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Outsourcing for any business is generally regarded as a cost saving move - albeit one with significant risks. I...
Outsourcing for any business is generally regarded as a cost saving move – albeit one with significant risks. In terms of the ESL (English as a Second Language) industry, there are advantages and disadvantages that are common to outsourcing to ESL.
In order to help minimize risks, maximize returns and create a business you can feel proud of, we have come up with 5 rules for dealing with ESL outsourced staff.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but there are different kinds of language proficiency (written, spoken, comprehension, fluency, communication skills, pronunciation, etc.). Depending on the position you're filling, make sure your staff’s English is up to scratch.
Exchange emails, test them, and chat and speak with them on Skype. Members of support staff do not require the same level of English as an ESL teacher or interpreter, but they should be competent enough to fulfil all their duties.
Support or “back office” staff is the most common for outsourcing. They generally work behind the scenes in administrative roles with little to no customer contact.
Think carefully before outsourcing front office staff, especially teachers. Remember, you are losing a degree of control when you outsource and one of the most important aspects of your business is what you present to your customers.
There are around 100 nations and territories that use English as an official or de facto official language.
Did you know that the country with the second largest amount of English speakers is India, or that there are nearly 50 million English speakers in the Philippines alone?
It is no coincidence that both nations are major ESL outsourcing centres.
Some centres of outsourcing are now commanding wages approaching what you may be paying staff at home, forcing some companies to cut back on outsourcing. This so-called wage inflation is actually something that’s “supposed” to happen in globalized free market economics.
On the one hand you want to pay a fair wage to your outsourced employees, but on the other you still need to make sure that outsourcing is cost effective. No matter how much money you are saving, make sure you calculate how much you value cost against things like time, quality and peace of mind.
Each country has its own labour laws, some of which may even be specific to outsourcing. It is important that both you and your staff act in accordance with these laws in order to have healthy, happy, honest and productive long-term working relationships.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the culture and customs of your outsourced staff. Showing interest in your employees will make them feel valued and respected and therefore more likely perform well on the job.