Outsourcing or ‘offshore staffing’ is not a new concept, as the practice of using an overseas workforce has been happening in various business sectors for decades. However, the technological advancements of this century (particularly in communication) have ultimately revolutionised the working environment and working habits of both corporations and professionals. Most IT-related work can be done exclusively over the Internet, and meetings that previously could only be done in person are now very straightforward to conduct remotely.

Notable companies that use offshore staffing to their advantage include Apple, Accenture, Google, Ernst & Young, IBM, Nike, United Airlines, and much more. All of these firms could undoubtedly afford to keep all of their operations in one country, but have fully realised the importance of lowering costs wherever possible, without sacrificing the quality of their respective products.

Have you ever considered growing your IT team in the Philippines? If not, here are 5 reasons why you should be discussing it at your next management meeting:

1. Financial

If we consider the IT industry specifically, development is still a very rare skill in Western countries, as it is yet to become a universally taught discipline in educational institutions, leading to the widespread skills shortage that we currently have. The result of which is that those few with development skills can command significantly higher salaries/contract rates on average compared to most industries, even with only a few years’ experience.

However, if your business is directly related to technology and/or e-commerce, and you rely on your website for customers, then having a team of developers or engineers is absolutely essential for growth and success. Very few tech companies are fortunate enough to generate sizeable ‘angel’ investments that cover all the associated costs of starting and running a business, so saving money is essential.

This is where hiring a team of developers offshore comes in handy. In the Philippines alone, there are roughly 130,000 IT graduates a year, who are learning the same syllabus as qualified and skilled developers in Western countries, and yet are prepared to work for a lot less due to the substantially lower costs of living. That is not to say that they aren’t well paid, though, as experienced developers in the Philippines will typically earn at least 10 times the national average salary, allowing them to live very comfortable lifestyles compared to many.

Aside from developer salaries, Western companies attempting to hire locally also have to factor in costs of recruitment, buying expensive equipment, paying tax, social contributions, healthcare, insurance, utility bills, office space, time spent managing/supervising/training that person etc.; hiring a dedicated staff member or team with Cloud Employee removes all of those headaches. For more detailed information on how much you could potentially save, check out our <a href="http://cloudemployee.co.uk/pricing" target="_blank">detailed graph here</a>.

2. Risk

If you were to hire someone in a Western country and they pass their probationary period (typically 1-2 months), it is subsequently very difficult and time-consuming to let them go if they fail to perform at an acceptable level. You would be legally required to go through several stages of warnings, potentially spend time and expense on employment lawyers, then spend even more time and expense preparing all of the necessary documentation, along with the added stress of dealing with the emotional sensitivity of firing a member of staff. Doing so can also have disruptive, knock-on effects for the rest of your team.

However, when hiring developers in the Philippines with Cloud Employee, you have the power to do just that without all of these obstacles. The Philippines typically has 6-month probationary periods, meaning that if you are unsatisfied with your offshore developer, you can replace them anytime, free of charge. We also don’t tie our clients down to long-term contracts, affording our clients with a great deal of freedom and flexibility when using our service.

3. Communication

Something that not many people know about the Philippines is that English is an official language. As the population totals over 100 million people, that makes it one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world. While there is a multitude of local dialects spoken, English words often form part of sentences spoken between locals, and being able to speak fluent English is something that Filipinos take great pride in. For this reason, Hollywood movies are shown in theatres and on nationally televised broadcasts without subtitles, and foreign music is incredibly popular as well. This gives the Philippines a huge edge over other outsourcing destinations such as India and Romania.

At Cloud Employee, we only hire staff that are able to speak and communicate fluently in English. We also ensure that our team work the same hours as our clients despite the time-zone difference, and provide direct communicative access via Skype, email and a variety of project management tools. With that in mind, there is virtually no difference in having your own Cloud Employee(s) and having a work-at-home staff member/locally based contractor (except the cost!).

4. Reliability

Developers in the Philippines are very hard working, but also very family oriented. Due to them earning much higher salaries than an average Filipino professional in other industries, the staff we employ are often the main breadwinners of their respective families, typically supporting their extended family members as well as their close relatives. As a result, they are very focused on their careers and are driven to achieve success.

Considering that probationary periods are typically for 6 months, staff know that if they perform badly or become unreliable, they can lose their jobs very quickly without warning, so they are fully aware that they need to consistently work hard in order to stay in employment.

Some companies may have previously had poor experiences outsourcing. Often this is down to hiring foreign freelancers working from home for a low fee leaving the company with minimal control. Foreign Freelancers will often take on more work they can handle, fail to meet deadlines and can disappear when things get tough. Other issues include poor internet, cultural differences, and data protection. All of which have ultimately created negative connotations with the industry.

One factor that separates Cloud Employee from other offshore providers or using foreign freelancers is that we have onsite Western management permanently based in all of our modern Philippines offices, where our staff come to work Monday to Friday. These people are responsible for recruiting candidates, assessing their technical and communicative ability, along with managing them on a day-to-day basis, and providing on-going support to our clients whenever needed. They come from professional backgrounds in the UK, the US and Australia and so utilise that experience to manage staff here with a Western frame of mind, ensuring rules are met and that staff are consistent in their performances.

5. Friendliness

Filipinos are a very warm and welcoming race, with a great deal of respect and admiration for foreigners and foreign businesses. When working with a Filipino, you will find them to be inquisitive about your life and personal interests, and you’ll develop both a personal and professional relationship with them, in the same way, that you would do if hiring your own member of staff.

All of our clients or potential business partners are more than welcome to come and visit our modern offices in Cebu and Manila, where we have excellent Internet speeds and friendly staff. The Philippines is also one of the most exotic and breathtaking tourist destinations in the world, and so visiting us could be a great opportunity to mix business with pleasure!

If you need high-quality developers but don’t want to pay disproportionately high salaries and associated costs for local staff, and understand that foreign freelancers are very high-risk, then hiring your own dedicated offshore developer or team with Cloud Employee could be the solution for you.