In this episode, Derek speaks with Chris Mueller, Head of Sales at Booth & Partners. Booth & Partners is a boutique outsourcing company that offers tailored staffing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.
Derek and Chris discuss Booth & Partners’ achievements in their tenth year, the global demand for talent and how the outsourcing strategy can fulfill it, and the company’s experience beginning their operations in Colombia.
Reflecting on Booth & Partners’ milestones
Booth & Partners has much to celebrate this year. It’s reached its tenth year of operations, is coming up on 1000 employees, and has recently expanded to Colombia.
For Chris Mueller, it’s also an exciting time, and he reflects on the value the firm continues to bring to its clients.
“You know, I’m a numbers guy, but it’s the lives you touch. And really, if you’re doing things well, you’re giving opportunities to people to grow personally and professionally, and add value to the clients that we have around the world. And that’s exciting.”
Chris says that there is a sense of ease and assurance brought about now that they’ve reached 1000 people.
“I think what makes life maybe a bit easier is that in order to get to 1000 employees, [in] the tenth year, it really means that we’ve been doing things well. So therefore the base is set, so you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel like you are at the beginning of a new business venture.
And now that we’ve kind of grown up and matured, it just makes it easier for us to do the basic stuff really well.”
The global demand for talent
“The challenge now,” Chris points out, “[are the ones] facing the world in terms of population.”
He reports of India’s passing the population of China and Hong Kong, poised to hit their peak around 2050. Speaking also about Canada, he notes that the population only grew due to its immigration practices.
“But all of this implies that there is a severe demand for talent locally. And so we’re having to look further and further away in order to find the talent that we need to support the businesses.”
“[But] now we’re working with people in other parts of the world just like they’re across the city from us, with all the technology that’s available. So I think that’s an exciting challenge that the world is facing.
And for our industry, it’s very much blue ocean because it’s in huge growth mode.”
Chris sees big potential in the notion of global employment and the mixing of different cultures in the workplace.
He points to Canada as an example, saying, “Even people that are here are bringing their culture and their experiences from other parts of the world.
[And so the] decision to work with other people is much easier, because [there’s] an understanding [that] there are good people in other countries that have a service mentality.”
An evolving outsourcing scene
Chris acknowledges some long-standing concerns about outsourcing.
“I think the basic idea that I can hire somebody somewhere else for cheaper generates some natural concerns that are maybe sometimes a bit old school, because we haven’t been exposed to it for such a long time.”
He addresses concerns about pay and productivity but notes that this isn’t a problem with professional outsourcing firms.
“The notion of global employment is that we’re giving opportunities to other people to raise their standard of living.”
“I’m a big fan of outsourcing because I’ve lived around the world, I’ve seen the talent [and] culture, and it’s just a matter of getting people more used to it.”
Chris is optimistic, saying, “[With technology becoming more common], the idea of offshoring to other parts of the world will just become easier to accept because even getting together in person will become easier.”
Tapping into Colombia’s talent market
Booth & Partners recently expanded to Colombia, which Chris says was a strategy to “be where there was a growing tech market.”
“The challenge is going to be [developing] our brand in the local talent market [so that] strong candidates are interested in working with us.”
Chris commends the outsourcing setup in Colombia as a natural reason to consider the market.
“[Colombia] is producing 13,000 university graduates per year, they’re producing thousands and thousands [of] people who have developed their tech skills [and] their industry is becoming much more well-known as part of the economy.”
Chris looks forward to the future of outsourcing, saying, ”I believe that in the long-term, history is going to continue this trend, [and] it’ll be an exciting time to be alive and building businesses and working with people.”