The CEO Interview: “Don’t spend time teaching the specialist you recruited – recruit the right experts who will teach and enhance you”
Anjelika Alkhasyan, CEO of Front Desk Helpers Co: “Don’t spend time teaching the specialist you recruited – recruit the right experts who will teach and enhance you”
CEO of Front Desk Helpers Co Anjelika Alkhasyan was interviewed about the idea of creating a model of remote staff in 2015, employees market trends and the specifics of a transnational team leading.
About the Business: from idea to transnational team
– Please describe your business. Who are your customers?
– Organized in 2015, Front Desk Helpers Co offers a full range of remote customer support, back office support, call center agents, and IT specialists to small and medium US companies across the most popular industries: healthcare, logistics, finance, real estate, hospitality, etc. Working with remote employees allows them to cut their costs on staff and operational processes and, at the same time, boost their revenue by attracting a more professional team.
In advance of 2020 and COVID-19 limitations, we began implementing an effective virtual office model when global affairs were transparent online, anticipating the inevitable change in the labor market. Once our support was obtained, our Clients with remote staff overcame the last crises and even boosted their profits as the recession erased their competitors.
Of course, the COVID-19 years let us multiply businesses that had been considered to be unusual before, such as remote services. Still, it was proven to be a powerful and progressive solution for effective management.
Today, after eight years of success, the main Front Desk Helpers activity is turnkey outsource services in more than 170 positions, business advisory, e-commerce answering services, healthcare remote customer and operational support, virtual receptionist services, IT services, and other management solutions for business process optimization or even manufacturing facilities relocation.
We can also help with corporate Telecommunication solutions, and any Business Intelligence needs: from CRM and ERP development to implementing complex high-end technology solutions, including IoT or Blockchain. We are flexible with our capabilities for current market demands for various industries and niches.
Over time, we discover other clients’ needs in their competition and find ways to help them in this struggle. Due to the professional team gathering, we now introduce services in digital support for businesses. A particular branch named Technical Support Team was established to run the classic website development, e-commerce platforms, landing page creation, 3d party services adapting to CRM platforms or website constructors, multi-channel marketing promotion, and other digital performance services.
We are engaged in socially important topics: educational, cultural, and sports projects in developing countries. Our coverage also expands to agricultural projects, where we use the most modern technological developments in logistics, communications, and cargo tracking. As a woman-owned business, we stand for supporting minorities and unifying cultures.
– Sounds good! But what was your start? And how did you predict such a progressive idea in 2015?
– I dedicated my life to my lovely family. Still, when the children grew up, I decided to help others: on the one hand – create additional remote work opportunities for people, and on the other hand – help businesses and economies. Of course, in 2015, I never thought my plan would become so reclaimed in COVID-19-reality. We started as a small team, with two people, one of them still working in our company.
Our first clients were logistics companies, and while we were doing our best to provide quality services, the companies were growing. New operators were hired, and our company size has been increasing. In 2016 we got in the healthcare industry, providing remote medical specialists and coordinators, front desk and greeting services. We got HIPPA certified and updated our telecommunication capabilities.
Now we are doubling the employee number annually. Our team comprises more than 120 dedicated and passionate specialists from more than 30 countries who speak the 11 most popular languages.
It was 2020, when we were certified under the small business Minority and Women Certification program as a woman-owned and operated business. It’s very stimulating, but being a female-owned small business owner takes work. But I’m not alone on my way. I am proud of my team and the projects we run for our clients. Bringing a crew together for a project of any complicatedness is a crucial stage for any enterprise, as it all depends on who you operate. So I am excited to assist both my workers and my clients.
The exceptional results of our customers motivate us to work harder and expand the list of services we offer.
– Tell about your biggest accomplishment as a business owner.
– Being a team leader gives you a chance for self-realization and making decisions, never looking back at others. As a company owner, my most significant aim is to successfully assemble and organize a global team of experts who are incredibly intent on their work and inspired to reach our and our Client’s goals.
My greatest joy is having a healthy family, a reliable team, and happy customers.
– What are the most challenging issues for you with being a company leader?
– Managing many employees demands plenty of time, which must be combined with ordinary life. Again, it carries a lot of engagement, concentration, and responsibility to assemble talented specialists and establish them in high-quality and sufficient teams.
The BPO and Outsourcing Services Environment
– Let’s talk about your company. You are not alone in the BPO market. So what makes your brand stand out from the competition?
– We have gathered long-time traditions and excellent professionals throughout the years who provide impeccable service, problem-solving and custom-oriented support for any client. We provide a company solution for any business based on dedicated remote employees, remote teams, extensive technical support for IT infrastructure, and marketing promotion.
Strong background in HR management that has been implemented. We have a continuous search for the appropriate candidates. Our staff has an internal resume from past projects, which allows us to select the correct candidates for each team based on the required skill set. New hires are staffed on various projects, with some of our seasoned experts for supervision. Working hands-on with our experts within a specific area of expertise allows for a continuous training cycle on new technologies and concepts.
– Tell us about the outsourcing trends. What are the most demanded positions for outsourcing?
– Our clients are representatives from businesses of any size, from minor to the largest. The most popular are the most profitable for business owner services:
- Virtual personal assistant and receptionist
- Customer support, front desk and back office manager
- Quality assurance specialists
- HR specialists
- Social workers
- Property and booking manager
- Copywriters and content creators
- Web-designers and developers
- Medical specialists
– Which business challenges stimulate their owners to outsource? Is it long for businesses to decide to outsource?
– Most often, our clients spend a lot of time performing somebody else’s responsibilities or spending weeks searching for specialists and onboarding them. The training period takes time before they can complete the tasks without additional supervision. When they find us, starting from their request, all these tasks we do ourselves, assigning the needed specialist to get the operations working without stopping.
– What does your onboarding process look like?
– Usually, we request a detailed description of the client requirements for outsourced specialists and projects where they will be involved. We have two available options that go for the same rate:
- We will provide a resume, and selected specialists will be lined up for the interview. After you complete the interview process, they will be trained and introduced to the client project. We are involved only with general HR questions and issues such as schedules, salary, etc. The client representative will oversee the day-to-day tasks and the hired specialists’ reports. That usually means the onboarding process may take longer.
- After receiving a detailed project description, our team will use our internal or new specialists to create a project team. Client representatives will work directly with our project managers instead of managing specialists. As required, our team will handle the project with regular check-in points and reports. That usually means the onboarding process is quicker.
– How do business owners find you?
– Our company is highly presented on the internet. Also, our clients come to us with reviews and recommendations, like word of mouth. It’s not a secret that the best promo is when the business owners reduce their expenses and increase team efficiency, which can’t be hidden.
About Development Plans
– Imagine we forecast one year from now. What would you like to share as the most remarkable win?
– I have everything to celebrate, even today. I see our Client’s results and realize all the value of the business idea we had once implemented. We were one of the first to give life to the remote employee working system, and in some years, our vision became the prototype for many fields and economics to resist the pandemic storm. Today the design of outstaffing hiring helps people save their working places and the world’s economy to function. Moreover, when we integrate skilled specialists into projects worldwide, our team supports the business to exchange international experience, build solid multinational connections and develop domestic markets.
If you ask about the future – I dream of further multiplying our team by helping even more clients save and giving the end customers the best quality support. In addition, we want more and more world entrepreneurs to open those and many other benefits of outsourcing.
And get one more team meeting on some holiday weekends to have a nice party together.
– Three tips on running and growing a business today…
1. Learn everything about your customer. Get as many insights as you can find. Learn them as a person as well, not only just a business. In the end, all that we do is about personality.
2. Time management. You have to organize yourself and your business. Without schedule and automation, you will dive into the time abyss without the ability to emerge to the surface of your real life.
3. Do not be afraid of market changes. Keep your finger on the pulse to follow trends and be one step ahead of the competitors.