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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

BPO job aspirants face common entrance test

Ashish Aggarwal in New Delhi | March 17, 2005 08:11 IST

Aspiring BPO recruits will soon need to clear an entrance test. National Association of Software and Service Companies and the information technology industry have finally worked out a screening mechanism for call centre recruits.

The test, likely to be taken up by more than 500,000 candidates annually, will be conducted by a governing council.

Unlike the BPO Skills Assessment Test, which is a Karnataka government initiative, Nasscom plans to make the test mandatory all over the country.

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"The pilot for the test is expected to begin in three weeks. We have the support of all the companies in BPO space and are working with 38 firms, including GE, Amex, HSBC, ICICIOnesource, WNS, IBM Daksh and Wipro Spectramind. The government has been supportive of the initiative, and going forward, we intend to make the certification test mandatory for people joining BPO. This is the first initiative for a nation-wide test supported by Nasscom," Sunil Mehta, vice-president, Nasscom, told Business Standard on Wednesday.

The pilot is expected to be launched in tier one city like Delhi, and Jaipur, which is a tier two city, is expected to be the other venue of launch. Nasscom had started work on certification in July 2004.

"The test, which is primarily for entry level candidates, will look for English skills, keyboard and computer skills, process skills and personality attributes. These are crucial for most call centre and transaction processing jobs," Mehta said.

"With the test in place, BPO companies will be able to cut their recruitment costs by 40 to 50 per cent as they will need to interview only those who have passed the test", Mehta said.

"For the candidates, it will result in saving costs and efforts. This is because, on passing the test, they will be certified and their chances of getting hired will improve." Mehta said adding that at present, of every 100 candidates that apply for BPO jobs, about 5 get hired.

For testing English skills, candidates need to take a voice test, which will have to be sent by them as an audio file over the Internet. The written test will have multiple choice components on the lines of competitive exams. The test will be available throughout the year and will be for a nominal fee.

Nasscom is in process of putting in place a governing council consisting of members from the industry and academia, which will conduct tests across India.

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