Outsourcing in the Philippines

This article is an old post that I just rediscovered.

When other people hear that I work together with great experts in the Philippines, they often ask “How did you connect to those people?” The truth is that I followed a formal teaching program to learn this all the way through. I signed up for $99 per month and I did learn how to outsource to the Philippines. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well, it sounded like it would be really, really easy and of course it wasn’t. Usually, or at least in my opinion, things often get more complicated than you might think when you put things into action. I have some experience with outsourcing projects via freelancer.com and other related websites. I have also worked with a few individuals from the US and India, which didn’t leave me happy because I had to put in a lot of money and time, and the results weren’t what I hoped for.

Hiring Rebecca

I decided to hire some people full time. I started off with someone who’s a human resource manager named Rebecca, and she worked in a call center before. It was pretty perfect for the first time. She did all the initial interviews and she did a lot. She educated me about Filipino culture, she looked after the payments, etc. Generally, Rebecca did a pretty great job. First thing I did was I had her hold interviews, and then I got another ten people I would have wanted to give a job to, but I couldn’t because I don’t have so much money. I took her on to manage the people that worked for me since she had an open communication with me which I really liked.

However, her laptop got stolen which put her two to three weeks offline, and I haven’t heard from her since. I guess Rebecca is gone, and that is something which, I find, is a rather difficult situation. It’s totally okay for someone to tell me something like, “I worked for you for two months now and it’s really not what I expected,” or, “I’ve been in that problem, how can we deal with that,” or, “I would like to quit.” Okay, no problem. But it’s very hard if someone doesn’t tell you why they don’t call you or reply to emails, and that’s pretty hard and it happened to me a couple of times. It’s just something I have to deal with. I find that very annoying.

With Rebecca out of the picture, my guess is that she knows there isn’t too much room for human resource management going on right now. Furthermore, most of the management requires content knowledge, so I have to do it myself anyway. Rebecca is actually just supervising people that can supervise themselves. Rebecca, if you are reading this, thank you for everything that you left unto me. You have been a great help and I am sorry to see you go that way. You have probably found something else that you can do. I hope that you have found great work.

Hiring Designers

I took on a couple of designers also. I actually outsourced the whole design part of my company to another company, and now they are doing all this beautiful WordPress designs. I have access to the designs for a reasonable price which is really nice. I think that’s a very good deal for both of us and for the designers as well.

Hiring Neal and Elisha

Actually, I took on two very talented writers. They are Neal and Elisha. If they had a Facebook Fan Page, I would become their fan immediately because they are really cool. Neal is a Physics graduate and Elisha is an IT graduate. What’s great about them is that they have a great personality. They are more introverts, but they are open and they say what they need. They tell me if they got stuck or they have a problem. They tell me and I can help deal with it. That is something I really like. They also match very well between the two so they can help each other out, and read each other’s pieces and comment on that. They just generally gave me a huge boost in productivity because now I can do a lot more than I could before.
What we’ve done so far

So far, we have written articles for other people for promotional purposes. We have also been working for 3 sites of mine. One is about WordPress, another is about Behavioral Targeting, and the third is for E-Book readers. Very different topics, you might notice. How can we put all those together? That is a bit of the crux because it’s something I had to learn. I can take myself out of the page totally because I have the content knowledge that is important for the task at hand. A couple of things that work very well was, “look at this site, look at what they’ve done, go out, do some research, we want to have kind of the same things.” I give a good example of what I want to have in the end.

I’m also doing most of the research, and then I just pack a huge file of 20 or 30 links to other papers and articles and I send that to them. I then ask them kindly if they can read that and make a summary. It’s pretty cool because while they are reading about it, they learn and get educated about what content experts talk about in specific areas. At the same time, they are producing articles that are really valuable for my blog.

Outsourcing to the Philippines has been a great experience. If you want to do so, I suggest that you ask from an expert, and you need to have knowledge of distributed processes and you need cultural knowledge of the Philippines and how the people work there.

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