Guest: Emma Dungog
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Emma Dungog began her journey with iStaff Solutions Inc., originally as a writer. But now, she oversees a lot of the decisions happening in iStaff. It is because of her perspective on enjoying challenges and having instilled the values such as adaptability and flexibility in her core, in which she believes that are key traits to being a Filipino professional, she got promoted as the Operations Supervisor at iStaff helping lead their team and their clients to growth and success.
Segment Overview: iStaff Solutions Inc. is an outsourced staffing solutions service provider that caters to not only international clients but also local clients. They provide packages that are simple and are designed to deliver the results that you want out of your outsourced partner. With long term clients and acquiring new ones mainly from word of mouth, it really shows what iStaff has to offer to businesses, which is – Outsourcing Simplified!
Address: 2403, Prestige Tower, Emerald Ave, San Antonio, Pasig, 1605 Metro Manila
Contact: (02) 514 5309
To know more about iStaff Solutions Inc., listen to the podcast below.
The interview will start at the 20:08 mark of the podcast.
Henry Acosta: Our guest today is Emma Dungog, the Operation Supervisor of iStaff Solutions Incorporated. She is joining us today to talk about iStaff Solutions Incorporated, what they do, who they are and what makes them different from all the other outsourcing firms here in the Philippines. With all that said, thank you so much for coming on the show Emma and it’s a pleasure having you join us today.
Emma Dungog: Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m glad to be here.
Henry Acosta: It’s great having you join us today. Well to get started, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do for iStaff Solutions?
Emma Dungog: Okay. So I’m Emma and I am the Operations Supervisor of iStaff. So I have a team and together in my team, we do all the day-to-day in the office with the accounts that we handle and the clients that we have. We make sure that the operations of the company is running smoothly.
Henry Acosta: Wow, it sounds like you do a lot for iStaff. Can you tell us how did you start out in the BPO industry?
Emma Dungog: I started out as a writer and then an editor for iStaff originally and then I went up to the operations and then it went from there.
Henry Acosta: Wow. Well it sounds like you worked really hard to get to where you are. And about iStaff, can you tell us about the services that you guys offer?
Emma Dungog: So we have data entry support specialists, we have content SEO. We also handle front and backend developments. We have programmers. Basically anything that the client would want to have, we can get it for them.
Henry Acosta: I see. Where are your clients usually coming from?
Emma Dungog: We have a lot of clients from the US. We also have some from Australia and Canada. We also have local clients.
Henry Acosta: It’s really impressive how you guys have local clients here in the Philippines. Not a lot of BPOs do that and support local for sure.
Emma Dungog: Support local.
Henry Acosta: So why do you think the Philippines is such a great place for outsourcing and offshoring?
Emma Dungog: So for the benefits, the Philippines is still one of the cheapest labor resources in the world. But we cannot discount the fact that we can compete in terms of competence and skills. I think that being a country where English is a second language is a great advantage. Plus, Filipinos given the history and present conditions, are innate naturally resilient to pressure. So we always find ways to adapt, a characteristic that’s very crucial to outsource work which is practically customer service oriented. Filipinos are naturally caring and hospitable. We care about the people we work with and the work itself. We do our best because it’s a reflection of ourselves, so we give it our all.
Henry Acosta: I’m actually skimming through your website and it sounds like what you said goes hand in hand with the values that iStaff brings to the table.
Emma Dungog: Yes, that’s right.
Henry Acosta: And with regards to iStaff, the Philippines has a lot of BPO firms and can you tell us what makes iStaff stand out among the pack?
Emma Dungog: One of the main things that I like personally about iStaff is that we take care of our people as best as we can. We go above and beyond for our clients and for our employees and we do whatever it takes to keep them happy. One of the things I learned is that if you generally care for your staff is that they’ll take care of you too. They’ll give you their trust and loyalty and you’ll have the kind of relationship that goes beyond just employment. I feel that I can say that because I’m home grown. So I’ve been here for years and I have watched iStaff grow in terms of numbers and I’ve been with these people for a few years now.
Henry Acosta: With what you just said, it would really sound enticing for clients to fly out here and meet with you guys and their employees. Is that a fairly common occurrence? Does that usually happen where your clients visit the Philippines and give their staff hands-on training and guidance?
Emma Dungog: Well our clients, depending on their preference really. Some of them are very hands-on and some are not. Those who are hands-on, they come and visit and train their staff. They make sure that they’re okay. They actually have a sit down and then sometimes they go out which is kind of cool.
Henry Acosta: That sounds really fun and there’s a lot of places here in the Philippines that you can eat at and there’s a lot of things to see and do.
Emma Dungog: Oh, they also like karaoke.
Henry Acosta: Definitely. Karaoke is usual here and it’s not that hard to find. You can find karaokes even at home, even at everyone’s houses.
Emma Dungog: The microphones with the book, you could just pick one out and sing at home. I know, but they really like it.
Henry Acosta: And can you tell us about the experiences of your clients so far and how their business has grown with you guys?
Emma Dungog: I would say that they’ve had a great experience so far because we’ve had clients who have been with us for a year and they’ve also grown in staffing. I cannot mention specifics really but they’ve grown in numbers in terms of the team. So that’s a good sign, that’s always a good sign. And our clients trust us with their business, so it’s just right that we do our best to make sure that everything here runs smoothly.
Henry Acosta: And while on the topic of clients, how do you guys usually get your clients?
Emma Dungog: We have never actually marketed or advertised iStaff. It’s always through client referral. So those who have worked with us for a while, they refer us to their friends or to whomever needs the services.
Henry Acosta: So that goes for both your local clients and those outside of the Philippines?
Emma Dungog: Yes.
Henry Acosta: So what do you guys look for in employees with regards to what your clients want out of your services?
Emma Dungog: That would depend on the kind of staff or their corresponding experience level that the client is looking for. But basically, it would be either entry, mid or senior level and their HR is full time and does pick out the best ones who are qualified for the job which is the initial process. Then we would have interviews and testing that I would need to meet with them by myself or with the client for finality. These candidates aren’t just potentially joining the account but our company too. So as I’ve mentioned, we take care of our own and we’re like a family. So we’re really picky when it comes to who’s joining the family.
Henry Acosta: What you just mentioned really shows the kind of value that iStaff brings to the table with regards to your business and your client’s needs. It’s one of the reasons why I think you guys are successful and why you guys have sustained growth throughout the years. For both the employees and clients, that’s something they really look for with work and business. So it sounds like it’s really enjoyable working with you guys.
Emma Dungog: Because it transcends to the work that they do.
Henry Acosta: Yes. I really agree with you on that one. Growth for both the business and employee or for the client and employee is a really special thing. I’m sure at this point, people are curious on where people can find you in the Philippines. So can you tell us where they can find you?
Emma Dungog: 1905 Prestige Tower, Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Henry Acosta: Thanks for telling us where you guys are at. That’s a really busy part of Manila.
Emma Dungog: Very busy and traffic also.
Henry Acosta: The traffic is traffic. What are the usual challenges that your clients face when they start transitioning out here in the Philippines?
Emma Dungog: When they’re used to having the employees around them like just in their office, that’s also an adjustment for them, trying to communicate just through Skype or slack or what have you. Also, their expectations need to be managed at first. So we may need to make sure that we’re on the same page and that we give them the timeline and that we stick to that timeline for when they can expect this kind of production and what will happen in the coming weeks or months from their start date.
Henry Acosta: And what are the must knows that someone must know before they actually start working with iStaff Solutions Incorporated?
Emma Dungog: Pick a company that you’ll be partners with – one that will be upfront with you and that will care about the work that you’re doing. I think we’ve always been very honest about who we are and what we can do when we’re discussing the work with our clients. So they need to find an outsourcing company like that.
Henry Acosta: Do your clients have any misconceptions about outsourcing in the Philippines and what do you do to face those misconceptions?
Emma Dungog: I don’t think we’ve had any misconceptions. Since like I said, we’ve been upfront with the clients, we are up front with the client so we try to discuss everything and everything should be transparent before we even sign.
Henry Acosta: Wow, that’s great. And for those interested in getting in touch with iStaff Solutions Incorporated, can you tell us how people can reach out to you guys?
Emma Dungog: They can visit istaff.ph and submit a contact form or they can get in touch with you.
Henry Acosta: Yes, for sure and for anyone who’s interested in reaching out to iStaff, you can reach them at www.istaff.ph. That’s www.istaff.ph, istaff.ph. And Emma, do you have a takeaway message about iStaff for our listeners today?
Emma Dungog: So with iStaff, we try to fill an environment where our clients and our employees can come together and feel comfortable and know that they’ll be taken care of. We try to deliver the best service that we can. Like I’ve said, we go above and beyond for the clients and we take care of our employees to the best of our abilities. We try to give them everything that they need. That’s what and who we are at iStaff.
Henry Acosta: That was a great message and you guys sound like an amazing company and thank you so much for joining us today Emma.
Emma Dungog: Thank you so much for having me.
Henry Acosta: And that was Emma Dungog, the Operations Supervisor of iStaff Solutions Incorporated. And to know more about iStaff Solutions Incorporated, you can visit their website at istaff.ph. And we just finished talking about iStaff Solutions and what they do and who they are. And to know more about them, you can visit their website and if you want to know more about the BPO industry in the Philippines, you can visit us at www.offshoring.com.ph. We’re also available on SoundCloud and iTunes and you can visit our website for archives and photos of the companies that we have talked to. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter so don’t forget to mention us, like, and subscribe and follow us. I’m Henry Acosta and this is the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast.