BPOs face talent crunch

Mumbai, Mar 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2007, 05:30am hrs
Indian BPO firms face an acute shortage of skilled manpower, and are able to hire only a tiny fraction of hopeful candidates. Today, we are able to hire only 5% of those who walk in for interviews, lamented Vineet Mittal, managing director at BPO company Stream.

The BPO industry at present employs 5.45 lakh professionals directly, accounting for 28% of the IT-BPO talent worldwide. However, it would need a 2.3-million workforce by 2010 to maintain the current marketshare, say analysts. But hiring a talented workforce and retaining it remain a challenge.

Many BPO firms have already started hiring employees from overseas to cope with the shortage. Ashwin Mittal, director, Cross-Tab Marketing Services, revealed, We recently hired three people from overseas as project managers, and we will hire more.

There is a lot of raw talent available in India. However, they require further training, he added.

Analysts stress the need to create awareness that the BPO industry not only provides jobs, but careers, too. According to Raj Bowen, CEO, Dale Carnegie Training, To fight attrition, BPOs today have started looking at alternative bases like hiring people from the colleges or hiring women who can work part time.