My OutDesk had a blast at the REO EXPO in Texas just recently. It was a great opportunity to meet and reach out to new and more people to tell them more about how outsourcing can change the way their businesses work.
One of the things that we love most about these events is the different questions that we get regarding My OutDesk, how it works, our Virtual Assistants in the Philippines and so much more. What we love the most are the thought provoking questions that allow us to step back and analyze the way we are running our business and how it is affecting our stakeholders.
On the recent conference, someone asked me how we could justify what we were doing given that the unemployment rate in the United States is so high. It was great that this question was brought to our attention, because whenever there is a discussion about outsourcing, this is one of those things that puts outsourcing in a negative light to most Americans.
Here was my response to the question:
"Historically, outsourcing has been given a bad reputation as exploiting cheap labor in 3rd world countries. This is largely because big companies contracted with call centers that employed uneducated, unqualified workers from other countries, where the employees often had poor English speaking skill with no college education, and therefore they could pay them bottom basement wages. And, because the job market was so poor in these countries, the workers were happy to have these jobs.
Our business model is different on many levels. First, we hire qualified employees and pay them extremely well. 95% of our employees have 4-year college degrees and 100% speak and write fluently in English. Our employees’ resumes are at par to or better than their American counter-parts for such positions; often exceeding the training, experience, and education level of person you would hire to do the same job in the U.S. Our employees are well-deserving of these jobs and highly-qualified, and sadly, because of the economy of the country they live in, are not able to get the jobs that they rightfully deserve. Thus, our company is helping qualified individuals in the Philippines to live up to career and financial potential. In terms of salary, our introduction hourly wage is twice as much as a Filipino would make in a call center (which is the primary occupation for college graduates). We also provide health coverage, paid vacation and paid sick leave. These are benefits that they would probably not be able to get through a call center job. And lastly, we allow our employees to work from home, which allows them a better quality of life (i.e., more time with kids, no commute/use of public transportation, money savings, etc.).
To put it simply, we are NOT taking jobs away from Americans. We currently employ over 150 people in the Philippines (with that number growing by the day) and take pride in that we are helping to improve a foreign economy that desperately needs it. These jobs would never translate to American jobs, because our clients typically can’t afford to hire American employees (which is why they come to us). Thus, it’s not taking jobs away from Americans because these jobs would not exist in America; they simply wouldn’t exist period.”
Like many things in life, outsourcing is a double edged sword – it can be used for good and bad purposes. My OutDesk is not one of those outsourcing companies who outsource just to get cheap labor. We make sure that our providers are qualified with the right skill set and attitude needed for the tasks that they are responsible for. By doing this we are giving good opportunities to individuals in the Philippines who deserve them while providing US businesses with a cost-effective solution to further improve their businesses. This creates a mutually beneficial business relationship for both parties involved and this is precisely the reason why it is so successful.