Good news on BPO front

Published by rudy Date posted on April 24, 2009

IN a welcome development, highvalue business process out-sourcing (BPO) services provider StarTek is to immediately hire 400 agents to service new voice engagements, substantially beefing up its first facility in the Philippines.

The news provides further indication of the resilience of the BPO industry. According to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPA/P) BPO revenues will grow between 20% and 30%. Last year, the BPO industry grew 26% to US$6 billion in revenues from $4.9 billion in 2007.

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, StarTek operates 18 facilities in North America and one facility in the Philippines. The company provides high-value non-voice and voice BPO services from a Makati facility which was formally launched earlier this year. Ed Mallari, StarTek managing director, expects the 1,100-seat Makati facility to be at full capacity by the end of the year.

This recruitment effort will approximately double StarTek’s employee base in the Philippines, which includes agents, supervisors, and managers.

According to Joyce Peñalosa, StarTek HR director, StarTek primarily relies on cost-effective, highly successful non-traditional HR sourcing methods that leverage viral marketing tools to recruit agents.

She explained that recruitment is strongly anchored on word-of-mouth, and involves all applicants, including those who are not initially offered a position. “We ensure that we provide potential recruits with a positive, first-hand experience of StarTek culture by focusing on what’s most important to them, such as a truly enjoyable place to work and long-term career opportunities. Applicants then share this experience with their personal network of friends.

“We also have display advertising at street level in a high foot traffic location to attract applicants that are actively looking for work. During the hiring process, we closely monitor how each applicant found out about StarTek. As a result, we know that word-of-mouth and ‘point-of-interest’ visuals are our most effective recruitment channels.”

Peñalosa said StarTek receives and processes walk-in applicants daily. In fact, that’s been the case since the facility opened its doors. As a result, she expects the 400 new positions will be filled as forecasted.

Besides recruiting agents, StarTek takes retaining agents very seriously, according to Mallari. He believes that providing long-term career opportunities is a critical factor for agents delivering quality services.

“While the attrition rate in the BPO industry is perceived to be high, StarTek has comparably low turnover based on industry benchmarks. Our company believes that it is our responsibility to provide a work environment that promotes development as well as enjoyment. With a lower attrition rate and a high hiring success rate, we’re confident in meeting our ramp-up and on-going staffing requirements,” explained Mallari.

Since 1987, StarTek has partnered with its clients to solve strategic business challenges, improve customer retention, increase revenue, and reduce costs through an improved customer experience.

Known for creating the highest customer service for clients and their customers, StarTek services include customer care, sales support, complex order processing, accounts receivable management, technical support, and other industry-specific processes. –Rene Martel, Manila Times

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