Colombia invests in maintaining and generating new jobs in the BPO sector

21 May 2020
The BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) sector is one of the largest employment generators in Colombia, with more than 583,000 employees.

In 2019, Colombia had around of 124,634 contact center agents, making it the third country of the region with the most agents. It is expected to surpass 130,000 in 2020, according to figures from Frost & Sullivan.

Additionally, with its excellent local talent and the lowest salaries in the region, according to Nearshore Americas, the country stands out for its competitive advantages, which have led large companies to transfer their operations to Colombia from places such as Argentina and Chile to serve their nearshore and offshore markets (mainly the United States and Spain).

According to a study by Fitch Solutions, with the growth in urbanization, the variety in the composition of the Colombian workforce has increased, making the services sector the largest employment sector (70% of the workforce), followed by the industrial (17%) and agricultural (13%) sectors.

These figures, like those in the recent analyses of Frost & Sullivan, where the sector’s sales comprise 13.1% of those in the region, surpassing countries such as Argentina, Peru, and Chile, demonstrate that the Colombian business process outsourcing market continues to increase and flourish. 

In the context of COVID-19, the figures have been promising. Recently, it was announced that call centers and BPO companies could generate more than 15,000 jobs in Colombia (Revista Dinero). Out of which, 9,500 would be in Bogotá, 3,100 in Medellín, 1,150 in Barranquilla, and 765 in the Colombian Coffee Region.

Additionally, companies such as Konecta have reported in the media that 70% of the business was transferred to homes by teleworking and that in the current situation, not one single job has been lost. Instead, they have increased the payroll to respond to sectors that have increased as a result of the emergency, especially food delivery and health product services.  

Meanwhile, on May 8, the Ministry of Health adopted Decree 735, through which biosafety protocols are adopted in the provision of call center services, among others. This contains guidelines on issues including adaptation, maintenance, disinfection, personal protective equipment, and staff transportation. The protocol is in addition to that which is established in Resolution No. 666 of April 24, 2020.

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