Outsourcing’s Biggest Challenge – Talent Shortages


Here is something I found pretty fascinating…. as the world tries to solve un and underemployment problems, one of the biggest challenges facing the BPO industry is not enough trained workers. According to the report, which featured a survey of executives from 282 enterprises, lack of “established formal training programs to develop industry expertise and skills in analytics and relationship management. This failure to invest has created a “talent paradox.” As outsourcing moves from the back office to the middle and front office, where value creation is paramount, and as buyers seek more sustainable business outcomes beyond merely cost reduction, neither buyers nor providers are making the necessary investments in the key driver of value creation – people.”

I see this everyday as I look at applicants who do not have the minimum required skills for a position and have little avenue to get the training they need to acquire these missing skills. The HfS Talent study – the first of its kind – highlights the growing talent gap between what the industry
and its clients aspire to achieve and the lack of sufficient investment in people to make it happen. We hope it serves as a call to action for everyone involved in the business of outsourcing.”

The research study shows that the keys to improvement in outsourcing initiatives lie in refreshing the talent pool available to enterprises – not only their own internal talent, but also the talent from the service provider. Some of the key recommendations to remedy the talent paradox include:

  • Focus talent investments to enhance core business skills. Enterprises that have been successful with outsourcing invested in external experts with skills beyond operations management, procurement, and service-level measurement. Over time, they have developed a good number of operations managers in-house, and their service provider excels in these activities. Such companies are now investing instead in skills that improve their core business.
  • Access the strategic talent of service providers. Operational capabilities are now routine and are no longer true differentiators when a buyer is choosing a service provider. Service providers should invest in developing the methodologies, analytics, and talent that are instrumental in creating value beyond cost reduction, and buyers should evaluate potential providers against these capabilities.
  • Revamp skills expectations for the existing team. Successful enterprises have looked for strategic skills by redefining the job competency models of individuals managing service providers.
  • Establish shared ‘stretch’ goals to encourage skills development and usage. To prevent the outsourcing relationship from plateauing, enterprises and their providers should jointly review goals, metrics, and objectives regularly and re-position solutions as necessary to meet business needs.

In the end it will take an continuous and concerted effort by all parties to train and equip millions of people to fill the millions of positions that are expected to open in the near term. BPO Elite was founded to address this very need. DMAI takes the mission one step further.

Follow us as we do our part in leading the charge for fundamental change in the way skills are taught and talent is empowered with the tools they need to succeed!