Jamaica BPO Stakeholders Communicate Honest, Actionable Awareness of Talent Crisis
Jamaica BPO has been reaping the benefits of a desirable workforce, low wages, and cultural alignment with US customers, but talent is still a challenge, and the industry is vocal about it.
Whatever caused it, BPO buyers are now paying very close attention to Jamaica, with companies such as Amazon, Lyft, Hilton, and AT&T betting big on the sector. As a result, the country is under close external scrutiny, leading local stakeholders to identify what is holding Jamaica back from the next level.
As the third largest English speaking nation in the Americas, Jamaica and its BPO sector have been capitalizing on the benefits of a desirable workforce, low wages, and cultural alignment with US customers, but greater demand for talent is where the difficulties lie. As client demands also become more technical, Jamaica’s meager IT talent pool has become another top concern.
Offering another potential solution to the training deficit, Debra Fraser, CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions presented some examples of where technology is successfully being used to create a better fit between agents, employers, and roles.
“We need leaders that will bring the entire labor force up, and there are lots of tests that can help with that by identifying the right people to invest in,” she said. “We don’t just want the masses, we want quality masses, and we can do that with technology and objective standards. Pre-screening tests can weed out non-fit and high performers, along with tools that measure personality fit, basic skills in grammar, logical reasoning, math skills, and whether a person suits sales/outbound or service/inbound. I haven’t yet seen many companies use any of these in Jamaica.”
What is clear from the O2J conference is that Jamaica has a remarkable willingness to adapt, a willingness to find business, the country is open to change, and people are empathetic to the customer. These are all traits that clients want in their providers and agents, so, if the puzzle of healthy talent development is solved, particularly on the IT side, these core values will ensure the country retains its upward trajectory.