In the Costa Rica BPO industry, when it comes to growth and expansion, SYKES always sets the pace. SYKES opened doors in 1999 with 250 employees when just five similar companies were present, and less than 1000 bilingual jobs were generated.
Over two decades after, SYKES sums up to 5500 people in four locations and five buildings while the sector reports 180 companies and over 73,000 jobs today. This presence is part of the strategy to diversify locations, not only for business continuity but also for bringing over jobs closer to other dense communities where the workforce resides. This way, opportunities to get a job near applicants become more attractive, and in consequence, reducing risks of losing people before competitors.
On the other side, a high concentration of jobs in the Great Metropolitan Area (GMA) creates fierce talent competition, increasing costs in benefits, and staffing back-filling efforts due to higher rotation rates. Having said this, SYKES makes history again as the very first company of the industry settling down out of the GMA on a green field.
In September this year, the company announced the opening of its 5th location in Liberia, Guanacaste, and the hiring of 600 people in the following 18 months. This expansion represents not only hundreds of job opportunities for locals but also a sustainable way to grow and strengthen the ecosystem.
The five reasons why the company continues to grow, even in pandemic times:
- Operational excellence generates high levels of client trust, prompting them to continue growing organically with SYKES.
- For over a year, SYKES invested in remote work strategies that allowed the testing of concepts and the learning of the associated challenges, strengthening this way, its model to offer it as an option to its clients.
- This model prepared SYKES to take on the pandemic crisis with continuity plans that allowed an easier transition to remote work without affecting the provision of services its clients require.
- Costa Rica’s reliable positioning and SYKES’ sustainability strategies, mainly through bilingual and technical talent development, have allowed the company, for over 13 years, to add new businesses and additional clients to its portfolio.
- The challenges and limitations to large companies operating abroad, under business process outsourcing strategies, have allowed SYKES Costa Rica to emerge as an offshore- nearshore option while taking advantage of opportunities to grow.
For many years, SYKES has been preparing to expand its operations outside the GMA. Since 2013, it has carried out profiling studies to identify the most significant potential in human talent, infrastructure, and service conditions. Key factors that will enable a prosperity hub as the foundation to also promote the development of a pole for high-technology corporate services.
As promoters of talent development, SYKES’ agreements with entities such as the National Apprenticeship Institute (INA), universities, the Ministry of Labor, and others that provide training will allow decentralizing demand for talent exclusively within the GMA. Consequently, the company will operate at lower rotation rates to gain efficiencies that will reduce operating costs, and the savings might be transferred to clients.
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About the author:
Roy Mena is the Corporate Affairs Director for SYKES Costa Rica since 2013. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Roy is the company’s spokesperson and head of public relations. He supports business development work and manages multiple public-private alliances with government entities in favor of social impact and development of skills for business sustainability, and the strengthening of the services sector in the country.
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