John Jonas, the founder of Onlinejobs.ph, met with Quadra founders, John and Brian, for a podcast interview to talk about how outsourcing can ease the burden of running any business.
In 2006 Jonas hired his first Filipino worker and it was then that he started to grasp the power of outsourcing work. Jonas says outsourcing took him from business owner to CEO.
“You don’t become a CEO until you start paying someone full time.”
– John Jonas
It started with one full-time Filipino employee but from there Jonas built up a small team of all Filipino employees. After working with them for a few years, the vision for his future changed. Jonas set out to build a website to more easily connect small business owners to Filipino workers. Today Jonas, working hand in hand with his Filipino team, has succeeded in creating the largest Filipino outsourcing website in the world.
What Can Outsourcing Do for You?
There are only two things people talk about in terms of spending:
Money and Time
For Jonas his time meant more to him than the money he was making working his 9 to 5 job. Jonas decided to quit his programming job to start his first business. His goal was to decrease the time he was spending at work and increase the time he spent with his family. As you can imagine, it didn’t work. “I quit working my full-time job to live the dream of working 24/7.” After months of working around the clock, Jonas realized something had to change. Outsourcing was his solution.
Today Jonas works an average of 17 hours a week–effectively realizing his goal of spending as little time at work as possible.
For Jonas, the first step to achieving his goal was hiring a full-time employee. In the beginning, it took even more time to train the employee to do the job he wanted to be done. However, after his employee was fully trained, Jonas found he’d saved himself hours of work in the long term. His process continued with one Filipino employee after another until Jonas achieved the lifestyle goals he’d set up for himself.
How Not To Approach Outsourcing
1. Outsourcing Tasks You Cannot Do Yourself
Jonas says one of the worst pieces of advice he’s ever received is to “stick with what you’re good at and outsource the rest.” The reason behind this is that you can’t manage something you don’t understand.
Jonas’ alternative advice is to only outsource what you feel confident teaching to someone else. He often gets pushback on this idea. It’s what you’re good at, so shouldn’t you keep doing it? Jonas’ response is, “it’s cool to get things done your way, but it’s better to get things done.” His point is if you are going to scale your business you simply cannot do everything yourself. To shift from small business owner, Jonas says, you need to start delegating tasks. This will allow you to shift from the doer to the overseer.
2. Approaching the Hiring Process With Your Own Worries
When business owners are first starting to Outsource work, there are some natural concerns and fears that accompany the decision. To name a few:
- How do I know if I can trust my employee? They could steal my ideas.
- What if they don’t follow my instructions?
- What happens if this employee turns into a waste of time?
Jonas had all of these concerns himself. He even found that all of his concerns were realized through his experiences with workers from other countries. When Jonas heard about Outsourcing from the Philippeans, he was on his last straw.
Jonas approached the Philippines with little hope of success but what he found was a culture of people who wanted to work and work for him. People who didn’t want to start their own businesses, who wanted to learn and grow. People who valued stability and would do anything to maintain a long-term position.
During his years of experience working with Filipino workers, Jonas has changed his approach to hiring overseas workers from the Philippines. It is no longer about his concerns and fears but about theirs. “…they have the same feeling as you do, but their feeling is stronger than yours.” Here are the same questions from above listed from the other perspective:
- How do I know if I can trust my boss? He/she might not pay me.
- How will my boss react if I make a mistake?
- What will happen to me if this job doesn’t pan out?
3. Looking for a Skill To Be Filled
Jonas’ final advice to all business owners looking to hire a Filipino worker is to remember that you are not hiring a skill, you are hiring a human. Your focus shouldn’t be, how can I trust them, it should be, “…how do I gain this person’s trust?”
From Jonas’ experience, Filipino workers want to have long-term positions and they will do things to ensure they keep their job. However, if you aren’t treating them well, they will leave. Jonas says this is critical. You can’t yell at them when they make a mistake, you can’t expect them to do it right the first time they have ever completed a given task.
“If you go into it with the attitude of how do I gain this person’s trust in me, you’ll find just an amazing experience in talent and loyalty and honesty…”