Industry Research : Smarter People Needed for Call Center Jobs
Thousands of jobs are available in call centers in the Philippines, but the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry is not an easy nut to crack, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Wednesday.
"Smarter people" should be developed because only five out of 100 applicants get hired in call centers, the DOST said.
The agency noted that new graduates are known to be converging in call centers, or BPO offices, lured by promise of jobs that come with high starting salary, aside from bonuses and other benefits.
However, as the DOST stressed, the IT-BPO industry is not an easy nut to crack.
DOST learned from a report made by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) that call center and BPO applicants have a "mortality rate" of 95 percent.
BPAP's report showed that of 100 applicants, only five are able to survive the highly competitive industry.
This prompted DOST Secretary Mario Go Montejo to recommend that Filipinos must become smarter to cope with the demands of the 21st century.
"We need to develop ‘smarter people’ to keep abreast with the developments. Developing smarter people means building up knowledge workers with 21st century skills," he said.
Montejo added that developing smarter people is a complement of its latest umbrella program called "Smarter Philippines." Developing smarter people is one of the program's components.
Smarter Philippines is geared towards facilitating and delivering "more effective and efficient services in all sectors," the DOST head said. Under the program are Smarter Government, Smarter Economy, Smarter Mobility, Smarter Environment, Smarter Living, and Smarter Cities.
Dr. Alejandro P. Melchor III, deputy executive director of the Information and Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) described what the concept of smarter people was.
"In a nutshell," he said, they are "information technology-oriented."
Smarter people, said Melchor, are what the BPO offices need, as he outlined the skills that call center agents must be armed with.
Melchor said these were critical thinking; effective written oral, multimedia, and multilingual communication skills; collaboration across networks; creativity and innovation; accessing and analyzing information; initiative and entrepreneurialism; and agility and adaptability.
"The most important skill that BPOs are looking for in every worker is critical thinking," he said, adding it is about possessing "a modern scientific mind."
Newspaper reports quoting BPAP last year said the IT-BPO industry in the Philippines yielded US$11-billion revenue and provided jobs to 638,000 people at the end of 2011.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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