Dilemmas of an HR Manager in the ITES/BPO Industry
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India’s past history of success in the BPO/ITES industry has made it a market leader in this field of business. The heavy spurt of work to India and the sudden increase in the scale of operations brought with it many hardships to the industry. As the ITES/BPO industry is an employee sensitive industry, a change in the employee attitude can have a major impact on it.

Labour attrition rates are high in this line of business eating away a huge portion of the profits. Major cost is on account of the loss afflicted by the break in the work routine leading to customer dissatisfaction. Prolonged disruption of work leads to the loss of business and it poses a grave threat to the goodwill of the company. If the companies take time to refill the vacuum created by the employees who have left the company, flow of business to India will be affected. With other countries like Mexico, Russia, Canada etc trying to push their way with low cost proposals and geographical advantages, India will have to struggle to retain and maintain its position in the global market. This plants a heavy burden on the human resource department to retain the employees.

Cost of hiring on account of the labour turnover has led to an increase to the cost of operations. Cost of hiring starts with the initial cost incurred on advertisement calling for the probable recruits, payment made to the placement agencies, travelling expenses incurred on account of the travel to the place of interview, etc. The loss incurred before the new recruit fully gets adjusted to the system adds to the recruitment cost. With the shareholders demanding a good return to their investment and the limitations imposed by the predetermined billing rates and severe competition, the company has to strive to keep its productivity at a certain level, thereby adding to the load of the HRD.

As the retention of the workforce is important for the survival of the BPO industry, the HR has to come up with innovative ways to make the working environment attractive. Gone are the days where the employees stick to one company. As the employees move from one company to another in search of better prospects, the HR has to decide on the average number of years they can expect the key talents to stick to their company. With this in mind, they have to plan the ways and means of retaining for the predetermined number of years.

The job should absorb the changes in the business environment making it more challenging to the employees providing ample opportunities for growth in career and personal life. The HRD is to identify the training and developmental programs that the employees would need to make them highly productive. They have to ensure that a cordial relationship exists between the employees. With the fall in the dollar rate having a great impact on the profitability of the concerns, conducting team building exercises amidst the cost cutting policies of the company has become a challenge to the HRD.

Another threat faced by the HR of BPO/ITES industry is the instances of security breach within the organisation. Breach of confidential data creates a negative outlook about the company. Conducting background check of the employees and prospective employees by the HR is a Herculean task.

With the very existence of the company and the industry lying in the hands of the HR in the employee-based industry, the task of HR has become of primary importance.


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