Blog Post #22 – The Talent Gap Question Comes up Again—industry-group

“MANILA – Only one out of every 10 people applying for a job with a business process outsourcing company makes the grade – a situation that, if left unchecked, would result in a shortfall of qualified workers in the next five years, according to the local industry.

“While many Filipinos apply for work in IT-BPO companies, at present the hiring rate is just five percent to 10 percent. Most applicants do not make the cut because they lack the necessary qualifications, skills, and professional expertise,” Benedict Hernandez, president of Business Process Association of the Philippines, said in a statement.

To achieve its $25 billion revenue target by 2016, the industry must address the looming labor shortfall between now and 2016, he said.”

From my perspective there are a number of reasons the % of “hire able” candidates is so low.

I agree with a lot of the observations about both speaking English correctly and with confidence. I see a lot of fresh grads in my business and a huge % of them do not feel comfortable expressing themselves in English. And even ones that are pretty good often lock-up during an interview. Another big challenge is that most college grads have never been in a call center so it’s hard to conceptualize what working in one might be like. I recently trained a batch of 22 fresh grads from schools like PUP and Adamson… and not one of them had ever been in a call center or really new much of what they are like.

So it’s not just confidence, but lack of preparation. And the other big issue of course is that a lot of college grads are coming out of school with degrees that have little training in technology and no understanding of a business environment.

On the other hand I also agree with some of the comments that the assessment and screening process is not as effective as it could be. A huge % of candidates never make it past the initial screen because they don’t have a 4 year degree or do not have any relevant work experience so even with good English, confidence and technical skills they never make it to the interview stage. I’ve seen a couple of amazingly talented and articulate candidates who have been passed over dozens of times because they do not have a 4 year degree and its disheartening to think that now they have such a negative experience when it comes to the BPO industry.

Training programs like BPO Elite’s in one answer as we identify, recruit, train and help place fresh grads with the talent and aptitude to be analysts in the BPO industry.

We have a long way to go to turn that statistic around, but I for one am convinced we can do it!


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