Recruiting and Retaining a Large Workforce – Lessons from the BPO Sector

Seeking relevant lessons outside the traditional microfinance circle
This paper seeks to derive lessons for microfinance from the Call Center or BPO industry.The two sectors are similar in terms of their large workforce, stressful client-facing roles and career stagnation issues. The BPO industry has matured, and has faced issues such as intensifying competition, squeezed margins and increasingly discerning clients. Lessons that the microfinance industry could learn from the BPO industry include the importance of:
  • Having a representative body that projects its successes and benefits;
  • Hiring right, positioning and branding, and building favourable work environments;
  • Establishing linkages with academic institutions in order to avail of a trained pool of employable graduates;
  • Investing in a commercially available, online applicant tracking system linked to employee records;
  • Increasing employee longevity by designing staff incentives, providing part-time options and creating specialist roles;
  • Anticipating and accepting staff attrition;
  • Adopting effective employee phasing out strategies.
Finally, there may even be scope for a symbiotic relationship between MFIs and BPOs as they feed staff to one another as part of outplacement programs, thus broadening staff members experience and skills sets.

About this Publication

By Vasudevan, S. & Sinha, A.