The Philippines usually ranks at the top of the list of countries with the best business process outsourcing providers. It’s even ahead of India, with a global market share hovering at the 18% level. And Manila isn’t the only city at the top of the rankings. Cebu, Davao, Sta. Rosa, and Bacolod also belong to the top 100 destinations for BPO operations.
The industry currently employs more than 575,000 workers, and the projection is that the number will be nearer to 700,000 by 2022. Competition is fierce amongst BPOs, whether they are local or foreign-owned corporations. With this competition, companies need to be resilient and strategic in their recruitment efforts. HR departments receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes. But getting to a quality shortlist of applicants might be more challenging than you think. Time-to-hire is one of the critical aspects of the recruitment process for the BPO industry.
Consider the following ideas for an improved shortlisting process:
The BPO Attraction
Attracting applicants is the easy part. One of the main attractions for working at a BPO is the compensation package. Salaries of teachers and BPO entry-level positions are within the same range, which is around $4,400. But BPOs provide more perks to their employees. Also, BPO workers tend to get pay incentives based on the work (quality and quantity) that they do.
For this reason, companies can get as many Grade A applicants as Grade D applicants.
Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
There’s a reason why recruiters spend just 5-6 seconds screening CVs. They deal with thousands of them, and the situation couldn’t be more accurate than in a BPO context. This is the initial step to take for discarding all the Grade D candidates. If applicants don’t spend time to make their resume stand out, allowing them to progress in the interview process might be a waste of time. Here are a few more things for you to consider when shortlisting applicants:
- Split your criteria. You, of course, want the perfect candidate. But rarely do you get an ideal CV that contains all the qualities that you want. Divide your selection criteria into “essentials” or “nice to have.” The essentials will, of course, be the hard set of skills. A position in computer technical support requires someone with sufficient knowledge of computers. Leadership and people-skills might fall under the “nice to have” category. Understand your priorities and find the right balance.
- Question marks. Another strategy you can employ is to focus on what your candidates don’t have. If, for some reason, they manage to get through to the initial CV screening process, then look for inconsistencies, like employment dates. This might be an indicator of their level of integrity or honesty. Grammatical errors are often used as red flags. In the BPO industry, where many clients come from the Anglophone world, recognizing this question mark is extremely important.
- More screening. Make technology work for you. There are now creative ways to screen candidates using timed-online testing. While the result of the test might reveal just a portion of a candidate’s capability and personality, it is an excellent way to compare candidates with one another.
Recruiters also use a scoring chart to rate applicants and determine if they can progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. If you come up with a shortlist of four or five candidates, this generally means you’re ready to make an offer to any of these candidates, barring any mishap in the interview process. These things will help ensure a faster time-to-hire for your BPO.