It seems that more and more Australian companies are either hiring a virtual assistant (VA) or sending their business processes abroad. IT entrepreneur Scott Linden Jones said thousands of Australian roles were outsourced to the Philippines and the trend is likely to continue in the coming years. Linden added that the Philippines is not the only place where local businesses source virtual admin assistants, bookkeepers, web developers, and other experts. Home-grown companies are also exporting white-collar jobs to India, China and Europe, where labour costs are significantly lower.
Recent reports revealed that 25,000 Australian jobs were outsourced to BPO companies based in the Southeast Asian country last year. Jones believed that the trend is likely to continue in the near future with the figure soaring to 50,000 this year. He said many local business owners are outsourcing key business processes because of Australia’s “high-wage and high-cost” economy.
“Ultimately, I believe about one million to 1.5 million white-collar roles will leave Australia, never to return,” Jones said. Of those 1.5 million jobs, up to 280,000 of them are expected to come from Queensland alone over the next ten years. Banks and telecommunications companies were the first to outsource jobs six years ago. But apparently, many small and medium-sized businesses now have access to such services and are currently enjoying the benefits of hiring virtual assistant and exporting jobs.
According to experts, one of the reasons why many businesses are hiring admin assistants, bookkeepers, graphic designers, and other professionals based abroad is because of its cost-effectiveness. For example, people who use an Australian SEO company will pay several thousand dollars SEO services. But if they go to an overseas-based SEO company, they can get the same kind of service for much less.
While BPO critics believe that this trend kills local jobs, many business owners that outsource and hire virtual assistants said it actually helps create more local jobs. Because VAs take tedious and time-consuming administrative tasks and business processes off the hands of local business owners, the latter can have more time to focus on developing products and services that will add value to their brand.
What’s more, their onshore staff can now see more clients and develop a higher level of skill and experience in their work because they are not tied up with processing. This allows business owners to grow their business, hire more staff and make create connections with other onshore business owners. So for those who are having a hard time managing every aspect of their business, hiring a virtual assistant is something to be considered. Not only can it help businesses minimise operating and labour costs, it can also contribute to the development of the local economy.
Authored by: Kristy Smith