HR / Attrition related issues

We attempt here to share some knowledge which could be useful to the BPO community. We will list questions even if we don’t have answers for them. Hopefully, one of you will respond to those queries. Please do feel free to correct/improve the knowledgeBase.

  1. What is the job growth in the BPO sector when compared to other sectors?
    Industry New Employees Period
    Telecom 10,000 January-December 2002
    IT Enabled Services 50,000 April 2002 – March 2003
    Software Services 30,000 April 2002 – March 2003
    Retailing/Franchising 35,000 April 2002 – March 2003
  2. What skills are required to work in each of the verticals?
    Call center Good communication and language skills, accent understanding team leadership, basic computing skills
    Remote customer interaction Language and accent understanding
    Date search, Integration Computing, language and analytical skills
    Human Resource Services Country specific HR policies, rules and regulations
    Remote education Subject knowledge, computing and language skills
    Engineering and design Technical and engineering design and computing skills
    Translation, medical transcription and Localisation Language understanding, basic computing (word processing knowledge) and understanding of various medical terminologies
    Animation Drawing and creative skills, computer graphic skills
    Finance and accounting International/ country specific accounting rules
    Market Research Understanding statistical sales and marketing concepts
    Network Consultancy and management Understanding different network configurations and support equipment, technical/ computing skills
  3. Segment wise break-up of the new Jobs in 2005
    • IT & IT Services – An estimated 70,000 new Jobs expected in 2005. Plus there will be additional hiring to replace industry attrition that is around 25%
    • BPO and Outsourcing services – Around 1,25,000 new Jobs expected in 2005.
    • Retailing and Lifestyle – It will create close to 25,000 Jobs directly and more than twice the number indirectly.
    • Biotechnology – It is expected to create around 5,000 – 7,000 highly skilled jobs.
  4. What are the current salaries in the BPO world in India?
    • Customer Care Representatives [CSRs]: Rs 8,000 – Rs 15,000 per month
    • Team Leaders: Rs 17,000 – Rs 26,000 per month
    • Managers: Rs 3 lacs – Rs 5.5 lacs per annum
    • Training Heads: Rs 8 lacs – Rs 12 lacs per annum
    • Training Managers: Rs 5 lacs – Rs 8 lacs per annum
    • Trainers: Rs 2 lacs – Rs 5 lacs per annum

    Specialized ITeS professionals who posses MBA, BE, B.Tech, C.A. [CPA] and other expert qualifications or experience may be paid higher salaries depending upon the expertise required for the desired work profile and their level of experience. Frankly, this doesn’t apply to just BPO field but to all fields.

    Besides the salary employees are paid incentives depending upon attendance regualrity, achievement of targets. Don’t be surprised if the incentive exceeds the salary!

    Note: Rs 1 lac = Rs 100,000
    This was last modified on June 21, 2004. We observed that only the CSR and Team Leader salaries are changing.

  5. What is the cost of accent training?Ā The training costs for an employee in a call centre are quite prohibitive, ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 for 2-5 months session. For large size call centres that have high attrition it makes sense to have an inhouse trainer [but what if the trainer itself leaves šŸ˜‰ ?]. We strongly feel neutral accent will become more popular than American/British accent. However, the need for American/British culture training will always be there.
  6. Do you have any statistics of the number of employees in Indian call centres?
    Company Number of Employees
    EXL 4,500
    Spectramind 2,600
    Daksh 2,000
    WNS 1,600
    vCustomer 1,500
    Tracmail 1,365
    HCL e-serve 870
    Epicentre 700
    ICICI OneSource 650
    GTL 650
    Source: Nasscom ITES directory September 2002


    Captive Centres Number of Employees
    GE Capital 12,000
    e-serve International 3,149
    eFunds 1,646
    HSBC 1,128
    Healthscribe India 1,126
    American Express 979
    Sitel India 584
    Global e:Business Operations (HP) 475
    Axa Global 350
    Source: Nasscom ITES directory September 2002
  7. Do you have any statistics regarding number of employees Vs revenues sector wise in India?
    Growth trend of the outsourcing industry
    Service Area 2002-03
    Employment Revenue (in $m)
    Customer care 65,000 810
    Finance 24,000 510
    HR 2,100 45
    Payment service 11,000 210
    Administration 25,000 310
    Content development 44,000 465
    Total 1,71,100 2,350
    Source: Nasscom
  8. Do you have any statistics/projections of employment vs revenues?
    IT Enabled Services: Market Segmentation
    (Rs crore) 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02(Estimated) 2008(Forecast)
    Employment Revenues Employment Revenues Employment Revenues GrowthRev(%) Employment Revenues
    Customer Interaction service including call centers 8,600 400 16,000 850 33,000 1,650 94 270,000 20,000
    Backoffice operations/Revenue Accounting/ Data Entry/ Data Conversion incl. Finance & Accounting/ HR services 15,000 950 19,000 1,350 35,000 2,850 111 300,000 21,000
    Transcription/ Translation services 5,000 120 6,000 160 5,200 150 -6 50,000 4,000
    Content development/ Animation/ Engineering and Design/ GIS 15,000 820 27,000 1,600 30,000 2,100 31 300,000 25,000
    Other Services including Remote education, Data Search, Market Research, Network 1,400 110 2,000 140 3,000 210 50 180,000 11,000
    TOTAL 45,000 2,400 70,000 4,100 106,200 6,960 70 1,100,000 81,000
    Source: NASSCOM
  9. What is the sex ratio in the ITeS sector?As of March 2003, the male:female ratio is 35:65.
  10. Do you have any Voice Vs Non-Voice statistics?
    Voice Vs Non-Voice
    Company Revenues
    ($ Million)
    Employees Voice: Non-Voice
    Wipro Spectramind 41 5,000 80:20
    Daksh eServices 35 4,000 70:30
    OfficeTiger 25 1,000 0:100
    HCL Technologies BPO ? 2,346 90:10
    ICICI OneSource ? 2,175 70:30
    World Network Services 35 2,500 65:35
    exl 28 2,300 75:25
    MsourcE 20 3,162 93:7
    Hinduja TMT 24 1,400 66:34
    Tracmail 11 1,000 50:50
    Progeon 4.4 685 30:70
    Source: Business World (4 August 2003)
  11. How do the salaries of voice vs non-voice employees compare?Typically an employee in a voice call center costs about 15% more than in a non-voice center.
  12. Are there any metrics related to communication skills in India?Following is the performance of graduates in the MeritTrac Spoken English Test
    National Index Of Communication Skills
    Region Voice Clarity Accent Neutrality Fluency Grammar National Index
    East 84.80% 33.60% 29.20% 23.00% 85
    North 52.79% 35.28% 32.36% 33.69% 60
    South 94.27% 13.29% 22.71% 13.78% 38
    West 71.73% 23.86% 23.71% 21.43% 44
    All India 90.91% 15.71% 23.43% 15.41% 41
    Tier I Cities 86.71% 21.66% 27.74% 20.40% 48
    Tier II Cities 94.86% 10.12% 19.39% 10.73% 25
    Overall throughput for graudates: 10 per cent Source: MeritTrac
  13. What is the attrition rate in the ITeS sector?BPOs in India are expected to employ around one million people by 2008, but the challenger is to find quality human resources given the current attrition rate of around 35-40%. Currently it is about 35% in non-voice and 45% in voice call centers. However what the number don’t show is that more than 60% of those who leave a particular BPO do not leave for a competitor, but leave the industry as a whole. Here lies the danger for this sector and the challenge for HR consultants. Agents want to become team leaders. Team leaders want to become supervisors. Supervisors wants the job of the CEO. At an attrition rate of 40%, the cost of attrition in the industry is 1.5 times the annual salary.Some of the reasons could be
    • Many see this space to be an Internet sweatshop where all that the employees are required to do is just mechanically input numbers into excel sheets or, worse still, answer phone calls in the same tone and repeat the same lines at least 100 times a day/night.
    • People who join a BPO usually do so to make a ‘quick’ buck. They are bound to quit because sooner or later they will find something more attractive in terms of the job profile and/or pay.
    • The industry has concentrated on hiring young, dynamic and these are looking for more than just a job.
    • Talent in this space is generally overlooked, which leaves the deserving few disgruntled with top management and hence fosters attrition.

    To fix this problem BPO firms are trying to solve this big problem

    • By hiring mature talent [i.e. people over 35 years in age].
    • HR must realise that fatter pay cheques can never be a sure-shot way to retain employees. More important aspects like a secure career, benefits, perks and communication cannot be overlooked at any level.
    • Employee rentention must be the focus, which means that talent must be recognized and suitably rewarded.
    • Hire outstation candidates (from small towns) and provided them with shared accomodation.
    • Offer management diplomas and MBA courses.
    • Only 5 out of 150 employees become team leaders in a year, hence cash incentives is one way to keep the employees happy. Daksh givesĀ about Rs 4,000 bonus per month to almost 85% of its workforce.
    • Use psychometric tests to get people who can work at night and handle the monotony.
    • BPO must concentrate on becoming an ’employer of choice’. A comprehensive process framework and access to proper infrastructure in the work place goes a long way in retaining employees, as a congenial work environment is critical.
  14. Do you have any statistics that compare Attrition Rates across industries?
    Sr. No Sector 0-3 years 4-7 years 8-12 years 13+ years % change from 2006 to 2007 Expected increase in 2008
    1 Pharma & Chemicals 25.00% 10.00% 5.00% 2.00% -5.00% 6.00%
    2 Manufacturing 8.58% 2.46% 2.46% 3.00% 5.00% -3.50%
    3 Financial Services 20.00% 20.00% 20.00% 20.00%
    4 Hospitality 35.00% 25.00% 20.00% 7.50% 13.00% 20.00%
    5 Ad & Media 40.00% 35.00% 20.00% 15.00% 17.00% 22.00%
    6 BPO 40.00% 30.00% 20.00% 10.00%
    7 Automobile 7.00% 3.00% 2.00% 2.00% No visible 14.00%
    8 Auto Component 12.00% 15.00% 20.00% 12.00% 5.00% 6.00%
    9 Banking 10.00% 5.00% 2.50% 2.50% 2.00% 2.00%
    10 Infrastructure 16.00% 11.00% 7.00% 11.00% 9.00% 20.00%
    11 IT & Telecom 32.00% 25.00% 10.00% 5.00% 5.00% 9.00%
    Source: Emmay HR / BusinessWorld, 4 Feb 2008
  15. How good is the quality of English in India?According to McKinsey, apart from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, the quality of graduates applying for jobs in the ITeS industry needs to improve. India produces over 100,000 graduates every year but the quality of English is not very good in small towns.Our view: Needless to say this report is worrysome. We sincerely hope the fanatics in the political circles stop hindering English education in India. This kind of policy will only encourage clients to move to Philippines, Ireland and Singapore.
  16. Any details about English Proficiency in India?
    English Proficiency
    City Clarity Accent Fluency Grammar All aspects
    Bangalore 37% 14% 16% 13% 9%
    Chennai 42% 28% 26% 28% 12%
    Delhi 45% 28% 27% 29% 16%
    Kolkata 27% 21% 21% 21% 13%
    Mumbai 23% 17% 18% 16% 11%

    (Source: MeritTrac’s recent country-wide study to evaluate
    Indian English Speakers. Over 5,000 people across five cities in the
    country were part of the sample.)

    • Nasscom’s Mentorship for SMEs – The Mentorship Programme, which is a key pillar of the Emerging Companies Forum initiative, aims to help the leadership of SME companies develop a keen sense of what needs to be done, to take the venture to the next level.
    • TiE – Most chapters of TiE have a mentoring session. Charter Members help startups with all the guidance they need.

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