Offshore Staffing in the Philippines: The Definitve Guide for Australian Small Businesses

Something is gotta give, especially if you're a cash strapped Australian small business that is under constant pressure to deliver high quality services at a low cost. But that doesn't have to mean firing your employees and shipping jobs overseas. Australian small businesses can complement and maintain their existing workforce through offshore staff leasing.

The Philippines is one of the offshore outsourcing destinations in Southeast Asia. The country has plenty of business hubs that host BPO companies which cater to businesses of all sizes. Here are the most important steps if your are planning to hire an offshore team in the Philippines: 

Align your Outsourcing Objectives with Business Goals  

The outsourcing arrangement revolves around the service level agreement (SLA). This specifies the requirements that your offshore partner should meet. Know exactly what you want to achieve.


Transaction or input-based SLAs (e.g. as FTE, time, and materials) focus on tasks. These are suitable for clearly defined work requirements and deliver predictable costs. These are very beneficial for small businesses that need a cost-efficient service provider for non-core business processes.


Outcome-based SLAs (e.g. vested outsourcing) focus on results. These are ideal for small businesses that are looking for an offshore partner to achieve defined outcomes. 

Join Outsourcing Tours


Mike's Manila Tours is organised specifically for Australian small businesses that are interested in outsourcing to the Philippines. It enables you to assess different potential offshore partners. These are the questions you need to raise:

  • What are the additional/optional services that would cost me an extra charge? (e.g. licensed software upgrades, additional seating, VoIP)
  • What is the process should I decide to expand or increase offshore staff?
  • What is the process and fee should I decide to terminate the outsourcing contract early?
  • Will there be a project or account manager that I can liaise with? 
  • What is the minimum period requirement to hire an offshore employee (this varies from 1 to 12 months)
  • Do you have an associate located in Australia that I can contact? 
  • What is the recruitment process?
  • How are IT issues handled?
  • What is your disaster recovery and business continuity strategy?
  • Do you have a clinic and staff canteen? (very important if you have a 24/7 operation; BPO companies are often located in high-class mixed used properties which tend to have expensive restaurants)
  • Do you have employee retention programs apart from team-building and holiday activities? 
  • What are the requirements and the process if I choose to set up an offshore operation? and do you provide assistance?
  • How will you manage the day-to-day work of my offshore employees?
  • What is your pricing structure? how and when will the payment be collected? 

Pick a company that you would like to work in. Working conditions and company culture have a big impact on offshore employees. They can get demotivated because they don't physically work in the same office as their primary employer.

Strategic Regional and Domestic Offshoring


Don't just consider the regional cost competitiveness of the offshore service provider. You should also assess the company's location.

  • The offshore company should have a conducive working environment.
  • The location should not be prone to floods.
  • The location should have a readily available qualified workforce nearby. It will be much easier to find and recruit workers. Your employees will not be troubled by traffic on their way to work.
  • The location should be accessible to public transportation (majority of offshore employees don't have cars because they're expensive and commuting is more cost-efficient).

Offshore outsourcing can be both a cost-efficient and strategic move. It can also generate jobs onshore. A collaborative dialogue and partnership between you and the service provider can transform your small business into a global company despite its size.

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