Episode 246 Featuring Alex Bond

Global Staffing Solutions with Nerissa Chaux

Global Staffing Solutions with Nerissa Chaux

Nerissa Chaux is the Co-Founder of Filta, a global staffing and recruitment company for digital and ecommerce businesses. Nerissa is dedicated to revolutionizing the way remote global teams are formed and operated. By simplifying the employment process and providing comprehensive education, empowerment, guidance, and support, Filta empowers managers and employees to work together seamlessly and efficiently.

On this episode, Nerissa and I discuss how to solve staffing challenges, what the recruiting process looks like, why Columbia and the Philippines are top choices for outsourcing, and much more.


What is Filta

Nerissa Chaux: Okay. So Filta works for DTC brands, agencies, tech and SaaS companies. And what we really do is look at their people strategy. Understand that people resources and then work with them to understand where is the best way to find people to add value to their business and grow their business. It can be recruitment locally. It can be recruitment nationally. It can be recruitment internationally. 

And then when people partner with us. In countries like Philippines and Columbia, not only can we help them find the right people, we can employ them. So an employer of record service, we can do engagement, community engagement, client engagement, equipment, and facilities. So it's really about what do you need as a business and what's the best solution. That's what we do. 

Alex Bond: Yeah, no, I think that's really cool. I'm curious what some of the obstacles or problems are that companies run into when they're trying to outsource their workload that y'all can amend?

Nerissa Chaux: Normally it's they want one person to do everything. So they'll say, yeah, I want a developer, designer, virtual assistant, email marketer, all in one. And so I talk about if you want to do things well, normally you want specialists and you get all different levels of specialists. So I normally talk through what is the most pressing need right now? What do you need for it to be successful?

What will give you most value to your business? So is it custom? So for a merchant, is it, Hey, your customers are online and you're still doing like email contact forms. So you should really invest in customer support, invest in. And have someone who's doing live chat calls, social media DMS, so you're providing that level. So I think it's more that side, first of all. 

And then the second, which I think super important is they are a member of your team. So a lot of people go outsourced, you know, I'm not thinking about it. They're just some person on the internet doing things. But if you want retention, if you want high quality, consistent work, everyone in the world wants to feel important.

Everyone wants to matter. So if you can engage them and, and talk through your story, talk through your vision, your successes that way, your losses that week, they're meeting the rest of the team and they're part of those daily meetings. They feel like great. I belong. I'm part of something important.

And it really helps with them understanding your brand and what you want to achieve. So I think it's that. And then thirdly, the biggest thing is understanding different countries have different labor laws. So for instance, in Australia, which is, as everyone can tell, I'm an Aussie, we have four weeks annual leave.

Oh, don't get too jealous, Alex. So we have four weeks annual leave. There's maternity leave, paternity leave, there's 10 days sick year. Okay. And then we deal, we have American clients where it's not, it's more like, you know, fire at will. Like a lot of the States, nearly all the States have, if you're not performing, see you later, Alex, don't come back as an employee. Some companies do not offer you health and medical or dental or 401. 

The developing countries that we're working with Columbia and Philippines, they have maternity leave, paternity leave, they have 19 to 20 days public holidays a year, they get like 20 vacation days a year. If someone's not performing, the expectation is that you coaching, mentoring, putting them through a performance improvement plan, not Alex, don't turn up tomorrow.

So it's more of an education piece to understand. I appreciate this is how your country operates. In terms of employment, wherever you are on earth. But when you're working with other countries, you need to respect and follow their employment laws and do the right thing. And as you can appreciate, it's very hard if that's not like what happens in your country. So I'd say those are the three key areas. 

Exploring the Advantages of Columbia and the Philippines as Premier Outsourcing Hubs

Alex Bond: I'm curious, in addition to kind of some of their 401k dental practices and paid leave, that sort of thing, why are Columbia and the Philippines top countries to choose for outsourcing work? 

Nerissa Chaux: Yeah, perfect. So I'll stick with Philippines first. So Philippines, it's the only Asian country where English is the first language. The education system is American. So the education and healthcare system, sorry is very much American and the talent, so the expertise, so the great thing about Philippines is the Americans have come in about 20, 25 years ago into the Philippines.

It was all the big corporates are multinationals and really skilled because I've been working, you know, with American brands. So they understand the American way of business. And then in terms of talent, in terms of digital tech development, design, customer support, highly educated. And then they've just been able to work with brands, businesses all around the world. And they have really strong skills and obviously economies of scale, what you can hire. In America. 

So in America, there's been a million developers or engineers who've been let go in the last 12 months. So there's a lot of amazing talent locally in the States, but when you can find someone say in the Philippines who has 10 years experience and you've been working with e commerce digital and is a fourth of the price, but has a great attitude and wants to work for your company.

It makes sense for a company to go, Hey, can I invest in that? So I'd say technology, And I would say attitude, cost and English and a very American way of working is an advantage. Columbia is really new to us. We've been there 18 months and it's been a fantastic journey. Really how Columbia is fantastic for the American market and the Canadian market because it's same time zone.

Extremely hard working. And very like great critical thinking, straight shooters. So very straightforward talent wise, they're working with some, so they might be working with a lot of brands. So they're supporting countries internationally. They might not be supporting or working with countries, you know, in America, Australia, New Zealand, UK.

But I've got all this experience. And again, it's a cost effective for an American or an international company to hire talent. There with people who want to work, who are hungry. Like I give an example. I was just there in Bogota and I ran the very first official Shopify meetup and we had people traveling over two hours to come to hear from Shopify agencies and merchants. 

Which shows you, I mean, amazing people, you know, like full stack developers, designers, people who are in this space who are hungry to learn. You think, wow, like I travel two hours to go to a one hour event, maybe, probably not actually to be fair, but that's what I'm talking about is the commitment, the desire that I want to get ahead. I want to learn from international experts. You know, you cannot put a price on that. 

Alex Bond: Absolutely. And especially if they are, you know, at the top of their field, I think there's something really, really special there. So I'm curious more specifically, what roles do you outsource? What's roles can Filta outsource to Columbia and the Philippines?

Nerissa Chaux: Okay, anything within development engineering, so any tech, any stack, any language, creative. So typically, you know, art directors, creative directors, designers, motion designers, digital marketing. So anything within that paid, you know, paid social, social media managers, community managers, your traditional marketing and advertising media buyers, et cetera, bookkeepers, accountants, personal assistants, executive assistants, customer support.

So particularly for DTC brands, we have gorgeous trained, so gorgeous the software trained customer support professionals, but you can be on any platform, you know, live chat, social media, et cetera. So anything for an agency, for a digital marketing agency or a web development company, as well as for a DTC brand, depending on where they're at in their journey, their business journey.

Whether they want customer support, they typically at that point up outsourcing or using an agency for web development or web migration or maintenance. And then they get to a certain stage where, you know, it's more effective to do that in house with, with someone like us. Anything within the technical creative space, you know, in a commercial setting.

Understanding Outsourcing, Offshoring, Nearshoring, and Freelancers - Choosing the Right Path for Business Growth

Nerissa Chaux: Yes. Okay. So excellent point. There are industry terms, but yeah, who knows what that means. Outsourcing is when you engage a company and you say, Hey, I've got a project. You talk to someone and go, here's my budget. This is what I need done by this time. And it could be 10 people who are working on the project that you never meet Mary Joe Jane, but all you're dealing with is the project manager to get the work done.

So that's outsourcing near shoring offshoring is near shoring is a country that is close to your country. So near shoring talent. So for instance, America, near shoring talent would be hiring people in say Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Brazil. But if you are a company in America wanting to hire talent in the Philippines, that's called outsourcing because of the distance.

So really it's the same thing those few times, but just talks about location and then freelancers is, as you know hiring people through your contacts up work or similar programs, and you're paying them normally on an hourly rate for a short term contract and that's it, work's done. 

Alex Bond: Yeah, no, it was really clear. And I was just going to reiterate the follow up is how does a company know which avenue to pursue best when trying to build their business? 

Nerissa Chaux: Yes. So I always talk about like really articulate and talk through what is it that you need. Is it, look, I need something for five hours a week or it's one off. That's where I'd say freelancing is your best option. Okay, so you're hiring for a very short term project. 

If it's, say, it's a three to six month project. The outsourcing model is, it's probably well suited if it's long term. So I need an email designer, email marketer, and I want them connected to my business. I want them doing the weekly EDMs, et cetera to my customers, that's when I'd say nearshoring offshoring is the right solution because you're having them dedicated. They only work for you.

So they're understanding your brand, your philosophy, your vision, your voice, they understand your audience. And your customers, they're part of the team and there's a lot of work to generate that 40 hour a week person. And that's when I'd say nearshoring or outsourcing.

And then it's when people are considering, so we have a lot of companies that want support. So they'll say, you know, I want a team in Columbia and I want the same talent in the Philippines. So for an American company, you know, the Colombians are working same time zone.

So you're working, you know, your day shift your 8 to 5, they're working same time as you when you're playing movies, video games, hopefully sleeping at some stage, Alex, you know, your Philippine team are going, you know, they're on and they're producing work, et cetera, while you're sleeping. 

And for Aussies and New Zealanders, we're on the opposite side of the world. The Philippines work our day shift. So by eight to five, it's the Philippines morning. So they work like their normal day. And then our Colombian team start when I'm in bed normally like you at 1230, like midnight my time.

So I think it's really about what do you need? Do you need to talk them all the time? And I think if you've never done it before, you should always work with teams in your time zone because you can train. You can engage, you can work out what's working, what's not working. 

And then once that's established then work with countries in another time zone, because you've got your processes, you know, you'll still have your check ins and you'll still talk to them, of course, but things are working. It's not like you've got to like, work midnight to 9am to make sure that they're supported. So that's kind of how I normally say structure, structure your business.

Building High-Performing Teams: Unveiling the Recruitment Process for Global Talent Acquisition

Alex Bond: I'm interested more specifically and what the recruiting process looks like. So do you have teams in place in those specific countries that are consistently looking for people or what does that recruiting process look like? 

Nerissa Chaux: Yeah, it's a great question. And this is where most people feel because they don't know how to recruit. Number one. So to give you some context and background. I have been in recruitment for over 20 8, 000 people. With that comes experience. So for instance, you know, I'm not a designer. So if you asked me to design something, I'd be terrible.

And that's when it comes to recruitment, most business owners, or, you know, the C suite or anyone who's hiring typically doesn't do it all the time. So how we do recruitment. So there's a few things. It's not just about like interviewing people. We need to help the hiring manager uncover what is the problem you are.

How does someone solving that problem? Look like successfully. So make sure the problem often metrics, deliverables what does your first 30 days look like? Your 90 days, your 12 months? So talk about is a real deep dive into those areas. Before you start recruiting. So you must, most people go, Oh, I just need this.

And then the person starts, but they just go, Oh, Alex, he's a good guy. And then one day it's like, Alex is not a good guy. Why? Oh, he's not doing his job. Does he know he's not doing his job? No. Okay. Because you haven't actually communicated. So first is you really need to uncover that? And then without a strategy?

Yes, we build a lot of community. So for us, we always want to find the best people in every discipline, not just technically, but that behavior skill, you know, like great attitude. I want to work and I want to work for you. That critical thinking. You know, initiative, proactivity there. That also it's so important.

So we build a lot of communities. So we run a lot of events. For all, you know, e commerce professionals, anyone can join online and in person across these countries to educate. We run a lot of, you know, online communities in Reddit, in Facebook, in TikTok, in LinkedIn, again, to bring value to those people looking for work.

So whether it's interview tips or getting people who are technical and getting them to do webinars. And then we have a database of people who of course we're tapping into. So it's really about where do the best talent live and they're not on job boards. So we need to be connected to people all the time, understanding, you know, Alex, if you're looking for a job, what motivates you, what are you looking for?

Where do you see your career? And when I've got an opportunity talking to you, so it's more of a community headhunting approach. And then with comps. It's really partnering with them with interviews. So a lot of companies are like, Oh, 30 minute interview. That'll be fine. I'm like, you're like 18 hours away from flight together.

You need to invest time. You should be doing a behavioral interview, cultural, ethical interview. To identify the right person that's going to solve your problem and on the inside that they feel they have enough information to go, Hey, you guys are awesome. I want to work for you. The recruitment process is robust. And then of course we're doing reference checks, medicals and police checks again, just to fully support people throughout that whole process.

Alex Bond: It sounds robust it sounds very thorough and I appreciate that. You know that's when when I was reading about Filta and the company what the first thing that kind of crossed my mind is the possible differences in in cultures. You know, and what a work week looks like in Columbia and Latin countries where they take, you know, culturally a nap in the middle of the day is just fundamentally different than in other countries. 

While I do that because I work from home, most nine to fivers in America don't get to leave at noon to take a one hour nap and a one hour lunch and then go back to work. So I'm interested in how those behavioral, I call them kind of like synergy checks where you have to have, you know, a recruiter who is communicating on behalf of a company, making sure that they are simpatico with the potential freelancer or employee to that effect. 

So how do you essentially find those connections and what could be extremely different cultural backgrounds, you know, if I'm a Russian company, Russia and the Philippines are very different. So how do you kind of find that overlap? 

Nerissa Chaux: Yeah. So it's really identifying value is what are your values and how do you like to work, but it's also respectful. So very similar in Australia. I don't think I've ever had an hour lunch break in my life when I was an employee, you know, and even now as an owner, don't necessarily follow me anyone, but you know, like it's very normal to grab a sandwich and just eat at my desk and keep going.

So my lunch breaks are five minutes. And so is my co founders and that's how we work all the time. But when we're working with our Filipino and Colombian counterparts and you are right, both countries very much value their one hour lunch break. So it's educating the companies that we're working with before they start, like saying again, I appreciate that may not be normal for you, but this is law.

So, first of all, it's actually law. It's not that they just decide to go and have a nap. It's law. And two, they feel refreshed. We need to respect that that's what they do. And then they come back on board and it's just been really conscious of that. And it is challenging when you don't do that yourself, but I think it's when working with companies, we always, again, you don't want to talk about law, but it's like, if you're a good citizen, if you're a good person.

And you have a global mindset, you understand that everyone in the world works differently, and you respect that. So it's more that. And then when, but I would say the biggest thing is straightforwardness. So in the Filipino culture, again, with a lot of Asian countries, it's around saving face. And you need to understand what saving face is.

And you need to investigate and losing face, it's very hierarchical. So, Filipinos are generally not straightforward. It's normally a story. There's actually a Filipino word for it, but it's too early in the morning, so I can't tell you what that is. So, they tell a story and what you need to do is understand, okay, what are they trying to tell me?

And that can be very frustrating when what we say is what we mean, Hey, where are we up to? And we just want to know, Oh yeah, I'm halfway through something or I'm stuck here and then 20 minutes later, I'm still getting a story, but that's understanding their culture and then how do I best work with that?

So I'd say there's a few things. It's so in the Philippines, I'd say the biggest challenges most companies face is the straightforwardness, not saying what they really mean. So yes does not always mean yes. The biggest thing I see is a lot of clients when someone says maybe, or I'll try my best. That generally means no.

When you hear that language, it's like, okay, cool. What are your blockers? I'll try my best. So in our world, in the West, we're like, there is no try, there is do and I will get it done. So it's just understanding that. 

Alex Bond: I think you're touching on something really valuable in the rest of that. And that is the value of time and how time has become some sort of a currency in certain part of the world, which is honestly seems kind of backwards when you think about it, because we now take even less time to do things thanks to the evolutionary nature of technology yet we value it more. 

And that sounds counterintuitive to me and i don't really know exactly where i'm going with this but it feels very hurry up and wait sometimes and i just think that there's got to be something to be said for the necessity for global perspective to borrow your own phrasing and the people who are more valuable of other people's cultures understand that my principles aren't as important as respecting someone else's, you know. 

So, however much that time may be valuable to me. If someone cares about me, they'll understand time is valuable to me, and I will understand that time is fluid to them. So when I say I need this thing by 5PM tomorrow. That doesn't mean I get to start bothering them as soon as I gave them that deadline. 

You know, they'll put it in when it's due and it is what it is. You know, not everyone operates in the same facilities. So I appreciate that in your dialogue, in the way that you communicate, it has a very, I don't know, respectable manner to it and everyone's operating in different spheres.

So respecting that is what I'm hearing you say, is really important to Filta and communicating that to your clients that this is the way it is. So be agreeable. If you can be agreeable, it's a good match. Is that accurate? 

Nerissa Chaux: Yes. So basically, to be very clear, the biggest part when we're assessing working for businesses are you good people? Do you care about people? And we ask a lot of questions around like, how does that look in your local teams? And genuinely people are very obvious about people and people are very open about, no, I don't want to talk to them. I just want them to do the work. I have extremely high turnover.

You know, no one wants to work anymore. Those sorts of things. You are not a great business to partner with filter. We want to work with good people who care about people who are innovative and purposeful. Yes. Going great places. Yes. But ultimately you have to be someone who's like, Hey, I don't care where they are in the world.

I just want the best people who I can engage with and be part of my business. And it's all about the attitude and the mindset. And I think there's so many good businesses out, like all the businesses we work with, like just care about people and they're normally interested about, Hey, I want my people to feel connected.

You know, they're in another country. What can I do to better connect with them with my local team? What do I have to do differently to engage my remote workforce? Basically, and they're the sort of businesses that I would say do really well within the filter community. Hey, but do really well in general because you can keep people retain people.

Alex Bond: And I'll tell you what a company that's saying, well, why my turnover rate is so high? People don't want to work. Probably not capable of looking internally and saying, maybe I'm the reason I have such a high turnover rate. That might be glib of me to say, but that's how I feel about it. 

Nerissa Chaux: Yeah. I think it's an understanding the, why are people leaving? Sometimes it's not bad management. Sometimes it's, oh, we've just been acquired by another company, you know, things like that. 

So it's always also, I think, as someone like myself as a partner is asking more questions, not assuming, oh, you must be a bad manager because it's high turnover. But also people need to understand that if you're a bad manager locally, you don't know how to engage or you don't know how to delegate or you don't know, you don't want to talk to your local team.

A lot of people think, oh, well, it will be they tend to outsource that terrible management side style, even more so when they're engaging an international team and you're just destined to fail. And we don't want to work with, I want you to succeed. You know, we want businesses to succeed. We want managers to seed and their employees to succeed. So yeah, that's kind of our philosophy is just working with good people. 

Filta's End-to-End Support for Seamless Employee Integration and Success

Alex Bond: I'm extremely curious and what happens after the recruiting process. So Filta from what I'm hearing you say, Nerissa is take a client on, try to recruit and match them up with the right people. And then what, so how involved is Filta after you have essentially matched the employees with the company? 

Nerissa Chaux: Yeah, so we offer for a number of services, which I'd say I think it's about 86 percent of people who use us for everything. So you can do just recruitment only and you're like, great, that's all I need from you. That's fine.

But most of our clients go, great, I want to legally engage someone. So can you do all their payroll, the employment contracts, you know, payroll, their benefits. The other part is the engagement. So, you know, I want my team to go to all your social events. We have full time wellness managers.

They want them to have access to the wellness managers and the wellness team run, you know, events as well. They want access to professional certified training. They want the Christmas party, the birthday cakes, you know, they really care about their, their employees. They're engaging. So they'll use us that side.

And then if you want equipment, Hey, I want laptops. I want Mac books sent to their house. You know, I want a beautiful chair works, home set up, whatever you want. I want McDonald's Delivered to their home. We can do all the purchasing. And then lastly, it said advisory.

Oh, sorry. And offices. I want them to go to an office. Great. We have access to 50 offices in the Philippines and 13 in Colombia, so we can we can easily organize that for you. And then lastly, is advisory. So, hey, I need help with performance management. I want you to sit in my room, use salary benchmarking.

We do a lot of training and coaching on how to work with your international teams. engage with them and then drive consistent performance. So again, it's really about guiding, educating, empowering people through the journey. And you can do all of it.

You can do whatever you feel is best for your business and you can add on as you go along. So some people might do the recruitment and legal employment and then they're like, you know what? I'm really struggling with engaging them. I want to feel connected. Let's do that. 

Alex Bond
Alex Bond

Meet Alex Bond—a seasoned multimedia producer with experience in television, music, podcasts, music videos, and advertising. Alex is a creative problem solver with a track record of overseeing high-quality media productions. He's a co-founder of the music production company Too Indecent, and he also hosted the podcast "Get in the Herd," which was voted "Best Local Podcast of 2020" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, USA.

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