Trixie Whyte and her late husband, Brendan, a British national, set up Q2 HR Solutions in the spare room of their house in Makati in 2000 when they saw the opportunity to fill a niche in the market.
“We set up the company with the intention of providing jobs in the midst of so much unemployment in the country. We felt that we could do something noble by providing job opportunities for Filipinos, said Trixie who sits as founder and chairwoman.
Q2 HR Solutions is not your usual staffing or recruitment company. It offers end-to-end solutions that other head hunters do not provide.
At the start, the couple had to grapple with the challenges of being an unknown company. There were other headhunters at the time, but most were doing work on the side.
“This made me strive hard to pitch about the quality of our service. Because we only had a handful of clients at the time, I told companies that I met with they can have my undivided attention,” Trixie said.
Competition, Trixie added, pushes Q2 HR Solutions to be innovative in creating solutions to address the pain points of its clients, which results in better service levels.
“It’s the logic behind what clients are looking for, listening to their needs, looking at the wider market, aligning what our company can offer and creating new services if necessary. That’s why we were able to satisfy the industry’s demands years ago, and it enables us to continue to be ahead and relevant to this day,” she said.
Trixie used her extensive exposure in the HR industry, coming from a family whose line of business was recruitment.
It was in HR where she actually started.
Trixie earned her Philosophy degree from the De La Salle University and completed the Executive Program at the Asian Institute of Management.
Starting with their first three multinational clients in the banking and pharmaceutical industry sectors that have remained with them to this day, Q2 HR Solutions added several of the country’s top corporations as their clients.
“Our company’s first Executive Search project was for a multinational pharmaceutical firm’s Canlubang, Laguna plant. We also helped them create a productivity based employment program for warehouse personnel. Q2’s Outsourcing Business/Managed Service meanwhile started with another multinational company, since the latter needed help with Project Employment for its IT and accounting departments. A client in the banking industry was also a significant account because it was the first company to convince us to try our hand in ‘volume recruitment’, with the aim of delivering more than a hundred call center agents in the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector’s infancy stage in the Philippines,” Trixie recalled.
From there, Q2 HR Solutions has grown to become a full-service HR company that has diversified its portfolio to include Sourcing and Recruitment, HR Outsourcing, Managed Services, Background Investigation, Organizational Consultation and Development, Assessments, and other bespoke HR solutions. It currently has more than 3,000 deployed employees, and to date has served over 1,000 clients.
For the services, Q2 HR Solutions charges a service fee.
For the Executive Search and Permanent Placement, the standard rate is percentage of gross annual compensation to be charged to client.
For Recruitment Process Outsourcing, the company deploys recruiters on site to focus on critical hiring recruitments and service fee is a monthly retainer per recruiter for an agreed period
Managed Service meanwhile is a workforce outsourcing of non-executive team members so the company can focus on their core business. For this, Q2 HR charges a service fee that is equivalent to the cost of running the workforce plus administrative fee
In Hiring Basix, Q2 HR Solutions conducts verification of pre-employment documents.
Standard fees depend on the quantity and types of verification required
HR by Design is an HR consultancy and organizational development, including L&D and assessments. Fees vary depending on the service.
Here Q2 HR Solutions conducts HR Health Checks to determine the needs of the organisation. However, assessments and psychometric evaluations are available on an as needed basis, based on requirements.
Q2 HR Solutions is also aware of the labor issues plaguing the job market such as job mismatch and contractualization.
According to Trixie, Q2 created HR by Design service, specifically to address job mismatch.
“Among a wide range of solutions, we offer talent and psychometric assessments for both potential candidates and existing employees. This helps reduce potential job mismatch prior to employment. This also allows companies to choose from a variety of assessment tools depending on their needs, and take the necessary corrective course of action. We can assist them with this by providing HR consulting services to help achieve the desired results of the organization from diagnosis through to execution. We can design solutions at every stage of the HR process,” Trixie said.
Trixie shares the view that contractualization is legal and simply means employment for a limited term.
“But some people in the labor sector have tagged it as illegal using the 5-5-5 scheme, where employees are terminated before the sixth month then rehired so they never become regular employees,” she said. Which is why Q2 has what is called project workforce to support ramps in seasonal times.
“Our expertise in running teams in their companies from end to end where it is not their core competency adds value long term,” Trixie said.
Q2 HR Solutions started with just six employees, a desk, PC and a golden retriever. From the spare room home-office, business quickly grew that months later the company had to move to a 121-square meter (sq.m.) office space in Salcedo Village. Due to further expansion, they bought a 1,000 sq.m. space in the same building by the 12th year of operation in 2012.
While the company sets its standards at a global scale, at the core of the business are their Filipino values and the commitment to help uplift Filipino lives through gainful employment.
Trixie, who was born and raised in the Philippines, believes in the capabilities of the Filipino and credits her company’s growth to the world-class Filipino talent that is a rich resource for the country’s continued economic growth.
“I have seen our talent pool grow. I remember when the BPO industry started in the country, and we were called upon to fill all those positions for call center agents. This industry started from scratch, and now look at how it has grown,” she added.
Trixie has also seen how Filipino workers are in demand overseas. To tap into this market, she diversified and founded Orange International Recruitment, an overseas placement firm with a license to source and deploy Filipino professionals and skilled workers abroad in various industries including healthcare and construction.
As it marks its 20th anniversary in September 2020, Q2 HR Solutions has set an aggressive growth plan that includes expanding their managed services internationally to create demand for their various business lines.
Trixie has established a presence in Australia with The People Expert, a new subsidiary of the Q2 HR Solutions Group of Companies, which aims to deploy health care workers.
Her exposure with Orange International, sending nurses to England via a partnership with the UK’s National Health Service and establishing People4People’s managed service, has paved the way for this new venture.
Plans are in place for further expansion.
“We’ve started actively exploring Australia, Japan, the UK, Canada, and Sweden for Q2 HR Solutions’ managed services and build-operate-transfer services. Through my affiliation with Orange International, we’ve been able to help Filipinos work abroad in the healthcare, engineering, construction, retail and hospitality industries, providing them opportunities in these countries,” Trixie added.
Q2 HR Solutions has also assisted foreign companies in setting up their manpower resource and presence in the Philippines and helped build capabilities and manage their risks through a build-operate-transfer model.
“Our direction is now geared towards encouraging foreign investors to invest in the Philippines and helping create more jobs for the country,” Trixie said.
In 2011, Q2 HR Solutions was recognised by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) as Employer of the Year for the SME category. In 2014, Q2 HR Solutions was selected by Randstad, a gobal leader in the HR services industry based in the Netherlands, as its exclusive Philippine partner.