The growth of the Philippines as the hub of business process outsourcing (BPO) over the past couple of years has been astonishing. While the rest of the industries declined during the recession, the call center business remained resilient thanks to the explosive growth it witnessed in emerging markets like the Philippines.
The demand for business process outsourcing – especially call center services – in the Philippines mainly comes from countries like the U.S, Australia and New Zealand.
Due to the overwhelming growth of call center outsourcing services in the Philippines, call centers have been on continuous expansion and recruitment spree. Despite this, Employment Bureau of Local (BLE) recently revealed that the Philippines call center is running short of agents as supply is unable to match the demand.
BLE has ranked the call center agent as the hottest job in the Philippines. Next on the list of top 20 vacancies is production machine operator, followed by sales clerk and laborer. The BLE ranking indicates these jobs have been in demand for about a year.
According to Jose Mari Mercado (News - Alert), president and chief executive officer of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the trend is likely to continue in the coming years as the business process outsourcing industry is expected to grow by another 18-20 percent this year.
The business processing outsourcing industry in the Philippines employs a total of 770,000 employees at the end of 2012. Sixty five percent of this was from call center industry. The number is expected to increase to 960,000 with the call center industry still accounting for about 65 percent, according to BPAP.
The real challenge however is to get highly qualified call center agents. Currently the hiring ratio stands at 1 to 1.5 for every 10. Call center industry demands high level of skills in business communications and language proficiency, which are found to be lacking in most candidates.
The industry is trying to address this issue by focusing on call center training. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) of the Philippines is actively supporting this initiative.
Also, there are companies like RCCSP that provide call center training and certification to professionals. RCCSP, a professional education alliance for the call center, has developed a variety of courses that even include a certification exam.
Ideally such call center training should be imparted to candidates who have got through the initial stages of recruitment process.
Edited by Ashley Caputo