Recruiting quality employees: A bet on Colombian talent


Recruiting quality employees in the country with third-largest labor force in Latin America



Colombia has the third-largest labor force in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico, according to DANE and the World Bank. This availability of labor, and the quality of Colombian talent, has allowed foreign companies to spend the past 12 years transferring their customer support and back office processes to Colombia.

Staff selection has not been concentrated exclusively in the capital either. Colombia has six metropolitan areas, each with more than one million inhabitants, which has allowed companies to scale their operations at an efficient cost.

Recruiting Top-Quality Employees

Here are some of the reasons why employers are recruiting qualified personnel in Colombia for their customer service operations:

1. Colombian universities are among the best in Latin America and the world. The country has 287 universities, with more than 3.8m students enrolled. Higher education institutions such as Los Andes University, the National University and the University of Antioquia have been ranked internationally for their engineering, business, medicine, agriculture and forestry programs.

2. Colombia's Shared Services Centers (CSC) hire qualified personnel with training in administration, public accounting, economics and electronic engineering related to industrial, mechanical and electrical systems. More than 2.1m students have graduated in these areas, according to 2001-2016 figures from the Ministry of Education.

3. The number of bilingual people (Spanish-English) in Colombia has increased by 1.3m, offering a workforce capable of providing services and operations on both a regional and global level.

4. Up to 17% of economically active Colombians speak more than one language, the equivalent of up to 4.5m people, according to figures from Fedesarrollo.

5. Colombia represents an important opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs interested in selecting and recruiting personnel with knowledge of languages other than English and Spanish. Colombia is one of the countries where the French language is most certified with 8,169 people receiving certificates for their use of French in 2016.

6. Training technical talent is a key focus of the Colombian government. Colombians can access free training and programs in the skills demanded by the shared services' sector through the National Learning Service (SENA).

7. Colombian business associations such as the National Association of Colombian Businesspeople (ANDI) and the Colombian Contact Center and BPO Association provide further support. Value-added services that meet employers' staff recruitment requirements are promoted by cooperation among the government, academia and international associations.

The launch and installation of CSC for multinational companies with operations in the region, represents just a taste of the human talent and service infrastructure Colombia has to offer. The quality of Colombian universities, the increase in bilingual speakers, the training of professionals in areas such as engineering and business, and institutions' commitment to developing the outsourcing sector, has made Colombia an important ally for entrepreneurs seeking highly qualified personnel to support their operations and expansion in the region.

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