Is Local Better?
We have the resources, why not give Kiwi's the work?
I feel this goes in cycles, sending large scale and volume work abroad. From a financial standpoint, sure, it is cheaper. I can fully appreciate the costs of running a call centre being in a big city; overheads and pay rates just as a start. Finding and keeping good call centre staff is very hard, the average tenure is between 8 - 15 months, on average. Salaries generally span between $38 - 48k on average and as with any role, this does depend on experience.
This kind of wage to live in Auckland is tough, people get a foot in the door then leave for more beneficial opportunities.
It would be interesting to know why larger companies don’t set up in smaller regions. I know a couple of medium sized businesses who have done this in Palmerston North and Whakatane. From the feedback received, it is working very well and business is flourishing. Give the Kiwis work, keep our unemployment rate low.
Instead, we are seeing businesses head offshore. This does come with benefits and can be a profitable venture, however it also can create problems.
Talking with multiple clients daily, there is plenty of change happening. In the last two months three large companies I have spoken with are anticipating on moving their call centres abroad! On top of this, we have noted a good portion of accounting and legal work being sent offshore for overnight work to take place and get back for sign off the next day. It is cost effective and turn around is fast.
The centralisation of Human Resources within large companies into Australia or the US is another trend we have been noticing. This comes with such frustration from our local NZ HR teams, due to different cultural requirements and employment law variances. Not everyone speaks the same business language. Also the turnaround time is so much slower, within a fast paced market that is quickening on the daily and isn’t going to wait for anyone.
Companies of all sizes need to look at local resources. There is so much readily available talent scattered up and down the country. These candidates come with local knowledge and experience across all regions. They understand business jargon, client requests and customer needs. They can walk the walk and talk the talk. Kiwis are wanting to work, and have the skills required that will more than likely meet your business requirements and add value where needed.
Everything comes at a cost. However if it can be avoided, it would be great if it did not have to be at the cost of local talent missing out on work opportunities. Where we can retain work in NZ, we should; directly contributing to society and benefitting our country first and foremost. It's not always better going for the cheaper option.