BPOs seen hiring up to 100,000 this year; work-from-home also here to stay


Posted at Feb 15 2021 03:36 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2021 04:17 PM

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MANILA - The business process outsourcing industry will hire between 80,000 to 100,000 employees this year, sustaining the sector's yearly recruitment numbers, an industry group said on Monday. 

Jojo Uligan, president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), said in an ANC interview that the industry needs more workers amid rising demand for support services for e-retail or e-commerce, logistics, healthcare and others.

Uligan, who is also the senior vice president for major BPO player Alorica, said that his company alone is hiring 6,000 agents in the first quarter of this year. Last year, Alorica hired around 30,000, Uligan said.

"We hire a lot of people to service our peak volume. As an industry, based on a survey to our members, some [companies] are growing flat, others are growing around 5 to 15 percent, while Alorica is growing about 10 to 15 percent," he said.

The CCAP chief also noted an increase in productivity brought by the work from home setup, which he said will be maintained even after the pandemic.

"We're looking at maintaining a good portion of our people to do work from home. We managed to execute it well, it will be a permanent solution already. Before COVID-19, there was very little work from home...But now for Alorica, about 70 to 80 percent of our employees are working from home," Uligan said.

He added that despite the rise of chatbots and AI, BPOs still prioritize human workers, and are upskilling them on the digital and tech advancements in businesses.

Over 420,000 Filipinos lost their jobs last year -- leading to a record of 10.2 percent unemployment rate in 2020 -- as the COVID-19 pandemic affected the economy and forced businesses to close. 

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