Call Center Industry as Catalyst for Employment

  • August 15, 2011
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About a decade ago, the International Labor Organization predicted that world unemployment would continue to rise for years. During that time, about 1 billion people, or 30 percent of the global workforce, are either underemployed or unemployed. The ILO report also stated that most of them could never find a job which would suit their skills over the years.

However, while offshoring continues to dominate the business sector in haste in the present, many economic analysts conceive a little spark of hope that would oppose to what the ILO reported a decade ago. With a high employment demand in call centers, the outsourcing industry, principally the call center market, could serve as the remedy for the worldwide problem of unemployment.

By 2015, the industry is estimated to increase to 3.4 million US service jobs overseas. Fortunately, these high employment demand reaches third world countries with high unemployment rates. India and Philippines, for example, which have 8.8% and 10.2% unemployment rates respectively, are the two competing countries in terms of call center performance, where low cost employees are performing a variety of American tasks. These tasks range from chasing debtors to calling prospective customers to offer them new products and services.

With English proficiency, good listening and problem-solving skills as requirements, many natives of third world countries are easily employed. However, as time passes by and competition for jobs becomes more stiff, the demand for those with higher qualifications arise. Many call center firms demand for expertise in information technology for some of its positions. Still, for countries with high technological skills like the Philippines, such high prerequisites do not hamper them from getting employed.

Siemens Inc., for example, added in their requirements for call center agents the familiarity of IT terms and concepts which are of great need since they are about to offer IT support to customers worldwide. With these strict requirements, Siemens concluded that the Philippines tops all other countries when it comes to customer service orientation, ability to adapt to a western cultural framework and English communications.

For 2005, the call center industry created 103 000 jobs in the Philippines alone. Thus, this industry is considered by many analysts as the “sunshine sector” of the global economy and upholds great potential as the catalyst for employment.

Beyond doubt, this so-called “sunshine sector” enhances not only the productivity of the multinational companies but also provides income for many who used to be unemployed. Contrary to what critics say, call center jobs are capable of offering long-term employment where employees can take root and grow. Hence, this budding industry is likely to give a permanent and dependable basis for long-term innovations in the economy, particularly in employment.

Sources:
1. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/26/209.html
2. http://www.bartleby.com/151/fields/72.html
3. http://www.manilatimes.net

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