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Hire the Right Offshore Staff in 7 Steps

by: Arline Ramirez

Thursday, March 27, 2014 |

Hiring offshore staff is a practical way to hire top talent at a lesser cost. While your offshore outsourcing partner is responsible for the recruitment process, you're still in-charge of choosing the right candidates. Here are seven steps to get the right mix:

Pick the right offshore location.

Make sure that the offshoring location has the talent pool for the particular skills that you need. You may have picked a low-cost offshore outsourcing location but without readily available talent, recruitment can take a long time.

Pick the right offshore partner.

Don't pick a BPO firm that lacks IT support and have a cumbersome recruitment process. You're going to be communicating with your offshore staff online (and most of their work need IT), so itís imperative that they have the resources to do so. If you're already having a hard time dealing with HR from the get-go, there's no guarantee that other problems won't pop up later on. Make sure that your offshore staff has a decent working environment.

Don't rely on your guts.

Your offshore outsourcing partner will give a short list of candidates. Don't judge a candidate's potential based on a quick scan of their resume. Resumes don't always tell the whole story. Interview candidates so that you can assess their communication skills.

Don't be pretentious.

Quirky brainteasers sound cool, but even Google's Senior VP of people operations think they're a huge waste of time. It makes no sense to ask a candidate up for a web design job on 50 ways to use a brick. Sure, it can assess creative thinking, but how about instructing them to make a poster ad for that brick instead? Be creative, not cryptic.

Write a sound job description.

Job descriptions should reflect reality, not a checklist of an idealised candidate. Contrary to popular belief, having a degree doesn't instantly make someone an expert or the lack of it doesn't always mean they're not qualified for the job.

Manage expectations.

If you're looking for talent that can play a strategic role for the business, then hire entrepreneurial offshore employees and provide the environment to foster it. One of the common criticisms in offshore outsourcing is that itís just for labour arbitrage. But SLAs (service level agreements) and desired outcomes are decided by the client.


There are two common pitfalls in offshore staffing: "Set and forget" approach leaves problems to pile up and goes unnoticed until expensive repairs are evident, and micromanagement renders the outsourcing engagement useless. The solution is to strike a balance between them - define objectives and expectations, step back to let your offshore staff do their job and keep track of results.

Hiring offshore staff creates new challenges for small businesses. But if it is done right, it can deliver financial and operational value.



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