Tag: Talent War

Diversity is Gaining Ground in BPS – Why Your Organization Should Care | Blog

While not new concepts to the services industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of boardroom discussions on diverse hiring practices, especially with the ongoing talent shortage. Having a diverse workforce can provide numerous benefits, making it the way forward for the Business Process Services (BPS) industry. To learn more about why your organization should pay attention to supplier diversity, Impact Sourcing (IS), and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), read on.

What do these terms mean?

  • Supplier diversity: Constitutes the percentage of diverse providers within an enterprise’s supplier portfolio. This overarching term means encouraging partnering with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and service-disabled veterans, members of the LGBT community, and other historically underutilized businesses, and small business concerns for business procurement
  • Impact sourcing: Socially responsible business process outsourcing that enables global companies to improve business outcomes by hiring and providing career development opportunities to people who generally have limited employment prospects
  • DE&I: According to datapeople.io:
    • Diversity is the demographic makeup of an organization’s workforce. The unique aspects that make one person different from another person is diversity, whether it’s gender, ethnicity, physical ability, age, national origin, socioeconomic background, religion, or a combination of any of those aspects (known as intersectionality)
    • Equity levels an uneven playing field by providing everyone with equal access to opportunity
    • Inclusion is the environment an organization fosters for candidates and employees. An inclusive workplace is one where all candidates and employees feel welcome. It provides all candidates with equal opportunities for employment, job success, and organizational advancement

Why should we pay attention?

Diversity is an important conversation happening right now because hiring individuals with diverse backgrounds and thoughts can result in greater innovation and more creativity. Bringing together different perspectives influenced by varied life experiences can enhance the creation, function, and delivery of products and services. Along with this richness in thinking come tangible financial benefits beyond lower operational costs. Thus, impact sourcing is impactful sourcing – for the bottom line too!

According to Everest Group research, hiring IS workers and having a diverse workforce can provide the following benefits:

Tangible benefits Intangible benefits
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) TCO for IS workers is 3-10%   less compared to traditional workers because of lower attrition costs Greater Employee Engagement – Having an involved and motivated workforce generates long-term savings as companies spend less time recruiting and training
Operational performance – IS workers have a track record of meeting target Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Competitive advantage – Being viewed as a socially-responsible employer can help companies win business and attract employees
Multilingual/vernacular language services delivery – Diversity and impact sourcing help companies access a large pool of skilled, high-potential yet under-utilized talent Fulfillment of corporate social responsibility and diversity objectives – Companies can contribute towards their CSR goals by employing IS and diverse workers
Lower attrition – Attrition among IS workers is significantly lower than traditional workers Direct and indirect positive community impact – Five to six family members or related individuals benefit from every IS worker hired

Why now?

We’re seeing the Great Resignation and a talent war play out in the services industry. As companies reassess their talent and hiring strategies and working models for the future of work, they’re thinking about previously untapped talent in rural areas and tier-3 and -4 towns and cities. These locations have gained attractiveness due to the pandemic-induced mainstream prevalence of hybrid and remote working, ubiquitous high-speed internet, and infrastructure availability for a work-from-anywhere setup.

Hiring from diverse communities is a win-win for all, especially now. At the same time, establishing and practicing norms and values of inclusion and equity among employees will help foster more engaged and productive employees, lowering attrition and associated new-hire training costs.

Which service providers are actively focusing on diversity?

Growing numbers of providers are making this area a priority. Since diversity has been around for a long time, large BPO firms such as Startek, Sutherland, and Teleperformance, among others, have been focusing on diversity for its direct and indirect benefits. Smaller providers also are leveraging diversity and impact sourcing as the cornerstone of their talent strategies. Some examples include:

Supplier diversity:

  • Alorica – The largest minority-owned BPO and a global certified Minority Business Enterprise. It is also certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC)
  • GlowTouch – A Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)-certified woman-owned enterprise
  • Triple Impact – Through its alliance with the Military Spouse Employee Partnership (MSEP), it has access to a vast talent pool of military spouses

Impact sourcing specialists:

  • Humans in the Loop – A social enterprise powering the Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions of the future, with a mission to improve the lives of conflict-affected people through the use of technology and innovation. It works with refugees and asylum seekers in Eastern Europe and the Middle East
  • Vindhya – An India-based company that employs and empowers people with disabilities, women, trans individuals, and others from marginalized communities, providing contact center support, data management, and accessibility testing services
  • Televerde – Empowers incarcerated women in the US and UK by providing training, education, and jobs to help them re-enter their communities and build meaningful and rewarding careers

DE&I:

  • Employee-led groups – Companies such as [24]7.ai, Cognizant, Comdata Group, Conduent, Datamatics, EXL, Infosys, NTT DATA, Qualfon, Sitel Group, TCS, Teleperformance, TELUS International, Transcosmos, TTEC, VXI, Webhelp, WNS, and Wipro have D&I committees, diversity councils, and employee groups
  • Partnerships – Genpact has multiple partnerships with organizations such as Coqual, Moving Ahead, and 30% Club to promote diversity
  • Company initiatives – Accenture is making progress toward its goal of having a “gender-balanced” workforce by 2025 and Mphasis is creating an Alumni Club to gradually integrate second-career women back into their offices

Does it work in the real world?

Impact sourcing is making a meaningful difference for people with limited employment opportunities. One example is Teleperformance, which hired more than 70,000 IS workers last year alone and employs 40,000-plus workers without secondary school education at their offices across the globe.

Teleperformance started hiring IS workers in South Africa in 2013-14, primarily for domestic delivery, and has consistently found these individuals achieve the same performance levels as traditional workers, according to an Everest Group study conducted with Teleperformance in 2016. Encouraged by these positive experiences, the company worked with a training academy to train and hire IS workers specifically for its international BPO operations.

Our interviews with other market participants indicate that even companies that do not measure the performance of IS workers have reported lower attrition among IS workers, and there are multiple instances of these talented workers growing their roles to senior and managerial positions.

Positive Outlook

Customers want to interact with organizations that have employees who look like them, and people also want to work for companies that care about their communities. While diversity and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) present challenges such as inadequate data disclosures, “greenwashing,” and difficulty in calculating estimated Return on Investment (RoI), they can be a vital part of a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. They are thus becoming increasingly important as an enterprise procurement requirement.

We believe that good social practices should be embedded within work rather than be a separate undertaking. Diversity is not just beneficial for companies commercially but also reaps huge non-tangible benefits in terms of improving brand image, increasing employee retention, and generating goodwill – making it the way forward for the services industry.

To learn more about impact sourcing, read this related blog. If you are interested in discussing these topics, reach out to [email protected] or [email protected].

How Companies Can Find Required Skills despite Acute Talent Shortage | Blog

Companies today face a global acute talent shortage for the next three to five years. The pressing issue in this situation is finding or accessing the necessary talent to meet a company’s business needs. We at Everest Group launched an ongoing initiative to research and understand the different techniques and channels for talent acquisition. This blog explains some of the techniques that we uncovered.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Talent Shortage Driving Return to Campus-To-Work Pipeline Model | Blog

As I blogged previously, companies now face an acute talent shortage for the foreseeable future.  Two factors causing the demand/supply gap (especially in engineering and IT) include the post-COVID economy rebound and, in the US, the “Great Resignation” of workers retiring early or switching jobs or careers. Another factor is the proliferation of digital platforms, as companies recognize that they can compete much more effectively and create new value for customers and employees, but the platforms require ongoing engineering and IT skills as they evolve. How can companies access the skills they need despite the acute talent shortage?

Read more in my blog on Forbes

The 2022 Key Issues Study – It’s Not a Talent War, It’s a New Reality | Blog

There is a global challenge to find talent across industries and departments. To find out how enterprises can better understand the talent shortage and start planning their talent strategy going into 2022, read on.

As we look past 2021 and the pandemic, it has become apparent that we are entering 2022 with a completely different and equally challenging set of issues. The more lasting impact will be disruptions and shortages affecting the talent supply brought on by an accumulation of social and cultural changes set in motion over generations and exacerbated by the pandemic.

To understand the talent shortage and what enterprises are doing to adapt, Everest Group is conducting a survey, in partnership with IAOP, to discover strategies and best practices that enterprises worldwide are applying going into 2022 including, key priorities, motivations, and initiatives from a sourcing perspective.

Participate in the Survey

“Winning the war” is no longer the goal, the challenge has become bigger

For the past several years, the “talent war” has had a special emphasis on the demand for high-end digital talent. Today, the challenge to find talent has become widespread across industries and departments and has spiraled into rising attrition rates, higher internal salary demands from employees, and increasing outsourcing rates across a range of job skill sets.

There isn’t an easy answer or a silver bullet to this conversation. The pandemic may have been the match to light the fire, but it’s no longer the root cause of what we’re dealing with now. Enterprises will ultimately need to shift their internal infrastructures to adapt to the change.

We can’t deny the urgency

Currently, there are now 2.7 million more job openings than people actively looking for work. In the US, 4.3 million people quit in August, up from 3.0 million one year ago. Yes, the pandemic set off a landslide of changes; however, the US had been moving toward a talent scarcity long before.

Workers’ life changes bring new realities

When the pandemic hit, a significant chunk of people began working from home – some doing so with children of all ages due to school and daycare shutdowns. Flexibility to allow for work-life blend and overall well-being became top priorities when it came to what people expected at work and how they engaged with their jobs. Now, over a year later, work from home has become a new desired working method, making companies that don’t support it less likely to attract some talent.

It was also during this time that many employees discovered how much they could save by not sending their young children back to expensive daycares. This, combined with the fear of exposing their children to COVID-19, drove some to quit their jobs and stay home with their children.

Further, a combination of all of the above is enough to overstress employees and cause burnout, leading some to leave their jobs to focus on their health. The bottom line is, employees today want flexibility, and they are willing to put their current jobs on the line to get it.

Among college students, we’ve also seen a decline in student Visas caused by worldwide shutdowns. Even now, Visa processing is delayed, lowering the number of possible graduates in the US eager to join the workforce. Since 2015, the number of students and their families, including commuter students, coming to the US has dropped by 300,000.

Finally, the baby boomer generation has experienced accelerated retirements, some due to the pandemic; for others, it’s just time. Across the US and Europe, as the majority of baby boomers retire and fewer people enter the workforce, there will be an estimated 2.3 million fewer workers annually for the next 10 years. And younger generations aren’t necessarily skilled enough or have the experience yet to fill many of the jobs left behind by the boomers, causing a gap for needed talent that just doesn’t exist.

How can enterprises adapt to the new reality?

Looking toward 2022, how should enterprises embark on their talent strategy? We now know that the talent shortage will not right itself, and there is no reset button. Companies cannot keep offering raises to keep employees because it’s costly and not sustainable. And stealing from your neighbor just causes them to steal back. The change will need to happen at the infrastructure level. Enterprises may adapt in a variety of ways, including changing the workforce structure, improving workplace culture, looking at other talent models, evaluating new geographies and looking to outsourcing, or leveraging digital/next-gen or automation capabilities.  At the end of the day there is no one strategy that will be sufficient to “win” this and it will require many different strategies and tactics to build out a successful talent strategy.

Find out what other enterprises are doing

To learn more about the global talent struggle, Everest Group is conducting a survey among global enterprises across multiple departments. The goal is to understand how leading enterprises plan to strategize for talent in 2022. The research will drill into enterprises’ challenges and priorities, attrition levels, resiliency and agility planning, changes in sourcing models or shoring mix, headcount and salary expectations, impacts on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters, and more.

We want to address the root cause and better understand what can be done to mitigate the impact of the talent shortage.

What’s in it for you?

Participate in the study, and we will share a complimentary summary of the research results so you can better understand the talent landscape going into 2022 and start a talent strategy.

Take the Survey

If you have any questions please reach out to [email protected] or [email protected].

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