Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Call Center Hiring Gets Competitive in the Philippines

December 12, 2014

The Philippines has become a hotspot for call centers in recent years – so much, in fact, that finding representatives to staff their efforts has become competitive sport.

The local contact center business of Capital One Financial Corp., for example, is working to fill hundreds of call center rep spots by treating train commuters waiting at the Ayala MRT Station with live entertainment and free rides to their final destinations. In the process, Capital One Philippine Support Services Corp. hopes to convince suitable candidates to apply for a call center rep position. The company, which opened call center operations in the Philippines in 2013, aims to do that hiring in 2015.

The call center industry finds the Philippines an attractive place to do business given its large populace of English-speaking individuals, and its business and political environment, which a September 2014 Bloomberg article says are favorable to the booming business process outsourcing industry there.

Unlike India, which has become well known as a call center outsourcing hub, the Philippines has a broader base of workers whose speaking style tends to be more understandable to people in the U.S., according to a May 2014 GlobalPost story. That has led many call center operations to invest in the Philippines over India, according to the piece, which says that India is losing 70 percent, or $30 billion, of its call center industry to the Philippines.

Business process outsourcing of call centers, computer animation, health care information management, and other things represents the fastest growing segment of the Philippine $272 billion economy, according to the Bloomberg story, which said that BPO in 2013 generated $15.5 billion in revenue and employed 900,000 people. That’s been beneficial both for the country’s gross domestic product (which reached 7.2 percent in 2013) and at the individual level (BPO workers earned $8,849 on average in 2012, almost three times the minimum wage in metro Manila), according to the Bloomberg piece.

“One of the strongest drivers for the Philippine economy, the local IT-BPM industry, has grown at a compound annual growth rate of close to 30 percent in over a decade, almost 13 times its scale in 2004, faster than the growth of the global offshore services market and probably the most robust among global locations,” according to a recent IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines blog. “The forecast of the road map may have been ambitious – U.S. $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million direct employees – but all signs say that it’s well within reach.” 

Edited by Maurice Nagle