THE outsourcing sector has become the life vest of the country’s economy as it navigates the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fiona Lideza, chief operating officer and co-owner of StaffVirtual, said the outsourcing industry has been the country’s silver lining, providing employment opportunities to Filipinos at a time when almost all industries are streamlining business operations, even laying off workers.
“We continued to grow amid the pandemic,” said Lideza.
StaffVirtual is an American-owned knowledge process outsourcing firm (KPO) with headquarters in Makati City, Philippines. It specializes in high-value tasks like customer support, back office, payroll and creative. The company was founded in 2009.
At the height of the pandemic in March 2020, the firm expanded its operations in Cebu, employing a work-from-home setup to cater to its growing clients in need of outsourcing support. Since then, the firm has been hiring 60 to 70 people since the onset of the pandemic due to the increase in demand for back office jobs.
“We are hiring. We are growing our talent pool here in Cebu. In fact, when we pivoted to a work-from-home setup, we were able to get talents from other parts of the country,” said Lideza, a 27-year-old beauty queen-turned-entrepreneur from Talisay City, Cebu.
“By 2022, we are looking at a thousand jobs to offer,” she said.
StaffVirtual mostly caters to the US market but is also gaining traction in Europe and Australia markets.
According to Lideza, the Philippines remains a sought after destination for outsourcing work because of its young and highly skilled workforce with good English communication skills.
“Even with the work-from-home setup, we are able to expand our network and attract really young and talented individuals to join our team,” she said.
Lideza said many young Filipinos are still attracted to join the outsourcing industry because of its high starting salary of at least P30,000. They also find working in the outsourcing industry fulfilling, with the kind of jobs they do that require analytical skills.
To further hone the skills of its employees and train new hires, StaffVirtual has also set up its own academy where employees could be trained and upskilled for them to be flexible and adjust to new conditions.
“It is an in-house, self-paced kind of training we offer to our employees for their continued learning,” Lideza said.
Lideza joined the flourishing business process management (BPM) industry when she was 18 years old while completing her college degree. She said this is where she built the foundations of her career.
From working in the country’s largest BPM firm, Lideza shifted to a smaller BPM setting where she was hired as a sales officer. Armed with wit, determination and passion for learning, Lideza was able to help a small BPM company grow from a 100-seat center to over 500 employees in two years’ time. (KOC)