Despite Challenges, Convergys Vows to Continue Expanding in Colombia

Convergys plans to add 350 new employees to its workforce in Colombia, as the global call center services giant celebrates four years of operations in the Andean country. In …

"Colombia is a challenging market," says Convergy's Senior Director Jason Brown

Convergys plans to add 350 new employees to its workforce in Colombia, as the global call center services giant celebrates four years of operations in the Andean country.

In an interview with Nearshore Americas, Jason Brown, Convergys’ senior executive in charge of Latin American operations, said the call center operator has been ramping up its operations in Bogota in order to serve a new client.

“Now we have a new global client here. Although we have done business with this client elsewhere in the world, it is new to us here in Latin America,” Brown said.

The recruitment has already begun and will be completed by the end of October, he added.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Convergys moved into Colombia in 2011 and today it employs more than 1,000 people across its two delivery centers in Bogota. “Colombia is a challenging market, yet we have been successful here,” says Brown.

Convergys provides customer care and technical support services in three major languages: Spanish, English and French. However, according to a joint study by the Colombian Commerce Ministry and market analyst firm IDC, there is a severe shortage of bilingual employees in the Andean county.

To make sure that it never runs out of skilled labor, Convergys recruits agents with a wide variety of profiles and later promotes them as trainers, recruitment officers or managers. Therefore, it is no surprise that 79% of Convergys’ customer service managers began their careers as agents.

This simple strategy, Brown says, has helped the company to deal with the shortage of bilingual workers in the region.

According to Convergys, its diverse labor force includes men and women of all ages, students, people looking for their first job, professionals seeking further professional development, and senior citizens seeking new job opportunities.

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In January last year, Convergys purchased its Latin American competitor Stream Global Services, in what analysts described as a historic deal. Stream had delivery centers in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, but not in Colombia.

Convergys began operation with just three clients in Colombia. According to Brown, all three clients have remained with the company to this day.

Although they are the company’s three main clients, they have several subsidiaries working under the same logo. These companies, Brown said, are involved in 10 distinct lines of businesses.

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