HR functions in the BPO Industry

India is one the most preferred market for outsourcing across the globe. Managing about 56% of the world’s business process outsourcing, Indian BPOs are giving a tough competition to key counterparts like Philippines, Ireland, China and Australia. Recently, by winning clients back from its competitor (Philippines), Indian BPO industry has proved its mettle. Thanks to the quality of service and solutions provided, Indian BPO sector has been growing at an annual rate of 50%. In addition, worldwide presence of India BPOs ensures smoother operations and customized processes.

Future Prospects and Critical Challenges
Nasscom reports suggest that Indian BPM providers can touch USD 42 Billion by 2020, if the current business models continue. Fuelling India’s economy, Indian IT-BPM sector is estimated to earn revenue of USD$ 118 billion by the end of year FY2014. Well, we cannot deny that this sector has played an essential role in transforming an agriculture-based economy to a knowledge based economy.

The BPO industry, being one of the biggest employers in the country, will soon touch the point of hiring 1.1 million employees. However, hiring and retaining skilled employees is as much a key differentiator as much as a challenge, here. The industry is struggling with a major challenge of attrition. The average attrition rate is said to be about 30-35%. The concern gets more critical, as a company loses about Rs.60,000/- approximately, if an employee quits after training.

Employees who join this industry are primarily categorized as those:

  • Who wish to pursue a serious career here
  • Who join till they secure a better job perhaps in a different industry
  • Who just wish to be working and making money

Usually, employees value quick career succession and monetary gains and over stability. This adds to challenges namely, high rate of attrition, sudden absenteeism during high work volume, non-adherence to policies related to information sharing. This industry with highest employee turnover ratio needs to take some critical steps in order to overcome this obstacle.

How can HR help?
The primary responsibility of an HR function is to provide continuity to the business. HR should identify warning signs in order to curb attrition. However, in the current scenario, it becomes imperative for HR teams to strategize efficient efforts to retain the employees. This can be made possible through adopting various practices.

  • Employee Engagement: ‘All work, no play’, gets monotonous and that’s when employees look to move out. Fun activities should be conducted at intervals. Communications impressing the organizational goals and beliefs upon employees should be shared at often.
  • Training: Training can keep employees’ interest intact. It is one way to help them learn something new and add to their skills and competencies. It makes them believe that their efforts are being recognized. Well, their improved performance is a bonus.
  • Growth Opportunities: In addition, employees should have the option to explore profiles and opportunities across verticals within the organisation. Better career options or profiles should be created within the organisation itself.
  • Challenging tasks: Career cycle for employees should be meaningful. The KPIs should hold importance and bring about value add to the business.
  • Appreciation: Performance should be appreciated in terms of incentives, appraisals, package, honours, etc. This initiative will develop loyalty towards organisation.

In order to win over the competition and keep up with the trends, Indian BPO industry will have to fight its obstacles and innovate. Skilled and trained talents more than mere employees are the biggest strength. This in addition to technology will help the BPO companies to deliver the next generation services and solutions and rise up the IT value chain.