The talent pool available in the Philippines is diverse and deep. With a population of 105M (plus) and a focus on education, the quality of talent is growing each and every year. The very mature Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has contributed to a shift toward skills sets that are in demand by Western organisations resulting in a genuine alignment between industry demand and graduate skills. And here is the kicker, the median age of the Philippines population is 25.7 years meaning over 50 Million people are aged under 26 years old! By that statistic alone we would suggest supply of talent is unlikely to present an issue any time soon.
That being said with such a strong cultural legacy, a lot of skills are “Americanised” in some respects.
In 1899 the Philippines became a colony of the United States and remained under its direct influence for up to 80 years (some say less depending who you listen to). The US established the education system, in their image and in English, and the importance of education within society. College (University) is enormously important to every Filipino family.
The great majority of degrees relevant to the VA industry are of reasonably high quality and graduates have genuine skills to deploy. Like any new graduates around the world, the “job ready” skills can be limited and given the American influence and language differences, may be less than typical of a local hire in a technical sense. We would argue though, that the myriad of other benefits of working with Filipinoes more than make up for any initial deficiencies.
The offshoring industry is mature in the Philippines and experienced talent is available across a lot of skill sets. Australian businesses are the second largest consumer of Philippines BPO services but with the US accounting for about 75% of the market it is still a relatively small percentage. Consequently, Australian experience is available but not common.
Well at least for most! Success in SME offshoring is more about the processes you offshore and how you implement them, not the experience of the talent that delivers it (see our article about What can I offshore for more context). Essentially, for the biggest impact, it's ideal to offshore the more structured, high frequency processes within existing roles. A consequence of doing so is that you control for the complexity of the process you are looking to offshore and in turn the experience required of the talent to execute it. As an example, if you are looking for support with your accounts, hire a graduate accountant (with or without their CPA) to perform the lower complexity high value processes. Overtime as they, and you, gain confidence, bring in the BAS and compliance work to add even more value. It's extremely unlikely that you will find talent that you are comfortable with to perform highly complex work from day one.
For many reasons, start with the basics and grow from there. Offshoring is about finding appropriate talent to execute appropriate processes, not about finding an “offshore accountant” to “do your accounting”.
All that being said, experience can play a significant role in highly technical positions such as software or application development, where relevant technical skills are required in the languages or frameworks to perform the required tasks. Where technical skills are required, the full spectrum of experience can usually be sauced. Wages and conditions, like anywhere, vary in accordance with experience.
For these types of roles, we recommend considering a supported work from home arrangement to ensure the broadest possible cohort of candidates can be reached and the pool is not limited to our local catchment. Our support work from home option allows you to leverage the many benefits of a managed employee solution without compromising on talent availability due to geographic location.