Global consultancy firm Tholons stated in its recent study that business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in Southeast Asian countries should focus more on the talent pool shortage as this is vital to IT-BPO and development of the services outsourcing industry. This became more evident as the economic downturn continues to paralyze the US and UK markets, which are then motivated to outsource.
Recruitment for employees with skills needed in the industry and employee retention were some of the major challenges faced by BPO companies. Tholons also said that to address these issues, service providers exert more effort in training their recruitment teams, as well as in improving the skills of new hires. These, however, incur more costs.
Training programs for skills development initiated in Manila, for instance, are crucial to the growth of the country’s workforce. One of these is the Finishing Courses for Call Center Agents program that is being provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of the Philippines.
Moreover, Tholons predicts that current niche specializations will grow and prime the region to providing high-end services.
According to Tholons, the Philippines still reigns in the call center services arena. Malaysia and Singapore, on the other hand, are the top providers for financial and accounting outsourcing and back-office process outsourcing, while Vietnam and Indonesia have made a mark in IT outsourcing.
Meanwhile, Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) said the local BPO industry contributed $11 billion in revenues in 2011 and is projected to grow 20% this year. It is also expected that the sector will post $25 billion in revenues by 2016.