The business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry faces a new challenge. The trained staff of BPOs is unable to keep up with their field’s ever growing demands. While outsourcing continues to be lucrative and profitable for both ends of the transaction, some BPO companies find themselves unequipped to address skills such as finance and accounting. Other positions considered the most difficult to fill are sales, engineering, management, and IT.
BPO contact or call centers are particularly vulnerable to a skills shortage, due to the companies’ multidisciplinary nature. These companies find it hard to look for individuals who specialize in fields such as public relations, communications, marketing and sales. High attrition rates also make talent shortages extra challenging for these BPOs.
Is it possible for a BPO to address this growing shortage? Here are some ways your company can overcome the challenge.
Hire Based on High Standards
Recruitment is a long and tricky process during a skill shortage problem. But hiring the first available applicant who fulfills the minimum requirement will just worsen the problem. Make sure that you hire an expert in the field you are hiring in. Bringing in an expert will save your company a lot more costs and guarantee higher profit in the future. You also save yourself the trouble of potentially having to lay off an incompetent person in the future.
Upgrade and improve your training programs
You can’t rely on new hires alone when a new demand comes up. Take a closer look at your training program and see how this can advance for the betterment of your employees. Training them in new skills and knowledge also shows them you value their growth, giving your current hires more reasons to stay in the company.
Make sure that the program is specifically designed to the team’s skills, knowledge, and needs. The session should be effective enough to improve your current customer representatives and transform them into more dynamic professionals.
Improve Your Employee Retention Plan
While your company should be addressing new demands, it’s still important to prioritize your available workforce. Be sure to include more effective employee engagement plans so that your people continue to stay in the company. Not taking care of them and allowing them to leave will only add more to your recruitment list.
You could do small activities such as team building sessions. Focus also on giving recognition and review which of your employees are deserving of a long overdue promotion.
Recognition can also come in smaller forms and can be shown to your employees on a daily basis. Be sincere about acknowledging the positive points and achievements of your team. Don’t delay expressing praise, but only do so when there is a true feeling of appreciation. Be sure to give specific details about what was accomplished. Express your gratitude personally and make sure it is positive all throughout.
If a long speech feels forced, then just be consistent about giving a thank you to someone for a good job. It can be as simple as, “thank you for handling that presentation well” or “thanks for making the extra effort today.” Expressing recognition will enhance your team’s loyalty and morale.
Use a Referral System
Your human resource department need not take on all the recruitment work. Announce a referral program that allows employees to refer peers, colleagues, and friends from their own network for the available positions. Give an incentive for those whose referrals ended up as successful hires, like a small cash or gift certificate price. This program lets you take advantage of your employees wide network and pool of potential experts.
Work on Your Branding
A job ad alone won’t entice a handful of experts and qualified individuals to apply at your company. Work on communicating your company’s values and culture through your employer brand. Having a clear brand makes it easier for your mission and vision to be communicated in the job ad, copy, and other marketing promotions for vacancies. Those with similar values and the necessary qualities to execute your vision will respond to the branded material.
Choose ability over experience
Most of our job ads emphasize having years of experience in the given position or field. But this number alone shouldn’t determine the applicant’s qualifications. It can limit your prospects and make you miss out on less experienced but equally competent applicants.
Look at the person’s ability, such as the kind of jobs or internships he or she’s had in the past or any programs they underwent outside of their degree. You can also take a closer look at their portfolio or ask for a detailed account on previous projects they’ve managed.
Build Business Agility
One articled entitled “Has Human Resources Become Out of Date?” questioned the traditional model in most companies. These places run on hierarchies, follow restrictive rules, and formalize centers of power. They also tend to put leaders on a pedestal instead of addressing their weaknesses.
But more businesses need to adopt business agility rather than the old model of rule enforcement. Business agility focuses on HR and learning programs that empower managers and their people to make decision, guide managers to coach their teams, and focus on building customer-centric tams. The result is a culture of learning where everyone involved grows.
Continue to Outsource
Even outsourcing companies can follow their own model. If your current HR staff’s expertise is recruitment, then you can outsource the training and development programs to another company. If you are running a contact center, you could delegate the job marketing collaterals to a creative agency. This saves your company both time and money.
BPO Company Infinit-O can take on any work your internal team cannot attend to as they focus on recruitment. Infinit-O is a highly specialized organization that offers world class and quality based solutions for a variety of fields. Our services cover data and research, finance and accounting, healthcare, and contact center. Start discussing a fruitful partnership with us today, contact us here.