Common Misconceptions about the BPO Industry in the Philippines
Updated: Nov 1
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one of the Philippines’ fastest-growing industries. Due to the millions of Filipinos working in the BPO industry, the Philippine government advised that “the BPO industry be regarded as a priority by the Philippine Development Plan as essential to the country’s ten high priority development areas.”
This high consideration does not occur overnight, though. The exponential growth of the BPO industry in the Philippines takes a lot of hard work from millions of Filipinos daily.
As the BPO industry expanded over the last decade, BPO employees have also come under intense scrutiny and occasionally overzealous bullying from individuals who have decided always to dislike BPO and the people who work in it.
Here are five common and rather brutal misconceptions about the Philippine BPO industry:
1. Numerous BPO employees did not obtain a college degree.
This stems from the fact that the BPO industry is highly results-oriented. Whether a person is a college graduate or not is the least of the recruiters’ concerns.
It will not matter that you did not complete college as long as you are trustworthy, treat the job properly, and excel in your position. If you want to work in the BPO industry, skills and proficiency are the most critical factors.
Various successful leaders in the BPO industry have not finished college, yet their team members claim that working under their guardianship is a great opportunity. They are more successful and results-oriented in the BPO due to a unique sense of drive and motivation.
2. If the job is so simple, why does it pay a lot?
This is a harsh misconception because while BPO employees get paid a lot higher than regular day jobs, it does not mean their job is “easy.”
Different BPO teams handle other service delivery models – voice, chat, or back office – and not one of them is “easy.” These various service delivery methods require a handful of skills that can only be attained through hours of employee training and an investment worth thousands of dollars. Only then can BPO teams gain a chance of becoming highly successful.
While taking a phone call appears “easy” to some people because “call center agents only have to say hello, engage in a short conversation, and say goodbye,” this is far from reality.
BPO employees must possess excellent communication skills, emotional stability, and patience to deal with demanding, stubborn customers and challenging days, perhaps even tough months.
So, while the pay is significantly higher, the reason behind it is that it is truly very difficult and calls for abilities that most people lack. Employees must be paid appropriately for these skills because they are essential to their success in the BPO.
3.The BPO industry is a dead-end job.
Numerous leaders could debunk this misconception based on their own experiences. They started as call center agents and eventually rose the ranks, leading their operations teams.
With over a million Filipinos working for the BPO industry since its establishment in 1992, its growth compared to the OFW remittances in 2016 proves that it is not a dead-end job. On the contrary, it is an industry that Filipinos need to take seriously.
4. Redundancies are common, and job security is a problem.
Hiring and retaining employees is quite costly, and BPO companies know this very well. Because the cost to acquire, train, and retain personnel is typically quadruple that of a redundancy package, job security is a top consideration for the BPO.
When an employer has tried every scenario for recommending workers to accounts with resource demands, redundancy occurs. However, BPO organizations only turn to this as a last resort. It is not the action plan for right away.
BPO clients typically understand that even if they originate from a different account, seasoned employees ramp up faster and engage better than newbies. The client, the business, and the employee all benefit from this.
5. Working in the BPO industry is highly toxic due to the lack of work-life balance.
The work schedules of BPO employees are connected to this misconception. While most accounts require people to work at night (US days), other industries, such as healthcare-related accounts and game creators, require employees to work at night (US nights).
Not all BPO workers are night shift workers. The schedules will vary for many factors. However, the main drivers will be the customer agreement and the hours of operation that are optimized for performance.
Although work can occasionally become demanding in a toxic workplace, it is still possible to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Every successful BPO employee has a support structure that enables them to excel in their work and grow. Whether built by families or friends, these support structures are willing to make adjustments and sacrifices to accommodate their loved ones working in the BPO industry. Eventually, this selfless action supports BPO employees and helps them achieve work-life balance.
These five misconceptions about the BPO industry may appear grimmer than any other misconception about other industries in the workforce. But regardless of these perspectives, the BPO industry shows no signs of stopping and is on the right track for future development as a critical source of employment in the Philippine economy.