How we solved the scale issue in our business by outsourcing to the Philippines
Friday, June 13, 2014/
When we founded WE, my partner, Sarah, and I saw an opportunity to create a business which offered financial advice as well as life coaching to people just like ourselves – Gen Y who are young, motivated, successful people who want to make the most of their opportunities, resources and their life.
As our clientele and our business grew, however, we discovered that we had a consistent problem in finding and retaining quality people who were good at doing all of the administrative tasks required in our business.
I love Gen Y and believe they have the potential to be the greatest generation our world has experienced thus far, but unfortunately there are still a lot who are idealistic and independent, more so than many of their predecessors.
They want to change the world, they want to define their own lives, and therefore many of them reject the status quo that involves spending 9 to 5 on work that they feel is not meaningful. They do not want to work long hours, and do not recognise that sometimes it is necessary to “pay one’s dues” before you can get ahead.
They also tend to be very demanding in terms of their work-life balance, and feel entitled to question authority. All of these basic Gen Y character traits can leave an employer frustrated and angry with his younger staff.
For us, we found the solution to this in outsourcing some of our less-intensive tasks to our “international” team, by which I mean our Philippines office. We consider this team to be just as much a part of our business as those employees who actually work in our Melbourne and Sydney offices.
However, our remote employees do offer several distinct advantages over the Australian workforce:
1. They are much less expensive on an hourly basis. Because of the difference in cost-of-living between the Philippines and Australia, we are able to pay our team extremely well for their services while still paying less than we would pay employees here.
2. Because of the time zone difference, we can keep our Philippines offices open for an extra three hours after Australian offices normally close. This is helpful for our clientele who can’t always reach us during ordinary working hours.
3. Because we cannot talk face-to-face with our remote office, we have had to systematise certain tasks so that they can be handled without any supervision. This has led to efficiencies in our processes.
4. We also have uncovered an entirely new pool of talent by expanding beyond the borders of Australia. There are millions of people out in the world who are incredibly talented and well-educated, and it’s a mistake to assume that they all live in Australia.
Some of our best people are in Manila – like our business accountant, Michele. She is highly trained and educated, and she’s a top member of our team. Besides Michele, our Manila team includes personal assistants, client services specialists, digital marketing specialists, insurance liaison and strategic document creators.
We work with an outsourcing company called Grow My Team, when we’re looking to hire additional people in the Philippines. (We have actually just invested in them because they are so good at what they do and we believe that everyone will need their service.)
When we hire, we simply make a list of tasks that we have trouble completing in our office (the more repetitive, the better!) or new basic services that our clients will value. Then we get in touch with GMT and let them know what our needs are. They then go out and recruit for the position and provide us with a short-list of three potential candidates for us to consider. It is an extremely simple process and a lot less time consuming compared to trying to hire a person here.
I strongly encourage you all to start thinking global and look at building a team which are extremely competent at what they do for a fraction of the price. Trust me when I say it will change your life, your business success – it will set you free!
Finn Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of award-winning Gen Y financial advisory firm, Wealth Enhancers, along with the parent company, premier private wealth management firm WE Private.