HIGH ATTRITION, managing the ambitious brat pack, and even office romance. Now add another nightmare to the burgeoning list of BPO HR managers’ woes: dual enrolment.
Cashing in on the employee friendly policies of the BPO industry, a large number of freshly-minted graduates call in sick, just a few days after joining duty, avail medical-leave and join a rival BPO, while continuing on the payroll of the previous employers. This means while he actually works for one, he draws salary from both BPOs at the end of the month. That is not all, the person at times is seen pitching one BPO against another.
Little wonder then, the industry is alarmed and is figuring out ways to curb the malaise. “We have seen instances where people go on medical leave during training period and then discover they have joined other companies,” says 24/7 Customer’s chief people officer S Nagarajan. “To curb this, we have enrolled ourselves with Nasscom’s National Skills Registry (NSR) and are getting more stringent background checks done.” It is important to check as such deviant employees could pose data-security threat as well. “We have come across several instances of people joining other BPOs during training periods and we are taking adequate measures like stronger background screening to check this practice,” confirms HCL BPO chief exec N Ranjit.
According to the industry estimates, two out of every ten employees indulge in such practice. However, such dual employment hurts BPOs in more than one way. “The employees who resort to such practice also play one company against another,” says ABC Consultants’ CEO Shiv Aggarwal. “The industry players along with Nasscom are taking on the defaulters.”
This has raised concern about IP theft by such employees. A person working on one account can share critical IP data with other accounts as well. But generally, such phenomenon is limited to non-serious candidates who are just keen on making fast money and flying off. To curb the menace, Nasscom’s NSR has created a universal employee database for the industry. “We have 125,000 people registered with us now and we hope to touch 0.5 million mark this year. The NSR would not only streamline the recruitment process, but also deal with problems like fake CVs and fudged employment details,” says Nasscom vicepresident Ameet Nivsarkar.
On the other hand, HR managers in BPOs have also wisened up. If an employee’s leave period exceeds beyond 15 days, his salary is immediately put on hold. In many cases the companies have a provision to debit the salary from the employees account, if it has been already credited. “Apart from background checks, we now have a clause in employment contract that if a new recruit quits after the training, he is liable to pay the firm the cost of training,” said Genpact HR VP Piyush Mehta.
Mostly college students resort to dual employment during their 2-3 months of college vacation. Students planning to go overseas for further studies also resort to dual/triple employment, while they wait to get their visa applications processed.
IN A LURCH
• Dual employees draw salaries from both BPOs and sometimes indulge in pitching one BPO against another.
• IP theft is another problem as a person working on one account can share critical IP data with other accounts
• Nasscom’s NSR has a universal employee database to deal with problems such as fake CVs and fudged employment details