Hiring has become a major concern for human resource management in the BPO industry as it grapples with the perennial problem of attrition.
Apart from incentives, gifts and perks, companies are now working on "exceptional" benefits to keep their staff happy. American Express's (Amex) parental care work life program "Dil Se" is the latest among such benefits.
Dil Se provides personalised concierge service, healthcare with 24/7 emergency medical helpline, transport service and mobility aid to aged parents of employees. The initiative has been taken after an internal research by Amex that showed the average age of its employees was 29 and 60% of them live with dependent parents.
Convergys MD Hanumant Talwar said, "Our focus on employee engagement is very high. We offer free meals, festival gifts and support in education and career development."
Reimbursement of tuition fees for higher studies is also part of such benefits.
However, Talwar denied that these were part of measures to prevent attrition. "We are not a fearful organisation. We have always been able to grow," he said. Though top BPO managers rule out attrition as a challenge, a study by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) earlier this year had pegged the attrition rate at 55-60% in the sector.
The problem can also be gauged by what a hiring manager with a prominent international BPO has to say. "I interview candidates almost on a daily basis. My job has continued to exist because of the ever growing attrition," she said.
Maneesh (name changed) said he hopped four jobs in his three years of career. "I left my first job within months as the process I worked in shut down. Better opportunities, salary hike and job security are some of the factors that made me change jobs."
A human resource manager with a BPO firm also admitted that attrition is a constant challenge. According to her experience of five years in human resource management, "Most of the employees leave jobs because the work gets monotonous for them and they don't see a long term future. They use it as a stop-gap engagement in their career."
Business Process Industry Association of India president Manoj Malhotra refused to comment on the issue citing industry protocol.