The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Office space is essential for BPO expansion, but so is access to a large pool of qualified talent.

Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

According to World Economic Forum research published last week, more than 50% of all current workplace tasks globally will be performed by machines by 2025, up from 29% at present. The Philippines commercial property sector, however, seems unfazed by the news. According to property consultants, Santos Knight Frank, BPO companies continue to invest in expansion in the country. With the offshore gaming sector challenging BPO in demand for office space, according Ortigas & Co COO Thomas Mirasol, property developers are laughing all the way to the bank.

Office space is essential for BPO expansion, but so is access to a large pool of qualified talent. And now the pool may be feeling the squeeze. Although BPO online hiring dropped 3% for the month of July, the longer term outlook is still steady, according to the latest Monster Employment Index. Importantly, overall online hiring was up by 18%. With a booming economy, it is not only the BPO sector looking for workers: sectors such as retail are also aggressively trying to boost headcount.  Hiring is unlikely to ease any time soon. UK investment bank Barclays forecasts that despite the current risks threatening economic growth, the Philippines economy remains on track to grow by 6% this year, and even more in 2019.

The takeaway is that BPOs will have to work harder to get and retain staff. Developments such as the opening up of new locations will help. Samar has now joined the list of places setting up an ICT council to help attract BPO locators. Another major jobs fair is planned in Zamboanga City for this October. And the government’s plan to improve internet access nationwide to support the development of opportunities beyond the established centers is gathering momentum. Selection terms for the new telecoms operator have now been released, and a decision should be made on the final bidder by the end of the year. Staff inclusion strategies, such as Sitel training the visually impaired for BPO jobs, and Telus Philippines’ grants program to help support the development of non-profits working in health, education, arts and culture, technology and social values formation sectors, are also welcome news.

Meanwhile, major players continue their ongoing restructuring to meet the challenges of a fast-changing market. Accenture is expanding the data and AI capabilities offered through its intelligent automation platform, Accenture myWizard. Infosys increased its investment by US$1.5 million in US-based software house TidalScale; Wipro folded four of its units into its parent company, and Sitel announced a new Asia Pacific head to steer the company’s regional growth.  Meanwhile in China a large online English education provider, 51Talk, enthused about the opportunities that the Philippines has in supporting China’s fast growing web-based English education market. With more than one billion Chinese still lacking good communication skills in English, local providers should watch this space.

 

News Roundup

24 September 2018

Offshore gaming boosts Philippines real estate industry – read more…

Online English provider 51Talk pushes China-Philippines cooperation – read more…

Government issues selection terms for new telco player – read more…

21 September 2018

BPO online hiring drops 3% in July – read more…

Wipro to combine four units into parent company – read more…

Another major jobs fair slated in Zamboanga City for October – read more…

20 September 2018

Sitel names Drew Fernandez as new APAC HR head – read more…

Philippines likely to keep above 6% growth – Barclays – read more…

Accenture expands its data and AI capabilities – read more…

19 September 2018

Machines to perform more than 50% of jobs by 2025 – read more…

Samar creates ICT council to lure outsourcing firms – read more…

No jitters from BPO companies – Santos Knight Frank – read more…

18 September 2018

Sitel trains visually impaired for BPO jobs – read more…

Infosys up investment by US$1.5m in US-based TidalScale – read more…

Telus Philippines still accepting applicants for its grants program – read more…


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