 25 countries. Every coach at CEO Coaching International is a former CEO or President that has made big happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $1 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight and nine figure exits. CEOs and entrepreneurs working with CEO Coaching International for three years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 66.4% during their time as a client, more than five times the national average. For more information, please visit: https://www.