Hiring resources is an enormous investment of time, money and resources.
Throw in a foreign country where you don’t know the language or cultural nuances and it is easy to get overwhelmed. While there is no process to follow when hiring for your BPO or KPO the best practices below should make your life a little easier. Here are some tips and tricks to consider when building your offshoring model – and staffing up in a captive environment.
1. Go organic – The people you want exist but not with the backgrounds or experience you expect. For BPO’s and KPO’s you are going to have to train them on specific skills so look for people that can work in your company’s culture and understand your goals. People that have strong backgrounds in Communications, Marketing or Learning tend to have an appreciation to learn and develop a process which will allow them to adapt to your environment quickly.
2. School’s in session – Tap into recruiting events at local high schools and universities. If they don’t have recruiting events then help form an informal one where you can present your business, services and hiring needs. Also, if these schools have majors or curriculums that align with your work tap into them. If not, then consider working with these local institutions to incorporate your technical needs into their program which gives you a pipeline of candidates over the long term.
3. Get comfortable delegating – No matter how many phone calls, video conferences or onsite visits you have, it will remain a struggle to keep up with the day to day activities of your team. While most people look for a team lead that has a technical domain understanding of the work, you will fall short on building a cohesive team over time. Bring in someone that has actual management experience and understands the goals and values of your group or company.
4. Know the competition – Understand your other competitors, what they are hiring and determine to differentiate yourself with job responsibilities, benefits and perks. Unlike the U.S., many professionals – especially in Latin America and the Caribbean – are not driven by money as the major factor when considering a job. A lot of our global professionals relish opportunities to work directly with Americans, working within a community and having some work life balance when it comes to commuting and shift timings.
5. Training is inevitable – Accept that you are going to have to facilitate in depth, deep dive training for your new resources. Before you start the hiring process come up with a learning curriculum that teaches people the work from the bottom up. See this training not as a one off instance but instead of incremental development standards to incorporate every few months to insure your team offshore grows with your team onshore.
6. Know your Culture – Consider what type of culture is your business and compare it to the culture of the country you are in. Where are the differences? Identify them through testing during the interview process on technical and language skills. Also, do some research on the working styles of the country you are in so you can mitigate any cultural barriers between the U.S. and offshore countries.
7. Career Paths = Happy Recruits – While these resources may be more junior than professionals you have hired in the United States their needs are no different. Showing recruits a career path that outlines the responsibilities of their job, incremental milestones and where that will take them on their professional journey gives recruits a level of comfort that you have thought through your offshoring model beyond the first year and that there is a spot for them long term if their performance is up to snuff.
8. Have an ‘Onboarding’ Party – Onboard your offshore resources using as many U.S. professionals as possible as an opportunity to set the expectation that these two teams are going to have to work together. Find reasons to get everyone on the phone or video conference. This will break down social barriers quickly and get everyone working as one team.
Most importantly, look at this as a journey not a long weekend holiday. It takes time and daily nurturing to create a strong self-sufficient team that will support your work over the coming years.
Jill Grant is the Principal of VIS Consulting, a knowledge process outsourcing and information management consulting firm. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org