Employer of choice: Differentiate your BPO firm to recruit top talent

by Andy Nguyen
employer of choice

The BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry is getting increasingly competitive with evolving technology and shifting client priorities. 

In the midst of it all, the driving force behind a BPO’s success is its human resource. A long-term and experienced workforce can overcome even the most challenging adversities!

But how can you attract top talent to build a quality workforce?

Simple – by being an employer of choice.

Achieving the status of an ‘employer of choice’ puts you in the driver’s seat for recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best people!

In this article, we’ll break down what makes an employer of choice, along with nine key steps you can take to turn your BPO into one. We’ll also look at how Time Doctor can help you become an employer of choice.

Table of Contents

Let’s begin.

Who’s an employer of choice?

An employer of choice is a sought-after employer brand that the best candidates want to work for.

Think Google, Cisco, Microsoft, etc.

Individually, these companies have different characteristics and work profiles. Yet each of them can be described as an employer of choice with a strong employer branding. 

Their employer brand helps hire and retain superior employees through an amazing work culture, competitive benefits, work life balance, and employee satisfaction. 

As a BPO company, one of the most challenging hurdles you face is increased employee attrition rates. The 2022 NICE WEM Global Survey states that in the wake of the Great Resignation, BPOs have experienced higher than average attrition. While companies with up to 1,000 agents have a 34% attrition rate, this number goes up to 50% with workforces larger than 5,000.

The job market is competitive. That’s why having talented candidates, and passive job seekers pursue you as a prospective employer is a desirable position to be in. 

And being an employer of choice isn’t just for the big conglomerates! Any employer—even a small one—can become an employer of choice.

Let’s find out how.

9 steps to ensure your BPO is an employer of choice

Here’s a breakdown of how you can differentiate your BPO and become an employer of choice:

1. Provide a flexible work schedule

Giving employees the option of work flexibility is one of the first steps to becoming an employer of choice.

A flexible work schedule allows employees to start and end their workday whenever they want, as long as they deliver services during their core working hours. Remote working, compressed workweeks, hybrid working, etc., are different types of flexible work schedules. 

While the pandemic may have played a role in bringing flexible working to the forefront, these arrangements are fast becoming necessary for top talent. 

A 2021 Flex Job survey revealed that 58% of employees want full-time remote roles, while 39% want a hybrid work environment. 

The same trend is apparent in the BPO industry. 62% of the BPO employees surveyed by Better Teem in 2021 expect their companies and future employers to allow remote work.

With leading BPO work models involving cloud technology and virtual assistants, flexible working is the need of the hour for both employees and employers. 

Check out our article on the 8 Types of Flexible Work Schedules for the Modern Workplace.

2. Provide career growth opportunity

As your employees grow, are their responsibilities growing with them? 

There’s nothing worse than employees feeling like their career growth in your BPO is stagnant. A lack of a clear image of career advancement can severely hamper agent performance. 

While working with a BPO that’s an employer of choice, an employee has career paths that facilitate:

  • Vertical growth: Upskilling on skills relevant to a job role. 
  • Horizontal growth: Wearing different hats by working on new functional roles. 

Try these steps to create more career advancement opportunities in your BPO:

  • Provide personalized training and upskilling opportunities like agent etiquette training, data analysis courses, etc.
  • Ensure employees do meaningful work and have mentoring opportunities.
  • Ensure agent empowerment through constant evaluation and feedback. Evaluation metrics can include Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), First Contact Resolution (FCR), etc.
  • Present a clear career progression path, including promotions and company mission.

3. Focus on pay communications

Offering Competitive salary packages are effective tools for attracting top talent. Paying BPO employees well can make them feel seen and valued. 

But is paying your employees fairly enough?

Unfortunately, no. 

According to PayScale’s 2021 Fair Pay Impact Report, 42% of employees who are paid “above market standard” believe they’re being paid “below market rate.” 

What does this lead to? 

The same research reveals that people who believe they are underpaid are 50% more likely to seek new opportunities!

The “perception of unfair pay” is as bad as an actual “unfair pay scale.”

This is why BPOs need to focus on pay communications. Try these steps to improve your BPO’s pay communications:

  • Include pay scales in job descriptions.
  • Train your managers beforehand to handle pay discussions.
  • Have a clear answer to key pay questions like “What does my position get paid?” or “How do you determine salaries?”.
  • Don’t wait for annual appraisal cycles to talk about pay.

4. Offer competitive employee Benefits

Employers of choice provide the right employee benefits to appeal to their ideal employees. 

Think of benefits as a double investment. On the one hand, a great benefits package directly invests in attracting and retaining talent. On the other hand, the personal benefits that agents gain from professional development support can ultimately be an advantage for your BPO. 

Here’s a look at some perks leading BPOs include in their recruitment strategies:

  • Home office setups that include software requirements.
  • Paid vacation and sick leaves.
  • Health insurance and personal healthcare packages.
  • Educational benefits that reimburse the money spent on degrees and upskilling.
  • Frequent performance-based incentives.
  • Employee referral schemes and more.

Ensure that you don’t keep your employee benefits package a secret. Sharing these details front-and-center on your job descriptions can help attract the best talent and ease the hiring process.

5. Maintain complete transparency

Another common factor among employers of choice is that they share information openly and frequently with employees. This information includes everything about the company’s decision making process. 

As a result, employees never feel like they’re the “last to know,” encouraging them to be more engaged.  

Here’s how leaders can introduce a strong culture of transparency in BPOs:

  • Organize all-hands meetings as regularly as possible, especially when announcing important company-wide news.
  • Share industry news, trends, and organizational updates through a periodic newsletter
  • Publish annual reports detailing your BPO’s growth and clientele over the year.
  • Be transparent with company financials and client satisfaction to ensure employees know what to expect in the near future. 

6. Recognize and reward

The BPO industry bears the stigma of being a sector stripped of job satisfaction. A primary cause for this is that most BPO jobs focus solely on numbers. And because the employee attrition rate is high, employers don’t feel the need to invest in their agents. 

Unfortunately, this creates a vicious cycle that can only be broken if BPO leaders start recognizing their employees for their hard work. 

Besides building a positive workplace culture, focusing on employee recognition can directly help reduce turnover rates. 

In a 2019 survey conducted by Bonusly, 63% of employees who felt recognized at work reported being less likely to look for a new job in the next three to six months.

Here are a few employee recognition ideas on how you can appreciate a current employee:

  • Celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays.
  • Give away award prizes for meeting work goals.
  • Share employee success stories on LinkedIn.
  • Give out thank-you notes.

Check out our 10 Simple Ways to Boost Employee Recognition at Your Company article for more.

7. Engage in social responsibility

Employers of choice have missions beyond profitability and are centered around giving back to the community. These corporate citizenship missions can be the right cultural fit for potential employees.

They also seem to contribute towards increased employee engagement in these organizations. 

In a 2018 O.C Tanner survey, 1,000 workers were surveyed on being given the opportunity to participate in charitable events. 57% of employees said that charitable events at the workplace made for happier teams, and 37% felt more connected to their company culture.

Additionally, corporate citizenship can increase employee engagement as it goes beyond social responsibility and includes simpler things like ethical business practices and sustainability initiatives at the workplace. 

So no matter the size of your BPO is, you can:

  • Develop a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan that’s consistent with your values and budget.
  • Support causes that the majority of existing employees are already attached to. 
  • Involve your team in CSR activities that require extensive teamwork. These can double up as team-building activities!

8. Ensure job security

Job security refers to a sense of assurance employees feel when they’re certain that their jobs are secure as long as they continue to meet their goals. 

This is currently a critical issue across industries. For instance, as of mid-June 2022, over 21,000 workers have been laid off in the U.S. tech sector alone. 

Potential employees are now more than ever seeking jobs with financially sound employers. Plus, a sense of job security allows them to fully focus on meeting their goals. 

Because of this, employers of choice go the extra mile to ensure that their employees feel safe about their jobs. 

While always remaining profitable can be challenging, especially for BPOs, it’s important that your managers proactively assure employees that their jobs are safe. 

9. Build and measure your EVP

Employee Value Proposition or EVP is a combined measure of all employee-friendly activities organizations do to ensure employee retention and engagement. 

It encompasses what makes your BPO a great place to work. 

Previously mentioned factors like pay, benefits, and work culture are integral elements of your EVP. This is why most companies already have a rough EVP in place. 

So what differentiates an Employer of choice from regular organizations?

Besides building an EVP, employers of choice also continuously measure its impact. 

But how?

One of the most popular means of measuring EVP is through an employee survey. These surveys are anonymous and give you a gist of how your team members feel about your work culture and benefits.

Let’s say you provide your BPO employees with a telephone etiquette training program. But your employees think the course is superficial. With the help of a few questions in an employee survey, you’ll be able to determine your employees’ thoughts about the course. 

Let’s now look at a tool that can help you sail through the challenging process of becoming an employer of choice. 

How Time Doctor can help you become an employer of choice

Navigating the various factors contributing to your BPO becoming a preferred employer can seem intimidating and almost impossible. 

Fortunately, Time Doctor can help you ace this transition!

What is Time Doctor?

Time Doctor-better for organization

Time Doctor is a productivity and time tracking software that measures employee activities in real-time. It provides a complete breakdown of workday insights, helping you analyze where your BPO team is excelling and where they need help. 

The tool’s real-time dashboards, detailed productivity reports, and productivity tracking features create a never-seen-before level of visibility in your organization! Time Doctor helps you empower managers, keep costs down, and satisfy your clients.

But how does the tool help you become an employer of choice?

Here’s how:

  • Provide flexibility: With Time Doctor’s real-time productivity reports, you don’t have to worry about being unable to track your agents’ work hours. You can give your agents a much-desired flexible work schedule, including a 100% remote working option.
  • Manage workloads: Use the tool’s real-time dashboards to adjust the workloads of employees with the most worklife balance issues. Analyze when they work late hours, work too many hours, etc.
  • Recognize and reward: Get detailed insights into employee productivity levels using customized productivity ratings for different websites and apps. Determine who’s performing exceedingly well and reward them. 
  • Retain clients: Use the client login feature to maintain transparency with clients and gain their trust. This can help you retain them and increase profitability. Which then helps you provide much-needed job security to your employees. 
  • Boost productivity: Providing a flexible work schedule has been shown to boost employee productivity. For instance, A major Asian outsourcing company used Time Doctor to understand how working from home impacted agent productivity. Time Doctor’s data revealed a 56% decrease in unproductive time when working at home vs. on-site. 

Check out the full list of Time Doctor’s features for more.

Wrap up

Whether you’re a small BPO company looking to hire some professionals or a big organization looking to rework your hiring process, adopting an employer of choice strategy is the way to go!

An employer of choice is empowered to attract and retain their desired prospective employee with no hiccups. Their focus on employee experience and strong employment brand lets them easily navigate through the hard times in their industries.

You can go through the nine detailed steps in this article to get started. And while the process can seem unachievable, a productivity and time tracking tool like Time Doctor can help you tremendously. 

View a free demo of Time Doctor

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