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Building your back office (BPO) backbone: How to hire talents in the age of automation?

Building your back office (BPO) backbone: How to hire talents in the age of automation?

What is the backbone of your business process outsourcing (BPO) company? The rise of AI and robotic process automation (RPA) presents an obvious answer–technology. Think again. While robots can help execute and streamline various back office processes in finance, recruitment, inventory management, information technology, and general and administrative services at reduced cost, will machines really displace humans in the workplace?

Robots and humans serve different functions 

Automation may have revolutionized the handling of common, tedious, repetitive tasks, but the spine that holds any successful RPA implementation together is humans. Though technological disruption will render some tasks obsolete, complex jobs that require creativity, decision-making, problem solving, critical thinking, and those more valuable to businesses will be the concentration of human talents. This elevates human functions to more productive and challenging roles that demand upgraded skills to meet the needs of the company.

Automation has made Filipino talents more valuable than ever

Skills shift is the impact of new technologies in the workplace. This has been putting the spotlight on technologically skilled Filipino talents and pressure on recruitment as existing jobs are reallocated and new ones are created. The challenge lies in the persistence of skill gaps and the shortage of proficient candidates. The increasing demand for people with the right skills, coupled with the accelerating growth of the back office support (BPO) industry has made Filipino talents more valuable than ever. This pushes employers to work smarter and rethink their strategies to be able to win the right candidates and stay ahead of competitors.

Smart solution to build your back office backbone

JobStreet's Laws of Attraction (LOA) is a smart online recruitment tool that could help you attract and hire the right back office talents with precision. Simply go to the JobStreet website, click Employer, explore Laws of Attraction, and you're on your road to discovery!

1. Know your target

Gain more information on who make up your industry. LOA's Spotlight lets you choose your industry and provides you with an overview of your target candidates' profiles.

The back office support sector is a female skewed one, with females dominating at 69% and males making up 31%. 

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The flourishing BPO ecosystem attracts mostly young professionals, consisting of 22% Gen Z (18-23 years old) and 61.4% Millennials/Gen Y (24-34 years old), a relatively younger composition than cross-industry PH market. 

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Generally, junior to junior management altogether make up 77% of the workforce, with 67.5% having an income level of more than PHP20K monthly, which can be attributed to the predominance of a young and relatively fresh talents.

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2. Upgrade your compensation package with attractive benefits

Though this is the first thing that candidates look for, money is not the end all and be all. Results in the LOA Data Lab confirm that both salary and benefits package are crucial game changers for back office professionals. Surprisingly, base salary, with its 84.3% preference, is not on the top of the list. What attracts candidates even more is the combination of employer-subsidized contribution to mandatory government benefits like SSS, PHILHEALTH, and PAGIBIG (96.1%), health insurance coverage for the employees and their family (94.4%), and double pay for working on public holidays (91%). Altogether, benefits supercede salary, but consider these as icing on the cake, your winning ticket to hitting the jackpot in your quest for talents. 

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Think twice before offering commission based incentives. This is something that candidates find least desirable.

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3. Future-proof your workforce with career advancement and skills development

The relentless acceleration of technology in the local BPO industry, though daunting, present opportunities for career advancement and skills upgrade. Professionals in the industry are well aware that the future of work will be more specialized. To progress and stay relevant in the field means, not just adapting with, but staying ahead of the trend. 

Laws of Attraction respondents believe that opportunities for promotion (76.4%), clear growth and succession plans (74.7%), self-development programs, and on-the-job skills development (57%) anchored on technology and innovation will be valuable attributes that would ensure the sustainability and growth of their careers. 

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Employees think that job rotation is a no-no as it would always put them on a learning curve, which is counterproductive to training.

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4. Promote job satisfaction by prioritizing work-life balance

Though rendering graveyard work is part of being in an offshore business, work-related stress and lifestyle diseases are the major cause of high attrition among employees. In fact, 27.3% of the respondents find overnight shift the least appealing aspect when it comes to work-life balance.

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A smart way to offset the downside of shift work is by making work-life balance a priority by compensating overtime with cash or corresponding days in lieu (86.1%), following public holidays (68%), providing the option to cash out unused annual leaves or take unpaid leaves (67.8%), and sticking to a five-day work week (63.1%),

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The age of automation presents pressing recruitment challenges and employers need to catch up with the technological revolution or be left behind. Knowing more about your industry and understanding your candidates can help you adapt your strategies and to effectively attract the right talents. Harness the data from JobStreet's Laws of Attraction (LOA) and give yourself an edge in building the workforce of the future.

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