Off-Shoring – Friend or Foe?

January 1st, 2007

By Kelly Egan
Recruiter, Executive Alliance
January 2007

As a recruiter, I have been coming across one term more and more frequently in the searches I am working on – “Off-Shoring.” Many candidates are weary of becoming part of an organization that sends American jobs overseas to countries like India and China. What they don’t think about is why these companies are doing it or how off-shoring could possibly benefit them in the long run.

Economically, off-shoring is the chosen route of many businesses to reduce costs by relocating many of their business processes overseas. Individual countries now have an industry that they are known for – India for telecommunications and IT, and China for production and manufacturing. These countries have an ample supply of well-trained qualified workers at the ready, many of whom are college educated. Most are eager to work for an American company and in turn are more productive and proactive in their roles. Sending these positions overseas frees up U.S. talent to focus on innovation and enables these companies to hire top candidates where they are most needed.

Fearing the loss of American jobs fuels most of the argument against off-shoring, despite the fact that a strong economy has created about one million jobs here in the past three months. Currently, only about one to two million jobs are off shored, compared to a workforce of 140 million Americans. Sending these positions overseas will enable foreign companies to rely less on exporting goods to the U.S. and more on generating their own internal growth, thus keeping those positions here in America. Unemployment will continue to stay low as workers who have lost their positions move into different roles where they are needed. Losses will be offset by growth in other occupations as well.

Many call centers, whether they are collection agencies or customer service centers, are now located overseas. More and more Americans now have the opportunity to live and travel abroad due to the substantial increase in foreign-based U.S. companies looking to keep their American managers on board. Candidates have seen dreams of living in the Caribbean and other exotic locations come true while continuing to earn a competitive salary. Additionally, numerous companies choose to provide relocation packages to the right candidates, which sometimes include perks like company provided housing, healthcare, and transportation. The lower cost of living abroad will allow employees to bank a large amount of their earnings while enjoying their new surroundings. 

Working abroad can have other advantages that candidates do not realize. Besides the chance to travel, international positions offer the opportunity for both personal and professional growth. Adding an overseas position to the resume ensures that a candidate will stand out to employers as a well-rounded professional, someone who is culturally savvy and able to adapt to change. As there are many organizations with overseas operations, executives are more apt to look at candidates offering that experience from the get-go.

If your firm has an off-shore component, these benefits can be attractive for those in the job market. The option of possibly working overseas can attract quality candidates who are looking for an opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to adapt to different cultures and environments.  What could be perceived as a negative can be turned into a positive, offering employees a professional boost that opens doors they never thought they’d step through. You may just have their exotic dream job after all!

Kelly Egan is a recruiter at Executive Alliance, an international recruitment firm and the leading provider of recruiting services to the Credit, Collections, and Call Center Management industries. Executive Alliance is the exclusive recruiting partner of Kaulkin Ginsberg and insideARM.com. For a confidential, no obligation discussion about your specific goals, contact us at hq@kaulkin.com.

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