Call center post ‘hardest to fill’

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CALL center agents are the hardest vacancies to fill in the country, according to a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (Bles).

The Bles Integrated Survey found that out of the 7,061 establishments surveyed between January 2011 and June 2012, 63,212 vacancies for customer service representatives needed to be filled.

“It is expected that the demand for call center agents will remain tight, as the country emerged as the global leader in the voice outsourcing business,” the report said.


Across occupational groups, call center agents dominated vacancies in the group of clerical professions. Clerical positions comprised 49.7 percent of all vacancies.

Aside from call center agents, there are also hard to fill vacancies in bet bookmakers and croupiers and clerks for coding, proofreading and related occupations.

Considered among the hardest to fill are managerial and supervisory positions in terms of applicants, comprising 4.9 percent of vacancies. The top hard to fill positions include finance and administrative managers; production supervisors and general foremen; sales and marketing managers; sales supervisors in retail trade; and production and operations management in restaurants and hotels.

Engineers are also among the hardest to fill positions among the professional group, which researchers said indicated a labor demand in an expanding field.

Civil engineers topped the list due to a construction and real estate boom in the country. There was also a high demand for mechanical, industrial and chemical engineers.

The demand for systems analysts and accountants was also noted, “as their services cut across industries.”

Other professional occupations that are considered hard to fill include medical technologists, pharmacists, writers, architects, geodetic professions, chemists, vocational education teachers, librarians, social work professionals, geologists and geophysicists, psychologists, lawyers and statisticians.

There were a few vacancies for technicians and associate professionals, researchers found that some jobs available for these professions were specific to certain industries and required longer training periods. These included mechanical engineering technicians; photographers and image and sound recording equipment operators; securities and finance dealers and brokers; statistical, mathematical and related associate professionals; decorators and commercial designers; civil engineering technicians; air traffic controllers; air traffic safety technicians; aircraft pilots, navigators and flight engineers; and chemical and physical science technicians.

In the service, shop and market sales group, hair dressers, barbers and beauticians were among the difficult to fill vacancies while fitters, mechanics and sheet metal workers comprised the hard to fill vacancies for crafts and its related trade. Plant and machine operators made up 4.1 percent of hard to fill vacancies.

Over a third of establishments surveyed (35.8 percent) cited the lack of competency as one of the top reasons for the difficulty in filling up vacant positions. Twenty percent said there were too few applicants while 17.5 percent said there was a lack of experience among applicants. About 15 percent said applicants expected higher compensation while 3.8 percent lacked the needed licenses or skills certifications to practice. Three percent also cited a preference for similar positions abroad while 1.6 percent found location and work schedules as problems.

On average, it took 3.3 months to fill the job vacancies, with professionals taking 3.6 months. Laborers take an average of two months to recruit.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 17, 2014.


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