India vs. Philippines IT Offshore Recruiting: How Do They Stack Up?

When you decide to offshore certain recruiting processes, you spark a wide range of questions. Which parts of the recruitment life cycle should you take offshore? Are you better suited to outsource or insource your offshore program? Last but not least, which is the best offshore destination?

In this piece, we delve into the latter question, exploring two of the primary IT offshore recruiting destinations: India and the Philippines. Let’s discuss the differences.

Communication. Strong communication skills in an offshore recruiting support team has a direct, positive impact on the accuracy and frequency of your submittals and placements. In fact, the ability of offshore resources to build rapport with candidates and funnel top talent to your onshore recruiters hinges on their skills with the English language.

An incredible resource to help gauge the quality of offshore destinations is the EF English Proficiency Index. This dynamic measurement reviews the English language proficiency among countries worldwide where English is not the primary language. As of the most recent reviews, the Philippines is ranked #14 and India is ranked #28 in English proficiency. Though not the only factor to consider, higher English Proficiency ratings increase the likelihood a destination will meet and exceed your KPIs and performance expectations.

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Cultural alignment. Dialect and cultural competency are crucial considerations. Though both countries boast their own distinct cultures, there are certain commonalities with Western countries. Philippine English is heavily influenced by the US dialect (thanks to the shared history of both nations) with US slang, idioms, and cultural common knowledge among large portions of the Philippines population. For a US-based clientele, Filipinos are often the preferred resource.

For a UK-based clientele, Indians have a communication advantage. Indian English shares the same spellings as British English, making email and text interactions seamless. With British English taught in schools, there are some similarities in pronunciations – though the range of different languages across India lead to variations in inflection.

Technical expertise. When staffing for technical positions, offshore resources should have some level of technical knowledge to effectively communicate with candidates. However, there is a debate about whether to hire offshore recruiters who have preexisting technical knowledge or to train BPO professionals to comprehend technological requirements. Depending on your stance, India or the Philippines offer different advantages.

India is a reliable destination for staffing firms interested in hiring for technical proficiency. The World Economic Forum indicates that India has the second highest number of STEM graduates worldwide, some of who trickle into the offshore recruiting field. Their comprehension of requirements helps them when sourcing and screening candidates. However, they typically have a higher attrition rate since they are more inclined to leave when offered IT or engineering jobs.

The Philippines is a desirable outsourcing destination for staffing firms that want sourcing and screening expertise. There are 1.3 million trained BPO professionals who are keen at adapting to offshore recruiting tasks but need tutelage in the IT fundamentals. Though the ramp-up and knowledge transfer period takes longer, recruiter attrition rates remain long term.

Selecting the Right Destination

When evaluating potential offshore destinations and partners, organizations need to assess the hiring profile and detailed training plans for the recruiters being hired in each geography. Beyond fluency in IT terminology, recruiters need to be trained in the full-life cycle of attracting candidates – everything from screening and sourcing to interview prep and onboarding management.

Be sure that any offshore partner boasts a well-known brand in their local market, maintains tenured internal recruiting and training experts, and encourages team leaders to coach and mentor their junior recruiters. That way, you will always choose the right destination to support your in-house staffing and recruiting team.

Monica Maralit

Monica Maralit
Monica Maralit is VP of program management at PSG Global Solutions.

Monica Maralit

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