Angela McDonald – Building an Effective Recruitment Structure

Ep 024 Angela McDonald

Derek is joined by Angela as they will discuss more about recruitment and how to deal with recruitment agencies.



  • Prior to Angela’s position in Deployed which is her current BPO, she worked in recruitment so she has vast experience in recruiting within the Philippines.
  • Majority of the clients that Angela has dealt with were from Australia since that was their initial market which was great culturally wise.
  • Since recruitment companies get paid commissions, the candidates get confused where they are applying since they are applying for maybe two to three different companies.
  • It would be good to invest in one to two solid recruitment company.
  • Recruitment is not an easy task, there’s a lot of management and business books written about recruitment and it’s no different in the Philippines.
  • The talent pool in the Philippines is really good, obviously, they are good in English and their accent is very neutral.
  • The most popular roles in the Philippines are Front and backend developers, iOS, Android, graphic designers, accountants, bookkeepers, admin.
  • The Philippines uniquely have a 13th month, sometimes even 14th and 15th-month pay.
  • The Philippines is very closely culturally aligned to the West.


Key Points

  • It’s good to rely on one solid recruitment company for your recruitment needs instead of two or three companies who would not understand what or who you need.
  • The whole recruitment process is not an easy task and it’s no different in the Philippines.
  • You have to take into consideration the 13th-month pay in the Philippines and include that in the budget for the gross annual compensation.





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Derek: Hi and welcome back to another episode of Outsource Accelerator Podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore. We have Angela McDonald back with us today. Angela is a Scottish lass and has been here a good number of years now. If you haven’t heard an early episode with Angela then I recommend that you go back and listen to episode 4 where she specifically discusses BPOs. And she has a vast amount of experience in that. So today we are talking recruitment. Prior to Angela’s position in Deployed which is her current BPO, she worked in recruitment so she has vast experience in recruiting within the Philippines. So, it’s really good talk there’s a lot of gems in there. And then we also I suppose edge into the cultural significance and processes and BPO and things like that. So, enjoy the episode if you want to get in touch with Angela or deployed then go to our show notes and you will find those at Enjoy.


Derek: Okay, Anj. Good to have you today. Today we’re going to talk about recruitment. And as anyone knows anyone with any employees recruitment process is a necessary step to getting employees. And it’s absolutely no different here in the Philippines whether you go through a BPO, Upwork or you know you have your own ace team, you’re getting your own staff. This is the process of recruitment and obviously here as well, there’s a number of recruiters and them to do that for you.

Angela has fantastic experience in the recruiting field and two of the key recruiters in Manila here. And I think so it just gets a bit of background. But you know focusing on high level management focusing on a lot of expat clients and a whole range of stuff. But what I also want to go into then is also the processes and is it really any different to any other country or is it really just the same just in different countries. You wanna just, I suppose start outlining your experience.

Angela: Well, yeah, I mean it hit me here in the Philippines, there’s I mean there’s so many recruitment companies it’s unbelievable. And I think some of them have a bit of bad reputation and It can be a bit frustrating when you’re working with them. The majority of the clients I dealt with were from Australia that was our initial market and which was great obviously culturally wise you can say really frankly and get to the bottom of what we want and be not direct but you know set expectations. That’s probably the way everything is the best way to go. So, I mean my advice is if you’re using a recruitment company here. Select one or two, push to go for it. One of the things that my client is just to say to me was that they would often have them chase up or put proposals, response, feedback and there is frustration and that will happen here with some of the agencies that should be a first point when your check in is. Are they responsive? Are they getting the figures across to me? Are the other?

Derek: You’re setting expectations as well.

Angela: Absolutely, if they’re just taking the job description and run them with it saying Yeah that’s brilliant. Yeah, I’ve got it no problem. Then go silent and throw people over to you. They’re not gonna understand the brief. The other, from being obviously from interviewing candidates and clients, the other issue we saw with too many people doing that, was that the candidates were getting really confused over what the brief for the job was. Is it the same company? Who own the candidate? It was the recruitment company obviously get paid a commission. So, if you’ve got two different companies fighting over the same candidate your candidate is going to go I’m outta here.

Derek: Are there are some sort of pool of leads and the same…

Angela: Because it gets a bit of a meat market. I think it is better to invest with one really good solid company. There are going to be at your beck and call but really are going to be your personal consultant and they’re going to push back and say. Right. Okay. That’s a bigger skill here is this nice to have is essential have an estimate, a budget to work on don’t just throw a budget to the recruiter and say right, twenty thousand pesos, five hundred dollars for you know a tenure, skilled front-end developer and the recruiter just go okay and get nothing. Make sure that they are shortlisting, screening and interviewing

Derek: Then you’re building a relationship with your recruiters. They get to know you, get to know your culture, your staffing needs and it’s easy to build upcoming positions as they come and also, they’ll keep an eye out and they will get in touch with you if there’s just someone on the scene who might suit your needs.


Angela: That’s right, a good recruiter would do that. They would have a look at the service of recruiting for direct like Derek’s model here you know and basically give you first dibs. This has come across my desk, don’t know if you’re looking for someone but here you go.

Derek: And we have indeed done that.

Angela: We have done that! Yes!

Derek: There’s interesting stepping stones I found within the BPO sector a lot of people, might, you know there’s a bit of a trodden path and more people toying with the idea of getting outsourcing staff or remote staff and they might start on Upwork then they might want to formalize it more, get more staff. It’s ideal to go through a BPO but then once you’ve been with a BPO for a while, typically I mean 90% of the time, BPO’s will source the staff for you but eventually, the more you stay with a BPO, you might want to reach out to a recruiter just to test the market yourself and see what’s out there or maybe for a very senior position you might want to go to a recruiter just so that you’re not then relying on your BPO to feed you everything. And so, it gives you a different perspective to reach out to the broader market

Angela: And you know at times, BPOs have to have to advise their clients that they are using an independent recruiter or head hunters because if it is a really rare skill or are you know very niche or you know whatever industry that is and then it’s good to have that option of reaching out to somebody that can work and just focus 100% of their time on that. I think BPO’s are really good with their recruitment to a specific level and then when it gets to, you know, the top gun kind of thing is the best of the best of the best, you do need some additional support on that.

Derek: Because recruitment is never an easy job. I mean, there’s a million management and business books written about how to do your recruitment well and it’s no different in this country. And also, it’s no different if you sign a contract with a BPO and they go out and find for your staff. It’s still a big job for them to find your staff and to find good staff that will stick with you and do your job. And especially BPO’s are either generalist or they’re very specialist but if you want a very specific role then it’s probably going to take longer. So also, it might be an idea to go out to recruiters and have them look around yourself. So, in terms of these things Anj, it’s interesting to note that maybe a lot of these things are very similar but it’s worth remembering that basically everything is cheaper because salaries are cheaper, fees are cheaper. Everything is relatively cheaper. So, what is the fee structure to pay for recruits?

Angela: I think it can go from anything from 10 percent of the gross annual compensation. all the way up to 20 percent for an executive position and like you said it sounds a lot but you know 20 percent of something that’s costing you a thousand dollars of the salary …..or they sometimes do in one month or two months’ salary whichever

Derek: Interesting, and again I imagine it depends, that’s flexible it depends how many positions you are taking in and how well you know the recruiters so it’s relationship based pricing.

Angela: Sure. And then probably your replacement guarantee would be factored into the amount that you were paying. It could be anything from one month up to six months since you were paying 20 percent of the gross annual compensation you will be wanting to try and fight for six months or five or six months replacement guarantee but it’s usually negotiable.

Derek: How reliable are those replacement guarantees? So effective that means if it doesn’t work out all the employee leaves within 1, 2, 3, 6 months. The recruiter will replace, is that right?

Angela: Yeah, the recruiter will replace the candidate which can be challenging. In my experience, all recruitment companies I’ve come across. If they can’t fill the role they won’t give you a refund but they’ll give you a credit note for a future search. So that’s why again by the very start when you select to make sure you’ve read all the terms you have.

Derek: Okay. What is the talent pool like? So, we always know that the Philippines is famed for what they call voice? So that’s any sort of any telephone support, customer support. But what is the talent pool like? What is the availability of English, very good English, spoken English, high tech skills, very specific tech skills?

Angela: The talent pool is really good for obviously English and the accent’s very neutral at the moment so they’ve helped the industry boom. So, whether it’s doing voice roles or just communicating, the content writing is really good. So, they’re familiar with writing English. It tends to be more of the American spelling so on the side of things but actually good. A lot more candidates are leaving university with degrees in accounting, IT, social studies. Lots of weird and wonderful things are coming on and IT seems to be the most high demand at the moment and a lot more of the techs come in here from India. India is still the best for tech but a lot more are starting to come here now

Derek: And I found that specific niches, tech niches, it’s a pretty thin market, I was always trying to find salesforce developers for a long time. It’s pretty difficult to find. If it’s a pretty specialized niche then It’s a pretty thin market, everyone’s as good is probably already employed. It can take a long time to find some pretty strong.

Angela: Yeah. Look I mean the bottom line is if it’s hard to find for you at home and it’s expensive for you to find it at home it’s going to be exactly the same here. They’re gonna need a little bit more love and attention they’re going to need competitive offers, they’re going to take a little bit more nurturing because they’d actually have their pick where they want to go see you’ve got to have something else. Whether it’s changed. My advice would be take someone with these skills is nice to have. And have somebody in your front office that can help take them up to speed. It’s also good retention thing because they learn a new skill.

Derek: And what are some of the most popular roles that the Philippines carries out?

Angela: Front and backend developers, iOS, Android, graphic designers, accountants, bookkeepers, admin. The list goes on and there’s been some really weird and wonderful positions we’ve done. The digital marketing seems to be really big just now and taking up the tech space and they like the content writing sub space because it covers quite a few different areas and definitely accountant.

Derek: And one unusual, you spoke earlier about the gross annual compensation talking about that because. It’s, in the Philippines they uniquely have a 13th month or possibly even a 14th month or a 15th month. What’s going on there with that?

Angela: So, the 13th month is an extra month pay which is paid in December. It’s mandatory by law. And I can’t remember who brought it and it, I can’t remember. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. It’s mandatory by law here. So, it means in December usually before the 15th of December they get an extra month pay if they just started. Obviously, it’s pro-rated. So, when you’re speaking about gross annual compensation for a recruitment company that’s probably included.

Derek: And it’s a point of negotiation, now isn’t it? Because the 13th month, so, in any, in whatever, you look at monthly, then you’ve got to realize to pay 13 months in a year, obviously the higher-level executives I think they can negotiate 14th month, 15th month.

Angela: Yes, some of the bigger corporations do have like 14th month, 15th month, maybe more performance based and related. You would If you’re using a BPO it’s easy because they will when they’re paying, charging you monthly for the employer related expenses. They will have it prorated on so they’ll be a little bit extra add on each month. The last thing you want to do is have a team of 10 people and pay 10 people an action on salary in December and you haven’t got a budget set aside for that.

Derek: Again, that’s the power of the BPOs to help guide you through these things when you’re new to the culture. It’s really an incredible culture in a way and we’re just talking about the talent pool. You know it is one of the only places in the world really of a developing country that has such a true affinity to spoken english. And it’s now almost their natural tongue. India is very strong in technology but they don’t have the same level of communication as well with I think about five hundred years ago the Philippines was introduced to Christianity as well. So, with the combination of English and the similar Catholicism value systems then they are very closely culturally aligned to the west whether that’s the US or the UK, Australia and New Zealand, provides a very powerful combination, isn’t it?

Angela: Yeah

Derek: Great! Thank you Anj, thanks for that insight!

Angela: No worries

Hope you enjoyed the episode with Angela MacDonald of Deployed. If you want to get in touch with Angela or Deployed at all. If you want our transcripts go to our show notes, you can find those at 24. See you next time.


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