A shortage of skilled labor in India's call center is causing a number of problems including cost, quality and security concerns. According to Gartner,a Stamford, Ct.-based research company, a lack of skilled workers over time will drive up labor costs as employees sell their skills to the highest bidder thus eliminating the cost advantages. Resorting to recruiting less-than-qualified personnel to run the many call centers can cause the quality of services delivered to suffer. Additionally the risk of fraud and theft of confidential data increases as under qualified employees perform jobs vital to security.
The Indian government estimates that the need for trained and qualified employees in call centers will reach 1 million by 2009, with an expected shortfall of more than 260,000 workers. Offshore business process outsourcing by multinational companies that chose India due to its educated and English-speaking workforce is fueling the call center demand. Although India has an annual graduating class of more than 2.5 million college students, it still won't be enough to populate the call center.
Earlier this week, Gartner advised organizations to carefully investigate a call center before signing on the dotted line. Companies should ensure that adequate mechanisms - such as service level agreements and resulting penalties, call monitoring and customer satisfaction surveys - are built into contracts. Gartner also urged companies to keep a watch on the centers over the next two years.
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