BPO group targets increasing hiring rate to 15%

October 7, 2017 - 10:15 PM
PhilStar file photo of a BPO center. The Philippines boasts a skilled, hardworking labor force, and officials say this is one reason it topped a global survey of 80 countries as the best to invest in.

MANILA – The Contact Center of the Philippines (CCAP) is looking to improve the hiring rate in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the country, targeting to reach 10 to 15 percent in the coming years.

CCAP Chairman Benedict Hernandez said this target could be achieved through collaboration among the government, industry, and the academe to bridge gaps in the workforce.

In the past, the industry’s hiring rate ranges from 6.0 to 8.0 percent then slightly improved to 8.0 to 10 percent, Hernandez said in a briefing Thursday.

According to CCAP, this is also a reflection of the key finding of the National Employability Report for the Philippines done by Aspiring Minds that about 65 percent of college graduates in the country do not have the right skills and training to qualify for their desired jobs.

The result of the National Employability Report is based on Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Test (AMCAT) of 60,000 fresh graduates from 80 colleges in the Philippines.

The AMCAT assessed four bucket skills: language, cognitive skills, behavioral or soft skills, and functional skills.

Hernandez noted that the top challenge among BPO companies operating in the country is finding enough available talents to meet their clients’ demands, which are becoming more complex.

In order to keep up with the demands and bridge gaps in skills of the workforce, Hernandez said the industry made interventions such as giving two to three weeks of training to near-hire applicants.

In 100 applicants, only 10 are qualified for the available positions in the industry, he said.

But in order to maximize the available workforce, the industry invests and provides trainings to the next 20 to 30 job applicants who are close to being qualified in the positions.

The CCAP executive added that the industry also partners with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to create funding for the near-hire training program.

It likewise partnered with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to roll out two curriculum tracks supporting the industry — the Service Management Program and Business Analytics.

The industry group also tapped the Department of Education (DepEd) to include tracks relevant to the need of the BPO industry in the K+12 Program.

“The industry is doing a lot. We’re happy that we’re doing partnerships with the government and schools in the past,” Hernandez said.

 “We had very successful results when we have interventions,” he added.

Still, Hernandez stressed the need to accelerate these interventions addressing challenges in the workforce in order not to curtail the growth of the BPO industry.

“There’s so much demand for the Philippines in this sector. The demand is there. There is an investment required for us to make sure we’re able to supply that,” he noted.