1. What are 'offshore' staff?
'Offshore' means someone who works directly for your business, on your projects, but is located at an offshore office. Our offshore staff are based in Manila, in the Philippines.
2. Are they all the same?
No. Every candidate shortlisted to work with you has been picked because of their talent, experience and individual ability to deliver the skillset you require.
3. So why would I need to hire offshore staff?
Because your business would enjoy immediate major benefits from:
• Making major savings on staff costs
• Having access to cheaper, but highly skilled employees
• Freeing up your local staff to concentrate on growing your business
• Retaining total control of your data, staff and processes
4. Why hire employees based in the Philippines?
Philippine workers are fluent English speakers, possess excellent standards of education and have highly developed professional skillsets. In addition, labour costs in the Philippines are about 50% less than those of Australia.
This cost difference extends throughout the Philippines’ workforce, from personal secretaries to website designers and architects. Capaciti can help your business make substantial savings by connecting you with the right offshore staff.
5. Can I start with one offshore staff member before hiring more?
Of course. You can start with as few or as many staff as you require, for as long as you require. Scaling up with additional employees is easily arranged.
6. Can Capaciti help me with short-term or one-off projects?
We have the flexibility to provide virtual assistance in any field of business, whether it’s a long-term project or something more immediate and short-term. Our consultants are happy to discuss any requirements you may have and come up with a solution to help.
7. How long would it take to get started?
About 2-4 weeks after the initial consultation with Capaciti.
8. Is my business 'big' enough to use offshore staff?
Size doesn’t matter. We can set you up with part-time or full-time offshore staff, according to your business needs.
9. How do I get in touch with my staff if they’re in the Philippines?
You can access your staff through any of the following channels of communication:
• Video conferencing using a web camera
• Skype software
• Instant messenger software
• Other online collaboration tools such as Bootcamp or Wrike
Because the time difference between Australia and Manila is just an hour or two (depending on daylight savings) we can align your offshore staff to start work at 9am Australian Eastern Standard Time – saving you the hassle of late evening or early morning meetings.
10. Office administrators, web designers and architects…got any more roles?
Yes we do. We can cater for all your business needs.
11. But how do I make offshore staff successful in MY business?
Firstly, remember that Capaciti management are based in Australia, we know the virtual assistance landscape well and we are on constant standby to give you the support you need to make this process a successful one for your business.
The chance of success increases immensely if you remember to:
• Provide clear and detailed work instructions to your offshore staff
• Set clear expectations of the outcomes required and the timeframes involved
• Discuss issues and problems in an open and friendly manner and provide guidance as required
• Conduct daily or weekly meetings at a regular time
• Give your offshore staff a sense of belonging to your team
• Provide ongoing objective feedback with examples
• Maintain clear communication and a good rapport with your offshore staff
• Allocate a supervisor for the management of your offshore staff
• Maintain weekly and monthly progress sheets so you can see tangible results
• Be sensitive and understanding of international work culture and practices
12. What is the process to hire offshore staff?
We have a comprehensive 6-Step Implementation Process that has produced excellent results time and again for our clients. It goes like this:
(1) We develop a position description of the role; and then
(2) short-list the best, most highly-qualified or experienced candidates and give you the last word on;
(3) selecting the right person for the job from this short-list.
(4) Once selected, your new recruit undertakes offshore staff induction that Capaciti provides as well as;
(5) having a secure IT system set up.
(6) We assist with the development of all required training and induction material for your new offshore staff.
13. How do I manage my offshore staff?
The key here is communication. Capaciti will assist you in preparing a detailed position description with clearly laid-out objectives and targets for the roles you need.
We will also provide ongoing support in managing the offshore staff for the duration of the contract so that if an issue does arise at some point, we’re there to provide help when, where and how you need it.
14. So would Australian employment laws govern my offshore staff?
No. Offshore staff are based in the Philippines and are governed by the employment laws of the Philippines. Capaciti takes full responsibility for ensuring that all of these employment laws and regulations are adhered to.
15. How do I pay my offshore staff?
Capaciti issues a monthly invoice to you which incorporate all costs involved in employing your offshore staff.
16. Why don’t I just hire a freelancer online?
There are countless numbers of freelance operations available to hire online. However, consider first that freelancers work from their own homes, you cannot monitor data security or their performance. Typically, there’s no personal meeting and you have to accept them on the face-value of their online profile – you have to take care of any issues on your own. It is also a transactional relationship – usually once-off for a fixed term project. They can serve multiple businesses (even your competitors).
17. I could just outsource offshore assistants by myself couldn't I?
Sure – it’s not impossible. But having been in the business as long as we have, we are aware of some of the challenges you’ll face going it alone:
• Researching the country that you are planning to set up offshore staff in
• Registering a company according to local rules and regulations
• Setting up the operation, creating a local presence and renting premises
• Hiring staff
• Maintaining payroll
• Paying taxes
• Liaising with local regulators
• Speaking the local language(s) or hiring business brokers
• Organising local infrastructure requirements and maintaining the operations for the life of the project.
In addition to this, you need to understand
• Local economic and social issues
• Legal issues
• Regulatory compliance
• Employment laws and regulations
• Cultural issues and much more
All of this has to be done while you’re probably already under a heavy work load with current business projects.
18. How do my offshore staff access my data? Where is my data saved?
You can provide your offshore staff access to your data directly via VPN (virtual private network) technology to your own servers. Alternatively, we can help set up a virtual server where they can access work instructions and save their completed work. All data will be saved according to your instructions and requirements.
19. How about security – how safe is my data?
In a word – 'very'. No data is saved locally on any virtual staff member’s PC at any time. Capaciti maintains the physical security of all data and implements a high-security data policy. Upon request, any storage device can be disabled on the offshore staff member's PC/laptop as an additional measure. Access to websites and webmail such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail can also be restricted. All web traffic will be monitored by our IT team.
20. What software do offshore staff have access to?
They will be provided with the latest Windows Operating System and internet browser. Their individual workstation will also feature anti-virus and anti-spam software. If you have any additional specific software requirements, please inform us prior to implementation and we can ensure arrangements are made for this.