Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about outsourcing to the Philippines. Rethink Staffing provides business process outsourcing services starting at $5.75 per hour.


Rethink Staffing officially began its operations on October 1, 2015. But the company already existed before that as a small group of KPO workers composed of engineers, accountants, and virtual assistants.

Rethink Staffing has been in the Philippine outsourcing business for more than two years now. The company quickly grew due to high demand for collaborative work on a global scale.

We currently have 400 people working out of our Iloilo City facility. We expect to fill up 600 seats by the end of 2018.

We have a four-man leadership team led by our CEO and Managing Director, Mike Dershowitz. Most of the managerial staff are located in the Philippines.

We have a dozen clients and counting. Most of them come from the medical and dental, real estate, software, graphic design, and educational niches.

Our main office is located in Philadelphia, PA in the United States. Our main service center is in Iloilo City in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.

Iloilo City is about 500 miles away from Metro Manila. It isn't as crowded and flooded as Manila though. The traffic is tolerable and the streets are relatively safe. Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan is just 30 minutes away from the city. Visitors can fly in directly from Hong Kong or Singapore, and take advantage of affordable transportation from the airport to Iloilo's urban center.

Iloilo City is the 2nd largest city in the Visayas region and it's the 8th largest in the Philippines. It's highly urbanized with an infrastructure that can fully support a thriving IT-BPO industry.

Iloilo City has been recognized as a Center of Excellence for IT-BPO companies. It has a strong and growing economy that's conducive to foreign and local investments. Iloilo City is a regional center for academic excellence. It has more than 30 colleges and universities that produce around 15,000 graduates each year. More than a fifth of them are Business degree holders. Nearly 15 percent have Math and IT degrees while about 6 percent are Engineering graduates.

As of April 2017, we have only one facility in Iloilo City. We have plans to acquire a second facility this year.

We have three enterprise-level connections provided by two major internet service providers in the Philippines. We have a dedicated server for network monitoring and automated load balancing to ensure the continuous exchange of communication from all parts of the globe. Through its failover function, the load balancer automates the transfer of a connection from one provider to another in case of connection failure.

We have a standby generator that can supply electricity to our facility for two to six hours. Most power outages in Iloilo City do not last more than a couple of hours.

We use a paid CRM platform that has VPN, internal and external firewalls, and protection from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. It also has an intrusion detection system that pro-actively scans and tests the network regularly to catch undesirable exploits and apply patches immediately. Local data stored in your staff's workstations are kept secure behind a login page. Only the COO and IT support have the passwords to these accounts. And, they're changed regularly. Each device that connects to WiFi is assigned a static IP and MAC address, and the range is restricted to ensure only authorized employees can use it. The WiFi password is also changed regularly and a local network firewall has been installed to block surveillance and sidejacking attempts. Only authorized persons are allowed into the server and router room. Each person logs their time spent in that room into a logbook. And, every corner of the workplace has a Nest camera that records everything 24/7. Access to these cameras is heavily restricted.

Our facility has a firewall. Emergency exits are located at the back and front of the office. A fire extinguisher and a fire alarm are available for each floor. Ours are found near the swinging glass doors. Electrical wires and LAN cables are housed in separate flexible piping. We have retained the services of a local security agency. We make sure there's always a guard on duty to monitor who comes in and out of the facility. All employees are required to log in and out via a biometric time clock. Visitors are asked to sign their names in a log book along with the time they arrived at the office.

Our employees have been through many fire and earthquake drills. They also know when to pull the alarm and how to use the fire extinguisher. Whenever a strong typhoon is coming, everyone is expected to stay at home and prepare for the coming storm.

Rethink Staffing operates according to HIPAA standards. Employees who handle sensitive information for your company are carefully vetted and required to undergo training. We have data and internet security protocols in place. Workstations in our facility in the Philippines are equipped with the latest in software and hardware technology.

We require that you hire at least 5 people for 30 days to see if outsourcing works well in your favor. This will give us time to tweak the metrics, which we customize to fit your needs, and realign your workflows for greater efficiency. Please remember that you get implementation services, operations management, and good candidate recruiting and screening for success. Unfortunately, we do have some overhead to work off in the first few months, so this can't be done with just one person.

We have employees working from 6 AM to 3 PM for the day shift and from 9 PM to 6 AM for the night shift. Some employees have irregular shifts that start at 10 or 11 PM, which is almost midnight in the Philippines. Others would start at 7 or 8 in the evening and end their shift before dawn.

The hiring process normally takes a couple of days excluding training. First, we confirm with you the job name and description, and the budget for hiring members of your staff. Next, we search our own internal database, and scour through LinkedIn and other jobseeker sites for people who have the skills and experience you wanted. We also place local job ads for a greater pool of candidates. Then, we screen, test and interview the ones with the most potential. If they passed, we'll endorse the candidate to you for review. If you thought they were suitable for the job, we would invite them to a final interview and present an attractive job offer.

Clients are encouraged to be part of the hiring process. You're assured of the quality of people you hire. And, you'll have a headstart in getting to know your staff at a deeper level.

We usually hire mid-level to senior representatives who have impressive skills and a clean work history. The best among them usually go on to become team leaders or promoted to a managerial position.

A Senior Rep costs around $11 an hour, a Mid-level Rep is around $9 an hour, and a Junior Rep costs about $7 an hour. These rates are negotiable. Ultimately, we want to set sustainable rates for our services. Finding that sweet spot for outsourcing rates ensures you'll receive only the best work from your staff in the Philippines.

Yes, we can find someone to replace one of your staff within 7 days right after you inform your account manager.

You may hire 5 staff members for a 30-day minimum trial, but we recommend that you retain them at least for 60 days maximum to better gauge the results. In our experience, we know that when global collaboration makes it to 60 days, your team will make it for the long-haul. However, you'll need to sign a contract first and pay for a one-month deposit before you and your team can start with the trial. You'll be billed monthly for 160 working hours minimum minus sick time. When you decide to end your contract, we'll credit your security deposit to your last invoice.

Yes, you can do this only if you have a large team. We do flexible arrangements for customers with larger accounts, when they have a base of permanent folks they're working on. For example, our largest customer has a base of 60 with us, and we flexed up to 90 in their busiest season. We're a dedicated staffing company - our mission is to save you money on staffing costs (especially where you have trouble recruiting). In return, we try and give Filipinos stable, long-term middle class employment.

You can add or drop agents whenever you need to. But first, you'll have to inform your account manager and allow up to 30 days to pass to give us time to find people who best fit your requirements. We often search for talents from our present roster of employees and from a larger pool outside the company. Rest assured, you don't have to wait long to regroup your team and start working with them!

We mainly charge clients a monthly fee for each member of their remote team. You'll receive your monthly bill on the first day of each month. The bill covers the total fees for the previous month.

Payments for the security deposit and monthly fees are sent by wire. We don't accept credit card payments.

If you decide to get 5 or more staff members, the hourly rate of all 5 goes down by 50 cents/hour due to volume discounts.

We require a security deposit before any client starts working with their staff. This money will cover potential problems with clients, such as when payments are delayed or canceled altogether.

The security deposit is equal to one month's minimum for each staff member. When your contract ends, Rethink Staffing will credit the amount to your last invoice.

We assure you that any information you share with us will be kept confidential and knowledge of it will be limited to only your staff and the account manager.

Some of the key provisions have been laid out in this section of the FAQs. To see the full list, check with your account manager or call our outsourcing consultant for a PDF copy.

You can cancel your contract with us without the need to explain yourself. Please give us 60 days' notice. Contact your account manager to begin the process.

We recommend that you work with your chosen staff for at least 60 days before deciding to cancel the contract. It's been our experience that engagements often fail because clients didn't give it a try for at least 60 days. That's how long it normally takes for your organization and the person to learn how to be successful together.

Everyone in the Philippines can speak and understand conversational English. But, we usually hire experienced call center agents to ensure their accents are barely discernible. BPO companies train their employees to adopt a neutral Midwestern accent. They may cost more, but if you want staff who can speak English with confidence to Americans, you'll need to hire mid-level customer support representatives.

US hours is NEVER a problem in Philippines - it's part of the culture. To illustrate to clients, I always say "If I was in Philippines, and I came home today and told my wife that next week I'm on the overnight shift" she'd say "Ok." and that would be it.

All requests for a sick or vacation leave have to be approved. Typically, employees get a total of 11 days of sick and vacation leaves per year. To properly motivate the employee to always show up for work and not create reasons for not reporting that aren't illness, we usually tie 7% of their overall compensation to attendance. If they miss a day or are tardy, they lose some of their pay. This is perfectly legal in the Philippines.

Aside from sick and vacation leaves, we also give our employees the benefit of going on maternity leave for 60 days for women and paternity leave of 7 days for men. Single parents with a Solo Parent I.D. can have 7 days of parental leave to take care of their children.

There are a number of government holidays, but typically employees work those days if they are scheduled to and just receive some extra money (which we don't pass on to you). Check the official website of the Philippine government at gov.ph at the beginning of each year for press releases regarding regular and special non-working holidays. To start with, here's a list of holidays for 2018: http://kittelsoncarpo.com/labor-employment/national-official-nonworking-holidays/

No, you don't have to pay extra. Our employees are covered by holiday pay rules for the Philippines only. They're not included in your company's payroll. So, they don't have to be paid double on July 4th (Independence Day) or the first Monday of September (Labor Day).

In the Philippines, all employees receive their 13th Month pay in December. It's equivalent to at least one month's pay for each employee. This is an end-of-year bonus that's been mandated by law (See: http://www.laborlaw.ph/639/13th-month-pay/). Clients don't have to pay extra for this.

The Philippines is 8 hours ahead of London, 12 hours ahead of New York, and 15 hours ahead of Los Angeles. Use tools like everytimezone.com to find the best time for you and your staff to meet and discuss work.

Yes, we can. Our service center in Iloilo City is equipped with a speedy internet connection. Half of our employees are streaming live video feeds of places and people, and calling their coworkers in the United States at the same time. We have video conferences with different people in other countries several times in a day. All these are possible because we have the technological capacity to handle live incoming calls as well as outgoing calls.

We can set up a call logging system when necessary. The audio files can be converted into the file format of your choice.

We usually hire experienced outbound callers and appointment setters. They vary in skill level. Some are mid-level outbound or inbound customer representatives. Those considered as senior-level representatives have a greater range of skills. Most of them previously worked as team leaders or supervisors.

Our inbound customer support staff can be classified into 3 groups depending on their skills set: Junior Staff: 1 to 2 years of experience on the phone, will need a script and can handle very light objections, but is really just a Level 1 support person. English is fluent, comprehension at 80%, but they will sound like someone from a foreign country. Mid-level Staff: 2 to 4 years of experience on the phone, junior skills, can handle most objections, and start solving more challenging problems. He or she could also grow into team lead in 12 months. English is fluent, comprehension at 100%, some command of colloquialism, and will sound confident when speaking. Senior Staff: 4+ years of experience on the phone, mid-level skills, can handle most problems, and can interface with internal department. Small team lead or could also grow into larger team lead or trainer in 12 months. English is fluent, comprehension at 100%, command of many colloquialisms, and will sound more like an immigrant in the US who's been there for some years.

We only provide dedicated staff for you. If you wanted full nights and weekend coverage, it would be $9/hour. And, you would need 3 full-time people to cover those hours.

Generally, we use software to make work more efficient and easy to manage. We can arrange for your staff to use your preferred software or app. We mostly use OpenSource software, but if you have a paid account or license, we'll make sure only your staff has access to that software or app.

On average, a junior customer representative can handle up to 100 calls per shift. This means each agent may take up to 5 minutes per call, but this average handle time (AHT) can be reduced when you hire senior agents with extensive experience in call handling. As time goes by, AHT gradually decreases as your agents become better and bolder when they converse with your prospects and customers.

Yes, we can arrange for data specialists to work with you in curating, analyzing and comparing huge volumes of data. Unlike Ai or bots, human analysts provide meaningful insight into the raw information they were provided. Our specialists can be trained to provide high-level data analysis for you.

It won't cost you much to hire a computer-savvy assistant. At only $7 an hour, you can have dedicated staff who will work for you. They can quickly gather information that's readily available on the web and place them in spreadsheets or online storage for ease and convenience.

Search engines make use of a set of operators that can give users more detailed search results. For example, wrapping your keywords in straight quotes like this "overseas outsourcing" will result to a list of pages where that exact seuence of keywords (overseas+outsourcing) are found. Smart search engines like Google also provide a list of results that use similar words. For example, pages with "offshore outsourcing" are mixed with the results for "overseas outsourcing." We also use software that semi-automate the search for certain keywords plus characters such as @ or ".com" for emails. We can specify the country and state or region where the search engine should look for information.

We're a custom staffing company that provides dedicated employees to work for you. This means that we hire certified IT professionals if and only if there's a sure need for their talents. Just let us know the certifications you wanted your staff to have and we'll begin the recruitment and vetting process as soon as possible.

We're a custom staffing company that provides dedicated employees to work for you. This means that we hire certified IT specialists if and only if there's a sure need for their talents. Just let us know which specialists you wanted to hire for your team and we'll begin the recruitment and vetting process as soon as possible.

We provide guided training for your staff. We collaborate with you in creating and implementing a custom training plan. Your staff will be able to master the skills required, execute the work processes correctly, and understand what the product is and how it works inside and out after a minimum of two-weeks' training.

All our graphic designers use Adobe Creative Suite at work. The complete suite provides tools for editing and manipulating photos, creating animated videos, creating vector graphics, adding sounds, special F/X and subtitles to video, and producing GIFs, memes and other types of web content. They're given a cloud storage account to back-up their work and make sure everything is safe and secure for the client's use. Each work is done with utmost care and with originality in mind. We do not tolerate instances of plagiarism or copyright infringement in our ranks.

Our employees have worked with real estate agents and real estate appraisers. Their tasks include doing background research on properties and prospects, data entry and cleansing, writing up reports and proposals, and back-office support.

Generally, we only keep non-sensitive information in our facilities. Most of that are files that our employees need to perform their jobs without issue. If you had a cloud storage account, we'd ask for controlled access to it. We'll make sure that you retain all admin privileges for that account. Our agents will only be able to access your data from their workstations. There are many kinds of software and services you can use to store and manage your data. You may use cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive. Or, you can pay for a dedicated virtual server where you can store all your files without fear of other paid users accessing data on the same server.

We hire competent and experienced professionals who can handle accounts in the real estate sector. They can be trained to familiarize themselves in the lingo, procedures, and laws related to mortgage and loan restructing, commercial and residential property management, and real estate appraisal.

We have clients from the medical and dental field. We handle inbound and outbound calls for them. Our employees also take care of patient follow-ups, appointment setting, and insurance paperwork, among other things.

We hire qualified professionals, not just nurses and medical professionals, to handle accounts in healthcare. Many experienced reps from the BPO industry are not medical and health professionals per se. But, they can competently handle healthcare accounts because of their levels of intelligence, creativity, and experience.

Rethink Staffing is working towards acquiring HIPAA certification. We currently operate according to HIPAA standards. Employees who handle sensitive information for your company are carefully vetted and required to undergo extensive training on HIPAA-compliant procedures. We also have data and internet security protocols in place. Workstations in our facility are equipped with the latest in software and hardware technology.