In the world of call centers or BPO’s, more and more companies are looking for leaders with not just your typical English proficiency and appropriate motivation. These days, in order for you to increase your “rep” or your chances of promotion/getting hired you need to have at least acquired a few skills or certifications which can greatly highlight your marketability.
Companies often look for some degree of advanced training and practice among employees and applicants. Often when recruiters scour resume databases, they look for certain “plus” in the trainings and skills section one a potential candidates resume. If the find a qualified candidate that does have some special skills and knowledge, they definitely won’t be shy in offering a substantial job offer with nice perks to boot!
Companies will be competing for your services if you have the following skills or certifications:
1. Six Sigma Certified – There’s a lot of talk about Six Sigma in the call center world these days but common call center employees if not most of them does not understand the concept. In one sentence, Six Sigma is simply the practice of measuring quality that strives for near perfection. While most large call centers are integrating Six Sigma in their processes, it is NOT a catch-all end-all solution to perfection. It is just simply process analysis. The bigger task at hand is how you can use the data out of Six Sigma to improve your process.
Six Sigma originated from the Motorola company which reaped huge success for its manufacturing department. Largely due to this success, many manufacturing companies around the world have also adopted this business management strategy. Although Six Sigma has mainly been used by manufacturing companies particularly in their assembly lines, some innovative Indians came up with the idea to use and tailor it for their outsourcing processes. It also became a huge success ergo big call center companies in the Philippines in the past years have also been embracing this process improvement methodology.
Six Sigma certified professionals are highly sought in the call center world these days. Different levels of certifications may equal different levels of salary grade. Much like a Karate proficiency level, 6 Sigma certification is also by belts: Yellow, Brown, Green, Black or Double Black belts are a few of them. The double black belt or sometimes called master black belt certified person can earn an average of 200,000 pesos a month in the Philippines. Most of Six Sigma training is company sponsored and they usually come with a “training bond.”
2. CIAC Certification – This can also be somewhat “a feather in your cap” if you happen to have the money to get it. CIAC Certification is the only industry-sanctioned contact center management certification program. As a CIAC-Certified professional, you will be recognized for your mastery of call center management skills and knowledge. ICMI provides the training and prep for certification. There’s only a few people in the call center industry in the Philippines who have CIAC-certified bragging rights and most of them are call center consultants. Some are reportedly earning at least 100,000 pesos excluding consultation work.
3. Project Management Certification- This one is often highly-sought by outsourcing companies for mid to top level management positions because of a Project Manager’s ability and experience to manage an account (project) on time and more importantly within the budget. The most recognized institution handling certification for project management is the Project Management Institute. Being certified as a Project Management Professional means you have to continually comply with PMI’s Continuous Certification Requirements or else you can’t claim you are a certified Project Management Professional. This certification transcends the outsourcing industry. You can work at different industries where they require this type of experience and certification such as Real Estate project development and contract-type of projects.
4. ISO certification – ISO certification encompasses several different industries but the one that applies to call center professionals is the ISO 9001:2000. It is a quality management systems standard that provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing the organization’s processes so that they consistently turn out product that satisfies customers’ expectations. As an alternative to Six Sigma, some reputable outsourcing companies have turned to ISO standards a quality management tool for their processes. If you have this one and Six sigma, you’re probably earning a quarter of a million per month.
5. Knowledge Management Certification – This one is my “dark horse”! There’s a sector of the outsourcing industry called Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO). In my personal opinion, KPO is the Summa Cum Laude of outsourcing. Check out wikipedia’s definition of Knowledge Process Outsourcing.
The reason that I say Knowledge Management Certification is my dark horse is because KPO hasn’t really dawned yet in the Philippines. KPO companies often hired only super highly educated people with tons of certifications. Expect KPO companies to only hire people with MBA degrees or some weird post graduate title. KPO employees are often highly regarding because of their brains, analysis skills and experience. So good these employees are that they are able and permitted to make mid level management decisions for their clients.
If you happen to be Knowledge Process Management certified person in the Philippines, you will be the future industry leader with almost limitless potential.