The Placement Gap between India and Philippines IT Offshore Recruiting
There’s a common misconception about RPOs. Many people think because India has a $150 billion IT industry that they are the be-all and end-all for IT offshore recruiting. Yet just because someone is a skilled Java programmer doesn’t mean he or she has any innate advantage when sourcing, screening, and attracting candidates.
One of our clients recently launched a competitive pilot between PSG Global Solutions and one of the top three Indian based competitors to gauge the ways we worked differently to fill requisitions and find the most efficient solution. At the end of just three months, they had their answer. The client knew they could safely terminate their contract with the Indian based provider and work exclusively with us.
What influenced their decision? It’s far more than the difference between apples and oranges. The chief point of contact for the program said that our “better quality compared to the competition was a factor but the real reason we selected PSG as our offshore partner was the excellent communication and high level of leadership engagement.”
All of those advantages stem from the differences that the right blend of processes, resources, and conditions make – something many Philippines RPOs have over Indian competitors. A growing number of IT staffing firms are realizing firsthand this return on their investment.
India vs. Philippines IT Offshore Recruiting: A Head-to-Head Comparison
What are some of the biggest differences between IT offshore recruiting in the Philippines and India? Our experience shows there are three key differences:
1.) The Quality of Candidates
Many Indian RPOs boast an elevated ability to deliver more submittals, yet the reasons why are not made clear. What staffing firms are not told is that these candidates are submitted far and wide. It’s not uncommon for an Indian offshore recruiting firm to use a centralized sourcing team, presenting the same candidates to fill a number of open positions across a broad client portfolio. This practice results in a frenzy that limits the overall placements per recruiter as India based staffing firms see much lower submit to hire ratios.
Philippines-based offshore recruiting partners that follow the PSG model encounter more stability in searches. Our own process is decentralized and each client has their own dedicated offshore team. In the above competitive pilot, our team worked within the client ATS, making our submittals exclusive to them. That prevented any extra and needless competition for high quality candidates, keeping our clients’ submit to hire rates low and their average time to hire lower than that of their industry peers.
2.) Account Team Training
How fluent are offshore sourcers in the technology skills they are searching for? For Indian RPOs, which typically have higher attrition levels, there is a tendency to shortchange training, instead hiring “experienced” talent from competitors. This often results in a lack of consistent core training and a higher percentage of junior recruiters over the life of the program because of higher attrition numbers. Our client recognized that difference in their pilot program. When partnering offshore recruiters with onshore account managers and IT recruiters, our research finds that average offshore recruiting accounts with poor set up only see a 46% improvement in placements per onshore recruiter compared to the 69% increase per onshore recruiter from effectively set up RPOs. Training and employee retention are significant factors in that equation. Our own process is proof.
Many offshoring recruiting firms in the Philippines focus on a standardized routine, but we take it to a whole new level. Our company has a US based IT recruiting expert who makes sure that knowledge evenly circulates throughout our offshore IT recruiting teams. We focus on training our teams to master the technical criteria for certain types of requisitions, repeat their success, and then expand outwards.
Beyond fluency in IT terminology, our people are trained in the full-lifecycle of attracting candidates – everything from screening and sourcing to interview prep and onboarding management. The all-inclusive knowledge keeps our attrition lower than offshore recruitment in India, which has lost 70 percent of voice and call center market share to the Philippines. As that market share continues to dwindle, the Philippines become a better outsourced option for voice based outsourced recruiting activities.
3.) Communication Skills and Cultural Alignment
Communications and cultural barriers have the potential to be an uphill battle for offshore recruiting support. The Philippines is ranked #13 in English proficiency among countries worldwide where English is not the primary language. That’s one spot ahead of Switzerland and India is only ranked #22, one spot after Slovakia. It’s a small distinction that matters.
Particularly noteworthy is that that Philippine English is heavily influenced by the USA dialect and not British like the rest of the world. Being able to use common U.S. slang or idioms in conversation improves communication and builds better trust. Being more closely aligned to US culture – including television, movies and sports – makes it easier for our recruiters to build rapport with candidates.
Our offshore recruiting teams typically have several years of experience interacting with candidates/customers in the U.S. and we screen for excellent communication skills. Couple that with their affinity for US culture and our recruiters are enabled to naturally converse with people as they screen them and sell them on available job opportunities. IT professionals, as it goes with any high demand talent, are more willing to trust companies that put their best foot forward with the first point of contact.
Stronger communication skills and cultural affinity are not only important at the recruiter level. Offshore leadership’s ability to understand client objectives influences their ability to create action plans and consistently execute them. Many of our clients attribute our ability to listen and understand their needs to our easy comprehension of conversational English at all levels.
Increasing Placements Takes the Right Offshore Partner
Our in-depth analysis of what makes a successful offshore recruiting partner comes down to having processes in place that can deliver the greatest ROI. Along the way, we’ve found that Philippines IT offshoring is best equipped to provide more placements and greater margin multiples than Indian competitors in the war for talent.