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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

BPO firms for recruiting more part-timers

Thomas K Thomas in New Delhi | April 15, 2004 08:51 IST

In a bid to minimise the churn rate and optimise manpower usage, business process outsourcing companies are increasingly employing part-timers and middle-aged people.

According to industry estimates, 10-12 per cent of the BPO work force comprises housewives, retired army officials and college students working on a part-time basis.

Deepak Dhawan, vice president, human resources, EXL, says, "About 12 per cent of our work force comprises middle-aged people in the 35-55 years age group. Apart from bringing maturity to the organisation, they also add stability in the workforce."

The company was planning to increase the number of middle-aged employees to 20 per cent of its total workforce by the year-end, he said.

For BPO companies like Global Vantedge, which have seasonal clients, hiring part-time employees makes more sense. Of the 800 employees, over 230 are part timers.

Prakash Toppo, head of human resources, Global Vantedge says, "Our requirement for manpower keeps changing. There are peak hours in a day when the number of calls made is more than in other hours. So, it is logical for us to employ housewives and students for this job."

Agrees National Association of Software and Service Companies president Kiran Karnik. He says, "The industry is now beginning to look beyond fresh graduates -- it is targeting groups such as retired professionals and housewives.

The advantage of tapping these groups is that they are more comfortable with a stable job and less prone to "job-hops" for marginal increase in compensation.

Nasscom believes that the ratio of part timers/middle-aged employees to fresh graduate full timers in a BPO company may increase in the future.

S Vardharajan, Vice President, Wipro Spectramind says, "The primary reason behind hiring people from such segments is to explore the untapped talent base and expand the supply to the industry. At Wipro Spectramind, we benchmark this segment on parameters like performance during training and on the job, and attrition to validate future recruitment viability."

Although this segment is still a minority at most BPOs, industry observers feel that the initial signs are in favour of hiring part-timers and middle-aged people. Fresh graduates wanting to rake in some quick moolah better watch out.

Their next-door uncle could give them a run for their money.

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