Contact centers post slowing attrition rate

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Contact center firms in the country are registering declining attrition rates amid flexible work arrangements and expansions being undertaken in the countryside, according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).

“We see a lot more people staying,” CCAP corporate secretary Jamea Garcia said in a briefing yesterday.

The results of the 145-member organization’s annual Attrition and Retention Survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson showed the voluntary attrition rate slowed to 31 percent in 2022 from 36 percent in 2021.

Based on the latest available information, preliminary data covering the first half of 2023 showed the voluntary attrition rate of the call center industry was at 19 percent.

Garcia said the group likely ended 2023 with a voluntary attrition rate of 25 to 30 percent.

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

CCAP board director Haidee Enriquez said flexible work arrangements and expansion undertaken in provinces contributed to the decline in attrition rate.

“The fact that many of our members’ companies have flexed to the requirements of hybrid or permanent work from home to a certain extent, as well as our pivot to countryside expansion to be near where they are, I think are the two critical levers,” Enriquez said.

CCAP’s survey showed hybrid set up is the most preferred work arrangement in the industry last year at 78 percent.

More employees, however, prefer to work onsite at 47 percent compared to those who want to do remote work at 41 percent.

Enriquez said many of CCAP’s members are looking to expand and set up operations in areas outside Metro Manila, such as Batangas, Ilocos and even Palawan.

The survey showed the top reasons for employee resignations in call centers are better pay opportunity (69 percent), better growth opportunity (68 percent) and health related reasons (46 percent).

Typically, 60 percent of employees in call centers who resigned move to jobs within the information technology - business process management industry, while 27 percent opted for work outside the industry.

For the call center firms, the top five challenging roles to hire are in big data or data analytics or business intelligence, application development, accounting and finance, cyber security and human resources.

The top sources of new hires in call center firms are shared service and outsourcing (83 percent), outside the industry (44 percent) and freelancing (19 percent).

In line with efforts to help the academe prepare students for jobs in the industry, the CCAP has completed the development of its own Philippine Skills Framework specifically for contact center and business process.

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