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BPO hiring slows to lowest level in seven years: Nasscom

Monday, April 09, 2018

The global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry added fewer jobs last year than at any time since 2010, according to a report by India’s outsourcing trade body Nasscom. Net job growth in the $28bn BPO exports business stood at 36,000, with a global total in the region of 1.2 million, according to the Nasscom study. The annual average since 2011 has been in excess of 50,000 net new jobs.

While hiring growth has slowed, however, revenues are still strong, indicating that the shift to more automated work is accelerating. Earlier this year Cognizant became the first outsourcing major to hit 10% annualised growth whilst decreasing headcount, and several other leading players are expected to follow suit when their results are announced this month.

“This is, absolutely, not just a sign of things to come but of things that are already here,” said Jamie Liddell, Head of Content for the Global Sourcing Association (GSA). “Outsourcers of all shapes and sizes are scrambling to leverage the full power of automation and AI as quickly as possible to move away from the FTE-based model on which they’ve relied for many years. I’d be very surprised if we don’t see negative job growth this time next year, while revenues continue to rise.”

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