The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry hires a large number of service professionals every year. In the Philippines, the BPO sector is projected to create more than 1.2 million jobs in 2016 alone, particularly in the fields of IT, healthcare, and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO).
“We usually hire people upon receiving a new client agreement. While our clients usually need people adept at sales and customer service, there are many instances when they are very particular with the service professionals we are hiring, specifically in information technology,” said Betty Rosario, the general manager of BPSource, Inc, an IT-BPO company in the Philippines.
Rosario, an expert in business development projects, emphasized that jobs in the BPO sector is no longer as “monotonous” as it was a decade ago. It is now more diverse. BPO professionals, she said, have more freedom to choose their careers paths.
“Back then, when BPO companies entered the Philippines, it was all about contact centers and voice services. People would apply at call centers because the payoff is quite attractive. But things have changed. BPO is no longer viewed as second career option. The BPO workforce now hires specialized professionals such as software testers, engineers, and many more,” Rosario added.
That said, she shares the following tips for those who are planning to grow their careers in the BPO sector:
Don’t be scared to start small. BPOs typically attract people and train them until they are ready to grow in other parts of the organization. “Entry level employees would be expected to start from the bottom. It is always that way no matter what industry you choose to be a part of. You can grow from a sales agent to the head of a department” she said.
Focus on your expertise. You need to develop a clear-cut strategy to get ahead of your competitors. If your strength, for instance, is IT or finance, stick to it. Avoid doing things you know you are not good at.
Take advantage of training programs. Many BPO companies develop the skill sets of their employees. Take advantage of it and learn more as you move forward with your career.
Soft skills matter. Regardless of your position, soft skills such as people management, cultural sensitivity, and communication can be your biggest asset, especially when managing oneself and your clients.
BPO is no longer just a stop-gap career option for professionals. Be bold. Explore.