Staff shortages affect call centers in Panama

TODAY PANAMA – The number of jobs in call center companies fell by 37% between 2012 and 2016, due to the difficulty in finding skilled labor for this activity.

Limited supply of staff with the skills needed to work in a call center and higher wage demands on the part of those who do meet the requirements are some of the reasons behind the reduction in activity in the call center industry in Panama over the last five years.

In 2012, 12.643 employees were registered in call center companies, while last year the figure was reduced to 7,900, according to data from the National Authority of Public Services published by Prensa.com.

“… In the view of some experts, the decrease in the number of positions (also) could be linked to the migration of some companies to more economically competitive markets that have trained personnel. It has also been attributed to changes in strategies that have been made by several multinationals in their main business units.”

Prensa.com reports that “…Now call center agents are demanding higher wages, which exposes the limitations of the low cost business model in the country, explained Ariel Ayala, business development manager at Manpower. ‘Six years ago, for a position in a center cali basically what people looked for was someone who spoke English. Payment for this post was $500 a month, which was a very attractive offer. Today, to fill this position, staff need to speak English and even a third language, usually Portuguese, and also have experience in sales, customer service or technical trading, earning a salary that generally ranges between $900 and $1,200 a month, an offer which is not very persuasive for staff that meet all of the market requirements’. ”

Source: Centralamericandata.com; Prensa.com


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Article originally appeared on Today Panama and is republished here with permission.