Derek talks with Inge Zwick, the Executive Director of Emapta Offshore Staffing.
In this podcast episode, Derek and Inge had a wide-ranging conversation about businesses’ changing perspectives on outsourcing, outsourcing post-COVID, and the rise of AI and its impact on the industry.
“Emapta almost needs no introduction. They are one of the luminaries of the outsourcing space. They’re only 12 years old and have grown now to over 6500 seats, so it’s an incredible trajectory for this business.
They really epitomize staff leasing, seat leasing, and global employment. They have over 14 offices spread across the Philippines – and they are now expanding to multiple other countries across the globe, including Colombia, to get that complete global footprint.
It’s a really impressive operation,” said Derek Gallimore.
Businesses’ changed perspective on outsourcing post-pandemic
Inge explained that when the economy is struggling, companies initially tend to reduce team size. However, investing in outsourcing teams and building up the team is the smart move, so that businesses are prepared to catch the wave when the economy rebounds.
She stated, “The smart businesses are making use of those difficult times and really evaluating outsourcing as a long-term strategy.”
Inge added that businesses are looking at where their talent is located, what type of skill sets they need, and where they can access talent most efficiently and effectively.
She said, “The conversations we’re having now with prospects or clients are so different. They really are evaluating outsourcing from a more strategic, long-term perspective.”
The podcast guest also highlighted the talent available in the Philippines, among other markets served by Emapta. “It’s the beauty of the Philippines, among other markets that we serve at Emapta. We’re able to really offer some amazing talent.”
Further, Inge stated that there has been “a huge shift” in people’s perspective and awareness on outsourcing.
With the pandemic and the reality of remote work across all geographies, conversations are now starting at the point where clients already know that it is possible to work with resources located elsewhere.
Inge stated, “[Prospective clients] already know that it’s possible to work with resources, who are located elsewhere.”
She added, “And so a lot of the previous concerns over, how am I going to work with someone who is miles away? How am I going to understand them? And how am I gonna connect with them? These are no longer top-of-the-mind concerns.
Of course, they also still valid, and they get discussed, but it’s just no longer a roadblock.”
Successfully connecting Filipino talent with global companies
Derek and Inge also discussed the importance of connecting with talent and showing the human aspect of outsourcing.
Inge emphasized that it’s “not just about filling a seat or having someone who can do the work, but it’s about understanding the candidate and finding the best way to tailor a package that fits their needs, including salary, benefits, work setup, and work arrangement.”
The Emapta Executive Director said, “It’s really about speaking to the candidate, understanding what is important to them, and finding the best way and tailoring a package that fits this particular candidate.”
Inge also highlighted the importance of matching the needs of all sides and customizing solutions that work well for everyone.
She stated, “It’s really matchmaking where the needs of all sides have to be considered, and what I feel Emapta has always really done well. What we’ve always focused on is that customization, it’s not a one size fits all approach.”
Emapta had opened 14 offices in and around Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao to be closer to the talent. Inge said this is critical as asking team members to commute for three to four hours one way is not feasible.
She added, “Opening offices in great locations closer to [employees’] homes is critical and it’s been one of [our] many success factors.”
As for setting client expectations, Inge highlighted the importance of education.
She explained that sometimes customer expectations are not in line with the available talent, and it’s important to communicate that effectively. She stated, “Helping [clients] understand the local job realities and skill sets is also critical to success. It goes both ways.”
Overall, education and understanding of skill sets and job realities are essential for successful outsourcing. Emapta ensures recruiters and customers are well-informed about the requirements of various roles and the skill sets available in different markets.
Evolution of roles through AI
Inge and Derek also dabbled on the growing concern around artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on the outsourcing industry.
Inge stated, “Of course, for our industry, there’s also a bit of anxiety, right? Like is AI, is ChatGPT actually going to replace a lot of our roles?”
However, Inge emphasized that while AI may change the roles and requirements for great talent, the need for experienced resources will remain.
She stated, “What we have seen certainly is the need to implement those technologies into existing processes is across industries. But that’s not an easy one. It’s not just done overnight. And you do need great people with good expertise in order to do that.”
Inge also highlighted how outsourcing can provide businesses with access to senior and experienced resources to help with technology implementation and process optimization.
She explained, “In outsourcing, you can afford to have really great senior experienced resources, who can help with that implementation. And then once the implementation of the technology has been achieved, these are still experts in their field who can then optimize other processes.”
Overall, Inge believes that AI and other new technologies are more of an evolution rather than a threat to the outsourcing industry, and outsourcing can provide businesses with the necessary resources to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.
To learn more about Inge Zwick and Emapta, visit their website at https://emapta.com/