PH risks losing voice BPO leadership

MANILA - Experts have warned the Philippines that while it currently leads in the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry, especially in the voice segment, it could lose to other emerging destinations worldwide because of complacency.

Richard Mills, Chalre Associates Executive Search founder and chairman, said the Philippines remains “No. 1” in the call-center category and continues to “do very well” in the back-office space.

It’s a very exciting time for the Philippines, which has come from nothing in a very competitive industry [like the BPO],” said Mills, who is also chairman of Asia CEO Forum, during the recent First Annual Noda Contact Center Forum 2014 held in Makati City.

But he said the outsourcing sector was “changing tremendously,” and the Philippines must “charge ahead,” as there are new potential destinations that could take over its premier status, as it did to India a decade ago.
Mills said the Philippines could possibly lose its leading position to Africa because of that continent’s huge young population, similar time zone with Europe, nearness to North America, including French, German, English and Dutch.

Since outsourcing is highly dependent on reliable network and connectivity, he noted, in particular, Nigeria’s new telecommunications line and some developments now taking place in Zimbabwe that BPO locators might find attractive.

All these things are happening [in this] fastest-growing region in the world. And they are a lot less
,” Mills said.

He noted that Time magazine recently cited a new group of emerging economies—PINE, which stands for the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Contact Center World (CCW) Association President Raj Wadhwani said South Africa is also “a force to reckon with” from the same continent.

“We hold Global Awards every year, and we see that South Africans are very active in terms of best practices. Their people are very good and passionate in the service perspective,” he said.

The CCW top executive also found that some Central American nations, such as Costa Rica and Guatemala, as well as Eastern European countries, were likely rivals of the Philippines in the North American marketplace.

The latter group, according to him, is also keen on penetrating deeper into the growing contact-center
sector within their own territory, which is, likewise, the domain of the Philippines.
Among the European players, Ireland and Poland are seen competitive not only in the voice but also in other sectors, as the cities of Krakow and Dublin made it to the last two spots on Tholons’s 2014 list of Top 10 BPO destinations in the world.

But CBRE Philippines Vice Chairman Joey M. Radovan remains upbeat for the Philippines. He previously said the rivals cited were still not in “close competition” with the Philippines, given that Manila and Cebu consistently claim the upper second and eighth spots in the report, accordingly.

“But I think we have to be careful,” Raj reiterated.

“The industry is changing. We could see these jobs came quickly here could just as quickly start to move somewhere else. So it’s a big concern. Unless we’re taking action immediately now to make sure that we keep as many of these [jobs] as possible,” Mills added.

For the Philippines to retain its No. 1 status in the contact-center segment, the industry experts all agreed during the forum that it needs to respond to business concerns in terms of the call centers’ operational efficiency, implementing new technological developments and raising the skills level of the agents.

According to Noda Interaction Platforms Chief Executive Officer Andrey Zaitsev, the continued success of this nation on the global voice- outsourcing market is dependent not on low costs of the work force, but on the quality of the services and how well resources are used and expenses streamlined.

There are two main success drivers: the first is highly qualified management that pays fixed attention to boosting call-center efficiency and streamlining expenses, while also boosting income at the same time. That, coupled with next-generation IT [information-technology] solutions, enhances performance by automating all major business processes,” he said.

The Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (Ibpap), for its part, is helping improve educational support for call-center workers to support better current accounts and accommodate future market needs.

Ibpap Executive Director for Talent Management Penny Bongato cited, for instance, the organization’s Service Management Program, which is a minor subject taught in the college level, to prepare the students before entering the BPO industry.

“Critical thinking is important because we know that the voice will continue to grow. But the other sectors are also growing: health care, finance and accounting, among others. A lot of companies are coming here; thinking of setting up their shared services. And we’re very happy about that. But we need to make sure that we have the talents to supply the demand,” she said.

from ABS-CBN

Dressing Up for that Big Interview the Right Way

 Job hunting has become tougher than ever what with thousands of job seekers applying for that job you've probably applied for too. In order for you to level the playing field and increase your chances at landing your dream job, you have to put as much thought into your wardrobe as your resume and cover letters.  

Going the business professional or the more laid back business casual look is the safest option for you when planning on attending that big interview.  Thing is, many of us don't really have a clear idea as to what differentiates one from the other.  Today, we will finally put an end to all that speculation and help you pull off the perfect look for that all important job interview.

 For Men:

1. Tie and Shirt Combo

There is nothing wrong with pairing a dark tie with a dark shirt but you can take it to the next level by introducing a colorful tie to your wardrobe.  Not only will it liven an otherwise dreary shirt, it'll actually set you apart from thousands of male job seekers lining up in their predictable dark tie/dark shirt combo.

2.  Pants - Strictly No Jeans

Khakis, dress pants, trousers and corduroy pants 
  • Pleated pants and dark colors are more formal, conservative choices.  One rule of thumb to remember is that when choosing which pants to wear is overdressing is less frowned upon than underdressing.
  • Pants should extend to the top of your shoe, or slightly longer. Pants that don't reach down to your shoe are considered high-water pants; pants that fold and bunch up near the feet are considered too baggy.
  • Avoid pants in loud colors such as red, yellow, and purple. Camouflage is not allowed, as are white pants — they feel a little too informal for even business casual. Stick with black, brown, grey, khaki, dark blue and dark green pants.
3.  Suit Coat, Blazer, Sweater, or Sweater Vest

Note: V-neck sweaters work best with collared shirts
  • Turtlenecks can be worn in combination with a blazer for a sleek look and a little bit of novelty.
  • If you want to wear a suit coat and still look business casual, dress it down with khakis instead of suit pants.
4.  Matching Belt and Shoes

Stick to black, brown, or grey shoes.  You can wear Oxfords, lace-ups, and loafers if you like provided you will be able to pair them with a belt of the same color.  Do not forget to invest on quality dress socks too.

For Women
 1. No Revealing Shirts 

Women have more options when it comes to choosing which shirt to wear but make sure they're not too revealing. Opt for conservative and not too revealing. Blouses, plain shirts, cotton shirts, sweaters, turtlenecks, vests, and sleeveless shirts are all acceptable.
  • Tucked-in or untucked can both go, depending on the shirt.
  • Unusual patterns are acceptable, as long as they are not wild. The standard, however, is a monotone shirt.
  • Use a collar for a more formal look, and collarless shirts for a less formal look.
2.  Pants or Skirts are Okay But...

*Remember that skirts and dresses are acceptable as long as the hem falls past the knees.
  • As with men, black and grey are more formal, making for a safer bet.
  • Avoid low-cut dresses or those with high slits.
  • Avoid dresses (especially) and skirts that are more skin-tight.
  • No sundresses.
*Opt for pants such as khakis, corduroy pants, linen pants or dress pants.
  • No jeans, unless otherwise noted. If jeans are allowed by your employer, distressed jeans, jeans with holes, and "boyfriend" jeans are not desirable choices.
  • Neutral colors are best.
3.  Classy yet Comfortable Footwear

Try footwear such as leather shoes, flat trouser shoes, high heels and open toed shoes but make sure you won't have problems walking and standing on them.  If you would have to choose between design and comfort, go with the latter.

Never wear flip flops, sandals and sneakers.

4.  Complete your wardrobe with light jewelry and a simple purse.

The best way to make sure is to ask yourself the following questions:
  • Would I wear this clubbing? 
  • Would I wear this to sleep? 
  • Would I wear this to do yard work? 
  • Would I wear this to a costume party? 
If you answer NO to these questions, then you shouldn't be wearing them on your job interview.

It is always a good idea to dress for success and that’s more important now more than ever.  Take advantage of things you can use to add value to your application, even if it’s as trivial as choosing which outfit to wear on your next job interview.

DOLE to Offer 200,000 Jobs this Summer

Good news to students who wish to earn a bit extra this summer as The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is offering around 200,000 jobs this season!

This initiative is part of DOLE's Special Program for the Employment of Students.  Students 15-25 years old can find work in their local city hall or in any of the participating private companies. 

Under the SPES, DOLE shoulders 40 percent of the salaries of beneficiaries, while their employers--government agencies, such as local government units, and private companies and other sponsor-institutions--pay the 60 percent.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz explains that "The SPES aims to assist poor, but deserving, students pursue their education by encouraging employment of those in high school during summer and Christmas vacations, and those in college, technical, or vocational level at any time of the year."

Since 1992, the SPES has helped and provided assistance to hundreds of thousands of students get education. From 2010 to 2013, the SPES has assisted 493,742 poor, but deserving, students, 42.5 percent of whom are women. In 2013 alone, the DOLE, through the program, has given income-earning opportunity to 167,569 SPES beneficiaries, assuring them of money for their education.

As a school-to-job bridging program, the SPES helps beneficiaries prepare for the world of work. SPES 'babies' as beneficiaries are popularly called, use their income to defray expenses for their tuition and other school expenses. Since 2010, the program has been expanded to include out-of-school youth, with no less than President Aquino III mandating increases of the SPES budget. It is also now implemented through-out the year.

The jobsDB Mobile App: Online Job Hunting Made Even Better

The jobsDB Mobile App - Bigger, Better!       

The jobsDB mobile app received some major update that made it more feature-packed, more interesting, and infinitely more useful.  The app, now running version 2.0, comes with a sleek and more user-friendly interface greatly improving job seeker experience through a much better and smoother job search anytime, anywhere! The new and improved jobsDB mobile app will definitely help you to explore better opportunities on the go!

New Highlights:

1. Access latest suitable job matches from Recent Activity
2. Shortlist jobs and favourite searches by criteria
3. View and select multiple resumes stored on your jobsDB account in applying
4. Retrieve the jobs you've applied for while on the go
5. Newly-designed interface for seamless mobile job seeking experience
6. Performance enhancements

And more!

How to Register / Log-in

Slide out the menu and tap on the "Register" option to fill out your email address and password.

Customized Job Search

 You can search jobs by Industry, Employment type and Career level through the new jobsDB mobile app.

Job Alerts

You can now customize your job alerts through the improved jobsDB mobile app! Save common search queries and have it delivered straight to your email inbox!


Join and like our Facebook Fan Page and follow us on Twitter to share your thoughts about this article. You can also send your feedback to our email address:


Are you guys looking for a rewarding Sales Career?  We're looking for a career-oriented, fun, and dynamic individual to lead our existing team of Key Accounts Specialists.  Apply here.