We’re finally ready to open our satellite office in Roxas City. A sprawling three-hour-drive city, Roxas is 110 kilometers north from our Iloilo City headquarters. Selecting Roxas as our new site was fairly easy. Other than its accessibility, many of our staff are residents of the place. The usual case is that they move to Iloilo City for educational and career opportunities while their families (parents and siblings) stay behind. More often than not, Filipinos are inclined to return home at some point in their lives, so bringing their jobs close to their homes means better staff retention.
Roxas City serves home to at least seven tertiary schools that produce a total of 1,000 college graduates per year. More than 50% of these graduates leave their hometown to find more career options. The presence of a multinational call center company in their city proves that the place is capable when it comes to staffing and infrastructure. Their lifestyle is also more laid back than Iloilo City with lesser business establishments and global stores and brands. However, the place makes up for it with an abundance of cheap and fresh local produce and seafood.
This venture also had its share of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed our opening plans by three months. Besides that, on and off border restrictions made transport and movement difficult. We had to stage and plan for every action carefully to ensure that we also protect ourselves from catching the virus. Our biggest challenge was to place applicants on hold because we were not ready to hire them yet due to the COVID issues then. Our recruitment team also had to manage the candidates’ expectations without losing them in the process. However, even without official recruitment campaigns and with the help of word of mouth, applicants still flocked us. Finally, we are starting and we are very excited about this venture for this is our first satellite office.
Vanessa leads all Xilium operational and business assets in the Philippines. She has degrees in Communication and Business Management, has taught in the academe, and worked in Manila’s multinational call centers in both operational and human resource departments. Her background gives her extensive insight in evaluating Filipinos, understanding their abilities and communicating with them to maintain, illuminate, and adopt US business and healthcare standards. Through this and Don Wicklegren’s technological expertise, they managed to build the organization from a small unit to the multi-city operation over 9 years.