7 myths about outsourcing in Romania

Business, Digital & Media

Innovative talents, flawless execution, and accurate analysis are what takes to keep up with the current fast changes on the market. Audiences are shifting from offline to online, from texts to video, from popular to genuine faster than ever. And the coronavirus age with all its digitalization is adding the gears to it. Companies are under pressure to embrace trends and innovate on the go.

by Nicu Enache, Senior Digital Marketing Consultant at Grapefruit

Two-thirds of B2B companies outsource their digital marketing, according to Hubspot. But where?

The skills, the knowledge, the workforce you might need now are already available within the agencies willing to embrace and fulfill your goals at a better cost. Once you reach the idea of outsourcing the digital challenges of your business, most probably Romania crosses your research results. 

No wonder many stereotypes about Romania are added to your already existing concerns on outsourcing itself. It’s not your fault, the responsibility is big and the distance is even bigger. To surprise you, on the A.T. Kearney Global 2019 Services Location Index (GSLI) of best destinations for outsourcing, Romania ranks 18th worldwide and 10th in Europe. So, let us bust some common myths about outsourcing in Romania for you. The confidence in your decision will grow along as you read.

1. Cultural incompatibility

A new country, a new culture – how will it work for you and your team? Lucky for Romanians and you, closeness to many European countries is in their blood. As the country is situated in Eastern Europe, it adopted many customs from around and embraced the idea of cultural differences. After communism failed, Romanians also shifted their attention to the western world borrowing mindsets and behaviors into their daily routine. 

Moreover, there are more than 2 decades of experience behind the nation as an outsourcing country. Romanian outsourcing workforce had enough time to train its adaptability to different cultures and adjust its workflow and communication habits to the foreign clients. Also, the outsourcing agencies dig deeper into collaboration by researching and understanding the client’s brand, context, and cultural background.

2. Suspiciously cheap

That’s what you heard but sorry to disappoint you, Romania is not the cheapest in the global outsourcing market. Once you go for cutting your costs dramatically, you will find India or the Philippines to be cheaper than Romania with 7-10$ per hour, according to Geniusee. If you are looking for outsourcing partnerships in order to optimize business value, not only cost-per-head, Romania is the right place to be. According to Accelerate overview on Global Outsourcing rates in 2020, Romanian outsourced services can cost you 20$-65$ less than similar services in Germany or the US. Meanwhile, work quality matches leading western market standards. 

However the prices are mostly evaluated for the IT field, the rates fluctuate around the same price differences also for industries like accounting, design, marketing, procurement, etc.

Competitive at an attractive cost, you can have us, Grapefruit, as your trustworthy Romanian partner. Let’s build together a solid marketing business case. We will be 100% dedicated to implementing it. The results will not make you wait.

3. Weak security and confidentiality of your data

In their defense, many outsourcing agencies are looking forward to winning your trust. Having this in mind, more and more agencies in Romania are open to and even offer security measures. Along with a contract, expect to sign a decent intellectual property privacy policy that gives you the right to select the data you entrust your outsourcing vendor with and the consequences that follow in case of a breach of trust. 

You can take your vigilance to a new level by asking Romanian agencies what security measures they had implemented in their organization. Don’t be surprised if many of them will show you security certificates, privacy audits conducted, and the list of safety measures implemented within the team.

Also, as a bonus of trust, Romania has been part of the European Union since 2007. Since then it is regulated by EU laws reducing legal and financial concerns. For example, GDPR is the one regulation all agencies are required to follow.

4. Loss of Control

The farther it goes, the less control it gets. That’s a myth you can probably bust yourself easily as we all witness the Work from Home era rising. What it takes for the whole world to shift to remote work? – a pandemic. Jokes aside, remote work has become a new normal for Romania too. The number of employees working from home has grown from 0.1% in 2010 to 0.6% in 2019 and jumped to 24% in 2020, according to Eurofound. That exponential growth of WFH mostly was possible for employees in digital industries. So, pretty much a big percentage of Romanians in outsourcing are ready and experienced in collaborating with you over the hundreds of kilometers. Nowadays either it is your in-house team working remotely or it’s your outsourcing partner in Romania, the distance stays the same – an email, a Slack message, a Zoom call. 

Fear of losing control over the process is the obvious fear of compromising the quality and the standard of your business. More and more agencies on the Romanian market embrace agile methods of work. This approach ensures autonomy over the workflow for the outsourced team when offering transparency of their objectives and results to the client. The methodology allows you as a partner to set goals and quality standards and check the working progress weekly/monthly or as often as you negotiated. Besides that, regular reporting will give you the right numbers to master your collaboration.

Romanians are hard workers. You want performance in defined terms, here you have it. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2019 Romania got The Competitive Index of 64.36 points out of 100. The report aims to value human capital, innovation, resilience, and agility as core economic values of a country. Romanians talk the talk and walk the walk. You may think there is no reason they embrace your goals and dedicate themselves to fulfill them as an in-house employer would do. Hence when working with an agency, your success becomes their success. The Demand Gen 2020 report on B2B Buyers’ behavior shows that the most important resources to get informed over the solutions for buyers are web search (53%), vendor’s website (41%), and review sites (30%). A fascinating portfolio of clients case studies and a pack of grateful reviews over the internet are what agencies value as a relevant experience worth attracting new clients overseas.

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5. Glitch workflow

As mentioned before, a great number of outsourcing agencies in Romania embrace agile methodologies in project management as an efficient way of working. Firstly agile is the process of breaking a project into several stages and adjusting the results on the go. However, outsourcing companies embrace an agile mindset for its flexibility and responsibility share in collaboration with clients. You will find it easy to partner with Romanian outsourcing companies because you will get a team of specialists. The teams are steered by a highly rated project manager responsible to align the team to your expectations, to offer you transparency over process and control over quality. Regular meetings by the end of the sprints of one or two weeks will be planned however the project manager is always available for your updates, adjustments, and concerns.

Worried about time differences? Legends say that there are vampires here but we are pretty sure only Dracula is productive at night. Outsourcing employees prefer a productive 8-hour shift during the day. Taking this into consideration, outsourced projects run smoothly because the Romanian working day overlaps with the most of other time zones of interest. When collaborating with Western Europe, there is a difference of 2 hours maximum. Both stakeholders can easily adjust to each other’s workflow. The partnership with US clients can also perform at a high rate as the overlap is 2-3 hours, good enough for results and future plans alignment. 

To all this agility and compatibility add a good internet speed. Romania ranks 4th in the top countries with the fastest download speed worldwide allowing you to synchronize with your outsourced time in a glance.

Within our digital walls in Grapefruit, we base our workflow on agile principles more than on predefined rules. From the very first moment of the collaboration, a project manager and an account manager are assigned to the client. Together they define the project by setting the objectives, time estimate, way of work, and costs. From now on you will have an account manager (AM) keeping track of your project results and billing. Meanwhile, the project manager (PM) will break down your goals into smaller phases and will assign a team, all within the Jira project management tool. As the project goes, we keep practicing the feedback loop with the client to deliver what’s expected. Any time you have a news request or adjustment, AM and PM will analyze how the changes impact your project. The goal is to deliver what’s best in order to meet initial goals and deadlines. If those must change, they will make a new plan and present it to you for the approval. Weekly and monthly reporting are what will bring you the most clarity over the team efficiency, project progress, and expenses. Easy to start, fast to adapt in real-time, your project turns into fruitful digital solutions with us.

6. Language barriers

Even though you speak the same agile language as most Romanian outsourcing vendors, speaking different native languages may be the main reason for misunderstandings. This is what the myth says. The reality is that Romania is known internationally for the ability to speak multiple languages. It’s estimated that one in five Romanians speak more than one language. Among the most spoken foreign languages are English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. 

Being in the digital marketing industry it is obvious to expect the outsourcing agency to master English flawlessly in order to understand the client’s need but to also deliver impeccable campaigns and content.

When it comes to outsourcing, your smooth communication depends directly on tools. Emails, calls, messages have been already proven to be inefficient to manage complex projects. To maintain a tight understanding between outsourcing parts, many agencies will evolve your communication on the level of regular video calls on Zoom, Google meets, or any other secure platform you prefer. Moreover, your partner might go the extra mile and add you to their communication and management system for a better overview and understanding. Don’t be surprised to work with your Romanian partners on Jira, Slack, Redmine, or other efficient platforms. 

7. Lack of talents

Welcome to a large pool of skilled professionals able to meet your business standards and performance pace – Romania. In 2019 Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL) reported that over 131.000 employees (2.4% of the Romanian active population) are working in the business services sector producing a turnover of 4.5 billion euros. For a better understanding of this nation’s potential, the workforce in the Romanian outsourcing sector has increased from 15,000 employees recorded in 2007.

On the other hand, Romania placed itself on the global map of education centers. With 36 active universities and an educational system adjusted to EU standards, Romania welcomes around 120.000 graduates to the employee sector each year. 

Outside the university walls, Romanian companies also are joining the global trend of growing the national capital of talents. Deloitte Romania shows through their 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report, that employees in the business, creative and IT sectors are most of all concerned about their lifelong learning (90% of respondents), developing leaders (84%), and employee experience (78%). That demand raises the will of many outsourcing agencies to invest in employee learning and retention as a qualified workforce.

Marketing is a job with so many faces you can’t wear them all in an 8h shift, nor employ a specialist for each of them. On this positive note, consider Romania as a suitable place for outsourcing your creative and operational challenges while your full-time employees are focused on running the show. You get a complete team of designers, developers, marketers, strategists, project managers ready to maximize your business value at cost-efficient rates.

From product development to sales and marketing, Romania has the right hands, minds, and talents to help you skyrocket your revenue instead of simply dropping costs. However, myths are myths unless you witness them yourself. That’s why the best tactic in choosing Romania as your outsourcing goal destination is to get into calls with the outsourcing vendors and bust the myths one by one. 

By the way, the first call with an outsourcing agency is usually free because it’s an unwritten investment in a long-term partnership with like-minded clients. And here we have ruined one more myth for you. 

To get over the anxiety in researching for outsourcing agencies you can start with us. Just let us know your intentions and we will be glad to vanish the mentioned above in a more detailed discussion. 

A team of 50+ experts armed with 21 years of experience, a wide portfolio with industry giants, with the up-to-trends know-how, and the willingness to succeed – may we present Grapefruit. Meet that one digital solutions agency to prove you wrong about outsourcing in Romania. We pick masterminds out of a national pool of talents, teach them to breathe agile, and give them space to innovate clients’ challenges. When performing, we cherish transparent communication backed with all the security measures needed. The trustworthy and reliable outsourcing partner is the title we earned in time and keep working hard to defend it.

Are you looking to keep up with the market by going digital? You have the goal and now the team to implement the digital maturity of your business. From skills to processes towards the top-notch solutions, we live and breath digital, all tailored to your business. Just let us investigate your context and come up with a pitch you can’t refuse.

If you want to dig deeper on the subject and read more you can do it here, as we are offering a free webinar.

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