Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Human Resources Issues Prove Increasing Problem in Contact Center Outsourcing

September 21, 2007

For those working in the contact center industry, it is not surprise that there are challenges in staffing and attrition. While a variety of things are considered to be the cause for these problems, the reality is that many contact center staffing issues are happening as a result of internal processes or policies that organizations are loath to change.

The same can be said in the outsourcing division of the contact center industry. According to MANPOWER Staffing Services, this segment of the industry is facing significant challenges, the largest of which is managing human resource issues such as attrition and shortage of skilled labor. The lack of people understanding the context of human resource is also a contributing factor.

Unlike other industries, the contact center industry has to understand supply and demand and how those elements play into the overall corporate strategy in order to be productive. These organizations have been facing a mismatch of demand and supply, productivity and inflation.

Many contact centers have opted to undertake key initiatives to maintain a relatively strong human resource performance. These initiatives also include creating awareness of the career opportunities, providing training and development, as well as establishing a reward system.

MANPOWER representatives feel that read hunting or poaching will go on if the profile of the industry is not raised. The Customer Relationship Management & Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM) president Leo Ariyananyakam noted that the industry currently employs 30,000 people and it could reach 100,000, moving forward.

According to Ariyanayakam, there is rising demand for jobs in the industry and people are filling up the vacancies, but tend to lack productivity. "Malaysia is getting a lot of outsourcing and offshoring business from the US, UK, and Australia. We need to train the workforce to produce quality workers," he said in a statement.

Ariyanayakam also noted that the outsourcing business has hit US$1 trillion globally. Malaysia is currently seen as the third-popular destination to provide the service on a global basis. The value of the outsourcing market in the country is currently about US$2.5 billion, but is expected to exceed US$10 billion in the next three to five years. The market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 30 percent.

The outsourcing industry will continue to change, no matter what country is being examined. Political environments change, which can impact tax advantages, either for the better or worse. Education and skill levels of the local labor can have a great impact on the attractiveness of the nation, not to mention overall cost of operation. Add in to the mix the complications of human resources and the problems are likely to continue.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.