‘Work out, get work’-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
WEEKEND warriors looking to get a workout in Cebu City’s Fuente Osmeña circle today can also apply for jobs in a sector that has grown impressively in the last decade.
SupportSave Solutions, Inc., an American business process outsourcing (BPO) company that hopes to fill about 300 call center agent positions before the year ends, will hold a job fair in Fuente from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
“We have always believed in the Cebuano talent,” said Beatrice White, the company’s vice president and director of operations. At present, SupportSave employs at least 550 full-time employees in its site in the Robinson’s Cybergate in Cebu City.
The company’s drive to recruit more workers coincides with a World Bank report that identified BPOs as the sector behind rapid growth in the real estate, transportation, communication, construction, retail trade and private services sub-sectors of the Philippine economy.
“The BPO industry has been driving overall growth (in jobs in the formal services sector) in the last decade,” the bank said in its draft Philippine Development 2013 report, “Creating More and Better Jobs.”
In 2012, direct and indirect contributions from the BPO industry reached an estimated 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), “roughly equivalent to the total value-added of merchandise exports as a share of GDP.”
It pointed out that the number of Filipinos who work in BPOs was projected to reach 800,000 this year, “from virtually zero in 1999.” Removing “some skills constraints,” the bank added, would enable the BPO industry to grow faster, from 20 to 30 percent annually.
SupportSave human resource manager Teresa Fernandez emphasized that the company does not only pick those who sound American, but also “average speakers” for as long as they are willing to be trained.
About 70 percent of their current employees are graduates from health care courses, like nursing. The company has also arranged for a partnership with Excel Asia, which provides a thorough orientation and call center training to those who have no industry background.
SupportSave provides customer service, technical support, administrative tasks and billing, among others. Its clients come from varied industries, including retail,
technology, telecommunications, travel and insurance.
The organizers’ advice to applicants who will join today’s job fair? Be confident, sound confident, and enjoy the zumba sessions and other activities at the fair.
“We came here in Cebu because we realized that there is a lot of untapped potential here,” White said.
In its website, the company pointed out that being located in Cebu, instead of Metro Manila, lessens its risks of downtime from bad weather and floods. It also cited a lower crime rate, less traffic, and access to direct international flights and direct international undersea cables as factors that add to Cebu’s appeal for BPOs and other economic sectors, like tourism.
Arjorie Arong, SupportSave’s talents acquisition and events specialist, said that in the company’s experience, Filipinos stand out not only because of their communication skills, but also for their attitude toward work and a friendly disposition.
“You can hear them smile on the phone,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2013.