The Gleaner | April 16, 2019
At 23 years old, Kimwau Holloway is already a human resource (HR) supervisor at a local business process outsourcing (BPO) company.
“The BPO industry has actually taught me a lot of discipline. There is a lot of room for growth; but for me, the best thing about my job is just meeting new people every day,” said Holloway, who started out as an HR associate at itelbpo in 2015 and gradually climbed up the ranks to becoming HR coordinator and then supervisor.
“There are persons who have been out of job for months, with families, [and] they are overqualified, but they can’t get a job. For you to be able to give that person a job or an opportunity is just a warm feeling,” she said.
Her colleague, Markland Young, at 32 years old is already a senior director of workforce management at the organisation. He finds that the ascension of young people into managerial positions is not uncommon in the sector.
“People generally have a fear of working in the call centre, or they come into the call centre not planning to spend a long time. But when you are working in a environment which makes you feel relaxed, and then you see the opportunities for growth around you, it makes it much easier for you,” said Young, who has been working in the BPO sector for the last 10 years.
Founder and Executive Chairman of itelbpo Yoni Epstein noted that the average age of the company’s employees is 24 years old. He said that effort is made to create an environment where they feel comfortable.
“It’s a nice place for people to want to come to work; it’s relaxed, it’s laid back. Yes, it is a business and you have to be productive and you have to do your job, but at the same time, we try and make it as fun as possible,” he said.
“There are a lot of naysayers that would want to say things about the industry, but you walk through our building here and you feel the vibes that it is not what people say,” he added.
Epstein noted that while the bulk of the staff are on the front line taking phone calls, dealing with emails, placing Google Ads and doing software development, there are several opportunities for upward mobility. An individual can move on to becoming a subject matter expert, which allows them to focus on specific clients.
“They can grow from there to being a supervisor, and they can go all the way up,” he said, while pointing out that they can go into workplace management, finance, training and operations management.
“There are many different directions they can go, and our training and development team start to teach them and show them that path from the first day they step through the door of the organisation,” said Epstein.
“Those that excel, and those that exceed, and those that surpass our key performance indicators and the client expectations will most certainly continue to grow with the organisation, and we have many people like that,” he said.