Report: The EUR 4 billion outsourcing industry is employing 125,000 people, but has a potential of 300,000

Aurel Dragan 18/03/2019 | 16:46

Business Service Leaders Association (ABSL) launches the annual salary and benefits report for employees in the outsourcing industry. Among other findings, the report shows that the salary for the entry level of employees with no industry experience can in many cases be up to 30 percent higher compared to the economy minimum of higher education employees.

The study conducted in partnership with KPMG examines seven processes / types of items in the industry as follows: Project Management / Process, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Customer Service, Services Purchasing and Procurement, Software Development (IT) and Top Management.

For Project Management specialists, the monthly salary can start at roughly RON 5,000 and may in many cases reaches RON 20,000 per month. For professionals working in financial accounting or Customer Service (Customer Services) entry salary can start at RON 3,300 gross per month, and for those working in the Supply Chain (Supply) from RON 3,000 gross / month.

“Our industry is one of the most dynamic in Romania, with the industry potential of 300,000 employees, now employing about 125,000 people in the industry. Outsourcing industry enables very fast personal development, using multidisciplinary trainings in which companies are helping employees to obtain the necessary skills,” explains Bogdan Pelinescu, president of ABSL.

Language bonuses that can exceed RON 3,000 per month

According to the study, most companies offer language bonuses. French, German, Italian and Spanish are the languages ​​most sought after by employers and are paid bonuses ranging between RON 270 and RON 3,000 gross income per month. Those who speak less spoken languages ​​can receive bonuses up to RON 3,600 per month, in addition to the salary.

Another benefit to employees is additional days, besides mandatory ones, which may vary between one and six days a year.

Other company benefits include meal vouchers, private medical subscriptions and the option of having flexible working hours.

The study conducted by ABSL with KPMG was done through a questionnaire responded by 19 member companies.

In 2018, 33 percent of employees provided Customer Management services, 25 percent IT services, and 23 percent worked in Financial Accounting.

According to the same study, the average age of the workforce is between 26 and 35 years, with women accounting for 61 percent of the industry’s employees.

According to the survey, on average, an employee is in the company between 1 and 5 years. Most people working in the industry have at least one university degree and 24 percent are graduates of Master or Doctorate.

At this point, the most sought after are people who combine language knowledge (German is one of them) with other skills required by industry.

Automation in industry

The employee in the back-office or call-center spends up to 80 percent of daily time filling out forms, processing data or coming, that is, a multitude of vital tasks for the final customer but taking a lot of time for employees.

Automation does not replace the workforce but is ideal for activities that involve repetitive and predictable processes. Software robots are able to resolve activities for which they are scheduled five times faster than company staff.

According to the ABSL study, 76 percent of surveyed companies use simple automation (Robotic Process Automation) in company activities.

Adding artificial intelligence and cognitive automation, software robots are able to perform repetitive and predictable actions without the need for employee intervention (automatic mails, virtual agent, Interactive voice response). 21 percent of the interviewed companies use cognitive automation.

Most companies, 57 percent, internally develop these simple automation solutions. 25 percent of the interviewed companies developed internally centers of excellence for the development of automation processes.

“Roboting certain activities means enabling employees to engage in activities where they can better express their skills and creativity. The team has more time to devote themselves to projects and initiatives that bring high business value, and so people will have more satisfaction than a trivial and repetitive activity. At the same time, robots will need to be coordinated, becoming more and more “assistants” for employees, helping them to do their work more efficiently, and in many cases ensuring ongoing processing for standard activities,” said Bogdan Barbu, ABSL vice president.

ABSL Romania and the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest launched in 2016 the Business Services Masters program, organized by the Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Technology, which is available for 50 students every year.

“In 2018 he graduated the first generation of students in the Business Services Masters program. The fact that 98% of them have already engaged in companies in the industry at the end of their studies, confirms how important it is to continue the investment in the education of the next generation of specialists,” says Catalin Iorgulescu, ABSL vice president.

During the two years of the program, students attend courses such as Financial-Accounting Process Management, Project Management Tools, IT Process Management, Business Process Enhancement (egg. Lean Six Sigma), Financial Analysis, Business Requirements Analysis, ERP Systems (egg. SAP), or the intense study of a foreign language (eg, German). The courses are taught by ASE Bucharest teachers and specialists from ABSL member companies.

According to the study conducted by the Association, together with KPMG, ABSL estimates that the outsourcing industry generated revenue of about EUR 4 billion in 2018 in Romania.

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