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Convergys Using 'Innovative' Recruiting Techniques in the Philippines

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Convergys Using 'Innovative' Recruiting Techniques in the Philippines

December 03, 2009
By Patrick Barnard
Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
You might think that the Philippines has an endless supply of job candidates for the position of call center agent, but considering it has become such a hotbed for the call center outsourcing industry during the past 10 years, that’s not necessarily the case.

With dozens upon dozens of international firms currently operating nearly 1,000 call centers across the Philippines -- and growing -- there are some indications that the labor pool is tightening and starting to get "tapped out," which means BPO firms need to get both aggressive and creative with their recruiting campaigns. The key thing to remember is that even though there might be tens of thousands of people looking for work, only a certain percentage of them have the skills and propensity to hold an agent position.
Convergys Corporation, one of the biggest and best-known call center technology and outsourcing firms, claims it is seeing good success recruiting agents for its call centers in the Philippines thanks to some new and innovative recruitment techniques it has implemented.

Specifically, the company is allowing job prospects to start the application process by sending a text message via their cell phones. Considering that practically everyone in the Philippines owns a cell phone -- but not everyone owns a computer -- this is a smart move, as it makes it easier for the vast majority of people to apply for a job. What’s more, the prime demographic for call center work – the Millenials – is far more inclined to use text messaging as a means of communication, as opposed to phone, email or “snail mail.”

According to a press release, Convergys (News - Alert) is currently running advertisements across the Philippines promoting career possibilities for Filipinos – all a prospect has to do is text the word ‘APPLY’ to the number 2600 to start the application process. The release does not specify whether the ads are being run on television, radio, in print or on billboards – and how you get the message out is important – but the main point is, this a faster and simpler way for someone to send in an application.
Convergys even goes a step further by opening a “text dialogue” with prospects -- sending text messages to applicants, reminding them of their scheduled interview and pre-employment requirements. Convergys employees can also use text messaging to easily send referrals, by texting the words ‘CVG ERP.’

According to the release, this method of recruitment has yielded more than 3,000 applications and referrals to date – rather remarkable considering the program was just launched two months ago.
Beyond the text messaging approach, the company is also seeing success recruiting through social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook (News - Alert), Multiply and Friendster. Tweets such as “Be part of the premiere company in Bacolod” and “Join our pioneer team in Makati” flooded the web to those following Convergys’ official recruitment account in the Philippines, @convergysphils on Twitter. Convergys Philippines also began posting regular announcements of job openings and recruitment events on its Facebook, Multiply and Friendster pages.

The company claims that, all together, it has gained more than 13,000 interested candidates through these digital channels.

“The dawn of text messaging and social networking sites has presented us with the opportunity to reach out directly to our targeted employee pool and we have achieved significant positive results from these innovative recruitment initiatives,” said Sonny Divina, Convergys Director, Recruitment, in the release. “Not only are these new media the most convenient form of communication as they allow applicants to reach us anytime, day or night, they significantly speed up the application process -- effectively allowing employees to start a career with Convergys ‘in no time flat.’”

Convergys’ state-of-the-art facilities in the Philippines employ approximately 18,000 people.

Last month Convergys announced that it is expanding its contact center outsourcing operations in the Philippines. The company reportedly plans to hire approximately 4,500 more agents between now and the end of February for its 12 contact center facilities in the country.

Convergys, which has been seeing increased demand for its contact center technology and services, plans to surpass 20,000 employees in the near future.

“Convergys contact center agents continue to deliver superior relationship management services on behalf of our clients and that’s why there’s a global demand for their expertise,” said Marife Zamora, Convergys vice president and country manager, in a release. “The continued demand from our blue chip international clients to place their operations either partially or fully in the Philippines is a testament to the quality of service our agents provide on a daily basis.”

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard
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