The number of agents resigning (also called as an attrition rate) from local call center firms is on a steady decline, based on a study released by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). Results of the 145-member organization’s annual Attrition and Retention Survey show that voluntary attrition rate slowed to 31 percent in 2022 from 36 percent in 2021.

Findings of the poll conducted by data solutions firm Willis Towers Watson show that involuntary attrition rate in 2022 was at 14.1 percent, while the rate of agents committing absence without leave (or unauthorized leave considered as work abandonment) was at 9.9 percent. About 1.9 percent of hired agents were ‘No Show’ or did not report to work on Day 1. Total voluntary and involuntary attrition rate in 2022 was 45 percent.

Historically, the call center sector has among the highest employee attrition rates in the country. About 60 percent to 70 percent of agents had been leaving their companies until 2016, when the rate began to slow below 50 percent.

Preliminary data covering the first half of 2023 (latest available information) show that voluntary attrition rate was at 19 percent, while involuntary attrition was 9.2 percent, unauthorized leave rate was 8.1 percent, and no-show rate was 2.5 percent. Overall, the six-month attrition rate was 28 percent.

“CCAP-member companies are continuously investing to make the workplace more conducive in the digital age,” said CCAP President Mickey Ocampo. “The poll data indicate that the sector’s efforts to re-skill and upskill its workforce are paying off amid the evolving landscape.”

Employee exit data

Based on exit interviews, up to 69 percent of resigned employees cite “better pay opportunity” for their voluntary decision. About 68 percent say they are seeking “better growth opportunity,” while 46 percent state health-related reasons for their resignation.

When asked about their next plans after resignation, about 64 percent of resigned agents said they are moving to other jobs within the Shared Service and Outsourcing. While those taking employment outside the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry account for 27 percent.

Employment retention data

The majority of agents (78 percent) in CCAP-member companies prefer the hybrid work arrangement, based on preliminary poll data in 2023. Interestingly, agents who prefer to work onsite comprised 47 percent of respondents, exceeding the 41 percent who like to do remote work.   

When it comes to talent acquisition, CCAP-member firms identified the top five challenging roles to hire agents—big data/ data analytics/ business intelligence, application development, accounting and finance, cyber security, and human resources.

The top sources of new hires during recruitment are within Shared Service and Outsourcing (83 percent), outside the industry (44 percent), and freelancing (19 percent).

Philippine Skills Framework

On the other hand, CCAP has completed the development of its own Philippine Skills Framework (PSF) specifically for Contact Center and Business Process (CCB). This is in line with the organization’s commitment to help the government, particularly the academic sector, in preparing students for more career options.

“CCAP’s PSF is designed to further guide academic institutions in developing curricula that will skill students to readily take jobs in our sector. The skills framework covers the pathway from entry level to C-level executives,” said Ocampo.

The seven pathways for functional and enabling competencies identified in the PSF are customer service, learning and organizational development, workforce management, quality management, transformation and business transition, security, and business continuity planning.

Leadership seminar program

Meanwhile, CCAP is also continuing to further develop and facilitate programs targeting agents in various functions and levels within member-companies. The organization is teaming up with the Asian Institute of Management’s School of Executive Education and Lifelong Learning (AIM-SEEL) for a series of leadership workshops designed for managers and team leaders.

Under the partnership, several AIM professors have created and conducted highly curated learning sessions along with  industry experts and thought leaders. “This program intends to further make our management and leaders abreast with the new developments amid the constantly evolving requirements of our jobs. For several years now, our leadership series has been conducted at least thrice yearly,” said Ocampo.

For more industry insights, join CCAP’s Contact Islands 2024 from July 24 to 26, 2024 at the Fili Hotel Nustar Cebu in Cebu City. For inquiries, contact the CCAP Secretariat Office at +63 2 8843 0603 or visit the conference website (https://ccap.ph/event/contact-islands/).

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