Industry Research : BPO Companies Partner With Colleges & Universities to Hire Skilled Talent
Business process outsourcing firms are beginning to hire directly from colleges and universities, a practice pioneered and perfected by country's information technology services industry, which is now slowing down such campus recruitment. The more organised hiring is being prompted by the changing nature of work, which is rising in complexity and value, calling for more regular supply of talent with specific skills. However, unlike IT services companies which hired mostly from engineering colleges, BPOs are casting their net wider to include medical, commerce and law graduates.
"We are identifying specific campuses that can give us dedicated supply of qualified people we need," said Keshav R Murugesh, group chief executive officer at WNS Global Services, which employs 25,000 people "The potential right now is immense and it is only growing."
"Companies are looking to offer more domain-specific, higher value service such as data analytics or riskmodelling," said Sangeetha Gupta, senior vice-president of Nasscom, about the transformation underway in the sector. In fact, industry body Nasscom is trying to rechristen the sector as business process management or BPM instead of earlier BPO, which tends to get equated with lowend work.
BPO companies partner with colleges & universities to hire skilled talent
The $21-billion (Rs 1.3 lakh crore) sector employs 11 lakh people and is projected to grow to $50 billion (Rs 3.1 lakh crore), with employment potential for 18 lakh professionals by 2020. "We will be visiting colleges across the sectors which will be one of the advantages that BPM companies will bring to the campuses," said Sandip Sen, CEO at Aegis, which employs around 55,000 and has revenues of about $1 billion (Rs 6,200 crore).
However, BPOs are not expected to recruit at the same scale as IT sector, which employs nearly 30 lakh professionals but has cut down hiring now because of moderating pace of growth and greater automation. "These are specialised postitions and only those who can hit the ground running will be hired," said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and senior vice-president, TeamLease, which offers staffing services to BPOs.
As a result companies are looking to work with colleges and campuses around curriculum and course development so that students have relevant skills by the time they graduate. "Students are upbeat about the sector with good career prospects and are keen to learn relevant skills," said Sanjeev Bansal, director, Amity Business School. In future, a certification is also being planned as a necessary requirement to be hired in the industry.
Industry experts however caution that campus hiring, especially from business schools and other specialised educational instituted pose the risk of higher costs for the BPOs, whose growth has so far been driven by labor cost arbitrage between it can offer to clients in markets such as US and Europe.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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