AmCham held a Business Service Center Forum in Bratislava at the end of last year, an event that brought together shared service centers (SSC), business process outsourcing (BPO), government, European Commission and academia. The goal of BSCF and its second annual conference was to raise awareness of this significant industry sector which has emerged in Slovakia since the beginning of the 21st century and currently employs over 30K in a skilled and educated work force with a double the average salary of the Slovak economy. The whole event was dedicated to the topic: Are we going to lead or catch up?
PART I: OVERVIEW OF THE BSC SECTOR IN SLOVAKIA IN 2016
The conference was opened by the Executive Director of AmCham Slovakia, Jake Slegers, and Gabriel Galgóci, BSCF Chair and AT&T Slovakia Country General Manager. The introduction included a summarization of the key facts about the BSC sector in Slovakia and raised important questions for further discussion: Where is Slovakia from the skills and education perspective? How can the education sector cooperate deeper with business in order to ensure our university graduates are a good fit for corporations’ needs?
When we look at BSCs employees, we can see a pretty young industry with the average age of 32 years, out of which 47 % are women. 78 % of BSC employees are university educated and the headcount increase is 11 % compared to last year. In order to serve their clients in their mother tongue, BSCs hire staff with good and diverse foreign language skills. While proficiency in English is a must everywhere, the level of the second or third foreign language makes a difference when exploring the job opportunities in this sector. 85 % of BSCs’ employees speak German, 69 % speak French, 65 % speak Italian, 58 % speak Russian and we could go on.
BSCs in Slovakia fall into 4 main industry sectors. More than 60 % of them are well-known brands of the service sector (consulting services, IT & telecom services), a third belongs to the manufacturing industry and a fourth covers the high-tech & electronics sector. 15 % is taken by software development. 86 % of all services fall within advanced Customer Operations (including Sales, Fulfillment, Tech Support and Customer Care), Financial Services and IT services.
As Mr. Galgóci presented, employees are each company’s most valuable asset and therefore BSCs are really investing their effort and money into them.That’s why BSCs don’t just try to create a good business environment but also an environment which is beneficial to employees and offers continuous education and a good work/life balance. Giving back is part of the corporate social responsibility strategy of each BSC and thus these companies are usually ranked high as role models for practicing corporate social responsibility.A proof of this already happening is the fact that there are currently 26 centers in Slovakia which devote over 25 000 man hours of work to Slovak communities every year. Isn’t that an impressive number?