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BPOs, KPOs forge new retention tools

January 17, 2007 03:17 IST

Multiple human resource departments -- the nomenclature may sound strange but it has become the name of the game in the BPO and KPO  industries in fighting high attrition rates and preventing disruption of their operations.

Under this novel initiative, the HR administration exercises overall supervision and  keeps the work flow smooth. It is aided by other sections to keep motivation levels high and to curb the high attrition rate (30-35 percent in the BPO sector).

These departments are: HR key strategy, HR recruitment, HR training & registration, HR compliance and HR legal.

HR key strategy devises modules and policies to retain employees. It records and finds logical reasons for every resignation, and is held responsible for every employee quitting the organisation.

HR recruitment is responsible for keeping a back-up workforce to maintain consistency of operations and bridge the increasing gap between the demand for and supply of professionals. Outsourced projects are time bound and time overruns can lead to penalties that must be paid in foreign currency. So the recruitment process happens round the clock.

The responsibility of HR training & registration is to register and empanel all applicants, so that they can be formally hired in the event of resignations. This section ensures that every candidate undergoes a training module tailor-made to ensure that he or she satisfies certain minimum acceptable standards.

HR compliance ensures that all operations are in conformity with the labour laws and other prescribed industry regulations.

"As these companies maintain a foreign clientele, they have to meet international regulations, besides Indian labour laws. Companies therefore have to keep company secretaries to maintain their data base," says Anupam Malik, deputy labour commissioner, Haryana.

HR legal to some extent overlaps with HR compliance, but it goes a step ahead and scans every minute detail of every single operation and gives a green signal. It helps prevent BPOs from getting into situations where they are forced to pay the heavy fines that are imposed for various violations and transgressions.

Analysts say that multiple HR departments are here to stay. "More than a lakh new persons are hired every year and almost half of them leave. Companies have to come up with innovative HR policies to utilise the available trained manpower to maintain continuity of operations," says Sudeshna Dutta, HR head, AbsoluteData Research and Analytics.

A Nasscom report estimates that the outsourcing industry will face a shortage of 262,000 professionals by 2012.

Chanchal Pal Chauhan in New Delhi