Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday urged graduates and other first-time job seekers, including low- and semi-skilled OFW-returnees to join the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector where average pay is higher than entry-level wages, earn experience, and then after plan their careers.
“Some say there are no jobs in the country. Wrong. In the IT-BPM sector alone, industry players target 1.19 million direct employment this year. The sector is very well poised to meet this target at the rate IT-BPM is growing—which is faster than the national economy’s growth rate,” Baldoz said last week at the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines’s annual general membership meeting in Mandaluyong City. The IBPAP is the umbrella organization of IT-BPM players in the country.
According to Baldoz, the IT-BPM’s contact center alone anticipates about 225,000 employment this year, while the health outsourcing subsector—the fastest growing subsector in the IT-BPM in terms of employment—is aiming to employ 100,000 workers this year.
“Consistently identified as one of the country’s key employment generators (KEGs), the IT-BPM sector is also recognized worldwide, not just for its ability to create and provide jobs, but more so for enabling government, other businesses, and institutions to achieve higher productivity and competitiveness on a sustained basis,” said Baldoz.
For workers wanting to join the IT-BPM sector, Baldoz said positions across call centers; global in-house centers (GICs); IT outsourcing; healthcare outsourcing; and creative outsourcing, the IT-BPM’s five sub-sectors, are varied both in voice and non-voice services and in areas of specializations.
In call centers, these positions would be for workers in IT helpdesk; technical support; financial services; healthcare support; sales; customer services; account receivables; online auction; direct response; taxi dispatch; employees/HR helpdesks; and media entertainment. For these positions, applicants must have the following credentials and competencies: Multilingual Skills: US English, Spanish, ANZ/UK English, Mandarin, Filipino, French, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Malaya, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Singapore English, and German. Basic/Functional Skills: learning ability (verbal and numerical), English proficiency, perceptual speed and accuracy, problem solving skills, and computer literacy.
In GICs, there will be need for workers in customer services; banking and finance; IT support; HR; customer services; F& A services; healthcare; marketing and sales; analytics; underwriting; actuarial; KPO; logistics; inbound hotel reservation; procurement; accounts payable; back office; and property services.
For these positions, applicants must have the following credentials and competencies: Basic/Functional Skills: learning ability (verbal and numerical), English proficiency, perceptual speed and accuracy, problem solving skills, and computer literacy; Behavioral Skills (Service Orientation): communication skills, learning orientation, courtesy, empathy, reliability, and responsiveness.
Workers for software development; maintenance and integration; business analysis; project management and consulting; database administration; ITO managed services; data center; systems and network administration; e-commerce; quality assurance and testing; education, training and e-learning; R&D; resource augmentation and staffing would be available in the IT outsourcing subsector.
For the above-mentioned positions, applicants must have the following credentials and competencies: For Software Development, Maintenance and Integration-related positions, expertise on the following language: C/C++, HTML, XML, PHP, Actionscript Java J SE EE, JSP, EJB. C#, Visual Basic, VB,NET, ASP.NET, AJAX, RPG/400, FILENET, COBOL, CICS, WSAD, Rational, CSP, Symbian, WML, J2ME, OMA, WURFL, Sharepoint, DRMCIMD2, UCP, Linux, Ruby on Rails, MySQL, Eclipse, Apache, SAS Natural, SQL Reports, Crystal, Easytrieve, Oracle BI EE; Basic Functional Skills: learning ability (verbal and numerical), English proficiency, perceptual speed and accuracy, problem solving skills, and computer literacy. Behavioral Skills (Service Orientation): communication skills, learning orientation, courtesy, empathy, reliability, and responsiveness.
In health outsourcing subsector, there are positions available for workers in revenue cycle management; patient scheduling; App/CC; EMW/HER; accounting; eligibility and authorization; medical coding & claims edit; claims denial management; document management; utilization review; posting of bills; review of records for compliance; payer functions, such as payer adjudication processes; transaction processes; decision support systems; business intelligence solutions; document management; claims edit; fraud detection and management; EOB; medical code/bill review); and healthcare applications support systems (clinical), such as clinical information; hospital information; EMR/HER; picture archiving; radiology information; computerized physician order entry; cardiovascular information and imaging and (non-clinical), such as system payroll, accounts payable, automatic patient billing, claims management, revenue cycle management.
Applicants for these positions should have Local (PRC) and international license (e.g. nursing, pharmacy) for most clinical positions. Basic/Functional Skills: learning ability (verbal and numerical), English proficiency, perceptual speed and accuracy, problem solving skills, and computer literacy. Behavioral Skills (Service Orientation): communication skills, learning orientation, courtesy, empathy, reliability, and responsiveness.
In the creative outsourcing subsector, positions for workers in animation, visual arts and design, graphics design, comics, interior design, industrial design, fashion design, architecture, and engineering design, and positions for game industry workers, such as design (story and concept, concept art, game design, game play), art (2D Art, 3D Modelling, Texture, Animation, Game Design, Level Design), engine (Core Systems, Rendering, Al and Physics, Virtual Machines, Sound System, Input and Resources, User Interface), technical (programming, game play, artificial intelligence, physics environment, user interface), and commercial (game support, quality assurance, community management, marketing, social media, and distribution).
Applicants must have Basic/Functional Skills: learning ability (verbal and numerical), English proficiency, perceptual speed and accuracy, problem solving skills, and computer literacy. Behavioral Skills (Service, Orientation): communication skills, learning orientation, courtesy, empathy, reliability, and responsiveness.
The labor and employment chief attributes the global foothold of the country’s IT-BPM to its young, educated, and highly-skilled human resource whose hardworking trait and openness to learning give IT-BPM workers a competitive edge in the labor market.
“The Philippines’ pool of human talents is one of the chief attractions for foreign investors to set up shop in the country for this provides them a very strong advantage,” she said. The IT-BPM sector is one of 22 industries/sectors for which the DOLE, in cooperation with the International Labor Organization and the private sector, has crafted human resource roadmaps.
“The HRD Roadmap, 2016-2022 contains labor supply and demand information and responsive, timely, and critical strategies that will support 22 industries/sectors in their current and future HR requirements. It identifies human resource constraints and solutions to improve human resource competitiveness in the industries,” she explained. The 21 other industries are aerospace, automotive, automotive parts, biodiesel, cement, ceramic tiles, chemicals, copper and copper products, electric vehicles, electronics, furniture, iron and steel, manufacturing, metal casting, motorcycles, natural health products, petrochemicals, plastic, rubber products, jewelry, and toll and die.
The HRD Roadmap for IT-BPM identifies its strengths which include scalable educated talent pool, cost competitiveness, excellent infrastructure, and government support and Public-Private Partnership. She admitted, though, that one of the biggest challenges to the sector is talent availability.
“IT-BPM cuts across industries—this is its distinct characteristic—so we have to make sure that Filipino workers are skilled and equipped for them to be ready to take advantage of the growth opportunities,” said Baldoz further.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the IT-BPM sector is not merely composed of contact centers, or call centers. Over the years, it has evolved and expanded to include global in-house center (GIC); IT outsourcing; healthcare outsourcing; and creative outsourcing. Thus, jobs in the sector are varied, both in voice and non-voice services and in areas of specializations.
The sector has grown exponentially that the DOST and the IBPAP have identified centers of excellence—the metropolitan cities of Manila, Cebu, Clark, and Bacolod—as well as next wave cities—Baguio, Davao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Lipa, Metro Bulacan, Metro Cavite, and Metro Laguna.
Aside from talent availability, the following are equally crucial challenges the sector needs to address: availability of middle management; niche skills, such as investment banking; growth of tourism; changing policies and regulations; growth outside Metro Manila; emergence of other countries; new technologies; and impact of ASEAN integration. The HRD roadmap also pointed out the change of leadership in the 2016 May election as a challenge.
The human resource development programs of the government which can help in overcoming the said challenges are the JobStart Philippines Program, Career Guidance Advocacy Program, and TESDA Language Courses.