Over the last five years, we’ve supported a number of site selection projects by evaluating local labor markets in terms of candidate quality and candidate quantity. Many of our clients have a global perspective with off shore, near shore, and domestic centers. The growth in the home agent model combines the economics of a near shore cost environment with the advantages of a domestic team.
With the release of our new SpeechScreen and Coach product, we’ve been reviewing research on the off shore markets. Here in the United States, contact center hiring organizations face challenges with both labor pool quantity and labor pool quality. Candidate quality usually falls short in work ability competencies (multi-tasking), work habits (dependability), or work attitudes (attitude towards work).
For the off shore markets, a driving factor for candidate quality is their English proficiency. As an example, we performed a study in India several years ago. The study was for an outsourcing firm that was making outbound calls to the UK and US for a large credit card provider. We demonstrated a link between sales yield and assessment scores on the test. Candidates who scored higher on the FurstPerson tests also had better sales yield performance. The challenge, however, was the candidates oral communication ability limited their ability to use their work abilities on the job. Building on this, as an example, data from the Philippines shows that only 6% of the labor pool has the language capabilities to perform call center work.