In 2018, the Philippines was ranked first in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Countries to Invest In”. One of the stated reasons behind this ranking is the Philippines’ young and hardworking workforce. This has also been one of the main reasons behind why the country is considered as a top outsourcing destination.
The Philippines Has a Young Workforce
A reason why foreign countries are attracted to lease employees from the Philippines is because of its young workforce. The Philippines ranks third in Asia Pacific in terms of youngest population age. Compared to its neighboring countries, the Philippines has one of the youngest median age. While the median age is 30.2 in Indonesia, 37.7 in Thailand and 28.5 in Malaysia, the Philippines’ median age is 23.5. People around this age are most likely to have a background on the latest technology in the country or have grown up using technology. This also indicates that they are more knowledgeable on how to use technology which can be highly beneficial for businesses.Many of the youngsters also have access to top-level education preparing them for the BPO sector, thereby facilitating their entry into the marketplace equipped with the right skillsets to succeed.
High Literacy Rates and English Proficiency
Language barriers are rarely a problem when it comes to working with Filipinos which is another reason why staff leasing in the Philippines is ideal. A strength of the Filipino workforce is its high literacy rate and English proficiency. The Philippines, with 97.95% literacy rate, has one of the highest literacy rates in Southeast Asia.
Furthermore, the large English-speaking population in the country is one of the main reasons why foreign firms find it easier to work with Filipinos. Based on the EF English Proficiency Index, the Philippines is classified under countries with high English proficiency indexes. Globally, the country ranks 14th while in Asia, the country is placed 2nd. Filipinos’ ability to speak in English also caused the country to be one of the most popular countries for BPO. Although India is more known for its BPO industry, the Philippines has more call centers. Aside from that, the Philippines is at a considerable advantage in terms of language since English is also its official language and is used in daily conversations. Filipinos’ neutral accent also makes it easier to communicate with any nationality.
Relatively low labor cost
Another feature of employee leasing is it can lower labor costs; this is evident when firms lease employees from the Philippines. The labor costs in the Philippines is very competitive relative to its neighboring countries which is why foreign investors are interested in operating or expanding in the Philippines. Possibly, the low labor cost is the biggest reason why companies outsource to the Philippines. Besides saving on labor costs, companies can also save up on other operating or overhead expenses when they lease offshore such as office space, HR and legal costs. Despite the expected rise in labor costs in the ASEAN region, the labor costs in the Philippines still remains cheaper compared to other countries.
Adaptability to different cultures
One of the problems faced by multinational companies when working with different cultures is intercultural incompatibility. People may encounter difficulties in working with other nationalities since culture heavily influences work ethic and sometimes differences in work ethics can cause conflict. Fortunately, this is not a common issue when dealing with leased staff from the Philippines. Filipinos are known to be adaptable not only to different circumstances but also to different cultures. Since the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese way back, parts of these countries’ culture have been embedded in the Filipino culture. This makes it innate for Filipinos to be adaptable with other cultures. The country’s exposure to both Western and South East Asian influences also contributes to their compatibility with other nations.
Flexible with Time
The BPO industry in the Philippines has grown successfully and one of the reasons why is because of Filipinos’ flexibility when it comes to time. A considerable number of Filipino employees are willing to work night shifts or on holidays to cater to clients. For instance, 191,154 Filipinos in 2016 worked graveyard shifts in the BPO industry. In general, Filipinos are not bound by any timeframe so they could adjust to time differences with ease.
The Philippines’ fast growing services sector shows how strong its labor force is so employee leasing in the Philippines could be the best for your company.