Asian countries like Singapore hire Filipino content writers at a higher rate today. It seems as if they are now “discovering” what western companies have known for decades. And that is capitalizing on the tremendous talents found in the Philippines.
Content writers in the Philippines vary in expertise levels and niches. But from generic to intricate articles, there are more than enough qualified talents. Best of all, they can be had without breaking the bank.
Hiring Local vs. Foreign Content Writers
Singapore has plenty to gain by outsourcing article writing. As one of the high-income countries, their living cost is expensive. Hence, it also follows that salary scales are also very high. Instead of hiring locals, they can find Filipinos providing content writing services.
Why Should Singapore Hire Local Content Writers?
On Quora (Ng), a user asked about the cost of content writing in Singapore. “My advice is to go for local writers who can [localize] your content,” Jon Ng replied. “There is no point in asking a writer based in a country like the Philippines to write content targeting Singapore users.”
A couple of questions came to mind when I saw this message.
- Does Mr. Ng have a point?
- Did he overgeneralize?
For sure, he does. But because he did not elaborate, it came across as excessive generalization. In that sense, no other country should hire Filipinos. Yet many do, and the number of workers being hired keeps increasing.
Instead of vague statements, it is best to identify reasons why companies should hire local freelancers.
1. Relate with Local Audience
Businesses catering to the domestic market might consider hiring local content writers. For one thing, they can “speak the language” of the native audience and thus better relate.
Some content also needs to reference landmarks, services, and other businesses. Foreign content writers, for obvious reasons, may not be able to provide such insights.
Employers must also consider other demographic factors. A company targeting the female market, for example, would not want to hire male writers. At any rate, the choice of writers should also consider their ability to be aligned with the latest trends in the local scene or industry.
2. On-site or Hybrid Work Model
Many employers prefer hiring on-site workers for better supervision. But the pandemic changed that traditional setup. Now, more employees prefer hybrid work models. In both these work models, 100% remote work is not possible.
Lack of talent, though, is a problem. Since the pandemic, U.S. workers continued quitting their jobs at historic rates. This phenomenon, called The Great Resignation, has also affected Singapore. In the third quarter of 2021, for example, the average monthly quit rate hit a seven-year high of 1.5% (Yu-Lin).
Difficulties in filling positions have forced employers to compromise. For those who hire remote workers, they would soon learn that there are plenty of tools available to make supervision easier.
Why Should Singapore Hire Filipino Content Writers?
Outsourcing to the Philippines has been going on for more than a decade. Americans hire Filipino writers to write articles targeting U.S. audiences. British, Canadians, Australians, and many others also hire Philippine-based freelancers.
Here are some of the top reasons.
1. Lower Costs
The salary scales in Singapore and the Philippines are worlds apart. Singaporean companies can, for sure, save on costs by hiring Filipinos.
Average Monthly Salary of Freelance Content Writers
(Source: Indeed Singapore and the Philippines)
Indeed crowdsourced the data on average monthly salaries. As such, they are not an accurate representation of prevailing rates. But the table serves to highlight the huge salary gap between the two countries.
2. Lower Financial Risks
Hiring Filipino content writers reduce the financial risks of companies in two ways.
- Some companies cannot hire full-time content writers. Either they do not need that many articles or they lack the funds. Usually, these are startups and small entrepreneurs. For them, hiring freelance writers makes more sense.
- Because of the lower salary scale, Singaporean companies have less exposure. By choosing only the experienced and highly skilled content writers, they can ensure that work quality and productivity are at par, if not better than local talents. In essence, they can potentially get more value but pay the same or less amount of money.
Cross-border employment is also an opportunity. Many Singaporeans could not start their projects because of the lack of funds. They simply cannot afford to pay local salaries. But because content writing services provided by Filipinos are affordable, they can. For them, the availability of talents in the Philippines makes it possible to become entrepreneurs.
3. Access to Talents
In the second half of 2020, 13% of Singaporeans switched to new jobs. Furthermore, 28% intended to change employers in the second half of 2021 (Randstad N.V.). For this reason, 69% of employers (64% in Singapore) have difficulties filling positions (ManpowerGroup). Some of the reasons cited were:
- Lack of necessary experience
- Applicants expected higher compensation
- Lack of applicants
By tapping into the Philippines, Companies can increase their pool of applicants. As a result, they reduce recruiting costs. Not only that, but they can focus more of their key resources on core activities.
4. Adaptability to Different Cultures
Working with Filipino freelancers tends to be smooth. By nature, they are non-confrontational and very respectful. And working with foreign clients is never an issue as they can adapt to different cultures.
Any experienced Filipino content writer can write articles in different niches. It does not take them long to learn more about the local trends and circumstances. In general, they are empathic people, making it easy for them to connect with employers. More importantly, they can connect with the target audience – regardless of nationality.
Filipino Content Writers Can Help Singaporean Companies
Asian companies lag behind in taking advantage of the Filipino workforce. For over a decade, the vast majority of BPO and freelancer clients are from western countries. But the pandemic brought about two shifts in the business climate.
- Companies need to revisit their business models. In particular, one of the key adjustments they need to make is lowering expenditure.
- In a moment of epiphany, employees now realize the importance of work-life balance. And that is why many of them have quit their jobs. They are also more selective now of employers, which led to a talent shortage.
The challenges faced by employers are not limited to Singapore. Even in other parts of the world, especially in high-income countries, the trend is the same.
Fortunately, the Philippines has a large pool of talents. Among them are content writers and other freelancers who are immediately available.
Are Philippine content writers competent enough?
Like anywhere else, the workforce comprises all levels of professionals. At the lowest levels are the beginners and generalists. But there are also the skilled ones with years of experience. All you need to do is to reach out and have a discussion.
Filipino content writers have helped many western companies. For sure, many of them can also help Singaporean companies.
Sources and Further Reading
Indeed Philippines. “Freelance Writer Salary in Philippines.” Indeed. Accessed 9 Apr. 2022.
Indeed Singapore. “Freelance Writer Salary in Singapore.” Indeed. Accessed 9 Apr. 2022.
ManpowerGroup. “ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2021.” ManpowerGroup, 2021. Accessed 8 Apr. 2022.
Ng, Jon. “What Is the Freelance Writing Rate for 500 Words in Singapore?” Quora, 5 Aug. 2018. Accessed 9 Apr. 2022.
Randstad NV. “2021 Randstad Employer Brand Research Singapore.” Randstad NV. Accessed 9 Apr. 2022.
Yu-Lin, Kua. “The Great Resignation: Has the Global Trend Reached Singapore?” The Strait Times, 30 Jan. 2022. Accessed 9 Apr. 2022.